Southeastern Brooklyn is a much more secluded and remote area of the borough, with little convenient subway access and residents relying primarily on car and bus transportation. The closest subway is the Q or B train, but the most convenient transportation is bus service, although even this is spotty to many parts of the area.
Composed of a handful of small neighborhoods: Flatlands, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Barren Island, Georgetown, and Marine Park, the region retains a residential feel and a slower pace of life compared to many faster growing parts of the borough, although construction has increased with renovations to existing houses and new developments.
Southeastern Brooklyn is a middle-class residential area, with some more affluent parts, such as Mill Basin, and less wealthy areas like Bergen Beach. Historically, the area was home to Dutch farmers who made livings off the land before it became more settled and underwent housing booms between the 1920s and 19602.
Although secluded, there is ample shopping and commerce, with activity on the main thoroughfares as well as small neighborhood shops and restaurants sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods. Larger shopping malls and centers are also present, although less prevalent. Strip malls with large supermarkets anchor some of the larger neighborhoods, such as Mill Basin, but small groceries and shops are the norm. The housing is mainly two story houses, both attached and semi-attached with lawns. New construction and high-rises have not yet infiltrated the area for the most part.
Historically, the region was mostly Jewish but now is much more mixed in ethnicity, with a predominance of Caribbean immigrants. There are pockets in each neighborhood of specific cultures, such as Italian or Irish, but the overall makeup is quite diverse. You’ll find Orthodox Jewish communities alongside blocks of Italian shops and restaurants.
Green space is easily accessible: the 800-acre Marine Park is the largest park in the area, but smaller pockets of green space in the form of parks and waterfront coast are scattered throughout the area. You’ll see playing fields, libraries and other suburban-type amenities alongside tree-lined streets packed with housing.
Mill Basin and Flatlands are home to more new development, which stands in contrast to the landscape of small Italian-run groceries, brick houses and plentiful lawn space.
Restaurants, bars and entertainment options like bowling, movie theaters and more exist throughout each neighborhood, but the region’s nightlife is generally quiet owing to the residential nature. For leisure activities, head to the area parks or visit the nearby Gateway National Recreation Area with trails and beach access.