Monday, September 26

Bushwick CB4

Bushwick sits in Brooklyn’s 4th community board, or CB4. “The areas now called Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick were originally one Dutch settlement, the Town of Bushwick.” Since separated, the Bushwick boundaries are now defined by Flushing Avenue to the west, down along the “odd-numbered side” of Broadway until the Eastern Parkway extension. Then the Brooklyn/Queens borough line provides the final side.

Bushwick is still remembered for the destruction that took place within its borders during the 1977 blackouts, with hundreds of stores burned and looted while other shop owners protected their businesses violently. An arson fire – reportedly the second worst fire in New York history – also spread destroying four block and forty-five homes. Since then the population diminished drastically. Figures show that in 1970 there were approximately 138,000 people living in Bushwick, in ’75 that number had decreased to 122,000 and the dropped further to 93,000 by 1980. However, by 2007 the population had increased to 129,980, still less than the population’s original strength.

With 38.9 percent of the Bushwick population foreign born, the neighborhood struggles financially. The seventh most impoverished neighborhood in the city, the approximate household income is around $28,800. In 2007 Bushwick averaged 25 felonies per 1000 persons, making it the 25th most felonious community district in New York City.

However, in the past ten years steps have been made towards restoring Bushwick in the form of government-funded revitalization projects. Between housing improvements as well as revitalization projects within the neighborhood parks, and the comparatively low rent, Bushwick has seen a recent upsurge in population. Commercial development incentives have recently brought in new stores and restaurants and a recent population increase to support them. Thus Bushwick residents have high hopes for a full-scale resurgence.

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