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Culture

Happy Menocal’s Guide to Park Slope

October 16, 2019

Artist Happy Menocal lives with her young family in Brooklyn’s leafy brownstone district of Park Slope. Here, she lets us in on her favorite insider spots for enjoying the neighborhood like a local.

WHERE TO EAT

East Wind Snack Shop

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Lot 2  | 687 Sixth Avenue

“This is our favorite little neighborhood place. They have an excellent burger and do a family-style Sunday supper, they remember us when we come in, and they make a perfect, ice-cold, spicy tequila cocktail called the Abeja No. 2. They also have a coffee shop around the corner that makes a mean breakfast sandwich, and they bring in Santa for kids at Christmastime.”

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Smiling Pizza | 323 Seventh Avenue

“A classic, decades-old place for slices and Italian ice. Lots of after-school teen flirting happens here. I want to design a kitchen that copies their cream and burgundy checkered tiles and warm watermelon-color neon signs.”

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East Wind Snack Shop | 471 16th Street

“Delicious dumplings, always packed.”

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Couleur Cafe | 435 Seventh Avenue

“They have the best croissants.”

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WHERE TO SHOP

Bird Park SlopeJessica Antola

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Community Bookstore | 143 Seventh Avenue

“It’s a great spot if you have time to browse, or are dashing to a birthday party and need a gift.”

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Slope Cellars | 436 Seventh Avenue

“This liquor store has mostly wine and ingenious window displays.”

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Bird | 316 Fifth Avenue

“Park Slope is mostly a fashion desert, but thank God for Bird! Apart from the two good thrift stores nearby, Bird is the only place I shop for clothes in our neighborhood. Glorious patterns. Nuanced color and textures and cuts. Everything thoughtfully, exuberantly made. It’s a temple for a certain sort of Brooklyn style, and owner Jen Mankins is our guru. Her approach to dressing reminds me a bit of my kindergartner daughter’s: just put on everything you love at once and hit the street.”

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Housing Works | 424 Seventh Avenue

“This thrift store always has a few goodies. On a recent visit, my friend scored a stainless-steel citrus juicer, and I picked up a pair of brand-new Patagonia pants for my son.”

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Meshimar | 433 Seventh Avenue

“Another great thrift store, smaller and more Victorian. I’ve picked up some incredible homemade baby clothes here, and a few good cashmere sweaters for myself—’80s Benetton!”

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The Bonsai Guy | Outside the library, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street

“There’s a lovely man who sells bonsai trees on this corner—I want all of them.”

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WHERE TO PLAY

6/15 Green | Corner of Sixth Avenue and 15th Street

“This little community garden has a majestic weeping willow.”

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YMCA | 361 15th Street

“We live across from a YMCA that is housed in an old World War I armory. It’s a beautiful building, and they have great kids programming like karate and ballet, and ping pong tables for restless snow days.”

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Green-Wood Cemetery

“A wonderful place for a walk. It’s full of diverse trees—the weeping beech is my favorite—and it’s star-studded: Leonard Bernstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Samuel Morse and Boss Tweed are just a few of the many famous people buried here.”

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Puppetworks | 338 Sixth Avenue

“This place is so special. I hope it lives forever. It’s a tiny black-box theater founded in the 1970s, and festooned wall-to-wall with antique marionettes. They put on a different play every month or so. The whole endeavor is super ambitious and wild, and little kids will amazingly sit through 45-minute performances. Total magic.”

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