Taking a Break in Brookyn, or, how I found the familiar in Ditmas Park

I grew up with wide, manicured lawns, fenced back yards, and expansive roads, and while I don’t ever plan on returning to Fargo, I do find myself occasionally craving that suburban space. It’s an itch that I’ve learned I must scratch, otherwise I begin loathing my city spaces.

I don’t have the budget to rent a car to flee the city, so I had been researching communities to visit in Long Island, or anywhere close via rail, for just a day to refresh.

A New York blogger I follow, way back in May, had mentioned a spot in the middle of Brooklyn that felt like a neighborhood. I distinctly remember her posting a picture of a front lawn. A front lawn, you guys. This is huge. So I stalked her old instagram pictures and scoured the comments for a hint as to where she was. Someone said Ditmas Park, which began my odyssey for blissful sliver of suburbia.

Ditmas Park is a neighborhood right in the middle of Brooklyn. A bit South of Prospect Park. Its surrounded by the usual Brooklyn stuff; bodegas, coffee shops, and laundromats. But this neighborhood is filled with old Victorian Mansions and have stayed that way as Brooklyn has shape-shifted throughout the years.

I took the B train about 30 minutes over the river and off of the island, landing, finally, in this strange place.

It’s a weird thing to get off a train in a totally new place with no objective but to explore until you find the thing that can calm the yearning you feel for home. Until you find it, you get a big dose of uneasy. So I wandered up and down a few streets, searching in the unknown for something that felt familiar. I worried briefly if I was crazy.

Thankfully I have a phone with Google on it, so I was able to search for the “prettiest block in Ditmas Park”, and after typing some cross streets into Google Maps, I turned a corner and found “home”. What follows is an exhaustive collection of photos. I’m not even going to edit them down very much because each tree line street filled with cars and lawn mowers was thrilling in such a reassuring, familiar way its impossible to describe.

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This a wide road with cars parked along it. This does not exist in Manhattan. It just doesn’t.

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Homes with Halloween decorations!

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You guys, I became really, really close to bending over and sniffing this lawn mower. Because even at “standing level” the smell of fresh cut grass was intoxicating.

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I sent this picture to Selemon with the caption “Guess where I am?!?” I just could not believe this view as a short subway ride from our 6th floor apartment in the village. It felt like the Lake of the Isles neighborhood in Minneapolis.

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I wore a lovely fall hat that Ashley Thomas gave me and felt quite fancy

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That was quite a pretty stroll, huh?

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I ended the stroll with a cup of tea at the neighborhood spot, which had a wall of herbs.

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I really did leave feeling better. I hope you all have lovley, cozy, fall weekends too!

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2 thoughts on “Taking a Break in Brookyn, or, how I found the familiar in Ditmas Park

  1. Wow such a gorgeous neighborhood! Crazy how places can be so different in such a close proximity to a big city! If you ever do want to travel a little farther out to Long Island, I live there and can probably give you some nice places to check out! 🙂

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