Flatbush – Brooklyn, NY

"Eh, what's up, doc?" The most famous celebrity of Flatbush is actually a cartoon character known for his oversize ears and penchant for carrots. Bugs Bunny, according to his original voice actor Mel Blanc, had a "Flatbush" accent. Flatbush sits between the Kingston and Midwood sections of Brooklyn, New York. In addition to mischievous bunnies, this area is known for its beautiful Victorian architecture, especially in the Ditmas Park area. Flatbush dates back to 1651, when it was settled by Dutch colonists. The King Theatre on Flatbush Avenue is the fourth largest theater in New York and the biggest in Flatbush. This historic theater dates back to 1929 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Flatbush is 30 minutes from Manhattan via the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and it is home of Brooklyn College. The college is located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood.

Schools in Flatbush

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

The Sunflower Cafe on Quentin Road has a dine-in and take-out menu. Its Sunshine Wrap combines four different ingredients. When dining in, try the hot chocolate cake; it comes with a large dollop of ice cream. New York Metro Magazine says that Olympic Pita on Coney Island Avenue has the best falafel and schwarma in town. It meshes 15 different spices with turkey and chicken for one incredible sandwich. Don't pass up the Iraqi kabob -- ground beef skewered with parsley and onions. Culpepper's on Nostrand Avenue sells authentic West Indian cuisine. This Barbadian take-out restaurant specializes in the national food of Barbados, cou-cou and flying fish. Cou-cou, an okra and cornmeal mash-up, goes well with de-boned and butterflied flying fish. Ali's on Flatbush sells roti, a soft flatbread with curried meat and chickpeas. De Bamboo Express specializes in West Indian-style Chinese food. Jerk chicken with fried rice goes perfectly with a cumber-chili sauce instead of traditional duck sauce. Junior's Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts has more than your traditional cheesecake. Order the carrot cake cheesecake and sea-salt caramel peanut cheesecake by the slice or whole cake. This eatery even offers a two-day shipping option for those who live out of town. The trendy Sycamore Bar & Flowershop on Cortelyou has a speakeasy feel; the flower shop is up front, while the bar is in back. The DJs really know how to spin, and the cute establishment -- equipped with food carts on the weekends -- makes a great place to spend a Brooklyn night.

History & Culture

In 1651, Dutch settlers arrived and settled the area that is now Flatbush. At the time, it was named Dutch Nieuw Nederland. It was also often referred to as Flatbush (from vlak, which means "flat woodland"). In 1664, Flatbush and five other towns were surrendered to England. Together, these towns created Kings County, and Flatbush was the county seat. Flatbush played an important role in the American Revolution. The Battle of Long Island, the first major battle of the Revolutionary War, took place in the area, and many of the Dutch residents were loyal to the British -- even long after the war ended. It was common to see the King's Arms around town even decades later. In 1898, Flatbush became a suburb of New York City. The Brooklyn Academy of Music on Lafayette acts as a multi-arts center. The center showcases a variety of artist acts, such as comedy shows and dance troupes. It also broadcasts live high-definition shows from the Metropolitan Opera from Manhattan. Annual events, such as the Flatbush Avenue Street Fair, prove fun for all residents. Musical acts of local interest give free concerts. Vendors sell food and mementos from local shops. Another annual affair, the Flatbush Frolic on Ditmas Park, features a pizza-eating contest and sing-along. In addition, New York City firefighters come out to talk fire safety.


As part of busy Brooklyn and the greater New York area, Flatbush is very pedestrian-friendly. In fact, it is the way most residents get around -- walks to the corner market, to the coffee shop, or just to visit friends are a way of life here. To get to other areas of the city, the subway is the easiest and the fastest mode of transportation. Hailing a cab or contacting Uber are other ways to get around without a car. If you do want to travel by car, Ocean Parkway borders the neighborhood on the east side and leads to I-278. For longer trips, John F. Kennedy International Airport is located about 10 miles away. Bicycling is another common mode of transportation, but keep in mind that Brooklyn is a very populated area and the streets can get crowded, so use caution. Prospect Park does feature a bicycle path.


With rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Flatbush starting at $2,500, the cost of living in Flatbush is low compared to Manhattan. It only costs $2.50, or the swipe of a MetroCard, to get around Flatbush. Gas prices run 15 percent above the national average.


Flatbush contains many distinct shopping hubs. Kings Plaza Mall features high-end stores such as Macy's and Michael Kors. This mall, officially in Flatlands, sits close enough to Flatbush for locals to frequent it often. Kings Highway has more high-end retailers, such as Rodeo Drive East and Tuesday's Child Boutique. Locals enjoy finding discounts in the Midwood section of Flatbush during its yearly Midwood sidewalk sale. Church Avenue features many ethnic stores with a Caribbean flair, and Bobby's Department Store contains something for everyone. The Flatbush Food Co-Op serves as an alternative to regular neighborhood grocery stores. This community natural food store sells unique food items, such as minimally processed foods and grass-fed meats. The store sells in bulk and delivers to residences in Flatbush. The Flatbush Caton Market on Flatbush Avenue won an Art Commission Award for Excellence in Design. Vendors sell fresh produce from June to mid-November, and the market houses a number of different sellers that provide varied items, from car accessories to Caribbean specialties.


Historic Prospect Park extends from Flatbush northward, covering 585 acres. Having this park in your backyard will make you glad you chose to rent a Flatbush apartment. The park was established shortly after Central Park, opening in 1867. The park contains the Audubon Center, walking paths, a historic carousel, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and the Prospect Park Zoo. Activities include ice skating, roller skating, boating, biking, picnicking, and hiking. The park hosts a variety of annual events, such as Toddler Tuesdays and nature programs, inviting both children and adults to join in the fun. The zoo and various sporting fields keep the children entertained. Annual events include free summer concerts under the bandshell and a yearly fireworks show. Tennis players use the courts for practice and lessons, but use requires a permit. Adults who want to participate in structured exercise can sign up for the Walk NYC and Shape Up NYC programs through the park. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed, except for early in the morning in certain restricted areas.
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