Park Slope gets a lot of slack when it comes to the social milieu that characterizes it. I’ll be the first to admit it is often merited, as walking down 7th Ave on a Sunday afternoon can be pretty awful between the screaming children and the plethora of Crocks on adults and babies alike.
However, I will argue any day that there is substance beyond style in this ‘hood, especially where I live, South Slope. South Slope is the place, as we have the best jukebox in the city at Buttermilk Bar, the best cheap dive mexican food at Tacos Nuevos Mexico and every kind of dollar store imaginable.
Park Slope Proper (north of 9th St, 5th avenue and avenues above), though, has its merits. Beyond every kind of vegan/Asian fusian cuisine known to man, this area also features some great small venues where you can catch live music. It doesn’t quite rival the Lower East Side/East Village or Williamsburg, but it is home to Union Hall, Southpaw, Bar Four, and the wonderful world music/jazz bar Barbes. Not to mention the awesome Brooklyn Academy of Music.
I often take these places for granted and venture to other spaces in less prettier places to see music. But this week, I was able to see two great bands without having to get on a train or in a cab. It was beautiful. And it served to remind me that nightlife in the neighborhood, while a bit tamer than D.I.Y venues in Bed-Sty, is certainly music-friendly even for the snobbiest of all indie folk.
Saturday, two other Park Slope residents/friends/fellow music snobs and I were charmed by the Canadian band Born Ruffians, who are the Vampire Weekend I wish I had seen a few weeks prior.
Then Wednesday, with another Park Slope resident/friend/music snob, I headed to see NPR darlings-of-the-moment Dengue Fever at Southpaw. The sold-out show featured adorable lead singer Chhom Nimol, a sort of Post Modern Supremes-era Diana Ross from Cambodia with an amazing unrelenting voice (I feel like I just plagerized Nick Hornby with that sentence) . The band describes their sound as a “Cambodian pop psychedlic dance party”–and they lived up this in every sense. There were even hippie girls dancing ala-Woodstock in the corner of the venue.
(photo from Prefix mag)
So if you can handle the overwhelming Couplage (nobody in this neighborhood is single, except my friends and I, I swear…) and slightly Bobo in Paradise vibe of the many of the patrons, than I highly recommend checking out the Slope for music.