Concept

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Summary
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 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. 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. Originally an extension of the town of Gravesend to the west, Sheepshead Bay was a secluded fishing and farming community early in its history. Starting in the 1840s, residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan were drawn to the community as a summer destination. Hunters and fishermen started coming to Sheepshead Bay and various restaurants and hotels were erected. Sheepshead Bay's allure as a fishing destination was further helped by the opening of Ocean Avenue in 1876 and the extension of the Long Island Rail Road's Manhattan Beach Branch in 1877–1878, which brought visitors both to the community of Sheepshead Bay and to the Manhattan Beach resort across the bay. The first of the community's farms was split up into several lots for residential development in 1877. Three years later the Sheepshead Bay Race Track opened in the neighborhood, bringing even more visitors during the spring and fall. Near the racecourse, racing investor William Collins Whitney constructed a raining track.
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