ARCHIVE FOR February, 2014

Digging Ditmas Before It Was Cool5

Posted by Deirdre // 02-26-2014

 

You heard it here first, you guys. Well, probably not because I had no idea how to promote my blog besides emailing my friends back in 2008. But there it was, on an early iteration of this blog called I Love/Hate NY (?!)…the I’m Loving Ditmas post. It talks about a week-old Sycamore (awww!), my husband’s obsession with the neighborhood and how he wanted to buy way back in the early aughts and how in ’08 we couldn’t afford it anymore. Pffft. Why, why, WHY will we never learn from our Real Estate mistakes? The only thing we did do was have my husband’s 40th at Sycamore downstairs, which in fact was amazing and damn I wish Instagram had been around then because it would have killed you how cool that room looked. I digress.

The Farm on Adderley via Tasting Table

The Farm on Adderley via Tasting Table

All of a sudden, everyone is all up in Ditmas — Tasting Table claims that Ditmas is “Having A Moment” and that Cortelyou is basically the new Smith Street.

And a few days before that, it was Brooklyn Based’s Guide to the neighborhood, Next Stop, Suburbia. The neighborhood does look kind of suburban, but not in a sprawly, big box store way. In a houses with yards way. It was what turned my stomach a little ten years ago when my husband was begging me to move there — it felt far and not at all like the city to me. But now that our lives are so different and we leave Brooklyn only when necessary, it really seems sort of ideal, though now probably out of our reach price-wise. BB claims the train ride to midtown is only 30 minutes, which seems like a stretch to me as an average, but if you work downtown near the Q or B? Or at home?

What about schools, you say? A Bklyn Or Beyond list serve member who raves about Ditmas whenever it comes up sent his kids to PS 217 and loved it (he also posted in the Inside Schools review of the school, I noticed). I’m trying to find more information on a new school that is/was slated to open in 2015, PS/IS 437 but there were mostly construction updates and those stopped sometime in 2012 so I’m thinking it’s no longer happening. Anyone else have good or bad things to say about Elementary Schools in the area?

Next up on the stay in Brooklyn front may be neighboring Kensington, which was featured in the always lame interesting NY Times Living In a few weeks ago.

 

The City That Sleeps Just Fine16

Posted by Deirdre // 02-05-2014

 
Goin' back to Cali

Goin’ back to Cali?

I’ve read two articles on L.A. recently that made me really stop and think. Like a “wait, what?” kind of think. Like, “is L.A. actually a place I could see us?” kind of think. I grew up a New Yorker and always felt like L.A. was kind of a joke — or at least not really reality. My Dad has lived there since the early 80s and I visited him often, especially when I was younger. Those trips were always filled with Disney Land and swimming pools and tennis clubs and what I considered luxury (what really was luxury for a while after moving in with a girlfriend and her kids to their AWESOME mid-century modern house with a pool in a crazy gated community in Beverly Hills for several years, he mostly lived in more modest places, even though most came with a pool). A few times in my 20s I went there to visit and hung out with friends who lived what would be more of a life I would live there, yet I still never really thought twice about L.A. as a home and when I did move to California for a blip, it was to San Francisco.

But recently I was doing some research on L.A. for a consulting job and came across this article in T Magazine about the new arts and fashion scene there that struck me so intensely that I immediately sent this blurb to my husband, along with the full link.

“Los Angeles’s burgeoning fashion ecosystem — democratic, bootstrappy, upbeat and sometimes wantonly improvisational — seems to be drawing power from several sources, including still-plentiful real estate, a local buzz vacuum caused by the sputtering of the movie industry, creative runoff from the town’s exploding art scene and an emerging sense that sometime in the last few years, New York ceased being a locus of inventive energy and gritty potential and turned into a luxury shopping mall where the proverbial kid from the sticks with sequins in her eyes has to foam milk for 14 hours a day just to make rent”.

First of all, hilarious. But wait…bootstrappy? Improvisational? In the past I haven’t associated this type of artsy, street style with L.A. — I have several friends in the biz there and while it is laid back and more casual than New York in many ways, that seems a stiflingly non-democratic community. But a few years ago some friends moved there (without kids, mind you) to a stunning place in Venice Beach, on a canal, 5 minutes from the beach for like half of what we pay for a walk-up off of 7th Avenue. They’re graphic designers, not producers or agents, and I curse her Instagram regularly. And we’ve met others — both with kids and without — who have a nice, normal, non-Hollywood and kind of awesome life there. But also the sense that “things” are possible — that there is movement and energy and creativity happening, because people can afford to actually make it happen — is exciting and alluring. Honestly, it is the kind of vibe (sans Palm trees, of course) that drew me to Brooklyn in the first place way back in 1999. Read More…