Park Slope is considered one of New York City's most desirable neighborhoods. In 2010, it was ranked number 1 in New York by New York Magazine, citing its quality public schools, dining, nightlife, shopping, access to public transit, green space, safety, and creative capital, among other aspects. It was named one of the "Greatest Neighborhoods in America" by the American Planning Association in 2007, "for its architectural and historical features and its diverse mix of residents and businesses, all of which are supported and preserved by its active and involved citizenry." In December 2006, Natural Home magazine named Park Slope one of America's ten best neighborhoods based on criteria including parks, green spaces and neighborhood gathering spaces; farmers' markets and community gardens; public transportation and locally owned businesses; and environmental and social policy.
The area that today comprises the neighborhood of Park Slope was first inhabited by the Native Americans of the Lenape people. The Dutch colonized the area by the 17th century and farmed the region for more than 200 years. During the American Revolutionary War, on August 27, 1776, the Park Slope area served as the backdrop for the beginning of the Battle of Long Island. In this battle, over 10,000 British soldiers and Hessian mercenaries routed outnumbered American forces. The historic site of Battle Pass is now preserved in Prospect Park, and on Fifth Avenue there is a reconstruction of the stone farmhouse where a countercharge covered the American retreat.
In the 1850s, a local lawyer and railroad developer named Edwin Clarke Litchfield (1815-1885) purchased large tracts of what was then farmland. Through the American Civil War era, he sold off much of his land to residential developers. During the 1860s, the City of Brooklyn purchased his estate (the Litchfield Villa) and adjoining property to complete the West Drive and the southern portion of the Long Meadow in Prospect Park. However, Park Slope's bucolic period ended soon after. By the late 1870s, with horse-drawn rail cars running to the park and the ferry, bringing many rich New Yorkers in the process, urban sprawl dramatically changed the neighborhood into a streetcar suburb. Many of the large Victorian mansions on Prospect Park West, known as the Gold Coast, were built in the 1880s and 1890s to take advantage of the beautiful park views.
Early colloquial names for the neighborhood included "Prospect Heights" (later applied to the neighborhood north of Prospect Park), "Prospect Hill", and "Park Hill Side", before residents settled on Park Slope. By 1883, with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Park Slope continued to boom and subsequent brick and brownstone structures pushed the neighborhood's borders farther. The 1890 census showed Park Slope to be the richest community in the United States.
Realtors and community members saw a clear connection between Park Slope's bucolic setting and the comfort of living there. As the New York Tribune wrote in 1899, "Nature set the park down where it is, and man has embellished her work in laying out great lawns and artificial lakes, in bringing together menageries and creating conservatories, in making roads and driveways, and in doing everything in his power to make the place a pleasant pleasure ground and a charming resort."
Baseball had also played a prominent role in the history of the Park Slope area. From 1879 to 1889, the Brooklyn Atlantics (later to become the Dodgers) played at Washington Park on 5th Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets. When the park was destroyed by a fire, the team moved to their part-time home in Ridgewood, Queens and then to a park in East New York. In 1898, the "New" Washington Park was built between Third and Fourth Avenues and between First and Third Streets near the Gowanus Canal. The team, by this point known as the Dodgers, played to an ever-growing fan base at this location. By the end of the 1912 season, it was clear that the team had outgrown the field, and the neighborhood. Team owner Charles Ebbets moved the team to his Ebbets Field stadium in Flatbush for the beginning of the 1913 season. The team went on to have historic crosstown rivalries with both the New York Giants and New York Yankees.
Some of those that did not relocate reacted violently to the ethnic changes to the neighborhood; for example, white residents of Park Slope attempted to bar African-Americans from participating in after-school programs at William Alexander Middle School in 1966. After this failed, white teenagers engaged in firebomb attacks on African-American homes on Fourth Street. In 1968, a street fight between Italian and African-American gangs occurred at Fifth Avenue and President Street, using bricks and bottles as weapons; in the aftermath of the fight, fourteen African-Americans and three Italian-Americans were arrested.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the renovation of a now-$4.8 million brownstone along Berkeley Place sparked a trend where the rest of the brownstones were cleaned up, and the grittiness of the neighborhood was removed. Young professionals began to buy and renovate brownstones (which only cost around $15,000-35,000 at the time), often converting them from rooming houses into single and two-family homes. Preservationists helped secure landmark status for many of the neighborhood's blocks of historic row houses, brownstone, and Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival, and Romanesque mansions. After the 1973 creation of the landmark district, primarily above 7th Avenue, the rate of gentrification was sped up, and throughout the 1970s, the area saw an influx of young professional couples.
Gentrification accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s as working-class families were generally replaced by upper-middle-class people being priced out of Manhattan or Brooklyn Heights. The influx of these new upper middle class residents has made Park Slope one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Sociologist and urban theorist Sharon Zukin has written of the trend, "In Park Slope, the middle class found a sense of history and a picturesque quality that fit their sense of themselves." Since the mid-1990s young and childless professionals who in previous decades would most likely have lived in Manhattan have been moving to the neighborhood in ever-increasing numbers. Gentrification has also overflowed even into the surrounding areas, such as Prospect Heights to the north and Windsor Terrace to the southeast.
A 2001 report by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board found that from 1990 to 1999, rents in Park Slope increased by 3.5-4.4% per year, depending on what kind of building the apartment was in.
Park Slope contains a variety of zoning districts, including manufacturing, commercial, residential, and mixed-use. Much of the neighborhood is composed of rowhouses and six-to-eight-story apartment buildings, though Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Avenues contain residential structures with commercial space on the ground floors. The westernmost portion of Park Slope near the Gowanus Canal is a light industrial district. The section of Seventh Avenue south of Ninth Street is largely zoned for low-density commercial use.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of the Park Slope/Gowanus neighborhood tabulation area was 67,649, a change of 386 (0.6%) from the 67,263 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 961.17 acres (388.97 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 70.4 inhabitants per acre (45,100/sq mi; 17,400/km2).
The entirety of Community Board 6, which covers areas around Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, had 109,351 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 81.4 years.:2, 20 This is slightly higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 18% are between the ages of 0-17, 46% between 25-44, and 20% between 45-64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 5% and 10% respectively.:2
As of 2016, the median household income in Community Board 6 was $134,804. In 2018, an estimated 10% of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. Less than one in fifteen residents (6%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 37% in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, lower than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Park Slope and Carroll Gardens is considered to be high-income and not gentrifying.:7
Police and crime
Park Slope is patrolled by the 78th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 65 6th Avenue. The 78th Precinct ranked 41st safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 30 per 100,000 people, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens' rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 294 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 78th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 83.3% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 0 murders, 12 rapes, 93 robberies, 81 felony assaults, 106 burglaries, 504 grand larcenies, and 68 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Squad 1/Technical Response Vehicle - 788 Union Street
Preterm and teenage births are less common in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens than in other places citywide. In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, there were 27 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 7.9 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Park Slope and Carroll Gardens has a relatively high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 22%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens is 0.0089 milligrams per cubic metre (8.9×10-9 oz/cu ft), higher than the citywide and boroughwide averages.:9 Fifteen percent of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens residents are smokers, which is slightly higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, 15% of residents are obese, 6% are diabetic, and 22% have high blood pressure--compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 9% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly lower than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 88% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," greater than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, there are 12 bodegas.:10
The Park Slope Food Coop on Union Street has approximately 17,000 members from Park Slope and other neighborhoods. Only members may shop there, and membership requires a work commitment of 2 hours every four weeks.
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, part of the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music, is a community music school, offering music classes, ensembles and choral opportunities, and individual instrumental and vocal lessons to students from 18 months old to adults. It was founded in 1897.
Christian Help, Inc. Park Slope (CHiPS) is a soup kitchen that serves 200-250 men and women daily. Its Frances Residency Program provides shelter and support for young homeless mothers and their infants and toddlers; it was founded in 1971.
There is a significant Jewish population in Park Slope, allowing for a number of synagogues along the religious spectrum. In addition to a number of synagogues, there is an eruv, sponsored by members of the various communities, that surrounds Park Slope.
Park Slope and Carroll Gardens generally have a much higher ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. The majority (74%) of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, while 9% have less than a high school education and 17% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens students excelling in reading and math has been increasing, with reading achievement rising from 41 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2011, and math achievement rising from 35 percent to 64 percent within the same time period.
Park Slope and Carroll Gardens's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, 11% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.:6:24 (PDF p. 55) Additionally, 77% of high school students in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75% of students.:6
Public schools are operated by the New York City Department of Education. Park Slope is in two different community school districts - district 13 and district 15. The border between these two districts is Union Street from Prospect Park West to Sixth Avenue and then President Street from Fourth to Sixth Avenue. North of this border is District 13, south of this border is district 15. Students are zoned to schools for elementary school Both district 13 and district 15 place students in middle school based on the student's ranking of acceptable middle schools; the district 13 portion of Park Slope receives district 15 (not district 13) middle school choice consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. The former John Jay High School is now the John Jay Educational Campus, housing three high schools and one combination middle/high school.
K-280, School of Journeys (preK, dist. 15) on Nineteenth Street, between Prospect Park West and Tenth Avenue.
PS 10, Magnet School of Math, Science, and Design Technology (K-5, dist. 15) on Seventeenth Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
^Park Slope neighborhood profile, New York, extracted from a March 10, 2003 article. Accessed September 25, 2007. "Boundaries: Stretching from Prospect Park West to Fourth Avenue, Park Place to Prospect Expressway."
^Oser, Alan N. "Rezoning, and Redefining, Park Slope", The New York Times, December 28, 2003. Accessed September 25, 2007. "As broadly defined by brokers marketing real estate there, Park Slope is bordered by Flatbush Avenue to the north, the Prospect Expressway to the south, Prospect Park and Prospect Park West to the east, and Fourth Avenue to the west. The April rezoning actually extends west as far as Third Avenue on some blocks, and only as far as 15th Street to the south."
^ abMorrone, Francis (2001). An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith. pp. 347-370. ISBN1586850474.
^"Brooklyn's Park Slope: A Place of Fine Homes and Beautiful Surroundings Where Wealth and Taste have Combined to Aid Nature in Making a Dwelling Place of the Highest Class". New York Tribune. June 4, 1899.
^Tucker, Reed. "All about Steve Buscemi", New York Post, January 24, 2010. Accessed August 15, 2016. "As anyone who's seen Steve Buscemi casually riding the F train knows, this guy's one of us. He was born in this city, has fought fires in this city and, despite his success, has resisted the urge go all Hollywood on us. He still lives in a brownstone off Seventh Avenue in Park Slope and says he never wanted to relocate to LA."
^ abMompanek, Christopher. "Cobble thrill", New York Post, December 13, 2012. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Previously, she lived in a Park Slope townhouse with her ex-husband, actor/director Terry Kinney. She'd wanted to stay in the neighborhood, but 'finding a three-bedroom that was affordable, relatively speaking, in that neighborhood was very difficult,' she says."
^Pincus-Roth, Zachary. "Next on His Docket: A Supreme Challenge", The New York Times, April 27, 2008. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Mr. Fishburne had little experience with segregation. Though he was born in Augusta, Ga., in 1961, at about 4 he moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, a melting-pot neighborhood where he played with children from many backgrounds."
^Bergin, Brigid. "John Hodgman to de Blasios: You'll Miss Us in Park Slope", WNYC, December 11, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2016. "To find out what's behind this mysterious magnetism, specifically in Park Slope, WNYC spoke to another well-known resident, the writer, comedian and, by his own description, minor television star John Hodgman."
^Home Page, RobinJohnson.net. Accessed January 25, 2017. "Robin Johnson was born May 29, 1964, and grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn."
^Paumgarten, Nick. "The Race Card", The New Yorker, November 10, 2003. Accessed August 15, 2016. "'To be perfectly clear, passing'--that is, trying to pass oneself off as white, as Silk does--'is something that has never crossed my mind,' Miller, who was brought up in Park Slope, said last week, over breakfast."
^Itzkoff, Dave. "Together Off Broadway and Elsewhere", The New York Times, February 4, 2009. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Over lunch at a trattoria near their Park Slope home, Ms. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Sarsgaard come across like a shinier version of That Brooklyn Couple who gave up the hubbub of Manhattan to raise their child in a quieter, tree-lined borough."
^Miller, Rachel. "Brooklyn's 50 Funniest People: Streeter Seidell", Brooklyn Magazine, June 3, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Seidell was born in Connecticut, and yes, there is a picture of baby Seidell on the beach wearing a pink polo with a popped collar posted on his Instagram. Now he lives in Park Slope, and yes, there is also a picture of Seidell and his wife with their brand new, beautiful baby boy."
^Christian, Scott. "Patrick Stewart Moves To Brooklyn, Becomes Coolest Guy Ever", GQ, August 28, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Further proof that Brooklyn really is the coolest city in the U.S., Dr. Charles Xavier himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, recently moved the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope and has quickly become one of the best things to watch on the Internet."
^Koblin, John. "In The Night Of, John Turturro Picks Up Where James Gandolfini Left Off", The New York Times, July 1, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Over a recent lunch at Bar Pitti in the West Village, Mr. Turturro's trademark Queens accent was on display as he chatted breezily with the wait staff and took a reporter through the menu item by item, translating from Italian. Dressed in a fitted gray T-shirt, he had taken the subway there from his home in Park Slope."
^Martinez, Erika. "'Artie's' Goose is 'Coked' - Sopranos Chef in Drug & DWI Bust", New York Post, May 2, 2006. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Sources said Ventimiglia later maintained he had a couple of glasses of wine at a Long Island City art gallery opening. The actor claimed he had found a parking spot near his Park Slope apartment and had turned off his lights as he tried to pull in."
^Chinen, Nate. "Ravi Coltrane", JazzTimes, March 1, 2005. Accessed January 25, 2017. "'I'm sorry about the mess,' Ravi Coltrane says at the front door of his brownstone, on a picturesque residential street in Brooklyn's Park Slope."
^Robbins, Liz. "Music Upstairs and Downstairs", The New York Times, March 15, 2013. Accessed January 25, 2017. "The classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, 40, has a hectic international performance schedule, but in Park Slope her husband, Jeremy Greensmith, 46, and their son, Adrian Greensmith, 11, keep her grounded.... I'm very happy not to leave Park Slope. I grew up in Park Slope on First Street."
^Porter, Christopher. "Dave Douglas", JazzTimes, September 1, 2002. Accessed January 25, 2017. "Brooklyn's Park Slope region is as laid-back as its name, befitting the serene demeanor of one of its residents, trumpeter Dave Douglas.... Douglas has lived in Park Slope for 10 years, seeing it transform from an artists' community to one of the hottest real estate areas in New York City."
^Wise, Brian. "Jangled by a Jingle, He Writes His Own ...", The New York Times, May 20, 2007. Accessed January 25, 2017. "Mr. Hearst produced the album in a tiny bedroom converted into a recording studio in his third-floor walk-up in Park Slope, where several Mister Softee trucks can be seen lumbering by his window on any given day."
^Kompanek, Christopher. "Giant-sized pad", New York Post, July 21, 2011. Accessed January 25, 2017. "Linnell, 52, is half of veteran alt-pop duo They Might Be Giants. He's also a longtime Brooklyn resident. He and his family lived a neighborhood away in Park Slope for 10 years prior to buying the two-story, 1,500-square-foot house."
^Albrecht, Leslie. "Fans Want to Rename Park Slope Street for Rapper Pumpkinhead"Archived February 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, DNAinfo.com, August 13, 2015. Accessed January 25, 2017. "People sometimes laughed when the rapper Pumpkinhead boasted about his Park Slope roots, but now he could get his old block named after him.... Friends and fans of Robert Diaz -- the underground rapper known as Pumpkinhead who died suddenly in June at the age of 39 -- hope to convince city officials to rename Degraw Street and Fifth Avenue in his honor."
^Punjabi, Rajul. "French Jazz Violinist Scott Tixier on His 'Sleep No More' Debut", The Village Voice, September 21, 2016. Accessed February 3, 2017. "Tixier composed ten of the twelve tracks in a swift whirlwind of inspiration, and even the cover image came together in a day, his wife and neighbors (designers and photographers) adorning his Park Slope apartment with lush fabrics and odd tchotchkes -- improvisation at its best."
^ abWalsh, Brienne. "'Crossing Brooklyn' Showcases Artistic, Demographic Diversity", Art in America, October 3, 2014. Accessed February 3, 2017. "Yours truly (2nd correspondence), 2010-14, by Bahamian-born, Park Slope-based Janine Antoni, is a series of love letters written from the perspective of an artwork and slipped into visitors' belongings at the coat check-art that continues to speak to the viewer after the museum visit."
^Glueck, Grace. "Art in Review; Byron Kim", The New York Times, December 9, 2005. Accessed February 3, 2017. "The most interesting works are photographic assemblages under the rubric What I See. These specific impressions of important places in his life, like the one of his backyard in Park Slope, Brooklyn, have a sweet, nostalgic poignancy."
^Rosenblum, Constance. "A Brooklyn House With Country Roots", The New York Times, May 14, 2010. Accessed February 3, 2017. "If ever a place fulfilled such a fantasy, it is the century-old robin's-egg blue house on 11th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where Ms. Snyder and Ms. Cammer have lived for the past decade."
^Staff. "Artnet News: Starbucks Gets Artistic", Artnet, January 12, 2006. Accessed February 3, 2017. "Twitchell, who lives in Park Slope with his wife and young son and shows his elaborately patterned, stencil-cut artworks at Greenberg Van Doren Gallery on Fifth Avenue, has designed the packaging for four different varieties of premium coffee, which Starbucks plans to introduce every three months (the next coffee is due Mar. 14, 2006)."
^Hamill, Denis. "He Wrote the Book on City Paranoia", New York Daily News, June 23, 1996. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Blauner, now a Park Slope resident, is a former New York magazine writer and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for his first novel, Slow Motion Riot, set in the world of probation officers."
^Kleinman, Jacob. "The Park Slope man who saved Purple Rain!", The Brooklyn Paper, July 28, 2009. Accessed March 13, 2017. "One of the most exciting events of the summer is a participatory screening of Prince's classic film Purple Rain in Prospect Park -- but it never could have happened without one Park Slope man. Howard Bloom saved Prince's self-produced, 1984 film from the dustbin of history with an unprecedented one-man crusade that comes into full fruition with the sing-along presentation at Celebrate Brooklyn on Aug. 6."
^"Q&A with Charles Blow", C-SPAN, March 15, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Brian Lamb: What part of this area do you live in? Charles M. Blow: In Brooklyn - Park Slope, Brooklyn."
^Eggers, Dave "My wish: Once Upon a School", TED (conference), March 2008. Accessed September 10, 2016. "In the Brooklyn neighborhood that I lived in, Park Slope, there are a lot of writers -- it's like a very high per capita ratio of writers to normal people."
^ abcScott, Janny. "The Brownstone Storytellers; A Colony of Writers Is Growing in Park Slope", The New York Times, May 15, 1995. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Colin Harrison, author and editor, lives with his wife, Kathryn Harrison, novelist, in a brownstone a block from Thomas Boyle, writer of thrillers, who lives in a brownstone a block from Luc Sante, writer, and his wife, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, the same.... Jennie Fields's block in Park Slope is the hero of her new novel."
^Morris, Bob. "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", The New York Times, April 24, 2005. Accessed March 13, 2017. "A few weeks ago the news broke that Jonathan Safran Foer, the young novelist, was trading up in Park Slope, selling one home for more than $3 million and buying another for $6.75 million."
^ abWilson, Michael. "Eggs, Bacon and a Baseball Cap", The New York Times, August 14, 2009. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Colin Harrison, 48, is a crime novelist and an editor at Simon & Schuster. His latest book, The Finder, was published last year. He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, the writer Kathryn Harrison, and their three children, Sarah, 19; Walker, 17; and Julia, 9."
^Smith, Dinitia. "Literary Voice, Brooklyn Accent", The New York Times, September 15, 2006. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Perhaps the end really began when Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) and his wife, Nicole Krauss (The History of Love), bought their house in Park Slope last year for $6.7 million."
^Vitale, Tom. "Transplanted Author Finds Roots in Writing", All Things Considered April 8, 2008. Acceessed March 13, 2017. "In all her work, acclaimed author Jhumpa Lahiri has focused on the lives and struggles of Bengali-Americans.... In New York, after Akash was born, she'd negotiated a part-time schedule at her law firm, spending Thursdays and Fridays at home in Park Slope, and this had seemed like the perfect balance."