Sunset Park, Brooklyn: Wikis

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Sunset Park, Brooklyn
—  New York City neighborhood  —
5th Avenue and dome of St Michael's as seen from Sunset Park
Country United States of America
State New York
County Kings County
City New York City
Borough Brooklyn
Government
 - Council Member Sara M. Gonzalez
Population (2000)[1]
 - Total 120,441
ZIP code 11220, 11232, 11215
Area code(s) 347, 646, 718, 917

Sunset Park is a neighborhood in the western section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. It bounded by 25th Street and Greenwood Heights (referred to as "Greenwood" by Brooklyn Community Board 7) on the north, 9th Avenue, and Borough Park on the east, 65th Street and Bay Ridge on the south and Upper New York Bay on the west.[1]. Sunset Park is patrolled by the NYPD's 72nd [2] Precinct.

There is a namesake city park within the neighborhood, located between 41st and 44th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues, which is the second highest point in Brooklyn. The hilly terrain of the park affords visitors magnificent views of Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and New Jersey beyond. The "main drag" of the neighborhood lies along Fifth Avenue. The area is also home to the Jackie Gleason Bus Depot.

Contents

Brief history and overview

Bush Terminal as viewed from the park
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Early years

In the heyday of the New York Harbor's dominance of North American shipping during the 19th century, Sunset Park grew rapidly, largely as a result of Irish, Polish, and Norwegian immigrant families moving to the area. The neighborhood grew up around the Bush Terminal of Irving T. Bush, a model industrial park completed in 1895 between 39th and 53d Streets, and continued to grow through World War II, when the Brooklyn Army Terminal between 53d and 66th Streets employed more than 10,000 civilians to ship 80% of all American supplies and troops.

Sunset Park's fortunes began to decline after the war. The rise of truck-based freight shipping and ports in New Jersey, the growth of suburban sprawl and white flight, the closing of the Army Terminal, and the decreasing importance of heavy industry in the American northeast, all became factors. Families who had lived in the community for decades began moving out, and the homes in the neighborhood — largely modest but attractive rowhouses — lost value. The construction of the Gowanus Expressway in 1941 effectively cut the neighborhood off from the harbor, which further wounded the area, in a fashion often associated with the expressway's builder: power-broker Robert Moses.

5th Avenue, Sunset Park
Celebrating Chinese New Year on 8th Avenue.

Rebirth "Brooklyn's Little Latin America"

Sunset Park's second age began with a wave of immigration from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico as well as other Latin American countries. By 1990, Hispanics comprised 50% of Sunset Park's population, rehabilitating property values and developing a thriving community. Along 5th Avenue there is an abundance of Hispanic restaurants and businesses.

Brooklyn's Chinatown(布鲁克華埠)/Emerging Fuzhou Town(福州埠)

Since the 1980s, the neighborhood has attracted many East Asian immigrants, along 8th Avenue from 42nd to 68th Street. Some claim the reason the Chinese settled on 8th Avenue is because in Chinese folklore, the number eight is lucky for financial matters, and "8th Avenue" can be loosely interpreted as "road to wealth". Another explanation is the direct subway ride to Manhattan's Chinatown(紐約華埠) on the N/R and D lines.

8th Avenue is lined with Chinese businesses, including grocery stores, restaurants, Buddhist temples, video stores, bakeries, and community organizations, and even Hong Kong Supermarket. Some Chinese businesses are also appearing on parts of 7th Avenue, and east on 9th Avenue. Recently in the community, the issues of overcrowding and more efficient sanitation have been raised.

Like the traditional Chinatown in Manhattan, Brooklyn's Chinatown was originally settled by Cantonese immigrants. In recent years, however, an influx of Fuzhou immigrants have been supplanting the Cantonese at a really fast significant rate than in Manhattan's Chinatown and is now home to mostly Fuzhou immigrants. In the past during the late 1980s and 1990s, the Little Fuzhou(小福州) on East Broadway and Eldridge Street portion was the fastest emerging Fuzhou population/community within Manhattan's Chinatown in NYC after the waves of Cantonese immigrants settled in Manhattan's Chinatown, however there is now hardly growth in the Fuzhou immigrant community within Manhattan's Chinatown. As the Fuzhou immigrant growth slowed in Manhattan's Chinatown in the 2000s, at the same time, the Fuzhou immigrant growth began increasing significantly in Brooklyn's Chinatown and today it is home to the highest increasing Fuzhou population than Manhattan's Chinatown and all other Chinese communities in NYC and since it is smaller than Manhattan's Chinatown, Brooklyn's Chinatown is now very quickly becoming the New Little Fuzhou(小福州) unlike the Little Fuzhou within Manhattan's Chinatown remains surrounded by areas that are mostly Cantonese populated and in some parts moderately Cantonese populated. Currently the Little Fuzhou within Manhattan's Chinatown is still the largest Fuzhou population/community in NYC, however Brooklyn's Chinatown quickly emerging into Little Fuzhou is now surpassing the one within Manhattan's Chinatown as the largest Fuzhou population/community in NYC. In terms of ratio out of total Chinese population in Manhattan's Chinatown and Brooklyn's Chinatown, the Fuzhou ratio in Brooklyn's Chinatown has already surpassed the Fuzhou ratio in Manhattan's Chinatown. Brooklyn's Chinatown emerging into the New Little Fuzhou is rather becoming Fuzhou Town(福州埠) because it is also emerging beyond the current borderlines of the Chinese community on 7th and 9th Avenues and north onto 50th-42nd streets. Although the Chinese Community is starting to become a Chinese Fuzhou community, there are still many Cantonese shops between 50th-62nd streets on 8th Avenue, however it is slowly on the decline in replacements to Fuzhou shops emerging and on the weekends many Cantonese people coming from other parts of Brooklyn and other areas come into the Chinese community to go shopping and to eat in restaurants to meet up with family members and friends for socialization. Most Cantonese residents have fled and continuing to flee the Chinese community, although there are still many of them residing outside of the Chinese community in other parts of Sunset Park and areas next to Sunset Park integrated with other ethnic neighbors. The Cantonese community identity is fading away very quickly unlike Manhattan's Chinatown still continues to carry a large Cantonese population and successfully continues to retain the large stable Cantonese community/business district where the Cantonese residents still have a place of gathering for shopping and going to work that was established in the western portion/main section of Manhattan's Chinatown decades ago.[3]

Elementary School 24

By 2009 many Mandarin-speaking people moved to Sunset Park.[4]

61st Street & 8th Avenue, Sunset Park

Demographics

The 2000 Census [2] for Sunset Park, Brooklyn approximates that there were 120,441 people living in the neighborhood; 50.5% male and 49.5% were female; The median age was 30.8; 17.8% of residents were children, 73.2% were adults (18 years and over), and 9% were senior citizens (65 or over).

There were 29,723 total housing units, of which 95.8% were occupied, and 75.1% were rented and 24.9% were owned; The median property value was $235,400. The median household income in 1999 US dollars was $30,152, and the median family income was $31,247; The per capita income was $13,141; 27.9% of individuals, and 26% of families were living below the poverty line. 93.9% of residents were of one race, while 6.1% were multiracial; Roughly 42.6% of residents were Hispanic or Latino, 36.2% were "white", Caucasian/Arab, 29% were Asian (mostly Chinese), 3.2% were "black" or African American, and 24.7% were "some other race".

Recent history

Typical block in Sunset Park
St Michael's Church

Sunset Park was hit by the 2007 Brooklyn tornado on August 8. Significant damage was reported to homes on 58th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues and 67th-66th street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Transportation

Sunset Park is extensively served by road, rail, and ferry service. The neighborhood has access to three limited-access highways; the Gowanus/Interstate 278 and Prospect/NY-27 expressways as well as the Belt Parkway.

Six NYCTA bus lines serve Sunset Park: B9, B11, B35, B37, B63, B70.

Three subway lines run through Sunset Park. The BMT Fourth Avenue Line (D M N R) has stations at Prospect Avenue, 25th Street, 36th Street, 45th Street, 53rd Street and 59th Street. The BMT West End Line (D M) has a station at Ninth Avenue. The BMT Sea Beach Line (N) has a station at Eighth Avenue.

Freight trains run along the embedded tracks along 1st and 2nd Avenues and on the old Long Island Rail Road Bay Ridge Branch rails which are adjacent to the BMT Sea Beach Line.

Ferry service is available at 58th Street and 1st Avenue at the Brooklyn Army Terminal to the Wall Street Ferry Pier at the Financial District in Manhattan or the US Coast Guard's Riis Landing in Roxbury, Queens during the rush hour and on summer weekends. Ferry service was created in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks when the Gowanus Expressway and New York City Subway were at capacity. It was free from October 2001 until April 2003, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it could not subsidize the service anymore. Today it is operated by the Red Hook, Brooklyn-based New York Water Taxi company on its Rockaway Beach and Commuter route. The Water Taxi service from the Brooklyn Army Terminal was part of the crucial contingency plan during the 2005 New York City transit strike.

Much of the traffic between Brooklyn Chinatown and Manhattan Chinatown is handled by privately held vans known in English colloquially as "Chinese vans". They cruise down 8th Avenue from 43rd Street to the 61st Street onramp to Gowanus Expressway/I-278. These vans can be seen during commute hours picking up and unloading passengers on 8th Avenue. As early as 2004, additional vans took passengers to Flushing, Queens. Despite prices of $5 per passenger, these vans were the real contingency plan for people living in Brooklyn Chinatown during the 2005 New York City transit strike.

See also

References

External links


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