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City Living: Carroll Gardens
If you want to live in Carroll Gardens, you'd better hurry. This Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood is filling up fast.
Broker David Taylor reports that "Listings in Carroll Gardens don't stay on the market long. With great new cafes, restaurants and a beautiful park, it's a big draw. People come to walk around on a weekend and I get a call on Monday asking me to find them an apartment there."
The neighborhood has its own two-block historic district between President and Carroll, Smith and Hoyt streets. The blocks are lined with much-coveted Neo-Grec and Italianate townhouses built in the 1860s and 1880s with distinctive 30-foot front gardens.
A walk down Court or Smith streets tells the story: a shoemaker's shop with a dusty window display of umbrellas stuffed into an old wooden lard container sitting next to Seersucker, an uber-trendy cafe serving a sandwich of house-made pimento cheese with country ham on multigrain bread.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the neighborhood was populated mainly by the families of Italian immigrants (and some Irish) who came to New York to work as longshoremen on the nearby waterfront. Many of these families still remain.
--BY MAJORIE COHEN
NEED TO KNOW
The north, west and south boundaries of the neighborhood are easy enough to define--DeGraw Street, Hicks Street and Hamilton Avenue. It's the eastern boundary between Gowanus and Carroll Gardens that's a bit fuzzy --- Is it Bond, Hoyt, Smith? Depends on whom you ask. More »
F and G lines have a Carroll Street stop and the walk from the subway hub at Borough Hall is about 10 minutes. Buses crisscross the neighborhood; you can hail a yellow taxi on Clinton Street and bicycles are popular with bike lanes on Court, Clinton Smith and Ninth streets. More »
The popular Carroll Gardens branch, 396 Clinton Street, has its own fan club--Friends of the Carroll Gardens Library--which is ramping up the programming and events at the branch. Readings by Brooklyn authors are a favorite. More »
Residents need to go to the Red Hook P.O. More »
Part of the 76th Precinct, Carroll Gardens is consistently one of the lowest-crime neighborhoods in the borough. According to CompStat, the method used by the NYPD to measure crime, the crime rate in the 76th is down 77% from 1990 figures. More »
Caputo's Fine Foods
Family owned since the 40's and a beloved neighborhood favorite. Over 100 types of coffee by the pound ("Red Hook blend is our most popular") deli meats and cheeses in the front and a few tables in the back where you can drink coffee and talk to the old-timers.
G. Esposito & Sons
In the family since 1922, the huge ceramic pig outside tells the story. The brothers Esposito are famous for their handmade sopressata and prosciutto rice balls that make Yelp reviewers swoon.
This homey restaurant serves food that an Italian grandmother might cook, but with a lighter touch. The two Frankies, owners Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, use only high-quality local and artisanal ingredients. A foodie favorite is the extra-virgin olive oil that they bring back with them from Sicily every year
Vinny's of Carroll Gardens
"Makes me feel like I'm in the 'old neighborhood'" says one 30- something who just moved to Carroll Gardens. The pizza and veal parm in a laid back atmosphere is a favorite of firemen, locals and tourists.
One of the hot new spots in Carroll Gardens, this restaurant with a serene, pale yellow interior has a $25 prix fixe menu on Mondays. Named for the mile-long tidal strait that runs between Brooklyn and Governor's Island, its chef, Ryan Angulo has Picholine, davidburke & donatella and the LES Stanton Social on his resume.
From the outside it looks like an old-time Brooklyn members-only social club but the sign out front makes it clear that non-members are welcome. Perfect for old style cocktails in a speakeasy setting.
Bar Great Harry
Incredible selection of beers, a back room with pinball machines and you can bring your dog inside. Happy hour specials start at 4 p.m.
Just as you'd expect from the name, tall drinks with umbrella swizzle sticks abound. The tiki theme extends out to the backyard garden. Not surprisingly, most popular with a younger crowd.
Smith and Vine
Owned by the same folks who own Stinky Brooklyn (215 Smith) where you can get the cheese to go with your wine. On Mondays from 6 to 9 they have a "happy hour" - 10% off special on all still wines.
In their shop named after an Egyptian hieroglyph that means "protect the planet," Jessica Richards (she lives in the neighborhood) and Jules Stringer offer cosmetics from mainstream and niche brands. How's this for niche: creams made by an English woman who grows, picks, blends and labels her own product at her home on the Yorkshire moors.
Chris and Jillian DiChiaro started their new and consignment maternity and kids' clothing business out of their home when they moved to Carroll Gardens six years ago. Now they have a storefront and business is popular with the local families and soon-to-be families.
The antiques and collectibles spill out of this crowded shop onto the sidewalk to the corner of the block. Recently spotted: a few mid-century couches and chairs and some beat-up stools with potential.
This public park, dedicated in 1853, is the heart and soul of the neighborhood. Here's where you'll find concerts for kids and grown ups, movie nights, and a bocce court. Since there are lots of veterans who live in the neighborhood, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are always commemorated in the park.
Carroll Gardens Greenmarket
A relatively new and very popular feature just outside the Park every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everything you'd expect from goat cheese to grass fed beef, bread, fruits and vegetables, cooking demonstrations by local restaurants and a textile recycling booth.