Great walks: New Girl

Zooey Deschanel and her adorkable New Girl character, Jess, would approve of this Fort Greene walking tour.

The General Greene

The General Greene

We’re taking a cue from Zooey Deschanel and her New Girl character, Jess, for this leisurely afternoon spent in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Find your inner manic pixie dream girl as you shop for vintage clothing and snack on ice-cream-parlor treats.

RECOMMENDED: See all Great Walks

Start: 469 Vanderbilt Ave at Gates Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
End: 97 S Portland Ave between Fulton St and Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Distance: 1 mile

Project Hope Boutique Thrift

Your Zooey Deschanel–inspired jaunt commences with a bit of do-goodery at Project Hope Boutique Thrift (469 Vanderbilt Ave at Gates Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 917-474-2759), a nonprofit store where 100 percent of the proceeds go toward helping sick children. Scour an array of clothes (from vintage Escada to utilitarian Old Navy), plus footwear and jewelry. Keep your eyes peeled for a pair of geek-chic specs to channel your inner manic pixie dream girl.

The General Greene

Wander up Vanderbilt Avenue to get a feel for the eclectic Fort Greene nabe; you’re likely to see denizens perched on their stoops with guitars or pooches. Escape the heat with an old-timey treat at the General Greene (229 DeKalb Ave at Clermont Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-222-1510, Cool down with the decadent salted-caramel ice-cream sundae ($9), a hunk of caramel cake topped with the namesake sauce and frozen dessert, plus whipped cream and pretzel brittle.

Thistle & Clover

Think of shopkeepers Camilla Gale and Rand Niederhoffer as Fort Greene’s answer to New Girl BFFs Jess and Cece. The pals run six-year-old boutique Thistle & Clover (221 DeKalb Ave between Adelphi St and Clermont Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-855-5577, Baubles by local designers make up much of the stock. Notable pieces include solitaire rings from Blanca Monrós Gómez and dainty gold pieces from the house line, which we could totally imaging filling Zooey D.’s jewelry box.

Fort Greene brownstones

Allow your imagination to wander as you amble along South Oxford Street, and admire some of the area’s picturesque brownstones, many of which were erected in the 1850s. Another notable site: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (85 S Oxford St at Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-625-7515,, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Gardel’s Greene Garden

A block away, you’ll find Gardel’s Greene Garden (97 S Portland Ave between Fulton St and Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 917-843-4098). If your pad is anything like the one shared by Winston, Nick, Schmidt and Jess, it could use a plant or two to balance out the super-masculine leather. Take home a few tropical flora, plus tools to keep your new greenery looking fresh.

Also check out

Greenlight Bookstore

Rest your legs at the independently owned Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton St at South Portland Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-246-0200,, best known for its dedication to local authors and comfy seats. Some of the snazziest finds here are autographed copies from new authors and adorkable humor essayist David Sedaris. Swing by its Sidewalk Bargain Book Sale (Sat 14) to stock your home library with discounted treasures.