Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Post Gives Sunset 18th Street When it's Mexican Knife Fights

Today's Post uses its clever headline-naming skills on an article about a girl fight involving knives and various wooden implements on 4th Avenue and 18th Street - "Sugar and Slice." They called the location Sunset Park. Interesting. I suppose that because the young ladies were Mexican, and because the Post wanted to use the line "Sunset Park is known to be rife with Mexican gangs." The debate regarding the borders of Sunset Park has interested a lot of people in the last decade or so. (Okay, it interested people before that, too.) For most of us, the actual borders don't really matter. However, with the new condo buildings and development going on in the "Greenwood Heights area of Sunset Park," a lot of newer residents want to know where the heck they actually live.

Despite what realtors, commenters on Curbed.com, wikipedia.com (edited within the last couple of months to change the designation, btw), and other place-oriented folks would think, names like South Park Slope and Greenwood Heights are not official neighborhoods...yet.
A former blogger, Sunset Parker, had this to say when commenting on a 2006 post on GowanusLounge.com:

For the record, Sunset Park's borders designated by the City of Brooklyn (going back way before "the Great Mistake of 1898" when Brooklyn was incorporated into the City of New York) are Bay Ridge Avenue, Prospect Avenue, the water and 8th Ave. That's official. (Official as in, recorded in the Hall of Records, City Hall or wherever they store such designations).

This is supported by "official" maps like this one:


Technically, Sunset Park begins at Prospect Avenue, so the knife fight on 18th Street was definitely within those borders. What I find grating, however, is that when something negative happens, the area is Sunset Park. Most often, when news occurs around the blurry borders, it's South Park Slope, or "bordering" Park Slope. I wonder if Corcoran (the Real Estate entity that says Sunset Park begins at 38th Street) has lobbyists at the newspapers.

I suppose the Post can be forgiven. Especially since they also claim that FDR, the high school from which the knifers were playing hooky, is "nearby" to the fight. 58th Street and 20th Avenue is "nearby" to 18th Street and 4th Avenue? The reporters are even more ambitious in their neighborhood walks than I am.

3 comments:

Jennifer Convissor said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog and leading me to yours! Great photos and I love the Sunset Park events scroll. Great work. I look forward to reading more. My life tends to slow some in the summer and I really look forward to doing more frequent updates. Well wishes, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Before the mid-1960s, 39th Street and north was all called "South Brooklyn". To the south was lower Bay Ridge, until you reached 65th Street, then it became the "real" Bay Ridge. The name Sunset Park was given to the 17th to 65th St area when President Johnson's "War on Poverty" needed a name for the area that they were going to give federal poverty money to.

BestViewInBrooklyn said...

Thanks for the input, Anonymous. Strange that the area was called "lower" Bay Ridge even though it's north.

I'd refer anyone interested to also read the history section of sunset-park.com at the following link:

http://www.sunset-park.com/history/