Nineteenth-century townhomes pervade in Boerum Hill, many of them constructed between 1850 and 1880, when Brooklyn was just arising as a comfortable suburb to Manhattan. Most of these properties have been renovated — and some exquisitely, meaning you’ll find the the same bright spaces, elegant design, and modern technology you’d expect in a brand-new condo building. This is a particularly good neighborhood in which to seek a full-frame, three-story (or more) house at a fraction of the cost of Manhattan. But Boerum Hill also offers buildings that are brand-new inside and out, many with sweeping views of the city and upmarket amenities like gyms, concierge service, and even underground parking. The options here are truly extensive.
Given its placement within central Brooklyn, Boerum Hill is located near a host of excellent transit options. Right in the middle of the neighborhood, the Bergen Street station provides access to the F and G trains. On the northern edge of Boerum Hill, the platforms of the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station will put you onto A, C, and G trains. And there’s a veritable smorgasbord of transit on the eastern edge of Boerum Hill, at Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, with stops on the B, D, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines, as well as the Long Island Rail Road.
As a small neighborhood, Boerum Hill offers a few public school options, and allows easy access to other private schools around Brooklyn. Parents and students generally love PS 261 Philip Livingston, giving the elementary a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10. Some public campuses in the neighborhood, like the School For International Studies (grades 6-12), reflect Boerum Hill’s history as a neighborhood transitioning from decades of neglect into a first-rate destination for Brooklyn families. When you live in Boerum Hill, getting to local private institutions like the Packer Collegiate Institute, the Brooklyn Friends School, or the Brooklyn Free School is easy.
Again, Boerum Hill is a small neighborhood, and you’ll have to leave it to find massive lawns and walking paths to get lost in. But Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park, on Wyckoff Street provides a playground and basketball courts. Nearby Boerum Park is somewhat smaller, but also gives plenty of space for kids to run around. Meanwhile, the massive Prospect Park is only a handful of blocks away.
Restaurants and Bars
Smith Street is Boerum Hill’s main corridor for eating, drinking, and shopping, and enough culinary destinations have sprung up on it in recent years that you can expect to satisfy almost any gastronomical desire here. Rucola serves up fine Italian brunches and dinners, and Hollow Nickel is the place to go for a high-end pub burger. You won’t have to leave the hood for excellent French cuisine (see Bacchus Bistrot a Vins), or for something totally different — try the Bedouin Tent Restaurant. No self-respecting Brooklyn neighborhood would be without a few comfy places to imbibe, and with watering holes like the old-timey Robert, the upscale Livingston Manor, and the cozy, comfortable 4th Avenue Pub, Boerum Hill offers numerous excellent nightspots.
Encompassing what some claim is Brooklyn’s hottest shopping block, Atlantic Avenue is one long stretch of interesting stores, many of them independent and locally owned. Town & Country352 keeps up the street’s reputation as a center for antiquing, while The Banquet retails the kinds of stylish clothing and jewelry that only a high-end boutique can. For weird gifts, like lightning bolt socks or a Bernie Sanders action figure, step into Exit9. Brooklyn Fare is the favorite neighborhood purveyor of high-end foodstuffs, and for everyday groceries there’s a Union Market on Court Street and a Trader Joe’s on Atlantic Avenue, both quite close to Boerum Hill.
Landmarks and Culture
Boerum Hill edges up to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which is a near-constant source of concerts and and other performances, usually of a more avant-garde bent. If you’re looking for a lovely, enriching place to stroll, you could do worse than the quaint streets of Boerum Hill’s own historic district, home to rowhouses that go back to 1849. For other options, all of Brooklyn is at your doorstep, whether it’s the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, or the Brooklyn Zoo in Prospect Park, or the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn.