A Pedacito of Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Updated: Jun 19, 2022
The residential neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights has been one of my favorite gems in New York City for years. My love affair for Brooklyn Heights began when my abuelitos moved to the quiet neighborhood over a decade ago. They were previously in the Bensonhurst area, my birthplace and first home, but relocated to Brooklyn Heights when looking for a 55+ community.
My abuelita is a part of the catholic church in Brooklyn, so her priest suggested that she moved to Brooklyn Heights with my abuelito. He told her it was a neighborhood that was full of families and the elderly, with plenty of spots that are within walkable distance.
Shortly after, my abuelitos moved to Brooklyn Heights and have lived in the same apartment building since. While her priest was correct in stating that Brooklyn Heights is perfect for the elderly and families, there are plenty of young people that dwell in the neighborhood. There is an appeal for young people to move to Brooklyn, especially to the Heights, because it’s close to Manhattan but provides a barrier towards the hustle of living directly on the island. Especially when Manhattanites have reached the end of their leases in their studio apartments, they are eager to move to a neighborhood that can provide them a bit more legroom.
Aside from the gorgeous brownstones and “posh” ambiance that Brooklyn Heights exudes, the neighborhood is a great place for someone who is new to the area or just wants to live outside of Manhattan modestly. There are hundreds of apartment buildings that are attainable and don’t compromise the value that Brooklyn Heights holds. For example, in my abuelitos’ one-bedroom apartment, they can see the Empire State Building from their living room. That is convincing enough for someone like me, who loves a good city view.
The layout is central, as the iconic Fulton street runs through the entire neighborhood. It’s easy to travel anywhere in Brooklyn or Manhattan - with the R train just steps away from most homes. The gorgeous Brooklyn waterfront lines the western part of the borough, giving stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The promenade, as it’s formally called, is the path that leads visitors and locals across the border of the skyline. It’s an amazing place to walk your pet, go for a jog, or enjoy some company on a beautiful day.
From the stunning location comes a boatload of fantastic businesses that want to set up shop in this tranquil neighborhood. Brooklyn Heights is full of great food, shopping, and people. Nestled under the hipster neighborhood of DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights has received a plethora of businesses - both new and old - in the last decade. With eateries like Colonie and Beasts & Bottles topping the best restaurant lists - it’s not hard to find a dinner spot in the Heights. Even if you’re looking for a quick bite, places like MontyQ and Oh Dumplings can satisfy your hunger in minutes.
As for shopping, most of the department stores reside on Atlantic Avenue. With Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, and Trader Joe’s setting up shop on the same strip. There are also countless independent stores like Housing Works Thrift, the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, and Tango. You can also find steal deals at Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack. It’s easy to spend an entire day shopping in the Heights when there are hundreds of stores to choose from.
If shopping, restaurants, and layout don’t quite do it for you - the people of Brooklyn Heights are one of the friendliest I’ve ever met. I frequent Brooklyn Heights due to my family living there, although it’s tapered off a bit during the pandemic. However, I was visiting Brooklyn Heights every month at one point, so I do consider myself pretty well-versed in this neighborhood. From the grocery store clerks at Key Food to my abuelitos’ neighbors, everyone has treated me with kindness.
I think it’s a common misconception that residential areas are less community-oriented because everyone has their own family or business to tend to. In my opinion, though, these types of neighborhoods are the most community-friendly. They understand that there are a lot of elderly in the area, so business owners volunteer to help carry grocery bags. They understand that children are riding their bikes down the street, so cars tend to drive a little slower. They understand that Brooklyn Heights is great for young people, but it is a place for everyone.
If you ever get the chance to visit Brooklyn Heights while you are in New York City, I think you will be surprised at the culture and beauty that lines these quiet streets. It might not beat the bustling New York City that many are familiar with, but there are signs of joy and life on every corner. Brooklyn Heights is a haven for those who want to escape Manhattan but don’t want to be too far away - it is only across the water after all.
Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!