Why Families Are Flocking to Park Slope-
Manhattan may have once been New York City’s hottest borough, but over the past decade, Brooklyn has certainly surpassed its island counterpart, luring many former Manhattanites to the so-called “better borough.” It may be known to outsiders as the East Coast epicenter of hipster culture, but Brooklyn has so much more to offer than snarky baristas and tattoo shops — the little borough that could has become a prime destination for those looking to upgrade their living arrangements, whether that means upgrading to a two-bedroom apartment or buying an entire brownstone. Perhaps no Brooklyn neighborhood has earned the family-friendly seal of approval like Park Slope, however, which has become a haven of sorts for families, with thoroughfares like fifth and seventh avenues establishing themselves as places you’re more likely to see strollers than skinny jeans. So what makes Park Slope so appealing to families?
Great schools: While some New York City schools may leave something to be desired, Park Slope’s schools — both private and public — hold themselves to exceedingly high standards, with test scores, after-school programs, and parental involvement that you’re unlikely to find in other neighborhood. Schools like PS 321 and 107 regularly make the top ten list for public schools in the city, while private schools, like Berkeley Carroll, Poly Prep, and Park Slope Christian regularly numbering among the country’s best academic institutions.
Lots of green space: Many families flock to Park Slope to enjoy more living space, which, for many of the neighborhood’s brownstone residents, includes a front or back yard, but that’s far from the only green space you’ll find in the area. Proximity to Prospect Park’s lush, manicured lawns, sports fields, and playgrounds is a major draw for many families considering a move to the neighborhood. Smaller neighborhood parks, like the Park Slope Playground and Washington Park don’t disappoint either, offering safe and impeccable places for little ones to play.
Amazing architecture: Much of New York City’s landscape is dedicated to the art of the skyscraper, with each new building’s elevation surpassing (and often blocking the view) of its neighbors. In contrast, Park Slope’s architecture eschews the sleek look of Manhattan towers, instead favoring stunning historic properties, like 8th Avenue’s beautifully ornate Montauk Club, and charming brownstones. Even the neighborhood’s newest residential additions, like JDS Development Group’s 613 Baltic, suit the neighborhood’s style, rather than imposing Manhattan-like size on the low-slung neighborhood. The 50-residence tower will only rise eleven stories, with a stone and glass exterior that meshes well with the neighborhood’s existing architecture.
Tons of culture: Park Slope is leading the charge in Brooklyn when it comes to cultural attractions. The neighborhood has something to suit every taste, whether you’re looking for activities to take your kids to or simply searching for something fun to do on a date night. For children, the Central Brooklyn Library at Grand Army Plaza, a breathtaking Andrew Carnegie-funded landmark, provides plenty of indoor fun for days when the park isn’t an option. When the weather is warmer, kids and parents alike can venture to Prospect Park for one of the concerts in the Celebrate Brooklyn series, which hosted world-renowned performers like Sylvan Esso, Interpol, Damien Rice, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Willie Nelson, in this year. Art enthusiasts will find no lack of visual stimulation in the neighborhood either, enjoying the Brooklyn Museum’s eclectic exhibits from some of the world’s most famous artists in addition to its fun members-only dance parties. While family-friendly fun abounds in Park Slope, even parents who need a break from the kids can find it here — venues like Union Hall offer live music and strong drinks for nights when the babysitter’s on duty.
Easy access to the rest of the city: Years ago, Brooklyn may have seemed like a serious trek from Manhattan, but these days, it’s easier than ever to skip from borough to borough, especially for residents of Park Slope. Thanks to major shopping and entertainment destinations throughout the neighborhood, there is never a dearth of cabs cruising up and down Park Slope’s tree-lined streets. For those who favor public transportation, Park Slope couldn’t be more convenient either, with transit hubs like the Atlantic Terminal offering access to nine subway lines, the LIRR, and five bus lines. Even those who keep their car in the city won’t have a problem in Park Slope — the neighborhood’s wide streets make for easy driving and parking is plentiful.
Whether they come in search of bigger homes, better schools, or simply a change of pace, families are finding that Park Slope fits the bill when they’re looking to find the perfect location to build a life as a couple or raise children. There’s no longer a need to look to the suburbs to find all the space and amenities families need in one place — in the city, Park Slope has it all.
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