Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Love Letter to Ditmas Park


Let me tell you about Ditmas Park.

Ditmas Park is the neighborhood where Daniel and I are blessed to be currently living. Sometimes when I think about all of the different places in Brooklyn where we could have ended up, a rush of thankfulness just washes over me.

Here's why:











I could go on, but you get it. It's beautiful. It's hip. It's got delicious french toast. You're sold.

We were too when we first arrived here. As I mentioned in a previous entry, Daniel and I have been subleasing an apartment in this area. We've got three roommates (and by roommates, I mean cats) that live with us, and they are a blast. It's a really great situation. 

When we walk out of the apartment building, we are steps away from the main road: Cortelyou Road, which looks like this:


It's full of bodegas, coffee shops, amazing restaurants, organic groceries (not to mention a super successful food coop). As I write this, I am currently sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Qathra, sipping on a chai tea latte and feeling pretty self-assured in my perceived hipness. 

The neighborhood is really relaxed, full of really interesting people and families. I would post pictures of the thousands of impressively adorable babies I see every day, but Daniel doesn't allow me to take pictures of other peoples' kids because he claims it's "creepy and off-putting". You can see how his tyrannical reign over this relationship has some consequences. 

Ditmas Park is also central to a ton of incredible places. It's a short train ride to:

PROSPECT PARK

Grand Army Plaza



Relaxing my life away
THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDENS






THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM






Believe it or not, this is a coffin.
CONEY ISLAND



not to mention, a little place called MANHATTAN


Ditmas Park also might be the friendliest neighborhood ever. In my mind I frequently compare Cortelyou Road to Sesame Street. I could absolutely imagine a spontaneous musical breaking out. The other day when I went for a run, FOUR different people said things like, "Keep it up!", "Good for you!", "Look at you go!", and I definitely heard one guy say, "Don't stop believing!"

WE LOVE DITMAS PARK...almost as much as these people.

I don't know these people, but I'd like to. 

Not that I am trying to brag (by the way, did I mention that Tina Fey and Paul Rudd were shooting a movie down the street from me the other day?). I am just daily floored that I get to live here. 

This summer, I have started on the path to becoming a New Yorker. I don't know how I officially become one. According to How I Met Your Mother, you're a real New Yorker when you've:

1. Seen Woody Allen (Not yet. Where does he hang out? I have so many things to tell him!)
2. Stolen a cab from someone who needs it more than you do (I have a problem with this one because I ride the subway, and I think most of us do.)
3. Cried on the subway and not given a damn (Check.)
4. Killed a cockroach with your bare hands (How about bare feet?)

So by this list's standards, I am sort of halfway there, which is pretty good for just a few months of actually living here. Something I have heard from a lot of locals is that you can tell you are a New Yorker when you go back and forth between loving the city and hating it. 

Boy, do I get that. There are days when I am walking around Manhattan and I am taking in all of the sights and I just feel like that girl from That Girl.



Then there are days when I get stepped on, or it rains, or I eat something weird, or I get yelled at and I just think to myself, That Girl must have been on crack. 

But whenever I feel like that, which is really very seldom, Ditmas Park is so comforting. When we were planning to move here from Texas, my fear was always that I would have nowhere to escape to when the city became a little too much. Now I can safely say that my neighborhood is my escape. 

We signed a two-year lease the other day. Let's do this, Ditmas Park.  

9 comments:

  1. That is just awesome. I could pretty much steal your post, and replace the city-scape details with our recent move to Seattle! Seems we are experiencing much of the same thing, on opposite coasts. I must say, it is a dream of ours to live in/around NYC someday, so even though I am falling in love with Seattle, I am also living vicariously through you. :) Congrats on your 2 year lease!!

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    1. Erin! I drool over every picture you post from Seattle. I am so glad you are loving it there! I think so often about our conversation when we first met. Seriously, that conversation prepared me for the reality that when you move somewhere new, you don't know anyone and no one knows you. I am sure you and Mike have great people supporting you in Seattle because you both are so welcoming. If you are ever in New York, let me know!

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    2. Oh we will certainly let you know the next time we visit NYC! And that goes for you guys too, if you're ever in the Pacific Northwest. I hope I said *good stuff* during our Halloween conversation in Austin- ha! Can't quite remember the details, but I remember loving our talk!

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    3. You, being a very wise woman, definitely did say very good things during our conversation! If we ever make it to Seattle/what looks like heaven from your Instagrams, I will let you know.

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  2. Yay for your lease! I'm glad that worked out so quickly! I can't wait to see the place.

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    1. Thanks! We're clearly loving it here.

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  4. I seriously cannot wait to visit.

    Also- I now want to be buried in a shoe. Assuming I go first, you're in charge of ensuring that happens.

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    1. Wait. What kind of shoe? We have to make sure this is done right.

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