Brooklyn has an image of such dynamism to the point of excess, fame and extreme that it must be very stressful to live up all the time. This is why Parkville is such a refreshing break. It seems bereft of glamor, contention and any other reason for the whole world to stare at curious attention. Yet it is very much alive, important to those who live or have work there, and an integral part of New York in its own right.
Almost 75 thousand people live in Parkville and surrounding areas in a land area of under 2 square miles and with about 27 thousand dwelling units, a large number of which date back to before 1940. Almost one third of residents are Asians. The median age is about 35 years and the median household income just over $ 31 thousand. This is well below the national average. Such a demographic profile sets the tone for the neighborhood and the kind of enterprise that is viable in the locality.
Parkville has rent stabilized buildings that provide an invaluable service for families who lack the financial resources to operate in a free, market-oriented realty environment. The facility is representative of all the support people in need can get in the area. Support extends to all facets of life, beyond housing. The Parkville Youth Organization works to promote sports and fitness amongst young people. People of all backgrounds are welcome to participate and to join, regardless of race, creed and sex. The Board of Governors meets every year and everyone works on a voluntary basis, without remuneration. Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Football are the main sports this organization offers.
King Henry Entertainment and Live Wire Entertainment are examples of small group enterprises that operate in the neighborhood around Parkville. The Brooklyn Studio of Music and Dance, Dance Expos Studio, the Starttime Dance and Performing Arts Center and the Phillips School of Dancing are also all located nearby. Point after Sports Bar & Grill is a favorite with local residents and Lola’s Art Gallery and Plaster Palace cater to aesthetic needs. Pianoland is a must for lovers and performers of this delectable instrument
JFE Advertising Consultants and Computer Associates provide strategic support to many businesses. Quilted Products is a firm engaged in the manufacture of products for infants, while Angela’s Boutique, Brenda’s and Castle Clothes lead a list of stores that cater to clothing needs for the entire family. Fabco Shoes and Schwartz’s Family Shoe Store are amongst a number of outlets that deal in footwear. These examples give an idea of the kind of vocations that engage Parkville residents.
The Café Paris Vegetarian restaurant has a menu with a difference, while the EJ Luncheonette is typical of the many places where one can drop in for a quiet meal with standard American food. The Empire Asian Buffet is a good choice for those who want to sample exotic food or for nostalgia on the part of new immigrants from the distant Indian sub-continent and countries further east. There are many intimate places to relax over a coffee, such as the Gioiosa Caffe Espresso.
The St. Athanasius Church is an important institution in the area: the local unit of Alcoholics Anonymous meets here regularly. St. Nicholas Church, the Abiding Love Christian Church and the St. Dominic Rc Church are other important sources of spiritual support in the area. The Avenue O Jewish Center is on 54 Avenue. William J Hirten is a firm on 17th Avenue that is part of a Catholic Marketing Network.
Parkville is remarkable in the quiet way in which it goes about its business, offering stable residence and shelter to families and to enterprises. It is a part of Brooklyn that is uncharacteristically quiet and simple; therein perhaps its real beauty and value.