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Neighborhood Profile: Sunset Park

Sunset Park, while boasting Brooklyn's first Chinatown, is an ethnically diverse neighborhood.
Sunset Park has a bustling Chinatown on 8th Avenue.

Sunset Park, the home of Brooklyn's first Chinatown, is a lively neighborhood tucked in the western part of the borough between Park Slope and Green-Wood Cemetery to the north, Borough Park to the east, Bay Ridge to the south, and New York Harbor to the west. 

The area has been evolving since the European settlers first occupied it in the 1600s while being inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans who used the land for agriculture and farming.

The area was considered part of Bay Ridge until its early stages of development, including the construction of railway infrastructure from the 1890s until the 1920s. 

The quiet neighbhorhood saw an influx of immigrants who preferred Sunset Park and Brooklyn over Manhattan in the late 20th century. By the 21st century, Hispanic and Chinese immigrants flocked to the area, diversifying the former Scandinavian, Irish and Italian communities. The population growth prompted the construction of the Fourth Avenue Subway (now the R line) to ensure easy movement between Brooklyn and Manhattan. 

Row houses on 46th Street. Photo: Supplied/Google Maps

The area soon established itself as a middle-class neighborhood, where many families occupy its row houses. 

The culinary scene in Sunset Park is robust. The wave of Chinese immigrants opened the doors to Brooklyn’s first Chinatown along 8th Avenue, while 5th Avenue boasts many Latin restaurants and shops.

The northwestern portion of Sunset Park is industrial. The waterfront area is currently being transformed by the city as parks and a mixed-use area, with some focus on the film and TV industry, as well as light manufacturing.

Industry City, a large former shipping and warehousing complex, now holds offices, art studios and retail spaces and has many events throughout the year. It also holds the practice gym for the Brooklyn Nets NBA team. 

Among Sunset Park's treasures for locals and visitors is the local park of the same name. The facility offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. 

A view of Manhattan from Sunset Park. Photo: Supplied/A. Kirkwood Spence via Wikimedia Commons