Living in Downtown Brooklyn: Things to Do and See in Downtown Brooklyn, New York

Downtown Brooklyn—Commercial Hub with Curb Appeal

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Downtown Brooklyn is a commercial, cultural, educational, and residential destination. It’s also New York’s City’s largest financial district outside Manhattan. Retail giants and technology start-ups have also found a home here, as have world-class art and cultural organizations, such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It also boasts 11 higher education institutions as well as outstanding entertainment, recreation, and nightlife. The area is also known for its rich architecture. A unique blend of Beaux Arts, Greek Revival, postwar, and contemporary buildings provide the perfect setting for neighborhood’s most desirable homes: townhouses, warehouse lofts, and brand-new high-rise condominiums.

Where is Downtown Brooklyn Located in NYC?

Downtown Brooklyn is in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, between Dumbo and Vinegar Hill to the north, Brooklyn Heights to the west, Boerum Hill to the south, and Fort Greene to the east.

  • East to West Boundaries: Hoyt Street to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE)
  • North to South Boundaries: Cadman Plaza to Navy Street
  • Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B, C, D, F, G, N, R, Q, W,
  • Ticket out of the City: Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Long Island Railroad, and the BQE

What to Do in Downtown Brooklyn?

The famed Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is an avant-garde multi-arts center. Its wide-ranging calendar of events include pop and classical music concerts, opera and musical theater, art exhibitions, and cinema. The Barclays Center also hosts concerts throughout the year, sporting events such as championship boxing, basketball, and ice hockey (it’s home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the NHL’s NY Islanders). Other arts and entertainment venues include MetroTech Center; BRIC Arts/Media House, which organizes events including the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park; and the Brooklyn Museum and the New York Transit Museum.

Downtown Brooklyn was designated as the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District in 2011. The 19th-century Brooklyn Borough Hall, built in the Greek Revival style and constructed from Tuckahoe marble, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Adding to the Old World ambience are several green spaces, including Walt Whitman Park (the poet was a Brooklyn resident) and the newly renovated Cadman Plaza Park.

What to See in Downtown Brooklyn?

Downtown Brooklyn is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York City. Its allure lies in its convenient location, just across the East River from Manhattan and bordering the trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods of Dumbo, Fort Greene, and Brooklyn Heights. The proximity to the Financial District makes it the perfect destination for financiers, lawyers, and business executives seeking a short commute to Wall Street.

The area’s many brand-new luxury developments offer stunning views of the lower Manhattan skyline. Among the notable offerings are high-end condominiums towers with concierge and valet services, fitness centers, and roof decks. Brooklyn Point is among several ultra-luxury developments in the works. Upon its completion in 2021, the 68-story tower at 138 Willoughby Street will feature the highest rooftop pool in the city, as well as a yoga studio and wine cellar. Joining it will be the 38-story Toren, the 40-story Oro, and the 57-story 11 Hoyt, with its striking undulating metal and glass façade. Other luxury real estate draws include elegant postwar condos and Victorian brownstones, and former warehouses, factories, and civic buildings, newly converted into contemporary apartments.

Where to Eat in Downtown Brooklyn?

Not just a hub for businesses, Downtown Brooklyn is a destination for dining and shopping. City Point is the neighborhood’s latest retail venue. Its innovative lower-level gourmet food hall, DeKalb Market Hall, features 40 vendors offering everything from fine desserts to artisanal pizza and gourmet hamburgers. It also the location for a Taste of Katz's, the Brooklyn outpost of world-famous Katz’s Delicatessen on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, the dining options range from classic New York diners, including Junior’s Restaurant, which has been serving cheesecakes since 1950, to exciting international hot spots including Ganso Ramen, recipient of the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmet Award four years in a row and La Defense, a classic French bistro in a chic, industrial space. Downtown Brooklyn’s bar scene is just as varied. Sophisticated hotel lounges and dimly lit cocktail lounges are found alongside quirky speakeasies and rustic Irish bars.

What Schools are in Downtown Brooklyn?

Eleven higher education campuses are in Downtown Brooklyn: Among them are the Brooklyn Law School, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, New York City College of Technology and Long Island University. There are several private schools, including Fusion Academy, the Brooklyn Friends School (preschool to 12th grade), and St. Joseph High Schools for girls.

How Many People Live in Downtown Brooklyn?

Population: 24,340 (2010)

What Languages Are Spoken in Downtown Brooklyn?

Language: English

What is the Currency in Downtown Brooklyn?

Currency: USD

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Downtown Brooklyn Map: Homes on the Market

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