Is Bushwick Safe? Are you considering a move to Bushwick? It’s important to understand what it’s like to live there first. Here are answers to your questions on safety, education, attractions, and more.
A History of Bushwick
Bushwick is located in King’s County, Brooklyn, in the northernmost neighborhoods. It borders the borough of Queens and other neighborhoods such as Williamsburg.
In 1661 Dutch West India Company was given the deed for the land that is now Bushwick, and Peter Stuyvesant originally named the area Boswijck. Boswijck means “neighborhood in the woods.” In 1854, after the city of Brooklyn annexed the land, Bushwick grew economically. The neighborhood attracted German immigrants and became a leader in the beer brewing industry. Bushwick also produced goods such as glass, chemicals, and glue.
Elevated subways and Italian immigrants helped the neighborhood survive both world wars. However, Bushwick hit a decline in the 1960s and 1970s. In the early 2000s, the Bushwich Revitalization Initiative significantly reduced crime and improved housing in the area.
Nestled in the northern part of Brooklyn, Bushwick is a neighborhood that boasts a rich history and a dynamic present. Its boundaries are often a topic of discussion, but generally, it’s framed by Flushing Avenue to the north, Broadway to the west, the Queens border (Ridgewood) to the northeast, and the Evergreens Cemetery to the southeast.
The main arteries of Bushwick, are Knickerbocker Avenue, Myrtle Avenue, and Wyckoff Avenue, are the busiest. As you move away from these main roads, you’ll find quieter streets, many of which are adorned with the classic row houses that give Brooklyn its distinctive architectural character.
One of the notable geographic features close to Bushwick is the Bushwick Inlet, which, while not directly within the neighborhood, has played a role in its historical development. Today, the nearby Bushwick Inlet Park in Williamsburg serves as a recreational space for residents from all over northern Brooklyn.
Bushwick’s Vibe and Atmosphere
Bushwick, once a quiet corner of Brooklyn, has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few decades. Today, it is a testament to New York City’s ever-evolving nature, blending the old with the new in a harmonious dance of culture, art, and community.
For those seeking the artistic energy, youthful exuberance, and indie spirit reminiscent of Williamsburg’s earlier days, Bushwick emerges as the go-to destination. The neighborhood pulses with a sui generis vibe that’s both raw and refined. It’s where genuine Brooklyn grunginess meets the avant-garde, creating a unique atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere in the city.
One of the most striking features of Bushwick is its vibrant street art scene. Almost every corner of the neighborhood is a canvas of colors, with murals, graffiti, and installations transforming ordinary buildings into extraordinary masterpieces. These aren’t just random acts of vandalism; they’re expressions of the community’s soul, often curated by local artists and collectives who’ve made Bushwick their home.
But it’s not just about the art. The neighborhood is alive with studios and galleries, each offering a glimpse into the creative minds that populate Bushwick. On any given day, you might stumble upon an impromptu art show, a poetry reading, or a live music gig, further cementing Bushwick’s reputation as a cultural hub.
And then there’s the culinary and nightlife scene. New coffee shops, bars, and eateries seem to pop up every week, each bringing its own flavor to the mix. From artisanal bakeries and vegan cafes to underground music venues and rooftop bars, there’s always something happening in Bushwick.
Yet, amidst all this buzz, the neighborhood hasn’t lost its authentic charm. The streets are lined with historic brownstones, local bodegas, and family-run businesses that have been around for generations. It’s this blend of the old and new, the traditional and the trendy, that gives Bushwick its unique character.
Bushwick is a mix of long-time residents and the cultures of new residents. The lower cost of living in Bushwick attracted younger people and hipsters as well as attracted an art-focused culture.
Although Bushwick is home to a mix of races, it also has the largest Hispanic community in the Brooklyn borough. Many residents are Puerto Rican, and some are Dominican and from South America. In 2019, out of the estimated 127,550 people in Bushwick, 56.3% identified as Hispanic. Other races include:
- 20.6% White
- 15.3% Black or African American
- 4.2% Asian
Bushwick Real Estate
Bushwick has multiple housing options, including brownstones, walk-up multifamily buildings, and 21st-century condos. The increase in new hipster residents influenced the transformation of old warehouses into art galleries and music venues. Colorful murals also adorn the building walls.
Bushwick, located in Brooklyn, has witnessed a significant surge in its real estate popularity, becoming one of New York City’s most sought-after neighborhoods. This rise in demand can be attributed to several factors:
- Affordability: Compared to other parts of the city, especially neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope, Bushwick offers a more affordable housing market. This affordability has made it an attractive option for many, especially those looking for value for money.
- Demographics: The neighborhood has become especially popular among young working professionals, students, and artists. The accessibility to major subway lines like the L, J, M, or Z trains makes commuting to the city convenient, further enhancing its appeal.
- Buying Opportunities: Over the years, Bushwick has seen a rise in buying opportunities. Not only is it more affordable than neighborhoods like Williamsburg or Greenpoint, but there has also been a significant increase in new developments. This growth means potential homeowners can find modern condos equipped with luxury finishes at a fraction of the cost they might incur in more upscale Brooklyn neighborhoods.
- Types of Housing: The real estate landscape in Bushwick is diverse. While condo and loft apartments are predominant, there are also occasional townhouses available for those looking for a different kind of living experience.
- Average Rental Prices In Bushwick (As of November 2023):
- Studio: $1,950
- 1 Bedroom: $2,650
- 2 Bedrooms: $2,995
- 3 Bedrooms: $3,499
- 4 Bedrooms: $3,300
- Average Sales Prices In Bushwick (As of November 2023):
- Studio: $1,425,000
- 1 Bedroom: $600,000
- 2 Bedrooms: $799,000
- 3 Bedrooms: $1,990,000
- 4 Bedrooms: $1,399,000
In conclusion, Bushwick’s real estate market offers a blend of affordability, convenience, and modern living options, making it a top choice for many looking to live or invest in Brooklyn.
Bushwick is mostly working-class, with the median household income at $54,929. The neighborhood has 33 lower education schools, with over a dozen public schools. Bushwick also has two Brooklyn Public Library branches: Bushwick Branch and the DeKalb Branch. These libraries have books, media materials, and GED classes for your educational needs.
In the 2020 elections, Bushwick residents mainly voted Democratic by percentages between 80 and 90 percent. The following districts represent Bushwick:
- 18th State Senate district
- 53rd, 54th, 55th, and 56th State Assembly districts
- New York’s 7th Congressional district
- New York City Council’s 34th and 37th districts
Is Bushwick Safe In 2023: Policing
The New York Police Department’s 83rd Precinct patrols Bushwick. Decades ago, Bushwick had high crime, including theft and rioting. However, between 1990 and 2020, crime rates were reduced by 77.5%.
Community Policing and Patrols
Bushwick has seen an increased presence of police patrols, which has contributed to its reputation as a safe neighborhood. The area is served by a dedicated police precinct and two housing security stations, ensuring a consistent law enforcement presence.
The neighborhood is known for its strong sense of community. Residents actively look out for each other, and there’s a collective effort to keep the streets clean and secure. This community bond plays a crucial role in maintaining safety.
Efforts have been made to enhance safety through infrastructure. Street lighting has been improved throughout Bushwick, and surveillance cameras have been installed in public places, acting as deterrents and aiding in crime prevention.
- Crime rate: Rated 6 out of 10.
- Approximately 18.7217 felony crimes per 1,000 residents.
Bushwick Inlet Park
This park has added an extra layer of safety by providing open space for residents and visitors. Open spaces like these often deter criminal activities and offer residents a safe place to relax and engage in recreational activities.
Bushwick Community Safety Alliance: This alliance collaborates closely with local law enforcement officers to prevent crime and promote peaceful coexistence among residents.Bushwick Watch Program: An initiative where volunteers act as the “neighborhood eyes and ears”. They help maintain security levels in Bushwick and keep residents informed about potential threats through various communication channels like email alerts, text messages, and phone calls.
Several private security companies operate within Bushwick. They offer services such as alarm monitoring systems, patrols of residential buildings, and surveillance of commercial establishments in the main business district.
So, is Bushwick safe? Residents, including females, say they are comfortable walking around Bushwick at any time of day or night. Having said that, it is still important to be proactive about your safety and employ common sense.
The hospital serving Bushwick is Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. However, the Woodhull Medical Center in Bedford–Stuyvesant also serves Bushwick. Several firehouse stations also serve the area.
Nightlife And Dining Options In Bushwick
Bushwick’s cultural diversity has led to an emerging foodie culture. You can find vegan Ethiopian restaurants, such as Bunna Cafe, and plenty of mom-and-pop pizza places. You can also get Havarti cheese and mushroom bánh mì at Bunker Vietnamese.
Latin cuisine, including corner bodegas, is prominent in Bushwick with the influence of residents ranging from Venezuela and Columbia to El Salvador and Ecuador. Grab some Puerto Rican food from La Isla or Norwinds. If you’re craving a Cubano sandwich, check out Millie’s Cuban Cafe. For Mexican food, try Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, a restaurant in a tortilla factory!
Other places to try include:
- Anchored Inn: a rooftop cocktail bar
- Forrest Point: for brunch or happy hour
- AP Café: for coffee or a quinoa bowl
- Roberta’s: a unique pizza spot
- Inka Chicken: for Peruvian rotisseries
You can easily get around Bushwick without a car. The public transportation system in Bushwick is massive with the J, Z, L, and M train subway lines.
Here’s a breakdown of the transportation options available:
- Subway Lines:
- J, Z Lines: These lines run near the borders of Bushwick. Specifically, the J/Z line starts from the western corner and runs straight down Broadway to the southern corner.
- L Line: This line enters from the northern corner of Bushwick, passing around the eastern borders and wrapping down to the southern tip.
- M Line: The M train provides east-west connectivity, running straight along Myrtle Avenue to Ridgewood and back.
- Bus Lines:
- Buses in Bushwick are plentiful and traverse the neighborhood in a grid-like pattern. Some of the primary bus lines serving the area include:
- B24, B26, B38, B52, B54, B57, B58
- Buses in Bushwick are plentiful and traverse the neighborhood in a grid-like pattern. Some of the primary bus lines serving the area include:
- While Bushwick has many residents who prefer cycling, it’s worth noting that the neighborhood isn’t the most bike-friendly in terms of infrastructure. Bike lanes are relatively scarce, and other dedicated bike routes are limited.
Given the variety of public transportation options, residents of Bushwick can easily navigate the neighborhood and connect to other parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan, making it a convenient location for those who rely on public transit. The general commute time for residents in Bushwick is 40.3 minutes. If you work outside Bushwick, it’s a 19-minute drive to downtown Brooklyn and a 31-minute drive to Manhattan.
Things to Do in Bushwick
On top of taking a stroll down the streets to see the beautiful murals, Bushwick has other attractions to enjoy. Go dancing at the House of Yes nightclub or play a basketball game all day at Bushwick Playground. If you still want to see more art, frequent some of their curated galleries, including Microscope and Transmitter. Or explore some history by visiting the oldest remaining Dutch Colonial house in the state: Vande-Ende Onderdonk House.
Bushwick is also known for its shopping scene, including plenty of vintage fashion options and thrift stores. Check out Knickerbocker Avenue, a recently revitalized retail hub.
Education And Schools In Bushwick
Bushwick, with its expansive area in Brooklyn, is home to numerous educational institutions catering to its diverse population. Here’s a detailed overview of the educational landscape in the neighborhood:
School Geographic District
The entirety of Bushwick falls within school geographic district 32. Historically, District 32 has faced challenges with low test scores and overall performance. However, recent statistics indicate a steady improvement in performance over the past few years.
Notable Public Schools
- PS 376: Catering to grades K-5, this school is among the notable public options in Bushwick.
- IS 383 Phillipa Schuyler: Serving students from grades 5-8, IS 383 is another significant educational institution in the area.
Other Schools in Bushwick
- Academy for Environmental Leadership: A public school serving grades 9-12 with 347 students.
- Academy of Urban Planning: A public institution for grades 9-12 with 280 students.
- Achievement First Bushwick Charter School: A charter school catering to grades K-12 with 1,030 students.
- All City Leadership Secondary School: A public school for grades 6-12 with 356 students.
- Bushwick Ascend Charter School: A charter school for grades K-5 with 630 students.
- Bushwick Community High School: A public institution for grades 10 and 12 with 194 students.
- Bushwick Leaders High School for Academic Excellence: A public school for grades 9-12 with 321 students.
- Bushwick School for Social Justice: A public institution for grades 9-12 with 404 students.
- EBC High School for Public Service-Bushwick: A public school serving grades 9-12 with 518 students.
- Is 347 School Of Humanities: Catering to grades 6-8 with 327 students.
- Is 349 Math Science And Technology: Serving grades 6-8 with 364 students.
- Jhs 162 The Willoughby: A public school for grades 6-8 with 476 students.
- Jhs 291 Roland Hayes: Catering to grades 6-8 with 398 students.
- Jhs 383 Philippa Schuyler: Serving grades 5-8 with 920 students.
- Ps 106 Edward Everett Hale: A public school for grades PK-5 with 553 students.
- Ps 116 Elizabeth L Farrell: Catering to grades K-5 with 522 students.
- Ps 120 Carlos Tapia: A public school for grades PK-5 with 467 students.
- Ps 123 Suydam: Serving grades PK-5 with 819 students.
- Ps 145 Andrew Jackson: A public institution for grades PK-5 with 781 students.
- Ps 151 Lyndon B Johnson: Catering to grades PK-5 with 338 students.
- Ps 274 Kosciusko: A public school for grades PK-5 with 555 students.
- Ps 299 Thomas Warren Field School: Serving grades PK-5 with 351 students.
- Ps 376: A public institution for grades K-5 with 602 students.
- Ps 377 Alejandina B De Gautier: Catering to grades PK-8 with 484 students.
- Ps 45 Horace E Greene: A public school for grades PK-8 with 849 students.
- Ps 75 Mayda Cortiella: Serving grades PK-5 with 514 students.
- Ps 86 The Irvington: A public institution for grades K-5 with 440 students.
- Ps Is 384 Frances E Carter: Catering to grades PK-8 with 693 students.
- Urban Assembly New York Harbor School: A public school for grades 9-12 with 422 students.
In summary, Bushwick offers a diverse range of educational institutions, from public to charter schools, ensuring that families in the neighborhood have ample choices to cater to their children’s educational needs.
Activities For Kids
Bushwick has parks and a couple of community recreation centers that your children can enjoy. The largest park in Bushwick, Maria Hernandez Park, is family-friendly, has a rainbow playground and space for dogs. Other kid-friendly things to do include:
- Take aerial silks class at The Muse
- Watch a movie, or Harry Potter marathon, at Syndicated
- Try the baby, toddler, and little kid yoga classes at the Cobra Club
- Grab a classic cannoli with a recipe from 1945 at Circo’s Pastry Shop
What Else is There to Know?
Free parking is limited in Bushwick even though most of the streets offer free parking except Bushwick Ave.
Approximately 18% of homes in Bushwick are at risk of flooding. Although not required for most homes, FEMA always recommends considering flood insurance.
(Article was updated on August 10, 2023)
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. New York is not just a city to me; it’s a living, breathing entity. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.