Photo: Dan Fogarty
The Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn, now a part of the greater BoCoCa revitalization, is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in all of New York City.And unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the richest urban neighborhoods in all of America.
It wasn’t always this way: what was once an afterthought across the river from Manhattan, populated by large Italian families and low-income project-dwellers, has gone through an extensive gentrification process. The result is a combination of million dollar brownstones, inundated day cares, and disgruntled former residents.
From the restaurant row and bar crawl of Smith Street to the regal homes of some of New York’s wealthiest citizens, one thing is undeniable about BoCoCa: it’s a great place to spend the day, whether eating, drinking, or strolling along the Brooklyn Promenade.
The BoCoCa area is easily accessible by train, whether coming from Manhattan or another part of the borough. The F train can bring you to the Carroll Street Station from downtown Manhattan in less than 20 minutes.
Upon arriving, a stroll down any residential block off of Court or Smith Street will reveal the heart of the area: the brownstones. These classic buildings now routinely fetch several million dollars, and that's before renovations.
Though many different styles of brownstones exist — especially today when the soft stone needs to be replaced with brick — shared characteristics such as high ceilings and backyards make all the homes in this area equally desirable.
Smith Street in Cobble Hill has become the area's restaurant row, after suffering for years with a sinking, pot-hole ridden pavement and seedy reputation. The wood seen in this picture will power a wood-burning pizza oven.
Bar Tabac on Smith Street is a French bistro-inspired restaurant that doubles as a (relatively expensive) place to get drunk.
Watty & Meg on Court Street is another venue that offers a stocked bar in a classy, dimly lit setting.
Karloff on Court Street, which specialises in Eastern European cuisine, is one of a multitude of places in the area that offer a strictly brunch and dinner menu.
Most Friday and Saturday nights, the local bars host a scene full of young revelers and old-time drinkers alike. Ceol, seen below, is a popular Irish pub that opens out into the street on warm nights.
A common sight in the area: young people, seemingly without a 9-to-5 gig, kicking back and enjoying a drink in the middle of the day
On the other hand, hope for the future was much more abundant at Mazzone's True Value, a hardware store that dates back three family generations and over 6 decades. The Mazzone family took a small wallpaper store and turned it into a staple of the Carroll Gardens neighbourhood.
But the slow, unyielding advancement of corporations may spell the end for small businesses, like K & Y, which sits just across the street from Union Market.
A perfect example can be seen on Smith Street, where franchises like the Starbucks seen here are becoming more common in the area.
An old double-feature standby, Cobble Hill Cinemas on Court Street tried to change with the times and offer independent and foreign films for a while. It has since switched back to showing first-run movies.
And what gentrified Brooklyn neighbourhood would be complete without a young mother and stroller tandem?
The gorgeous Brooklyn Promenade, just a few minutes away from BoCoCa, reminds residents that the city is just across the river (and if you can't live there, you might as well be able to look at it whenever you'd like). That feeling of closeness — be it to Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, or to each other — may be the strongest draw of all.
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