Bensonhurst is a large, multiethnic neighborhood in the southwestern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, in the United States. As defined by the New York City Planning Commission, the neighborhood's borders are 14th Avenue to the northwest, 60th Street and McDonald Avenue to the northeast, 86th Street to the south and 25th Avenue to the southeast.
It is well known as a Little Italy of Brooklyn due to its large Italian-American population. Bensonhurst also has the largest population of residents born in China of any neighborhood in New York City and is now home to Brooklyn's second Chinatown. The neighborhood accounts for 9.5% of the 330,000 Chinese-born residents of the city, based on data from 2007 to 2011.
Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst
|Etymology: Egbert Benson|
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Brooklyn 11|
|• Total||7.6 km2 (2.95 sq mi)|
|• Density||20,000/km2 (51,000/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Bensonhurst derives its name from Egbert Benson (1789–1866), whose lands were sold by his children and grandchildren to James D. Lynch, a New York real estate developer. Lynch bought the old farmlands of the Benson family in the mid-1880s, and by 1888, began selling private lots in an area dubbed as Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea, now Bath Beach. The first sale of lands in "The New Seaside Resort" area was advertised in the July 24, 1888 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of Bensonhurst West and Bensonhurst East was 151,705, an increase of 8,499 (0.1%) from the 143,206 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,890.81 acres (765.18 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 75.7 inhabitants per acre (48,400/sq mi; 18,700/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 48.7% (73,933) White, 0.7% (1,081) African American, 0.1% (121) Native American, 35.7% (54,099) Asian, 0% (38) Pacific Islander, 0.2% (319) from other races, and 1.2% (1,831) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 13.4% (20,283) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 11 had 204,829 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 83.8 years.:2, 20 This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 20% are between the ages of 0–17, 31% between 25–44, and 26% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 8% and 15% respectively.:2
As of 2016, the median household income in Community District 12 was $53,493. In 2018, an estimated 23% of Bensonhurst residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. Less than one in ten residents (8%) 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 52% in Bensonhurst, about the same as the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Bensonhurst is considered to be un-gentrified relative to the rest of the city.:7
In the early 20th century, many Italians and Jewish migrants moved into the neighborhood, and prior to World War II, the neighborhood was about equally Jewish and Italian. In the 1950s, under pressure of an influx of immigrants from southern Italy and with new housing being built in the suburbs, the Jewish population began to decline, and eventually, after several decades, most of the Jewish population left the neighborhood, leaving the area predominantly Italian.
With a large Italian-American population, Bensonhurst is usually considered the main "Little Italy" of Brooklyn. The Italian-speaking community was over 20,000 strong, according to the census of 2000. The Italian-speaking community, though, is becoming "increasingly elderly and isolated, with the small, tight-knit enclave in the city slowly disappearing as they give way to demographic changes."  Its main thoroughfare, 18th Avenue (also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard) between roughly 60th Street and Shore Parkway, is lined with predominantly small, Italian family-owned businesses—many of which have remained in the same family for several generations. 86th Street is another popular local thoroughfare, located under the elevated BMT West End Line.
Around 1989, an influx of immigrants from China and the former USSR began to arrive, mainly from Southern China, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. In the 1990s, Bensonhurst rapidly grew in cultural diversity. Bensonhurst is home to many ethnic Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Albanian, Bosnian, Greek, Turkish, Georgian, Uzbek, Arab, Palestinian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Pakistani, Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadorian, Ecuadorian, and Puerto Rican Americans. In 2000, the New York City Department of City Planning determined that just over half of the residents were born in another country. By 2013, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city's foreign-born population had reached a record high, and that Bensonhurst had the city's second-highest number of foreign-born people with 77,700 foreign born immigrants in the neighborhood, just after Washington Heights.
Bensonhurst has long been well-known as a Little Italy of Brooklyn, containing a large Italian-American and Italian-immigrant population. The annual Festa di Santa Rosalia (commonly known as "the Feast" to locals), is held on 18th Avenue from Bay Ridge Parkway (75th Street) to 66th Street in late August or early September. "The Feast" is presented by Bensonhurst resident and marketer Franco Corrado, as well as by the Santa Rosalia Society, on 18th Avenue. Born in Rome in 1955, Corrado has been an active social member of the Italian-American community for the past 20 years. St. Rosalia is the patron saint of the city of Palermo and is sometimes venerated as the patron for the entire island of Sicily. The annual end-of-summer celebration attracts thousands. Bensonhurt also hosts a Columbus Day parade.
Below the West End Line, served by the D train along 86th Street between 18th Avenue and the intersection with Stillwell Avenue, is a small Brooklyn Chinatown (布鲁克林華埠). It remains intermixed with Italian, Jewish, and Russian residents, but in the 2010s, most of the new businesses between 18th Avenue and 25th Avenue, have been Chinese. 86th Street is home to a growing number of Chinese restaurants, including the 86 Wong Chinese Restaurant (one of the earliest Chinese businesses established in Bensonhurst), as well as Chinese grocery stores, salons, bakeries, and other types of businesses. The subway directly connects to Manhattan's Chinatown (紐約華埠), and indirectly to the Chinatown in Sunset Park, which is served by the N and W trains at the 8th Avenue station.
With the large migration of the Cantonese and some Fuzhouese people in Brooklyn now to Bensonhurst, as well as new Chinese immigration, other clusters of Chinese businesses and residences have also started to emerge in other parts of Bensonhurst such as 18th Avenue and Bay Parkway. These are connected to the Sunset Park Chinatown by the N and W trains.
According to a 2015 article in The New York Times, Bensonhurst's Chinese population is 31,658, and this population is primarily Cantonese-speaking. In addition the majority of Brooklyn's Cantonese population is concentrated in Bensonhurst, it is slowly replacing Manhattan's Chinatown as the primary Cantonese cultural center in New York City. In 2011, the New York Daily News reported that Manhattan's Chinatown Chinese population dropped from 34,554 to 28,681 from 2000 to 2010, and that it is continuing to decline due to the gentrification going on in Lower Manhattan. 
The Daily News also stated that Brooklyn's Asian population, mainly Chinese, has grown tremendously, not only in the Sunset Park area, but also in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Borough Park. In Bensonhurst alone, from 2000 to 2010, the Asian population increased by 57%. The study also showed that Asians very often live in houses that are divided into studio apartments, which means the Asian population could be higher than indicated on censuses. The newly emerging Chinese enclaves in sections of Bensonhurst, and another one in Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay, are primarily Cantonese populated and are 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 (粵語埠). However, small numbers are Fuzhou- and Mandarin-speakers.
Chinese translation terms Bensonhurst as 本森社区.
As no official neighborhood designations are used in New York City, Bensonhurst does not have any official boundaries. Still, parts of Bath Beach, Mapleton, Dyker Heights, Gravesend, and Borough Park are sometimes considered parts of Bensonhurst. However, Bensonhurst-proper includes the area bounded by 86th Street, 14th Avenue, 60th Street, McDonald Avenue, Avenue P, and Bay Parkway.
The 62nd Precinct ranked 4rd safest out of 69 city precincts for per-capita crime in 2010. Historically, Bensonhurst has had lower crime than other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, though its mostly white and Asian population has made the area susceptible to racially-motivated crimes, such as the murder of Yusef Hawkins in 1989. With a non-fatal assault rate of 23 per 100,000 people, Bensonhurst's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 152 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8 The Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 87.4% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 2 murders, 20 rapes, 120 robberies, 148 felony assaults, 178 burglaries, 482 grand larcenies, and 67 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are less common in Bensonhurst than in other places citywide. In Bensonhurst, there were 84 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 12.5 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Bensonhurst has a high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 13%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Bensonhurst is 0.007 milligrams per cubic metre (7.0×10−9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages.:9 Sixteen percent of Bensonhurst residents are smokers, which is higher the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Bensonhurst, 21% of residents are obese, 12% are diabetic, and 16% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 14% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Ninety percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 65% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," less than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Bensonhurst, there are 27 bodegas.:10
The Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst area does not have any hospitals. However, the Coney Island Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, and Maimonides Medical Center are located in nearby neighborhoods.:19–20
Bensonhurst is covered by ZIP Codes 11204 north of Bay Ridge Parkway, and 11214 south of Bay Ridge Parkway. The United States Postal Service's Parkville Station is located at 6618 20th Avenue. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Another post office, the Bath Beach Station, is located at 1865 Benson Avenue.
Many of Bensonhurst's houses are attached or semidetached, though fully detached houses can be found in the west near Dyker Heights. These are mostly 20th century houses made of brick, stucco, and stone, with aluminum siding facades. There are also a cluster of apartment buildings throughout the neighborhood. After rezoning in the 2000s, many houses dating back over 90 years are being torn down and replaced by three-story brick apartment buildings and multi-family condominiums. They are sometimes called "Fedders Houses" for their distinctive, standard air conditioner sleeves. From 2002 to 2005, 1,200 new housing units in Bensonhurst were approved to accommodate the growing population including many foreign-born residents. With an increase in the area's real estate values, long-time homeowners sold their houses.
Bensonhurst generally has a lower ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. While 36% of the population have a college education or higher, 26% have less than a high school education and 38% 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.:6 The percentage of Bensonhurst students excelling in math has been increasing, with math achievement rising from 50 percent in 2000 to 71 percent in 2011, though reading achievement within the same time period stayed steady at 52%.
Bensonhurst's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Bensonhurst, 12% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 85% of high school students in Bensonhurst graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75% of students.:6
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) operates two libraries in Bensonhurst. The Highlawn branch is located at 1664 West 13th Street, near the intersection with Kings Highway. The branch was renovated in 2005–2006. Unlike most other BPL branches, it contains a circular reading room with multicolored walls.
The New Utrecht branch is located at 1743 86th Street, near Bay 17th Street. It was founded in 1894 as the Free Library of the Town of New Utrecht and became a BPL branch in 1901. The current building opened in 1956.
The D train, which runs on the BMT West End Line above 86th Street, provides a direct connection to Grand Street in Manhattan while the N and W trains, which run on the BMT Sea Beach Line near 63rd Street, provide a direct connection to Canal Street. This provides convenient commutes into Manhattan's Chinatown for the growing Bensonhurst Chinese population. The Sea Beach Line has a station at Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn's Sunset Park Chinatown and a transfer to the West End Line is available at New Utrecht Avenue / 62nd Street. The IND Culver Line along McDonald Avenue, carrying the F train, also runs through the most northeastern end of Bensonhurst between the Bay Parkway and Kings Highway stations.
Subway stations in the neighborhood include New Utrecht Avenue / 62nd Street, 71st Street, 79th Street, 18th Avenue, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway, Bay Parkway, 25th Avenue, Avenue N and Avenue P.
Bensonhurst has long been portrayed in film, art, and literature:
Notable current and former residents of Bensonhurst include:
A number of high-profile organized crime figures hail from Bensonhurst, including Anthony Casso, Paul Castellano, Mikey DiLeonardo, Anthony Gaggi, Carlo Gambino, John Gambino, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Gregory Scarpa, and Carmine Sessa.
Mildred Eleanor Deegan was born on Dec. 11, 1919, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst.... She excelled in track and field at Lincoln High School, and after graduation played amateur softball with a team called the Americanettes.
18th Avenue is a local station on BMT West End Line of the New York City Subway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It is served by the D train at all times.20th Avenue (BMT Sea Beach Line)
20th Avenue is a local station on the BMT Sea Beach Line of the New York City Subway, located in Brooklyn on 20th Avenue between 63rd and 64th Streets in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It is served by the N train at all times and several W trains during rush hours in the northbound direction only. Southbound trains will not stop here until Spring 2019 due to station rehabilitation.20th Avenue (BMT West End Line)
20th Avenue is a local station on the BMT West End Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of 20th Avenue and 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It is served by the D train at all times.71st Street (BMT West End Line)
71st Street is a local station on the BMT West End Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of 71st Street and New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It is served by the D train at all times.79th Street (BMT West End Line)
79th Street is a local station on the BMT West End Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of 79th Street and New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It is served by the D train at all times.Brooklyn Community Board 11
Brooklyn Community Board 11 is New York City community board that encompasses the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bath Beach, Gravesend, Mapleton, and Bensonhurst. It is delimited by Bay 8th Street and 14th Avenue on the west, 61st Street on the north, McDonald Avenue on the east, as well as by Avenue U and Gravesend Bay on the south.
Its current chairman is William Guarinello, and its district manager Marnee Elias-Pavia.As of the United States Census, 2000, the Community Board has a population of 172,129, up from 149,994 in 1990 and 155,073 in 1980.
Of them (as of 2000), 111,651 (64.9%) are White non Hispanic, 675 (0.4%) are African-American, 39,590 (23%) Asian or Pacific Islander, 125 (0.1%) American Indian or Native Alaskan, 282 (0.2%) of some other race, 1.362 (2.8%) of two or more race, 4,475 (8.8%) of Hispanic origins.
31.0% of the population benefit from public assistance as of 2004, up from 16.6% in 2000.
The land area is 2,517.4 acres (10.188 km2).Brooklyn Community Board 13
Brooklyn Community Board 13 is a New York City community board that encompasses the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, and Seagate. It is delimited by Gravesend Bay on the west, 26th Avenue, 86th Street, Avenue Y on the north, Coney Island Avenue and Corbin Place on the east, as well as by Lower New York Bay on the south.
Its current chair is Joann Weiss, and its district manager is Eddie Mark.
As of the United States Census, 2000, the Community Board has a population of 106,120, up from 102,596 in 1990 and 100,030 in 1980.
Of them (as of 2000), 58,684 (55.3%) are White non Hispanic, 16,654 (15.7%) are African-American, 10,079 (9.5%) Asian or Pacific Islander, 191 (0.2%) American Indian or Native Alaskan, 304 (0.3%) of some other race, 2.955 (2.8%) of two or more race, 17,253 (16.3%) of Hispanic origins.
41.0% of the population benefit from public assistance as of 2004, up from 30.0% in 2000.
The land area is 2,198.0 acres (8.895 km2).Gerard Pappa
Gerard Pappa (also known as "Gerry" and "Pappa Bear" (c. June 19, 1944 Bensonhurst, Brooklyn - July, 1980 Borough Park, Brooklyn), was a former Colombo crime family associate and eventually a Genovese crime family soldier and known hitman who was widely feared for his violent tendencies, which directly contributed to his own murder in 1980.James Hiroyuki Liao
James Hiroyuki Liao is an American actor known for his roles as Jay Lee on Unforgettable and as Roland Glenn on Prison Break.Jerry Ferrara
Jerry Charles Ferrara (born November 25, 1979) is an American actor, known for his work as Turtle on the HBO comedy series Entourage, and currently starring on the STARZ drama series Power as Joe Proctor.Joseph Paruta
Joseph Paruta, also known as "Old Man" (December 3, 1929-October 1986 Brooklyn, New York), was a mobster in the Gambino crime family and considered a "key member" of Sammy Gravano's Bensonhurst, Brooklyn crew. He is the only known mobster who asked for a mercy killing after becoming terminally ill with lung cancer. The proposition was agreed upon but Paruta died before the mercy killing was performed.Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Park
Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Park is a New York City public park located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City between 70th Street to the north, 71st Street to the south, 16th Avenue to the east, and New Utrecht Avenue to the west. It is on the east side of the 71st Street subway station (D train). This part of Bensonhurst was within the Town of Nieuw Utrecht when it was founded during the Dutch colonial era in 1657. The town had its name Anglicized to New Utrecht during the English colonial era. The town lost its autonomous status and became part of the City of Brooklyn in 1894. Since 16th Avenue and New Utrecht Avenue do not run parallel to each other, the footprint of the park is trapezoidal in shape.The land for the park was purchased by the City of New York in 1929, and the park was opened on May 24, 1935. It was originally called Satellite Park. When it opened, the park had handball courts, slides, swings, a wading pool, jungle gym, and a recreation building around its perimeter. A basketball court was later added on the southern side of the park extending from east to west. In 1993, the park underwent a $700,000 reconstruction. The handball courts, basketball court, and children's playground were renovated. The city installed new benches, fencing, lights and landscaping and improved the drainage. In 1999, the New York City Council renamed the park after Lt. Joseph Petrosino, NYPD.It features:
Spray showersMark Treyger
Mark Treyger (born April 15, 1982) is the Council member for the 47th District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes portions of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate in Brooklyn.Michael Lerner (actor)
Michael C. Lerner (born June 22, 1941) is an American character actor in film, television and theater. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Barton Fink (1991). Lerner has also played Arnold Rothstein in Eight Men Out (1988), Phil Gillman in Amos & Andrew (1993), Mayor Ebert in Roland Emmerich's Godzilla (1998), Mr. Greenway in Elf (2003), and Senator Brickman in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).Richard DiNome
Richard "Richie" DiNome (September 7, 1954 Pigtown, Brooklyn - February 4, 1984 Gravesend, Brooklyn) was an alleged member of the DeMeo crew under the Gambino crime family. He was the younger brother of Gambino associate and government informant Frederick DiNome.Steve Augeri
Steve Augeri (born January 30, 1959) is an American rock singer best known for his work as the lead singer of Journey from 1998 to 2006. He was also affiliated with Tall Stories and Tyketto. In 2014, he formed the band Ünderwörld.The Plaza Suite
The Plaza Suite was a discothèque owned by Gambino crime family underboss Sammy Gravano in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City.Tony Sirico
Genaro Anthony Sirico Jr. (Italian: [ˈsiːriko]; born July 29, 1942) is an American actor, best known for his role as Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos and various roles in the films of Woody Allen.William Colton
William Colton (born 1946) is an American politician who represents District 47 in the New York State Assembly, which comprises Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Dyker Heights and Midwood.
First elected to the Assembly in 1996, Colton currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Majority Conference and has previously served as Chair of the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management.
Prior to entering the Assembly Colton worked as a teacher within the New York City public school system, serving as a UFT Chapter Chairperson for six of his eleven years in that occupation, and as a licensed attorney since 1979.
Colton is the co-founder and organizer of the Bensonhurst Tenants Council, founder of the Bensonhurst Straphangers Committee, and served as an attorney in the lawsuit that successfully prevented the re-opening of the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator.
He holds a B.A. in degree in Urban Education from St. John's University, an M.S. in Urban Education from Brooklyn College and a J.D. from St. John's School of Law.