East Flatbush, Brooklyn

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East Flatbush
PS 181, Tilden and New York Avenues
PS 181, Tilden and New York Avenues
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°38′38″N 73°55′48″W / 40.644°N 73.930°W / 40.644; -73.930Coordinates: 40°38′38″N 73°55′48″W / 40.644°N 73.930°W / 40.644; -73.930
Country United States
State New York
City New York City
Borough Brooklyn
Community DistrictBrooklyn 17[1]
 • Total7.5737 km2 (2.9242 sq mi)
 • Total135,619
 • Density18,000/km2 (46,000/sq mi)
 • Black88.7%
 • Hispanic6.6
 • Two or more races1.6
 • White1.3
 • Other1.8
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes718, 347, 929, and 917

East Flatbush is a residential neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. East Flatbush is bounded by Crown Heights and Empire Boulevard to the north; Brownsville and East 98th Street to the east; Flatlands, Canarsie and the Long Island Rail Road's Bay Ridge Branch to the south; and the neighborhood of Flatbush and New York Avenue to the west. East Flatbush is a predominantly African American neighborhood and has a population of 135,619 as of the 2010 United States Census.

East Flatbush is part of Brooklyn Community District 17, and its primary ZIP Code is 11203.[1] It is patrolled by the 67th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.[4] Politically it is represented by the New York City Council's 40th, 41st, and 45th Districts.[5]


As with many neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the borders of East Flatbush are subjective/porous, but its northern border is roughly at Empire Boulevard and East New York Avenue east of East 91st Street, its southern border is in the vicinity of the Long Island Rail Road Bay Ridge Branch, its eastern border is roughly at East 98th Street and its western border is roughly at Nostrand/New York Avenues.

East Flatbush is split up into three subsections. From west to east they are Erasmus, Farragut, and Remsen Village/Rugby.[6]


The central section of East Flatbush is called Farragut.[7] Farragut is roughly bounded by Cortelyou Road and Holy Cross Cemetery to the north, Kings Highway to the east, Brooklyn Avenue on the west and the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch to the south.[8] Farragut was originally part of the colonial Town of Flatbush,[7][8][9] and was named for American Civil War Admiral David Farragut.[8][9] The area was largely populated by Jews and Italians before 1950. By the 1990s, African Americans became a majority, along with many immigrants from the West Indies.[8]

Farragut is adjacent to Paerdegat Woods, a formerly wooded area near Paerdegat Basin where real-estate developer Fred Trump constructed housing in the 1940s.[9][10] Farragut also contains Flatbush Gardens (formerly named Vanderveer Estates),[11] a 59-building complex erected in 1949.[7][8][9][12] Vanderveer Estates was built on the site of the old Flatbush Water Works.[13] The complex is one of the largest privately held working-class housing complexes in New York City, and owned in part by David Bistricer.[14] Notable people who once lived in Vanderveer Estates include Barbra Streisand[13] and Michael K. Williams.[15]

Remsen Village[edit]

Remsen Village has been described as a "subsection of the larger East Flatbush neighborhood,"[16] with an estimated 60,000 residents.[17] but is also sometimes considered its own neighborhood[18] and also as "Rugby-Remsen Village".[19] The origin of using the name Remsen Village seems to be in the mid-1990s,[20] and it was referred as such through the 21st century.[18][21] Remsen Village's population[17] is over one third of that of Brooklyn Community Board 17, which consists entirely of East Flatbush and its subsections.[22]

The name "Rugby" was described in 2016 by the New York Times as "the old name for the area." It persists as the name of a road in East Flatbush, as well as a library branch in eastern East Flatbush.[23]


East Flatbush is divided into three neighborhood tabulation areas (Erasmus, Farragut, and Remsen Village), which collectively comprise the population of the area.[6] Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of East Flatbush's neighborhood tabulation areas was 135,619, a change of -9,740 (-7.2%) from the 145,359 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,871.5 acres (757.4 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 72.5 inhabitants per acre (46,400/sq mi; 17,900/km2).[2]

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 1.3% (1,816) White, 88.7% (120,231) African American, 0.3% (366) Native American, 1.1% (1,480) Asian, 0% (45) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (523) from other races, and 1.6% (2,140) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.6% (9,018) of the population.[3]

The entirety of Community Board 17 had 154,575 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 82.6 years.[24]: 2, 20  This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.[25]: 53 (PDF p. 84) [26] Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 21% are between the ages of 0–17, 28% between 25–44, and 28% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 9% and 15% respectively.[24]: 2 

As of 2016, the median household income in Community District 17 was $49,349.[27] In 2018, an estimated 19% of East Flatbush residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. One in eleven residents (9%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 54% in East Flatbush, higher than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, East Flatbush is considered to be high-income and not gentrifying, relative to the rest of the city.[24]: 7 

East Flatbush generally is very similar in nature to neighboring Flatbush, as both are predominantly West Indian and working class; however, Flatbush has a higher percentage of White and Asian residents than East Flatbush. The area was populated after World War II predominantly by immigrant Jews and Italians, then in the 1960s by African Americans, but most recently has seen many West Indian immigrants such as Guyanese, Haitians, Jamaicans, St.Lucians, Trinidadians, Grenadians, Vincentians, Bajans, Panamanians and Dominicans groups coming to the area. Within its confines is the Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, which is located at 3620 Tilden Avenue. While some residents are affluent, East Flatbush is mostly populated by working-class Brooklynites. Similar to other eastern Brooklyn neighborhoods, blacks predominate East Flatbush. The area is 91.4% Black or African-American [28] and 51% foreign born,[29] the majority of whom are from the Caribbean. Considering this data, East Flatbush has been noted as being the single largest West Indian neighborhood in all of New York City and America as a whole.[30][31]

According to the 2020 census data from New York City Department of City Planning, East Flatbush has been given three different names for three different sections, which are East Flatbush Erasmus to the west, East Flatbush Farragut to the east, and East Flatbush Rugby to the north. The Erasmus portion had between 30,000 to 39,999 Black residents and 5,000 to 9,999 Hispanic residents, meanwhile each the White and Asian populations were under 5000 residents. The Rugby portion had 30,000 to 39,999 Black residents while each the Hispanic, White, and Asian populations were all under 5000 residents. The Farragut portion had 20,000 to 29,999 Black residents while each the Hispanic, White, and Asian population were also all under 5000 residents.[32][33]

Little Caribbean and Little Haiti[edit]

Since the 1960s and especially through the 1970s, Caribbean immigrants have largely settled into East Flatbush, as well as in other surrounding areas such as Flatbush, and Crown Heights. Since 2017, the areas surrounding Nostrand and Church Avenues have been given the nickname, Little Caribbean.[34][35][36] In addition to Little Caribbean, the south tip of the neighborhood has been given the name Little Haiti due to the high concentration of Haitians.[37][38] Additionally, MTA's IRT Nostrand Avenue Line of the 2 and 5 station at Newkirk Avenue station added the name Little Haiti to this subway station stop now calling it, Newkirk Avenue–Little Haiti.[39]

Police and crime[edit]

The NYPD's 67th Precinct (known internally by NYPD officers as Fort Jah[40]) is located at 2820 Snyder Avenue.[4] The 67th Precinct ranked 40th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010.[41] As of 2018, with a non-fatal assault rate of 80 per 100,000 people, East Flatbush's rate of violent crimes per capita is greater than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 597 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.[24]: 8  The Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 79.9% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 6 murders, 43 rapes, 246 robberies, 601 felony assaults, 225 burglaries, 586 grand larcenies, and 98 grand larcenies auto in 2018.[42]

A drug epidemic ravaged East Flatbush during the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, mostly in Vanderveer Estates. The intersection of Foster Avenue and Nostrand Avenues was nicknamed "the Front Page" because of media attention to drug murders there. The intersection of Foster between New York Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue area to the south was called "the Back Page" because its many murders went unnoticed.[43] The area around the Nostrand playground had various gangs: Crips, Gangster Disciples, Jamaicans (Shower Posse), Trinidadians and Grenadians particularly notorious for turf wars, shootouts, and pitbull fights. Crime is still somewhat of a problem in the neighborhood today as well.[citation needed]

Fire safety[edit]

The firehouse for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)'s Engine Co. 310/Ladder Co. 174 is located at 5105 Snyder Avenue.[44][45]


SUNY Downstate Medical Center

As of 2018, preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in East Flatbush than in other places citywide. In East Flatbush, there were 126 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 20.6 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).[24]: 11  East Flatbush has a high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid.[46] In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 15%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.[24]: 14 

The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in East Flatbush is 0.0078 milligrams per cubic metre (7.8×10−9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages.[24]: 9  Eight percent of East Flatbush residents are smokers, which is lower the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.[24]: 13  In East Flatbush, 34% of residents are obese, 15% are diabetic, and 36% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.[24]: 16  In addition, 22% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.[24]: 12 

Eighty percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is lower than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 83% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," higher than the city's average of 78%.[24]: 13  For every supermarket in East Flatbush, there are 21 bodegas.[24]: 10 

East Flatbush is home to three major hospitals, Kings County Hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.[46]


East Flatbush does not have as much access to the New York City Subway as Flatbush. However, the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line (2 and ​5 trains) has some stops located near the western border of East Flatbush, particularly Newkirk Avenue–Little Haiti, Beverly Road, and Church Avenue.[47] Additionally, along the neighborhood's eastern border with Brownsville, the IRT New Lots Line (2, ​3, ​4, and ​5 trains) has a station at the intersection of Sutter Avenue, Rutland Road, and East 98th Street.

MTA Regional Bus Operations' B44, B44 SBS, B46 and B46 SBS routes run north-south through East Flatbush, while the B8 and B35 run east-west. The B12 bus takes a serpentine route at the north end of the neighborhood, and the B7 runs on Kings Highway at the southeast edge of East Flatbush.[48]


East Flatbush generally has a lower ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. While 30% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 15% have less than a high school education and 55% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.[24]: 6  The percentage of East Flatbush students excelling in math has been increasing, with math achievement rising from 32 percent in 2000 to 51 percent in 2011, though reading achievement within the same time period stayed steady at 42%.[49]

East Flatbush's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is slightly higher than the rest of New York City. In East Flatbush, 23% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.[25]: 24 (PDF p. 55) [24]: 6  Additionally, 78% of high school students in East Flatbush graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75% of students.[24]: 6 


Schools located in East Flatbush include:

The neighborhood was the home of the former General George W. Wingate and Gov. Samuel J. Tilden High Schools.


The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has two branches in East Flatbush. The Rugby branch is located at 1000 Utica Avenue and opened in 1957.[50] It was closed for renovations in mid-2018.[51]

The East Flatbush Library is located at 9612 Church Avenue, between East 96th Street and Rockaway Parkway, and was opened in 1945. In September 2018, this library was also closed for renovations.[52]

Notable places[edit]

In summer 2006, the New York City Department of Transportation co-named a portion of Church Avenue from Remsen Avenue to East 98th Street in East Flatbush as "Bob Marley Boulevard".[53][54]

The former Congregation Beth Israel, now known as Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.[55]

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of East Flatbush include:


Media related to East Flatbush, Brooklyn at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ a b "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "NYPD – 67th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Current City Council Districts for Kings County", New York City. Accessed May 5, 2017.
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  10. ^ "Brooklyn 'Forest' Is Site For Homes: Paerdegat Woods in Flatbush Section Giving Way to Trump's Project". The New York Times. May 19, 1940. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Vitullo-Martin, Julia (March 15, 2007). "A Once-Troubled Housing Complex Seeks Change". The New York Sun. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  12. ^ Goodman, George W. (September 4, 1983). "Brooklyn Rehabilitation Draws Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
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  37. ^ https://www.littlehaitibk.org/
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  39. ^ https://new.mta.info/map/5256[bare URL PDF]
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  44. ^ "Engine Company 310/Ladder Company 174". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  45. ^ "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
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  53. ^ Mooney, Jake. "Drum Roll for a Sign With a Reggae Beat", The New York Times, May 21, 2006. Accessed October 11, 2007. "On May 10, the City Council approved a plan to hang Bob Marley Boulevard signs beneath the Church Avenue ones along an eight-block section, from Remsen Avenue to East 98th Street."
  54. ^ Brooklyn Street Renamed Bob Marley Boulevard Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, NY1. Accessed October 11, 2007.
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  57. ^ Pierre-Pierre, Garry. "At Home With Edwidge Danticat; Haitian Tales, Flatbush Scenes", The New York Times, January 26, 1995. Accessed April 6, 2021. "So Ms. Danticat (her name is pronounced ed-WEEDJ dahn-tee-CAH), the author of "Breath, Eyes, Memory," her first novel, which was published by Soho Press last spring and received respectful reviews, set small flowered, ceramic cups on a coffee table. She settled into a plastic-covered velour chair in the beige-carpeted living room of her parents' attached brick home in East Flatbush and explained that the cannelles, or cinnamon sticks, had been bought just blocks away, from Haitian street vendors."
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  64. ^ Dewan, Shaila mmb K. 'Body Discovered in Brooklyn Is Identified as Hunter Student", The New York Times, May 13, 2003. Accessed October 11, 2007. "A body found wrapped in a blanket behind a boarded-up house on Saturday was identified by the police yesterday as that of Ramona Moore, a 21-year-old Hunter College student who lived at home with her parents in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, until she disappeared in April."
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  69. ^ Brinn, David. "Taking a Shyne to Judaism", The Jerusalem Post, November 12, 2010. Accessed May 10, 2016. "Later the family moved to East Flatbush, where Shyne's mother cleaned houses and took care of children to make ends meet."
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