Park Slope is the apex of Brooklyn quaintness, though the borough as a whole wasn't always that way. Brooklyn is undergoing a transformation, and in the past five years, gentrification has swept through and made everything a little more shiny and new. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s happening, but Brooklyn is still full of its eccentricities and quirks, its grand character, and history. It’s not homogenous in the least, making it a definite destination outside of Manhattan.
Amidst the sea of baby carriages and adorable little ones distracting you, there are some serious eats and treats to venture to in Park Slope. Café Grumpy is one of them. Unlike the name, it is a quite cheery place, full of gloriously roasted beans and tasty cappuccinos served in bright orange cups. The baristas are friendly, too, something highly welcomed in the current New York elitist coffee circles.
One can choose any of Grumpy’s roasts as a pour-over; I tried the Guatemalan — a little bright for my taste, but still full-bodied and nice. The tiny space is more of a coffee bar than a coffee shop, with a few tables at the window, and a tiny, sleek bar extending from their counter. Though I firmly believe coffee tastes better from a ceramic cup, I suggest taking it to go and heading to Prospect Park, weather permitting. The expansive scenery, winding paths, rippling lakes and secret grottos with waterfalls provide a perfect backdrop for sipping coffee. Or one can roam the streets, popping into boutiques and peering into the windows of those majestic brownstones.
Hungry? I had a beautiful brunch at Juventino, with home-made breads and poached eggs. They happen to serve french presses made with Intellegentsia and Stumptown beans. Though I’d hold off on the coffee and head to Grumpy instead.
Trust me, that grumpy little face will surely make you smile.
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