632 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Two locations strong—the original is in Fort Greene and the second outpost is in Prospect Lefferts Gardens—Greenlight is one of NYC’s few remaining quality indie bookstores. You can order books online and have them shipped to you (anywhere in the US) or do a pickup in store. The First Editions Club makes a nice gift; it’s a subscription service that gets a friend (or yourself) a new, autographed book each month. It costs a penny, plus the price of the book for each month you stay in the program. If you’re local and a big reader, check out the stellar lineup of readings or Greenlight’s monthly book group nights, broken down by genre: nonfiction, fiction, young readers, and romance.
348 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights
Fausto had big shoes to fill when it opened on a busy block of Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope last year. The space was formerly occupied by Franny’s, a much-loved neighborhood pizza place that had been a staple of the area for almost fifteen years. Luckily, Fausto was equal to the task. It quickly became a new favorite, thanks to chef Erin Shambura’s house-made pastas (like buckwheat rigatoni with shiitake mushrooms, dandelion greens, and Parmesan), and a clean-lined, sophisticated mid-century modern dining room. The wine list is as close to flawless as a wine list can be—which makes sense given that it was conceived by sommelier (and co-owner), Joe Campanale, the restaurateur behind popular NYC Italian spots Dell’Anima and Anfora.
1301 Prospect Ave., Prospect Heights
This impossibly lovely, holistic spa-grocery-apothecary is serious about skin—and offers some of the most exquisite—and effective—complexion-perfecting treatments: The Integrative Therapy for Biome Rehabilitation balances the skin’s ecosystem with a bespoke pre- and probiotic mask, herbal compression, blue-light therapy, and more, while the Integrative Therapy for Reducing Redness and Reactivity incorporates infrared phototherapy, lymphatic drainage, and herbal treatments to soothe inflamed skin. If you’re not too blissfully relaxed post treatment, peruse the storefront, which stocks everything beautiful, organic, and small-batch you could ever want—local honey, health-supporting herbal teas (their chrysanthemum-infused Rest & Digest blend is next-level), the crispiest apples, and the brand’s own skincare line that’s hand-crafted at their Windsor Terrace location. There's a second location in Red Hook.
Cook Space Brooklyn (Closed)
603 Bergen St., Prospect Heights
New York City—a metropolis obsessed with eating—isn't short on restaurants, but Cook Space offers a totally novel, modern alternative to the classic dinner out. This multifunctional space in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights hosts cooking classes, catering opportunities, workshops, and even classes for kiddos. Whether you're an accomplished home cook or a newbie in the kitchen, the roster has a little bit of something for everyone: paleo, Ayurvedic, and Whole 30 classes, alongside New Orleans cuisine, classic Thai, or even vegan for carnivores—the list goes on. The best part? The lesson ends with a meal in the loftlike dining room.
Sogi’s Honey Bakeshop
Brooklyn-based Sogoal Zolghadri turned her love of watercolor and baking into a full-time gig a couple of years ago quietly launching Sogi's Honey Bakeshop on social media and starting a Kickstarter to help her get the business off the ground. (Check out her hilarious Instagram here.) Her exacting hand takes food coloring and a paintbrush and applies it much like watercolor onto delicately glazed sugar cookies. The result? Cheeky phrases, like "Sorry for things I said when Mercury was in retrograde," edible emojis, and ones painted to look like avocado toast that are almost too pretty too eat.
Prospect Park Zoo
450 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Park
The Prospect Park Zoo is one of those kid-centric activities that parents really get a kick out of, too. The residents of the beautiful and meticulously cared-for enclosures run the gamut from tamarins and baboons to otters and sea lions—and so many more. Many of the exhibits are interactive, so kids pick up a lot of educational stuff without even realizing it. The week-long summer camps are a dream come true for budding zoologists.
659 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights
Olmsted, which opened last summer on an unassuming block of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, is one of those restaurants that people talk about months after visiting. (GP says she had her best meal of 2016 here). Chef Greg Baxtrom (formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Alinea), teamed up with horticulturist Ian Rothman to create a veggie-centric menu (there’s even a 25-seat garden out back) of kale-and-crab rangoon, charred onion chawanmushi, and a sweet pea falafel that is wonderfully light. There’s a solid selection of wines under $40 a bottle, too. When the check arrives, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how full-in-a-good-way you feel, and how reasonably priced it is. Photos: Evan Sung
Designed in the late 1800's by the same duo behind Manhattan's Central Park (Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux), Prospect Park, although not quite as large, is still massive at 580-plus acres, spanning multiple neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and offering plenty of outdoor fun. If you want to picnic and chill, head to Long Meadow near the top of the park (you can enter at the Grand Army Plaza or one of the openings along Prospect Park West)—which is touted as the longest green stretch in any U.S. park, at nearly a mile long. South of Long Meadow is the Ravine, an expansive woodland and waterway landscape. Further east, there's the Prospect Park Zoo and carousel. Water activities (including Prospect Park's Splash Pad) are housed at Le Frak Center at Lakeside near the southeast corner of the park. Also nearby, check out Drummer's Grove.
Paper Finger Calligraphy
463 Lincoln Pl., Prospect Heights
This super-versatile design studio works with a team of skilled calligraphers, offering essentially any and every style of lettering conceivable. Far beyond your standard envelope, Paper Finger makes very cool maps for destination events, as well as sophisticated programs, menus, and table settings for special meals. They also sell non-custom stationery online and host calligraphy workshops.
The Fashion Chef Cakes
220 36th St., Industry City Food Hall, Prospect Heights
The reason why Charlotte Neuville is dubbed the Fashion Chef is because she spent close to three decades in the biz (she was pretty high up at Gap Inc.) before leaving it all behind to bake couture cakes full-time. But it seems the industry refuses to let her go; she's been asked to design cakes for everyone from Alber Elbaz to Barneys.