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Canarsie Pier
Canarsie High School
Canarsie (pronounced Ca-NAR-see) is a neighborhood in the southeastern portion of the borough of Brooklynmarker, in New York Citymarker, United Statesmarker. The area is part of Brooklyn Community Board 18.

Canarsie, which includes the entire 11236 postal zip code, is bordered on the east by Fresh Creek Basin, East 108 Street and the L subway line to Linden Boulevard; on the north by Linden Boulevard; on the west by Remsen Avenue to Ralph Avenue and the Paerdegat Basin; and on the south by Jamaica Baymarker. Canarsie also neighbors East Flatbush, Flatlands, Mill Basinmarker, Bergen Beach, and East New York. Canarsie is patrolled by the NYPD's 69th Precinct.


"Canarsie" is a phonetic interpretation of a word in the Lenape language for "fenced land" or "fort." The Native Americans who made the infamous sale of the island of Manhattanmarker for 60 guilders were Lenape. Europeans would often refer to the indigenous people living in an area by the local place-name, and so reference may be found in contemporary documents to "Canarsee Indians." The current neighborhood lies within the former town of Flatlandsmarker, one of the five original Dutchmarker towns on Long Islandmarker.

Canarsie was built on swamps near Jamaica Baymarker. It was a fishing village through the 1800s, until pollution killed the oysters and the edible fish. In the 1920s, Southern Italian immigrants along with Jews settled in the area. Canarsie was infamously known as a hotbed for mafia activity from the 1970's to the 1990's. Ferry service at Canarsie Pier withered away after the building of the Marine Parkway Bridgemarker. During the 90's many of Canarsie's white population left for Staten Island, Long Island and Queens, this phenomenon was called 'white flight' by many. Today, Canarsie's population is mostly Black due to large West Indian immigration.

Canarsie today

Today, Canarsie is home to approximately 96,000 people.

At the southeast end of Canarsie is Canarsie Pier on Jamaica Baymarker, a fishing spot and recreation area. Canarsie Pier is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, a National Park Service site.

At the other end are mostly commercial warehouses and buildings. Canarsie has many one and two family homes, although there are three large public housing developments and a number of small apartment buildings scattered throughout the neighborhood.The neighborhood has many parks, including a large park (over 100 acres) commonly referred to as Seaview Park, but officially named Canarsie Beach Park, expanded to the southwest in 2007. On Jamaica Bay, beyond the Belt Parkway, lies the Canarsie Pier section of Gateway National Recreation Area.


The BMT Canarsie Line, on which the train of the New York City Subway runs and terminates in Canarsie, connects the neighborhood to Manhattan. The "L" train is a local-only subway that starts at street level and proceeds above ground and then down into the interconnecting tunnels of the New York City Subway. Bus service such as the B6, B17, B42, B60, B82, B103 and BM2 also runs through Canarsie.

The principal commercial streets are Rockaway Parkway and Flatlands Avenue. Avenue L is also fairly commercial.

"By way of Canarsie" was a middle 20th century American English figure of speech meaning coming to your destination by a roundabout way or from a distant point. Presumably arising when the Wilson Avenue Line was a principal route to Canarsie Landing, it is not commonly used today. .


Canarsie is home to two high schools, Canarsie High Schoolmarker and South Shoremarker, and several junior high schools and elementary schools. In late fall 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that five troubled high schools will close by 2010. Among these five is Canarsie’s South Shore. According to Melody Meyer, a DOE spokesperson, the closing is attributed to "dismal graduation rates, consistent low test scores, a poor history of educating, low performing students and lackluster demand." The same happened to Canarsie High School for the same reasons. Canarsie will be phased out by 2012.


The Canarsie Courier, located at 1142 East 92 Street and published every Thursday, is the oldest weekly publication in Brooklyn and is still in publication today. It was founded by Walter S. Patrick on April 22, 1921. The Canarsie Courier was then purchased by brothers Bob and Joe Samitz in 1959. After the passing of Joe Samitz, Mary (Mae) Samitz became co-publisher of the Canarsie Courier with her husband Bob and then became the sole publisher after his passing. Shortly after, in 1998, the Samitz family sold the paper to Donna Marra and Sandra Greco, who are the current publishers of the Canarsie Courier.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Canarsie include:


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