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July 24th, 2014

Neighborhood Spotlight: Park Slope, Brooklyn

Park Slope as we currently know it begins with its mid 20th century decline and subsequent rapid gentrification. Similar to nearby neighborhoods like Sunset Park or Flatbush, Park Slope withstood a mad exodus of middle class during the Fifties and Sixties. But unlike the other neighborhoods, Park Slope gentrified almost overnight. Artists and counterculture residents took advantage of the low rents which was followed by young professionals and families.

Park Slope has a storied baseball history. Before they were the Dodgers, Brooklyn’s professional baseball team was known as the Brooklyn Atlantics. They played baseball at Washington Park on Fifth Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets. A massive fire destroyed the original stadium in 1889 and the Atlantics moved first to Ridgeway Queens and then to East New York before returning to Park Slope in 1898 to a brand new stadium. Nearby that stadium was a system of trolley tracks, which got the Atlantics a few nicknames, including one that stuck: The Trolley Dodgers.

For late-night spots, there’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street. The sprawling, multi-level bar features an indoor bocce court, a stately (as their website puts it) library façade and outdoor garden seating. Converted from a warehouse, Union Hall gets jam-packed on weekend nights. Other popular Park Slope bars include The Dram Shop on 339 Ninth Street, a smaller venue with a wide array of microbrews, shuffle-board and delicious French fries; Pacific Standard at 82 Fourth Avenue, with Sunday trivia night and a West Coast slant; and The Rock Shop at 249 Fourth Avenue, a multi-level bar with a concert hall downstairs and rooftop seating and pool tables on floor two.