Midwood is not the kind of neighborhood you visit if you’re sightseeing around Brooklyn (unless, of course, you’re a pizza connoisseur). But thanks to its quiet and convenient nature, it’s a wonderful place to raise kids. As a Midwood parent, you know there aren’t many hot tot spots around, but you also know exactly where to go for some quality time together — or some quality time alone while the kids play. Below, 20 signs you’re parenting in Midwood…
- You understand that when a store advertises itself as both “Kosher” and “Not Kosher” what it’s really saying is that it has real bacon.
- You do all your meal-prep and shopping on Thursday evening instead of Friday or over the weekend. It’s just a side-effect of many stores closing Friday afternoon through Sunday.
Di Fara’s legendary pizza. Photo via Yelp.
- You’ve stood in line for the famous pizza at Di Fara Pizzeria, but your kids still prefer the dollar slices from your local 7-11.
- You expect kid classes to be drop-off even when they’re not advertised as such. You’ll have time to bond later — kid classes in Midwood are a perfect time to do some grocery shopping instead.
- You time all your outings to avoid the school rushes so you don’t have to fight through throngs of teenagers with your kids in tow.
- You have a habit of memorizing the locations of every hidden playground as an alternative for when the scarce parks just get too crowded. (You know, for instance, that the PS 199 school playground opens its gates to the public as long as it’s not in use by the school kids.)
- You’re totally fine with a single chain-link fence separating a children’s park from a train and a cemetery. (Ahem, Friends Field.)
An assortment of bagels and spreads at the Ave M Kosher Bagels spot. Photo via Yelp.
- Cream cheese and lox is a staple of your kids’ diet.
- Your kids learned to swim at the East Midwood Jewish Center, where the pool is warm and spacious and the classes are small and cozy.
- You only shop organic and healthy thanks to shops like Organic Circle, Pomegranate, Green Forest Pharmacy, and the many other health food stores that can be found around the nabe. Anything you don’t buy from one of the large stores you can find in the local grocery stores. $2 for a bunch of kale? Yes please!
- You love taking your kids to Amazing Savings, where they can pick out toys and goodies for cheap. Of course you don’t just visit so you can pick up more beautiful storage boxes or kitchen items or other home decor items for ridiculously low prices…
- Your kids have witnessed the natural circle of life firsthand when they watched a raven eat the beating heart of a pigeon. They’ve also seen hawks, parrots, possums, and other wild animals you wouldn’t expect to find in the middle of Brooklyn.
photo: via Kids N Action Facebook page
- You’ve been to the massive indoor park, Kids ‘N Action, on rainy days. And hot days. And any excuse you can think of, really.
- You know where the weird diagonal streets Locust, Chestnut, Bay, and Ryder (which is not the same as Roder) are, and have helped confused strangers find them. But you also know that your kids would never get lost as long as they know their ABCs and numbers, since the streets and avenues keep to a pretty uniform grid. (Not like in some other neighborhoods, where Avenue N intersects with Avenue Z. What madness!)
photo: via Yoga Spot Facebook page
- Your go-to for some exercise is the Yoga Spot on Coney Island Avenue, where you can find classes for any level and age.
- You can eat food from all corners of the world by just crossing the street. Japanese and Thai places sit alongside Moroccan grills and Middle-Eastern fare. The kids might not be able to find Georgia or Moldova on a map, but they know what the cuisine of both taste like.
- You and the kids make a monthly pilgrimage to either of the two Dollar Tree stores that frame the Midwood neighborhood, where you stock up on ridiculously cheap toys, treats, and seasonal goodies. There’s something immensely satisfying about getting 15 items for $15.
- You have a hat for every day of the week. While you enjoy feeling thrifty by visiting stores like the Dollar Tree and Amazing Savings, you spend top dollar on classy hats and children’s clothes from specialty stores like Hat Box, Borsalino, Tuesday’s Child, and Sweet Things.
photo: Gedalya AKA David Gott via Flickr
- Your kids get to dress up twice a year instead of once: for Halloween and Purim, both of which draw kids in costume outside for a lively and colorful celebration.
- You can actually find some peaceful, tree-lined streets with barely a car in sight during the day (and especially on Saturdays) — a precious sight in New York. On the downside, there are few places you can go for a night out without the kids, but there are always other nabes for that!
What makes you a Midwood parent? Tell us in the comments!
— Yuliya Geikhman