Chances are that you have heard people rave about Brooklyn. It’s not too far from Manhattan and has its own hip vibe. Plus, there’s plenty of green space, and you get more apartment space for your dollar. Note: Brooklyn apartments usually have more space and are slightly cheaper than Manhattan but do not expect extremely cheap apartments in popular neighborhoods. However, you will generally get a lot more space than your average Manhattan pad.
Williamsburg– Hipster neighborhood with many bars, shops, restaurants, etc. Housing ranges from walk-ups to new developments closer to the Williamsburg bridge and East river. Easy access to Manhattan through the reliable L train. Weekend nights the L does not run as frequently, but then again, you might not leave Williamsburg much. Latin and Jewish influence.
Greenpoint- When people are crowded out of Williamsburg, they come north to Greenpoint. Cheaper and safer than Williamsburg with some good restaurant and bar options. Polish influence. On the G train line, which can be temperamental. We hear the G has gotten way better, though!
Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn- Beautiful tree lined streets and brownstones close to Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, featuring one of the best NYC skyline views. Commute times are very quick with access to both east and westside trains. Professional population of which many people own their place. Retail and restaurant strip exists but is a little underwhelming. Downtown Brooklyn is comprised primarily of courthouses, universities, and business, but new high-rise rental buildings are also present.
Carroll Gardens/Gowanus– Charming neighborhood with a diversity of local restaurants, bars, and delis. Just south of Brooklyn Heights and connected to lower Manhattan by the F,G, and M trains that are sometime fickle, particularly at night.
Boreum Hill/ Cobble Hill- Squeezed between Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights, it offers the best of both worlds. Beautiful homes with plenty of space.
Fort Greene/Clinton Hill– Dynamic, diverse, and cheaper than surrounding neighborhoods. The spotty G train is the main feeder to Manhattan but other trains in neighboring Downtown Brooklyn are walkable. Although with such a relaxed, cool vibe, you can spend your evenings here. No need for Manhattan.
DUMBO– Down under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Think loft, art galleries and creative space, and waterfront access. The loft like housing has made DUMBO expensive, but there are still finds. Close to Downtown Brooklyn with good transport options.
Bedford-Stuyvesant/Bushwick– A mix of cultural influences ranging from African American to Caribbean. Many hip folks, particularly artists, from Williamsburg have moved further east for cheaper rents and more residential and gallery space. A neighborhood on the rise with some spotty blocks. Home of BK’s hip hop culture; Jay-Z and Biggie grew up on these streets. Expect more Latin flavor as you head east towards Bushwick Avenue. Served by the west side A, C trains.
Prospect Heights– Space. Close to the vast Prospect Park. Diverse neighborhood with reasonable prices and plenty of restaurants and bars. Pretty good transport options, even better in nearby Park Slope.
Park Slope- A well-rounded neighborhood with everything to offer- restaurants, bars, arts, and subway access to most lines. It has become a great place for families (cue the stroller jokes) to settle in due to low crime and the great schools, but younger people also call Park Slope home because it has a lot to offer. By Prospect Park. Rents are affordable but are going up.
Red Hook- Great food at restaurants, the Fairway grocery store on the water, or from vendors at the baseball fields in summer. This is where IKEA is. Bad transit unless you will be biking or taking the bus. IKEA offers a free water ferry during the day from Manhattan’s South Street Seaport to Red Hook.
Brooklyn (close to Manhattan) neighborhood map: