A Daily News article this morning takes a look at the ways brokers are continually slicing and dicing the city map in an effort to concoct catchy neighborhood names to aid in their sales efforts. (The Times wrote the same article five years ago.) On the Brooklyn front, the author gives a shout-out to BoCoCa (Boerum Hill + Cobble Hill + Carroll Gardens) but says the name “never caught fire.” And evidently attempts have been made to popularize GoCaGa (Gowanus + Carroll Gardens) and SunSlope (Greenwood Heights = Sunset Park + Park Slope). The topic is close to our hearts, as the first article we ever published was a 1994 first-person piece in The Times suggesting a bunch of names for our ignored micronabe next to the mouth of the Holland Tunnel. You can read it here [PDF].
      Brokers Behind Push to Rebrand City’s Neighborhoods [NY Daily News]
      Image from Gothamist


      The New York Times profiled Boerum Hill this weekend (timed, perhaps, to coincide with yesterday’s Atlantic Antic), focusing on the neighborhood’s boutiques and its transformation from shady (“rooming houses, drugs, and prostitution” in the 1970s and ’80s) to chic. On the real estate front, prices in the neighborhood are dropping as they are everywhere else, but still, nothing’s cheap in Boerum Hill: townhouses selling for over $1.5 million, condos and co-ops between $600,000 and $1 million, and rentals starting at $1,300 for a studio. New construction in the area includes Green on Dean and the Nu Hotel on Smith, as well as several planned or unfinished projects on the periphery of the area. Beyond the housing market and the area’s commercial offerings, the profile gives a nod to yesterday’s Atlantic Antic and it profiles Boerum Hill’s schools with their test scores of varying levels. Did the writer miss anything?
      Subway Lines Galore, But Who’s Leaving? [NY Times]
      Atlantic Antic photo by Jim in Times Square


          Time Out NY may have cancelled its regular real estate guide, but its sister pub, TONY Kids, has picked up a bit of the slack in the current issue with a buying guide aimed at folks with kids. TONY picks the brain of a few local experts. Of Brooklyn Heights, PropertyShark CEO Bill Staniford says “I think it will be one of the leaders of the rebound.” I don’t think it’s immune,” he adds about Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. “You’ll just need to be in the right place—and ready to pounce—at the right time.” As for Park Slope, the message from Curbed’s Lockhart Steele is that all parts are not created equal: “Prices on prime blocks should stay solid, but still, margins will get hit—think what Curbed calls the G-Slope, where Park Slope gives way to Gowanus at Fourth Avenue.
          Real Estate: Is It Time to Buy? [TONY Kids]


          We’re honored to be included in a panel discussion taking place at the Brooklyn Public Library on Tuesday night. The topic: Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Past & Present. Hosted by The Local’s Andy Newman, the panel features neighborhood old-timers DK Holland, Nelson George and Carl Hancock Rux. And us. Expect lots of cool stories from the past as well as thoughtful reflections on the phenomenon of change. The event starts at 7 pm and is free but seating is limited to 175 people.


          ‘Bada Bing’ is being replaced by ‘Bonjour’ in Carroll Gardens. According to The Daily News, a new French program at a local PS 58 along with the thriving food scene has made Smith Street and environs ground zero for the more than 20,000 French folks who now call Brooklyn home. “They used to speak Italian here,” joked real estate broker Nicole Galluccio. “Now they speak French.”


          “Fort Greene is Brooklyn’s latest culinary mecca, bewitching foodies with hip, minimalist restaurants. Or it’s a bastion of African-American pride and culture, a historic home to a vibrant community of black families. Or the artistic center of the borough, laying claim as it does to the multifaceted Brooklyn Academy of Music (a k a BAM). Or maybe it’s the new roost of the nouveaux riches, with pricy brownstones and new luxury condominiums dotting its map. What new and old residents have found is that Fort Greene plays all of these roles with grace and aplomb. It is a busy, blooming hybrid whose slate-sidewalk streets somehow retain their serenity. No one is in a hurry — even as newcomers rush in from all corners of the city to live here.” — NY Times
          Photo by Tracy Collins


              You guys are going to have a field day with this one: Some recent arrival who writes about Brooklyn for the Hartford-based Examiner tries to stereotype summarize some of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods (those that don’t qualify as places that scare me,” that is; Cringe!). A few of our not-so-favorite out-takes:

              Brooklyn Heights: “Basically a Manhattan neighborhood that happens to be on the other side of the river.”
              Windsor Terrace and Kensington: “The few ungentrified (read: affordable, or, in the words of a white friend who lives there, no white people) areas left in Brooklyn that are still somewhat downtown Manhattan accessible.”
              Clinton Hill: “Still affordable without being crappy.”
              Prospect Heights: “A no-man’s land between Park Slope and whatever lays beyond.”
              Crown Heights: “Blacks + Hasidic Jews + other = race riots.”

              Xenophobic much?
              Getting to Know Your Brooklyn Neighborhoods [Examiner]
              Photo by sept1


              Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s celebration of “the luxury city,” there’s still a middle class in New York, although not in the zip codes close to hizzoner’s townhouse. In many cases, they live in Bay Ridge, Bayside, Brighton or Bensonhurst, in the vast sprawl that is Brooklyn and Queens. Some of the emerging middle class also cluster in places like Ditmas Park, a reviving part of Flatbush. The new population here is made up largely of information age “artisans”–musicians, writers, designers and business consultants who cluster in New York. They may have migrated there for the culture, but they stay because they find these neighborhoods congenial and family-friendly. “It’s easy to name the things that attracted us–the neighbors, the moderate density,” explains Nelson Ryland, a film editor with two children who works part-time at his sprawling turn-of-the-century Flatbush house. “More than anything, it’s the sense of the community. That’s the great thing that keeps people like us here.” — Forbes


                  In a rather glowing profile of The Developers Group today, The Daily News cites one sales strategy of its founder, Elan Padeh: He asks prospective Brooklyn buyers which neighborhoods they like in Manhattan, and then directs them towards their Brooklyn equivalents. Here’s how he lines them up:
                    Park Slope = Upper West Side
                    Williamsburg = East Village + Tribeca
                    Fort Greene = West Village
                    Dumbo = Soho
                    Carroll Gardens = Nolita

                  Pretty accurate, we’d say. What are some others?
                  How a Sales Team Led Borough’s Condo Push [NY Daily News]
                  Photos by lukasspee and Voice of Fox


                  Although Lost City calls Cobble Hill “more blandly heterogeneous” than its sister neighborhood to the south, the blog still finds it worthy of a neighborhood guide post. (After all, it’s still “a joy to walk through.”) Highlights of the blog’s virtual walking tour include the former Independence Bank (now Trader Joe’s), Metropolitan Rod and Gun Club and Warren Court Place. And much, much more