The Top 10 Secrets Of Park Slope, Brooklyn
Described by residents as its “own small town within the city,” Park Slope is a lively Brooklyn neighborhood filled with historic buildings, top-rated restaurants, and outdoor green spaces. Before the arrival of European settlers, Park Slope’s land used to be inhabited by the Canarsee Indians, one of several Indigenous Lenape peoples who hunted and farmed what used to be known as South Brooklyn. The tribe’s legacy can still be seen in the neighborhood, since the modern-day Flatbush Avenue is a widened version of a Lenape road. European settlement would begin around 1637-1639, when William Kieft, director of the Dutch West India Company, purchased what is now almost all the land of Brooklyn and Queens. Park Slope’s land would mostly be used as woods and farmlands until the early 19th century.
After the completion of Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, mansions and rowhouses sprung up across the neighborhood, as wealthy landowners fled from the bustling Manhattan scene for the more peaceful nature of Park Slope. Though the neighborhood would face widespread social and infrastructural decline during the mid-20th century, gentrification of the area during the 1960s would renovate building stock, leading to the Park Slope we know today. Some key spots to visit today include the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Central Library branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system. Keep reading for an inside peek into one of Brooklyn’s most illustrious neighborhoods.