Archive for the ‘Living In and Around Brooklyn’ Category

It Takes a Village To Buy or Sell in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market!

Friday, October 30th, 2020
Couple Holding keys to their new home

Buying or Selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market can be a complicated process. Truly it takes a village of people for the purpose of completing just one home sale.

Wikipedia explains the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” as an African proverb. It means an entire community of people must interact with children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

The phrase “It Takes a Village” has been adapted over the years for other references. In fact, it is a great explanation of what the home buying and selling experience is like in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market.

How many different parties do you think are involved in one real estate transaction? You may find it surprising. Let’s take a look.


First, you need to find someone ready to sell their home. We often hear the term “Motivated Seller.” What would make a homeowner a “motivated seller?” Motivation to sell a home can come for many reasons.

When a buyer hears the seller is motivated, it may trigger many thoughts.
  • There is room to negotiate the price.
  • The owner may be open to making concessions to consummate the sale.
  • There are material defects to the home or property that the seller doesn’t want to address.
  • The home is near foreclosure.
  • The seller is ready to take the home off the market and wants to see any offer.
  • The seller is in a financial bind.
  • The owner MUST sell now.

Determination, not desperation, may be what motivates a seller.

There are many reasons a seller would want to sell a property that is not related to the desperation thinking above.
  • Job relocation
  • Downsizing
  • Upsizing
  • Retiring to a new location
  • Divorce
  • Settle an estate

Knowing the seller’s motivation would be an advantage in negotiations. However, you may or may not understand the seller’s reason for selling when you place your offer. 


Next, you need someone qualified and ready to purchase a new home. Obtaining a pre-approval from a reputable lending institution makes you a qualified buyer. They also have proven they have the necessary funds and qualifications to buy a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market. The reasons someone may be interested in purchasing a home vary as much as the reasons a seller would want to sell.

Some reasons to purchase may be:
  • Achievement of “The American Dream”
  • Sound investment
  • Build equity
  • Potential tax benefits

The buyer’s motivation is as important as the seller’s motivation. An apathetic buyer can take a home off the market for some time and then decide to terminate the sale. Your real estate agent can help you vet the buyer’s motivation. Unfortunately, you would need to have a crystal ball to definitely know what will happen.


In hopes of financing the home, the buyer will choose a financial institution for their mortgage. Surprisingly, the lowest interest rate is not always the best option. You may want to compare several lenders.

Obtaining an estimate of the lender’s fees can be eye-opening. Some things you will want to compare are:

  • Interest rates
  • Lender fees
  • Cash required to bring to closing

By all means, it is essential to find a reputable lender who is knowledgeable in lending in your area. Out of state or internet mortgage companies may not know the intricacies of a home purchase in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The lender should do a thorough analysis of the buyer’s financial situation to determine if they qualify for a mortgage. The buyer should offer evidence of their qualifications when they make an offer on the property.

There is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification provides the buyer with a general estimate of what they can afford. A pre-approval is more valuable because the buyer’s credit has been checked, and documentation has been verified to approve the buyer for a specific loan amount. A pre-approval can be valid for 60-90 days and should be re-verified to confirm no buyer’s status changes.


Typically you will find two real estate agents involved in any Brooklyn Real Estate sale. The first agent works on behalf of the seller, helping them prepare their home and price it competitively. The second agent represents the buyer and helps evaluate an offering price and terms once the right home has been found.

The real estate agents work together, bringing the buyer and seller to an agreement on the best terms possible.

You will want to find a trustworthy agent to represent you in either a sale or purchase.

What are the qualities of a trustworthy agent?
  • Local Market Expert
  • Proactive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Good Communicator
  • Educated

Your real estate agent should hold the designation of Realtor®, which means they belong to the National Association of Realtors® and their local Board of Realtors®. Notably, a member of these associations must follow guidelines to ensure they are fair and ethical in their business practices.

Home Inspection Checkmark


A critical component of the buying process is the home inspection. The purpose of the home inspection is to determine if there are any major ticket items or safety issues affecting the home. In reality, these are items that the seller may not have been aware of. Nitpicking the seller for trivial issues or updates that were visible upon your visit to the home is not the purpose of a home inspection.

The home inspector will usually look at the following areas of the home:
  • Exterior structure
  • Roof
  • HVAC System
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Electric Panel
  • Outlets
  • Windows
  • Plumbing in kitchen and baths
  • Attic

Be sure to check the credentials of the home inspector you choose. There are certifications required for home inspectors in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The home inspector will highlight areas of concern. You will also learn from the inspector the home components that may need to be replaced in the future. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right investment for you.


You will most likely need to hire an attorney to represent you either as a buyer or a seller when purchasing in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

What is the lawyer’s role in a real estate transaction?
  • Write and negotiate the sales agreement.
  • Represent their client’s best interest.
  • Review closing documents.
  • Attend the closing to ensure a smooth transition.

For more information on the importance of real estate lawyers, see this previous blog post that explains it all in detail.


The title company researches the history of homeownership to determine the buyer receives a clean title to the property when they take possession of the home. In the event that they find any issues on the chain of title, they will resolve them before closing.

They will also research any judgments, liens, outstanding mortgages, or unpaid taxes on the property.

The title company will then prepare a report (abstract of title), revealing all the research findings. This document will validate the title of the property.

Title insurance is issued to protect the lender and new owner against any lawsuits or claims undetected on the original title search. The lender will require a title insurance policy.

If you are a cash buyer, it would be your decision to purchase title insurance. Although, if you are purchasing a home with cash it is highly recommended that you purchase the title insurance policy.


An appraiser will visit the home to prepare an opinion of value for the lender. Do not confuse the appraisal with a home inspection but, the appraiser may note any safety issues that are apparent to them. Requirements for an appraiser and a home inspector are different. An appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection.

An appraiser will prepare a report called an appraisal that will provide their opinion of value based on several factors.
  • Location
  • Structural Construction
  • Age
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Condition
  • Square Footage
  • Recent Neighborhood Home Sales

Providing a fair and unbiased assessment of the property can be accomplished by randomly assigning appraiser through a third party.

The cost of the appraisal is an expense the buyer will pay. This is a requirement of the buyer’s lender.

In the event that the home does not appraise for the amount of the sales price, it can trigger a negotiation between the buyer and the seller. If both parties come to an agreement acceptable to the lender, the sale will be completed.


The underwriter works for the lender. Their role is to review the buyer’s information and the appraiser’s opinion of value to determine if the mortgage can be issued for the purchase price agreed upon. The underwriter will evaluate that granting the mortgage to the buyer is a sound investment for the lender.

An underwriter will look at several different areas to determine any risk of the buyer defaulting.
  • Credit and payment history
  • Income and assets of the buyer
  • Downpayment
  • Appraised home value

The underwriter may need to request additional information to clarify any uncertainties that arise to be sure lending the money to the buyer is a solid investment for the bank/lender.

The last hurdle in the process of buying or selling a home is clearing underwriting. The type of loan, buyer’s financial situation, title issues, survey issues, and missing paperwork will all affect the time the underwriter will need to complete the process.

Once they have completed their review, the Underwriter will issue the loan a “Clear to Close” status!


Real Estate Team

Buying or selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market involves many parties and this doesn’t include assistants and others within these companies who help. It really does take a village to pull all the pieces of buying or selling a home together.

That is why it is so important to hire the right Realtor® to work for you, whether you are buying or selling a home. Coordinating all these parties takes a thorough understanding of the sale process and experience in the local market.

Charles D'Alessandro

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help both buyers and sellers coordinate all the details.

In the event our office is shut down we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

5 Ideas that Make Your Bedroom the Place You Want to Be

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Place you want to be

Headed off to college? Use these 5 tips to make your dorm room a place you want to be. It’s easy!

Fall is in the air. Hot temperatures are cooling down. Kids are going back to school or headed for college, and families are preparing their schedules for another school year. For some of you, attending college is a brand new adventure, and you may feel a bit intimidated about leaving home. Try these simple ideas to make your dorm room feel a bit like home. Not headed anywhere for an education? You can use these simple ideas to make your bedroom the place you want to be anyway.

How to Turn Your College Dorm Room or Bedroom into the Place You Want to Be

Dorm room living doesn’t have to be cramped, messy, and smelly, a place you do not want to be. With some thoughtful planning, your space away from home can feel roomy, neat, and smell like home, a place you do want to be.

These five ideas will get your space an A+:

  1. Quality Sheets

Make a good night’s sleep your top priority. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on quality sheets. Sleep is paramount in or out of college, and quality sheets provide the comfort necessary for a good night’s sleep. If you’re trying to turn your dorm room into a great place to reside, 1,000-thread-count sheets are a bit much. Soft jersey, flannel, or pre-washed cotton sheet sets are comfortable and low-maintenance, a more economical choice.

  1. Perfect Pillows

Start the year off right and invest in a quality sleeping pillow. A quality pillow is just as important in getting a good night’s sleep as quality sheets are. A crummy pillow means poor-quality rest. And that won’t help you function well in class. Shop for a sleeping pillow that provides you with softness and support. And while you’re at it, buy an ultra-firm decorative pillow. You’ll need it to prop you up in bed when studying, watching TV, or face-timing friends and family back home.

  1. A Touch of Class

Every dorm room or bedroom can use a little class. Cozy faux fur throws, fluffy fur pillows, and plush furry stools are on-trend. They add texture, warmth, and style to any space, big or small. And all it takes is one furry piece.

  1. Accessories

In addition to a faux fur piece, accessories add a personal touch to a dorm room or bedroom. Throw cushions, art, and plants bring style, joy, and life into your room day after day. Select easy-to-care-for plants that cleanse indoor air like aloe, and plants that help you sleep.

  1. Lights

The lighting in dorm rooms isn’t always the best at illuminating your space well. Good lighting can make your room a place you want to be. Poor lighting can cause eye strain and make you tired unnecessarily. Purchase a lamp or two that provide style and personality in addition to providing lots of light. Brooklyn real estate, you want an agent who cares about your family’s needs. Charles D’Alessandro. Call your Brooklyn real estate professional today at 718-253-9600

When it comes to Brooklyn real estate, you want an agent who cares about you and your family’s needs. With over 30 years of real estate experience, Charles D’Alessandro can help you make your Brooklyn home a place you want to be. Call him today at 718-253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected].

Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext 206

[email protected]

2 Reasons Why Your Home’s Proximity to Work Matters Most

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Proximity to work

Proximity to work impacts your disposable income, quality of life and the amount of time you have to spend with family at home. Think about it before you buy.

Where are homeowners dealing with the longest daily commutes to work? In New York!

Does it surprise you to know that a New Yorker’s morning commute is longer than anywhere else in the United States? But why should that matter to you? Well, if you are in the market to buy, a home’s proximity to work matters most for 2 reasons: Its effect on your pocketbook and your well-being.

Statista averaged morning commutes for 10 U.S. cities:

  • New Yorkers spend 39.4 minutes commuting to work every day.
  • Jersey City, NJ – 35.6
  • Newark, NJ – 33.9
  • Chicago, IL – 33.7
  • Philadelphia, PA – 32.3
  • San Francisco, CA – 31.0
  • Fremont, CA – 30.5
  • Baltimore, MD – 30.1
  • Washington D.C. – 29.8
  • Los Angeles, CA – 29.6

(If this piques your techy interest, find more morning commute statistics at Statista).

Why your Brooklyn home’s proximity to work matters

  1. It matters to your pocketbook in the long run.

Long daily commutes to work negatively impact your disposable income, quality of life and the amount of time you have to spend with family at home. Yes, there are financial and quality-of-life benefits provided by long daily commutes, but are they worth having less time to spend with your family at home?

There’s not a thing wrong with choosing to buy a home located beyond Brooklyn’s busy city life. However, it is important to avoid the temptation to buy a large home that forces you to stretch your budget and locks you into long daily commutes for a big-city salary in order to pay for that large home. I recommend buying a modest home based on the following Disposable Personal Income (DPI) formula.

Your household’s Disposable Personal Income is what you have available for spending and saving after taxes. Your salary minus the tax rate equals your DPI. For example, $100,000 – $35,000 (35% tax rate) = $65,000 DPI.

Don’t forget about the wear and tear on your vehicle and the cost of filling its tank with gas. Long daily commutes add higher vehicle maintenance costs and more money spent on gas to deplete your disposable income. There are more miles piling on your engine and wearing on your tires, the need for more oil changes and brake replacement, too.

  1. It matters to your well-being in the long run.

Long daily commutes matter to your health in the long as well. Outside of being more than inconvenient, long commutes to work negatively impact both your physical and mental health.

  • Sitting inactively for long periods of time can contribute to weight gain. The farther the commute, the more time you spend being inactive. People who commute every day are more likely to be overweight.
  • Spending long periods of time slumped forward in the driver’s seat can contribute to ongoing neck and back pain.
  • Long periods of time spent commuting affects your mood because you have less time to enjoy daily activities or concentrate.
  • Any amount of time spent commuting causes stress. The longer the commute, the more likely you will have elevated blood pressure.
  • Time spent commuting exposes you to air pollution. The longer the commute, the higher your exposure to harmful air pollution will be.

The decision to commute to work daily is clearly a matter of personal choice. You must determine how long your home’s proximity to work should be based on its effects to your pocketbook and your well-being. With over 30 years of experience in Brooklyn, I can help you determine the best location of a home to buy, a home that will meet the needs of your family. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.

Love, Brooklyn and the 10 Best Places for a Slice of Pizza

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Slice of pizza

New York-style pizza lovers can find the best slice of pizza right in Brooklyn!

 “Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other …”

New York and pizza kind of go together like love and marriage, horse and carriage! New York is known for its superb New York-style pizza and our many unique places to buy it by the slice. But guess what, pizza lovers? You don’t need to go beyond our Brooklyn city limits for an exceptional slice of pizza!

If you love pizza and you’re lookin’ for love, visit one of the following 10 best places for a slice of pizza in Brooklyn:

Best Pizza

33 Havemeyer Street

Brooklyn, NY  11211

(718) 599-2210

Best Pizza is a casual counter-service pizzeria from the Roberta’s team offering brick-oven pies & slices. Totally worth a trip wherever you live in Brooklyn.

“Though it ‘looks like your typical corner pizza shop,’ this Williamsburg joint ‘doesn’t shirk’ from its ‘bold’ name, turning out ‘quality’ brick-oven pies with ‘inventive’ toppings plus a handful of Italian subs; the ‘small, crowded’ space with paper-plate decor does the job for ‘a quick bite.’”

“Grandma pie is amazing and the place has a great atmosphere for a slice shop.”

“Definitely one of the top pizzerias in NYC. NY style, not neopolitan.”


J&V Pizzeria

6322 18th Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11204

(718) 331-0689

J&V Pizzeria is a warm, established joint for traditional pizzas, garlic bread, calzones & chicken rolls. Ask around about people’s favorite slices in the borough and they’ll tell you to try J&V.

“Great pizza shop on 18th Ave in Bensonhurst. Ideal location as it’s nearby the N train subway station. You can quickly stop in for a quick bite. They even have a street window to order, get, and eat your slice.

“Ample selection of pizzas but the ones that are spot on are the Grandma slice, Margherite, or even a plain slice. Great eggplant slice as well or white pizza with ample dollups of riccotta. Tasty crispy and soft pizza slice with great ingredients for toppings. Also great pies for take out. The margarite pie is thinner crust than their regular pizza but just as great. Also their signature jo jo is awesome. A chicken parm inside their pizza dough. A amped up calzone in my opinion. Definitely must order and large enough to share. Quick and affordable. Friendly neighborhood service and a mainstay in the neighborhood where you’re known by name. One of the best pizza shops in the area.”



207 Avenue U

Brooklyn, NY  11223

(718) 372-9695

Ciccio’s adds sesame seeds to their crust. They add a nuttiness that you’ll not ever want to go without once you’ve tried their pizza.

“Best pizzeria in the neighborhood, their upside down and Sophia slice are to die for.”

“Solid Brooklyn pizza. That’s what’s up. Awesome food.”

“Greatest Pizza ever! Try a Sophia slice!”


Layla Jones

214 Court Street

Brooklyn, NY  11201

(718) 624-2361

Layla Jones is a neighborhood storefront which serves grilled pizzas, calzones & pastas. They also deliver. Your pizza will disappear in seconds, leaving you wanting more.

“I judge a pizza place not by their crazy specialty pizzas, but by their plain pizza. Their ‘Plain Jane’ thin-crust sicilian style slices were delicious and reasonably priced for their quality. Highly recommend!”

“This may be my favorite pizza in Brooklyn. Get a Fast Eddy or a Sweet Jane with whatever you want on it.”


Pino’s La Forchetta

181 7th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY  11215

(718) 965-4020

Pino’s La Forchetta is a no-frills Brooklyn pizzeria.Formica booths & neon adorn this utilitarian pizza staple also serving Italian entrees & heros. If you really, really like cheese, then you’ll love a Pino’s slice. The slices are simple, delicious and filling.

“This is my favorite New York style pizzeria. Always friendly. Over the last 30 years I’ve always loved this place.”

“Favorite by-the-slice pizza in the neighborhood. Extra cheesy!”


Pizza Time

1324 Avenue J

Brooklyn, NY 11230

(718) 252-8801

Pizza Time is your basic local pizzeria chain offering specialty pies, plus carry-out & delivery deals. It is located a block away from everyone’s favorite pizza slice place, Di Fara. Di Fara is frequently closed. Since Pizza Time is a kosher pizzeria and serves a solid slice of pizza for less than $5 a slice, they attract their own followers.

“Kosher no meat pizza joint offering daily pasta specials. Out of the oven slices are crisp and the crust is okay. Caters to the Jewish neighborhood and the kids really hit this place hard when school let’s out. Owner and staff are fast and friendly. Stand outs at this place include the macaroni and cheese and the mac and cheese pizza. Just gotta catch it when they do it. Usually fridays. Oh and they got a white pizza that has a really great tasting ricotta. Five stars to serve m and c daily. I’d mention cash only but it’s NYC. You’ll figure it out.”

“Best pizza in Brooklyn.”


Not Ray’s

690 Fulton Street

New York, NY 11217

(718) 855-8206

Not Ray’s is a classic corner pizza shop with limited seating & a name that references a group of its competitors. It serves a slice that is sure to please both cheese-lovers and sauce-lovers. It’s liberally covered in both.

“Is this the best slice in Brooklyn? Yes. When you’re in the area and someone is ordering pizza, make sure they’re ordering it from here. If you want to make your own pizza, pick up some dough from here. For $5 you get enough for two. Oh, and the buffalo chicken pizza…great stuff.”

“My pizza came out hot and fresh from the oven. It was delicious and the employees were very friendly. I will recommend this pizzeria to friends and family.”

“Comfy spot with good pizza.”


L&B Spumoni Gardens

2725 86th Street

Brooklyn, NY  11223

(718) 449-1230

L&B Spumoni Gardens is known for Sicilian square pizza & ice cream from an old-school Italian counter that opened in 1939. The L&B square slice is everything you want in a piece of pizza. It is pizza perfection.

“Check this place out…your taste buds will enjoy…save room for spumoni..!! We will be going back again to try restaurant in colder months….and mind you we drove to Brooklyn to try this from Nassau County out on the Island…”

“The best square pizza I have ever had! From the dough to the perfect balance if the sauce and cheese… This is a true Brooklyn landmark.”


Front Street

80 Front Street

Brooklyn, NY  11201

(718) 875-3700

Front Street serves slices, heros and calzones which make this corner pizza joint a popular option for takeout. Their slices are great and their sauce is a solid, savory and sweet marinara. Nearby Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s long lines and pricey menu items make Front Street the winner in the battle of the DUMBO slices.

“Even though it’s pretty much just a simple slice place, I think they do the slices really well. The cheese is very gooey and the sauce is just sweet enough with a chewy crust. Mmmm. It can be a little hard to navigate the service line on your first trip, but once you get the hang of it you can be in and out pretty quickly. Their Italian subs are also really quite good and ginormous.”

“Pizza! NY Pizza!

This is my go-to spot and always will be.

For the price, the food is great. They offer delivery but eating in always tastes the best. The crust is not the thick and has a slight crunch. The sauce is on spot and the cheese/toppings…mmmm. The slices are really big too. You won’t need more food after this place. They’ve got a variety of other things to try if you get tired of pizza, but I never got tired of their pizza.

All their regular/specialty pizzas are delicious.

If you can’t spend a fortune on Juliana’s pizza, go here! It’s not perfect but you will not be disappointed.”


Smiling Pizza

323 7th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY  11215

(718) 788-2137

Smiling Pizza is a simple parlor offering brick-oven pizzas, basic Italian dishes & hero sandwiches. Their pizza slices are greasy and cheesy, cheap and satisfying, and perfect. Sir Patrick Stewart loves their pizza by the slice!

“This has been around for years. They are right next to the F train stop on 7th Ave. They make pretty good pizza and spinach rolls. I love the plain slices and spinach roll which is well made and fresh. The staff is old school New York attitude which is great for a pizza place.”

Slice of pizzaWere you thinking about pizza on National Pizza Day, February 9th? Will you indulge your love of pizza on Valentine’s Day, February 14th? If not, no worries. National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day is coming on Saturday, November 12th.

Moving to Brooklyn? I am your local expert! I know Brooklyn inside and out with over 30 years of experience. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email, [email protected] today. I’ll help you find the perfect home. Then we’ll celebrate with a slice of pizza to welcome you to the buroughs.



How To Cultivate A Sense Of Community in Brooklyn

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

sense of community

Every neighbor, local official, service club and religious organization must do their part to cultivate a strong sense of community in Brooklyn.

“Civic pride is taking responsibility to do the ‘little’ things that make a ‘big’ difference.” – Jane Kampbell

Cultivating a sense of community in Brooklyn is necessary for the quality of life we deserve. Every Brooklynite – neighbors, local officials, service clubs, religious organizations – must do their part to cultivate a strong sense of community in Brooklyn. But first we must understand what a sense of community is.

What is a sense of community?

A sense of community is NOT a collection of buildings and streets in a particular area. A sense of community:

  • Is the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself or your family
  • Connects people to each other
  • Is people building each other up
  • Is people supporting each other in good times and in bad

Why should we cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn?

It is critical to Brooklyn’s future success. When we feel a strong sense of community, we are driven to take action. We desire to take part in improving or supporting the well-being of our community. Those who see a sense of community happening are compelled to do the same. Community improvement and self-sufficiency become contagious. Momentum is created. This brings us together as a community and makes us proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.

A strong sense of community:

  • attracts new investment in our community and local economy. It keeps local businesses in business.
  • discourages litter, graffiti and criminal activity. It increases the property values of homes and businesses.
  • helps support our education system
  • encourages volunteering and personal responsibility

A community with a strong sense of community believes in itself. It is able to rise above and overcome challenges through the strength and support of its people. A community without a strong sense of community depends on others to take care of its needs. A strong sense of community in Brooklyn is essential for:

  • clean and safe streets and neighborhoods
  • support for local businesses
  • vital community organizations
  • fruitful educational opportunities
  • low crime

How is a sense of community cultivated?

A sense of community in Brooklyn won’t just happen. It must be cultivated or nurtured to make a difference in our Brooklyn community now and in the future. Children, too, must be taught to take pride in their Brooklyn community. A sense of community can be cultivated in the following ways:

  • Take personal responsibility to do simple things such as sweeping walks and picking up trash in your neighborhood
  • Take responsibility for the well-being of your neighbors as well as yourself
  • Keep your home and/or business clean and in good repair. Well-maintained neighborhoods are attractive and inviting for children and families.
  • Keep our Brooklyn streets, sidewalks, paths and parks free of damage and ruin. Discourage litter, graffiti and vandalism.
  • Support local businesses in Brooklyn
  • Participate in local organizations and community events such as dinners, dances, festivals, school functions, service clubs, churches, chamber of commerce, etc.
  • Clear Brooklyn’s vacant lots of trash and debris
  • Work to prevent crime
  • Get involved in the preservation of Brooklyn’s historic sites and scenic areas
  • Volunteer to serve in the education of our students
  • Grow and maintain a garden (How To Grow A Garden In Brooklyn)
  • Appreciate and support local agriculture
  • Emphasize individual responsibility and community solutions
  • Encourage volunteering in schools, churches and community groups
  • Start a “yard-of-the-month” program with local media in Brooklyn
  • Recognize and reward those who do good deeds in our Brooklyn community
  • Promote residents to shop at local businesses and use local services
  • Use volunteer groups for projects that will benefit the beauty and cleanliness of our Brooklyn community
  • Reach out to and encourage commuters to participate in their Brooklyn community and to shop locally
  • Host and share information for clean-up days and volunteer activities
  • Set strong but fair standards for our Brooklyn neighborhoods and stores
  • Host annual clean-up days to give Brooklynites a regular opportunity to rid homes and yards of junk and debris

Cultivating a strong sense of community must start with you. Make the best of what you have. Keep your yard clean and orderly. Paint and touch up your home and/or business. Keep your yard mowed. These are simple ways to begin displaying and building a sense of community in Brooklyn.

If you’d like more information or ideas on how you can cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn, call Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn is proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.


16 Amazing Day Trips To Take Around Brooklyn

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

day trips

Amazing day trips around Brooklyn! Enjoy one this summer!

Welcome to sum-, sum-, summertime in Brooklyn! There are about four weeks left of summertime in Brooklyn before the start of another school year. If you’re tired of roasting subway platforms, reeking rubbish and raucous window units, it’s time to get out of town! Take a break from hot, smelly and noisy. Ahhhh, day trips! No planning necessary. Just get in the car (or not), and go!

Here are 16 amazing day trips and activities to choose from:

  1. Beacon, NY – Dia: Beacon is a 300,000 square-foot art museum. This building used to be a Nabisco factory and is located 59 miles north. It is a delight for the contemporary art enthusiast. If and when you get overwhelmed with its grandness, take a break and grab something yummy at Homespun Foods.
  2. Bear Mountain, NY – Bear Mountain Park is full of activities for every age. There are hiking trails, a carousel, a swimming pool, a zoo, refreshment stands and picnic areas just 45 miles from NYC in the Hudson Highlands.
  3. Brooklyn Bridge Park Brooklyn Bridge Park is a world-class, 85‐acre sustainable waterfront park, and it’s right around the corner! Located at 334 Furman Street, it stretches 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline, melding seamlessly into DUMBO. Parking is very limited. It’s highly recommended that you get there by subway, bus, ferry, walking or biking.
  4. City Island – Charter a boat, go fishing, eat delicious seafood by the water or tour the Nautical Museum on the island. City Island is very close to The Bronx, but it feels far away from everything. Visit the local Chamber of Commerce for the best guide on what to do here.
  5. Cold Spring On Hudson, NY – The town of Cold Spring On Hudson is located about 80 minutes north. Here you can hike Mt. Taurus and take a stroll in the Boscobel Gardens to view the Hudson in all of its splendor. Hiking works up an appetite, so be sure to stop by and enjoy farm-to-table French fare at Brasserie Le Bouchon.
  6. Coney Island – The one and only Coney Island comes packed with new restaurants, like Wahlburger’s on the boardwalk and its classics: Nathan’s Famous, Beach and Boardwalk, Brooklyn Cyclones, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Luna Park and its Coney Island Cyclone, New York Aquarium.
  7. DUMBO – Raw and charming, DUMBO is Brooklyn’s most buzz-worthy neighborhood. The Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges define its borders. Walk, ride a Citi Bike, take a train or enjoy the glamorous East River Ferry to reach this day trip right here in Brooklyn. Included amenities ABOUND! Stop in for yum at the best eats in DUMBO – Noodle Pudding and Grimaldi’s.
  8. Fort Tilden Beach, Queens – This day trip calls for quiet! Fort Tilden Beach is an island located off of Queens. It used to be an Army base. It’s a very long walk away from the A train and is easiest to reach by bike. There are no lifeguards, snackbars or bathrooms at this beach. Pack it in and pack it out.
  9. Freeport, Long Island – Like to fish, do you? If so, Freeport, Long Island is the day trip for you. Reserve a seat on Captain Lou’s vessel. He knows which fish are biting and the best bait to use to catch them, hook, line and sinker!
  10. Governors Island – Get on a ferry for a quick ride in New York Harbor. Head on over to Governors Island for picnicking, bike riding, eating ice cream, lying in the grass and taking in the views. Little Eva’s opened recently. Have you been there yet?
  11. Mountainville, NY – Storm King Art Center is 500 acres of modern sculptures located an hour north in Mountainville, New York. Picnicking is permitted on the grounds, so bring your basket.
  12. New Haven, CT – There are lots of activities to enjoy in New Haven, Connecticut, just 90 minutes away. Take a cruise on Captain Bob’s 45-minute Thimble Islands cruise. Purchase everything you’ll need for a picnic from Caseus or enjoy a panini there. Watch a play at Long Wharf or Yale Rep Theatre. Eat dinner at Union League Café.
  13. Rockaway Beach, Queens – You can ride Rockaway’s own ferry from lower Manhattan to this hot spot. Rockaway is basically the Brooklyn Flea at the beach. If you’re hungry, Rockaway Beach Club offers artisan food from around 20 vendors on the boardwalk.
  14. Short Hills, NJ – A day trip full of the best people watching ever at The Mall at Short Hills might be just what you need in a getaway. It won’t take much time to get there from New York either. Air conditioning and free parking are nearby! Shop everything from Chanel to Forever 21, and grab a bite to eat at the Ritz Diner on your way home. An out-of-this-world brisket-on-latke sandwich is suggested.
  15. Smorgasburg, Brooklyn – Notice to foodies: try this gastronomic pop-up phenomenon known as Smorgasburg. This is a weekly event that begins in the spring and ends at Thanksgiving. From hot dog maker to popsicle company there are some 100 food vendors to tempt your taste buds. Smorgasburg is held at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
  16. Warwick, NY – About 75 minutes from the GW Bridge, summer and living are easy at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. How does wine, draft cider or gin (you pick your poison), a brick-oven pizza and sunshine on the patio sound? Top this day trip off with a movie at the Warwick Drive-In before you drive on home.

You don’t need to own a summer house to escape the concrete jungle for day trips and activities. Your sanity can be saved and your spirit refreshed with one of many day trips and activities around Brooklyn.

Are you are looking for a summer house to buy? Would like a few more tips on day trips and activities around Brooklyn? Contact me, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, Charles D’Alessandro. Reach me at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. With over 27 years of real estate experience, I can help you find the perfect summer house to buy or the best day trips and activities around Brooklyn. Enjoy what’s left of your summer!