As the popularity of North Brooklyn neighborhoods has continued to grow over the past 10 years, so have the rents. Williamsburg was the first to boom in popularity as many people started to follow the artists east of Manhattan. This influx was followed closely by Greenpoint and Bushwick. Littered with artisanal coffee shops, trendy music venues, and new bars, the neighborhoods which boasted cheaper rents and more space for many former Manhattanites now seem out of reach for many making the move to Brooklyn. So, if these neighborhoods would have previously been on your must-see list, where should you be looking these days?
Renting in Ridgewood
Just east of Bushwick, the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood may be your answer. Often described as “Bushwick when it was still Bushwick,” the area has seen an uptick of artists, hipsters and young professionals moving to the area looking for affordable rents, while still having access to the lifestyle that New York City boasts and caters to. So just how affordable are the rents, you ask? With the median rent coming in at $2,100 a month, Ridgewood checks in at a much lower price point than its Brooklyn counterparts. However, in the past year, median asking rent in the neighborhood has increased by 19 percent, which indicates the days of affordability may be numbered.
Living in Ridgewood
Probably due to the current price point, the neighborhood ends up with a population skewed towards the 20-29 age group (17.26 percent), giving it a younger vibe than some of its more established neighbors. Demographically, the area is also very diverse, as historically it has been home to many different pockets of immigrant groups.
Bars and Restaurants in Ridgewood
So, what about nightlife in Ridgewood? Does it really have everything that Bushwick and Williamsburg can offer? While the bar and restaurant scenes are not as saturated as they are in North Brooklyn, it doesn’t mean that the hip and trendy are left out. Artsy cafes and coffee shops, such as Milk & Pull on Seneca Avenue, have started popping up on many of the main streets.
As for bars, the biggest name currently in the neighborhood is the summer-spot Nowadays, mainly on the strength of hosting the long-running Mister Sunday parties this past year. Although the outdoor watering hole closes in winter, Ridgewood also boasts good local spots like Milo’s Yard and more bars are opening up by the day.
The Commute from Ridgewood
Located several stops into Brooklyn on either the L or M train, the area wears a very local, residential atmosphere — making it feel more like a village than an urban neighborhood. With the impending L and M shutdowns, commutes to and from the area could become less efficient. This could be a deal breaker for some, or perhaps a godsend for others who may be hoping that this keeps rents stabilized in the area for several more years. However, because the two trains will not be shut down at the same time, having both as transportation options could prove to be the perfect formula during subway construction.