Detaching from Dean Street


AT THE END OF APRIL, I’m downsizing from a grand, 1,800-square-foot garden/parlor duplex to a more sensible garden floor-through a few blocks away.



It’s been 2-1/2 years, which flew, and I’ve loved living here. I’ve realized that my identity is very wrapped up in where I live — and this place has been good for my self-esteem.

Where I’m going will be appropriate and cozy, if not as splendiferous.

Having signed a lease last night, I’m starting the process of detaching emotionally from this house where I’ve been so happy.

It helps to know I’ll always have my photos.


15 thoughts on “Detaching from Dean Street

  1. Marvelous space and photos. So warm and inviting, not over-dressed like so many of the homes in the shelter books. Perhaps there should be a a mag for spaces like this one… genuinely lived-in.

  2. Thanks, y’all, for your comments and support. It IS hard to leave, even for a day! But I will create something with a similar feel in my new space…on a decorating budget of zero!

  3. Good Luck with the move! It’s right in the neighborhood, no?
    It’s always seems hard to move! In fact…we’ve been in the same house for 20 years I think. But still, it can open so many new possibilities, moving.

    Are you moving into your own house where you’ve freshened up the garden apartment or will this be a rental?

    Will you be gardening?

    Sending you energy!

  4. Yes, FGG, I’ll still be in Boerum Hill. It’s a rental with a nice, south-facing slate patio – container gardening only!

  5. Sounds nice! With sun and a patio, might be nice to grow edible container plants for leaves, flowers and even fruits and vegetables.

    Of course, the sky’s the limit in terms of what one might spend on containers. On the cheaper side is the good old terracotta pot, half cask, wooden wine crate…or even milk crates lined in cut-to-fit contrator bags or any heavy-duty poly. Even some potting soil bags can be used as is sliced open on the sides for drainage with cuts at the top for plants…decidedly ugly but cheap. You can always surround such a plant bag with camouflage (other smaller pots or even a piling up of mulch or leaves (and even sheets of moss gathered in “the country”?).

    Anyway, good plants on the eye and tummy:

    -Short and climbing nasturtiums
    -Red oakleaf lettuce
    -Fennel (for drama) and the smaller dill
    -The violas: pansies, viola, Johnny jump ups…
    -Of course, arugula…and cilantro which flowers nicely
    -There are all the herbs of course (oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, etc….and if you have a little money to spend and a decent amount of winter sun, try a bay tree which can add some height and substance to the patio)…then there are the softer herbs like basil, lemon verbena…
    –If you want chives, buy a good sized plant b/c a tiny one may take a year or two to reach a decent size to flower.
    –For some drama: a big-leafed collard green and some of the kales
    –Then all the fruiting nightshade vegetables which will do well if there’s really good sun. There are a number of very decorative hot peppers if your palate runs that way.
    –Fruits: easiest/fastest one would be strawberries
    –If you plan on being there for a number of years, you might try some blueberries (they come in very tall to very short, ground-hugging), raspberries and possibly a drawf fruit tree (apple prefb’ly since the squirrels can decimate the crop of any of the stone fruits like apricots)…even a drawf banana tree can grow well in a pot if you want one. The ultimate really, would be a Meyer lemon, again for a sunny window in the winter (when it tends to flowers–wonderful perfume!)
    –Another fruit one does not think about is the American highbush cranberry which is actually a viburnum…great if you need height or a screen from neighbors.
    –there are a number of other less common things you can grow in pots. Have a look at which

    If I had to give a list of non-edible flowers, I would suggest the nicotiana sylvestris (forest tabacco) and possibly some of the daturas (esp. meteloides which is kind of big but super-fragrant)…

    Good luck this spring once you’ve settled in a little…You’ll be happy if the patio is inviting for the warm weather.

  6. A tantalizing list, FGG, and very ambitious! But if I do end up with this half-acre in East Hampton, I will probably put my gardening energies there this summer and not do much more in Brooklyn than put my house plants out on the patio for a much-needed air and moisture boost.

  7. Why do you have to leave this gorgeous apartment?? Are the owners expanding into it?

  8. Have the owners found new tenants, and what are they asking? Not that we could probably afford it. Forgive my vulture-like aspect, but I would sell my blood to have a parlor like that!

  9. Yes, the first people to look at it rented it for $3,600/month, which is really not that bad, considering the prime block and amount of space, but more than I want to pay.

  10. You certainly have an amazing design sense – I’m sure your new place will be outstanding!

    Did the owners of your current apartment list it with a broker? We are looking for such a place – quite amazing and would loved to have rented this place. Do you happen to know of any others like this for rent? I know this is a long shot but we haven’t seen anything quite like this for this price.

  11. Don’t know of anything offhand. The apartment was rented through Brooklyn Bridge Real Estate on Court Street. If you are willing to pay a broker’s fee, I would just call or walk into local brokers’ offices, of which there are many, and tell them you’re interested in a garden/parlor duplex in Boerum Hill. That’s what I did 2-1/2 years ago when I rented this place. I think that’s more effective than searching online, and there may be something they know of that’s coming up that hasn’t yet made it onto the internet.

  12. wonderful! I wish we had something foir half the price and half the space.. but pls be patient..

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