Monday, July 12, 2010

Places to Stay in Crown Heights - Updated

Best Western's Arena Hotel, which Nostrand Park scooped back in the winter, has just opened, and until the RatnerDome gets built, you can be sure there'll be space for any visitors who decide to come through.

If your guests decide they'd like some cheaper digs, however, you could always send them to the Pacific Loft Hostel (pictured), an unexpected little spot that I came across yesterday on Pacific just west of Franklin. It's an unassuming little brick rowhouse, sandwiched between a funeral home and a scrapyard, but the folks out front (mostly European, based on their accents), said the place was cheap and comfortable inside. Plus, it's steps away from all the charms of Franklin Avenue!

(Speaking of the charms of Franklin, the rumor mill has it that a wine bar may be making an appearance in one of the vacant storefronts between Eastern and Park soon, and that the Walgreen's deal for the Mazon site at Franklin and Eastern is closing on done. More to come on both fronts.)

UPDATE: Thanks to those who replied mentioning the Sterling Bed and Breakfast on Sterling between Franklin and Bedford (three rooms and an expanded continental breakfast) and the Missing Lantern Urban Inn on Dean between Bedford and Nostrand.

Also, two quick thoughts on the comments so far:

@anonymous: I get (I think) the idea of hating on a wine bar as a symbol of gentrification, but I think you're mixing your haterades with the "go back to Ohio" bit. When I think "wine bar," Ohio is pretty far down my list.

@LaurelB: I was having the Prospect Heights/Crown Heights debate with a friend awhile back as we got off the 4 at Franklin, and in defense of her calling her neighborhood (she's on Lincoln and Franklin) "Prospect Heights," she pointed to the MTA's local map, which sprawls the words "Prospect Heights" directly across Franklin at St. John's. I was a little bit dumbfounded, honestly--according to almost everyone I talk to, this isn't the accepted boundary, and yet I don't think of MTA maps as being the products of real estate rebranding. Any thoughts?


  1. I've also seen this bed and breakfast ( on Google Maps, but I don't know much more about it.

  2. Wine bar?
    Yuppies....go back to Ohio.

  3. A walgreens will fill that hole at EP and Franklin nicely.

    I wonder if it will be multi-story with apts above it, or just one story.

  4. Hi, I'm a novelist and journalist and, along with my husband, the owner/manager of Sterling B&B on Sterling Place between Franklin and Bedford; we've been in business about three years. We have three rooms and serve an expanded Continental breakfast. Feel free to come check us out!

  5. Good stuff about the wine bar. I was actually just thirsting for one the other day. I'd also heard from the rumor mill that one is in the works for Classon, but they are being held up because of licensing. I heard that a couple of months ago from a fairly reliable source. Not sure what the status is though as of today.

    In terms of local accomodations, there is also the Missing Lantern B&B on Dean between Nostrand and Bedford. It was featured on the Crown Heights North Tour last year. Unfortunately, I don't think anything around here yet rivals the Akwaaba mansion in Bed-Stuy, but maybe one day...

    Funny ... I see that Sterling B&B is saying that it is in Prospect Heights, and the Arena Hotel is getting flack for saying its in Bed-Stuy. Isn't Crown Heights good enough anymore ... I'm sorry ... You know it's my pet peeve...

  6. I would really like a bookstore! Anyone hear rumors of anything like that coming our way?

  7. "I was a little bit dumbfounded, honestly--according to almost everyone I talk to, this isn't the accepted boundary, and yet I don't think of MTA maps as being the products of real estate rebranding. Any thoughts?"

    The bus stop on Bergen & Franklin also boasts a "Prospect Heights" tag, but it seems likely to me that the powers that be have friends in high places- and therefore have every interest in labeling it in that manner.

    As I've poked around the interwebs I've found very little to suggest that PH ever extended to Franklin. The border was always Washington.


  8. Dang. I wrote a great response, but it did not go through so I lost all the good stuff I was going to say ;-). I’ll try to recreate it this evening. But , the long and short of it is:

    • My research is consistent with what spnder says – Washington is most frequent border that I hear, though generally, the newer the resident the further east the border.

    • Many very long timers say that Flatbush is the border and to the extent that Prospect Heights was ever spoken about, it was more considered a sub-neighborhood.

    • Here’s an interesting article from the NY Times about Prospect Heights from 1999: Notice who they say formed the “backbone” of the community. I think there has been a big shift since there.

    Also, consistent with what the old timers have told me, the article suggests that Prospect Heights was a sub-neighborhood of the old Crow Hill which was the former name of Crown Heights. I’ve seen other articles that say the same. From what I gather, because the population of Prospect Heights back in the day was so similar to that of Crown Heights, the border between the two neighborhoods didn’t matter as much as it does today as a segregating factor.

    • At the end of the day, with no official border guidelines and because neighborhood borders are generally fuzzy, discrepancies like the MTA’s will happen (I have not yet had a chance to do much digging on it). But what I’m most fascinated by is the intentional renaming for profit, and the implications on the residents who live here.

  9. I'm from the Midwest, and I think Anonymous' comment regarding a wine bar/yuppies/Ohio was right on point: it'll mostly be the recent transplants(from Ohio or wherever)who've fantasized about New York forever who'll think a wine bar would be oh so hip ("girls, let's GO! It'll be just like on "Sex in the City"!!!") lol.I'm sure the neighborhood could do without yet ANOTHER place for colonizers to drink. What about a community center? Oh right: the 'community' that would benefit the most from one is largely being displaced. So no need: drink up.

  10. Yeah we don't want those other colonizers from the Midwest. Of course you've been there for two years now after graduating in anthropology from groovy UV, and are obviously totalllly authentic compared to those posers who don't live there yet. I mean, how could they ever wear that plaid lumberjack style shirt as ironically as you, a seasoned hipster can? Also, they might not have yet struck the proper balance between disdaining people just like you and hoping that you'll someday be awarded the red badge of courage of every hipster: being "priced out" of your bulding. As for the community center, good même for the choir, but what about helping them get jobs, or not granola enough?

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