• Photo: Jennifer Arnow

Ditmas Park and Midwood

Ditmas Park's majestic Victorian homes with wraparound porches and wide front yards evoke a life more suburban than urban. Yet the neighborhood, which encompasses the Ditmas Park Historic District and the Prospect Park South Historic District, harbors a burgeoning restaurant and bar scene that makes it quite cosmopolitan. The area was largely farmland until the early 1900s, when an ambitious developer erected blocks of single-family homes, most in the orderly Colonial Revival style, with a smattering of frothier Queen Annes and neo-Tudors. Also in the present-day mix are Craftsman bungalows and redbrick apartment houses. The neighborhood's transformation over the past decade began on Cortelyou Road, the main commercial artery, where coffee shops, farm-to-table restaurants, bars, and boutiques rub shoulders with longtime Mexican bakeries, pizza parlors, and Caribbean shops and take-out joints. Coney Island Avenue has South Asian eateries and colorful sari shops. Church, Newkirk, and Flatbush avenues follow in Cortelyou’s footsteps, with new businesses opening practically every month. The 2015 reopening of the Kings Theatre, a long-shuttered French Renaissance Revival movie palace now glamorously restored as a live performance venue, has already increased foot traffic along Flatbush. Many Orthodox Jews live immediately south of Ditmas Park in Midwood, whose draws include more Victorian houses and famous Di Fara Pizza.

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