Why do YOU love Crown Heights — Brooklynian

Why do YOU love Crown Heights

The below (look far below) was posted on a Brownstoner thread of 23 Oct.
People seem to think CH is all noise and crime.

Why do I love CHs (and Im a recent Manhattan transpant)
I love ..........
the old timers to always wave hello
the old woman who always call my baby's name as we walk by
my neighbor who sweeps in front of my house when I am too busy
the woman with dreads who looked after my house when we arent there
the mute man who warns me about people leaving their garbage in front of my house
the children of my neighbor who brought over freshly picked apples 10 days ago
the Franklin express stop - easy commute to gran central
my brownstone - costs the same as a mediocre 1 bedroom in manhattan
the quiet of Saturday and Sunday mornings in CHs
the yuppies who moved into the rental apt of my house
Underhill playground- a 10 min walk away
the proximity to Prospect Park (15 min walk with stroller), the Brooklyn Museum (10 mins) Botanic Gardens etc
the vibrant mix of people in my nabe. (other nabes in Brooklyn look like DC suburbs)

Yeah the grocery stores could be better and I would LOVE for Fresh Direct to deliver. Id also like a bakery where I could find fresh bread on Sat/Sun mornings close by.

Why do YOU love Crown Heights....


Is this for real? Trust me, I'd love to see this area gentrified, but the poverty and crime seem so entrenched that it leaves me wondering how much change is possible. Whenever I read the www.brooklynian.com "Crown Heights" board, 50% of the posts deal with noise and violence.

No malice here, it's just that I don't live in the immediate area and would welcome your more detailed perspective as a local.

Posted by: guest at October 24, 2007 11:05 AM


  • Well, you'd have to live here to know, wouldn't you? I think the poster on Brownstoner pretty much got it right. Yes, CH does have a problem with noise and violence on occasion, but it isn't every day. It's just easier to focus on problems rather than what's right about the nabe.

    It's like how some people, because of my previous over-shares, think that my life is all about drama and conflict with other people when really, my day-to-day life is actually kind of boring (in a good way) and I generally find more conflict online than I do in real life.

    People are really friendly here and if you mind your manners and are friendly back, you will generally have a positive experience here. I really enjoy shopping on Nostrand. I love that there is a vegetarian restaurant or two on every block and several natural food stores within walking distance. My only problem is that certain items are tough to find necessitating trips outside the neighborhood to get them, stuff like seitan. (Not being a yuppie here. Too much soy gives me digestive issues which requires me to switch up my protein sources.)

    The people in my building are pretty cool and about the worst thing that happens is that the kids don't pick up after themselves after their Yu-Gi-Oh! games in the hallway and leave their candy wrappers on the stairwell.

    CH is also a block-by-block deal. There are good blocks and bad blocks. Which reminds me of inner-city Minneapolis, actually. Though it feels (I know you'll be amazed) less sketchy here. Here, I don't have to plead with homeless people to not pee near my window and I don't have drunks starting conversations with me through my window at 4AM when I'm trying to sleep (and I talk in my sleep; those conversations must have been interesting). But then, I purposely chose NOT to live on the ground floor this time around.
  • i like the wide streets that bring a different quality of light and more sun (especially into ground floors) to this area
    and i like the wide streets for the expansive feeling they create

    i also like the diversity of the architecture, the mix of brownstones, apartments, etc. (i have never been a fan of block after block of similar row houses) coupled with the fact that there are not (yet at least) tons of empty lots that will give way to the blight of new construction

    i like the sense of community that i have found here, i am not sure that i was always interested in that, but now that i am, i am glad that it is here for me

    the biggest problem for me is not feeling safe walking the streets at night. i grew up in ny and i like walking (there are some limitations to riding a bike).

    i combat the "negative" aspects by trying to make them better, it shifts my focus onto the positive and i don't feel powerless in the face of them.

    (btw i looked for that thread and didn't see it, can you provide a link?)
  • Subject: Brownstone Thread on CH and Franklin


    Above you will find the thread. October 23 under the "home" section, posted last week....
  • I know more neighbors here than I ever did in the 7 years I lived in Manhattan. I've been here almost two years... I feel a part of something here.
  • I love the magnificent and varied architecture here.

    I love the history that is in every building and every block. I find out new information about what life was like here in the near and distant past everytime I speak to a neighbor.

    I love that a great many people who grew up here still live here. Some inherited their parents houses, and others went away and came back to buy or rent in the neighborhood.

    I enjoy the mixture of oldtimers, who've seen it all and endured, and newcomers who bring an energy and enthusiasm back to the neighborhood.

    I really like being part of a community. I feel that whatever good I do here, whether community work, or fixing up my house, is helping to make Crown Heights better.

    I enjoy the cultural mix, and enjoy trying foods I may not be familiar with, and talking with my neighbors, who are from everywhere. I enjoy being able to walk down my block and can speak to a number of people, and nod to many more. I feel safe and protected, because although many of them don't even know my name, they are looking out for me.

    For whatever length of time I live in NYC, I have no intention of moving from Crown Heights. I might like to move to a different home some day, but will always call this neighborhood home. It can only get better.
  • I like the fact that I have a RELATIVELY affordable rent (still about 50% of my income monthly tho), and I like the proximity to the BBG, park and library.

    Honestly though, if I had money I'd move to Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope because those neighborhoods are cleaner, quieter, shorter commute to Mhtn, have lower crime rates, and less chaotic random things happening on the streets.
  • Since 2001 I have been in Crown Heights and I love that I am so close to everything. close to work IN MANH (30-35 mins) close to Queens FAMILY (30-40 mins) close to nj SHOPPING(30-35 mins) driving.......... and If I don't drive I am near everything. buses 44, 65, 45,25, ETC trains 2,3,4,5 A,C , lONG ISLAND RR. NEED I SAY MORE........ :D
  • Mod note: The discussion sparked by King without a crown's post on this topic has been split off here:


    Too many discussions here have turned nasty and negative lately. This is a great, positive topic and I'd like to see it stay ON TOPIC.

    Feel free to continue talking about whether the police don't respect the neighborhood and its residents and whether the residents of the neighborhood don't respect the police at the above link -- not in this thread, please.
  • I love Crown Heights because:

    - of the beauty and variety of the architecture
    - many homes are historically landmarked
    - tree-lined Eastern Parkway runs through it
    - it is home to (or within close walking distance of) great museums, gardens and parks

    - it is serviced by a number of vital trains
    - the price of food, goods, and housing is relatively cheap
    - authentic Caribbean food is always only steps away
    - the commute to the city center is under an hour

    - the neighborhood is unpretentious
    - my neighbors are more friendly and helpful than anywhere else I have lived (in Clinton Hill, Manhattan, New Jersey and Boston)
    - the large portion of working and middle class black homeowners undercuts many classist stereotypes
    - it is relatively undiscovered and unperverted by the masses
  • It's centrally located to the entire city (like a bulls-eye)

    Close to great transportation

    Far enough away from downtown Brooklyn

    Relative easy parking

    Close to jewels like Botanical Gradens and Prospect Park (in Prospect Park you become equal to those "Slopers")

    Great Architecture: Limestones and Brownstones and churches

    some Civil War history

    Good police service (better than Queens)

    Mostly residential

    AND originally cheap real estate (not any more)
  • Bicycling Eastern Parkway to Prospect Park and Farmers' Market

    The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Botanical Garden

    Jerk Chicken

    Brower Park

    The neighbors

    Tree-lined streets with buidings of diverse architecture

    Dumpsters full of salvageable old growth lumber

    The Super Food-Town in Restoration Plaza
  • I love the wide streets and the way they afford more light than many other neighborhoods do, especially as we move into the darkest time of the year.
    I love West Indian English and I love getting to know it so well that I can hear whether someone is from St. Vincent or Jamaica.
    I love my neighbors.
    Did I mention the delight of hearing the cadence of the language? Yep. Already did.
    I love that when I talk to my neighbors about concerns or recent events in the neighborhood, they listen and are in turn concerned.
    I love Brower Park.
    I love the food, the food, the food, the gloriously good and pretty much undiscovered food.
    I love hearing the city roll by, feeling a part of it and yet feeling a part of a much more local, specific entity.
    I love the store owners who knew how I liked my coffee the second time I ever ordered one.
    I love being able to walk around the corner for all of my needs.
    I love that after living here for a week, neighbors whose names I had yet to learn were willing to stand and hold a parking spot for me.
    What's not to love?
  • i love that a man just walked down my street playing the trumpet.
  • sweet tea wrote: i love that a man just walked down my street playing the trumpet.
    I would love that as well - much more than constantly loud reggaeton. That I do not love.

    But I do love that some of my neighbors have my back.

    I also love the close proximity to Prospect Park, the Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum.

    I love the friendly treatment I get at Tavern on Nostrand. Just the other night, the bartender treated me to a second glass of wine and was playing some kick-ass Stevie Wonder tunes.
  • I love the music at Saje on Friday night! I also love the atmosphere there.

    I really like getting drinks at Secrets when the music isn't too loud.

    I love the roast port at the spanish restaurant at Nostrand and Park Place.

    I love some of the snacks at the groceries that I don't see as much in other places, like the coconut rolls and the various nut candy.

    I like seeing the different juices and fruits for sale on the sidewalk on Nostrand.

    I really like the caribbean bakeries everywhere.

    I LOVE the view out my 4th floor south-facing window, looking at various sunlight patterns on a church and old buildings.
  • Oh yeah, that's awesome! I love the sunrises I can see through my kitchen window! I love also that I get moonlight(!) in my kitchen when the moon's full. I also love that I can sometimes see stars from my bedroom window because this area is not as light polluted as the rest of the city.

    I also love that guy on my street, Boom-Box Guy, who I suspect I won't see again until spring. On warm days, he sits in front of his brownstone all day playing his boombox at a discreet level (you don't really hear it until you're in front of it) playing his cool tunes. And it's always almost something cool. Nothing like a bit of Miles Davis or Cannonball Adderley to cool up your afternoon. 8)

    Have a nice winter, Boom-Box Guy.
  • I love having PH and the Park a stone's throw away, while having a view of the city and major street cred for CH rent...

    I used to tell people I lived in PH even after I found out I didn't... but now I embrace the CH fully. I don't wanna leave :(
  • then why the frownie face?

    Are you leaving?
  • lilbangladesh wrote: then why the frownie face?

    Are you leaving?
    Yea most likely. I will either be moving west or just away. I hope to move back around '09
  • the earlier post by "can we get this straight?" was by me. I was having a hard time logging in from a different computer under my usual user name. I think I left a couple things out.
    Recently discovered Starlite lounge on Nostrand and Bergen. Lovely place, lovely people. My husband and I walked there for a drink on a particurlarly rainy night, because we wanted out of the house and didn't want to drive. We were hoping it would be okay. I've always been a fan of dive bars, but he was more reluctant. Turns out, it's great. Oldest "gay" bar in Brooklyn, we learned. The gentleman who told us this was the cousin of the owner, and I don't think either of them are gay, so they prefer to say that it's the oldest "nondiscriminatory" bar in Brooklyn. How great is that?
    When we went, the door had a buzzer on it. Okay by me, seems secure. They asked for a six dollar cover, and we paid it figuring that it was a way of making sure that patrons were there to actually buy drinks and not be disruptive. We found seats at the bar and moments later were presented with two six dollar drink coupons. I recommend the place.
    But on to the more wholesome aspects of Crown Heights that I love and left out....
    the crossing guards who call me sweety
    the other dog walkers
    the kids everywhere who are receptive to new neighbors
    the adults everywhere who are receptive to new neighbors
    the general feeling of hopefulness that comes up in every random conversation about the neighborhood
    the fact that my midwestern, 70-year-old mom found Crown Heights charming, welcoming and warm when she visited in August.
  • And that mom actually took walks on her own, with my dog and without my dog.
  • oh yeah, and the neighbors that wave at you, the old ladies that start conversations with you while you are out grocery shopping, the young men who overhear you coughing and suggest honey and milk! :)

    Q Tavern is also pretty nice, a very homey place for Karaoke with the world's nicest bartender. I felt very welcome there, but I didn't get to sing because I turned into a pumpkin!

    Oh yeah, Imhotep's! LOVE them. Yummy food!

    And it's pretty out! Now that the leaves have changed, Eastern Parkway is just gorgeous!!
  • I love that the Crown Heights mascot seems to be the pitbull.

    Man, I have seen more of those in the year and half living here than I have in my entire life.
  • I've met lots of friendly pits in Brower park and around the neighborhood. They have the kind of energy that gets my old dog to run and play, which I greatly appreciate.
  • I lived with a guy years ago who had a pit and it was the nicest dog I've ever met. Pits are cool. If you run into a bad one, it's because their owners are emotionally bankrupt a-holes who don't deserve to own pets.
  • Subject: It Was Home

    Born and raised on park Place between Franklin and Washington.

    It was, and is the best place on earth.

    Maybe it is true; there is no place like home.

    I have traveled this country. So may places I can't remember them all.

    San Fran is wonderful; Chicago is stunning, Florida, you don't freeze...

    Other are forgettable and glad to have gone there and left.

    But Park Place. My heart lives there.

  • I'm not going to lie. I love Crown Heights, but not that much. But it's probably because I didn't grow up here. Growing up in Northern California, I love it there a little more. After spending time in the Iberian peninsula, I definitely think that's the best place I've ever been - at least the parts I've seen. If I could swing it, I'd move there tomorrow.

    That being said. if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. There's plenty to love about Brooklyn and I am glad to be here for now.
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