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Get to know Midwood

Midwood sits in the middle of southern Brooklyn, bordered by Flatbush, Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay, and Borough Park. The name comes from the Dutch midwout, or middle woods, and the land was for many years a dense area of forest between the towns of Bushwick and Brooklyn. The woods are long gone, and the area began to be developed in the 1890s after it was annexed by Brooklyn, although it took off more seriously starting in the 1920s. Midwood today is an appealing mix of urban and suburban atmospheres, with bustling commercial strips and quiet, tree-lined residential ones. Because neighboring Borough Park has spread beyond its traditional borders, the area has a large Orthodox Jewish community, though Midwood remains a diverse part of Brooklyn. Caribbean, Indian, Russian, Syrian, and other recent immigrants share the neighborhood along with residents simply attracted to this quiet section of the city.
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Commerce & Culture

Midwood is a large neighborhood, and it has several streets known among the locals for shopping and eating. Coney Island Avenue runs the length of Midwood from north to south and is the busiest of the different commercial streets. Kings Highway in Midwood’s southeastern corner has a greater concentration of Russian and other Eastern European businesses. Avenue J caters to Orthodox Jewish residents with kosher bakeries and other stores. Avenue M has a similar atmosphere and mix of businesses. Ocean Parkway, which runs parallel to Coney Island Avenue, is not a commercial thoroughfare, although the street is a historic landmark — a grand boulevard inspired by European forerunners like Berlin’s Unter der Linden, but on an even bigger scale. Ocean Parkway was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, of Central Park and Prospect Park fame, as part of a Brooklyn parkway system and inaugurated in 1876.

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