Neighborhood: Gowanus (Degraw Street/4th Avenue/9th Street/Smith Street)
Population: 7,565 people. 26,983 people per square mile. (Brooklyn: 34,917 people per square mile)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Park Slope, South Slope, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens
Public Transit: R at Union Street, F/G at Carroll Street and Smith/9th Street, F/G/R at 4th Avenue and 9th Street.
What’s Here?: Gowanus is a burgeoning neighborhood that has become the quintessential Brooklyn everyone is talking about. With its covetable school district (PS 321), carriage houses, artisanal shops and warehouses, it is easier to answer the question “What’s not here?” . Gowanus is home to Brooklyn Brine (pickles), Twig (terrariums) and Cut Brooklyn (kitchen knives). The notorious canal for which the neighborhood has its namesake is ever present, especially making its pungency known in the summer months. Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods is currently under construction on 3rd Avenue.
Flat or Tall?: Mostly warehouses and townhouses, Gowanus is rather flat with a spaced-out feel. A few new high-rise apartment buildings are jutting up on 4th Avenue, reaching about eight stories, but for the most part you can look up and see the sky above an industrial landscape.
History: Originally settled by Dutch farmers in the early 1600s, Gowanus was a marshland. A flour mill built near Union and Nevins streets in 1645 was the beginning of the heavy industrialization of the area that led to a highly polluted canal and underdeveloped residential area. Now the canal area has been embraced by New Yorkers who value the access this neighborhood has to much of the City.
Activities: Gowanus is only a 15-minute walk to the Barclays Center. Trendy restaurants are opening along 3rd Avenue often. Brooklyn Boulders is an indoor climbing facility. The Bell House, a bar and event space, hosts weekday trivia nights, science talks and even mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s primary night party. Mr. Saturday Night and Mr. Sunday are pop up parties thrown in an outdoor space on the canal.
Check it out: Little Neck is a must for their burgers and oysters. Runner and Stone offers arguably the best croissants in New York City (the baker formerly of Per Se). For the best pies in the city, hit up 420 Blackbirds. Keep your eye out for the Royal Palms Shuffle Board Club scheduled to open Winter 2014. FilmBiz Recycling, a thrift store of donated furniture from the movie industry, is a great place to outfit your apartment.