When I want to get away from it all—that is, our times and all the people in them—I hop on my bike and head for Middagh Street in Brooklyn Street.
I'll wager that no stretch of pavement in New York City more completely takes you back in time than the stretch of Middagh between Henry and Willow Streets. Why? Because it is here, perhaps, that there is a greater concentration of well-preserved, wooden clapboard houses than anywhere else in the burg. This is because the street was one of the first built in this, New York's first suburb. Most of the houses date from the 1820s. Together, they emanate a sense of beauty and peaceful simplicity that causes your racing heart and mind to slow down a speed or two.
The AIA guide bitches about the various states of mutilation the old homes are in, but they all look pretty good to me. I'm live in any of them at the drop of a hat. No question.
Details like this oval window make me swoon. Imagine being so lucky as to peek through this every day to check on the weather as you walk downstairs for your morning coffee.
AIA, and every other guide I have, calls the below structure, at 24 Middagh Street, the best-preserved wooden house in the Heights. It's called the Eugene Boisselet House and was built in 1829, when Andrew Jackson was President. Whoever lives there now: God bless you for keeping it up so well. And please invited me inside!