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 nations 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 Parks 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 youll 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 Parks 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.