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Real EstateCity LivingBrooklyn

City Living: Bergen Beach satisfies your craving for real suburban living

If you want to uncover another trendy extension of the concrete jungle in Brooklyn, you're not going to find it in Bergen Beach, a leafy, cozy neighborhood in the borough's southeast corner.

But if a little slice of the suburbs is what you're after, look no further than this land of plastic lawn flamingos and driveway basketball hoops, tree-lined streets and family barbeques.

"I came from Las Vegas and I raised my two girls on my own here. I've loved it. I've always felt very safe. I would never move out of here," said Kery Chariton, a 13-year resident and office manager at Temple Sholom on 68th Street.

For the car-less visitor, Bergen Beach may seem nearly inaccessible. There's no subway stop nearby, and the best way to get around the area is to drive.

But residents say its seclusion is what makes the nabe perfect for community building: Since transportation is tricky, many spend their time with family and neighbors or at local recreation spaces like Joseph T. McGuire Park or the St. Bernard Clairvaux Church on 69th Street.

Shopping and dining options are also limited -- the largest concentration of stores is in the Georgetown Shopping Center and the Key Food Plaza in nearby Mill Basin. But residents say they enjoy hanging out at their houses.

According to Doreen Alfano, a realtor with Bergen Basin Realty, semi-attached one-family homes start at $600,000, while private homes on larger properties can go for up to $2 million. The stock is a mix of hi-ranches, colonials and split-level homes.

"There's a variety and that's what makes Bergen Beach nice. You can have an 80-year-old house right next door to a seven-year-old house," Alfano said.

During Superstorm Sandy, many homes along the Jamaica Bay shore were flooded. While the damage was devastating, the community's response was emblematic of the community environment in in Bergen Beach. Local volunteers came out in droves, preparing meals and clothing donations for those most affected.

"This is why I live here," Chariton said.