Safety--please respond!!! — Brooklynian

Safety--please respond!!!

hello,

I am about to sign a lease on an apartment in bushwick. I have heard some not so good things about bushwick, and I am very hesitant to believe the broker that the area is good.

I would be on Halsey about one block from the L train. Walking around during the day I felt safe, and I won't have the chance to visit at night.

I Am a young female and will be living with another girl my age.

Will the part of bushwick be safe??

All thoughts would be appreciated!!

Thank you!

Comments

  • OMG!

    Do not do it!

    Before I landed in Park Slope I lived in the Bushwick area near Livonia Ave for all but 4 months. I too was hoodwinked by the realtor who only would show my the apt in the morning and usually on a Tuesday or Sunday.

    For starters Bushwick has the highest level of documented crime in all of NYC. Please check the crime stats at your local precinct and know what you are getting into. I felt like a frontierswoman settling in tribal lands. The locals hate new faces with a passion. If you do intend on staying get a fierce dog.

    A WORD TO THE WISE!

  • Bushwick is no worse than most other parts of NYC.

    If at all possible, walk around at night to see how you feel. Some blocks are better than others.

    As a single female you should be extra cautious. But as with anyone in any neighborhood: be smart, be friendly, don't come home fall down drunk at 2 am, smile at your neighbors, don't flash your iphone or ipad, etc etc.

    Walk around, see how comfortable you feel. There's lots of cool stuff in Bushwick.

  • Mr. Boy is living in a bubble. He advises you to walk into danger and then make up your mind. Please spare yourself this trauma.

    Allow the crime stats of your area to persuade you.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs075pct.pdf

    Keep in mind that these are only the statistics that the N.Y.P.D cant hide or does bother to report. We all know that there is more crime than is usually admitted to by the N.Y.P.D.

  • Arc is cynically fearmongering, as she does in almost every thread she posts in.

    I've spent plenty of time in Bushwick and have single female friends who live there.

    Using abstract crime statistics as your sole analysis is a poor way to do things.

  • come on stats dont lie! there has been a 68% drop in crime over the last 18 years for that precinct. It all depends on you. You have to be comfortable, so you need to check it out at night and see what you think.

    Crime happens all over the city its not just one neighborhood. "In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty".

  • Agree with BG. Around Halsey St (L) is a nice enough area. Lots of families, good cheap eats in a number and variety of restaurants in Bushwick, decent transit options, actually L train is pretty great. You’ll be fine. And get a bike. :)

    LOA: You lived on Livonia for how long without noticing it is *miles* distant from Bushwick?

  • Fear mongering?

    WTF!

    I always think myself as being a realist and I refuse to bury my head in the sand like so many people on this forum who seem only interested in keeping property values up.

    Do you notice that the people who are telling you to move in don't even live in Bushwick and yet I lived there and I speak from experience. Why on Earth are they telling you to ignore my advice? Why are people so intent on ignoring the crime stats or better yet they keep comparing today's numbers to the numbers of 18 years ago?

    The fact of the matter is that Bushwick has historically had the highest levels of crime in the city...PERIOD! If you are fine living in an area where your chances of being a crime victim are quadrupled then by all means move in and while you are there make sure you get that all important bicycle.

  • Yes, a bicycle will be very helpful for short trips within Bushwick for food shopping and socializing. What a great idea!

  • Also BTW there is a pretty big thrift store near the Jefferson (L) stop. For kitchenware, tableware, for example. I forget the exact address though. A little bit uphill (east) from there. Do you remember it BG?

  • There’s a few converted factories, artists lofts around there. Most of that type of thing is down in the flatland around the Newtown Creek on the way to Williamsburg, though.

  • To generalize I would say the population north of Myrtle has more Mexican influence and south of Myrtle has more Dominican. Going east into Ridgewood becomes more stodgy, middle class, but people all over are very house-proud.

    I really do like the area though, the scale of it, that there are trees on some of the streets. A lot of the buildings are pretty old. Bushwick goes way back in terms of first development of streets and houses. Because it was on a hill, I guess.

  • Notice up top of the web page there is a photo from a Flickr pool? A lot of the photos come from the same people. One of them, Chris Arnade, has taken a lot of really charming photos of people in Bushwick. Check out his photos. He has been on point consistently for a while now.

    This is his Bushwick set:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnade/sets/72157624227261416/

  • @Boygabriel: If you can't show your iphone or ipod, that does not sounds like a safe place to me.

  • Thank you Rosita. These are simple luxuries that elude Mr. Boy. If one needs to walk around constantly looking over one's shoulder and hiding one's trinkets from public view then no this should not be a place you should be living in.

  • You don't want to use your phone or your ipod at night anywhere in NYC, or in any other large city where some people have much less money than others. You don't want to tempt potential muggers, who are in all large cities, and you do not want to distract yourself such that you are not totally aware of your surroundings.

    My wife's wallet was lifted out of her purse by a pre-teen thief (whom we caught in the act) in Paris, France. These things happen everywhere.

    Don't run scared; walk smart.

  • Rosita said:

    @Boygabriel: If you can't show your iphone or ipod, that does not sounds like a safe place to me.

    That's an example of advice I would give to anyone living anywhere in the city. It is in no way unique to Bushwick.

  • Bushwick has a high incidence of petty theft. This is not a place to live in. If you don't mind walking in an area where you must be attentive to your surrounding 100% of the time then I suggest you do not live in Bushwick. People have to stop acting like nothing is going on and everything is peachy. Bushwick is no Park Slope and as we all know I already have had my dealings with criminals in Park Slope. Imagine what you will go through if you lived in Bushwick.

    If you do choose to stay and make nice with the locals then good luck and I will say a prayer for you.

  • Sorry I have lived in NYC all my life and I don't think it's normal to have to look over your shoulder 24 hours a day. @ booklaw, You can get a cell phone for free if you are on food stamps or low income. I work with a mostly public assistance population and they all have cell phones, so I don't think it is a luxury anymore.

  • sandcastler said:

    Notice up top of the web page there is a photo from a Flickr pool? A lot of the photos come from the same people. One of them, Chris Arnade, has taken a lot of really charming photos of people in Bushwick. Check out his photos. He has been on point consistently for a while now.

    This is his Bushwick set:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnade/sets/72157624227261416/

    Excellent photos indeed.

    Brownstoner also ran a piece recently that adds to your comment on how "houseproud" many of the residents are.

    The story is here http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2011/07/a-five-year-bushwick-reno-that-didnt-break-the-bank/#kitchenbefore-1

    Although I dont plan on moving to Bushwick, the renovation on a budget guy sounds like he'd make a good neighbor for the OPs or anyone else.

  • Move to Park Slope. Its much safer....and nicer.

  • or Bay Ridge, Greenwood Hts or Sunset Park. Little cheaper than Park Slope

  • Lets be a little more honest to the "new/future Brooklyn dwellers":

    1) If you want nice coffee shops, pretty apartments with nice quiet neighbors, safe streets, that are actually patrolled and cleaned regularly, you will have to live in a high income neighborhood. Bushwick is not high income, like say 7th and 9th street Park slope. Now I am NOT SAYING THAT BUSHWICK IS NOT NICE. I am telling you that what is nice to you may or may-not be Bushwick.

    If you read below I give you some general tips, but first:

    2) People are right, you DO have to find YOUR OWN COMFORT LEVEL, however, just know that the reason why your rent may be cheaper is because, people drink and stand outside your window all night, destroy/tag your property, possibly follow you home at night, snatch and grab your Ipod, leave beer cans and trash all over the place and throw loud parties DAILY all summer long. Read the threads on this here Brooklynian website. Notice how many shootings you see going on in Crown Heights and how many you see going on in Park Slope. Now that you see that, Compare the rent for a studio in Park Slope verses Crown Heights.

    Here are my tips for evaluating a potential place:

    TELL TALE signs of high crime areas:

    Restaurants/stores serving food or items through plexi-glass.

    Restaurants without seating ("cash n carry" only)

    Most or all stores in the area are closed by dusk/dark

    Large groups of people, especially groups of young men "just sitting around" on stoops or in front of buildings with deck chairs/folding chairs etc.

    Trash overflowing or vacant un-mowed trash filled empty lots.

    No flowers/ no plants/no window gardens ANYWHERE

    Lots of graffiti/ tags/scrachitti (glass that has been scraped with tags/signs/words)

    Open fire hydrants/ either no longer pumping out water, or with water gushing and kids playing in it.

    Stray dogs running loose.

    Trash in the streets for days on end (even in busy commercial areas like Union Square in Manhattan) by the next morning the streets have been cleaned again).

    Women without handbags after dark

    Nice cars with out of state license plates driving in and out of your area FREQUENTLY.

    Speakers propped up into open windows of apartments or parked cars with stereos blasting (for hours on end)

    If you see anything like what I described above, you may think twice about moving there. Trust the stores/store owners. They are there to make money, without losing money. If they don't feel safe enough, to have their stores open to the public after certain hours, how safe should you feel walking through that area or living there? Why would a restaurant refuse to provide seating for it's patrons? Well maybe because when they did, they ended up with drunken loiterers and thugs getting into fights and wrecking up the furniture.

    Put 2 and 2 together, read between the lines. Search the threads on this board and on various other Brooklyn resident websites. Visit the place even in the daytime and notice, whether the place you looked at, has any of the signs I listed above and make an informed decision. What I listed above are instances where small crimes (opening a fire hydrant/ loitering/excessive noise beyond ordinances and without a permit/grafitti, littering etc) are committed all the time without police intervention. If that is going on, you just know that there is probably bigger fish the cops are trying to fry. Also, businesses are pretty savvy. They are not investing in extra security (plexi-glass) unless they feel they need it.

    Good luck stay safe.

    PS:

    I think you are really In Bed Stuy. Before the realtors started calling Bushwick "East Williamsburg" and Bed Stuy "Bushwick", Halsey St. below Broadway is really the beginning of Bed Stuy and the very tail END of Bushwick.

  • First off, Livonia Ave. is in East New York. No way and no how is it in Bushwick. The location of Halsey near the L train is by no means near or in the same neighborhood as Livonia Ave.

    Secondly, it would be better to stay in a hotel or a sublet for a week or so, if possible, before agreeing to sign a lease in a neighborhood that you know nothing about. Safety is an issue in every area of the city, so don't be lulled into a false sense of security wherever you are.

    Lastly, although Bushwick deals with many issues that lower income areas often bring, many newer residents seem to love it there. Bushwick continues to grow and change as real estate agent continue to convince new comers that it's actually East Williamsburg. (I couldn't help throwing that part in. :wink: )

  • Dear Psycho-ologist, Thank you for steering the conversation in a more honest direction. Your definitional idea of what to look out for in general is fair and is obviously informed by your own real experiences of many places and esp. your current living sitch -- about which good luck with that. But to be clear, you are not talking about your own observations of the area she was asking about, correct?

    When you suggest that her prospective apartment may be in Bed-Stuy, perhaps you’re thinking of the Halsey stop on the (J) train? She is asking about the Halsey stop on the (L) train, which is on Wyckoff Ave, and is most certainly in Bushwick.

    There *are* some very nice places in the area she’s asking about. She describes her prospective apartment as being about a block away from the subway. Look for example at the intersection of Weirfield and Irving (on the google street view). Looks nice, doesn’t it? Tidy streets, posh, well-maintained limestones. I imagine this would fulfill your exacting specifications. Other blocks not so much, though. It is a heterogenous area.

    About the subway entrance. I have eaten at one of those restaurants and enjoyed a good home-style dominican meal. (Roast chicken, yellow rice and pinto beans, maduros, cafe con leche, FWIW.) The people were very nice, both those working there and those eating there. It was not fancy, but their welcome was real and deeply appreciated. Also notice that there is a Red Carpet Inn right at the subway entrance. That is probably a good thing. Another time, I went to a music show on that block. It was two Winters ago. It was snowy and cold and very late when we left it (around 2 AM). The gas station on the same corner with the subway was open, the person tending the counter was helpful, called one of his car-service buddies for us.

    I, too, wish that someone who actually *lived* right there would give better and more complete and more recent observations to the OP but so far that has not happened, and the time frame given was so short that it is unlikely to happen on this blog. After all, most of the regular posters seem to be from Prospect Heights and Park Slope.

  • sandcastler said:

    Dear Psycho-ologist, Thank you for steering the conversation in a more honest direction. Your definitional idea of what to look out for in general is fair and is obviously informed by your own real experiences of many places and esp. your current living sitch -- about which good luck with that. But to be clear, you are not talking about your own observations of the area she was asking about, correct?

    When you suggest that her prospective apartment may be in Bed-Stuy, perhaps you’re thinking of the Halsey stop on the (J) train? She is asking about the Halsey stop on the (L) train, which is on Wyckoff Ave, and is most certainly in Bushwick.

    There *are* some very nice places in the area she’s asking about. She describes her prospective apartment as being about a block away from the subway. Look for example at the intersection of Weirfield and Irving (on the google street view). Looks nice, doesn’t it? Tidy streets, posh, well-maintained limestones. I imagine this would fulfill your exacting specifications. Other blocks not so much, though. It is a heterogenous area.

    About the subway entrance. I have eaten at one of those restaurants and enjoyed a good home-style dominican meal. (Roast chicken, yellow rice and pinto beans, maduros, cafe con leche, FWIW.) The people were very nice, both those working there and those eating there. It was not fancy, but their welcome was real and deeply appreciated. Also notice that there is a Red Carpet Inn right at the subway entrance. That is probably a good thing. Another time, I went to a music show on that block. It was two Winters ago. It was snowy and cold and very late when we left it (around 2 AM). The gas station on the same corner with the subway was open, the person tending the counter was helpful, called one of his car-service buddies for us.

    I, too, wish that someone who actually *lived* right there would give better and more complete and more recent observations to the OP but so far that has not happened, and the time frame given was so short that it is unlikely to happen on this blog. After all, most of the regular posters seem to be from Prospect Heights and Park Slope.

    I will be brutally honest. While I don't live in Park Slope yet. I don't have my license therefore my earning potential is not enough yet. The problems I have in my area Sandcatsler , are a FAAAR cry from what I am describing. I have had ex's who have lived around that L train stop where she was describing, and there were several bodega's around there that had plexi-glass and wouldn't let you into the store after certain hours. One "decent looking" block does not a neighborhood make. I want you to make note of the fact that I was strictly referring to the presence of plexi-glass in restaurants/stores. I was not referring to "fancy/schmancy" white table cloth restaurants. I have eaten in many "dives" before as well as ethnic places. I am talking about SECURITY, not ethnicity or low income folks per se: read on I will explain the difference.

    Its also desolate around there at night, with not much in the way of restaurants amenities or food/clothing/pharmacy stores.

    Where I live now, we have some 24 hour restaurants/diners (two within blocks of me), with seating and everything. You can walk for several blocks in many different directions in my area and not come across what I described earlier. I am not trying to offend anyone here, but I will be honest and just say, rule of thumb single ladies: small crimes unpunished lead to bigger crimes. If you see stores with extra security measures they did that FOR A REASON. All my corner stores around me are open 24 hours with no plexi-glass. I knew moving into Sunset Park, wouldn't be luxury. I am low dough and at the time I was still in grad school, however, even then I followed a lot of the rules I listed above, and am happier for it. I will be honest with you. There are very poor neighborhoods like parts of White stone (Queens) or Parts of Corona in Queens, but I would feel safer in both those nabs, because however poor the people are there, they maintain some sort of social dignity. Therefore the amenities (stores) respond in kind by being open late without plexi-glass. The folks there work, and tend to sleep at night. they may be immigrant families who take pride in the appearance of their yards.

    No offense to anyone. If you are a woman and work/go out at crazy hours, you should just be aware of the significance of certain behaviors. They usually go hand in hand with drug dealings, etc, the dealers bring in the drug addicts who do the mugging, and trash the neighborhood. Poverty does not equal criminality, but if you are going to pick a neighborhood, pick one where you know the people are just POOR and NOT POOR DELINQUENTS.

  • Aw man,,, you describe most places I’ve lived! :) Everything’s closed by eight or ten or eleven. The one bodega that stays open locks their front door and sells through the little plexi turntable to their customers who queue on the sidewalk... and you don’t like that? OK.

    While our interpretations differ we can agree on facts. This is why people always recommend going there for yourself. One says it’s scarily desolate late at night, another says it is blessedly quiet.

    If a variety of late-night retail and service commerces on your block or right around the corner is what you want, then the Halsey area is not for you. Up around Myrtle there are such commerces open late at night. A good eight to ten blocks away.

    As is the pattern in many areas of northernmost Brooklyn, many of the blocks around Halsey are zoned for mixed-use (light-industrial, commercial, and residential, all on the same block.) At quitting time, those many little one-story craft fabrication, woodwork, machine shop, auto garages, etc., all roll down their gates and everybody goes home.

    Of course it is true that “one block does not a neighborhood make.” So let’s look at Norman Street then. The opposite direction from Weirfield, also about a block from the subway. Mix of wood-frame and brick houses, not as posh, but just as tidy. Picture-perfect. Someone has even put flowers in a vase out in their little fenced-in front terrace. This is how I remember it, house-proud.

    But so we two are starting to paint a picture of the area based on real first-hand experiences of it, right? Too bad we can not report about her specific block. Too bad this is probably all coming too late to help the her. Days have gone by. With leases you have to move it or lose it.

    The way I look at it is, time and money are always factors. It’s a rental. It’s available. It’s affordable. In the day it seemed fine. And it’s theirs if they want it. That’s all worth something. If they do take it, it’ll be fine for a while, then they’ll move on. Because you can look and look and never find the perfect place within your budget. Or you can pick one that is good enough, and go with it, for now. It’s a rental. It’s not forever.

  • Or you can pick one that is good enough, and go with it, for now. It’s a rental. It’s not forever.

    Exactly.

    ...Although there are worse neighborhoods than Bushwick, one can temporarily live in the worst of neighborhoods and be fine as long as one understands their surroundings, and presents themselves as a very unattractive and unavailable target.

    But, yes, the 1st of the month has come and gone, and the OP has already chosen to live somewhere.

  • I second Sandcastle and whynot's posts. This person has moved on (or in) already.

    That said, I know plenty of renters that moved to a brooklyn neighborhood or manhattan nabe-apartment and realized that it was not their cup of tea. Whatever, no big deal. They moved, it's not like they bought the damn place. Don't go off screaming "LOCK YOU DOORS" [look it up -for the brooklynian new members] and fear mongering.

  • I would not take advice from anyone who does not even know where the heck they were living. Looking at YOU Lillith. Seriously. You speak ill of Bushwick and didn't even live there.

    Livonia Ave?! Sheesh. I hope you don't think you live in the slope but are actually in redhook or something :)

    I've lived in Bushwick for nearly 10 years. Is it pretty and perfect and sterile safe? NO.

    Is it crime riddled and the most horrific warzone known to man, as portrayed by Lillithwhodidntevenlivethereofarc? Of course not. That would be an idiotic thing to say.

This discussion has been closed.