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Sunset Park is bounded in the…

West by New York Bay
East by 8th Avenue
North by Prospect Expressway
South by 65th Street


Along 4th Avenue are the D, M, N, and R trains. While the N and R continue with increasing street numbers, the D and M turn at 39th Street and go over to 9th Avenue.


8 is the lucky number!8th Avenue is Brooklyn's Chinatow

8th Avenue is Brooklyn’s growing Chinatown.

4th and 5th Avenues are sometimes referred to as “Little Latin America.”
Both areas are filled with restaurants friendly to even the tightest student (or starving artist) budget. 5th Avenue is also home to many fast food joints, cheap clothing and shoe stores, and banks.

Historical Information

Sunset Park was originally an agricultural area owned by the Canarsee Indians. Later on, it was divided between two Dutch towns, New Utrecht in the south and Breuckelen to the north. In 1834, the region was added to the city of Brooklyn.

From around 1855, Irish immigrants began to settle in the area. The Irish initiated the urbanization of the west coast of Sunset, building the Gowanus Canal and other forms of transportation.

Bush Terminal

The next significant group to impact Sunset Park was the Norwegian sailors, lured by Sunset’s waterfront. In 1890, businessman Irving T. Bush began the creation of the Industrial Zone at the waterfront. This increase in industrialization opened up jobs for new immigrants from Italy, Poland, and Finland.

Work at the waterfront

The Scandinavian settlements in Sunset were unique because they were quite rare across the nation and city. Other European groups lived all over New York, but the Scandinavians were concentrated in Sunset Park. “Finntown” was located from 40th Street to 43rd Street, between 5th and 9th Avenues. “Little Norway” was just south of it.

The Brooklyn Army Terminal, built south of the Bush Terminal, was a major point of deportation (for both supplies and soldiers) during WWI and further fueled Sunset’s economy. By 1930, Sunset Park had matured as an urban area. However the Great Depression prevented further advancement. During WWII, the Industrial Zone returned to full power, with more than eighty percent of all supplies and troops (including Elvis!) passing through the Brooklyn Army Terminal. After the war, Sunset Park fell back on difficult times.

In the 1950s, the Gowanus Expressway was built above Third Avenue. Though it was a traffic necessity, it was detrimental to the community. Prior to the building of the highway, west of Third Avenue was of a lower socioeconomic level than the east of Third Avenue. The expressway physically separated these two sections.

Gowanus Expressway

As jobs decreased and overall prosperity and security was lost, residents began to move away to the suburbs, or at least more stable areas like Bay Ridge. The Industrial Zone, which was once the reason for Sunset’s boom, was unwanted.

In 1966, Sunset Park became an official community. In the 1960s and ’70s, Puerto Ricans came in swarms to Sunset because of the plentiful and cheap homes, availability of unskilled jobs, and public transportation. In 1970, more than 90% of Hispanic was Puerto Rican. By the next decade however, other Hispanic groups entered the scene.

In the ’60s and ’70s, Sunset experienced an economic and social downturn. By the mid ’80s, it began to rebuild itself. Also in the ’80s was the arrival of a new group of immigrants: the Chinese.

Today, Latinos and Chinese dominate Sunset Park, but one can see the emerging influence of other peoples. In the coming years, Sunset Park will continue to diversify and grow.

Points of Interest


Second highest point in Brooklyn, after Greenwood Cemetery.

We’d recommend entering from 8th Avenue, at the top of the hill


Includes Battle Hill, the highest point in Brooklyn! Battle Hill is 200 feet above sea level.
granted National Historic Landmark status in 2006

Paul Goldberger of the The New York Times wrote that it was said “it is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood.”

Greenwood Chapel

Leonard Bernstein, Peter Cooper, Townsend Harris, Margaret Sanger, Henry Steinway, Boss Tweed, Samuel F. B. Morse, F. A. O. Swartz, and Teddy Roosevelt’s mother, father, uncle and first wife are all buried at Green-Wood, along with a whole bunch of other famous people!
For further reading about Green-Wood, click here

located at 150 55th Street.
Hopefully you won’t have to visit, but check out the description of the many services the hospital has set up to accommodate the diversity in immigrant culture of Sunset Park. Lutheran Medical Center Website


Established in 1916 by the Finnish Co-Operative Association on 43rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

First co-ops in America in Finntown

1. Time Out NY’s $1 Eats Walk (focus is on 8th Ave)

$1.75 bubble tea: cheaper than student-discounted Quicklys!

2. Get delicious, authentic, $5 pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) at Gia Lam on 8th Ave, between 48th and 49th Streets. We hear their Bahn Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) are also stellar. View Gia Lam’s menu here.

tea and pho condiments

A very healthy, mouthwatering dinner at Gia Lam to end a long day of walking!

3. Pick up some cheap, perfect dumplings at Prosperity Dumpling (8th Ave between 43rd and 44th). We highly recommend the veggie dumplings, but they have lots of different pork combinations. Since it’s just around the corner from the park, we brought them with us and snacked as we sat on the grass and watched the sun set.

Check out our interactive map!
We’ve plotted many of the places we visited (or really wanted to visit) on a handy Google Map. This includes various houses of worship and recommended food stops (mostly Asian and Mexican).
View sunset park in a larger map

.Neighborhood Profile | Houses of Worship | Sources