Bath Beach is located in the Southwest part of Brooklyn, between Dyker Heights and Coney Island. My town’s relative location is southern Brooklyn that runs along the Belt Parkway. I am one block from 86th Street and two blocks from the Belt Parkway. The absolute location of my town is 40.602N 74.003W.
Bath Beach was once part of the original Brooklyn town of New Utrecht. This area was rural and consisted mainly of farmland with a beautiful shore. Once the wealthy learned about the seaside, they built large vacation homes and hotels. A century ago it had its own beach that was for New Yorkers what the Hamptons are today. The town of Bath Beach became a resort where the wealthy escaped the city life for a weekend to swim, sail on their yachts, and enjoy the day at an amusement park. Many well to do families came here and enjoyed it so much that soon a residential community developed.
In 1916 trains expanded, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan bringing more families to Bath Beach. Jewish and Italian immigrants from the Lower East Side of Manhattan began to settle here. When the stock market of 1929 crashed, Bath Beach grew in population and the focus of this community changed. The mansions that use to line the coast were abandoned and the conditions of other homes worsened. They were torn down and replaced with smaller homes for the increase number of working-class families. After WW11, landfill increased the size of the area by replacing the once beloved beach with Shore Parkway where apartment buildings were built to accommodate the influx of immigrants as well as the Belt Parkway.
Bath Beach is a residential working-class area that was home to many Italian families, but has drastically changed. Bath Beach has become a diverse community mainly consisting of Asian, Russian, and recently Arabic speaking immigrants. The main shopping strip, 86th Street now offers a variety of shops and...