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Get to know East New York

The easternmost neighborhood of Brooklyn, East New York is enormous, extending from Atlantic Avenue on its northern edge to Jamaica Bay, and stretching from Brownsville and Canarsie on its western edge to Queens (specifically Howard Beach) to its east. The neighborhood was long one of the city’s more troubled areas, especially in the late ’80s. It has, however, made remarkable strides, with crime rates dropping dramatically over the past two decades thanks to community efforts and the financial commitment of successive city governments. Some of the clearest evidence of progress can be seen around Spring Creek Towers (formerly Starrett City) and in the revitalization of Atlantic Avenue. While East New York’s founder hoped it would rival Manhattan, the neighborhood didn’t take off in the 19th century. That has left residents today, however, with a neighborhood with many parks, a generally low-lying scale, and real estate deals that are rare in Brooklyn.
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Commerce & Culture

Given its size, it’s not surprising that East New York has several major commercial strips. Atlantic Avenue, on the neighborhood’s northern border, is one area where East New York’s revitalization is most evident. Parallel to Atlantic, Liberty and Pitkin avenues have a mix of businesses and are expected to welcome more as city programs prioritize retail development. At the neighborhood’s opposite end, the Gateway Mall in the Spring Creek section has many familiar retail names — Home Depot, Gap, Sephora. Along Pennsylvania Avenue, the only major north-south commercial thoroughfare, many new developments have broken ground in recent years and more are planned. Part of the appeal is its location near Broadway Junction, served by six subway lines. Aside from shopping and dining, the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve stands out among East New York’s parks, as it provides a glimpse of how Jamaica Bay would have looked before Brooklyn was founded.

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