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The peoples of Bushwick, Brooklyn

Part of the HINGE series on the future of religion in NYC

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Hold your hand horizontally in front of you as if reading your palm. The shape is close to the geographic layout of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Then, imagine that you are holding the lives of Bushwick’s 136,743 people (in 2015).

The fat part of your palm and the thumb lay above the main thoroughfare of Wyckoff Avenues. Here lives the densest concentration of people. A high of 6,198 people are seated right above Wyckoff Avenue on the northwestern side of Bushwick.




The White young creatives hug along the corner of that area. White and Hispanics are also concentrated in the northern part of your hand but also spread in good numbers all over the community district.

Bushwick is the geographic center for Brooklyn Hispanic settlers and religious congregations. Williamsburg used to be a much more important center for Hispanics, but now Bushwick and Sunset Park rank higher.

A line from the middle of the wrist can be imagined as running along Wilson Avenue all the way to the tip of Index finger.

Myrtle Avenue serves as a sort of life line running diagonally southwest to the north. People of Bushwick often define themselves as living East or West of Myrtle Avenue.

The middle finger lies to the south of Wilson Avenue and the ring finger lies north of Bushwick Avenue.

Here in the south part of the Bushwick community live the largest concentrations of African Americans.

Most of the historic African American churches in Williamsburg moved to Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant in the 20th Century.  In the 1960s, the radical Black Nuwabians, founded by Dwight York, also set up a community along the south edge of Bushwick.

The dead leap off your finger tips into one of the several cemeteries that lay out like a shroud from the east of Bushwick toward Queens. The gateway to the residences of the dead is a Catholic shrine.


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