Park Slope Insider: Jazz Pianist Aaron Goldberg

Aaron Goldberg discovered Park Slope, Brooklyn while visiting New York during his summers off from Harvard. Since traveling the world is the norm for this musician, Goldberg tells us why the tranquility of Park Slope is the best place for him to call home.

Name, Age, Occupation:Aaron Goldberg, 35, Jazz Pianist

Abode: One bedroom, "floor-through" (or entire floor) co-op apartment in a brownstone

How long have you lived in Park Slope? I've lived here for 13 and a half years.

What do you love most about your neighborhood?

I love the park. I'm a block and a half from a gigantic park that is green and full of happy people - most of the time. I like that its quiet. It's a great place to come back to from the road, especially having been on a hectic schedule. And it has some pretty decent bars and restaurants.

Do you talk to your neighbors?
Yes, and a very sad thing happened recently, my downstairs neighbor died and it was a very traumatic event for me and the whole building. It's a small co-op building, a Brownstone, so I know all my neighbors in my building and actually many of the neighbors on my block. There is a feeling of a neighborhood and I see the same faces walking down the streets.

Best kept secret in Park Slope?
There's a Chinese massage place - and no, not that kind of place - that's open very late at night and no one knows about it. It's staffed by three very hardy and strong massage women who make you scream and yell at them as they work on you which only makes them do it harder, but then when you leave you feel better. It's only $50 bucks. I don't even know what it's called. It's just the place on the corner of 7th Avenue and 17th Street.

There is also a Vietnamese sandwich shop which is good but under attended, I don't know the name either (laughing). It's a secret maybe because no one pays attention to the name. It's on 7th and 12th Street. I honestly think everyone knows every other place.

Favorite way to spend a Saturday night in your neighborhood?

Blue Ribbon Sushi is a great place to spend a Saturday night followed by the cinema. Probably the best is at the Brooklyn Academy of Music or sometimes I just rent a movie from the little place on the corner. I'm gone a lot so it's nice to stay in.

Did I miss something? Is Park Slope known for music?

No, it's not. Park Slope is known for being a great place to raise kids because the park and public schools are so good. But when I moved it was more affordable than Manhattan so many musicians lived here and have since the '80s. The less gentrified areas allowed for playing in your apartment without bothering your neighbors and there still is a community of musicians that live here, despite rising rent and gentrification. There are some places to enjoy music here. There's a place called Barbes that has an eclectic lineup of people and a jazz club called Puppets.

It's New York City, it can't be all tranquility in Park Slope?
That's the downside to it being a quiet neighborhood because it's really quiet. During the day there is noise from the kids but at night its quiet. However, even if you play inoffensive sophisticated jazz there is always someone that is complaining. When I first moved in some signs were posted on the street, "Dear Piano Player, this used to be a reputable neighborhood, please go away." In the end it turned out to be one disgruntled neighbor down the block that ended up fading away. That was the bad apple on the block, but everyone else has been really cool.

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