In the grand tradition of SoHo (South of Houston), TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal), and NoLIta (North Little Italy), BoCoCa is a catchall term coined by a web designer over a decade ago for the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens (plus the Columbia Street Waterfront and the parts of Red Hook north of the Battery Tunnel). BoCoCa never really caught on, but it can be a handy designation for the intersection of simpatico neighborhoods that were generally referred to simply as South Brooklyn until the 1960s. All three neighborhoods feature cozy brownstones and townhouses and a wealth of great restaurants and bars — and besides, no one seems to agree on the “official” boundaries of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens.

Below are some not-to-miss BoCoCa spots — we’ll let you argue about which neighborhood each of them calls home.


Lucali (Carroll Gardens)
It’s impossible not to fall hard for Lucali, both for the pizza and the atmosphere. This cozy, perpetually packed restaurant serves up a simple menu. Plain, thin crust pizza served with a heap of basil – you do have an option to order extra toppings, but you don’t need to – and calzones. It’s also BYOB. You can usually catch the owner in the back, kneading dough or spreading fresh mozzarella. There’s often a two-hour wait here, and it’s recommended that you arrive right when it opens at 6 p.m.

Lucali pizza photo courtesy of Randi F. via Yelp. (more…)

Whether you’re an aspiring Brooklyn musician or a seasoned professional, you don’t have to travel into Manhattan for the best access to instruments, equipment, and repairs. These four stores, located in Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, Gravesend, and Marine Park, should have what you need. Looking to rent a trumpet for your kid’s band class? Shopping for a unique vintage guitar, or recording equipment? Want to start music lessons? Read about a few of our favorite Brooklyn music shops below.


Norm’s Music (Gravesend)
Norm’s Music is your go-to spot for all things instrumental. The store, open for more than 30 years, sells instruments, buys used equipment, rents out drums, keyboards, guitars, DJ systems and more, and offers in-store lessons for guitar and drums. There’s also a full service repair shop on the premises.

Photo courtesy of Norm’s Music’s Facebook. (more…)