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Safe to stay in Brooklyn

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We are a British family of 5 (parents and 3 older teenagers) visiting the USA in August 2014 for an east coast road trip. We are renting a car for the whole trip because we want to take in both city and countryside locations. We wish to visit New York (Manhattan) in the middle of the trip for about 4 days. We prefer to rent an apartment rather than use hotels and want somewhere where we can park the rental car. There seem to be a lot of apartments available at reasonable prices in Brooklyn - many around the east side of Prospect Park. Can anyone advise whether this would be safe to a) park a rental car on the street, b) ride the subway to Manhattan and c) walk a couple of blocks from the subway station back to the apartment after an evening out in Manhattan (up to midnight). I appreciate that it may depend upon the specific address but some general guidance as to whether it is a mad idea or whether it is feasible subject to the exact address would be appreciated.
Many thanks.

PS. We will then be driving up to Boston. Is it worthwhile driving up Long Island and getting the ferry across to New London?

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