Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crown Heights = Carroll Gardens, Part II?


The New York Times ran a piece in their real estate section today comparing five pairs of New York City neighborhoods. Entitled "So You're Priced Out. Now What?," the article includes a comparison of Carroll Gardens and Crown Heights North, suggesting that those who enjoy the former's "congenial mix of the traditional and the retro-modern" can find the same in our own neighborhood "for a fraction of the cost." ILFA spoke with the reporter last week, and my count of new businesses since 2008 made it into the article, as well as a quip about our new bars bearing a resemblance to those along Smith Street. I must confess that I wish a slightly different quote of mine had made it in (though I've learned not to get to cross about these things - they pass through several editors and, unlike a blog like this one, have word count limits), namely, the point that while many brokers and real estate reporters have characterized Franklin/Crown Heights North(west) as an extension of Prospect Heights in years past, it seems as though writers and realtors are starting to understand that the neighborhood has its own unique charms, history, and character, distinct from its more ballyhooed neighbor to the west (Mike F made a similar point in response to ILFA's HuffPo article a week or so ago). 

Readers, your thoughts? Is this an apt comparison? What are the implications of such a comparison (in the Grey Lady, no less)?

In other news, the Department of Buildings permits on the plywood in front of 3D's at Franklin and Sterling suggest that whatever becomes of the space, it will remain a restaurant. The owners told ILFA over a year ago that they were planning a renovation, though I wonder if that's still the case (they were in business for 30 years before this, and they do have a spot over on Washington). Anyone know anything more? Also, a chat with the owner of Bombay Masala last night revealed that they are indeed hoping to open an Indian/Bollywood-themed bar in the space currently occupied by Ebita Realty. As planned, it would serve Indian beers and wine, have a back garden connected to the current one behind the restaurant, and feature music from the subcontinent, including live performances. However, as the owner said, he's in the "hoping" stage right now, and he added, gesturing around the restaurant, that he'd "need our help" to make it happen (this may refer to getting the plan past Community Board 8, as well as patronizing the new place once it opens). Brooklynians, get your dancing shoes on!

11 comments:

  1. In the NY Times' article, the "congenial mix of the traditional and the retro-modern" in Crown Heights North refers to its architecture. Smith Street has cute grandpas and firefighters, hanging out in retro cafes that you (the NY Times' reader) will inevitably want to frequent too (as a local). In contrast, CHN has cut-rate prices on "Gilded Age" mansions. There are also a "number of stores" catering to West Indians and Panamanians, but the people who set foot in them remain anonymous. There's no context set for CHN, no description of its unique charms, history or character. It's a neighborhood hoping to become Smith Street.

    The one saving grace of this article is that they referred interested readers to ILFA. (I can't help but wonder what referred readers might think of SOS's recent initiatives.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The article only hints at the majority of people living in the area; its message seems to be: "well, if you can afford it, it is yours for the taking." No mention of crime problems, the mix of people, anything like that. What about apartment rentals? It is a very poorly researched article that lacks any kind of dimension.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I'm willing to attend a CB8 mtg in order to get a Bollywood Bar, but feel that is a lot to ask.

    ReplyDelete
  4. somehow I doubt the guy who owns Bombay Masala have the same thing in mind for the new bar as the people on Brooklynian. is the owner really thinking of it as a "Bollywood" bar, or is it more like a sitar player and hand drums in the corner while patrons sip at highly marked-up glasses of wine? the decor in that place is pretty traditional (for American-style Indian restaurants) and I don't think the staff is even Indian, are they? To support my case: sounds like no cocktails (i.e., no ginger/tamirand-infused overpriced cocktails).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Indian=Bollywood

    (& the Taj Mahal)

    doesn't the guy who owns Bombay Masala get it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bars named Bollywood might = profit.

    Seems smart enough.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't really get the connection between Carroll Gardens and CHN - we both have townhouses?? Welcome to half of Brooklyn!

    ReplyDelete
  8. India=Bombay=Masala=Taj Mahal=Bollywood

    ReplyDelete
  9. Something is missing in your article. There is so much to a neighborhood and it's inner workings that you only slightly touched on the beef of subject.

    ReplyDelete