Neighborhood: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Population Density: Approximately 68,000/square mile, or roughly twice as densely populated as Brooklyn in the aggregate. Heavy residential, lots of families.
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Sunset Park, Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights
Public Transit: 2/3 (Grand Army Plaza), F/G (4th-9th Streets, 7th Avenue, 15th Street), R (Union Street)
What’s Here?: Home to young professionals, creative types and many families, this Brooklyn utopia doesn’t bother striving to be the “trendiest”, but rather prides itself on being one of the safest and most appealing places to live and raise a family. The sprawling neighborhood derives its name from the 585-acre Frederick Olmsted designed Prospect Park, which, with its lush rolling hills and open fields, some consider superior to Central Park.
Nearby, spend an afternoon at the internationally acclaimed Brooklyn Museum, or get lost (or married!) in the floral oasis of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. While Park Slope’s active community supports an array of unique, family-owned businesses, a short subway ride can deliver you to the busy convenience of Atlantic Avenue and the dazzling Barclay’s Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets.
Flat or Tall?: Though the South Slope has attracted more modern residential condo buildings, the beautifully restored brownstone is king in Park Slope. The 24-block Park Slope Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and as one ambles up the tree-lined streets adjacent to Prospect Park, the Victorian homes go from impressive to palatial.
History: With the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in the late 1880′s, Park Slope was transformed into a busy suburb for wealthy New Yorkers and saw many of its storied mansions built during this period. In the 1950′s, the area experienced some economic decline as many of its affluent residents left the city entirely and the population became more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse.
In the 1970′s and 80′s, artists and young families recognized the value of the brownstones and began to buy up real estate. Today, the regular exodus of young professionals from Manhattan to the area cements the neighborhood as one of the wealthiest and most desirable in Brooklyn and much of New York City.
Activities: On 5th and 7th Avenues, explore the plethora of quaint boutiques and elegantly rustic restaurants that belie their foodie pedigree. Shop for organic groceries at the bustling Farmer’s Market or the popular Park Slope Co-op and go for a run in Prospect Park, which features summertime concerts and festivals in the Bandshell.
Take in outstanding local comedy and music at The Rock Shop or Union Hall, treat yourself to the legendary pasta at Al Di La Trattoria, or duck into tiny corner gem Barbes for a glass of wine and top-notch jazz.
Check it out: Grab your skates and head to the historic Brooklyn Lyceum for skate night on Sept 29th, scout your next neighborhood superstar at Union Hall’s Songwriters Series on Oct 2nd, and delight kids of all ages at Puppetworks’ “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”, which plays every Saturday and Sunday through December.