The L Mag: The 50 Best Blocks in Brooklyn

The L Mag’s annual 50 Best Blocks in Brooklyn was posted last week. Among the best included a few in Dumbo, one in Vinegar Hill, and Brooklyn Heights:

Plymouth Street

Best Urban Palimpsest: Plymouth Street, between Washington and Main streets, DUMBO
“On one side are old Gairville warehouses, repurposed for start-ups and a (now out-of-business) restaurant; on the other, a mod Brooklyn Bridge Park playground. In the middle are belgian blocks cut through with decommissioned rails, driving over which you might spot an aughts-model sports car (as we did the other day).”

Miso Sushi

Best Honest-to-Goodness Alleyway: Howard Alley, DUMBO
“Watch a Hollywood movie set in NYC, and you’ll likely see at some point a character dash down an alley. But truth is this city ain’t got many alleys, at least not anymore. (It’s the one thing Chicago has on us.) But this back-passage in DUMBO looks just like the genuine article—much cooler than nearby Fleet Alley, a glorified driveway—complete with a scary door at its end we’d dare never approach, let alone pass through.”

Front Street

Best-Smelling Block: Front Street, between Adams and Washington streets, DUMBO
“We walk down this street to work almost every day and are greeted by olfactory goodness. First the smell of freshly made juices from Foragers, then the toasted bread from the panini grill at Al Mar, and finally the scent of bacon-y goodness from Peas & Pickles. Then, of course, you cross the street and get assaulted by the mysterious sewage smell outside of West Elm and are forced to recognize that happiness is fleeting and garbage is always around the corner. Such is life.”

Cutest Private Street: Harrison Alley, Vinegar Hill
“If you’ve never wandered through the strange few blocks that constitute Vinegar Hill, you really should. Like, just around the corner from the popular Vinegar Hill House restaurant is this alley, basically a driveway, long-since (always?) fenced off by the people who live in the house at its end. (A curious sculpture surrounds their mailbox on the public side of the fence.) Yet it still has an official city street sign, adorably hanging off a crooked pole.”

Best Bike Lane Block: Flushing Avenue, between Washington Avenue and Hall Street, Clinton Hill
“Just in general, Flushing is one of the borough’s most reliable thoroughfares for cyclists, but the stretch along the Brooklyn Navy Yards, starting at Washington? Pure bliss. Here, there’s an actual cement barrier separating you and your bike from oblivious drivers. It’s almost too good to be true!”

(One of) Five Best Blocks to Live On
College Place, Brooklyn Heights
“Love Lane is the one everyone knows, but it’s this side street off that side street that’s really where you’ll find some of the prettiest housing stock in Brooklyn. Get down to the end and it’s just ridiculously European—plus totally secluded, even though you’re a very short walk away from stores and subways.”

{4 of 50 Best Brooklyn Blocks in Dumbo, 03Nov2010}