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Ditmas Park

Ask a Local

Illustration by Lyndon Hayes  

Roy Nathanson
Jazz musician, writer, and teacher; resident since 2004

How did you find Ditmas Park?
I grew up in this neighborhood between 1956 and 1964. We played ball on the street, you know, and then we moved to Florida. Eventually, I got married and had a long life traveling with bands. I lived in the East Village. And then we saw this ad, and I secretly wanted to move back. For the money, there was just so much more room, and a yard—we could put up a basketball hoop for my son.

What’s the best thing about it?
The house! It’s so beautiful I can’t even believe it. I love being able to play my saxophone whenever.

What about the distance to Manhattan?
The B is really fast—it’s incredible—but when they’re doing track work, it doesn’t run on the weekends. The Q is much more a pain in the ass. That’s the difference between living here and places like Cobble Hill—it’s farther in.

What’s the downside?
Money! It’s not nothing to maintain these big houses.

Is there anything else the neighborhood needs?
A public space where people can sit. Cortelyou Road is becoming more of a public space, and the coffee shops are fine, but it would be great if one of the kids’ parks was enlarged.


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