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Get to know Boerum Hill

If you come to Boerum Hill looking for hills to climb, you’ll be out of luck. Contrary to its name, the neighborhood is about as flat as they come. Not only is the elevation low, but the homes are, too: Most apartment buildings are three-to-four-story rowhouses built in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Boerum Hill wouldn’t, in fact, become Boerum Hill until much later. Before the 1960s, it was either “North Gowanus” or just part of South Brooklyn (which, not to be confused with southern Brooklyn, was a catch-all term for the area below Atlantic Avenue and west of Prospect Park that longtime residents still use today). The Boerum Hill name came in the 1960s as residents moved in, seeking to create a distinct community all its own. But at present, Boerum Hill might feel as if it were perched somewhere atop a hill — a quiet haven from the city beyond.

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Boerum Hill Commerce & Culture

You might not expect it, given the neighborhood’s reputation as a residential one, but Boerum Hill is home to or near multiple performing arts venues and even more art galleries. Its name may sound close to “boring,” but Boerum Hill is incredibly far from that. A thriving restaurant scene can be found all over, but especially on the main thoroughfares of Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue. Charming, independent storefronts dot the sidewalks, where you can shop for boutique items, including clothing, stationery, furniture, and more. Anything else is easily accessible in adjacent neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope. And with more than a dozen subway lines to choose from at the Bergen Street, Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street, and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center stations (plus the LIRR, at Atlantic Terminal), nothing in New York City is ever too far downhill.