Recently described by New York Magazine as “the New San Francisco”, Ditmas Park is one of the three Flatbush neighborhoods that have officially been designated Historic Districts. The current borders of what is now considered to be Ditmas Park are from Coney Island Avenue on the west to Ocean Avenue on the east and from Foster Avenue in the south to Caton Avenue in the north.
Gigantic, turreted Victorian homes, many with unique and stunning architectural details, make Ditmas Park one of the most aesthetically pleasing and highly desired neighborhoods in all of New York. Take a stroll down some of Ditmas Park's side streets like Malborough, Argyle or Rugby for an eyeful of the area’s spectacular free-standing mansions. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, wealthy families purchased the large Victorian homes and more recently the neighborhood has experienced an influx of young people and artists attracted to the large spaces for relatively inexpensive prices compared to other sections of Brooklyn. In October 2009, Time Out New York named Ditmas Park one of the best neighborhoods in New York City for food. Similar articles praising Ditmas Park for it’s culinary successes have also appeared in the New York Times and AM New York.
Cortelyou Road, the area’s main drag, has become reminiscent of Park Slope – merging cosmopolitan dining and shopping with the family-friendly, residential homes on side streets. The neighborhood does however remain refreshingly diverse. Cortelyou contains a number of upscale restaurants, bars and coffee shops, including the Flatbush Food Coop, which gives individuals in the community access to wholesome, organic food. The Farm on Adderly, a neighborhood farm-to-table restaurant with American Nouveau cuisine, brings thoughtfully produced food and ingredients to the community with the principles of supporting local farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs. Qathra Cafe offers a daily selection of fresh baked pastries and treats from Balthazar Bakery. Cortelyou is also home to many venues that attract local musicians and well-known artists, such as Bar Chord and Sycamore. Newkirk Plaza, an outdoor shopping mall consisting of over 30 retailers, offers everything from food markets to pharmacies.
The Ditmas Park Association, founded in 1908, hosts social events, publishes a newsletter and a home improvement directory and works on numerous civic issues, often jointly with its sister neighborhoods. The Flatbush Development Corporation holds award benefits, offers volunteer opportunities and hosts an annual Victorian Flatbush House Tour. The Cortelyou Greenmarket has been a Sunday morning community destination since 2003, where shoppers routinely fill their market bags with herbs, fresh pasta, grass-fed beef and vegetables grown in the Black Dirt region of Orange County, NY.