by Tamika Burgess
Brooklyn is the most popular of the five boroughs, yet for some reason New Yorkers rarely want to visit it. Sure, we get why cab drivers cringe when we hop in their car and ask for a trip to Brooklyn, but for Manhattanites, the outer borough should be a welcomed change from the City’s fast-paced lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter if you are a tourist or Manhattan resident, Park Slope should be a must see on your weekend to-see list.
There’s a reason why Park Slope is so popular and rent is close to rivaling its Manhattan neighbor. It has the Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, a historic public library, and Prospect Park. As with any part of New York City, Park Slope also has its share of fine dining, coffee shops, Pizzerias, but without the Manhattan prices.
Park Slope gives off a sense of calmness without you even realizing it. The people are friendly and you can actually stroll down the streets without feeling rushed by other pedestrians. That slower stride allows you to actually take in your surroundings.
Take for example, Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Park Slope. The avenues are lined with trees, churches, and brownstone row houses. You can’t help but get lured in by the detailed architecture on churches and brownstones while walking. During the fall it makes for a nice backdrop as tree leaves start to turn different colors.
And unlike Manhattan, the streets in Park Slope are quiet, but not desolate. They still have many jewelry and clothing boutiques and bookstores throughout the various streets. Organic food stores, bars, cafes, and foreign restaurant cuisine are also the norm. Thankfully, those places are not outrageously overpriced.
But the thing I love most about my neighborhood is that it gives off a family vibe. The neighborhood is filled with people, but it is not crowed at all. Most of the time you see families walking and women pushing strollers, couples riding bikes, singles walking their dogs and weekend warriors jogging.
Prospect Park itself can provide a day’s worth of activity especially in the summer. There is always something to do, including the visiting the Greenmarket every Saturday. But the park is so large that you don’t have to go for any specific events or attractions. You can just go to the park for the scenery, or find a tree to sit under and read, write, or just simply sit and relax.
There are many other neighborhoods in Brooklyn that are similar to Park Slope and there are neighborhoods that are completely different. There are even some hidden sections of Brooklyn that make you feel like you’re not even in New York. But no matter what area you visit it surely will be different from Manhattan.
As someone who likes Manhattan for everything it offers, I love the fact that I can leave it behind and enjoy my cozy neighborhood in Brooklyn. It’s great to have access to the city and even better to go home and feel a sense of calm and relief from all the craziness the city has to offer.
New Yorkers should not be scared to cross over the Brooklyn Bridge. It is a great place to visit when wanting to experience something different.