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• Two bedrooms, sleeping up to 6 people; 1 queen bed, 1 twin cot, 1 folding-out queen couch, and an additional inflatable beds. Linens and towels provided. • A full bathroom with tub, sink and toilet, plus a half bath with sink and toilet adjoining the master bedroom • Large living room featuring original paintings for sale by a New York artist • Dining area adjoining kitchen • Fully equipped gourmet kitchen, gas stove, microwave, toaster, large refrigerator. Condiments provided • Dining table seats 6 • Air-conditioning in every room • Washer and dryer (coin operated) in the basement • Wireless high-speed internet • Two closets with space for hanging and drawers • Cable TV • Iron, ironing board, hair dryer, basic amenities (soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cleaning supplies) • Vacuum cleaner • Chessboard, and a collection of children's books. Should you wish to entertain, there is enough space to hold a party • Located 3 blocks from Clinton/Washington Av and Lafayette Av Subway stations (C train), minutes from Manhattan, and 10 minutes walk from the Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr hub with trains to everywhere • Parking generally available on the street (alternate side of the street parking 1 day a week) • Walking distance to pharmacy, restaurants, grocery store and coffee shops
The sort of neighborhood to show outdoor movies and host nearly famous flea markets, Fort Greene makes the most of its tree-lined public spaces. Upscale speakeasies and independent bodegas add to this conspicuously hip Brooklyn neighborhood’s overt charm. Although Fort Greene is replete with places to eat, drink, and relax, its convenient subway accessibility affords easy exploration of other NYC neighborhoods.
Below is a recent review by NY Daily News
Fort Greene: The best neighborhood in New York? BY JASON SHEFTELL / DAILY NEWS REAL ESTATE CORRESPONDENT
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2009
Like other internationally celebrated areas such as Notting Hill in London and Le Marais in Paris, Brooklyn’s Fort Greene has all the elements in place to emerge as one of the better big-city neighborhoods on the planet. With services, culture and people who care more about how they live than how they look, the neighborhood has put cool aside, and in the process built a community where everyone and anyone feels at home.
In all my days and nights of walking neighborhoods and asking people why they live where they live, I have never encountered a place that has this much heart, soul and pride. More than ever, I found people who said they could never live anywhere else but right here.
It’s got artists, starving and not. Musicians, young and old. Neighbors de-ice handball courts on cold Saturday nights, hoping to play on warm Sunday mornings. Obama posters sit in retail and residential windows. Smiling people in crowded bars offer seats at half-filled tables to standing patrons.
There’s a hat maker who crowns reggae stars, a vegetarian restaurant with a bar scene, French bistros, coffee shops, a wine store every block, a half-century-old dive bar and a South African-themed eatery with an international clientele that makes the United Nations seem segregated. It’s got Brooklyn’s oldest park, its top high school and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Almost every subway line snaking through the five boroughs stops blocks away.
It also has some of the finest architecture, carriage houses, brownstones and tree-lined streets in any section of this or any other city.
The locals know all this. So do the real estate experts, who watched home prices and rents double in five years and brownstones increase in price from $700,000 in 1998 to $2.6 million today.
There is no more “getting in early” in Fort Greene. That happened eight years ago. And there’s a reason this Brooklyn neighborhood is as expensive as the West Village. Without an ounce of pretension, it’s simply a better place to be.
“People here do not like any fakeness in their neighborhood and they pay higher rents for that,” says Denis DuPreez, who with his brother Mark Henegan owns Madiba, a South African restaurant on DeKalb Ave. dating back 10 years. “We have beauty, and we have the good people.”
At Madiba last Saturday at 9 p.m., dreadlocked Darran Oliver from Crown Heights shakes his head about how poorly designed buildings are killing Brooklyn’s streets. A local originally from England acts dismissive, not wanting any tabloid to hype his ’hood.
Lawrence Whiteside, the chairman of the land-use committee for Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, gives history lessons at the bar to Bed-Stuy native Valerie Oliver Durrah. Migration from the lower East Side, he says, increased Fort Greene’s population throughout the 1960s.
Quaseem Mohammed brags about the Hideout, a lounge he owns around the corner that Esquire magazine called one of the top 100 bars in the U.S. Housed in a restored turn-of-the-20th-century, one-story garage, the Hideout has black-painted tin ceilings and a bright red-lipped bartender with 1930s Hollywood appeal. Six middle-aged white people dressed in couture enter Madiba. They sit down at a large communal table next to some African-Americans wearing football jerseys.
“We opened this place as an homage to Nelson Mandela,” says DuPreez. “It has become a home where people learn about other nations and talk politics that matter.”
Down DeKalb, past the popular French bistro Chez Oskar, the Malchijah hat store attracts a small crowd. The 13-year-old boutique with historic and contemporary hats, wooden head molds and a discerning clientele has a mythological feel to it, like there’s a trap door leading to some fairy-tale world. It’s the jewel to Fort Greene’s crown as the city’s No. 1 neighborhood.
“Before me, this was a hair salon for black woman and an Afrocentric library,” says proprietor Marcus Malchijah, who makes hats for several world-renowned musicians, including jazz great Anthony Cedras, who happens to be hanging in the store right now. “I wanted to keep the open-minded, friendly, free-spirited element of Brooklyn going.”
Despite an excellent relationship with his landlord of 13 years, the Guyana-born Malchijah’s rent may soon double to $4,000, forcing him to leave.
“It’ll be heartbreaking if this place goes,” says Fuego Campo, producer and guitarist for Noble Society, a Fort Greene reggae group with the most reggae single downloads on iTunes. “What are they going to do, put a yogurt store in here?”
Remembering when nearby Myrtle Ave. was called “Murder Avenue,” longtime Fort Greene resident and Malchijah customer Dallas Thompson shakes his head.
“This used to be the place not to be caught at night,” says Thompson, proud owner of almost 30 Malchijah hats. “Now it’s the place to be.”
Local Fillmore Real Estate agent Hizbawi Kedebe walks us around the neighborhood. He owns in a brownstone on S. Elliott Place just off Fort Greene Park. His wife, a former Wall Street bond trader, renovated and designed the four-floor home. They moved to the neighborhood in 2003 from Prospect Heights.
“This place is so special,” says Kedebe, who knows neighborhood properties as well as anyone. “People think it’s bull how friendly people are in Brooklyn. It’s not. Whenever we needed a contractor, our neighbors helped. When it snows, I shovel our neighbor’s sidewalk and he gets mad because I beat him to it. We got a guy on the street named Tony the Greek. He’s out there all day starting at 7 a.m. making sure everyone smiles and stops to talk.”
Filmmaker Spike Lee’s production facilities are steps from Kebede’s brownstone. Nearby on Lafayette St., Moe’s bar/lounge caters to the down-tempo hip-hop crowd. A gold-toothed patron wearing a brown Yankees hat smiles at an Asian woman drinking red wine. She bats an eye.
Across the street, Stonehome, a wine bar and restaurant, seats diners at 10:30 p.m. Someone whispers that a Rockefeller heir bought a home near the park.
Farther down Lafayette, where Fort Greene merges with Clinton Hill, a Masonic temple borders a Gothic church across the street from a Colonial clapboard house and an empty schoolyard where Brownstoner.com holds a summer flea market.
On Myrtle Ave. near the once dangerous Walt Whitman and Ingersoll public housing projects, wine bars and new bistros push the neighborhood towards the Brooklyn Naval Yards.
At Aliba, a dive bar on DeKalb, a Canadian painter named Clint, who pays $600 a month for an apartment share close to Myrtle Ave., plays pool with a photojournalist from the Maldives.
Behind the bar, a sculptor and an artist pour drinks. Nearing midnight, stragglers sway from too much drink or lack of rhythm.
“When the Naval Yard closed in the 1960s, Fort Greene became an instant ghetto,” says lifelong resident Tommy O’Connell, the artist bartender whose dad bought a neighborhood home for $6,000 in 1969. “It’s good to see it back again.”
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