Carroll Gardens is located in the south part of Downtown Brooklyn. Part of the “BoCoCa” meta-neighborhood (BOerum Hill / CObble Hill / CArroll Gardens), this neighborhood offers several unique advantages, and a way of life that’s unlike any other place in New York City. Carroll Gardens borders Cobble Hill to the north (at Douglass Street), Boerum Hill and Gowanus to the east (at Smith Street), and Red Hook to the south-west (along the Gowanus Expressway overpass). Along Columbia Street, the waterfront section is likely to become part of the proposed waterfront park system, offering Carroll Gardens residents even more recreational options.
The architecture of Carroll Gardens exemplifies the best of Classic Brooklyn. Immaculate Italianate brownstones, built to the highest standards of their era, line its streets, fronted by extra-deep front gardens. The developers of this neighborhood created a masterpiece of city planning - wide, airy streets, filled with greenery. Houses are carefully matched to the grade of the street, with heights and decorations selected to make the ensemble of houses blend seamlessly into the landscape. This combination of high-quality construction, precise placement, and unique extra-large gardens, places Carroll Gardens brownstones at the top of the list for desirable properties in Downtown Brooklyn.
The historic character of this district remains largely unchanged, with one-way streets and stately mansions giving the impression of having been sent back in time by a century. Several historic districts have been defined here, and new development is confined to main thoroughfares.
In the early 1990's, a few trendy restaurants opened on Smith and Court Streets, starting a commercial boom that continues to this day. With the influx of Manhattan expatriates and well-heeled out-of-state newcomers, BoCoCa's main thoroughfares have been transformed into a scintillating array of restaurants, bars, clubs, and specialty shops. The Smith / Court Street area has been described as “the heart of Downtown rebirth” and “Brooklyn's own Upper East Side”, and Atlantic Avenue has become a major shopping destination, with the Atlantic Terminal Mall, and over 50 new businesses opening alongside established Middle Eastern antique shops, galleries, and specialty stores.
Besides great food, BoCoCa is the center of Downtown nightlife. The bar and club selection is as eclectic as the gourmet offerings - from the classic Brooklyn bar atmosphere of P.J. Hanley’s (complete with century-old decorations, polished brass, and framed sepia prints) to the high-energy hijinx of Last Exit, from country-n-western cool of Hank’s Saloon (with karaoke, live music shows, and BBQ) to the warmth of Angry Wade’s fireplace and a friendly game of billiards. Whatever the occasion and the company, you can find the ideal “night out” in Carroll Gardens.
Carroll Gardens residents have the benefit of one of the shortest Manhattan commutes in all of Brooklyn, with the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan Bridge within easy reach. In addition, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Prospect Park Expressway, as well as major thoroughfares (Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, Eastern Parkway), provide a direct link to other parts of Brooklyn.
For outdoor recreation, Carroll Gardens residents have their choice of the majestic 585-acre Prospect Park, the Red Hook Recreational Area, the 10-acre Cadman Plaza Park, and many other parks and playgrounds throughout the area. In addition, a large portion of the waterfront around the bridges is being redeveloped as a park complex.
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