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City Living: A real sense of community in Borough Park
The tiny enclave of Borough Park is made up of roughly 200 blocks in western Brooklyn between Ninth and McDonald avenues and is home to one of the nation’s largest Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish communities.
It is also one of the most densely populated parts of the borough, with more than 300 religious institutions and 191,000 residents, according to Community Board 12, which oversees the neighborhood.
There are pockets of other cultures in the community as well, including Asian, Italian and Mexican Americans living in the neighborhood.
Take a few steps out of Borough Park’s 55th Street D train stop and notice that a significant chunk of the shop signs and conversations among locals are in Yiddish, Hebrew or Russian.
Stick around until after dark and you’ll see residents feeling safe to walk the streets at any hour — this could be due to security cameras installed by local elected officials after 9-year-old Leiby Kletzky was abducted and killed in the area in 2011.
Avrumi Aurbach has lived his entire life in Borough Park and described his hometown as a place of peace, quiet, and family values. “There is no such thing as a ‘tale of two cities’ in Borough Park as the rich, working class and poor live side-by-side,” Aurbach said. “Everyone here goes to the same schools, synagogues, community events and stores. There is a real sense of community and everybody looks out for each other.”
Borough Park’s real estate is largely comprised of low-rise multi-family homes and living spaces here are in high demand. There are several different living options in the neighborhood and apartment hunters can land anywhere from a more classic apartment complex to a more luxurious gated community, depending on where they look.
Like Aurbach, the people of Borough Park are proud of their nabe and value tradition; one of his favorite times of the year, he said, was recently for the holiday Purim, and also Sukkot later in the fall, both for which the community buzzes in preparation. Similarly, one of the best times to visit Borough Park is on Friday afternoons, when many residents prepare for Shabbos before clearing the streets for the weekly observance.
Borough Park was established as one of the original Brooklyn neighborhoods in the late 1880s, according to CB12. Developers and landowners started building cottages near New Utrecht Avenue — then referred to as “Blythebourne” — before the territory eventually became modern day Borough Park.
Lingering remnants of its beginnings still exist, for example at the Blythebourne Post Office on 51st Street and at P.S. 105, The Blythebourne School, on 59th Street.
Today, it is home to mostly families who live and work in the community, locals said.
Life in Borough Park is booming. Community leaders say the neighborhood is one of the fastest-growing in all of New York City. More »
6420 18th Ave. Two-bed, 1 1/2-bath apartment with a new kitchen; 1,000 square feet: $1,850 a month; 1760 58th St. Two-bed, one bath apartment with heat/hot water included.; 800 square feet: $1,450 a month. More »
1326 60th St. Five-bed, three-bath condo in a 1901 brick building; 1,760 square feet: $899,000; 1440 53rd St. Six-bed, two-bath multi-family brick home; 3,120 square feet: $1,500,000. More »
Borough Park sits near the southwestern part of Brooklyn between Ninth Avenue to the west, McDonald Avenue to the east, Green-Wood Cemetery to the north and 60th Street to the south. More »
Trains: D to Ninth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway, 50th Street and 55th Street; F to Avenue N, Avenue I, Ditmas Avenue, Church Avenue; G to Church Avenue More »
Borough Park Branch Library, 1265 43rd St., 718-437-4085 More »
Blythebourne Post Office, 1200 51st St., 718-436-1675 More »
Borough Park is served by the 66th Precinct at 5822 16th Ave. For the week of March 3 through March 9, there were four grand larcenies, or major thefts reported by the precinct, down from 10 in the same week in 2013. However, there were two robberies reported in that week in 2013, and six this year. There was one murder reported by the precinct in 2014 through March 9, but zero rapes, and there were no rapes or murders reported in that year to date in 2013. Crime numbers are also historically in the area are also historically low, with overall crime statistics in Borough Park down more than 80% compared to 1990. More »
The name of this popular Borough Park deli seems to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues because of its signature deli-style sandwiches and more.
Truly a unique space and very popular for families passing through looking for a kosher slice.
Shmura Matzoh Factory
Residents of Borough Park have said that Shmura Matzoh Factory becomes a hotbed of activity once Passover time comes along.
A classic mom-and-pop suit shop with reasonable prices.
Kova Quality Hatters
Kova specializes in the black hats worn by Orthodox Jews, but also offers all types of other gear for your head.
It sells all kinds of appetizers including dips, salads, lox and its signature herring.
Superstar Family Fun Center
Superstar is a good spot for Borough Park families to let loose together with an indoor playground, bounce gyms, various meal options and even cake and ice cream treats for everyone to enjoy.
Not only does 100 Fun serve up beers and billiards for its Brooklyn natives, but it is also home to a somewhat popular karaoke scene after dark.
60th Street Billiards
One of the neighborhood’s go-to watering holes for some billiards and brews.
A petite park situated in the northeast corner of town named in honor of community activists Charles and Jessie Dome. Local kids come here to shoot hoops and hang.
Avenue Plaza Hotel
A great place for outsiders to come and spend a night and get the full Borough Park experience.
Kolel Avreichim of Bobov
This historic synagogue is considered one of the main Bobov synagogues in Borough Park.
Laurie Windsor has worked for nearly a decade on Borough Park’s Community Education Council for District 20, which has several schools in the neighborhood. She said the community prides itself in being a safe place to both raise a family and send your kids to school and people who live here, stay here. More »