Living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Carroll Gardens originally was part of Red Hook, Brooklyn. It started to carve its own identity in the 1960s. The neighborhood is named after Charles Carroll, an Irish immigrant who was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

With its tree-lined streets and mom-and-pop shops, this place feels like a real community. Court Street is one of the main thoroughfares. Yesterday's News on Court is an antique shop that seems to have it all.

The close proximity to Manhattan is a big draw for a lot of residents, who say it is a wonderful place to raise a family.

Real estate broker Alex Maroni with Douglas Elliman says the brownstones and townhouses are some of the best in Brooklyn. Some are so big that they are being converted into four- or five-family condominiums.

Carroll Park is one of the most popular green spaces in the neighborhood. There, I met some kids who grew up in the neighborhood. They say they love the space and the people.

Carroll Gardens has lots of restaurants. Many of them are on Smith Street. But I decided to pop into Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, which used to be a 1920s apothecary. I hear Bobby Flay loves the place so if it's good enough for Bobby, it's good enough for me.

Finally, if you're looking for a fun place to work out, try a kickboxing class at CKO Kickboxing gym. Co-owner Kelly Chiusano says a lot of women take up kickboxing because it builds your arms.