A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 10, 2008
Dyke Slope (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Park Slope in Brooklyn was a blighted area in the 1970s, but in the late 1980s and 1990s, people began migrating to the area as a cheaper alternative to Manhattan. Many lesbians came to Park Slope and it became nicknamed “Dyke Slope” by at least 1996.

Families started moving to Park Slope in the 2000s, and a 2006 article in Brooklyn Papers stated that the “Dyke Slope” nickname was becoming less appropriate for the changing demographics of the neighborhood.


Wikipedia: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope is a neighborhood in the western section of Brooklyn, New York City’s most populous borough. Park Slope is roughly bounded by Prospect Park West to 4th Avenue, Park Place to the Green-Wood Cemetery according to the New York City Department of City Planning, though other definitions are sometimes offered. It takes its name from its location on the western slope of neighboring Prospect Park. Seventh Avenue and Fifth Avenue are its primary commercial streets, while its east-west side streets are populated by many historic brownstones.

Park Slope is characterized by its historic buildings, top-rated restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as close access to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and the Central Library (as well as the Park Slope branch) of the Brooklyn Public Library system.

The neighborhood had a population of more than 62,000 as of the 2000 census, resulting in a population density of approximately 68,000/square mile (or approximately 26,000/square kilometer) in the area bounded by Fourth Avenue, Prospect Park West, Flatbush Avenue, and Sixteenth Street.
(...)
Blight and renewal
Through the 1950s, Park Slope saw its decline as a result of suburban sprawl and bearish local industries. Many of the wealthy and middle-class families fled for the suburban life and Park Slope became a rougher, working class neighborhood.

The precursor to renovated brownstones and boutique bohemianism was an urban renewal process started by working families and a community of feminists, many of them lesbians.  By the 1960s, an official revitalization movement was in full swing to preserve the neighborhood’s historic row houses, stately brownstones, and Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival, and Romanesque mansions. With the historic Park Slope district (around Seventh Avenue) seeing a rebirth, the rest of the area saw a similar increase in popularity.

In the late 1970s, the area around Fifth Avenue in Park Slope was suffering from widespread abandonment and blight, with more than 200 vacant buildings and 150 vacant lots within one mile. As a result of the neighborhood’s close proximity to Prospect Park, and the many well-built apartment houses and brownstones, this region also became ripe for renewal.

By the 1990s, partly as a result of inflated Manhattan rents along with the inflated dot-com economy, people who might otherwise have lived in Manhattan began moving to Park Slope in large numbers. The influx was mainly families and young professionals: hipsters tended to move to Williamsburg, while yuppies tended to move to Park Slope and Greenpoint. 

Google Groups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
Newsgroups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
From: (LA Meisel)
Date: 1996/01/12
Subject: Re: The Village? (was Re: more terms from carleton freenet lesbigay)
>I find that lesbians are harder to find in large numbers than gay men,
>who are everywhere in the Village and Chelsea. As in other places,
>we’re everywhere and nowhere. For dykes galore, head for Park Slope in
>Brooklyn, where there also should be some more stores. At least, a pet
>shop!

As a Dyke living in “Dyke Slope”, I felt the need to add my two bits…

Google Groups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
Newsgroups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
From: (KEBauman)
Date: 1996/10/29
Subject: Re: Cities with most lesbians?

This book gave two lists (their terms, not mine) of lesbian locations;

CRUNCHY (peaceful)
1.  Provincetown, MA
2.  Park Slope (aka Dyke Slope), Brooklyn

25 September 1997, Miami (FL) Herald, “Dade County’s lesbian community doesn’t wear the same uniform” by Dorothy Atcheson, pg. 30:
In New York there were places—coffee houses, bookstores, or neighborhoods like Park Slope (which everyone calls “Dyke Slope")—where you could assume ...

New York (NY) Times
Replanting the Rainbow Flag
By MEGAN COSSEY
Published: January 16, 2005
(...)
But she never did make Park Slope her actual home, nor did any of her lesbian friends. “Dyke Slope,” as it is affectionately called by many lesbians, was too expensive for them, as it has become for many other New Yorkers.

Curbed
Breeders Threaten “Dyke Slope”
Friday, September 29, 2006, by Robert
Oh, for the good old days. The new Brooklyn Papers reports that Park Slope’s status as “Dyke Slope” is in peril because of rampant heterosexual breeding and the resulting Maclaren Army of Stroller Moms and Ankle Biters. A “gayborhood” pioneer who has fled to Windsor Terrace says:

“I moved to Dyke Slope when it was strong. Then it became Puppy Slope. Now it’s Baby Slope. We can’t fit between all the strollers there.”

So, is Windsor Terrace the new “Dyke Slope”? Or is it Kensington? Or Sunset Park?
“Lesbians moving out of ‘Dyke Slope’” [Brooklyn Papers]

New York City Travel Guide
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Park Slope - Lesbian Paradise
Park Slope, Brooklyn is known as a lesbian paradise. It’s even acquired the nickname “Dyke Slope.”

One of the most popular lesbian bars in NYC is in Park Slope. It’s called Cattyshack and you can visit their website at http://www.cattyshackbklyn.com to learn more about it.

Don’t be afraid to venture into Brooklyn! Much of the best stuff in New York City is in Brooklyn.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (1) Comments • Monday, March 10, 2008 • Permalink


Watch out for those Maclaren strollers. They’ll amputate your fingers!

Posted by Steve  on  04/23  at  12:34 PM

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