View Full Version : Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn - What is it like?

October 22nd, 2003, 10:07 AM
I will be moving to NYC in the next 6 months and am looking for a brownstone in Brooklyn. I like some of the homes I see in the Prospect-Lefferts area but have never been there. Any information would be great...is it a nice place to live? What's the demographic? Is there public transportation? Couldn't find any info on google. Thanks!

TLOZ Link5
October 22nd, 2003, 12:02 PM
Are you looking to rent or buy? How many bedrooms would you need, and what's the price range?

May 2nd, 2009, 06:08 AM
^Ah :(, in memory of JB, then.

May 3, 2009
Habitats | Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Musicians Preferred; Loud Music O.K.



BREAK TIME The musician tenants of 75 and 99 Ocean Avenue include, from left, Greg Ritchie, Joris Roelofs, Maria Neckam, Massimo Biolcati, Peter Seymour, Jeremy Udden and Dan Tepfer.

CARMEN STAAF, a 28-year-old New England Conservatory-trained jazz pianist, does what she has to do to make ends meet. Last year, she played accordion in a musical about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/julius_rosenberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per), starring puppets. More recently, she played ragtime piano with a xylophone band — in a dog costume.

But those gigs were nothing compared with talking her way into a $920-a-month studio apartment big enough for a bed and a baby grand. “I kept pestering the landlords,” said Ms. Staaf, a finalist in a jazz competition this month at the Kennedy Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/k/kennedy_john_f_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in Washington. “I sent them a list of friends who lived in the building. I sent them my CD. It was like I was auditioning.”

Wait — her CD?

You’ve heard of singing for your supper. At 99 Ocean Avenue, in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/brooklyn/?inline=nyt-geo), you can sing for your shelter.

And end up living next door to someone just like you.

There’s Peter Seymour, 31, who has played string bass for the Cleveland Orchestra (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/cleveland_orchestra/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and whose chamber-music ensemble Project played to a standing-room-only crowd at Joe’s Pub in March. He lives upstairs from Mark Small, 34, a saxophone player who tours with the singer Michael Bublé, and next door to Dan Tepfer, a pianist and composer who recently performed at the Village Vanguard with the venerable jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz.

“I am very proud of them,” said Ivona Hertz, who owns the building and a sister building, at 75 Ocean Avenue, with her husband, Joseph.

The warm feelings are mutual. Ask Mr. Tepfer, 27, about his brilliant career — he won the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival solo piano competition and a Cole Porter (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/cole_porter/index.html?inline=nyt-per) fellowship from the American Pianists Association — and he’ll tell you: “I played at Ivona’s office party.”

When they bought the buildings 10 years ago, Ms. Hertz said, drug dealers were as thick as thieves, and the neighborhood had none of the creature comforts of nearby Park Slope. But the buildings sat right on Prospect Park and over a subway stop. The setting was perfect, in other words, for struggling artists who frequent Manhattan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo) and like to play Frisbee.

One musician moved in, paid his rent on time and recommended another, who recommended another. Noise complaints paradoxically went down, Ms. Hertz said, and evictions did, too. “It really works both ways,” she said. “We really have this symbiotic relationship.”

Word spread as fast as “The Flight of the Bumblebee.” At a time when cheap studios are in hot demand and other landlords want proof of steady work and a co-guarantor, Ms. Hertz mainly wants to know if you have friends inside and can carry a tune.

“I heard about it from Massimo,” said Jeremy Udden, a 30-year-old sax player, referring to the acoustic-bass player Massimo Biolcati, who was drawn in by a guitarist who has since moved on.

Today the stairwell railings are festooned with bikes, and the halls are alive with the sound of music. All told there are something like 40 musicians in the two buildings, an improvised community of creative souls who keep similar hours and share an impulse to jam.

“It helps me get through the tough side of being a musician in New York,” said Greg Ritchie, 29, a drummer who got Joris Roelofs, 25, a Dutch sax and clarinet player, to move in, too.

If the wind along Ocean Avenue kicks up dust, litter and drifters, this side of the park also offers certain advantages. Gesturing at his 203-year-old string bass, Mr. Seymour said he was drawn here “because I play this instrument, I need a car, and you can find a parking spot 100 percent of the time.”

And the odd bedbug invasion aside, consider the alternatives, say the French couple Willemine Dassonville, 28, and Julien Augier, 33. She’s a ceramist, he plays drums, and they fled a house-sitting gig in Greenwich, Conn., where, Ms. Dassonville suggested, they were dying of ennui.

Other tenants have escaped from what one described as “roommate situations,” or what you might call “high-rent fatigue.” Mr. Small, whose $900 studio accommodates a drum set, a guitar, a keyboard, a flute, a clarinet and “various saxes,” says he can’t help but compare his setup with a friend’s near Carnegie Hall (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/carnegie_hall/index.html?inline=nyt-org). “She pays $2,200 for a place smaller than mine,” Mr. Small said. “I have a queen bed. She has a twin.”

Studios typically are 190 square feet, plus a kitchenette, a full bath, a small hallway and two or three closets. To make space for his bed, Mr. Tepfer built a loft over his baby grand. Mr. Ritchie squeezed an upright piano into a closet. Mr. Seymour, who had a spacious loft in Cleveland, has been so comfy in his minute digs that he persuaded an actress, Kim Carpenter, to move in, too. There’s plenty of elbow room as long as they don’t open a drawer.

You have to wonder if visitors from out of town are surprised by some aspects of life on Ocean Avenue. The lobby at No. 75 has a baffling décor, marrying an indescribable green with a vast emptiness. A stairwell window at No. 99 is pierced with round holes suggesting — well, parents, let’s not go there.

Some apartments overlook Prospect Park and others a Caillebotte tapestry of train tracks and brick buildings, while a third group sits on a small courtyard, exchanging daylight for relative quiet — from the outside, anyway. One courtyard dweller and vocalist, Maria Neckam, 23, speculates that her predecessor wasn’t much of a jazz fan: Witness the dents in her tin ceiling.

Generally, there’s a tacit no-music-after-10 policy, and any boom-chica-boom you hear before then can be considered a reminder to get back to work. “Everyone is very respectful,” Mr. Seymour said. Or at least they are most of the time: When he and Ms. Carpenter had trouble sleeping one night, they knocked on Mr. Tepfer’s door and handed him a plate of cookies.

Some studio dwellers hope to trade up to one of the rare one-bedrooms, which Ms. Hertz doles out based on the same combination of pestering, patience and credentialing that gets people into the buildings in the first place.

Mr. Biolcati, 36, has already made the leap, furnishing his new place with sparse restraint: shelves by Ikea (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/ikea/index.html?inline=nyt-org), books by German philosophers. It’s quite a change from the deluxe digs in Los Angeles (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/great-homes-and-destinations/destinations/southern-california/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) that came with a fellowship he once had at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

But “I’m here for the music, not to be pampered,” he said.

“It feels like home,” he added. “When I’m on the road, I miss it.”


May 2nd, 2009, 07:11 PM
The only bad thing about PLG is Flatbush Ave.

May 30th, 2009, 04:07 AM
The PLG House & Garden Tour is This Weekend

Fenimore Street Garden

The 39th Annual Prospect Lefferts Gardens House and Garden tour will happen this Sunday, May 31st, from noon until 5 p.m. According to the organizers, the tour will include 11 stops ranging from "a 1905 brick home where 'urban archaeology' has revealed original beauty beneath a century of paint and various remodeling; restoration/rejuvenation is given an exotic twist by adding ancient Moroccan, Portuguese, and Turkish accents" to "the eco-friendly renovation of a two-family 1910-11 home, with an abundance of stained and slag glass, maintains its historic detail while providing an open, airy and contemporary feel." The photos above give a taste of some of the tour's stops. Tickets cost $20 if you buy them in advance and $25 day-of; tickets can be purchased on the day of the tour at K-Dog & Dunebuggy (http://kdoganddunebuggy.com/) at 43 Lincoln Road, which is also the event's starting point. Tour proceeds will benefit the Lefferts Manor Association (http://www.leffertsmanor.org/wordpress/). More info is available by calling 718.284.6210 or 718.462.0024.


April 11th, 2011, 02:20 PM
dppuchol (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55494611@N05/5580888076/sizes/l/in/pool-47438114@N00/)

dppuchol (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55494611@N05/5580307343/sizes/l/in/pool-47438114@N00//)

dppuchol (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55494611@N05/5580307343/sizes/l/in/pool-47438114@N00//)

April 12th, 2011, 06:00 AM
^ OMG! Architecture Heaven.

April 14th, 2011, 09:37 PM
Yup that's my 'hood.

August 9th, 2013, 07:43 AM
Greenest Block in Brooklyn finally awarded to foliage filled street in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Judges gave the block on Sterling St. between Washington and Bedford Avenues top honors. The street edged out nearly 200 contenders to win contest sponsored by Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

By Tanay Warerkar And Reuven Blau

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Residents added 30 whiskey barrels filled with flowers and other vegetations.
The eighth time was the charm for this Brooklyn block.

A street adorned with whiskey barrels packed with lush vines and bright flowers in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens has finally won the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest after trying for nearly a decade.

Judges gave the block on Sterling St. between Washington and Bedford Avenues top honors. They cited how many of the residents at the 70 homes and apartments on the block watered each other's plants when they were away and offered gardening pointers.

https://www.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1419408.1375830720%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/block7k-5-web.jpg Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Flower pots are a common site on the Greenest Block in Brooklyn.

"Everywhere we looked we could see there were garden projects that they had worked on together," said Robin Simmen, director of GreenBridge, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden program that runs the contest.

A group of especially enthusiastic gardeners on helps elderly neighbors who can't bend down or water their plants.

Despite their green thumb, the block finished in fourth place last year.

https://www.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1419411.1375830789%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/block7k-2-web.jpg Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Alicia Boyd helped her two elderly neighbors spruce up their yards. That and other neighborly team efforts were a large factor in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn win.

So this summer residents determined to earn higher marks. One example was them adding 30 whiskey barrels and filling them with petunias and other plants.

Residents filled the barrels with thriller (a small tree or tall grass) spiller (sweet potato vines or vinca vines) and filler (begonias or petunia flowers).

"They just gave a little color and life to the garden," said Claudia Loftis, 70, the chair of the block's garden committee.

https://www.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1419409.1375830849%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/block7k-4-web.jpg Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The front yard of one of the homes on the Greenest Block in Brooklyn.

The block is also decked out with black-eyed Susans — which look like small sunflowers — and purple cone flowers which have lavender petals.

Botanic Garden judges checked the block three times before deciding to name it the winner, which will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I've seen other blocks that are greener around here. But I think our win shows how much we have really improved as a community," Lorraine Thomas, 58, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Black-Eyed Susans adorn the front of this home on the Greenest Block in Brooklyn.

But some nearby residents were green with envy.

"This block was voted greenest? Really?" said Attila Mussa, who lives on the adjacent block. "I mean this is a really nice block and all and I love walking on it, but I thought our block was the greenest."

The winning group on the winning block gets a $300 check for beating nearly 200 contenders from Bay Ridge to Brooklyn Heights in the 19th annual competition. They'll use the money to build a children's garden that will include edible vegetables to share amongst the residents.


August 10th, 2013, 07:10 PM
Very impressive.

March 17th, 2015, 01:17 AM
Very sad that these are going :(.

Three Wood Frame Houses Demo’d for Karl Fischer-Designed Apartments

by Rebecca

Photo via Brooklynia

Three adorable wood frame Victorians are being torn down on Bedford Avenue between Lenox and Caton Avenues in Flatbush, according to a Brooklynian poster (http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/45346/3-victorian-wood-frames-coming-down-on-bedford-ave-lenox-and-caton) who snapped this photo. They’re coming down to make way for an eight-story Karl Fischer-designed building at 2100 Bedford Avenue, according to permits (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=2&passjobnumber=321042386&passdocnumber=01) filed in December. The new development will have 78 units spread across 60,074 square feet, as well as 40 parking spaces on the cellar and first floor.

The properties at 2100-2110 Bedford Avenue sold for a combined $4,600,000 last year, public records (http://a836-acris.nyc.gov/DS/DocumentSearch/DocumentDetail?doc_id=2014091000296001) show. Each of the homes sits on a lot that’s 40 feet wide and at least 100 feet deep, which means that a developer will have a 15,000-square-foot plot once the houses have bitten the dust.

Wood frame houses are falling prey to development all over the borough, and activity is especially intense in PLG and Flatbush right now.


Google Street View (https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/2100+Bedford+Ave,+Brooklyn,+NY+11226,+USA/@40.65325,-73.956097,3a,75y,277.03h,86.41t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sqrjXMgJi-xTODuxxgA5rZw!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c25b6a624fc5f1:0x4 0a4109cf9f52291!6m1!1e1)