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1825 Foster Avenue, Ditmas Park Real Estate



CC: $827

Ditmas Park is the heimlich-liest of rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods, a kawaii street of shops with expensive cheese, wine stores with wildly well-spoken employees, and Sifty Fifty restaurants surrounded by the Victorian homes of one of America’s earliest suburban sub-developments.  It’s got a bit of a 21st-century-Mr.-Rogers-Brooklyn-neighborhood-utopia vibe.  

This apartment is on the sixth-floor of a building that sits on the southern end of the neighborhood, right in the center of one of the most diverse areas in the country, according to the U.S. census.  It’s probably about a five minute walk to Cortelyou Rd in the softly pulsing heart of the hood.  6J has an unusual layout, the bedrooms darting off diagonally from the living and dining areas.  And at 1,356 sqft, it’s properly sized for procreation.  Bits of pre-war details persist in the rounded archways and a few moldings (check the original 1939 brochures here!).  And the kitchen has a nice vibe with white cabinets and wood countertops.  

Transportation is perhaps the biggest drawback around here.  On the Newkirk B,Q a couple of blocks away you’re looking at a 50min commute to midtown. And remember the B doesn’t run on weekends.

What do you think about this Ditmas co-op? 

Internet info:

Walkscore report

Similar listings from Streeteasy

image by jpchan



CC: $807

Connecting the Brutalist 1964  towers at 170 and 180 Park Row with Martin Scorcese’s “Gangs of New York” may at first seem like a particularly challenging twist on popular conversation substitute, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  And yet, 150 years ago, Bill the Butcher was stabbing away in the footprint of these concrete slabs, laying the foundation for Daniel Day-Lewis’ third Oscar nomination.  

Manhattan is more known for its cast-iron Italianate lofts and its Art Deco skyscrapers, than its grey monoliths.  But monuments to apartheid and Parisian housing projects aside, Brutalism can be beautiful, and these two buildings might just have the best wood-grained concrete in the city.

This particular studio apartment is laid out like a tiny theater for watching the city lights, making for a scenic bed/living/dining room.  The walk-in closet will let you keep your underwear out of your dinner guests line of sight, but the micro-kitchen will make food prep a solo venture.  The bathroom makes no appearance in the listing, but otherwise the floors and fixtures seem new, clean, and unremarkable.  

This corner of Chinatown is heavy on subways (N,R,4,5,6, J,Z).  It also has the advantage of being close to, and yet, less reprehensible than, the vortex of alcohol at the center of the Lower East Side.  One can find cheap tofugalleries that love abstract painting and french political theory, and weird ice cream in a radius of a few blocks, without having to share the sidewalk with barhopping hordes. 

What say you about this sixties studio?

Internet info:

Walkscore report

Similarly priced apartments in LES/Chinatown

1994 NYTimes article that gives a little historical background on the building



CC: $502

Taxes: $755

At first glance at the tiny thumbnail on Streeteasy’s map of sub-700K listings in the East Village this looks like a deal, but sub-350KB jpegs can be deceptive!  The few hundred square pixels of the thumbnail show a spiral staircase next to a big window, the listing title includes the intriguing apartment number “PHA”.  A duplex penthouse condo in EVil for less than 700K, and it even has windows!?  Awash in visions of your unsober self emerging from Lit at 4am, a new companion on your arm seduced by your numberless apartment number and mere blocks to sway home, you click through.  Oh, what a wonderful life you’ll have!

The first sobering piece of information comes quickly: for this 668/sqft pad you’ll be paying a total of $1257 a month in non-tax-deductible condo maintenance.  This is not at all cool.  It is, indeed, for a non-coop apartment of this size, a stupid amount of maintenance.  

What justifies this monthly waste?  A roof deck.  Ah, a roof deck, more sexy, EVil visions distract you, moonlight, the city lights glowing in low hanging clouds, parties with designers of unnameable clothing accessories and artists who are really celebrities and vice versa.  But turn away for a moment, and notice the bare white, frighteningly small, kitchen that would make even morning coffee preparation a harrowing experience for the claustrophobic.  Consider also your unsteady legs ascending and descending this spiral staircase in the middle of the night after an ill-advised third mezcal.   And these will not be the only stairs in your future, this apartment sits atop a five-floor walkup.  

Are these roof dreams worth the hike?

Info from the Internets:

Walkscore report

Streeteasy search for similar local listings



CC: $215

Taxes: ?

So close to the Prospect Park Bandshell you could listen to your favorite indie band’s set from the lobby, a block from the 7th ave F train stop and neighborhood favorite, Dizzy’s diner, location is the main attraction here.  And it better be rockin to justify an asking price around $1000/sqft.  

The apartment itself is clean but not breathtaking.  This listing lacks a floorplan (grrr), but one can be found via Streeteasy here, revealing something better described as an alcove studio than the one bedroom claimed in the listing.  This is a place for a single person or a couple well-adjusted enough to live within permanent arm’s reach of one another.  If you’re moving to center Slope with your future PS 107 student, you’ll want to look elsewhere or expect to share a bed with your offspring long after it’s cute or appropriate.

An updated kitchen with dark wood cabinets and black granite tops won’t impress your friends but it won’t demand an immediate gut renovation either.  At 6’X10’, two cooks may be one too many.

The pre-war building’s recent renovation has given it a well-kept appearance from the street, and central air on the inside.  The common roof deck seems large enough to accommodate at least two simultaneous July 4th BBQ’s, and looks down the slope to Manhattan and Jersey.  Finally, you won’t have to ask your neighbors when you want to change your wallpaper, the building is one of the rare pre-war condos in the neighborhood.

Info from the Internets:

Walkscore report

Listings from the area on Streeteasy

What do you think?