So here’s the situation: Double-income, no-kids Upper West Side couple—living in a posh one-bedroom co-op on Central Park—are considering giving it all up for a townhouse in Park Slope.
They like the idea of buying an entire brownstone for the price of their one-bedroom, and crave neighborhoodliness over the increasingly “Big Box” West 60s. But they’re worried about the commute, fewer services, and the prospect of joining the kidless minority in the famously family-style burgh of Park Slope.
What to do? Ask Brooklyn's Brownstoner crowd for advice, of course:
On the bright side…
- Brownstones in Park Slope are more affordable.
- The commute isn’t so bad because you have time to read
- The expense of taking taxis home late at night is offset by the fact that you can’t hail taxis in Brooklyn
- The lower level of services is offset by “delightful” neighborhoods and a plethora of inexpensive & available handymen
- Stroller traffic jams aren’t bad if you live in the north instead of Center Slope
- You'll enjoy the smaller scale, better independent shopping, and cool indigo evening sky at season changes
- Prospect Park is incredible and relatively tourist-free compared to Central Park
- 5th Avenue restaurants are some of the best reviewed in the city
On the dark side…
- Living in a brownstone means you have to shovel the walk, sort trash, and journey to the basement to read the electric meter for ConEd
- You will never see your UWS friends, because the commute is horrible especially on the weekends
- Prospect Park doesn't really compare to Central Park
- There are fewer services and amenities
- You can’t hail a taxi
- There are too many kids in possession of parents with a sense of entitlement
- Your commute will be longer and you’ll probably have to stand during rush hour
- The commute to your weekend house may be longer
Whatever their decision, we agree they've got the right approach: Fall for the neighborhood first, the house second.