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Ditmas Park is a neighborhood in western Flatbush in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, east of Kensington, and is one of three Flatbush neighborhoods which have been officially designated Historic Districts. Located on land, formerly owned by the Ditmas family, that remained rural until the early 20th century, the neighborhood consists of many large, free-standing Victorian homes built in the first decade of the 1900s. The traditional boundaries of Ditmas Park are from Ocean Avenue to East 16th Street and from Dorchester Road to Newkirk Avenue. Due to confusion over what to call the larger neighborhood, however, all of Victorian Flatbush is now generally referred to as "Ditmas Park". 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 Avenue H to the south to Caton Avenue in the north. Ditmas Park is policed by the NYPD's 70th Precinct, and is within Brooklyn Community Board 14.
Newkirk Avenue, Coney Island Avenue, Church Avenue, and Cortelyou Road are the neighborhood's commercial strips while many of their north-south streets are lined with historic Victorian style homes. Since much of Ditmas Park is residential, many locals go to nearby Park Slope to run errands and shop, although the neighborhood has seen increased commercialization due to its recent gentrification.
The Ditmas Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, wealthy families purchased the large Victorian homes, but in the past few years, the neighborhood has experienced rapid gentrification, with an influx of young people and artists attracted to the large spaces for relatively cheap rents. An example of this is Cortelyou Road, a commercial street in the neighborhood. Cortelyou enjoys a number of delis, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, the Flatbush Food Co-op, and more upscale restaurants. Cortelyou is also home to many venues, which attracts many local musicians, as well as more well-known artists.
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 its food have appeared in the New York Times and AM New York.
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 and the Flatbush Development Corporation. The Flatbush Development Corporation hosts an annual Victorian Flatbush House Tour.
Ditmas Park Corner documents important events and openings in the area, as well as a host for discussions and inquiries about the neighborhood. However, the gentrification of Ditmas Park has some opponents, mainly because residential and commercial rent has gone up, driving long-time residents and businesses out of the neighborhood.
New York City Subway stops in or very near to Ditmas Park are Church Avenue (B Q trains), Beverley Road (Q train), Cortelyou Road (Q train), and Newkirk Plaza , and Avenue H (B Q trains). MTA Bus-operated express buses that run through Ditmas Park are the BM1, BM2, BM3, and BM4, and local buses are the B16, B35, B68, and B103.
Additionally, Phillip J. Fry, a fictional character in the television series Futurama, uses Ditmas Park within Flatbush as his origin point (i.e. the Newkirk Plaza station on the B train he used to go home).
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