Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Cool 'Hood: Ditmas Park

House porn: She likes her gutters cleaned regularly.

Holler and represent. That's right, we live in Ditmas Park. Take the Q-Train, motherfucker, or the B. Step off, and drop your jaw at the giant houses. Worship at the stately Victorians. Bring your camera, and you can snap off some house porn...

Then, come down to the wine shop and talk to my man the WINERATOR, who'll point you to a fine vintage, the drinking of which will be like "sucking on stray cherry pits as a diminutive nun beats you about the spine with a long chalkboard ruler from high school." Ouch! Sign me up for a case of that fine moonshine!

Yup, that's how the WINERATOR is. Descriptive...

Or traipse on over next door and see the friendly moms at the realtor's office, for some hot real estate action. Now, there's nothing like looking at some smokin' hot real estate with friendly local moms, is there?

Or go next door to the Mimi's and get some gourmet humus with whole wheat pitas! Cuz that's how Mimi's rolls! (Don't ask her for falafel. You've been warned.)

Or go down to The Farm for a world-class meal, or Picket Fence for some of the Life Force Sucker's fave smoked gouda mac and cheese. (What a Brooklyn babe, no! He likes his mac and cheese with gourmet fromage! )

Or go visit our Anarchist Cafe for some beer and popping jazz after hours. What, you heard the place was closed? You're dead wrong. It's very open again, and there's a new sheriff in town; her name is Debbie. And word is, aside from managing the Anarchist Cafe, she also manages the Freakin' Mermaid Parade down in Coney Island. Now how capital C cool is that?

Park Slope don't got that. Uh-uh. All the women folk over there are doing what? Doing what? That's right, they're running Credit Suisse, New York Division. They're pulling in the bucks, they're the ladies of FINANCE. But they don't run the Freakin' Mermaid Parade, no they do not.

Now, I am sad to report I do not live in one of the big houses. Instead, I live in one of the battleship-like brick coops that, if I lived in one of those houses, I would call a blight on the landscape. But here we are. What are you going to do? It is what it is. At least we got our sun-blasted patio on which the Life Force Sucker can peer down to the street and at his own mortality. (Standing out there with him makes me nauseous.)

But seriously, let's discuss today's topic. To be a cool Brooklyn Dad like yours truly, you got to live in a cool 'hood. Here are formerly cool 'hoods that, according to the website, have lost their designation as cool:
  1. Williamsburg
  2. Park Slope
Here are the three cool 'hoods remaining in all of Brooklyn:
  1. Prospect Heights
  2. The Gowanus
  3. Ditmas Park
Prospect Heights is just cool. Vanderbilt has like mad bike lanes and Soda Bar and Zaytoons and that French restaurant without the real kitchen and no ventilation. Cool.

Gowanus: Anyone willing to live next to the biohazardous Gowanus qualifies as brave enough to be cool.

And little old Ditmas Park...

Now, I'll be honest. I wasn't sold on this neighborhood when we moved here X years ago, during the Great Artistic Migration of the Early 2000's, when hardworking folks who, unfortunately were not working in finance or as lawyers, strapped their painting easels and guitars to their backs and fled Park Slope, like refugees getting bombed out of their homes. (But we ourselves aren't innocents swaddled in cottony whites are we? We displaced some local residents as well. Just bowing my head to history, for a second here. To the TRUTH...)

What I miss most about Park Slope is the culinary convenience. I mean, to this day, I find myself craving Red Hot Szechuan like crazy--cheap, filling, fast delivery. In 6 years in the slope, Mrs. Unit and I spent $6,000 at Red Hot, give or take. (Yes, I did the math.) Kung Po chicken. Spring roll. Maybe even a steamed pork bun fresh out the oven... And wonton soup. Hmmmm...

But Goddamn, this place has grown on me. Ditmas Park. Love it. Just glad I didn't pay half a million for 500 square feet. Even if that 500 square feet is next door to Red Hot Szechuan...

Ahhh, the 11218... Represent!



  1. Reading this post makes me realize just how boring the city I currently live in is. That would be the good old Nation's Capital of Ottawa.

  2. True that... How was the cherry pit wine btw?

  3. You almost had me moving out to Ditmas P. with the gouda mac & cheese (right on!) and the Winerator's cherry pit wine but I don't know if I can handle all that space. . .what to do with ALL THAT SPACE?!

  4. You forgot to mention the "lust at the tot lot" in Ditmas Park.

  5. The Last Good Place? Prospect Heights? Gowanus? Ditmas Park? Please. It's all gone. A victim of self-consciousness. That old Tree Grows in Brooklyn innocence is history.

    Is that the reason for the angry rant? Real life too confining?

  6. dude. the word on the street is that red hot delivers to the 11218. i haven't experienced it myself, but that's what i heard.
    love, the burrito girl.

  7. So has the Ditmas shark been jumped? What about renters hoping to buy in a particular battleship-sized coop building: have NYMag's fawning and Gossip Girl cameos priced out even the Gowanus refugees?