Gowanus

Despite the oily presence of its Superfund namesake -- the severely polluted Gowanus Canal -- this once-industrial neighborhood has experienced a residential renaissance, thanks in part to the nearby sky-high property values of Park Slope. Quirky mom-and-pop museums and pastry shops abound in Gowanus, alongside such recent corporate developments as a Whole Foods Market. High-rise condo towers are sprouting along a recently upzoned 4th Avenue, replacing auto-body shops and other blue-collar businesses.