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7 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Ridgewood — Ridgewood on Bushwick Daily

7 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Ridgewood

Thinking about jumping the border for Brooklyn to Queens and settling down in Ridgewood? Here's a few things you should know first.

Andrew Tobia

Food & Drink Editor

So you’re thinking about moving to Ridgewood?

There’s a lot to love about Bushwick’s lower-profile neighbor. There’s a lot of misconceptions too, though, and plenty of things to think about. Here’s a list of seven (and counting) things for you to ponder — a mix of fun facts, popular opinion, and relevant data points — before taking the plunge.

 Ridgewood is in Queens

Ridgewood is not in Brooklyn. Ridgewood is in Queens. Ridgewood is proud to be in Queens.

If you’re thinking about moving to Ridgewood, you should be okay with that — and if you’re not okay with it and move here anyway, you’ll end up okay with it! Queens has a way of winning people over.

I mention this because every time Ridgewood starts to pick up a little interest, people are in a rush to borough-wash the Queens away. Recent attempted rebrandings included “Quooklyn” and “Ridgewick.” Mercifully, neither stuck and we’d like to keep it that way.

 Ridgewood is surprisingly diverse.

Part of the reason that Ridgewooders are so proud to live in Queens is its diversity. Queens is the single most diverse county in the United States (we speak 130+ languages!), and that diversity plays out in miniature in Ridgewood.

Aside from Caucasian Americans, the two largest demographics are Hispanic/Latinx on the western Bushwick-bordering side and Polish on the eastern side. Aside from these three groups, there are thriving Egyptian, Asian, and African American enclaves.

 There are more homeowners living in Ridgewood than there are in Bushwick.

In Bushwick, only about 15 percent of residential structures are owned by homeowners — people or families that both own and live in the property, as opposed to off-site landlords. In Ridgewood, that number jumps to 24 percent.

This results in a neighborhood with a much more … neighborhood feeling. Ridgewood’s vibe is a little quieter, almost-but-not-quite suburban. With less rentable units, there’s less renter turnover so, whether you like it or not, you’re going to get to know your neighbors better.

When people were priced out of Williamsburg, they packed up and moved to Bushwick. Now that people are starting to get priced out of Bushwick, they’re eyeing Ridgewood.

 Rent is less expensive here than in Bushwick — kind of.

It’s true that, overall, rents are a little more reasonable here in Ridgewood than they are in Bushwick, though exactly how much more reasonable depends on who you ask.

According to RentHop’s NYC Subway Rent Map, median rents for a one-bedroom apartment range from $1,900 at Fresh Pond Road, the last M train spot before Middle Village, and $2,100 at Seneca Avenue, the first stop in Ridgewood.

On the other hand, if you ask Trulia, they’ll tell you that Ridgewood’s median rent is $2,200, compared to the $2,000 it lists for Bushwick. It’s important to note that Trulia’s numbers include apartments of all sizes.

 But it won’t be that way for long!

Rents are rising here, and they’re rising quickly! This is most likely a function of that Bushwick spillover I mentioned — landlords know what’s going on.

RentHop has recorded astronomical year-over-year rental increases for Ridgewood one-bedroom apartments. 2017’s rental costs are, so far, as much as 18 percent higher than they were in 2016. Recorded for the area around the Fresh Pond Road M station, these are among the highest rental increases in both Bushwick and Ridgewood.

Maybe you should consider skipping over Ridgewood and moving straight to Cypress Hills instead?

 Ridgewood is super historic.

As one of the United States' oldest cities, all of New York City is historic. Progress has an unfortunate habit of steamrolling historically important sites but, if you know where to look, you can find them everywhere. Including, especially, in Ridgewood.

Ridgewood is home to a staggering 10 National Historic Districts, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. They include the Central Ridgewood Historic District, home of the distinctive tan brick two-story row houses that define the neighborhood.

You’ll also find three NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Landmark Districts; the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House which, originally built in 1661, is the oldest surviving stone-built Dutch Colonial house in New York City; the historic Ridgewood Theater Building; and the Evergreens Cemetery, to name just a few notable landmarks.

 Ridgewood has ties to the mob.

Ridgewood is a very safe neighborhood, that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen our fair share of shady goings-on.

In the ‘90s, Caffe Giannini on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood was a notorious mob clubhouse and front, not to mention running an illegal gambling ring out of its back rooms. With deep ties to the Bonnano crime family — the building’s owner at the time was allegedly a soldier for the family and Carmine Galante’s personal body guard — this isn’t much of a surprise.

Though Caffe Giannini was closed down before the turn of the new millennium (it's now a hair salon), there are a couple of spots scattered around the block that are reputed to draw a particular mobbish clientele.

Cover image courtesy of saippolito 

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