Must-See Carroll Gardens
by Alexis Swerdloff, 10/26/2011
(From left) Brooklyn Farmacy photo by Phil Kline • Ferdinando's Foccaceria photo by Joe Buglewicz
While the borders of Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens can feel a bit fuzzy, you know for sure you're in Carroll Gardens when Italian bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores start to outnumber every other sort of commerce. Named after the neighborhood's stately, signature front yards, Carroll Gardens was once the heart of Brooklyn's Italian-American population, many of whom arrived at the turn of the 20th century and found work on the Red Hook docks. As young professionals began moving into the Brooklyn neighborhood throughout the 1970s and '80s, many longtime residents moved out to Long Island and New Jersey. The neighborhood still retains much of its old-world charm, with dozens of Italian food shops, restaurants, florists and funeral homes existing side by side some of the borough's most buzzed-about new restaurants and casual-cool boutiques. Like most South Brooklyn neighborhoods, Carroll Gardens is a favorite of literary types, and its leafy streets teem with your typical tote-bag-carrying magazine editors—except these ones look a little less scraggly, a little rosier in the cheeks, a little healthier. It must be the fresh mozzarella.