Brooklyn. I walk you.

This was a good one. And it makes a nice skyscraper outline. Which is a complete contrast to the actual walk. Probably takes a couple hours. While there’s no need to stick to this path, there are a lot of dead-end streets on account of subway tracks, so the most direct route doesn’t always make sense.

Start on the south side of the Prospect Park Parade Grounds. There will be no parade, so don’t worry. Back in the 30’s and 40’s, the ballfields were super popular. Fans would come to see the likes of Sandy Koufax (who I think was a very good baseball player during the black-and-white days (and is probably not related to Ernie Kovacs, on account of having different names)).

Walk south on Rugby (I’ll stop with the cardinal directions now). You’ll pass a slightly out-of-place but charming Cambodian Buddhist Temple. And now you’re making your way into Ditmas Park, full of stately mansions and feeling like an odd suburban island within the midst of Brooklyn. You’ll see a lot of interesting choices in such topics as:

  • Materials
  • Colors
  • Columns
  • Maintenance

When you arrive at Church Avenue, take a right. Then a left on Argyle.

More big houses and lawns and life where people need to take out their recycling bins and shovel their driveways. This is a dull observation for many, but that really is a different world for me.

Take a right on Beverley. Left on Westminster.

Sometimes you’ll get a stretch of houses that are less audacious in scale and design, so they really go all in for colors. Those are my favorites.

Take a right on Foster. Left on Coney Island Avenue.

OK – we’ve left the big houses and lovely lawns. This next stretch I love, but personal mileage may vary. I love the fact that this is a main street. It’s not MY main street. And it’s not a main street to anyone I know. But for the local community (I think mostly Pakistani, but some Russian as well), it is where they shop and go out to eat and relax and see a movie. Everything is local. I love it. Especially as someone who loves ridiculous signage.

Don’t hit it into the NYET!

As I said, mileage may vary, but I love that sort of stretch. It’s also an excellent place to get whatever the cheap local snack or dish is. I’ve had good luck just stopping in and asking what they’d recommend.

Schnitzi!

Take a left on Avenue J. You’ll be walking right past the Brooklyn argument-provoking, line-producing institution, DiFara’s Pizza. If you time it right, you might sneak in and out with a slice in just a few minutes. And it is very easy to time it right during the quarantine. Just show up while they’re open. I walked away with a couple slices in a New York minute (WHAT DOES THAT MEAN IN QUARANTINE?!)

Keep walking along Avenue J until Ocean Avenue, and take a left. Gotta stagger the walk up a bit, on account of dead ends. But from here on out it’ll be a mix of more big houses for a few blocks, some traditional smaller Brooklyn houses, and blocks of apartment complexes, often with silly names and old churches on the corner.

Left on Avenue H. Right on East 17th. Some lovely islands along East 17th. Probably not what you’d picture if I said I was going to the Flatbush Malls.

Brooklyn?

Left on Beverley. Right on Marlborough – and you’ll make your way through one last stretch of fancy houses and be back at the Parade Ground in no time.

Quarantine walk one.

I walk a lot. It’s one of my favorite things to do. One time I walked (jogged a bit) to all the zoos (Prospect Park, Queens, Central Park, & Bronx) in a day. I’ve inadvertently wandered to Floyd Bennett Field. These days seem to be inviting a long, solo walk. I was made for these times.

Here’s a walk. I’ll describe it a bit. If you live in Brooklyn, give it a go – it’ll take you between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on how ramble-y your walking style. If you’re looking for a soundtrack, I was listening to the previously posted “Nilssolation” mix. Deviations and distractions are recommended – this is a loose recollection of my path with a couple of notable bits.

My path – starting at the circle on the lower left.

Start at Machate Circle (which I pronounce “machete” in my head and have never spoken aloud), at the southwest tip of Prospect Park.

Briefly walk north along the park, taking a left at Greenwood and follow that to the end. If you’re on the north side of the street, you’ll see one of the saddest attempts at a wall north of the border (zing). Right on Prospect Ave.

Great Wall

Take a left on Vanderbilt Street – which becomes 18th Street. Follow it up until Prospect Park West.

Take a left and that’ll lead you straight to Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the loveliest places in all of Brooklyn; a reliable home to tranquility. Quick note: Green-Wood has a few entrances. I have never looked ahead to see which entrances are open at which times, but I also handle frustration very well, just sayin’…

It can be quite easy to lose yourself in Green-Wood, for better or for worse. As you enter, take a right and roughly stay to the right. Or don’t! Wander about for hours! It really is one of my favorite places.

Green-Wood is home to some of the highest spots in Brooklyn. You know, in case you wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, but really, really small.

Eventually escape the graveyard via the 5th Avenue entrance (which is the one that is open most reliably – but I didn’t check that fact either, so…) and take a right on 5th Ave. There are some good murals and such in this area, if that’s your sort of thing.

Upon exiting Green-Wood, you can see the remnants of one of NYC’s last Victorian greenhouses (McGovern Weir Greenhouse, built in 1880). So there’s that.

Take a right on Prospect Ave and keep an eye out for Webster Place.

Take a left on Webster Place and you’ll suddenly find yourself on a charming block of excellent old (Queen Anne style?) houses – almost like you’ve briefly stumbled into San Francisco.

And then in a moment you’re back in Brooklyn. Take a right on 16th and hold steady.

I’ve never entered this bar, but there is a really good Faces bootleg with the same name.

Enter Prospect Park and take a right. Do not go to the main path. There is no reason to go to the main (boring) path. What, are you a runner? Honestly, you can do better than the main path. Trust me. Just stay on the much nicer (and less populated) path between the main path and the road.

Follow the path south and before you know it, you’ll be back at Machate!