Kale pizza, street art (don’t call it graffiti— instead think eye-popping, colorful murals, like Danielle Mastrioni’s ode to late rapper Biggie Smalls), hour-long waits at the newest, hottest restaurants and soaring rents have all become hallmarks of Bushwick.
This north Brooklyn neighborhood is bound by Williamsburg to the north, Ridgewood, Queens to the northeast, East New York to the southeast, and Bedford-Stuyvesant to the southwest. It has become a destination for creative types who have been priced out of Williamsburg, where condos now go for up to $4 million, and are now migrating north in droves. Businesses, restaurants, art galleries and artisanal markets are following close behind.
With the hipsters and higher-end businesses have come Brooklyn’s highest overall rent increases. According to a recent study conducted by the brokerage firm MSN, between July and August (yes, that's a one month time span) the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick jumped from $2,040 to $2,647 a month—a 29.76% increase.
It’s hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago, this mainly Hispanic, working-class neighborhood was in the grips of a crime wave and drug epidemic. In fact, the six-acre Maria Fernandez Park, located in the heart of the neighborhood, was named after a woman, who was killed in 1989 after trying to evict drug dealers from the neighborhood. Today the park is filled with families, skateboarders, and an off-the-leash dog park.
Native New Yorkers
Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 1600s, the Lenape people inhabited what is now Bushwick. The Lenapes were the first Algonquin-speaking people from whence all others in that language group descended.