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Living in Brooklyn Heights

The true gem of Brooklyn Heights is the Promenade, a half-mile long waterfront esplanade that draws visitors all year round. With panoramic views of Manhattan and an easy commute to the city, Brooklyn Heights is the perfect marriage of convenience and beauty. The elegant townhouses that line the Brooklyn Promenade are some of the most coveted homes for sale in the area. These 19th-Century mansions were built to take advantage of the neighborhood’s sweeping views of the water and the Manhattan skyline. Many of the homes also have details like multiple fireplaces, libraries, and even the occasional elevator.

Small in size but enormous in reputation, Brooklyn Heights is one of the loveliest areas in New York. Film crews frequently use its leafy streets and charming brownstones as backdrops for movies, helping to shape Brooklyn’s image in the popular imagination. There’s a sense of suburban idyll here in the midst of a major metropolis. Neighboring areas like Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo bustle with commercial activity, but Brooklyn Heights retains a tranquil, small-town atmosphere.

Brooklyn Heights’ waterfront promenade is tailor-made for leisurely excursions with the city skyline looming in the distance, while the restaurant patios of Henry Street invite residents to stop and stay awhile. In this peaceful setting, it’s easy to forget that the 24-hour action of Manhattan is accessible in just 20 minutes by train or ferry.

Brooklyn Heights real estate

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Brooklyn Heights apartments are available in a diverse range of styles, reflecting the architectural legacy of this neighborhood with its mix of prewar brownstones and wood-clad homes. Converted warehouses and new condos bring a sense of modernity to Brooklyn Heights real estate. Many of these properties include airy loft spaces and rooftop terraces to take in the sweeping views.

The Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry “fruit streets” populate the northern end of the Heights. This area is one of the most desirable in the city, with Greek Revival and art deco homes bordering the broad, tree-lined streets. There are also highly coveted townhouses along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, built in the 19th century to make the most of the Manhattan skyline. These retain fine details that evoke the gentility of centuries past, such as wood-paneled libraries and multiple fireplaces.

Brooklyn Heights history

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With a strategic location near New York’s first ferry port, Brooklyn Heights grew along the waterfront throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Robert Fulton’s speedy mechanized ferry boats arrived in 1814, cutting the journey across the East River to only 12 minutes. Because of this short commute, the Manhattan elite began building their impressive Italianate mansions in Brooklyn Heights and it became the first modern suburb in New York, populated by Wall Street bankers and city merchants.

The neighborhood’s charm has also attracted a number of artists and writers over the years. Richard Wright, Salvador Dalí and Truman Capote have all been residents, and Bob Dylan referenced Montague Street in his “Tangled Up in Blue,” immortalizing the neighborhood in song.

Brooklyn Heights restaurants

Henry Street’s the go-to destination for dining. Neighborhood institution Henry’s End serves New American classics in a dining room with exposed brick, lofty ceilings and an open kitchen. The menu’s focus is on seasonal ingredients, sourced from regional suppliers like Hudson Valley Farms and the Broken Arrow Ranch.  Noodle Pudding dishes up teeming plates of comforting pasta, including a hearty lasagna bolognese and tempting pasta e fagioli. Daily specials, delicate carpaccio and freshly baked loaves of ciabatta round out the meal at this cash-only neighborhood favorite. Down on Atlantic Avenue, Chez Moi brings a taste of France to Brooklyn Heights. This charismatic bistro pairs steak frites and profiteroles with inventive craft cocktails.

Brooklyn Heights nightlife

Cozy coffee shops, eateries and wine bars make Henry Street the hub of the neighborhood’s understated nightlife. Brooklyn Heights bars tend to be low-key and mellow, like the popular pub The Roebling Inn nearby on Atlantic Avenue. This dimly lit tavern showcases an impressive selection of craft beers on tap originating from local breweries like Sixpoint, KelSo and the Brooklyn Brewery. Montero Bar and Grill harkens back to the area’s nautical past. Marked by a neon sign out front and orange life preservers inside, this gritty Atlantic Avenue bar has been serving visiting sailors, tourists and regulars since 1947. It heats up on weekends with lively karaoke sessions around the pool table.

For something a bit more sophisticated, head to Bargemusic, where you can enjoy the lilting strains of classical chamber music in a unique floating venue. Docked at the Fulton Ferry Landing, Bargemusic gives you an intimate view of the musicians and the Manhattan skyline all at once.

Brooklyn Heights shopping

Montague Street is the center of the neighborhood’s commercial activity, with mom-and-pop stores nestled next to big-name chains and sleek coffee shops. Cruising down this Brooklyn Heights thoroughfare provides a glimpse at the juxtaposition between the traditional and the contemporary that makes the neighborhood so special — you’ll see bank branches housed in art deco buildings and international retailers like Banana Republic rubbing shoulders with family-run businesses like City Chemist or Peerless Shoe Service. Yoga studios, ice cream vendors and New York-centric chains round out this diverse shopping district. There’s also a smattering of eclectic shops on Atlantic Avenue and Henry Street to explore.  

Brooklyn Heights attractions

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The Brooklyn Heights Promenade offers some of the most breathtaking views in New York, including clear sightlines to the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. It’s also the ideal location for people watching. On any given day, you’ll find a broad spectrum of New Yorkers enjoying the promenade’s well-tended walkway. Just below the esplanade at the end of Montague Street sits Brooklyn Bridge Park, offering an additional 85 acres of green space, pathways and futuristic viewing platforms. This newly constructed park includes six piers, with beach volleyball, roller-skating, kayaking, fishing and basketball facilities.

Learn more about the borough’s rich history at the Brooklyn Historical Society, a museum featuring permanent and short-term exhibitions. The building alone is worth a look, ornamented with terra-cotta flourishes and kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows.

I came home

" more a second choice."
Carol Cappelletti
Carol                Cappelletti
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What's In The Area: Brooklyn Heights

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Brooklyn Heights from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Brooklyn Heights tips




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