Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill Travel Guide
  • Photo: Jennifer Arnow

Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill

A side-by-side duo in the heart of Brooklyn, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill are among the borough’s most picturesque areas for strolling past redbrick row houses and brownstone town houses and churches. Greek Revival and Italianate styles predominate among the 19th-century structures, but many other influences can be detected as well. Strong Place and Tompkins Place, two sedate one-block streets, contain a cross-section of Cobble Hill's architectural styles. Cobble Hill, south of Brooklyn Heights, and Boerum Hill, south of Downtown Brooklyn, are classic working-class neighborhoods with hints of their largely Italian-American roots. The area has become more upscale, though, and is now better known for housing many of New York's intelligentsia—and the restaurants and cafés they love. Cobble Hill is named for the piles of cobblestones used as ballast for ships leaving the port in Red Hook, to the southwest, during the 19th century; a family farm back in colonial times provided Boerum Hill its moniker. Smith and Court streets, the two main commercial arteries, run parallel to each other through the neighborhoods and offer excellent dining and shopping. Busy Atlantic Avenue tempts with its antiques stores, home-decor boutiques, and Middle Eastern delis and bakeries.

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