Michael Moshan bought his first condo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2003. A few years later he persuaded his girlfriend, Shana Liebman, to move there from the West Village. She was skeptical - she didn't want to be surrounded by 20-somethings just out of school. But over the years the neighborhood, with its restaurants, bars and galleries, grew on her.
They were married in October 2006, the same month they closed on a condo on Roebling and North Seventh Streets for $725,000. To their surprise, they found a building filled with families. Now they can't imagine raising their 15-month-old son, Nate, anywhere else.
If you look at child-friendly parts of Brooklyn - Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope - those neighborhoods are beautiful and safe and the schools are great and that is good for our kids, Mr. Moshan said. But is that good for us? We thought, if Williamsburg could mature into a neighborhood where kids can grow, then you've won.
Families are discovering that Williamsburg is much more than a playground for the postcollege, skinny-jeans set. The neighborhood has a few private preschools; several indoor play spaces; art, movement and music classes; and a number of children's stores, some of which were started by neighborhood parents. Many of the condo buildings rising all over the neighborhood feature playrooms, pools and other family-friendly amenities.