Perhaps best known as a highly desirable residential neighborhood on account of its tree-lined streets, attractive brownstones, and proximity to Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Park Slope can proudly hold its own as a New York City shopping destination, too. The heart of Park Slope’s exciting shopping scene is located on or around Fifth Avenue—no, not that Fifth Avenue, but Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. There shoppers will encounter independent stores, hip boutiques, and vintage thrift shops alongside all types of appealing bars and restaurants.
Getting to Know the Neighborhood
In the wake of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which took approximately 15 years to build and was first available for use in 1883, Park Slope witnessed a building boom. In particular, the neighborhood’s growth gave rise to the construction of numerous mansions and brownstone structures. By the turn of the century, Park Slope was considered one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire United States.
Throughout the twentieth century, Park Slope underwent many changes, with the one constant being the ongoing popularity of Brooklyn’s second-largest public park, Prospect Park, which sits directly adjacent to the neighborhood. Today, the neighborhood again is one of the wealthiest in the country.
Popular Park Slope Shopping Destinations
Park Slope’s popular shopping scene is headlined by the so-called “other Fifth Avenue.” However, where Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is famous for its luxury goods and glamorous big-name designers, Fifth Avenue in Park Slope cuts a very different figure. That’s because shopping establishments on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue are more inclined to be independent stores, fashionable boutiques, and unique destinations.
Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store has a fantastic brand name and an even better inventory of modern gifts ranging from toys to knickknacks to houseware, décor, and beyond. It’s difficult to describe just how many fun and quirky presents you’ll find there. Whether you need a gift for a child, teenager, grade-school teacher, bride-to-be, pet, or any number of particular holidays, Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store has you covered.
Almost right next door on Fifth Avenue is another Park Slope favorite, DNA Footwear. For nearly 20 years now, this Brooklyn-based company has stocked a curated mixture of popular major shoe brands and their own in-house branded footwear. DNA Footwear’s “street-chic” styles include sneakers, boots, sandals, wedges, slippers, and more.
Plenty of additional Park Slope shopping options are well worth a visit. Beacon’s Closet is a successful Brooklyn-based thrift store chain known for its selection of vintage clothing. Community Bookstore on Seventh Avenue has been in business for over 50 years, making it Brooklyn’s oldest continually operating bookseller. Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. sells masks, capes, and costumes that’ll let you feel like a real-life superhero, as well as adorable toys and games, with proceeds from sales benefiting the literacy non-profit organization 826NYC.
Other Ways to Enjoy Park Slope
In addition to all the great shopping on offer, there’s so much to see and do near Park Slope. Just a few blocks from Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue is Prospect Park. At a whopping 500 acres, Prospect Park is home to an athletic center, ice rink, bandshell, tennis center, Audubon Center, and several scenic hiking trails. It’s also where you’ll find Prospect Park Zoo, the 12-acre home of numerous favorite creatures like sea lions, dingoes, otters, and more.
If Prospect Park doesn’t scratch your outdoor-fun itch, head to the nearby Brooklyn Botanic Garden. For over 100 years this urban oasis has delighted visitors with its beautiful collections of lilacs, roses, peonies, and cherry trees. Favorite gardens here include the Discovery Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, and the Cherry Esplanade, while the charming Yellow Magnolia Café, set alongside the picture-perfect Lily Pool Terrace, is a special place to enjoy a vegetable-forward meal.
At the northern edge of Prospect Park, mere steps away from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, is the Brooklyn Museum. Its 1.5-million-piece collection makes it a can’t-miss destination for art lovers visiting New York City. Among its impressive permanent holdings are priceless Ancient Egyptian artifacts, multiple Decorative Arts masterworks, and Judy Chicago’s acclaimed installation, The Dinner Party. The Brooklyn Museum regularly hosts compelling temporary exhibits and eclectic special events.