Living in Park Slope

There's a running joke about Park Slope being mobbed by strollers, little kids, and new parents. Park Slope is admittedly an area dense with families and new parents, but it's also a pretty cool neighborhood with a good number of young inhabitants. Park Slope definitely has a hip factor, with some cool bars, nice eateries, and great shops. It also presents some historic appeal, with its beautiful old brownstones and churches everywhere. Parts of the neighborhood can be pricey, because over the years, Park Slope has increasingly become a destination within Brooklyn. Its borders are Fourth Avenue to the west, Flatbush Avenue to the north, and 20th Street to the south (although the area below 10th Street is often referred to as "South Park Slope"). Park Slope is nestled against Prospect Park, its direct neighbor to the east.

Housing

Park Slope is known for its high quality of life, and while that could have something to do with the relatively wealthy population (a result of gentrification and re-gentrification), Park Slope has great housing. Beautiful brownstones line many of the side streets, and comfortable apartment buildings line 5th and 6th Avenues. Generally speaking, the real estate is more expensive closer to Flatbush Avenue, and becomes gradually less expensive towards 15th Street. Some apartments in Park Slope (particularly around the 5th Avenue/ 1st Street area) have views of the Manhattan skyline that are to die for. However, be cautious of Brooklyn apartment brokers, who can sometimes be sketchy: ask Brooklyn-based friends for recommendations, rather than picking from craigslist offerings.

People

Park Slope is a really friendly place. The population is diverse, in terms of where people are in life: the neighborhood is home to some students, some recent graduates and young professionals, some young couples and new families, some professionals, and some older people who have lived in Park Slope all their lives.

Safety

Park Slope is a generally safe place to live. The easternmost border of Park Slope, 3rd Avenue, can be a sketchy, and the neighborhood feels a little less quaint as one ventures south towards 20th Street.

Parks and Recreation

Park Slope is right on the border of Brooklyn's grand gem, Prospect Park. One can tan on the grass, go jogging, play baseball, see a concert, and even take horseback riding lessons at Brooklyn's largest park (among many other activities). Park Slope is also very near to the Brooklyn Library (the main branch of Brooklyn's library system), the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

Alchemy is a cool spot with good beers on tap and good cocktails, in particular, a killer Bloody Mary and mimosa (and their burgers aren't bad, either; the place is a great lunch spot). Bar 4 on Seventh Avenue is elite and popular and known for its excellent cocktails. While not officially in Park Slope, the Franklin Park Beer Garden, at 618 St. John's Place, in nearby Prospect Heights, is definitely worth the walk for the outdoor space.

Shopping and Eating

Park Slope streets are peppered with excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars. For an excellent brunch, try Miriam's on 5th Avenue between St. Marks Avenue and Prospect Place (the Swedish pancakes are unbeatable). The Chocolate Plate room on 5th Avenue between St. Mark's and Warren Street is an intimate, picturesque spot to eat - what else? - chocolate cake, candy, and cupcakes. Gorilla Coffee is a majorly popular coffee shop with an extremely strong brew that makes lines really long in the morning. The Postmark Cafe on 6th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is a spacious, relaxing place to grab a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat or to take your laptop and work.

Transportation

The Park Slope Food Co-Op is a hugely popular organization where members exchange roughly three hours of labor every month for membership, which allows them to shop at the Food Co-Op's store selling discounted fresh fruits, vegetables, and other food.

Good Points

  • beautiful tree-lined streets
  • great eateries and coffee shops
  • neighborhood-y feel
  • friendly people

Bad Points

  • bad rap about the high-kid population
  • not all areas of the neighborhood are easily accessible by subway
  • rent can be very expensive

Brooklyn

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Living in New York | ©2017 Kirsty Henderson