On the eastern edge of Brooklyn, Canarsie is a quiet destination for families who want more outdoor space than most city neighborhoods offer.
The West Indian enclave boasts waterfront along the Jamaica Bay, a bustling pier, large park spaces and the 42-acre salt marsh at the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve. Canarsie residents have easy access to bird watching, fishing and boating.
“People go have BBQs in the summertime, go fishing, go relax [by the water],” said Amie Trail, a 20-year resident and manager at Bamboo Tavern on Rockaway Parkway.
It’s easy to forget you’re in New York City while walking the quiet, tree-lined streets in Canarsie, where neighbors hang out in their yards or on their stoops.
“It’s kind of a good neighborhood for people trying to escape the city,” said Jamaal Davis, 25, a licensed real estate salesperson with Citi Habitats who grew up in Canarsie and sells properties in the area.
While there are some apartment buildings in the northwestern part of Canarsie, it’s predominantly single- and multi-family homes, giving the nabe a suburban atmosphere.
And though some chain stores and restaurants have opened in recent years, such as a Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway at Canarsie Plaza on Avenue D, small businesses still thrive here.
Jamaican bakeries and Caribbean restaurants like Silver Krust West Indian on Avenue A and De Islands on Flatlands Avenue are longtime staples.
“It still kind of has a Long Island-feel [or] a country-feel, just because a lot of the houses have lawns and driveways,” Davis said of Canarsie.
In Canarsie, homes from East 105th to East 108th streets offer the most backyard space and privacy.
Because most houses are detached or semidetached, the area has a different residential real estate market than other parts of Brooklyn, like Clinton Hill or Bedford-Stuyvesant, where townhomes are more common.
The median sales price for homes in Canarsie in 2015 was $375,180, according to the real estate listings site StreetEasy.
Rentals are less common in the area — however, the median rent price in Canarsie in 2015 was $1,750, StreetEasy found.
Though prices in the area are often less expensive than other parts of Brooklyn, some new residents are deterred by Canarsie’s limited train access. The large neighborhood only has two train stations, the L at Rockaway Parkway and East 105th Street, so many residents rely on buses and cars.
And while it’s great for outdoor activities, living near the water can also have drawbacks — namely the possibility of water damage during storms.
“Whenever there’s a big flood, I worry about my house,” said Andrae Riley, 38, a financial analyst at NYC Health + Hospitals, who’s lived in Canarsie for nine years.
But many locals said the waterfront is mostly a perk.
“There’s nothing better on a summer day than going down to the Canarsie Pier and fishing off of it,” said Frank Seddio, 69, the chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and lifelong resident who is often called Mr. Canarsie. “The water access makes it that much better to spend the summer [here].”
Canarsie is bordered to the northeast by Williams Avenue and Fresh Creek. It is bound to the northwest by Linden Boulevard and to the southwest by Ralph Avenue and the Paerdegat Basin. Its southeast boundary is the Belt Parkway.