Flatbush is a neighborhood in the NYC borough of Brooklyn. The area was founded in 1651 by Dutch Colonists and garnered the name Flatbush which means “flat woodland” or “wooded plain”.
For the first half of the twentieth century majority of the Flatbush residents were working class Irish-American and Jews. A demographic change occurred in the area during the 1970s and early 1980s. The area went from having mostly Irish, Italian and Jewish residents to majority Caribbeans. This demographic shift saw a shift as well in the number of abandoned or semi-abandoned buildings in this section. There were also several apartment houses that were deteriorated. Most of the well to do residents of Flatbush left and lower income immigrants replaced them.
This demographic shift to immigrants has not stopped and in more recent years the Flatbush community has seen an increase of immigrants from the Caribbean, mainly from Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Dominica and more. In addition to this demographic population are South Asian immigrants mainly from India and Pakistan and African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
What It’s Like To Live There
Housing here changes in character and most of the housing is apartment buildings, with some rowhouses. Generally, living in Brooklyn gives you an opportunity to live in an economically and socially diverse borough. Living in Flatbush affords you to be in the center of what makes Brooklyn what it is today.
Living here you will find numerous discount stores, Caribbean delis, as well as the Kings Theatre which first opened in 1929, then closed in 1977 and reopened again in February 2015. The diversity of the neighborhood means living here is going to be a game of contrasts. Some of the neighborhood contrasts lend themselves to goat’s heads and cow’s feet which you can see or buy at the northern end of Flatbush Avenue. Or, you can don the latest African styles by getting your hair braided in one of the African hair shops on the avenue. On the southern end, you can find larger businesses like Target and Applebees.
Going back to the culture of neighborhood mentioned earlier, it is not rare to come across a Chasidic man standing side by side a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. Young professionals are also bringing in a new cultural flare to the area making it a bustling urban area.
More young families are moving into the neighborhood opting for housing that actually has a backyard and a front porch, in other words affordability and space. In addition to affordability and space, transportation is an added bonus of living here due to the construction of Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge, and other transportation choices.
While it also cannot be ignored, there has been a history of violent crimes in the area, however, crime has generally been decreasing.
Famous Organizations To Be Found
As well as the diversity and economical viability of this part of Brooklyn, there are other famous institutions that you can easily locate here, some of which are:
- Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church: this church is an historic Dutch Reformed Church located at 890 Flatbush
Avenue. To date the church has an active congregation and its motto is “Doin’ Goo In The Hood since 1654.”
- Brooklyn College: With notable alumni such as presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, Brooklyn College is often referenced as “the poor man’s Harvard” due in part to its low tuition and its reputation for academic excellence.
- The Mirrer Yeshiva: The Mirrer Yeshiva is an important Haredi yeshiva that is well known for talmudic studies for Jewish students. The students of this institution are expected to become true Talmund scholars, with an understanding of the ancient text of the Talmund.
Getting To The Neighborhood
As already stated, one of the area’s draw is the transportation availability. You can use the New York City Subway, the BMT Brighton Line (B Q trains) with stops to the area. Stations from Prospect Park to Avenue H will get you in and out, as well as stations of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line (2 5 trains) .
If you are using bus services the B6, B8, B35, B41, B44, B49, Q35 have routes that take you in and out of the neighborhood.
Closest Hospital & Police Department
If you need to locate the nearest hospital and police department in Flatbush, you can consider the following:
Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center
1095 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY, 11226
2820 Snyder Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY, 11226-4118