Summer in NYC: Fort Greene, SoHo among best neighborhoods for seasonal fun, report says

Fort Greene is among the most summer-friendly neighborhoods in the city, according to RentHop.
Fort Greene is among the most summer-friendly neighborhoods in the city, according to RentHop. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil

Who needs the beach when you’ve got Fulton Street, Smith Street and Spring Street?

A study recently released by RentHop found that neighborhoods in Downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan earned the highest “summer scores” in the city.

Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, SoHo and TriBeCa collectively occupied the top three spots on the list for having great access to open air restaurants, as well as parks, trees and bike lanes — and the fewest dog droppings complaints, according to Shane Leese, a data scientist for the rent listings site.

“We wanted to add that in as a component of cleanliness,” he said of the latter metric.

Experts say the report card demonstrates the growing draw of the outer boroughs during the warmer months and studies of its ilk can serve as an incentive for neighborhoods that don’t rank as highly to do more to attract visitors.

Leese, who used the city’s open data portal to create the report card, spotlighted a surge in new shopping and tourism options in Brooklyn Heights, centered on Brooklyn Bridge Park, as one example of a neighborhood that has ascended the ranks in a relatively recent period of time.

“Brooklyn Heights has a lot of restaurants and access to the water and those great views of the bridge,” he said.

Mary Alice Bailey, a Fort Greene resident of 18 years, said she wasn’t surprised her neighborhood rated highly in terms of cleanliness.

“There are many people who are very protective of the environment because it’s a treasure,” she said. “And they don’t want that to change.”

Dena Moftah, 21, a lifelong TriBeCa resident, shared a similar sentiment for her part of Manhattan.

“It kind of has its own vibe, its own feel,” she said.

Robert Perris, the district manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, which represents Fort Greene and other neighborhoods in its vicinity, said the rise in open spaces in his district, such as Fowler Square Plaza, have played a major role in turning the area into a popular attraction.

“I think the commercial streets in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have really blossomed,” he said.

Although Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island were not represented among the top 10 neighborhoods on the RentHop list, Leese said those boroughs offer plenty of summer fun.

One factor held things back, though.

The Bronx, as an example, led the city in poop complaints, with five neighborhoods averaging more than 46.52 droppings per square mile, according to RentHop.

David Bloomfield, a professor of edudcation at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, questioned the methodology behind the RentHop report.

He noted that neighborhoods like Harlem, Belmont and Corona got scores close to 0 on the parks metric even though they are near Central Park, the Bronx Zoo and Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, respectively.

“They are still within walking distance for a lot of people,” he said.

RentHop did give score bumps to neighborhoods that bordered parks, beaches and waterfronts, according to Leese.

Bloomfield did agree with the conclusion that the city needed to do more to promote cleanliness, park beautification and bike lanes.

“The parks department and Commissioner Mitchell Silver have certainly been doing a lot recently to improve the outer borough parks,” he said, surely leading to an increased summer score in a future survey down the road.

View RentHop’s Summer score study in full.