Monday, March 24, 2014

Brooklyn Local: Living in Park Slope

By: Melissa Aki

Park Slope has gotten a bad rep over the years. Parents bringing babies into bars and women with monster truck-sized strollers battling pedestrians for sidewalk space are familiar scenes, but that's not all that Park Slope has to offer.

This huge Brooklyn neighborhood, which is bordered by 4th Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Avenue, and Prospect Park West, has a suburban feel in some areas and an urban feel in others.

In Park Slope, you will never get bored because 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue are jam-packed with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and unique little boutiques where you can find everything from vintage clothing to used license plates.

Whatever type of food you're in the mood for is right at hand because Japanese, Thai, and Mexican restaurants, among others are abundant. In addition, you can find a gourmet burger shop, a specialty beer store, and a gelato shop that sell flavors such as green tea and olive oil. Residential streets such as 6th and 8th Avenues offer a refuge from the busier streets. Filled with brownstones and wide sidewalks, you can sometimes forget that you're in the middle of a big city.

One of the best things about Park Slope is its proximity to Prospect Park. This 585-acre park is an oasis in the middle of the city and includes a 60-acre lake, 90-acre Long Meadow, and a natural forest. Unlike Central Park in Manhattan, you won't find Prospect Park packed with tourists at all times, so it's much more peaceful and it's easy to forget that you are in Brooklyn once inside the park.

In the fall, Park Slope is very picturesque and some streets make you feel as if you're in a quaint little town. This is a great neighborhood for photographers to capture fall foliage. Last, but not least, Park Slope is also in walking distance of equally cool neighborhoods such as Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, and Carroll Gardens so you can escape if the stroller mommies become unbearable.

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