Ten things we love about Bergen Street

Nab bargain-priced clothing, locally created comics and high-quality hot dogs along this Park Slope strip.

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  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Perry Ellis striped button-down shirt, $5, at Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    XXI Forever embellished-shoulder dress, $5, at Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    The Gentlemen’s Shop

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Vans high-top sneakers, $70, at the Gentlemen’s Shop

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Café Bleu plaid button-up shirt, $178, at the Gentlemen’s Shop

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Vans nubuck-and-suede sneakers, $70, at the Gentlemen’s Shop

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

  • Trustex multiflavored condoms, $1 each, at Babeland

  • Lelo vanilla-scented body-massage candle, $29, at Babeland

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Eva Franco 1950s-style garden-print dress, $318, at Eponymy

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Ride Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Sugoi zip-up tank, $65, at Ride Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Chrome Kursk Pro shoes, $95, at Ride Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Bergen Street Comics

  • Photograph: Kayla Rice

    Too Many Nitrous by Billy Burkert and Samuel Rhodes, $5, at Bergen Street Comics

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Classic hot dog, $4, at Bark Hot Dogs

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Park Slope Optical

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Carrera plastic sunglasses, $99, at Park Slope Optical

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Persol special-edition blue-lens sunglasses, $330, Park Slope Optical

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Wayne Agassi’s Salon & Spa

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store


1   $5 designer threads at Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store
For the price of a Starbucks latte, you can nab fashion-forward garb for both sexes at Rebecca Stein’s six-month-old thrift shop. Among the neatly organized, color-coordinated racks, discover a mix of brand-name and chain store labels that date as far back as the 1920s and won’t cost you more than a Lincoln. Stein sources most of her merchandise through local donations (she’ll even schedule a free pickup anywhere in the five boroughs for those looking to unload unwanted duds), which recently turned up an ’80s Calvin Klein linen calf-length dress, a pair of Armani Exchange light-wash skinny jeans and a wool Ann Taylor blazer with three-quarter-length sleeves. For men, we spotted an entire rack of barely worn striped, plaid and solid dress shirts boasting tags from Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Perry Ellis. If you want first dibs on prime stock, Stein recommends dropping by close to 2pm, when truckloads of new items arrive every day. Your purchase isn’t merely good for your wallet: All proceeds benefit Chabad (chabad.org), a Jewish nonprofit. 66 Fifth Ave between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-3181)

2   Affordable accessories at Level 2
Although Leigh Whitney’s purple-walled shop caters to tweens, you don’t have to be a preadolescent to appreciate its ultrahip selection of accessories, which are adult appropriate and bank-account friendly. Adorn your wrist with Popochos rubber watches ($16), which can be snazzed up with the brand’s plastic pop-on watch faces ($16) in an array of funky designs, including cheetah print and Andy Warhol–style lips. If you can’t afford an $800 designer bag, Level 2 carries trendy alternatives, such as Desigual water-resistant, nature-patterned totes ($34) and Zara Terez mini sequined purses ($44). Flutter rings featuring rhinestone owls ($12) and pastel-colored roses ($14) will enliven dull digits in no time. Mention TONY for 10 percent off all accessories through August 12. 456 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (347-599-0543, level2-nyc.com)

3   Weekend-ready men’s apparel at the Gentlemen’s Shop
Married couple Alexandria and Woody Pierre stocks this six-year-old, all-American men’s shop with casual threads from domestically produced indie brands such as Under Two Flags and King Baby, alongside well-known labels including Levi’s. Guys can lounge around while looking good in Private Stock loose-fitting jeans ($110–$200), Ben Sherman graphic tees ($50) and Vans vulcanized-rubber sneakers ($70). For happy hour and beyond, you’ll want to consider changing into more polished Café Bleu gingham button-up shirts ($178). 458 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-0055, thegentshop.tumblr.com)

4   Nonembarrassing sex toys at Babeland
The release of naughty novel Fifty Shades of Grey has given kink mainstream appeal, and this upscale sex shop is the ideal spot for newbies to pick up pleasure-related paraphernalia. The educational staff and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel at ease when perusing vibrators ($6–$3,300), educational DVDs ($25–$70) and bachelorette-themed goodies ($2–$160). You won’t blush to have R-rated items such as house-label satin bondage kits ($28) equipped with a mask and two five-foot sashes, Flower Balm stimulating peppermint gels ($6) and Maison Close sheer ribbon-side-tie undies (two for $24) in your shopping cart. Set the mood at home with Lelo vanilla-scented body-massage candles ($29), whose soy wax melts into a vitamin-E–infused oil. FDA-approved Trustex multiflavored condoms ($1 each) in varieties such as chocolate, strawberry and mint prove safe sex doesn’t have to be bland. 462 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-638-3820, babeland.com)

5   Flirty summer dresses at Eponymy
Upon entering this quaint women’s boutique, adorned with black-and-white prints of old Italian military heros ($500–$1,200) and Victorian-style display cases, you’ll be welcomed by Lady Bianca Miller, owner Andrea Miller’s white-haired French bulldog, who is so popular around town she has her own blog (ladybiancamiller.wordpress.com). Miller stocks her shop with a mix of vintage and contemporary threads and accessories from lesser-known designers such as Timo Weiland, Paul & Joe Sister and Anagram by Gary Graham that reflect styles from the turn-of-the-19th-century through the 1960s. You’ll find an abundance of feminine frocks, including night-out-appropriate Eryn Brinié formfitting long-sleeved lace dresses ($335) and Eva Franco 1950s-style garden-print looks ($318). For casual outings, check out MinkPink striped sundresses ($95) and Bridge & Burn striped sheaths with pockets ($98). In the vintage collection, we fell head over heels for a transparent 1960s sleeveless number with a knee-length tutu-style skirt ($198). Mention TONY for 15 percent off all full-priced apparel through August 12. 466 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-789-0301, shopeponymy.com)

6   Chic cycling duds at Ride Brooklyn
Whether you’re a hard-core racer or just enjoy leisurely pedaling, husband and wife Peter and Jessica Kocher will make sure you ride in style. In addition to hawking high-quality wheels from brands such as Raleigh and Linus, Ride carries cycling apparel with street-savvy designs that make them suitable for other sports or just kicking it around town. Unisex Chrome lace-up sneakers ($70–$120), for example, look nothing like your average Velcro bike shoes, plus their skid-resistant flat rubber soles and water-repellent Cordura material make them more durable than typical pairs. Other versatile picks include Louis Garneau cargo-style bike shorts ($55), Cannondale ventilated hooded rain jackets ($100–$200) and sleek Sugoi tanks ($65). Mention TONY for 10 percent off all cycling apparel through August 12. 468 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-857-7433, ridebrooklynny.com)

7   Comics by NYC artists at Bergen Street Comics
If you’ve outgrown Batman but still enjoy reading graphic novels, you should beeline to the  small section at the back of Tom and Amy Adams’s gallery-like comic-book shop, where you’ll find an abundance of lesser-known titles by local artists. For something with a fine-art sensibility, pick up a copy of Brooklyn artist L. Nichols’s colorful Seeking the Spirit ($8), which explores the female form through movement, or Brooklyn cartoonist Yuko Ota’s Benign Kingdom ($15), featuring her detailed, other-worldly illustrations. You’ll get a good chuckle from Billy Burkert and Samuel Rhodes’s black-and-white, cartoon-style Too Many Nitrous ($5), which serves as a parody prequel to the film The Fast and the Furious. Those who can stomach violence might consider Williamsburg artist Benjamin Marra’s Lincoln Washington: Free Man ($3), which depicts the troubled life of a former slave in 1868. Mention TONY for 15 percent off all purchases through August 12. 470 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-5600, bergenstreetcomics.com)

8   Artisanal wieners at Bark Hot Dogs
Refuel for the remainder of your shopping bender with high-quality hot dogs, sourced from Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, New York, and made from whole cuts of hormone-free pork and beef. This lodge-style eatery’s menu boasts ten different loaded franks, our favorite being the bacon-cheddar dog ($6), topped with smoky pieces of crumbled bacon, pickled onion and Bark’s homemade cheese sauce (a mélange of Monterey Jack and smoked and young cheddars). Devour it on the go or at one of the communal tables made from reclaimed pine. If you’re in the mood for something simpler, opt for the Classic ($5) or NYC Dog (sweet-and-sour onions plus mustard, $5). 474 Bergen St between Fifth and Flatbush Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-789-1939, barkhotdogs.com)

9   Trendy shades at Park Slope Optical
Owners and licensed opticians Charles and Lisa Reischer are no strangers to the neighborhood: Their tiny eyewear shop has been providing patrons with custom-made prescription frames for more than 25 years. Glass cases and counters are filled with chic shades from indie brands such as Zen and Martin & Martin, as well as high-end designers including Prada and Jimmy Choo—all of which are 20 percent less expensive than they would be at chain stores like Sunglass Hut, thanks to Park Slope Optical’s low overhead. Shade your peepers with Revo sleek titanium sunnies ($299), Ray-Ban classic aviators ($99–$149), Carrera plastic styles ($99) and Persol special-edition blue-lens sunglasses ($330) made popular by Steve McQueen. If you’re in search of funkier shapes, such as cat-eyes or oversize rounds, peruse the selection of ophthalmic glasses—the Reichers can add polarized lenses ($50) in an hour. Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off all eyewear through August 1. 226 Flatbush Ave between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-1880)

10   All-natural spa treatments at Wayne Agassi’s Salon & Spa 
Unwind without worrying about what potentially harmful ingredients you might be putting onto your skin by booking a service at Wayne Agassi’s, which uses exclusively Aveda plant-based products that are alcohol- and fragrance-free. All of the facials and massages, which take place in one of three candlelit rooms, are priced depending on what day of the week you receive them: Fridays and Saturdays command top dollar, while less busy Thursdays and Sundays are considered off-peak; you’ll save the most on sluggish Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Degunk your sunscreen-clogged mug with an Elemental Nature facial (60mins $60–$100, 90mins $90–$150), which incorporates a tourmaline-packed mask and a toning mist containing witch hazel and peppermint to hydrate and balance skin. If you’re starting to see a few fine lines on your face, banish them with an hour-long Green-Science Skin Renewing Treatment facial ($60–$100), which utilizes wrinkle-reducing toners and creams from Aveda’s antiaging Green Science line. Those in need of a full-body reboot can opt for an exfoliating Aqua Body Polish Treatment (60mins $100–$125, 90mins $150), in which minerals, oils and sea salts slough off dead skin. Mention TONY for 20 percent off all services through August 30. 477 Bergen St between Flatbush and Sixth Aves, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (347-227-7249, wayneagassis.com)

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3 comments
laxmommy
laxmommy

Great article, I can't wait to start shopping!

daddymidas
daddymidas

Very well written and packed with go-to info...thx!

tom
tom

great article