"Once slightly ragged east of 5th, now highly desirable with prices skyrocketing"
So the 4th - 5th block of Garfield doesn't have the swank of the lordly brownstones on same street 3-4 blocks up the slope toward Prospect Park, but it's rapidly redeveloping for the better. Some of the change amounts to gut renos that produce polished 1,000 SF condos behind beautiful red brick 1900-era facades. Some are tear downs of not-gonna-miss-this garages, replaced by modern, glass and steel units, all within the $1.3-2.5 million price range. The afternoon we came back for a second look, we saw a wedding reception spilling onto the sidewalk, nannies leaning into double wide strollers and a cement truck pouring a new foundation. We talked to an Italian-American couple in their 60s -- I'll call them the Alborgettis -- who had been in the same house since the 1980s. "You should have seen this street 20 years ago," said Mr. Alborgetti, shaking his head dolefully. Now he's a property multimillionaire. From our roof patio, we see the defiant red, white and blue lights of the spire of the new Freedom Tower pulsating three and a half miles northwest, surrounded by the Financial District. Quite a sight at dusk. As for the surroundings, 4th Avenue is never going to be Park Avenue Manhattan but it is changing from a mousy lineup of auto repair and tire shops to mid rise residential and retail, with Whole Foods over on 3rd on the edge of Gowanus, where the Mob has ceased dropping bodies into the canal, clearly a thoughtful nod to gentrification. On 5th, it's an entirely different scene, hip and upbeat, including 31 restaurants (we counted) in a 6-block stretch adjoining Garfield, one of them Al Di La, Brooklyn's No. 1 restaurant, which is a block north of Garfield, several nice bars, a couple delis, a bodega, two wine shops, a cat hospital, a park, a middle school and a dozen blocks north Barclays Center, a Best Buy, a Target and a major transportation center. You complain about parking on Garfield? Look at it this way. Once you solve the parking problem (hint: sell the car), you'll have a place just a 15-minute walk from Barclays, where the Nets and Islanders play. Most normal fans would say you have an advantage, not a problem.