We are moving to NYC (Brooklyn) within a year to be closer to DH's job. We currently live in the 'burbs of CT, hate it, and miss city life. We've been seriously looking at Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, and though we could afford the area, it's at the top of our budget. We recently came upon Bay Ridge and visited it this past weekend. The kids LOVED it. They loved Owl's Head Park and the neighborhood seemed very safe, family-friendly, yet as not as progressive thinking and bohemian as Park Slope (which is one of the things I love about PS and WT). I heard the public schools were good in Bay Ridge too (we're going the public school route). Not to mention it's MUCH CHEAPER than park Slope or even Windsor Terrace. I know the commute for my DH would be about an hour. He said he is totally okay with that (right now his commute is 2.5 hrs each way) and could work from home one day a week and go to his Brooklyn office a few days too. Anyone know more about bay Ridge? More pros/cons?
Also, any info on other good, safe, family-friendly and affordable areas of Brooklyn? Any tips or words of wisdom? pros/cons of city-living with kids (BTW, we have 3, ages 2, 4 and 7)? I've lived in cities before and LOVED it, but never with kids.
We've lived in Brooklyn for a number of years now and love it. We left our Brooklyn neighborhood of many years and tried Clinton Hill when we thought more space was necessary. Although CH was much more affordable than Park Slope, we didn't love the area (parks were dirty and unsafe, the libraries weren't well maintained, we felt felt isolated, not a ton of activities for kids, not great subway access) and found the schools deplorable. We're now in the Boerum Hill area and couldn't be happier. It's not affordable, but we've squeezed into a small space (and I do mean small) so that we can have park access (we're surrounded by parks and community gardens now), access to activities and great schools, etc. We have friends in both Bay Ridge and Windsor Terrace who love those areas. Bay Ridge isn't as progressive but if you can overlook less progressive views (it can be hard at times) and you can handle the commute time, then it might be for you. Friends in Windsor Terrace absolutely love the area- tons of families, tons of activities, etc. We also have friends in Prospect Heights who like the area. It's not as expensive as Park Slope (although getting there), and tends to be a progressive neighborhood. It's close to Prospect Park, has an amazing playground (Underhill), and more and more activities springing up all of the time for kids. Hope this helps. Good luck!
I'm a recent graduate from an education program and I got to know a wonderful public school in Brooklyn at my student teaching experience. It's called Brooklyn New School, progressive education, very diverse (from staff to families) and truly child oriented. Its at Cobble Hill, which I don't know how affordable it is. The neighborhood is beautiful, the community seemed really great and the shops, cafes and food around were very nice (I mean, thrift stores, antiques, vegetarian options, good coffee...). The school takes students from out of the district too, many of the students got to school by school bus or by a quick subway ride.
Check on ps133 too, it has bilingual programs in French and Spanish. I have friends who commute from manhattan so their kids can attend it.
That is the tiny bit about Brooklyn (with family) I know but since I believe that relocation with kids requires all the info you can get, that is the bit I can share.
Married to, Mom to 02/00, DS 02/10, 02/13 and 07/96
I live in Bay Ridge! You'll love it here. There are tons of crunchy types here and many more moving in from the other two neighborhoods you are describing. We've been here 8 years and sadly will be moving as our 2 bedroom apt is exploding with 4 kids. So sad to be leaving such a wonderful neighborhood. There is a Bay Ridge FB group that I totally suggest you join to get a feel for things down here. The schools are really good on paper, but I will warn you they are not highly progressive. I've been disappointed in that sense. The schools are much more creative and progressive in Park Slope than here (former teacher so I've been in many of them) HTH!