LATEST NEWS

Gerritsen Beach – The Land That Time (And Gentrification) Forgot

The Land That Time (And Gentrification) Forgot

By Jeff Vasishta September 28, 2016
Photo courtesy of Flickr

[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”I” font=”Bowlby One SC” color_class=”otw-black-text” background_color_class=”otw-no-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]f you were under the impression that every single paving stone in Brooklyn has been over developed, Gerritsen Beach has news for you. Or perhaps it doesn’t. The sleepy self-contained peninsula in far south Brooklyn (east of Sheepshead Bay, flanked by Shell Bank Creek, Plumb Beach Channel and Marine Park) has a reputation of laying low, hiding in plain sight. You won’t find too many Gerritsen Beach old timers lobbying for a subway, a new road or a ferry. Or, anything to disrupt the quiet beach community for that matter.  Gerritsen is often likened to a quaint little New England fishing village.

Related: Is Nowhere Safe? Next Stop For The Gentrification Express—Whitestone, Queens

Mudflats, a private beach, cheek by jowl seasonal bungalows on roads so narrow they could pass as sidewalks. It’s is the kind of old school New York community that seems to belong to a bygone era. Take a wrong turn in the summer and you could be mistaken for thinking that you’ve entered into a time warp, a land of sepia toned memories, GI’s returning home from the second world war, endless Oldsmobiles that chug like steam engines.

A 2002 The New York Times article remarked on the remote location of Gerritsen Beach, noting the insider joke that residents sometimes directed wayward outsiders to a ferry that didn’t exist. There’s an insular vibe around the place and it’s hardly surprising to learn that many residents are multi-generational. Also Gerritsen Beach is whiter than a family of polar bears in a snow storm. Hard to imagine then that it exists in such a multicultural borough as Brooklyn. A glance over the skyline to midtown’s skyscrapers is a reality check. The price to of real estate—a cool half million for a modest semidetached house is another reminder. Even for a down at the heels shack, you’re likely to pay a quarter of a million.

Wonderful news if you own your place and like to keep things the way they are but it seems about as welcoming for new businesses as a visit by the Black Lives Matter’s crew at a Trump rally. Perhaps the last facility you’d expect to find in this chilled out watery locale is a kickboxing gym. But should you wish to vent your frustrations about the lack of public transportation, you could pop into Champions Fitness Center, which has called the area home for 11 years and is run by kickboxer and all round bad ass Drea DeAngelo.

“People in the neighborhood work to make ends meet and they work hard,” says DeAngleo. “There is no real functional way of transportation in Gerritsen Beach. The bus that does come down the avenue is very sporadic and I always see people waiting for an extended period of time. As far as train stations, there’s Sheepshead Bay and that is still pretty far… People who try to get to my gym from other places that don’t drive have a very difficult time getting there in less than two hours because there is very limited MTA down Gerritsen Ave.”

static1-squarespace-com
Photo courtesy of Flickr

That said, there is a method in DeAngelo’s madness of choosing to locate her business there. She has a captive audience.

“The main clientele at our gym Champions Fitness Center is pretty even. We have a ton of kids and we have a ton of adults. Primarily from the Gerritsen Beach neighborhood.”

Geographically and culturally isolated, Gerritsen Beach seems caught in a whirlpool of time. It’s quiet streets and seaside vibe add yet another uniquely New York experience for those in the know. Just don’t move there and ruin it.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

  • AGORAFY
    Avocado toasts are the reason why millennials can’t afford a home, says one Australian real estate developer. #AvocadoToast #Millennials https://goo.gl/TBCPnv
  • AGORAFY
    Five years on since Superstorm Sandy, Queens’ coastal peninsula is in the midst of a development boom. #Development #Rockaways https://goo.gl/BRKRrD
  • AGORAFY
    It turns out, renters can’t get enough of good ol’ no-doorman-no-frills apartments. Too bad developers aren’t building any. #Doorman #LuxuryRentals https://goo.gl/pdnbo6
The Housing Market In Shenzhen, The Silicon Valley of China, Slows In 2017
The city of Shenzhen has been on the real estate radar for quite some time. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China. Many…
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
Millennials Are Fueling The Current Sizzling Real Estate Market
Ever wondered why the hosts of home improvement shows seem to be getting progressively younger, along with the fresh-faced couples getting their new properties made…
The Best Cities For Recent Grads To Rent – Without Blowing Their Entire Paycheck
What’s next post graduation? For most, the logical answer is to find a job. After the excitement of finishing your studies and the big celebration,…
Luxury Knows No Limit In Malaysia As A Deluge Of New Developments Hit The Market
The amount of newly constructed high-end real estate in Malaysia is almost as abundant as the lush vegetation which covers the tropical landscape. Despite vacant…
Don’t Call It A Commune – Upscale Co-Living Is Attracting Major Development
What may have once been referred to as a commune is today termed a co-living space. The big news that it’s not hippies with hemp…
It’s Official—New York Is Now The Most Expensive City In The World To Build
As if you didn’t already know, it’s expensive to build in New York City. Not just expensive but now officially the most expensive place in…
An Ultimate Destination For The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Data, Agorafy Prepares To Launch Nationwide
In the coming days, Agorafy will be entering a new chapter. It is the beginning of a new growth cycle in real estate technology with…

TOP 10