Bordering the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick is Ridgewood, an area known for its brick and stone row houses. Densely settled, Ridgewood was developed at the turn of the 20th century with its homes retaining the appeal and architectural integrity of the period. Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road are both ripe with shopping and dining options with Metropolitan and Forest Avenues both having smaller shopping strips. The L and M trains provide quick service to and from Manhattan, making Ridgewood an attractive, affordable option for commuters.
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Ridgewood is the best
I moved to Ridgewood from Chelsea a year an a half ago – quite a big change, but I don’t regret trading in my closet-sized studio for expansive views of Manhattan and big backyard. I live right on the Brooklyn border, between the DeKalb and Wycoff L stops, where a lot of good restaurants, galleries and stores have been popping up over the last few years. The L train gets you to Union Square in 20 minutes and the proximity to Bushwick will satisfy most of your culinary cravings and nightlife needs. But traveling deeper into Ridgewood is well worth the trip – with its miles of yellow brick row houses and mix of Polish, German and Italian grocers and restaurants, this neighborhood really does feel like time stood still.
The great thing about Ridgewood is its housing stock – our home (one of the aforementioned yellow brick row houses) was built in the early 1900’s and lived in by the same German family until we bought it in ‘08. It’s charming, spacious (by NYC standards), and cost less than half the price of similar style homes in more desirable parts of Brooklyn. Yes, there are certain sacrifices that come with living in Ridgewood – mostly those urban comforts found in more rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. You’ll also have to deal with the furrowed-brow expressions of friends who are constantly asking, “You live where? In QUEENS!?”
“Yes, I live in Queens. And I love it. And if it never becomes ‘cool,’ that’s OK by me. I hope you’re enjoying your shoebox on the UES while I barbecue in my garden!”
Ridgewood is the best!
Ridgewood isn’t a neighborhood I would send a visiting tourist to, but it’s not a bad place to live if you’re looking for a lot of space for low rent in a pretty safe area. The working class row houses are plain, and sometimes I expect to see Archie Bunker step out of one of them. One of the most striking things about the neighborhood is the little enclaves of older German residents who hang out on street corners chatting in German and do their shopping at an old-world meat store and some traditional German bakeries. There is a big population of recent Polish immigrants, too. A few new music clubs are starting to open up, reflecting the fact that the hipsters are starting to trickle in from down the L line. But mostly, this unpretentious neighborhood is so unhip it’s almost hip.