Affordable Interior Design in Bay Ridge Brooklyn

Evan Schwartz and his wife, Rebekah, were “tired of spending all their money on rent,” so they left Park Slope and migrated south to Bay Ridge.

“At first I pooh-poohed the idea, but 24 hours later it was a done deal,” said Schwartz, an interior designer for private clients and Homepolish, a company that provides affordable by-the-hour design services. “The streets are wide, it’s quiet, there’s good food. Yes, the commute to Manhattan is annoying, but the rent is reasonable and you get more space.” (more…)

Studio Apartment Interior Design In Park Slope

Japanese author Marie Kondo, famed for her “If it doesn’t spark joy, throw it out” manifesto, has nothing on Ilene Rosen. “She’s preaching to the converted,” said Rosen, who lives with her husband Mark Sherry, a pharmacologist, in a 510-square-foot studio overlooking Grand Army Plaza. “For me, the joy is not having stuff around, being able to see a long swath of kitchen counter with nothing on it, or a lot of empty floor space.”

The couple bought their apartment — one large square room with a galley kitchen and a bathroom behind a sliding barn door — a little over a year ago, downsizing from a two-bedroom, two-bath duplex in the neighborhood. “The children are clearly not coming back,” said Rosen, a partner in R&D Foods, the gourmet grocery and takeout shop on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights. “It seemed like the right time to downsize.” (Her 21-year-old twin daughters have their own apartments, and their dad’s Manhattan pad to sleep in if they choose.) (more…)

Cobble Hill House for Rent -- 6 Verandah Place

If you’ve ever coveted living on a mews — and who among us hasn’t? — today’s pick ought to be of interest. It’s an entire mews house for rent on Verandah Place in Cobble Hill, the charming alley opposite Cobble Hill Park.

This particular mews house belongs to our own Cara Greenberg, Brownstoner’s Insider columnist and a longtime presence on the site. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because the house was a rental of the day once before, in April of 2013.

Now as then, it’s a four-story house, 22 feet wide and 32 feet deep. (If you’re eyeing the facade photo and thinking that width figure is a mistake, note that the downspout runs down the middle of the house front.) (more…)

Brooklyn History Aftermath of Consolidation of New York City

We conclude our look at the “Great Mistake,” the creation of Greater New York City, and the end of an independent Brooklyn. Part One of our story gave the background of the move to consolidate and Part Two explained why it was so important to New York City. Now, the aftermath.

What must have it been like to wake up in Brooklyn on January 1, 1898, and realize that you were not in an independent city but instead part of Greater New York City? To be no longer the captain of your own team, but now a player on someone else’s?

I would imagine for most people, especially the average working man in New York, the consolidation meant nothing, and it was just another New Year’s Day. Some Brooklynites embraced the change, eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new rules. (more…)

Brownstoner reader survey 2015

Last chance before the survey closes tomorrow! We hope you’ll take a couple moments today to tell us about yourselves: whether you rent or own, what you read, what neighborhood you represent and more. All the information is submitted anonymously and is definitely interesting to see, which you will, because we’ll share it soon. Take the 2015 Brownstoner Reader Survey here.

Photo by Barbara Eldredge

It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn School Buildings Repurposed Architectural History

We’ve been highlighting some of the wonderful school buildings in Brooklyn this week, focusing on the schools of James W. Naughton and C.B.J. Snyder, two of the greats of school architecture.

It costs a lot to build a building, so people have always repurposed buildings whenever possible and tailored them to fit their needs. Today we’re looking at buildings that had a different function before becoming a school, or were built as schools and have now been put to another use. Just as the P.S. 9 Annex became apartments, one should never let a good school go to waste.


It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn School Buildings of Architect C.B.J. Snyder

I did not grow up in New York City, so I never had the opportunity to be educated in a school designed by the great Charles B.J. Snyder. But his influence on school architecture extended far beyond the city’s borders, and my education was still affected by the innovations and principles he devised.

C.B.J. Snyder was born in 1860 and died in 1945. Between 1891 and 1897 he was the Superintendent of School Buildings for Manhattan and the Bronx, and after the creation of Greater New York in 1898, became the architect of all of the city’s schools until he retired in 1923.

Building at a Time of Great Growth in the City

Snyder was the school architect at the busiest time in New York City’s history. His predecessor only had to worry about Manhattan and the Bronx, but Snyder now had five boroughs’ schools under his wing.

He also took on this job just as the school population swelled with thousands of immigrant children, which overcrowded the schools. On top of that, new advances in education were being devised by the Board of Education, bringing vocational, technical and other specialized high schools into the mix with the city’s public schools.

The Board of Ed’s beancounters did not plan for large enough schools — or enough schools, period. Snyder had his hands full, both in keeping costs down and getting the most from what he was given. (more…)

Brownstoner reader survey 2015

It’s been a few years since we last asked you to fill out a reader survey, but here we are again, hoping you’ll take a couple moments to tell us about yourselves: whether you rent or own, what you read, what neighborhood you represent and more. All the information is submitted anonymously and is definitely interesting to see, which you will, because we’ll share it with you after the survey’s done next week. Take the 2015 Brownstoner Reader Survey here.

Photo by Barbara Eldredge

West Nile Virus -- Brooklyn Neighborhoods Spray to Reduce Mosquitos

Starting 8:30 p.m. tonight, the city will be spraying central and southern Brooklyn neighborhoods to reduce mosquito activity and reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus.

Neighborhoods include parts of Crown Heights, Greenwood Heights, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Prospect Heights, Prospect, Park South, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace (zip codes 11215, 11217, 11218, 11219, 11220, 11225, 11226, 11232 and 11238). (more…)

Consolidation of New York Great Mistake

Here’s an updated look at the most important thing to happen in Brooklyn since Henry Hudson landed at Coney Island. Many people call it “The Great Mistake.” Was it? Read Part One of this series here.

On January 1, 1898, the City of New York officially rose from the collection of cities, towns and neighborhoods that made up Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

For those who had worked for close to 20 years to make this happen, it was a glorious day. For the common folk of New York, business probably just went on as usual.

In 1873, talk of a Greater New York City began in earnest. The leading citizens and politicians of both New York and Brooklyn began talking about joining the two cities. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 gave the idea wings.

Simon Chittenden, one of Brooklyn’s leading citizens, was one of the first serious proponents of this annexation, and he held meetings in his Brooklyn Heights home, successfully getting the proposal to the 1874 State Legislature. The measure did not pass.

The chief mover of the Consolidation Movement was Andrew Haswell Green, a Manhattan lawyer, city planner and visionary. Some historians refer to him as the 19th century’s Robert Moses for his vision and determination in changing the face of New York.

Appointed chairman of the New York City Parks Commission, he worked tirelessly on city planning projects. His name is associated with the creation of Central Park, as well as Riverside, Morningside and Fort Washington parks.

He widened Broadway, created the circle at Columbus Circle, and sponsored the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. He also joined the Tilden, Astor and Lenox funds to finance the creation of the New York Public Library system.

Green was appointed by the state legislature to be the head of the consolidation commission called the Greater New York Committee. (more…)