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Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn facts for kids

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Sheepshead Bay
Neighborhood of Brooklyn
Ocean Avenue Footbridge
Ocean Avenue Footbridge
Country  United States
State  New York
City  New York City
Borough Brooklyn
Community District Brooklyn 15
 • Total 2.2800 sq mi (5.9053 km2)
 • Total 64,518 (103,834 with Madison subsection)
 • White 68.1%
 • Asian 15.7
 • Hispanic 8.1
 • Black 6.4
 • Other 1.7
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code 718, 347, 929, and 917

Sheepshead Bay is a neighborhood in southern Brooklyn, New York City. It is bounded by Ocean Parkway to the west; Avenue T and Kings Highway to the north; Nostrand Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue to the east; and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Sheepshead Bay is abutted by the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Homecrest to the west; Midwood to the north; and Gerritsen Beach to the east.

The neighborhood is named after a bay that separates mainland Brooklyn from the eastern portion of Coney Island, which was originally one of the Outer Barrier islands but is now a peninsula. The mouth of the bay is about 1.0 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Marine Park.

Sheepshead Bay is part of Brooklyn Community District 15, and its primary ZIP Codes are 11229 and 11235. It is patrolled by the 61st Precinct of the New York City Police Department. Politically it is represented by the New York City Council's 46th and 48th Districts.


Races, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, ca. 1872-1887. (5832932151)
Races, circa 1872-1887
Poole Lane last bungalo jeh
Many bungalows like this were built in the 1920s
Plum Beach on Sheepshead Bay, 1973. Photo by Arthur Tress.

The name "Sheepshead Bay" applies to the neighborhood north of the bay as well as the bay itself. Sheepshead Bay was named for the sheepshead, an edible fish found in the bay's waters. The fish, now rare, can still be caught in the local waters occasionally.

The bay itself was originally the easterly entrance to Coney Island Creek, but the filling-in of the central part of this waterway during the 1930s, in conjunction with construction of the Shore Parkway portion of the Belt Parkway, eliminated access to that waterway. At the same time, the bay was widened, deepened, and bulkheaded at its western end. Recreational fishing fleets are now located there, though the fishing fleets have been shrinking every year and are being replaced by dinner boats. Holocaust Memorial Park, located at the western end of the bay, is used throughout the year for commemorative events.

In the last decade of the 20th century, a real estate boom brought the reopening of the landmark Lundy Brothers seafood restaurant, which closed again in 2007; a grocery store now takes its place. Soviet-style restaurants/nightclubs, such as Paradise and Baku Palace, have opened along the waterfront, due to an influx of immigrants from countries comprising the former Soviet Union. Sheepshead Bay has also experienced a growth of condominium developments, and on Emmons Avenue, the northern shoreline street along the bay, are piers boasting an active seafood market and tour boats.


Poole Lane last bungalo jeh
Many homes like this were built in the 1920s

Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Sheepshead Bay was 64,518, a change of −78 (−0.1%) from the 64,596 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,459.24 acres (590.53 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 44.2 inhabitants per acre (28,300/sq mi; 10,900/km2).

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 68.1% (43,944) White, 6.4% (4,161) African American, 0.1% (43) Native American, 15.7% (10,135) Asian, 0% (3) Pacific Islander, 0.2% (152) from other races, and 1.4% (877) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.1% (5,203) of the population.

The entirety of Community Board 15, which comprises Sheepshead Bay, had 173,961 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 83.7 years. This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 21% are between the ages of 0–17, 28% between 25–44, and 26% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 8% and 17% respectively.

As of 2016, the median household income in Community Board 15 was $61,274. In 2018, an estimated 19% of Sheepshead Bay residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. One in twelve 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 53% in Sheepshead Bay, slightly higher than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Sheepshead Bay is considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.

In the 2020 census data from New York City Department of City Planning, southern Sheepshead Bay and nearby Manhattan Beach/Gerritsen Beach is still an overwhelming majority White population of 40,000 or more residents, between 10,000 to 19,999 Asian residents, and between 5,000 to 9,999 Hispanic residents. Meanwhile the northern section called Madison has between 20,000 to 29,999 White residents and 5,000 to 9,999 Asian residents, while the Black and Hispanic populations were less than 5000 residents each. However, there is a significant concentrated community of Black residents inside the affordable NYCHA Development, Sheepshead Bay Houses that is located on the borderline of Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach, though the housing development also has other diverse racial populations as well.

Ethnic enclaves

There are large populations of Chinese and Soviet residents in Sheepshead Bay. Brooklyn's Avenue U Chinatown, which emerged as the second Chinatown of Brooklyn during the late 1990s, is located partially in Sheepshead Bay and partially in nearby Homecrest. Along the waterfront is a high concentration of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, including Russians and Central Asians, similar to in nearby Brighton Beach. Other ethnic groups in the area include Albanians, Turks and Hispanics.


Public transportation

New York City Subway service to Sheepshead Bay is provided by the BMT Brighton Line (B and ​Q train), with local stops at Avenue U and Neck Road, and express/local stops at the Kings Highway and Sheepshead Bay stations.

New York City Bus routes in the area include the B3, B4, B36, B44, B44 SBS, B49, B68 local buses and the BM3 express bus.

Main thoroughfares

The main shopping and business thoroughfares are Emmons Avenue, Sheepshead Bay Road, Avenue U, Ocean Avenue, and Nostrand Avenue. Emmons Avenue is at the west end of the Shore Greenway which lies between Shore Parkway and Jamaica Bay, connecting eastward and northward to Canarsie and Cross Bay Boulevard. Emmons Avenue is a waterfront road with piers from which yachts and boats offer day trips for fishing and dancing.

Madison subsection

Madison is a purely residential subsection of Sheepshead Bay, located just south of Midwood. Named after its own James Madison High School, its borders are Kings Highway to the north, Avenue U to the south, Ocean Avenue to the west, and Nostrand Avenue to the east. Madison uses the ZIP code 11229. The area is served by Brooklyn Community Board 15.


Sheepshead Bay generally has a higher ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. A plurality of residents (47%) have a college education or higher, while 15% 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. The percentage of Sheepshead Bay students excelling in math rose from 49 percent in 2000 to 66 percent in 2011, but reading achievement dropped from 54% to 52% during the same time period.

Sheepshead Bay's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is about equal to the rest of New York City. In Sheepshead Bay, 16% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 82% of high school students in Sheepshead Bay graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.


Several public schools serve the community: James Madison High School; JHS 14 Shell Bank Intermediate School; The Bay Academy; and elementary schools P.S.194 PS 254, PS 206, and PS 52. Private schools in the area include St. Mark Catholic Academy, St. Edmund's School, and the Brooklyn Amity School. Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is nearby. The former Sheepshead Bay High School closed in 2016.


The Brooklyn Public Library has four branches in Sheepshead Bay.

The Sheepshead Bay branch is located at 2636 East 14th Street, near Avenue Z. The branch has occupied four buildings since it was founded in 1903. The current 7,475-square-foot (694.5 m2) building opened in 1963.

The Kings Bay branch is located at 3650 Nostrand Avenue between Avenues W and X. It opened in 1951, and has occupied its current location since 1959.

The Kings Highway branch is located at 2115 Ocean Ave, just south of the Midwood neighborhood. Originally opened in 1910 as an unstaffed deposit station, it moved several times during the early 20th century before arriving at its current location in 1954. The current building was the first branch library built in Brooklyn by the City of New York. The branch also includes a US Passport Office.

The Homecrest branch is located at 2525 Coney Island Ave, just south of Avenue V.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
  • Stew Albert (1939–2006), early member of the Yippies and an important figure in the New Left movement of the 1960s.
  • Vedah Bertram (1891–1912), actress
  • Elayne Boosler (born 1952), comedian
  • Vitaly Borker (born 1986), Internet fraudster
  • James Brady (1928–2009), columnist
  • Jerry Butler (born 1939), musician
  • Andrew Dice Clay (born 1957), comedian
  • Alan Dale (1925–2002), singer of traditional popular and rock and roll music.
  • Ken Dashow, writer, performer and director who is a disc jockey at New York City's WAXQ "Q104.3" classic rock radio station.
  • Larry David (born 1947), comedian
  • Michael A. DiSpezio (born 1953), writer, performer and broadcast host
  • James E. Fitzsimmons (1874–1966), thoroughbred horse trainer
  • Frank Frazetta (1928–2010), comic book artist
  • Keith Green (1953–1982), gospel singer
  • Terry Gross (born 1951), host of Fresh Air on National Public Radio
  • Garland Jeffreys (born 1943), singer-songwriter
  • Vince Lombardi (1913–1970), NFL head coach of the Green Bay Packers
  • Marty Markowitz (born 1945), former Brooklyn borough president
  • Lee Mazzilli (born 1955), former New York Mets baseball player and coach for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees
  • Richard Migliore (born 1964), retired award-winning thoroughbred jockey and current TV analyst
  • Bruce Morrow (born 1935), radio performer, known for professional purposes as Cousin Brucie or Cousin Bruce Morrow.
  • Rico Petrocelli (born 1943), Boston Red Sox shortstop and third baseman
  • Thomas Pitera (born 1954), Italian mobster, grew up in Sheepshead Bay.
  • Buddy Rich (1917–1987), jazz drummer and bandleader.
  • Mark Roth (born 1951), professional bowler who is second in all-time professional tour earnings.
  • Judy Sheindlin (born 1942), former family court judge, known on television as Judge Judy.
  • Martin Shkreli (born 1983), pharmaceutical entrepreneur and convicted felon.
  • Joe Tacopina (born 1966), lawyer and owner/chairman of Italian soccer club Venezia F.C.
  • Bob Thiele (1922–1996), record producer, musician and songwriter
  • Michelle Trachtenberg (born 1985), actress

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