Avenue U is a street located in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. This avenue is a main thoroughfare throughout its length. Avenue U begins at Stillwell Avenue in Gravesend and ends at Bergen Avenue in Bergen Beach, while serving the other Brooklyn neighborhoods of Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, and Mill Basin along its route.
Avenue U in Homecrest now supports southern Brooklyn's second Chinatown (唐人街, U大道), as evidenced by the rapidly growing number of Chinese food markets, bakeries, restaurants, beauty and nail salons, and computer and consumer electronics dealers between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Avenue. Since 2004, the Q train on the BMT Brighton Line goes to Canal Street in the Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠) to Brooklyn's Avenue U Chinatown directly. (The area was formerly served by M, and D trains, which did go to Manhattan's Chinatown, albeit at different times at different stations, Canal Street on the M Train, Grand Street on the D Train) A third Chinatown has subsequently emerged in southern Brooklyn, in Bensonhurst (唐人街, 本森社区), served by the D train.
This Chinatown on Avenue U is actually a second extension of Manhattan's Chinatown, after the original Brooklyn Chinatown (布鲁克林華埠), which had developed in Sunset Park. Within a sixteen year period, the Chinese population multiplied by an estimated fourteen fold. The increasing property values and congestion in Brooklyn's first established Chinatown on 8th Avenue in Sunset Park led to the still increasing Chinese population in Brooklyn pouring into the Sheepshead Bay and Homecrest sections, which in the late 1990s resulted in the establishment of a second Chinatown on Avenue U between the Homecrest and Sheepshead Bay sections.
The Avenue U Chinatown is now in expansion mode, despite originating initially from less than ten blocks, originally resembling Manhattan's Chinatown in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when that Chinatown was still in the early stages of its development, and concentrated within a ten-block section of Mott, Doyers, and Pell Streets.
The Chinese residents call Avenue U in Chinese translation U大道 and call Sheepshead Bay 羊头湾. Just outside this Chinese enclave, also on Avenue U, there is a Chinese supermarket named New York Mart. The East West Bank currently serves as the largest Chinese financial institution for the Avenue U Chinatown.
This newly emerging Chinese enclave and as well as in sections of Bensonhurst are primarily Cantonese populated and more of extensions of the Western Cantonese section of Manhattan's Chinatown or Little Hong Kong (小香港)/Little Guangdong (小廣東) or Cantonese Town (廣東埠). However, there are small numbers of Fuzhou and Mandarin speakers.
There are three New York City Subway stations in Brooklyn named Avenue U:
- Avenue U (BMT Brighton Line), served by the Q train
- Avenue U (IND Culver Line), served by the F train train
- Avenue U (BMT Sea Beach Line), served by the N train
The B3 bus operates on Avenue U for its entire length, except from 86th Street to Stillwell Avenue and from East 71st Street to Bergen Avenue.
- Chinatowns in NYC:
- List of Brooklyn streets
- List of lettered Brooklyn avenues
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