Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 14th 2011
The Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn was and still is considered the "Gold Coast" of Brooklyn. Here you'll find stately homes that can easily hold their own with the grandest of mansions in any of Manhattan's upscale neighborhoods. Even the apartment buildings, of which there is an abundance, lend an air of grace and dignity to this neighborhood.
There is a lot to see and do in Park Slope, so you want to devote an entire day to your visit to this Brooklyn neighborhood. First, we'll give you some background on the area, and then we'll give you suggestions on how to spend your day.
A brief history lesson
The area that is now known as Park Slope was originally settled by Dutch colonists in the 1700s. It's growth as a residential area did not begin until the 1800s, after a link was established with Manhattan via means of a ferry service. It was at this time that land began to be sold for residential use. Growth continued throughout the late 1800s and 1900s, especially as transportation to and from Manhattan became easier and more reliable. It remained a convened place to live for many years.
The 1950s brought a period of decline; however, the 1960s and 1970s marked the beginning of change. Hippies and artists began to move into the old brownstone houses, converting some of them into multi-dwelling buildings. In addition, efforts to preserve historical places and areas began, and the area entered into a period of "gentrification". Today, it is once again a popular place to live.
What to see in Park Slope
Park Slope has several historical sites, as it was the place for many happenings during the American Revolutionary War. The Battle of Brooklyn (also known as the Battle of Long Island) began in the Park Slope area. Battle Pass, the site of the rout of American forces, is preserved today in Prospect Park. You can visit that as well as a reconstructed stone farmhouse on 5th Avenue where a counter-charge occurred that allowed for the Americans' retreat.
The one place you'll really want to visit in Park Slope, however, is Prospect Park. Here you'll find the Soldiers' and Sailors Memorial Arch and Bailey Fountain. These landmarks are located at the Grand Army Plaza, which can be considered the "main part" of Prospect Park. As you continue on into Prospect Park, you'll come to the Long Meadow. Your view from this area is unobstructed for almost a mile, which is probably why this is one of the most popular meeting and activity areas in the Park.
Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue. As zoos go, this one is rather small, but it still has several interesting animal exhibits, including two one-year-old baboons, young wallabies still learning how to jump without wobbling, and other exotic animals. Prices at this zoo are very reasonable, so you won't mind bringing your family to spend a few hours here.
Where to Eat in Park Slope
After a day spent strolling through Prospect Park and the zoo, you'll probably be ready for a good meal. You can choose from 200 5th (which was a popular place to eat before the "other" 5th Avenue—you know, the one in Manhattan—was even that well known) for continental cuisine at very reasonable prices, or indulge your love for Italian food at Aunt Suzie Italian Restaurant.