If you think Fifth Avenue shopping means chain-store flagships and snooty luxe goods, you may be in the wrong borough. These days, the northern stretch of Park Slope’s “other” Fifth Avenue may have Brooklyn’s best concentration of funky looks and sassy design.
Shopping Fifth is a strictly linear experience, so start at one end with Umkarna (69 Fifth Ave.), which specializes in delicate, globally sourced housewares. Continue past Element Beauty Lounge (73 Fifth Ave.), a chic new oasis whose upscale pedicures are drawing local raves. Nearby boutique Flirt (93 Fifth Ave.) offers a jumble of fresh, girly looks by a mostly local stable of designers.
If all this shopping is wearing you out, get buzzed at Gorilla Coffee (97 Fifth Ave.). The beans are Fair Trade-certified, and you receive a free coffee drink with every pound you buy, so stock up! Continue south to Romp (145 Fifth Ave.), a smart, sassy kids’ store whose products include a jumbo loop-potholder rug and reprints of the 1957 Betty Crocker cookbook for kids.
At Cog & Pearl (190 Fifth Ave.), the high-concept home accents include limited-edition jigsaw puzzles, converted book shelving and screen-printed ceramics with pin-up girl pictures. Fashionistas rave about Beacon’s Closet (220 Fifth Ave.), a spin-off of the Williamsburg vintage clothing hot spot; buyers are picky and shoppers can still be thrifty.
Across the road, Matter (227 Fifth Ave.) shows modernist home goods up front and works on paper in its back gallery. Diana Kane (229B Fifth Ave.) focuses on ultra-feminine lingerie and accessories.
Our final stop is at 3r Living (276L Fifth Ave.), an environmentally conscious boutique where you can pick up organic cotton toys and recycled-aluminum jewelry. You can also drop off your old batteries, cell phones, crayons, and ink cartridges for recycling.