Crown Heights, Brooklyn is home to Ebbets Field Apartments and where I reside. Prior to being built, Ebbets Field Apartments was a baseball field and home to the Brooklyn Dodgers only about 50 years ago. So one could imagine that it has always been a fairly populated area attracting baseball lovers from all over. However, much has changed since then. Crown Heights is an urban area. Subway lines and bus lines include the B, Q, S, 2, 3, 4, 5, B49, B48, B43, and the B44. Nearly every fast food chain imaginable is within walking distance and with attractions such as Prospect Park, Prospect Park Zoo, The Botanical Garden, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Grand Army Brooklyn Public Library all within a 5 block radius one can be led to believe the area is primarily commercial. But these are the exact reasons why living here is so enjoyable.
Many of the residential buildings look the same; they’re all laid with reddish-brown brick and cement which gives the impression that they are sturdy and heavy. The bricks are not smooth, of course. They are rugged. There are little to no single family homes. Most of the residential buildings are multifamily homes or apartment buildings with 20+ stories. To me, this gives off a sense of peace, unity, and COMMUNITY among the residents. The 2-3 family homes appear average sized when standing in front of or next to them; they are not overwhelming at all. They’re quite welcoming actually. However, many of the apartment buildings like mine, for example, which varies from 21 to 25 stories and totals 1300 apartment units, can be seen from great distances away. So when standing in front of the building it almost feels as though the building can fall on you at any time.
The commercial buildings tend to be more exciting and ornate. For example, Medgar Evers College is next door to my apartment building and their buildings are made with 50% or more of glass. This makes the building appear luxurious and light in weight. Popeyes is another example. With its brightly painted colored exterior, drawing of trumpets and other instruments and fake balconies, it gives life to the southern (Louisiana) culture right here in Brooklyn. Other commercial spaces include numerous corner stores, Rite Aid, Buzz Night Club, numerous auto shops, cafes and bars, two major supermarket chains, a few different bank branches, and more. However, the area lacks clothing stores. One would have to head towards the Flatbush area to shop for clothing.
I would say the area contains an abundance of vegetation. We have your basic trees along the sidewalks. Many of the large apartment buildings have large gardens while the 2-3 family homes have front yards that tend to be rich in greenery. There are a few community gardens in the area and then we have Prospect Park, Prospect Park Zoo, and The Botanical Gardens, as mentioned previously, which are rich in greenery and flowers as well. This gives the residents in the neighborhood a real appreciation for nature.
The area is populated with an abundance of Black West Indians and Africans. Thus, there are many West Indian restaurants in the vicinity. However, gentrification is upon us. The cost of rent is increasing, forcing black families out and with all the attractions nearby more Caucasian families are moving in. Therefore, businesses that appeal to this racial group are now popping up. But at the moment the area is very diverse. Overall, I would say it’s a great place to live.