Beer and flowers and then more beer sure sounds like a nice way to spend a day.

Beer and flowers and then more beer sure sounds like a nice way to spend a day.

Hey there, winter weary homebody who’s just dying to get out of the house. Have you listened to our frequent entreaties to go to Ditmas Park and have some fun there because it’s a really nice neighborhood full of great places to eat and drink and cool houses to stare at when you’re kind of tipsy and sad you’ll never own a house? If you still haven’t, March is the month to do it, because March is Eat and Shop Your Heart Out Cortelyou, which means Cortelyou Road will be home to both pub AND sandwich crawls this month. (more…)

The Castello Plan: sort of fancy and really fun.

The Castello Plan: kinda fancy and really fun.

The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Rd.
Ditmas Park
(718) 856-8888 

What is it: The snazzy, woody bar and  restaurant is a pillar of “the new Smith Street,” as Marty Markowitz has described Cortelyou Road.

Why we love it: Rustic but not pig-farmy, trend-conscious but not precious, Castello Plan is highbrow modern Brooklyn but not achingly so. Castello’s wide-ranging  menu has an adventurous side (gazpacho with white peach and seared squid) but doesn’t thumb its nose at updated classics (tagliatelle with tomato pesto and pecorino.)  (more…)

01/20/12 2:13pm
Qathra menu

The menu at Qathra

Qathra, the popular Cortelyou Road coffee house, may take over the former Whisk Cafe space at Newkirk and Westminster, the Qathra owner confirmed today. The Whisk space, which has been shuttered since owner Joshua Rubin disappeared on Oct. 31, is hosting a sell-off this weekend to raise money for Rubin’s family and, presumably, clear the way for a new tenant. (Rubin’s murder remains a mystery.) Yasser Habib, AKA Max, the owner of  Qathra, told Brokelyn that his lawyers are in negotiation and that he’s “75 percent sure” that the deal is moving forward. A Qathra outpost would be welcome by many neighbors as Max’s first one, which opened on Cortelyou in 2010, was named best coffee shop in NYC by the Daily News last year. More soon…

flatbushfroliccropBring in da noise, bring in da frolic! The Flatbush Frolic, that is. We know the starlit and alcohol-infused summer has only just begun, but Ditmas Park’s longest running street festival is looking for bands/musicians to perform at this September’s frolic. For those who don’t know it, the frolic is an annual Flatbush street festival that brings out the neighborhood in force one Sunday every September (this year, Sept. 12). The frolic spans Cortelyou Road from Ocean Ave. to Coney Island Ave., and shows everything the strip has to offer—culturally, commercially and, of course, culinarily. Last year’s performers of all genres took center-stage and were heard (and enjoyed) for blocks. So start warming up them chords, vocal or otherwise, and send your link, video or other musical sample to Richie Barshay at

via Ditmas Park Blog

plantswapIf you haven’t yet started your windowsill garden, this weekend’s the perfect opportunity. Come to Ditmas Park on Saturday, Apr. 24, for a free plant swap, sponsored by the Flatbush Food Co-op and Sustainable Flatbush. The swap, from noon to 3, is exactly what it sounds like: you meet up, trade your expendable perennial or other plant and leave with a new leafy best friend. In fact, this is a swap of the best variety—you don’t even have to bring a plant to walk away with a new one. It’ll also be the place for trading gardening tips, whether you can’t keep a Chia Pet alive or you can help green another’s thumb. (more…)