Park Slope’s retail corridors have much to offer

September 11, 2015 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Business is booming in Park Slope.

With more than one staple strip (both Fifth and Seventh Avenues boast exciting to-dos as well as the North Flatbush Avenue stretch), the Brownstone Brooklyn nabe serves up seemingly endless opportunities to: A. Eat, B. Drink, C. Shop or D. All of the above.

Seventh Avenue – Park Slope’s main street for decades – is continuing to thrive with restaurants and shops all along its busy thoroughfare that serve neighborhood residents as well as people from well beyond the nabe’s borders. The stretch welcomes crowds each spring with its Seventh Heaven street fair and is also home to the perennially popular Park Slope Halloween Parade, sponsored annually by the Park Slope Civic Council – a family-favorite each fall season.

Besides stores and eateries, the strip is also home to some vintage churches, New York Methodist Hospital and P.S. 321, an esteemed public school more and more Brooklynites eye each year.

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Over on Fifth Avenue, which has flourished in the last decade or so, the happenings are just as exciting.

“Fifth Avenue is unique,” lauded Mark Caserta of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. “We have a very large collection of small locally-owned stores, bars and restaurants – and a lot of them are owned by local people.”

To boot, Caserta said, Park Slope is partial to small business.

“We don’t have a lot of national chains, and we don’t have a lot of stake for national chains,” he said, boasting the nickname The Other Fifth, which even has spawned its own hashtag, #theother5th. “That’s what makes us unique and different, I think.

“We’ve been calling ourselves The Other Fifth,” he went on, “because we are definitely an entirely different experience than that of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.”

When looking for a small, homey shopping experience, he said, Fifth Avenue in Park Slope is a Brooklynite’s — or non-Brooklynite’s — best bet.

“We have something completely different here,” Caserta said, “and a lot of people call it home.”

The strip – which hosts the Fabulous Fifth Avenue Festival each May and this year also added several Summer Strolls — also benefits from spillover from Washington Park, home of the Old Stone House, which has an extensive event program of its own as well as a Sunday farmer’s market.

And Park Slope’s riches don’t end there.

Over on Flatbush Avenue – the border between Park Slope and Prospect Heights – businesses near the Barclays Center are giving Brooklyn an even better name.

The strip between Atlantic Avenue and St. John’s Place is part of the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, with upwards of 100 businesses including many boutiques and edgy eateries, as well as a row of signature “triangle parks” that make the busy strip inviting to pedestrians.

It’s certainly one more attraction in a neighborhood with no dearth of them, the retail powerhouse that is Park Slope.

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