Arguably the most exciting and up-scale area of Brooklyn, Park Slope attracts residents as varied as young urban professionals and more artistic types, due to its downtown vibe, which blends the urban aura of Manhattan with a greener atmosphere. According to a census in 1890, in fact, Park Slope was once the country’s wealthiest community. Located between Flatbush Avenue (in the north), Prospect Expressway (in the south), Fourth Avenue (in the west) and Prospect Park West (in the east), Park Slope is named after the very famous Prospect Park, which was designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in Manhattan.
Prospect Park is 585 acres large, which boasts such features as The Prospect Park Zoo, The Boathouse (which has a Vistor’s Center, and the first-ever urban-based Audobon Center), an ice skating rink in the winter, Long Meadow, which is the biggest meadow located in any park in the country, the Prospect Park Bandshell, a Society of Friends cemetery where Montgomery Clift, the legendary actor, is buried, and the only lake in the borough.
Prominent Park Slope landmarks include The Old Stone House, a reconstruction of an even older house, the Vechte-Cortelyou House (destroyed in 1897), and Grand Army Plaza. In the center of Grand Army Plaza stands The Soldiers and the Sailors Arch, which was unveiled in 1892 at a ceremony with Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States.
Architecturally, Park Slope is known for its historic brownstones. Prospect Park West is also home to a number of Victorian mansions constructed in the late 19th century. These buildings, and many others, rest in the Park Slope Historic District, which stretches 24 blocks and is one of the largest neighborhoods in New York State to be historically landmarked.
Other famous attractions include the world-famous Brooklyn Museum of Art, the gorgeously designed Brooklyn Library, the aforementioned Prospect Park Zoo, and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is located in nearby Crown Heights.
Park Slope has a large number of fantastic restaurants, including Two Boots Pizza, which blends Italian food with a Cajun style, al di la, an Italian restaurant that has won numerous awards and is considered one of the best in New York City, Franny’s, Palo Santo, Junior’s (along with its celebrated cheesecake), and Alchemy. Meanwhile, one has the option of a variety of local bars, including Barbes, Union Hall, Beer Table, Sidecar, and the Park Slope Ale House.
As far as shopping goes, Park Slope has many stores, such as Cog & Pearl, Beacon’s Closet, Goldie + Mac, Park Slope Food Co-op and Bird. It is also has a large number of chain stores, including Barnes and Noble. Theatregoers have the option of attending performances of The Gallery Players, Puppetworks, Theater 80, Jalopy Theater, and Union Street Dance, as well as a number of movie theatres. Meanwhile, famous annual festivals include the October Harvest Festival and Brooklyn Book Festival, where hundreds of famous authors appear every year.
People wanting to stay in the area can find hotel accommodations at the YMCA Prospect Park, Hotel le bleu, and a number of charming Bed and Breakfasts, including Stoney’s Inn, Bed & Breakfast on the Park, The Stratford Manor, Celeste Guest House, The Sofia Inn, and Sterling Bed & Breakfast.
Park Slope also has a large number of schools. Private schools in the area include Beth Elohim Day School, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn Free School, Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School, Chai Tots Preschool, Montessori School of New York, Poly Prep Lower School, St. Francis Xavier, St. Saviour Elementary School, and St. Saviour High School. As far as public schools go, Park Slope is divided into District 13 & 15 for elementary schools. Park Slope only has one high school, the Secondary School for Law, Journalism, and Research, so Park Slope students instead attend various high schools located throughout New York City.
Transportation includes the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, F, G, N, M, Q and R trains, as well as the B-41, B-63, B-67, B-69, and B-71 buses.