Originally Posted by Kingofthehill
Great tour of both one of my favorite urban and several of my favorite Brooklyn nabes! PPW is a grand street that, IMO, architecturally, is among the best in Brooklyn. It is interesting (and a bit sad) how disused and poorly kept the park and neighborhoods adjacent to the park towards the SE side (Parkside Ave comes to mind) are. You would really think that area has the potential to gentrify and really become something special. Ocean Ave has some fantastic architecture, though - especially those bad-ass Art-Deco walkups!
I lived in Crown Heights for 2 years until Dec. 2010 and walked all of these areas extensively. If the economy hadn't completely taken a crap you might have seen the Parkside area gentrify a bit. The thing is tons of African Americans and Caribbean people moved to Atlanta, Charlotte, Virginia etc. during the "good times" now they are stuck. There just aren't enough good jobs for all of these people KOTH. I met so many girls who were "caregivers" or worked in some form of low level nursing.
In order for these areas to gentrify these low income people will have to go somewhere else and Brownsville/East New York isn't going to keep sucking them up anymore so I don't really see those nabes improving anytime soon. The poverty level is astounding. I dated a Haitan girl and saw how here friends lived, it was a terrible run down place that looked like a tenement from the 30's. Unfortunately it is all they can afford.