Walking through Ditmas Park for the first time is a shock for many New Yorkers. Not only is it oddly thrilling to see big detached houses with real lawns within the city limits, but the houses themselves represent an eccentric mix of architectural styles, from Victorian to Colonial Revival to faux-Japanese. It’s a great place to explore at leisure, and nearby Cortelyou Road offers a rich selection of shops, restaurants, and bars.
What we call Ditmas Park has changed a bit over the years. The traditional boundaries are from Ocean Avenue to East 16th Street and from Dorchester Road to Newkirk Avenue, the section which contains the Ditmas Park Historic District, none of which are actually included in this walk. Now, you’re more likely to hear Ditmas Park used to refer to most of Victorian Flatbush, an area which includes the grand houses, small parks, and planned communities of Prospect Park South and Ditmas Park. This walk will start at Cortelyou Road before wandering north through the Prospect Park South Historic District towards Prospect Park.