When you think of “brownstone Brooklyn,” Carroll Gardens is one section of the borough that probably comes to mind. If you’re passing through, you can clearly see why Carroll Gardens has become one of New York’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Life takes on a different energy, and a calmer, slower pace. After all, this pocket of Brooklyn resembles a small town rather than a slice of a vast metropolis. Locals who are lucky enough to live in Carroll Gardens will attest – it’s a pretty sweet place to live.
Largely made up of Italian immigrants at the end of the 19th century, Carroll Gardens hasn’t lost its roots in the past 100-plus years, but like most of New York, the demographics have broadened. The area was part of industrial Red Hook but became its own neighborhood in the 1930s and ’40s. Gentrification began as early as the 1960s, as an influx of Americans moved to New York and settled in Carroll Gardens.
While many residences in Brooklyn can be lumped into the brownstone or townhouse category, wider row homes with front gardens (thus, the area’s name) distinguish Carroll Gardens from other nearby neighborhoods. For urban living, the quality of life here reigns supreme, especially considering Brooklyn is the fourth largest US city by population.
Besides many of the homes boasting private outdoor spaces (they have backyards too), Carroll Park lies in the heart of the neighborhood. Landmark buildings comprise the adjacent historic district where you’ll discover lovely 19th-century Neo-Grec and Italianate townhouses. Opt for a stroll on streets like President, Carroll, and Hoyt and you’ll quickly get caught up in the romance of the cityscape.
Should you consider living in Carroll Gardens? If you like the feeling of a small town yet appreciate the conveniences of big city life, then having a look at Carroll Gardens might be worth your while. Bear in mind, though, only two trains serve the neighborhood. The F subway –– which has been rated one of the most delayed trains in the city –– goes to Midtown in about 30 minutes. The G train runs through Brooklyn and to Long Island City.
That said, the neighborhood’s proximity to subways hasn’t affected its popularity. Carroll Gardens is one of the top choices for families looking to live in Brooklyn. Despite change and soaring real estate prices, locals claim that the area has held on to its charm and Sesame Street-like appeal. The small neighborhood, which is only about four blocks wide, has its share of great restaurants too, so dining options within a quick walk are plentiful.
Anyone can understand the attraction – just browse through the scenes below and you might imagine living in Carroll Gardens. I know I can.
Have you been to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn? Add the neighborhood to your list! To peruse real estate listings in Carroll Gardens, head to Streeteasy.
Many thanks to Eric Barao for the photos in this blog post!