Living in Park Slope
With its laid-back pace of life and idyllic location alongside Prospect Park, it’s easy to see why living in Park Slope has an enduring appeal. Creative types have long been drawn to the neighborhood’s leafy streets and café culture, while young families and professionals find Park Slope a welcome haven away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Superb subway connections near Grand Army Plaza, as well as the F, G and R trains, mean that the amenities of downtown are always within reach. However, if you’re seeking a peaceful alternative to manic Manhattan, it’s easy to make yourself at home in the relaxed community of Brooklyn’s Park Slope.
Park Slope real estate
As Brooklyn’s largest historic district, the neighborhood is justly famous for its stately brownstones and limestones with their characteristic bay windows, decorative ironwork and immaculate stoops. While many house hunters seek out these turn-of-the-century townhouses, you can also head ‘down slope’ to discover delightful small-frame family homes with quaint front porches.
For those seeking more modern Park Slope apartments for rent, newer zoning changes on bustling Fourth Avenue have seen the rise of several stylish condominiums. Contemporary buildings including the Argyle, Novo and the Crest provide a selection of luxury Park Slope rentals and spacious condos for sale.
Park Slope history
Park Slope’s distinctive brownstones certainly add to the neighborhood’s historic charm. However, the area’s history long predates its most iconic architecture. Dutch colonists were among the first to call the region home in the 1600s, claiming the area as fertile farmland.
During the American Revolutionary War, the area of Park Slope became the epicenter of the largest battle of the war – the Battle of Long Island. General Cornwallis commanded the British forces from the Vechte-Cortelyou House, a stone farmhouse built by a family of Dutch settlers. That same house also served as the original clubhouse of the 19th-century baseball team that would eventually become the Brooklyn Dodgers. Today, a 1930s replica known as the Old Stone House serves as a museum memorializing Park Slope’s rich history.
The tranquil green expanse of Prospect Park as well as the opulent Park Slope townhouses attracted an influx of affluent New Yorkers to the area in the final decades of the 1800s. Effectively one of America’s first suburbs, the Park Slope lifestyle continues to appeal today.
Park Slope restaurants
Serving a wide range of residents with discerning tastes, the Park Slope restaurant scene is dynamic and varied, featuring everything from down-home American diners to upscale ethnic cuisine. For instance, Al Di La Trattoria on Fifth Avenue has been a Brooklyn favorite for authentic Italian fare since it opened its doors in 1998.
Brunching is also a popular Park Slope pastime, with neighborhood staple Miriam serving up a tempting prix fixe brunch menu throughout the week. Locals enjoy indulging in one of Miriam’s Israeli specialties like shakshuka eggs along with their own signature hair-of-the-dog, the Sake Bloody Miriam.
Park Slope nightlife
Although there is no shortage of laid-back drinking dens in the neighborhood, Sidecar is a stand-out among Park Slope bars. With a rocking jukebox, craft beer and killer cocktails, this convivial late-night eatery is a local favorite.
Union Hall is another popular Park Slope haunt for evening entertainment. Undeniably quirky, the plush upstairs bar has an impressive library, cozy fireside tables and indoor bocce ball courts. Meanwhile, downstairs you’ll discover an action-packed calendar of live talent, from up-and-coming indie bands to well-known comedians and themed karaoke nights.
Park Slope shopping
The progressive spirit of the neighborhood’s socially-conscious residents makes Park Slope a haven for independent shops, with locally-run record stores and booksellers all adding to the area’s small-town feel. Ever-present strollers also attest to Park Slope’s popularity with young families. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a volunteer-run nonprofit, caters specially to kids. Here, aspiring heroes and their parents can shop for crime-fighting essentials, including capes and invisibility-detection goggles, provided they promise to use their powers for good.
Vintage bargain hunters can get their fashion fix in quirky shops along Fifth Avenue. Decidedly different to Manhattan’s famous Fifth Avenue, Park Slope’s best-loved shopping street still has much to offer the fashion-conscious, from well-stocked thrift shops to on-trend boutiques like Bird.
When it comes to food shopping, the community-run Park Slope Coop, founded in the early 70s, remains the neighborhood’s one-stop-shop for good-value groceries. In exchange for 2 hours and 45 minutes of work each month, Coop members benefit from big savings on local and organic produce, along with an impressive range of eco-conscious supermarket items.
Park Slope attractions
The rolling landscape of Prospect Park offers Park Slope residents the perfect antidote to urban malaise with a dose of fresh air and a step back to nature. Dog and family-friendly, the park is the go-to destination for barbecues, birdwatching and a wide range of outdoor sports.
Residents and visitors alike also appreciate Park Slope’s close proximity to world-class cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn’s Central Library. At a more local level, art and culture are easy to come by at the Old Stone House. Along with serving as a living museum of local history, the house also hosts a full calendar of events and art exhibitions, including free outdoor plays staged by their resident theater company, Piper Theatre Productions.
"Brooklyn's own Olmsted/Vaux-designed gem beats its sister across the river--a little wilder, a little more laid-back, it's the locals' back yard. Here we walk, bike, take our dogs, picnic, play, fly kites, fish, birdwatch, ramble, or simply relax. "
Local tips and information for going out in the Park Slope from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.All Park Slope tips