I personally spend a great deal of time on Monroe Ave and the Park Ave area. I am a member of the Monroe Family YMCA and support many of our local businesses. Kudos to area residents that strive to beautify our neighborhood by planting flowers and keeping our streets clear of litter.
Monroe Ave itself is a somewhat gritty urban street that serves as a main artery to downtown. There a variety of alternative shops and restaurants on Monroe, which also has a lively night scene. If you need a tattoo or a beer, for example, Monroe is for you. (HINT: don't decide to get a tat after having consumed alcohol, and please don't ever drive under the influence.) Thank you.
Park Ave, on the other hand, has a more artsy reputation. Here you will find many bistros and cafés, and a pleasant neighborhood for a brisk morning jog or a relaxing evening stroll. Park Ave is not the best street for biking, however. It's too narrow and lacks adequate room for cyclists. Be sure to watch out for people opening their car doors without looking.