A long thread on these tied to the hip outlying brooklyn neighborhoods. i’ve worked here 1-2x/wk since we opened our site in 1997. stay tuned for two big local destinations. first, some wiki background:Brownsville
: pop. 85k. 85% African-american. Almost half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance. The vast majority of households are renter occupied.
Brownsville is dominated by public housing developments of various types. There is also a significant concentration of semi-detached multi-unit rowhouses similar to that found in East New York surrounding the public housing developments, many of which have been torn down and replaced by vacant lots or newly constructed subsidized attached multi-unit rowhouses. There is also a smaller number of tenements in the area. The neighborhood contains the highest concentration of multi-building NYCHA projects in Brooklyn (18). The total land area is one square mile.
Brownsville was politically radical from the 1880s to the 1950s, it elected Socialist and American Labor Party candidates to the state assembly throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
As early as the 1910s, the area had acquired a reputation as a vicious slum and breeding ground for crime. It has been known throughout the years for its criminal gangs and in the 1930s and 1940s achieved notoriety as the birthplace of Murder, Inc. a predominantly jewish neighborhood until the 1960s. more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsville,_Brooklyneast new york
: pop. 90k, over half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance. east new york is predominantly African American with a significant Puerto Rican population. The vast majority of households are renter occupied.
east new york is dominated by semi-detached multi-unit rowhouses similar to that found in Brownsville and again many have also been torn down and replaced by vacant lots or newly constructed subsidized attached multi-unit rowhouses. The area is also home to the East Brooklyn Industrial Park. There are 11 public housing developments of various type and a smaller number of tenements in the area. The total land area is also only one square mile. subsections: City Line, New Lots, Spring Creek, Cypress Hills & Starrett City. The latter spans over 153 acres and has 5,881 apartment units in 46 buildings.
During the American Revolutionary War invading British and Hessian soldiers ended an all-night march at jamaica pass here in August 1776 to surprise and flank General George Washington and the Continental Army, to win the Battle of Long Island.
After a wave of arson ravaged the low income communities of nyc throughout the 1970s, many of the residential structures in east ny were left seriously damaged or destroyed. In this state the area served as the fictional setting for the film Death Wish 3. The city began to rehabilitate many formerly abandoned apartment buildings and designate them low income housing beginning in the late 1970s. Also many subsidized multi-unit townhouses and newly constructed apartment buildings have been or are being built on vacant lots across the neighborhood. See Walter Thabit’s book 'How East New York Became a Ghetto.' more wiki-info:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_New_York
o-kaay -- starting off the thread at this former corner saloon on pitkin ave., the main drag.
How do we know for sure it was originally a saloon? The clue is on the bottom right of the photo.
Along the side of the building -- this was a takeout window.
Walkup patrons took beer out here so the bar keepers didn’t
have to slop beer buckets past the customers inside (thx to forgotten ny).
This one on the corner of pitkin & mother gaston blvd is beautiful. my favorite building in the area.
Off on a sidestreet, that is new infill on the left.
More new infill on the next sidestreet. btw m. slavin fish provides fish for many nyc restaurants
& they have been here since the last ‘oughts: http://www.mslavin.com/
more. Again, all burned out buildings or empty lots only a couple years ago.
obviously lots of things were not open yet. buisinesses turn over a lot around here too.
formerly a bank? library?
another sidestreet that was weeds and rubbish forever until recently
mmm. golden krust. my favorite lunch spot!
A new rite-aid on pitkin & new apt building? I would never have guessed it would happen here, but it is!
Pitkin ave’s pretty cool deco bank
bank clock and detail
formerly an old theater most likely.
who’ll bring some love to this cornice?
destination number one: loew’s pitkin theater. From cinema treasures:The Loew's Pitkin Theatre opened on November 9, 1929 as a premier movie/stage show venue that eventually went to movies only. Multi-tiered theatre with Greek statuary adorning the side walls and proscenium area. It had a Robert Morton 3 Manual, 14 Rank theatre organ too.
Unfortunately the neighborhood went down and the theatre's fortunes went south as well.
Closed in the late-1960's.
It had a long stint as a church, but the congregation eventually moved out. The entry lobby was converted into retail space (now used as storage), but the theater itself--in who knows what condition--still stands behind the fake wall that has been installed in the foyer.
Zion park triangle next to the theater
the triangle is a popular hangout in warm weather, unfortunately mostly for drug addicts.
Park memorial, theater marquee?, torah scroll-like marquee?
Speaking of old signage --- gotta love the old fashioned grocery store signage across from the park
Heading back on pitkin toward destination number two…
Destination number two is down amboy st past sutter. It’s 178 amboy st where mike tyson grew up:Lorna Kirkpatrick was the mother, however, not a great deal is known of this lady. She was born Lorna Smith in 1930, probably in the South. As did many other blacks after WWII, Lorna moved North to search for a better life. Her destination - Brooklyn, New York City.
Somewhere along the way, probably in Brooklyn, Lorna met and married a man called Percel Tyson, of whom nothing is known. They later divorced and Lorna never did remarry, despite falling in love with Jimmy Kirkpatrick. She took Kirkpatrick's name. Jimmy was a heavyset, boisterous man, and father to some 16 children.
Kirkpatrick had already moved out by the time Mike was born, thus keeping his mothers marriage name. Now a poverty-stricken single parent, Lorna moved into even deeper despair. That move was to Brownsville. In the heart of Brooklyn, it made their previous Brooklyn address of Bedford-Stuyvesent seem like Bel Air. It would be here, 178 Amboy Street, Apartment 2A in the most destitute section of one of Americas roughest cities.
Mike was a huge, tough lad…With a high, lisping voice. This contrast was the key to many beatings in Brownsville - People would ridicule him-he'd promptly knock them out.
Mike was lonely in his fatherless, ghetto upbringing. This may be why he kept pigeons, this may be why he got into trouble, why he fought on the street. On one such street fight occasion when Mike was 9, a 15 year old boy stole one of his beloved pigeons. Bad mistake! Mike flew into a blind rage, throwing punches with everything he had, the kind of punches that would have knocked grown men out. Many people witnessed this public onslaught of one of the areas most respected gang members. Now Mike became the MAN.
Mike was now known to the whole of Brownsville, not as Mike, but as Mike Tyson. A name that, in years to come, would be worth millions on contracts. That's some feat compared to his modest surroundings he was living in.
Mike's notoriety in Brownsville saw many events and crimes, such as muggings, robberies, assaults, etc., that would culminate a lot of arrests. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times.
This couldn't carry on, something had to be done. Some control had to be installed that would save the residents of Brownsville anymore distress. Mike Tyson was sent to the Tryon School for boys in upstate New York. This move was never disputed by Lorna, she couldnt control him anymore, let alone install discipline. It was here that Mike Tyson learnt to box.
Tyson has been quoted saying, “I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something. She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally.”
these amboy st terrace homes along the way were built in the late 80’s-early 90’s, so they would have been pretty much rubble fields when tyson was a kid getting in serious trouble around here. btw other boxing champs, riddick bowe & shannon briggs (who was often homeless), lived nearby too.
back on pitkin at amboy
leaving the pitkin strip, this is boyland at east ny ave. I miss that deli, it was good, but it closed up.
more sights heading back toward broadway junction along east ny avenue
Abandoned old 65th precinct building
a gate was open, I waited, but I didn’t see anyone around so I didn’t go in.
This is at rockaway & eastern parkway
not sure what this is? part of an old theater? Any guesses? on the right is howard houses pool.
These wrecks were fixed up at last….a humble but positive story.
Just take it as a sign of good cell phone service!!!
I love this church, although it has a troubled history
Another little old church on fulton, just east of broadway junction.
Years ago it used to be open in the front, but now the whole yard is fenced off.
Continuing east, now on fulton, this is at pennsylvania ave
I’m thinking mandatory inclusion by now?
wow just look on the right. a roti shop. that solved lunch for the road -- mmm, mmm good!
*** and that is brownsville/east new york. thankfully slowly filling back in & getting better, but still overall no joke, they are nyc’s roughest, toughest neighborhoods. ***