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Di Fara's-getting there.

r
rekha Oct 25, 2007 11:07 AM

Hello I would like to go to Di Fara's to try some of Dom's legendary pizza, but am not sure how to get there. We will be staying in Tribeca so whats the easiest way? Can we get back by walking back over the bridge? If so how long does that take? Thanks for your help!

  1. cmballa Nov 29, 2007 12:36 PM

    I wanted to drag this thing up for the sake of your interest in my jaunts, after taking a walk from my apartment in Prospect Heights down Bedford, to the very end at Sheepshead Bay this week.

    It was a pleasant walk (it ended with a two or three miles of ultraquiet suburbia in Midwood, alas, through the lettered avenues). I did make a brief excursion in Gravesend down Ave U, which contained an odd mix of ethnic foods. There was a very respectable-seeming salumeria (G&S Pork Store, I believe), a very old deli, and a few Chinese restaurants (there seemed to be some Chinese in the neighborhood). I thought the neighborhood would be an extremely pleasant place to live, or at least a very quiet one, if it weren't so far away from everything.

    Note: there is an Applebee's at the end of Bedford, facing the bay.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cmballa
      j
      JFores Nov 29, 2007 01:14 PM

      Yeah. Much as Sheepshead has become entirely Russian, the Italian strip on Ave U is being devoured store by store by an ever growing Chinatown. And so the changing of the guard occurs. 18th Avenue's Italian stores are being dotted by more and more Chinese stores every 3 or 4 months and Ave U is changing at a MUCH more rapid pace. It's spreading east to west.

      That Applebee's was a major pre-party meeting spot with my high school.

    2. z
      zacfi Oct 28, 2007 05:02 PM

      I would recommend the Q train myself. You get off the train, go down the stairs, turn left out of the station and you're there. It is right on the corner. Walking is going to be a very long proposition to go back.

      However, if I were to walk, I'd recommend taking E. 14th St. north towards Prospect Park. Stay off of Ocean Ave, Ocean Pkwy or Coney Island Ave. E14th becomes Rugby Road and goes through the most beautiful part of Brooklyn in Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South, just a few blocks from Ave. J. You are talking about 5 miles of Brooklyn to cross to get back to the bridge. I wouldn't go to the Williamsburg bridge as that is far out of the way. Google map it if you want. It connects to Manhattan at the bulge and you go pretty far east.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zacfi
        r
        rekha Nov 1, 2007 11:13 AM

        wow. just wanted to say thanks for all the options you guys have given me.

      2. g
        Geo8rge Oct 25, 2007 10:23 PM

        Get directions from any of the mapping web sites.

        Which bridge? If you want to avoid the subway rent a bike. Marked bike from Brooklyn Bridge to Prospect Park. Separated path in PP and Ocean Parkway to ave J. Make a left and proceed cautiously on fairly civilized streets.

        Proceed to Coney Island for Russian dinner.

        http://www.transalt.org/maps/bkmap.pdf

        1. j
          JFores Oct 25, 2007 02:56 PM

          Take the Q train from Canal. Walking back will take around 4 hours at a brisk pace through hard to navigate areas. I've done it. The Q will drop you off literally one block away. Walking long distances in Brooklyn is a whoooole different matter of distance in Bkln compared to the city (and I've walked all of Bedford Ave, Fulton Ave, Eastern Parkway, NYC Bway, Bkln Bway, etc. It's a hobby.) If you wanted to walk back I would make it an interesting walk. I would take Ocean to Prospect Park, walk alongside the park, use Eastern Parkway to get to Bedford, walk Bedford all the way to the Williamsburg Bridge and cross there. Or you can alternatively make a left on Flushing in South Williamsburg and use that to skirt the Naval Yards (while passing some awesome crumbling Victorians called Officer's Row which I hope they don't knock down) and this will also lead you past Vinegar Hill which is one of Brooklyn oldest, most untouched and most isolated areas. Then you'll cross into DUMBO and reach the bridge quite quickly. If massive walks aren't you thing then Q train it both ways. If you go on a Wednesday for lunch or an early or very late dinner, it's basically dead. I went every Wednesday for the last couple of years.

          15 Replies
          1. re: JFores
            cmballa Oct 25, 2007 03:39 PM

            What a soldier, those are some serious walks.

            Though the walk from Midwood back towards Downtown Brooklyn has many beautiful streets.

            1. re: cmballa
              bobjbkln Oct 25, 2007 05:22 PM

              Going back, take the Q train to DeKalb and then go across the platform to the R (or M) train two stops to Court St. From there you can easily walk across the bridge (ask someone for directions to the bridge walkway).

              1. re: cmballa
                j
                JFores Oct 25, 2007 06:19 PM

                The whole second half of Bedford was done at night! Eastern Parkway onward! I was not a happy camper!

              2. re: JFores
                t
                traceybell Oct 25, 2007 05:54 PM

                Why is it dead on Wednesdays as opposed to, say, Tuesdays?

                1. re: traceybell
                  j
                  JFores Oct 25, 2007 06:04 PM

                  Well could be any day. I just happened to get out of school very early on Wednesdays.

                2. re: JFores
                  bigmackdaddy Oct 26, 2007 05:49 AM

                  Your route is certainly the best culinary. Although I would take CIA instead of Ocean Parkway. More culture differences, in my opinion on CIA than OP.

                  1. re: bigmackdaddy
                    j
                    JFores Oct 26, 2007 09:14 AM

                    I'm not a big CIA fan because of the scenery and I honestly think Bedford is the best thoroughfare for any of it. I just happen to know Ocean and feel more comfy on it because I know loads of people who live off of it. And yeah it's not the fastest way but it's a very good food route as well as a nice tour of Brooklyn nabes. If you just Flatbush Avenue it, you don't see a whole lot. Not to mention that I really don't like Flatbush Avenue. The path through Boerum Hill is nice though, but that's also easy to do off of Bedford. Whenever I did these walks I was usually doing whole avenues, literally from start to finish.

                    1. re: JFores
                      bigmackdaddy Oct 26, 2007 01:41 PM

                      Are you talking about Ocean Parkway or Ocean Avenue? Between Ave Z and Church on Ocean Parkway I don't think there's a single restaurant or store to be had. I believe once you get past Kings Highway or Ave.P on Ocean Ave. there are a few things. If you're waking strictly for aesthetics then yes Ocean parkway and some of the side streets are the way to go.

                      1. re: bigmackdaddy
                        j
                        JFores Oct 27, 2007 12:41 PM

                        Aesthetics and comfort.

                  2. re: JFores
                    j
                    jmj Oct 26, 2007 07:13 AM

                    Prospect Park to Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge????? That's like Marathon Madness! Right down Flatbush from GAP takes you to Manhattan Bridge; a jog west on Tillary (or scenic path thru Boerum Hill) takes you to Bklyn Bridge. But then I only do this walk when there's like a citywide blackout or terrorist attack, etc.

                    1. re: jmj
                      bigmackdaddy Oct 26, 2007 08:04 AM

                      It depends where you're going to in Manhattan. If it's anywhere north of Houston on the east side the difference in distance is moot. I would avoid the Manny B all together when walking. The trains are way too loud and the entrances out of the way.

                      1. re: jmj
                        Bob Martinez Oct 26, 2007 09:21 AM

                        My thoughts exactly. Hell, why not walk back over the Triborough too while you're at it. It will only add 7 or 8 extra miles on to the trip. Sure, walking can be fun but even from the perspective of this 27 year Brooklyn resident I can confirm that not every part of the borough is worth touring. Some, like the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, are desolate. Others like Eastern and Ocean Parkways, are merely boring. If you're a tourist with limited time the best strategy is to go to the areas that are particularly beautiful or have special architectural interest.

                        Circling around to the request that started this thread, I recommend that the original poster walk the Brooklyn promenade and tour the streets of Brooklyn Heights. The views of the Manhattan skyline are spectacular and the brownstones in the Heights are real gems.

                        And to cap this with an obligatory food reference, the OP should search the board for some solid lunchtime options in the Heights. There are a number of pleasant casual spots and I know that Queen, a classic red sauce Italian place, is open for lunch.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                          j
                          JFores Nov 1, 2007 11:44 AM

                          What's wrong with the naval yard borders? Once you get around to Officer's Row and Vinegar Hill it's very cool. On the other side, seeing South Williamsburg (and it's sea of Orthodox Jews) is an interesting sight as well.

                          I think Brooklyn Heights is boring as hell and that the brownstones are better in much of Bed Stuy, but that's just my opinion.

                          1. re: JFores
                            cmballa Nov 3, 2007 11:48 AM

                            I fully agree with this, after taking such a route from Williamsburg to Prospect Heights a couple weeks ago.

                            1. re: cmballa
                              j
                              JFores Nov 3, 2007 03:21 PM

                              Bedford straight down? Bedford has some great sights along the stretch. When I did it all that day we effectively hit Greenpoint (Lomyzynianka yummy), Bed Stuy (Deback Malick yummy), deviated for some brownstone watching, checked out a building on Nostrand that I've wanted to see up close for a while, made a few turns to lose someone who was obviously following us, continued back on Bedford, reached Crown Heights/Prospect Heights, ate out third small meal at The Islands, walks past the Ebbets Field Projects at night, the old Sears and Roebuck building is a damn cool art deco structure tossed flat in the middle of Flatbush Bedford, turned down three drug solicitations around the Sears Roebuck building, passed some incredibly nice later period brown stones (the ones that aren't actually brown) after passing Tilden Ave and so forth (if I was further east that avenue would strike fear into my heart; I walked East New York once and it still freaks me out), continued past various apartment buildings outside of which there were groups of teenagers all mysteriously wearing the exact same colors and eyeing us quite interestingly as we passed, etc, etc. Reached the God damned water finally. Stopped at my friend's house across the collapsing blue bridge of doom, got them together and had dinner at Cafe Glechik.

                              A good day for food? I think so. You've got a great concentration of food during the upper stretches but it does get sparse (in many ways) once you pass Prospect Heights.

                    2. l
                      lwong Oct 25, 2007 02:40 PM

                      If you get there early on a weekday at 11:30 - 11:45 AM right before DiFara's opens, it should be okay also. We have had good experiences arriving early on weekdays where we did not have to wait too long.

                      1. Bob Martinez Oct 25, 2007 11:27 AM

                        Here's complete subway directions. I didn't know your hotel so I used Walker's (a first rate bar near a subway stop) as a starting point.
                        http://www.hopstop.com/?action=route&...

                        During the week try to get there around 3:00PM to avoid the crowds. On weekends shoot for 11:45. The crowds are insane if you go at other times.

                        And no, you can't walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge. If you want to do that on another day take the A train from the same Canal St. stop to the High St. station in Brooklyn (1st stop on the Brooklyn side.) The bridge is an easy walk from there. Best to print out a map of the local streets since the path to the bridge isn't well marked.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                          r
                          rekha Oct 25, 2007 01:31 PM

                          Thanks very much, that has been a great help!

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