Friday, January 16, 2009

Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

I had to run a few errands recently in a very old and unique neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York called Park Slope. This neighborhood takes its name from its location on the western slope of neighboring Prospect Park. I thought I'd take some photos of some of the interesting homes in the area, to share their architecture with you.

Did you hear about the miracle rescue of all the passengers from an airplane that went down in the Hudson River yesterday? The cause of the crash was thought to be a collision of the airplane with a flock of birds, which then destroyed the engines. The photo below will show how Canadian geese have been spotted flying over NYC in greater numbers than I ever remember seeing in my entire lifetime of living here. This group made quite a racket as they flew overhead!

The home below still had their outdoor tree whimsically decorated for Christmas.
Yes, a tree does grow in Brooklyn! (my apologies Betty Smith, but I couldn't resist!)

Another apartment building, in the photo below, whose construction probably dates back to the early 1900's. The area that today comprises the neighborhood of Park Slope was first inhabited by the Canarsee Native Americans. The Dutch colonized the area by the 1600's, 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, also called the Battle of Brooklyn, the first pitched battle between the British and the Continental Army under the command of George Washington.

The picture below is of houses on 6th Avenue near 12 Street.

Except for the bars on the windows, the house below looks like it could have been built in the colonial era. The Park Slop area is very populated, and it's fortunes over the years have been both up and down. At one time it was among the richest neighborhoods in America, another time subject to urban blight. By the 1990s, partly as a result of inflated Manhattan rents, people who might otherwise have lived in Manhattan began moving to Park Slope in large numbers. The influx was mainly families and young professionals. This created a real estate demand for the area which has caused some home values to rise into the millions.

A long lasting Halloween pumpkin was found sitting on this front stoop! The world "stoop" is derived from the Dutch word "stoep," which means "a small porch," and is commonly used in the common vernacular of the NE states.

I really admired these unusual and intricate window bay carvings and cornices It is an example of old world craftsmanship that rarely seems to be seen anymore.

A close up of a stoop with antique decorative wrought iron railings and some decorative window bars.

This building reminded me of a scene in the opera "La Boheme." I could envision struggling artists living in the attic loft apartments on the top floor.

This quirky little scene under a tree on a home's front lawn made me smile! Click on the photo to enlarge it to see what is written on the sign:

It says, "Retirement home for well loved stuffies." Isn't that sweet?

Only in Brooklyn! "Ya gotta love it!"


Barb said...

Love your photos, New York is one of my fav places to visit.I was so happy everyone on the plane crash was safe those darn birds.Take care........Barb

Lorrie said...

Pat this is such an interesting post. I lived in Queens until I was 8 and then moved to Rockville Center on LI, so this all looks very familiar to me. I also lived in Albany for many years for college and then afterwards, and the architecture of the buildings is very much the same there. There's a lot of Dutch influence in the Albany area as well. Thanks for the tour. They sure don't make'em like they used to, do they?

Southern Lady said...

Pat, I loved the walk through Park Slope ... what beautiful old homes and elegant ironwork. I especially like the white colonial style house. I have to admit it's not what I expected to see in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

I loved the sweet little "retirement home" for "stuffies," too.

I was so relieved to see that everyone on the plane that went down yesterday was safe. It was truly a miracle and the pilot should get some kind of medal for his heroism. It was also a good feeling to see the immediate and professional response of the rescue teams involved.

Anonymous said...

Hi - that was a really interesting post, I love the look of some of those buildings.
That plane crash on the Hudson was amazing, I watched the action unfold on Sky News here in Ireland.What a miracle that all survived!


Vee said...

Omigosh...I recognize someone in that last photo...Ranger Rick to the son loved his Ranger Rick. I'll have to check and be certain that RR is still upstairs in a box labeled "Give to Adam." LOL!

That is quite a flock of geese...I'm just wondering how many people were scared to death in yesterday's incident beyond the crew and passengers.

Loved this tour of Park Slope. I really like the rich, deep colors of the brick and paint.

I can't believe that Leo is one month old already! This is crazy.

Hope that your dd is back on her feet and feeling good.

steviewren said...

Great tour Pat. I love the white colonial style home. I can imagine sitting on that porch and watching the world go by. And the origin of the word etymology! We have a lot of Canadian geese that stop at the lake near my job. I'd never seen any until a few years ago. I'm happy that all ended well for the passengers on that flight yesterday.

My son and daughter in law are arriving in New York today. I passed along your itinerary and my DIL was very appreciative. I'm sure they'll have a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

That was so neat to get a little tour of Park Slope! Those homes are really neat and have such character. I wonder if they film movies in that area...some of the places looked familiar to me.

Thanks for sharing that :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I loved the tour of Park Slope (wonderful buildings!), and I'm so tickled over the retirement home for stuffies. LOL!

I'm also very thankful about the rescue with the plane. It is a miracle, and I give thanks to God for it!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend...


Sheila :-)

Judy said...

Thanks for another great tour, Pat! I love the old well maintained.

I thought of you immediately when I heard of the plane crash yesterday! I somehow thought we might have a tour of the Hudson River today...but maybe summer is a better time to show us the water. That is a most incredible story...unbelievable that everyone was rescued safely.

Eli said...

Hi Pat, I enjoyed this post so much. I’m so happy to have found out your blog. I love your great explanations and beautiful pictures. I have seen and read all your tour posts I have missed in the past and I must say that you are an amazing tour guide. I thank you very much because you make me feel close to USA even if I’m so far away! Take care. Eli
PS: Here in Italy too me watched the plane crash on the Hudson on TV News. It's a miracle that everyone was rescued safely.

aliceinparis said...

I love your wee tours! Interesting neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! I have had you on my mind since the Miracle on the Hudson yesterday. I thought you just MIGHT have been in that area and had first hand blogger info to share! We also have more and more of those Canada geese around here--I know they are a problem in a lot of areas. Thank goodness that plane was piloted by such an experienced and skilled guy--thank goodness the rescue folks were there so quickly!
I loved your Brooklin photos---it was so neat to read the history you shared about that area--especially about the Rev. War battle.
Thanks for such an interesting post--ONCE MORE!!
Your little gr. son's newest photo on the sidebar is just darling!

Unknown said...

Hi Pat, lovely colours of and architechture of Park Slope, everything is so beautiful..even in snow there. I hardly see geese here, let alone see so many of them in formation. Hope you'll have a great weekend, big hugs :D

Joanne Kennedy said...

First I wanted to say NEW YORK is full of HEROS! Once again they came out in force to save all those people. I can't believe it. What wonderful work they all did to make sure not one person died.

I love those houses you showed. I remember my mom telling stories of when she lived in New York and her and the neighbors would gather and talk on the stoops.

There is so much history in New York. We don't have that really here in CA.

Thanks for the reminder of Sherry's Paris theme pictures too.


Jojo said...

What a wonderful post. I loved reading about the neighborhood, history and seeing the photos of the architecture. All of us will be looking at birds a bit differently after yesterday's miraculous event. What a blessing for all.

I can't believe Leo is already one month old! Happy birthday to Leo!!

Tara said...


I know I always tell you my Mom and dad grew up in Park Slope. My Dad's family still has the same brownstone, in the family since the 1920s...the kitchen was only recently renovated! The house is near the ones you showed on 6 th Ave! My great grandmother bought the house for $5,000and it is worth well near 2 million now...amazing! My Dad said growing up, Park Slope had everything! You always take us "home"!


PS--never knew about the Dutch "stoop"...I am passing it on to them!

Gwendolyn said...

Your blog name attracted me since I also have connections to Italy!

The architecture in the homes you pictured today is incredible. How blessed you are that your walks around town take you to places such as these!

Unknown said...

Hi Pat,
You all had lots of excitement yesterday in NYC didn't you? I've been glued to the TV watching the aftermath. It was a miracle in my opinion! The rescue teams, airline pilot and flight attendants and all of those who helped are an encouragement to everyone!

I enjoyed the neighborhood tour through Park Slope and your pictures.

I never realized that geese could be so dangerous.


Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Hi Pat,
Love Leo's 1 month photo! I love your pictures on today's post, the architectural details are wonderful. And the cute little Christmas tree not to mention the Halloween pumpkin (has to be frozen). Have a great weekend.

Willow said...

Those homes and the neighborhood reminds me of Kensington in London. I know nothing of NYC so I am enjoying your visits around the city.

Elisa Day said...

Lovely post. I love those buildings.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely area! I do enjoy these tours you take me on.

I can't believe Leo is a month old already!

Arlene Delloro said...

My mom and her family lived in Brooklyn for years in the Greenpoint section. I became familiar with Park Slope when I worked for a superintendent who was renovating a brownstone there. What gorgeous architecture you've captured! I was walking on the treadmill watching TV on Thursday when the miraculous recovery on the Hudson unfolded. It truly is a miracle that no one was lost in that landing.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Loved the tour of this charming neighborhood! These homes/apts are beautiful.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I love the looks of that neighborhood! Those buildings are great looking. Thanks for the tour,,,

Kathy said...

I loved my trip down Park Slope
Pat, such pretty architecture and the retirement home is precious, hugs, Kathy.

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Pat,
What stunning architecture.
Looks like little Leo is getting cuter by the day! :)

Sue said...

Hi Pat.. thanks for the tour of Park Slope......I went shopping today and got the ingrediants for your Manicotti....Will make it during the week and will post pictures of it...I'm trying to find ground veal to add to my hard to find around here....

Junie Moon said...

I love the pumpkin, tree decorations, and the "stuffies". By the way, I want to tell you that my new Tai Chi instructor is from Brooklyn. His name is Tony and every time he speaks, I smile because I think of you and your wonderful stories of NYC. He probably thinks I'm not taking my class seriously since I'm grinning all the time.

Just A Girl said...

Hi Pat,
Those poor little stuffies are all freezing their stuffie buns off!

What a wonderful old neighborhood to wander through on a cold winter's day.
Is your daughter feeling any better? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat, your NYC photos of the apartment buildings are interesting as well as beautiful in some cases. You are the best at sharing the amazing history with photos of Brooklyn Queens and other parts of the city.
I always enjoy your post for that reason. I hope your daughter is now doing well and things are back to normal.


Gina said...

I did see the amazing plane incident Pat..and immediately thought of you :D Love the architecture you've shared esp the building with the pumpkin! Gx

Mmm said...

I love these pics of Brooklyn. Yes, this is indeed why i love cities! the architecture gets me every time.