Many thousands of people come from far away places like Asia and Europe to visit Smorgasburg on the Brooklyn waterfront every season but there are still plenty of folks in Manhattan who haven’t made the subway or ferry trip across the river so we’re finally taking the show on the road tonight for one night only. From 5 to 9 pm tonight we’ll have 30 food vendors along with an assortment of craft beers and wines at SummerStage in Central Park. As an extra draw, Mile End will be preparing a special Shabbos dinner and Mister Saturday Night will be DJ’ing the family-friendly night away. SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield @ 72nd Street. Entry is free but food and drink is not.


As the difference in price between Manhattan and Brooklyn narrows — $210 at last count — more renters are eschewing Brooklyn in favor of Manhattan, according to a story in The New York Daily News. The attitude seems to be “if I’m going to pay through the nose, I may as well be in Manhattan.”

The renters profiled found better deals on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side than they did in Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Williamsburg and Park Slope. One couple is paying $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom garden apartment in a brownstone building in the West 70s. The same apartment in Brooklyn would be about $500 more, according to a broker quoted in the story.

In 2012, the Wall Street Journal had a very similar story about an ad exec who traded Williamsburg for the Lower East Side. But the most expensive real estate in Manhattan is still more than in Brooklyn, according to the News.

Soaring Brooklyn Rents Have Tenants Searching for Affordable Apartments — in Manhattan [NY Daily News]

Brownstoner Manhattan Real Estate Listings1

We are pleased to announce the addition of Manhattan sale and rental listings to the Brownstoner Marketplace. Manhattan adds more than 13,500 listings to the 22,000 Brooklyn, Queens, and Upstate listings already in the Marketplace.

Brownstoner Manhattan currently has roughly 4,200 sale and 9,300 rental listings. Most of the leading brokerages are already represented, including Elliman, Corcoran, Halstead, Brown Harris Stevens, Sotheby’s, Town, Keller Williams, Nest Seekers, Core, Bond, Stribling and many more.  (more…)

Tonight around 11:30 pm, the R train will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for as long as 14 months. The MTA is shutting down the Montague Tube, the underwater tunnel that connects the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to repair Sandy-related damage. (The cost of repairs is a massive $309 million.) WNYC posted a helpful “survival guide” yesterday and the MTA broke down the closures as well. On weekdays, the R train will run from Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan to Forest Avenue-71st Avenue in Queens, and from Court Street in Brooklyn to Bay Ridge-95th Street. The MTA implemented a ferry service from Sunset Park into Lower Manhattan and is increasing service on the X27 bus by around 25 percent. The R train will run between the boroughs on weekends, although Court Street and Jay Street will get skipped. Yikes. What are R train riders out there planning to do?

Your R Train Tunnel Outage Survival Guide [WNYC]
Photo by anniebelis

Nice news for Sunset Park residents who make the commute into Manhattan every day: Starting Monday, August 5, the existing Rockaway Ferry Service will make a stop at 58th Street, next to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The city is providing the expanded transit options for Brooklyn commuters who are affected by disruptions to the R train service. The ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street in the Rockaways, stop in Sunset Park, then continue to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and 34th Street in midtown. The trip from Sunset Park to lower Manhattan should take 15 minutes. Ferries will run about once every hour and a ride will cost $2. The Economic Development Corporation plans to evaluate ridership in a few weeks and then decide whether or not to continue the service. If the temporary service is a success, local pols and residents plan to make a larger pitch for permanent service at 58th Street.

Expansion of Ferry Service to Sunset Park During Outage of R Train [NYCgov.tumblr]
Photo via Google Maps

Good news for those trying to get from Manhattan to the notoriously out-of-the-way neighborhood of Red Hook: The City announced that, starting Memorial Day weekend, a ferry will run from Pier 11 in Manhattan to Van Brunt Street and Ikea. Called the Red Hook Ferry, it will run weekends from 10 am to 9 pm through the summer. It will also be free, with free transfers available to the northbound East River Ferry. Each landing will be served every 25 minutes, an improvement from previous service which ran every 40 minutes. The Van Brunt stop is currently an unused ferry landing owned by the O’Connell Organization. Bloomberg said the main goal of the summer transportation is to bring foot traffic to the small businesses of Red Hook, many of which are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
Photo via the O’Connell Organization

Earlier today the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced some major improvements for the access ramps to and from the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR Drive. The first ramp, which connects the exit from the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes with the FDR Drive, has been expanded from one to two lanes to ease traffic backups. And the second ramp, connecting the southbound FDR Drive with the approach to bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes, has been expanded from one to two lanes in an attempt to ease congestion and keep cars from aggressively cutting in. The DOT also announced that they are nearly finished with work on a third ramp on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, which connects the Brooklyn-bound lanes to Cadman Plaza West and Old Fulton Street. This ramp will also be expanded into two travel lanes to expand vehicle capacity and increase safety for the surrounding streets. This is all part of the major Brooklyn Bridge rehab project, which includes repainting the bridge. The whole shebang, which started up in 2010, will cost a total of $508 million and hopefully finish next year. Click through to see more images of the ramp improvements happening. (more…)

Smorgasburg, Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasbar is coming to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport this summer. Food and drink will be available at 40 tables outside on Front Street. The developer of the Sandy-ravaged area, the Howard Hughes Corp., invited the Flea, which can put together an operation and attract lots of people quickly, Flea partner Eric Demby told Gothamist. The outpost will be open daily through October. It will stay open until 10:30 pm on weekends. This is not the Flea’s first Manhattan venture. It also has a pop-up shop in Whole Foods Market on the Bowery and runs the concessions at Central Park SummerStage.

Last week details for the NYCxDesign conference were released. The 12-day event takes place across the city and focuses on design of all types. There are tons of events, but the most Brooklyn-centric one is BKLYN Designs 2013, an exhibition of contemporary, Brooklyn-produced furnishings and home accessories at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo. Other cool panels include A Life in Collecting, an interior design Blogfest and an MFA exhibition from Pratt. The event is not until Saturday, May 11 — and lasts through Tuesday May 21 — so you’ll have plenty of time to pick out your favorites.

The average price for a rental in Brooklyn in September was $2,548, according to a new report from Prudential Douglas Elliman that covers the rental market in North and Northwest Brooklyn as well as Manhattan. (The median wasn’t far behind, at $2,350.) That works out to $29.68 per square foot, vs. $52.60 in Manhattan. So despite precipitous climbs of late, rents even in the most gentrified areas of Brooklyn still come in lower than those of Manhattan, in case you’ve been wondering.  (more…)

Is Brooklyn better? Has Manhattan gotten worse? These are the questions posed by The Awl when it revisited New York Magazine’s infamous “I Hate Brooklyn” article from seven years ago with a question-and-answer interview with its author, writer and Vogue Contributing Editor Jonathan Van Meter. Meter explains that his antipathy toward Brooklyn was born out of his working-class Philadelphia upbringing. For Van Meter, moving to Brooklyn would be like moving back home. Now, he admits, Brooklyn has improved and Manhattan has devolved. But he’s still not moving to Brooklyn. His solution: A weekend home in Woodstock, N.Y. For our part, we are beginning to wonder if Brooklyn might be in danger of becoming too much like Manhattan in some aspects. What’s your take?
Revisiting New York Mag’s “I Hate Brooklyn” Article Seven Years Later [The Awl]
Photo by josullivan.59

Brooklyn was ranked the No. 2 most expensive place to live in the U.S. in the quarterly Cost of Living Index by the Council for Community and Economic Research, a Washington-based research group. First is Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn, Honolulu, San Francisco, San Jose, Queens and Stamford, Conn. The report ranks 300 urban areas weighted according to different types of costs for “mid-management households” — in other words, professionals and managers, according to a story on the report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. In New York City, the biggest and most important cost is housing. In Alaska and Hawaii, it’s food. Other costs considered include utilities, transportation and prescription drugs. Housing in Brooklyn costs more than three times the average; a city with average housing costs would be a place such as Erie, Pa., or Charlottesville, Va., said the Eagle. “We are mindful that Brooklyn must never be a place of only the very rich or the very poor,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz to the Eagle. Does the report sound accurate to you? Do we need more affordable housing in the borough?
Expensive Brooklyn! Boro Ranks No. 2 in U.S. [Brooklyn Eagle]