Neighborhood: Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Population Density: Sunset Park is a heavily residential neighborhood and not extremely densely-populated only about 50% more densely populated than Brooklyn in the aggregate. Expect relatively quiet streets in the evenings.
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Bay Ridge
Public Transit: D/N/R (36th St.), D (9th Ave.), N/R (45th St., 53rd St., 59th St.), N (8th Ave.); also B9, B11, B35, B37, B63, and B70 buses.
What’s Here?: Sunset Park is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City, with especially vibrant Hispanic and Chinese populations. Called “Immigrant Central” by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunset Park is home to Brooklyn’s Chinatown; as of last year, the top three languages spoken were Spanish, English, and Chinese. All of which means not only a wealth of backgrounds, but also great ethnic food.
From Sunset Park, the park that shares the neighborhood’s name, you can get a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. And the 175-year-old Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the first bucolic cemeteries, is home to Battle Hill, Brooklyn’s highest point and a Revolutionary War landmark. The neighborhood also houses the Bush Terminal and the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Flat or Tall?: Flat! Sunset Park is full of row houses and brownstones, not high-rises.
History: Like much of New York, Sunset Park’s history is marked by waves of immigration-Irish-Catholics fleeing the potato famine in the mid-1800s, Poles in the 1880s, then Finns and Norwegians. A Hispanic immigration wave followed World War II, and Asian immigration has dominated since the 1980s.
Activities: Eat and shop along 5th Avenue, Sunset Park’s main drag. Visit Sunset Park (the park) for not only the view, but also the public pool, basketball and handball courts, playground, and recreation center. Or head to Green-Wood Cemetery (which predates Central Park and Prospect Park, by the way!) for historic trolley tours or “catacomb cocktails.”
Check it out: The Sunset Park Greenmarket is open Saturdays in the summer and fall. Celebrate the Chinese New Year with parades and performances organized by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association.