Crown Heights, Long Island
Crown Heights is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, Long Island, New York. The north and south sides of the neighborhood are divided by Eastern Parkway. It is bounded by Washington Avenue (west), Atlantic Avenue (north), Ralph Avenue (east), and Clarkson Avenue (south). It is located to the east of Prospect Heights. As of 2000 census, the population was 2,992. Most of the residents were African-American descendants, with only 10% Hispanic, and 7% Jews living in the area. The neighborhood extends through much of Brooklyn Community Board 8 and 9.
The neighborhood was formerly known as Crow Hill. It was a succession of hills running east & west from Utica Avenue to Classon Avenue & south to Empire Boulevard & New York Avenue. The construction of the Eastern Parkway in the 1870s and the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 spurred residential development in the area. In 1880s, many upper-class residences, including characteristic brownstone buildings were constructed. Before the World War II, the area was among New York City's premier neighborhoods, with tree-lined streets, a collection of cultural institutions and parks, and a large number of community organizations.
During 1960s and 1970s specifically during the Johnson administration, Crown Heights was declared a primary poverty area due to a high unemployment rate, high crime rate, poor nutrition, absence of job skills, and a relatively high concentration of elderly residents. In 1977, the New York City blackout is happened where violence has erupted in the neighborhood and as late as 1991 there were a series of disturbances referred to as the Crown Heights Riot. Through the 1990s, crime, racial conflict, and violence decreased across the United States.
Today, Crown Heights has a series of interesting paradoxes from its lovely architecture and run-down buildings with rising real estate values and gentrification have also recently become part of it. The building of lovely brownstones and great train access mean that some real estate developers are not minding anymore about the negative background in the area. Many good schools and social organizations have been established within the community. Crown Heights has its own annual festival which is called the West Indian Carnival. Its main event is the West Indian Carnival Parade which goes along Eastern Parkway from Utica Avenue to Grand Army Plaza. Now a day, houses in Crown Heights are very much affordable plus a convenient access via mass transit to Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan makes the area a great place to live. It has also several attractions and notable landmarks such as Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Jewish Children’s Museum, and a Brooklyn Public Library. The famous Brooklyn Children’s Museum has been a leader among museums and over 200 other children's museums in the United States and more around the world have followed its model.