AT FIRST I THOUGHT this was going to be a hopelessly random post, a mash-up of recent photos I wanted to share but that had no particular organizing principle. Only when I looked at them all together I realized the bay windows, stained glass, and carriage houses do have something in common. They’re all in Park Slope!
Park Slope, Brooklyn’s biggest brownstone neighborhood — in fact, the largest concentration of 19th century housing stock in the entire country, I once read — is many things. Here are some of them, in alphabetical order:
annoying, beautiful, congested (in spots), Democratic, elegant, fucked, Gold Coast, historic, intense, jogger-laden, kid-happy, left-wing, mansion-infested, novelist-ridden, overpriced, parking nightmare, quiet at night, restaurant-challenged, self-satisfied, top-of-the-market, unfazed, Victorian, wifi-ful, xpanding, yoga-friendly, and zealous about its food coop rules.
(I can’t believe I managed to come up with 26 alphabetical adjectives — if you can do better on any of them, feel free. Click on “[#of] comments” in tiny type under the post headline above, and a form will open up for your comment. I know, WordPress doesn’t make it easy.)
I’ve never lived in Park Slope, though I’ve long admired its varied architecture, and envied its proximity to Prospect Park and the Botanic Gardens. And, of course, I wish I had had the foresight to snatch up some of those brownstones when they were cheap (I’m wincing, recalling a 5-story house with a mansard roof on the corner of Sixth Avenue and a North Slope block — Lincoln Place, maybe — for $150,000…Would somebody please KICK ME NOW?!)
Anyway, now that I’m in neighboring Prospect Heights, I find myself in the Slope more often. I’m getting familiar with certain blocks I trod on my way home from the Fifth Avenue bus.
The list of places I want to try/hang out is growing…Cafe Regular, Juventino…and many of them are in the Slope. It’s like discovering a new continent, that’s how vast it seems to an outlander. And with such architectural riches, it could take a long time to get bored.