Thanks everyone! I tried the commute a few times last week. What a world of difference taking the N/D vs the R. Thanks to you Psycho-Ologist for chiming in. Having done a lot of research on this forum I have seen your writings a lot in regards to Sunset Park. I was so happy to see you answer my query so completely. Have you guys ever looked at the city data forums safety maps?
They list most of Sunset Park as yellow (be street smart) or orange (watch your back) but there is an area along 5th near 39th-43rd, which is red (dangerous and weird at all times).Do you agree? Is it because of the fast food restaurants and the gang activity they attract? (This was a city data forum persons suggestion).
Hi Again LaddHalsey,
That particular area is a drug haven. It is right in front of the park which you will notice is not particularly well lit at night, and due to its incline, (its hilly) you can't always see clear across the park, from every angle. Its a great place to sprint away from on-rushing cop cars.
The sellers come from the section 8/project style apartments on 4th in the 50's to deal right there in front of the park.
Some of the Mexican patrons of that park also bring people in there to have sex, or they go there to masturbate. I am not saying this in any racially disparaging way. I think in their case, they may live in such crowded housing, the park is their only option.
With all that in mind,
I will adamantly say NEVER EVER go in that park at night, if you are a woman, even to walk your dog, unless it is a big terrifying looking pit bull or mastiff.
To the east of the park (towards 7th and 8th ave)there are some condo's with residents much like you and myself, who are too busy sleeping, or to wary to venture into the park at night, so that end is also desolate at night. The best end of the park to walk around at night is the north end, right in front of the barber shop, because of the heavy foot traffic around that area will ensure someone is within ear shot.
Overall, ignore the safety data, map. Sunset park/Greenwood Heights is REALLY huge, and hard to define.
North east, ala Greenwood Heights or
Straight East, ala Chinatown Sunset Park/Boro Park are much safer than the south west areas of Sunset Park (ie 5th avenue and below, and 40th street and above)
Anything south of the prospect avenue stop and below 4th avenue is EXTREMELY desolate and scary. By the time you hit the 30's its nothing but industrial stores that have closed for the night and strip clubs, with one lone Dunkin Donuts. 4th avenue is great for having so many stores open at night to deter problems. You can walk 4th avenue clear up to 44th street before you will feel uncomfortable, although after 39th you will notice large storefronts with people standing outside them, which I will be honest and say are probably drug havens.
On 42 there is some barber shop, a bodega and a cellular shop on the west end of that avenue that are particularly scary. By 49th it is obviously scary, and there have been knifings in that area up in the 50's on 4th.
Sunset Park Proper:
in General, 5th and 6th avenue (which begins again on 45th, it is bisected by the park) doesn't feel safe until you pass Our lady of perpetual help, literally a huge church on 60th and 5th. 6th avenue is more residential, so you will feel a bit safer there, however at 45th when it is cut by the park, you will notice a lot of loiterers of dubious character. I will also say 6th avenue in the 30's on the other side of the park is WORSE) you will notice some suspicious bodegas and loiterers around there come summer months.
7th 8th and 9th avenue where I live there have really been no problems. There is nothing up here. Just Chinese places and by 10th avenue you are in Boro park, which is very Hasidim/orthodox Jew. By 8th and 9th avenue in the 40's in Sunset Park you will actually see Hasidim walking around. This is as safe as Sunset Park proper gets, otherwise think of moving to Greenwood Heights especially 5th and 6th avenues below 20th street.
Greenwood heights is pretty safe to walk around at night, but it is very residential, dark and quiet, as it surrounds the cemetery from which it takes its namesake. Most of the blocks there are private houses, with one of two brand new condos. 5th avenue in the 20's is very dark and lonely because of the cemetery.
Geenwood in the teens, relaxed and not terrifying at all. Hit up Lot 2 on 6th avenue and Korzo on 5th avenue in the teens for great food.
The area by Lot 2 (Greenwood/Windsor Terrace border) is beautiful and full of young professional families who bought those lovely woodframe houses and painted them in gorgeous colors.
From 39th and 5th avenue going all the way up to 11th (ie fort Hamilton Parkway)the cemetery divides Windsor Terrace and the beginnings of Kensington from Sunset/Boro-Park.
a teaspoon of kisses and a drop of glee