Wednesday, January 11, 2012

8 "Official" Brooklyn Neighborhoods We Refuse to Recognize

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Last week, the Times published an old racist map drawn up by the NYPD to identify concentrations of immigrants. But I enjoyed it less for its anachronistic biases than for its identification of long-gone Brooklyn neighborhoods: Homewood, Lefferts Park, Blythebourne, Vanderveer Park, South Greenfield, Westminster Heights Park, and Van Pelt Manor.

Today, I saw that the city has an interactive map that people can use to track street closings, and again I found myself enjoying obscure neighborhood names—except the city believes these are real places! That exist right now! We can all agree on most Brooklyn neighborhoods, though we may quibble over exact borders; there are others, however, that I refuse to recognize. There are others still that I'm on the fence about. Let the fist fights begin.


I could probably be convinced to grant this one an exception. But if the city doesn't include Parkville on its map, there's no way I'm granting Mapleton special-case status. Try again—you're Gravesend Bensonhurst.

Fiske Terrace
This was a planned community a hundred years ago, but the subway stop (Avenue H) isn't even called "Fiske Terrace" anymore. I went to Brooklyn College for five years, and I never heard anyone remark that we were right by Fiske Terrace. Know why? Because we weren't. We were on the border of Midwood and Flatbush...

...certainly not the border of Fiske Terrace and Farragut. Sheesh, I'd just as soon recognize Vanderveer Park.

Prospect Park South
I guess a lot of people consider this a real place, but (a) it sounds silly and (b) we don't need it anymore now that we can call everything over there "Ditmas Park."


King's Bay
Pardon me, your Highness, but you're no more than a Sheep's Head. Wikipedia doesn't even recognize this neighborhood, and they have at least a stub on everything, even...

Nice try, changing your name to appease King George. But guess what? We won that war, and we esteem our Brooklynites of Norwegian heritage now—so consider yourself part of Bergen Beach, and apologize to the ghost of Hans Hansen Bergen! (Unless you get your name from George Washington, or some other/no-name George. Then, uh, I dunno, move to D.C.!)

Remsen Village
Another one even Wikipedia refuses to recognize. Canarsie doesn't need your tiny divisions, and the Remsens already have an avenue and a street—quite enough eponyms, thank you.

West Brighton
Is this even serious? Does the Aquarium not want to be associated with Coney Island or something?

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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