ASK MY KIDS, they’ll tell you: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, is a great place to grow up. Especially on Verandah Place, the most coveted block in perhaps the most charming neighborhood in brownstone Brooklyn. It’s a row of mid-19th century brick carriage and mews houses, with a vest-pocket park right across the street and a highly regarded public elementary school two blocks away. Never was there a better street for skateboarding or jumping rope; car traffic is minimal. The river, the harbor and Brooklyn Bridge Park are a few blocks away; so are the best Middle Eastern and Italian groceries you’ll find in NYC.

And how often does a four-story, five bedroom, three bath townhouse with a great garden come up for rent on Verandah Place, especially one that’s just undergone a two-month spiffing up from top to bottom? Not often, let me tell you. If I could afford it, I’d live there myself (and did, for 20 years), but right now, it’s for rent, with a long lease possible.

Our 1850s townhouse is bright and ridiculously charming, full of simple details that characterize its classic architecture: original cove moldings, four-panel doors, rare black marble fireplaces (two working) and harmonious, perfectly square rooms.

Live there, work there — the garden level would lend itself beautifully to use as a studio or professional office, or as a guest suite, play or media room.

The entire house is freshly painted, with newly refinished floors. The kitchen has custom cabinets, honed granite countertop, Sub-Zero fridge and Viking stove next to a large dining room with wood-burning fireplace.

But why take my word for it? Have a look at my many photos, below. The official listing is hereCheck out the professional photos on the realtor’s site (especially if you want to see the park across the street and the formal parlor — I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of it), or contact me at caramia447 (at) gmail (dot) com for further details.

P.S. Scroll all the way down to read some quirky factoids I’ve pulled together about Six Verandah Place and its location.




Parlor floor entry. Stairs go down to studio/garden level. Library/den to left, formal parlor ahead to left, beyond classical columns.


Library, den, media room, what have you. 15’x15′. Closet to right, double entry doors.


Come on in to parlor/living room. Door straight ahead leads to wrought iron balcony down to garden.


Major gap here: The photos above show just one angle on a 15’x22′ room with a marble mantel and two six-over-six windows overlooking the garden. Now up we go to the second floor…



Room straight ahead can be used as study or small bedroom. Overlooks garden. I wrote many a magazine article there.


View from dining room into hallway. Staircase, of course, original.


Dining room. About 15’x18′. Marble fireplace burns wood. Knoll credenza stays.





Bathroom on second floor has stall shower, washer/dryer, window overlooking street.


Coming up to top floor landing…




Master bedroom has skylight, arched windows, two closets, overlooks garden, rooftops.


2nd top floor bedroom.



3rd top floor bedroom.



Top floor bathroom with deep soaking tub.

Oh, wait! There’s another whole floor downstairs, on the garden level… and a full storage basement below that.


Two room studio can be used for myriad purposes. Guest suite, playroom, teen hangout, professional office. Another access to garden.

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Garden-level bathroom has full tub, 1940s green tile.


Private garden with slate patio.


  • The house is pre-Civil War, built in the mid-1850s.
  • It has more original interior detail than any other on the block (and I’ve been in most of them). That includes 4 marble mantels, cove moldings on the parlor floor, and the staircase/balusters. The ornate fixture in the front entry hall was once a gas fixture and is original to the house.
  • Legend has it that the house is part of a row of five, all built by one gentleman on Warren Street for his five daughters and their families. These were not carriage houses, though there are several on the block; they were always one-family houses.
  • The house is backwards! (That may be true of the whole row of five.) What is now the front facade of the house was originally the rear facade. If you stand in the garden and look up, you see its full size.
  • The house is backwards probably because access was from Warren or Henry Street. There must have been an opening or possibly a road that ran through what is now the back garden in the 19th century.
  • The rear parlor (living room) was originally the front parlor. We opened up the hallway and inserted the columns (which are salvaged porch columns) in the late 1980s, shortly after we bought the house.
  • We also raised the ceilings on the top floor in the two back bedrooms (when we bought the house, those two rooms were an attic you couldn’t stand up in) and added the three arched windows.
  • The kitchen dates from 2000. Cabinetry is custom maple, and the appliances (Viking, Bosch, Sub-Zero, etc.) have all been professionally refurbished.
  • Cobble Hill Park became a park in the 1950s. Prior to that there was a church there, and Verandah Place was gated. The church was torn down, and a supermarket was set to go up in its place. The community objected, and the park was created. The sandbox is centered on a unique concrete dolphin that has been there since the ’50s and was preserved in a 1989 park renovation.

Want more info? Email me: caramia447 (at) gmail (dot) com.


NOT ONE BUT TWO genuinely antique houses hit the market last week on Long Island’s North Fork, where farmland, farm stands, vineyards and wineries abound, and the feeling is of an earlier time.

The front-porch charmer, above, said to date from 1920, is in Peconic — 1-1/2 hours due east of NYC, with luck. It’s 2,000 square foot, 4BR, 2 bath, with an asking price of $450,000. The full listing, with more pics and details, is here. 


The Greenport clapboard house, above, is older still — built in 1884 — with 3BR, 1 bath, and an ask of $399,000. Greenport is a great little bayfront town, comprised almost entirely of vintage housing stock, with an abundance of quirky shops and good restaurants. More photos and info right here.


THIS AUGUST I’VE BEEN in and out and roundabout and back and forth. I’ve spent more time on the Long Island Expressway, it sometimes seems, than in my much-loved house in Springs (East Hampton), N.Y. And I’ve fallen down the job of documenting my garden. For that I have a novel excuse besides the fact that I haven’t been here as much as I’d like: the weather’s been too good! Decent garden photography on a sunny day, in the dappled shade of tall oaks, is near impossible. But the other morning, I woke at 6, stepped outside into a misty morning, and ran to get my camera.

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THESE STUNNING BEECHWOOD KITCHEN CABINETS  — designed by Workstead, the super-talented Brooklyn studio featured in my latest Brownstoner column — began with this question: how can we make cabinet handles without hardware? To read about the process and see more of the kitchen and the exceptional parlor/library (the five-story brownstone is home to a well-known author), go here.

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THIS WAS LAST WEEK’S MOST-READ POST on Brownstoner, which by now must qualify as the old gray lady of Brooklyn websites, Why? Who knows? But it came as a pleasant surprise to this gray lady. It is a lovely renovation by architect Kimberly Neuhaus, and the post is full of good advice for making a 17-foot-wide home feel not so tight, and pretty pictures of interiors by the ubiquitous Tamara Eaton. If you haven’t, take a look. 

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