Why Flatbush is a great place to live
Flatbush is a community-centered neighborhood with plenty of green space located south of Prospect Park. The neighborhood is known for being a melting pot of West Indian, Russian, Pakistani and other communities, and it includes the area from Parkside Avenue on the north to Avenue H on the south, with Coney Island and New York avenues on the west and east, placing it right in the middle of Brooklyn. So here are our top reasons why Flatbush is a great place to live.
The open space
Considering it’s in the middle of Brooklyn, you’d be surprised by how much space you have in Flatbush. There’s no rubbing shoulders like in Midtown Manhattan -- everyone has room to breathe. The streets are wide and leafy and there are plenty of parks in the area, including Paerdegat Park, a tree-filled green space with sports courts, benches and a playground just a short walk from our Flatbush House, and Holy Cross Cemetery, the burial ground of several noteworthy New Yorkers, such as the notorious Louis Capone. Our Flatbush House is also just a short walk from famous Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s own version of Manhattan’s Central Park.
Designed by Olmsted and Vaux, the same brains behind Central Park, this park is 526 acres of fresh air, including a man-made pond and the bulk of Brooklyn's remaining indigenous forest. This park even has its very own zoo and the first urban-area Audubon Center, as well as an ice rink, bandstand and athletic equipment. In the summer, Prospect Park is famous for its concerts and events as well a plenty of informal gatherings, including sports teams, joggers and picnickers. Bliss.
The range of eating, drinking and doing options
Flatbush is statistically one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, which shows in the number of different things to eat, drink and do. Zurilee Pizza serves some of the best Caribbean pizza, starting at just $12 per pie. Their signature dish, the bake and saltfish pizza, is the star of the show and will leave you wanting more. We love Werkstatt for Viennese Bratwurst and schnitzel and Sip Unwine for delicious fusion tapas and fine wine.
Weird and wonderful combinations abound in Flatbush, including Brooklyn’s first tattoo parlor and bar, FIB Tattoo Bar, and the bar-slash-flowershop Sycamore Bar and Flowershop. The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College is a great spot to see emerging and established artists, or for shopping we recommend Muffets Closet and Le Point. Flatbush Avenue and Cortelyou Road are the main hubs of culture and retail options, just a short walk from our Flatbush House.
Flatbush is filled with history, something that will hit you when you walk by the large, expansive Victorian homes along Bedford Avenue and other pre-war houses near Brooklyn College. The neighborhood is the popular site of Brooklyn history tours, particularly for Victorian enthusiasts. The restored Kings Theater is a landmark in itself, having been built in 1929.
Photo: Kings Theatre
This beautiful and decadent theatre seats more than 3,000 people. Originally a movie theatre, since its renovation and re-opening in 2010 it is now a live performance venue, with a program of varied events to entertain the neighborhood. Flatbush is also home to the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church, built in 1654, and NYC’s oldest high school (attended by Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and others).
Flatbush is one of the more affordable Brooklyn neighborhoods. Flatbush Ave. is filled with discount stores and affordable Caribbean delis, and many of our favorite cafes, restaurants and bars have excellent deals. For instance, Koko Ramen has a daily happy hour from 12 p.m.–7 p.m. on both drinks and food, and our favorite Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Maria and Ricardo, serves tostadas starting at just $4.95.
Flatbush is also one of the only Brooklyn neighborhoods to have dollar vans. Think of these as a mixture between Uber Pool and the bus: You pay $2 and you can hop on the van’s pre-set route, hopping off again at your stop. It’s quick and convenient and above all, cheap. You can find out more information and download the app here. We think that’s reason enough on its own to consider living in Flatbush, particularly in the wake of the L-train slowdown, don’t you?