With a pale Scandinavian vibe and sunlight around every corner, this modestly-sized single-family home at 268 East 9th Street in Kensington has been thoughtfully renovated for modern life. Three exposures, a skylight, a quaint–and rare–front porch and a large fenced backyard add to the country-in-the-city feeling.
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It’s not everyday you find a condo apartment with its own solarium—especially in the quiet, suburban-like neighborhood of Kensington, Brooklyn. This is the top floor apartment at 734 East 5th Street, an eight-unit, four-story development built in 2005. A wall of complete glass lines the east end of the apartment, creating a small solarium above the dining area. It leads out onto a patio, which isn’t even the only outdoor option in this sun-flooded space.
You might call Kensington an “under-the-radar” neighborhood of Brooklyn–it doesn’t get a lot of press coverage, it isn’t known for any of Brooklyn’s famous brownstone architecture, and it only covers 107 square blocks a little further south in the borough. But it’s still a lovely, family-friendly area with great townhouses and proximity to both Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery.
This three-story townhouse at 277 East 9th Street has been totally and completely renovated by a “boutique developer” who, according to the listing, “spared no expense.” The ask of $1.575 million obviously isn’t cheap, but you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck in a borough where townhouses that need major upgrading still go for up to $2 million. Here, at least, there are no renovations needed.
The ‘American Dream’ may have dominated the last few decades, causing a mass exodus to the suburbs, but today’s families are reversing the trend and turning their attention back to the city. The reasons are many: An appreciation for cultural offerings, the camaraderie and creative cross-pollination of networks of colleagues, friends and family, the convenience of being able to walk or bike to school, work or child care without a long commute—just to name a few. New York City has always been a haven for the forward-thinking, albeit a challenging one. And its newly-”discovered” outer boroughs as well as an unprecedentedly low crime rate have made the city a prime choice for family living.
But what is it about those city kids—the ones with parents who planned from the start to raise their kids in a non-stop urban environment? We interrupted the busy schedules of five families currently raising school-age (or soon-to-be) children in New York City’s many diverse and multifaceted neighborhoods to get some insight about why they wouldn’t have it any other way.