Lets be a little more honest to the "new/future Brooklyn dwellers":
1) If you want nice coffee shops, pretty apartments with nice quiet neighbors, safe streets, that are actually patrolled and cleaned regularly, you will have to live in a high income neighborhood. Bushwick is not high income, like say 7th and 9th street Park slope. Now I am NOT SAYING THAT BUSHWICK IS NOT NICE. I am telling you that what is nice to you may or may-not be Bushwick.
If you read below I give you some general tips, but first:
2) People are right, you DO have to find YOUR OWN COMFORT LEVEL, however, just know that the reason why your rent may be cheaper is because, people drink and stand outside your window all night, destroy/tag your property, possibly follow you home at night, snatch and grab your Ipod, leave beer cans and trash all over the place and throw loud parties DAILY all summer long. Read the threads on this here Brooklynian website. Notice how many shootings you see going on in Crown Heights and how many you see going on in Park Slope. Now that you see that, Compare the rent for a studio in Park Slope verses Crown Heights.
Here are my tips for evaluating a potential place:
TELL TALE signs of high crime areas:
Restaurants/stores serving food or items through plexi-glass.
Restaurants without seating ("cash n carry" only)
Most or all stores in the area are closed by dusk/dark
Large groups of people, especially groups of young men "just sitting around" on stoops or in front of buildings with deck chairs/folding chairs etc.
Trash overflowing or vacant un-mowed trash filled empty lots.
No flowers/ no plants/no window gardens ANYWHERE
Lots of graffiti/ tags/scrachitti (glass that has been scraped with tags/signs/words)
Open fire hydrants/ either no longer pumping out water, or with water gushing and kids playing in it.
Stray dogs running loose.
Trash in the streets for days on end (even in busy commercial areas like Union Square in Manhattan) by the next morning the streets have been cleaned again).
Women without handbags after dark
Nice cars with out of state license plates driving in and out of your area FREQUENTLY.
Speakers propped up into open windows of apartments or parked cars with stereos blasting (for hours on end)
If you see anything like what I described above, you may think twice about moving there. Trust the stores/store owners. They are there to make money, without losing money. If they don't feel safe enough, to have their stores open to the public after certain hours, how safe should you feel walking through that area or living there? Why would a restaurant refuse to provide seating for it's patrons? Well maybe because when they did, they ended up with drunken loiterers and thugs getting into fights and wrecking up the furniture.
Put 2 and 2 together, read between the lines. Search the threads on this board and on various other Brooklyn resident websites. Visit the place even in the daytime and notice, whether the place you looked at, has any of the signs I listed above and make an informed decision. What I listed above are instances where small crimes (opening a fire hydrant/ loitering/excessive noise beyond ordinances and without a permit/grafitti, littering etc) are committed all the time without police intervention. If that is going on, you just know that there is probably bigger fish the cops are trying to fry. Also, businesses are pretty savvy. They are not investing in extra security (plexi-glass) unless they feel they need it.
Good luck stay safe.
I think you are really In Bed Stuy. Before the realtors started calling Bushwick "East Williamsburg" and Bed Stuy "Bushwick", Halsey St. below Broadway is really the beginning of Bed Stuy and the very tail END of Bushwick.
a teaspoon of kisses and a drop of glee