Wandering Park Slope

My Saturday wanderings started with a very popular and prosperous part of Brooklyn:  Park Slope.

If you’re financially sound and new to NYC:  Park Slope calls.  And a lot of people are hearing that call.  There are definite reasons for that.  It’s a nice area with beautiful buildings and a magnificent, terrific, wonderful, beautiful park right next to it:  Prospect Park.  I’ll be posting separately on that.

Okay, for those people who don’t know Brooklyn:  Park Slope is probably just a couple of miles east of Manhattan’s Financial District (that’s at the southern tip of Manhattan).  It is easily within reach of Manhattan because of a bunch of subways plus the Brooklyn Bridge.  It’s a bit north of Coney Island, but it is so far from Coney Island, in a cultural sense, that they practically aren’t on the same planet.

Park Slope is the home of a lot of artists and performers, as well as oodles of the non-hoi polloi (I love getting technical).  The prices range from sub-Manhattan to Manhattan equal.  The sub-Manhattan prices are in places that call themselves “Park Slope”, but don’t quite share the same zip code(s).  The area is quite hilly (that’s the “slope” part) and apparently lays claim to being the area of the story “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”.  Well, there are lots of trees in this part of Brooklyn.

Park Slope trees 1

Park Slope trees 2

The area has a lot of brownstones and rowhouses and the like.  Here are some on 7th Avenue, which seems to be a main commercial drag in Park Slope.

Park Slope buildings on 7th Ave

And a few more.

Park Slope buildings

The thing I love to point out (this is my jealous side) is to look at the window air conditioners.  The buildings are old, magnificent, often expensively remodeled, and incapable of handling central air conditioning.  You see it all over Manhattan, too.

The houses below are magnificent.  They’re on 9th Avenue about a block away from Prospect Park and are probably way, way, way outside any price range I’d ever consider.

Limestone houses

Yeah, they’ve got the occasional window air conditioner, too.

Some of the buildings have some interesting art.

Park Slope diaspora building

Dixon’s bike shop

There’s even some small art.  Here’s a bit of tree protection (probably protecting it from dogs which doesn’t bode well for the art).

A tree is protected in Brooklyn

Okay, Park Slope is a terrific looking place.  But is there more to it?  Sure, but my other impressions are so minimal that you can take them for what they’re worth.

The Park Slope Coop (I prefer the more correct “Co-op” to differentiate a cooperative from a chicken house) is an interesting throwback to the 1970s.

Park Slope Co-op

The place is busy and filled with non-standard foodstuffs.  It is also a little dirtier (although not unsanitary) than I like my grocery stores to be.  It has the real feel of the 1970s cooperative food store that I used to go to long ago.  But that’s not for good reasons.  There are lots of little repairs that need to be done (as in “we’ve got more important things to do rather than repair a few tiles or re-paint a wall”) and the displays are unprofessional.  I used to do some retail and it’s always a good idea to pull the few remaining items to the front to make the display look full and flush.  At the Park Slope Coop, every single can was pushed as far back as it could go.  And almost every line of product wasn’t fully stocked.  It isn’t for nothing that Whole Foods is doing so well:  they’ve got the co-op feel and selection types down pat, but they’ve done a lot of professionalizing of their appearance.

On the other hand, as I went it a pretty loud woman (apparently just in a boisterous and happy mood) greeted an old friend with the statement “I just finished my film shoot.  It was intense, man!”

Another Park Slope image in my mind:  lots of stoop sales (people putting out homewares for sale, but having no yard, put it just off the building’s stoop).   I saw about four stoop sales in three blocks.  My favorite:  a family had out a wide variety of stuff.  Not a great quantity, but a great variety.  It included two mannequins, an accordian, and an old PC.  I took a picture, but it came out poorly, so won’t be shown.

And they did have a great flea market that day.  It appears to be a weekly event.  I thought it was pretty good.

Park Slope Flea Market

It included furniture, coins, typewriters, old watches, original art, and (most poignantly) family photos.  The quality appeared generally on the good side, so it beats most flea markets hands down.

There are lots and lots of real estate offices.  As usual in NYC, all of them have posted “for sale” and “for rent” samples on their front windows.  Most of the offices actually have a number of their postings marked “SOLD” or “Under Contract”.  I don’t know how true/timely they are and think that’s just to drum up interest on the part of sellers.

I had lunch at a little Tex-Mex place.  Not worthy of any note, so I won’t.

Overall, Park Slope is ethnically very caucasian and middle American.  I don’t think I heard any foreign languages on the street, but people and events were actually very muted.

-H

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8 Comments on “Wandering Park Slope”

  1. Herb M. Says:

    You may be interested to know that the dictionary definition of “hoi polloi” is “the common people.” Many think it means “the upper crust,” probably because of the similarity in sound to “hoity toity.”

  2. famousankles Says:

    Herb,

    Right you are. I guess I wasn’t “technical” enough. Good catch.

    Anyway, welcome to Famous Ankles.


  3. […] Famous Ankles Documenting my wanderings around and about NYC « Wandering Park Slope […]

    • Kalu Says:

      it already but I’m so glad I found this site Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, peploe lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, A definite great read..Jim Bean


    • A 2BR government subsidized apartment is not easy to get on such short notice. There is usually a huge waiting list to get into these types of housing. My grandparents got into their govt subsidized apartment in Chinatown after a 15 year wait! I doubt you can secure one in such short notice.To move all your stuff to NYC, you’d have to hire some movers to truck all your furniture, clothes, electronics, etc… The cost to move your stuff could cost up to $ 2000…depending on how much stuff you have. Of course, you’d have to have an address first so they know where to deliver your stuff to, so that means you’d need to come to NYC a month or two beforehand to sign a lease to a place. If you want to go cheap, you can probably take Boltbus or Megabus to get to NYC for less than $ 10. If you have any friends in the city, maybe hit them up for a favor and crash with them for the weekend while you search for an apartment. Make sure you do your homework first and find out which part of Manhattan/Brooklyn you want to move to. Search some rental sites to become familiar with the areas. If you don’t get a rent-subsidized apartment, expect to pay anywhere from $ 2000 to $ 4000/month for a 2BR apartment in Manhattan….Brooklyn, depending on where you decide can be almost as expensive if you’re in Brooklyn Heights but much less if you go further into Brooklyn. Look around on the internet to see what the going rents are in each neighborhood so you won’t be surprised when you start looking around. Was this answer helpful?

    • SooFi Says:

      When I moved next to 4th avenue 7 years ago, I realized that 4th Avenue can be transformed into something similar to Park Ave in Manhattan and even better. Currently it is highly congested and unpleasant avenue to walk on, especially during rush hour. But if smart planning is applied, I believe it can be transformed into a very livable and pleasant wide avenue that many people will enjoy. My suggestions are these:1.Plant trees in the middle of the avenue on the islands2.Create bike lanes that will be separated by the small islands from the main traffic (similar to Prospect Park West)3.Either move parking lane out to create space for the bike lanes (this will leave only 2 traffic lanes in each direction) or do not allow cars to park on the 4th avenue altogether (this will leave 3 traffic lanes in each direction)4.Make sidewalks wider, I believe by reducing the number of lanes and introducing the bike lane, there will be still be some room for wider sidewalks where more trees can be planted creating a green tunnel (trees in the middle and trees on both sides of the 4th Ave)I believe these proposals will a) increase the property value of the 4th avenue for development and b) introduce better foot traffic thus stimulating more retail opportunities and commerce. Thank you.


  4. […] Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza My latest posts have been about my wanderings out and about Brooklyn on Saturday, August 18th.  Here’s […]

    • Salete Says:

      , go to the high line in Chelsea. its a raised walkawy/garden from 14th street up til 20th or something. the sunsets are gorgeous. for vintage: what goes around comes around.bon voyage –


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