Bensonhurst is a residential neighborhood in the southwestern section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is bordered on the northwest by 14th Avenue, on the northeast by 65th Street, on the southeast by Avenue P and 22nd Avenue, and on the southwest by 86th Street. It is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights to the northwest, Borough Park and Mapleton to the northeast, Bath Beach to the southwest, and Gravesend to the southeast.
Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst
|Etymology: Egbert Benson|
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Brooklyn 11|
|• Total||7.6 km2 (2.95 sq mi)|
|• Density||20,000/km2 (51,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$51,667|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Bensonhurst contains several major ethnic enclaves. Traditionally, it is known as a Little Italy of Brooklyn due to its large Italian-American population. Bensonhurst also has the largest population of residents born in China and Hong Kong of any neighborhood in New York City and is now home to Brooklyn's second Chinatown. The neighborhood accounts for 9.5% of the 330,000 Chinese-born residents of the city, based on data from 2007 to 2011.
Bensonhurst is part of Brooklyn Community District 11, and its primary ZIP Codes are 11204 and 11214. It is patrolled by the 62nd Precinct of the New York City Police Department. Politically it is represented by the New York City Council's 43rd, 44th, and 47th Districts.
Etymology and history Edit
Bensonhurst derives its name from Egbert Benson (1789–1866), whose children and grandchildren sold his lands to James D. Lynch, a New York real estate developer. Lynch bought the old farmlands from the Benson family in the mid-1880s, and by 1888, began selling private lots in an area dubbed as Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea, now Bath Beach. The first sale of lands in "The New Seaside Resort" area was advertised in the July 24, 1888 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Through the mid-20th century, Bensonhurst developed as an Italian and Jewish enclave. Despite a wave of commercial development in the 1980s, some land had remained undeveloped by then. By the early 2000s, condominiums were being built in Bensonhurst, and it had turned into a diverse community of Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Middle-Eastern, and Russian residents.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of Bensonhurst West and Bensonhurst East was 151,705, an increase of 8,499 (5.9%) from the 143,206 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,890.81 acres (765.18 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 75.7 inhabitants per acre (48,400/sq mi; 18,700/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 48.7% (73,933) White, 0.7% (1,081) African American, 0.1% (121) Native American, 35.7% (54,099) Asian, 0% (38) Pacific Islander, 0.2% (319) from other races, and 1.2% (1,831) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 13.4% (20,283) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 11 had 204,829 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 83.8 years.:2, 20 This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 20% are between the ages of 0–17, 31% between 25 and 44, and 26% between 45 and 64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 8% and 15% respectively.:2
As of 2016, the median household income in Community District 12 was $53,493. In 2018, an estimated 23% of Bensonhurst residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. Less than one in ten residents (8%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 52% in Bensonhurst, about the same as the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Bensonhurst is considered to be low-income and not gentrifying relative to the rest of the city.:7
In the early 20th century, many Italians and Jewish migrants moved into the neighborhood, and prior to World War II, the neighborhood was about equally Jewish and Italian. In the 1940s, under pressure of an influx of immigrants from southern Italy moving in, leaving the area predominantly Italian. Traditionally, most of the Italians in the area lived in the small apartment buildings centered around the Bay Parkway corridor, with the Jews mostly in the private homes.
Around 1989, an influx of immigrants from China and the former USSR began to arrive, mainly from Southern China, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. In the 2000s, Bensonhurst rapidly grew in cultural diversity. Bensonhurst is home to many ethnic Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Albanian, Bosnian, Greek, Turkish, Georgian, Uzbek, Arab, Palestinian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Pakistani, Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadorian, Ecuadorian, and Puerto Rican Americans. In 2000, the New York City Department of City Planning determined that just over half of the residents were born in another country. By 2013, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city's foreign-born population had reached a record high, and that Bensonhurst had the city's second-highest number of foreign-born people with 77,700 foreign born immigrants in the neighborhood, just after Washington Heights.
With a large Italian-American population, Bensonhurst is usually considered the main "Little Italy" of Brooklyn. The Italian-speaking community was over 20,000 strong, according to the census of 2000. The Italian-speaking community, though, is becoming "increasingly elderly and isolated, with the small, tight-knit enclave in the city slowly disappearing as they give way to demographic changes."  Its main thoroughfare, 18th Avenue (also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard) between roughly 60th Street and Shore Parkway, is lined with predominantly small, Italian family-owned businesses—many of which have remained in the same family for several generations. 86th Street is another popular local thoroughfare, located under the elevated BMT West End Line. In addition, despite changing demographics over the recent years, Bensonhurst is still home to one of the largest Italian speaking communities outside of Italy and is still home to the largest Sicilian and Neapolitan speaking communities outside of Sicily and Naples, respectively.
The annual Festa di Santa Rosalia (commonly known as "the Feast" to locals), is held on 18th Avenue from Bay Ridge Parkway (75th Street) to 66th Street in late August or early September. "The Feast" is presented by Bensonhurst resident and marketer Franco Corrado, as well as by the Santa Rosalia Society, on 18th Avenue. Born in Rome in 1955, Corrado has been an active social member of the Italian-American community for the past 20 years. St. Rosalia is the patron saint of the city of Palermo and is sometimes venerated as the patron for the entire island of Sicily. The annual end-of-summer celebration attracts thousands. Bensonhurt also hosts a Columbus Day parade.
Little Hong Kong/Little GuangdongEdit
Below the West End Line, served by the D train along 86th Street between 18th Avenue and the intersection with Stillwell Avenue, is a small emerging Brooklyn Chinatown (布鲁克林華埠). It remains intermixed with Italian, Jewish, and Russian residents, but in the 2010s, most of the new businesses between 18th Avenue and 25th Avenue, have been Chinese. 86th Street is home to a growing number of Chinese restaurants, including the 86 Wong Chinese Restaurant (one of the earliest Chinese businesses established in Bensonhurst), as well as Chinese grocery stores, salons, bakeries, and other types of businesses. The subway directly connects to Manhattan's Chinatown (紐約華埠), and indirectly to the Chinatown in Sunset Park, which is served by the N and W trains at the 8th Avenue station.
With the large migration of the Cantonese and some Fuzhouese people in Brooklyn now to Bensonhurst, as well as new Chinese immigration, other clusters of Chinese businesses and residences have also started to emerge in other parts of Bensonhurst such as 18th Avenue and Bay Parkway, creating other newer small emerging Chinatowns in Bensonhurst in addition to the one on 86th Street under the D train. These are connected to the Sunset Park Chinatown by the N and W trains.
The newly emerging Chinese enclaves in sections of Bensonhurst, and another one in Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay, are primarily Cantonese populated and are more of extensions of the Western Cantonese section of Manhattan's Chinatown or Little Hong Kong(小香港)/Little Guangdong(小廣東) or Cantonese Town (粵語埠). However, there are also small numbers are Fuzhou- and Mandarin-speakers.
The Flushing-based New World Shopping Center, which owns and operates a Chinese supermarket called Jmart Supermarket inside their shopping center, opened a second branch of Jmart Supermarket in Bensonhurst in 2018. It is the neighborhood's largest Chinese Asian style supermarket. The Jmart is located in a former Waldbaum's.
According to a 2015 article in The New York Times, Bensonhurst's Chinese population is 31,658, and this population is primarily Cantonese-speaking from Mainland China's Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. In addition, the majority of Brooklyn's Cantonese population is concentrated in Bensonhurst, and is slowly replacing Manhattan's Chinatown as the largest primary Cantonese cultural center in New York City resulting in Bensonhurst increasingly becoming the main largest attraction for newly arriving Cantonese immigrants into New York City with Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay as a smaller secondary attraction. In 2011, the New York Daily News reported that Manhattan's Chinatown Chinese population dropped from 34,554 to 28,681 from 2000 to 2010, and that it is continuing to decline due to the gentrification going on in Lower Manhattan, which has spurred the increasing growth of newer Chinatowns in Brooklyn including in Queens. As of the 2010s, the current Chinese population in Bensonhurst has grown so much that it is enough to create another large Chinatown surpassing Manhattan's Chinatown and nearly being as big as Sunset Park's Chinatown. However, unlike in Sunset Park where the Chinese community is highly concentrated, the Chinese community in Bensonhurst is split into several sections, such as 18th Avenue, Bay Parkway, and 86th Street.
The Daily News also stated that Brooklyn's Asian population, mainly Chinese, has grown tremendously, not only in the Sunset Park area, but also in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Borough Park. In Bensonhurst alone, from 2000 to 2010, the Asian population increased by 57%. The study also showed that Asians very often live in houses that are divided into studio apartments, which means the Asian population could be higher than indicated on censuses.
Chinese translation terms Bensonhurst as 本森社区.
New York City's largest Hong Kong communityEdit
Further, Bensonhurst and the nearby neighborhood of Bath Beach collectively have the largest concentration of Hong Kong immigrants in New York City. The 2010 census information shows that Bensonhurst has 3,723 Hong Kong residents, while Bath Beach has 1,049 Hong Kong residents.
Though the Muslim American population is relatively much smaller than the Chinese American and Italian American populations in the neighborhood, their numbers have grown significantly to be noticeable in the neighborhood with most of them being concentrated and spread out through the Bath Avenue proximity resulting in many of Muslim owned businesses to open up throughout Bath Avenue, but their population and businesses are largely mixed in with other large ethnic populations and businesses.
Land use and terrainEdit
Many of Bensonhurst's houses are attached or semidetached, though fully detached houses can be found in the west near Dyker Heights. These are mostly 20th-century houses made of brick, stucco, and stone, with aluminum siding facades. There are also clusters of apartment buildings throughout the neighborhood. After rezoning in the 2000s, many short single-family homes were torn down and replaced by three-story brick apartment buildings and multi-family condominiums. They are sometimes called "Fedders Houses" for their distinctive, standard air conditioner sleeves. From 2002 to 2005, 1,200 new housing units in Bensonhurst were approved to accommodate the growing population, which includes many foreign-born residents. With an increase in the area's real estate values, long-time homeowners sold their houses.
As no official neighborhood designations are used in New York City, Bensonhurst does not have any official boundaries. Still, parts of Bath Beach, Mapleton, Dyker Heights, Gravesend, and Borough Park are sometimes considered parts of Bensonhurst. However, Bensonhurst-proper includes the area bounded by 86th Street, 14th Avenue, 60th Street, McDonald Avenue, Avenue P, Stillwell Ave. and Bay Parkway.
Police and crimeEdit
The 62nd Precinct ranked 4th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. Historically, Bensonhurst has had lower crime than other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, though its mostly white and Asian population has made the area susceptible to racially-motivated crimes, such as the murder of Yusef Hawkins in 1989. As of 2018[update], with a non-fatal assault rate of 23 per 100,000 people, Bensonhurst's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 152 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8 The Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 87.4% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 2 murders, 20 rapes, 120 robberies, 148 felony assaults, 178 burglaries, 482 grand larcenies, and 67 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
As of 2018[update], preterm births and births to teenage mothers are less common in Bensonhurst than in other places citywide. In Bensonhurst, there were 84 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 12.5 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Bensonhurst has a high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 13%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Bensonhurst is 0.007 milligrams per cubic metre (7.0×10−9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages.:9 Sixteen percent of Bensonhurst residents are smokers, which is higher the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Bensonhurst, 21% of residents are obese, 12% are diabetic, and 16% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 14% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Ninety percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 65% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," less than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Bensonhurst, there are 27 bodegas.:10
The Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst area does not have any hospitals. However, the Coney Island Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, and Maimonides Medical Center are located in nearby neighborhoods.:19–20
Post offices and ZIP CodesEdit
Bensonhurst is covered by ZIP Codes 11204 north of Bay Ridge Parkway, and 11214 south of Bay Ridge Parkway. The United States Postal Service's Parkville Station is located at 6618 20th Avenue. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Another post office, the Bath Beach Station, is located at 1865 Benson Avenue.
- Magen David Synagogue
- The Historical New Utrecht Church (serving the community since 1677) is the fourth-oldest Reformed Church in America.
- Lenny's Pizza, made famous by John Travolta in the opening sequence of Saturday Night Fever, is still operating.
Bensonhurst generally has a lower ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. While 36% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 26% have less than a high school education and 38% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Bensonhurst students excelling in math has been increasing, with math achievement rising from 50 percent in 2000 to 71 percent in 2011, though reading achievement within the same time period stayed steady at 52%.
Bensonhurst's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Bensonhurst, 12% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 85% of high school students in Bensonhurst graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75% of students.:6
Zoned schools include:
High schools include:
Colleges and Universities
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn operates Catholic schools in the borough. Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Bensonhurst was nicknamed "OLG" in the neighborhood. In 2012 the school had 217 students, but by 2019 enrollment was 120. That year its fund balance was $559,633 and its deficit was $215,377. It closed in 2019.
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) operates two libraries in Bensonhurst. The Highlawn branch is located at 1664 West 13th Street, near the intersection with Kings Highway. The branch was renovated in 2005–2006. Unlike most other BPL branches, it contains a circular reading room with multicolored walls.
The New Utrecht branch is located at 1743 86th Street, near Bay 17th Street. It was founded in 1894 as the Free Library of the Town of New Utrecht and became a BPL branch in 1901. The current building opened in 1956.
The neighborhood is well served by the New York City Subway. The D train, which runs on the BMT West End Line above 86th Street, provides a direct connection to Grand Street in Manhattan while the N and W trains, which run on the BMT Sea Beach Line near 63rd Street, provide a direct connection to Canal Street. This provides convenient commutes into Manhattan's Chinatown for the growing Bensonhurst Chinese population. The Sea Beach Line has a station at Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn's Sunset Park Chinatown and a transfer to the West End Line is available at New Utrecht Avenue / 62nd Street. The IND Culver Line along McDonald Avenue, carrying the F and <F> trains, also runs through the most northeastern end of Bensonhurst between the Bay Parkway and Kings Highway stations.
Subway stations in the neighborhood include:
- 62nd Street, 71st Street, 79th Street, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway, and 25th Avenue, on the D train
- New Utrecht Avenue, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway on the N train
- Avenue N and Avenue P on the F and <F> trains
In popular cultureEdit
Bensonhurst has been portrayed frequently in film, art, and literature:
- Thomas Wolfe mentions it in the 1930s in his short story, "Only The Dead Know Brooklyn," noted for being written entirely in "Brooklynese."
- Later in the 1950s, Bensonhurst was brought to fame by the television series The Honeymooners
- In the 1970s, Welcome Back, Kotter was set here.
- Aired 1991–1993 on CBS television, Brooklyn Bridge was set here during 1956–57.
- Jungle Fever
- The Warriors
- The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee by Funny or Die with Kelly Ripa, featured a spelling bee parody, making fun of stereotypical Italian Americans.
- The 1972 song "Bensonhurst Blues" was made famous after Oscar Benton released his version of the song.
- The 1991 Steven Segal action movie Out For Justice took place in the Italian-American neighborhood, where the opening scenes were filmed along 18th Avenue and 86th Street.
- In a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live, Joe Pesci, Julia Sweeney, Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey, and Chris Rock appeared in a sketch called "Bensonhurst Dating Game", which depicted Italian-American men eager to commit racial violence based on their views of interracial romance.
- Batman villain Harley Quinn has been established as being from Bensonhurst, going home to visit her family for Christmas in Gotham City Sirens #7.
- Several characters from the soap opera General Hospital, most notably Sonny Corinthos, grew up in Bensonhurst.
- The French Connection (1971) took place along 86th Street, most notably its famed car-chase scene.
- Brooklyn 11223, an American reality-TV series about a divided group of friends, has also been filmed in parts of Bensonhurst.
- Mob Wives filmed some scenes in Bensonhurst at the local boxing joint, Evolution Boxing, where Drita D'Avano is trained by Anthony Pezzolanti.
- Spike of Bensonhurst was filmed around Bensonhurst and won a Spirit Award.
- The opening scene of Saturday Night Fever features John Travolta walking down 86th Street and grabbing slices to eat at Lenny's Pizza.
- The 79th-Street station was popularized in opening credits of Welcome Back, Kotter.
- The title character in the movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, played by Andrew Dice Clay, is from Bensonhurst.
- American alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers filmed the music video for their single Go Robot off their 2016 album The Getaway. The music video was inspired by the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever.
- American hip hop group Public Enemy use the line “First nothing worse, than the mother’s pain of a son slain in Bensonhurst” referencing the 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins in their song “Welcome to the Terradome” off of their 1990 album Fear of a Black Planet.
- The titular character of John Wick: Chapter 3 rides on horseback through 86th Street.
Notable current and former residents of Bensonhurst include:
- Steve Augeri (born 1959), musician.
- Rich Aurilia (born 1971), baseball player for the San Francisco Giants.
- Scott Baio (born 1960), actor who appeared on TV on Happy Days and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, as well as on Charles in Charge.
- Seymour Benzer (1921–2007), physicist, molecular biologist and behavioral geneticist.
- Bob Berg (1951–2002), jazz saxophonist.
- Julie Bovasso (1930–1991), actress.
- Abe Burrows (1910–1985), playwright, writer of Guys and Dolls and Can-Can
- Kerry Butler (born 1971), actress.
- Victor Calderone (born 1967), club music DJ and producer.
- Jack Catran (1918–2001), industrial designer and linguist.
- Vincent D'Onofrio (born 1959), actor Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
- Vic Damone (1928–2018), singer
- Millie Deegan (1919–2002), professional baseball player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- Perry Farrell (born 1959), musician
- Joey Fatone (born 1977), singer who was a member of boy band 'N Sync.
- Anthony Fauci (born 1940), physician and immunologist who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984.
- Jerry Ferrara (born 1979), actor who appeared in the TV series Entourage.
- Lou Ferrigno (born 1951), actor born in Bensonhurst known for his TV starring role as the Incredible Hulk.
- Daniel Franzese (born 1978), actor who appeared in the film Mean Girls
- Harvey Fierstein (born 1954), actor, playwright, and screenwriter.
- Marshall Flaum (1925–2010), documentary filmmaker
- John Franco (born 1960), former New York Mets baseball player.
- Jacque Fresco (1916–2017), founder and director of the Venus Project.
- Vincent Gardenia (1920–1992), stage, film and television actor.
- Daniel Glass (born 1956), music producer.
- Gary David Goldberg (1944–2013), television producer.
- Leon Goldstein (1932/1933-1999), college administrator who was President of Kingsborough Community College and acting Chancellor of the City University of New York.
- Elliott Gould (born 1938), actor
- Philip Habib (1920–1992), diplomat
- Buddy Hackett (1924–2003), comedian
- Kenny Hickey (born 1966), Johnny Kelly (born 1968), and Peter Steele (1962–2010), (rock band Type O Negative)
- Curly Howard (1903–1952), of the Three Stooges
- Moe Howard (1897–1975), of the Three Stooges
- Shemp Howard (1895–1955), of the Three Stooges
- Richard Jeni (1957–2007), comedian
- Skeery Jones (radio producer) for Z100 NY Elvis Duran and the Morning Show)
- Gabe Kaplan (born 1945), actor, comedian and professional poker player
- Larry King (1933–2021), talk-show host
- Artie Kornfeld (born 1942), songwriter, music producer, creator of Woodstock Music and Arts Festival 1969
- Sandy Koufax (born 1935), baseball player, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Herbie Kronowitz (1923–2012), boxer
- Adam Lazzara (born 1982), lead singer of local band Taking Back Sunday
- Paul Lo Duca (born 1972), baseball player
- Lordz Of Brooklyn hip hop/rock group member Dino Bootz – born and raised in Bensonhurst
- Paul Malignaggi (born 1980), professional boxer
- Tony Mamaluke (born 1977), former Extreme Championship Wrestling star
- Philomena Marano (born 1952), artist
- Paul Marks (1926–2020), scientist
- Robert Merrill (1917–2004), operatic baritone
- Alyssa Milano (born 1972), actress
- Jerrold Nadler (born 1947), Congressman based in Manhattan who grew up in Bensonhurst and represents part of the area.
- Sam Nahem (1915–2004), Major League Baseball pitcher
- Man Parrish (born 1958), music producer and artist
- Rhea Perlman (born 1948), actress.
- Leah Remini (born 1970), actress who has appeared on The King of Queens.
- Carl Sagan (1934–1996), astronomer, teacher and author.
- Robert Sapolsky (born 1957), neuroendocrinologist, professor and author.
- Steve Schirripa (born 1957), actor in HBO's The Sopranos
- John Serry Sr. (1915–2003), concert accordionist, composer, arranger, educator
- Tony Sirico (born 1942), actor in HBO's The Sopranos
- Ralph Snyderman (born 1940), physician, scientist and administrator
- Paul Sorvino (born 1939), actor known for his role in Goodfellas and father of Mira Sorvino.
- Peter Steele (1962–2010), musician.
- Ray Suarez (born 1957), news correspondent.
- Anthony Terlato (1934–2020)), winemaker, Horatio Alger Award winner, "Father of Pinot Grigio" in the U.S.
- Frank P. Tomasulo (born 1947), film professor, academic administrator, journal editor, author
- Alan Vega (1938–2016), vocalist and visual artist.
- Hilma Wolitzer (born 1930), novelist.
- Peter Zimroth (born 1943), attorney who served as the court-appointed monitor of the New York Police Department's policies and practices regarding stop-and-frisk.
A number of high-profile organized crime figures hail from Bensonhurst, including Frankie Yale, Anthony Casso, Paul Castellano, Mikey DiLeonardo, Anthony Gaggi, Carlo Gambino, John Gambino, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Gregory Scarpa, and Carmine Sessa.
- Chinatowns in the United States
- Chinatown, Manhattan (紐約華埠)
- Little Hong Kong/Guangdong(小香港/廣東)
- Little Fuzhou (小福州)
- Chinatown, Brooklyn (布鲁克林華埠)
- Chinatown, Flushing (法拉盛華埠)
- Chinatown, Elmhurst (唐人街, 艾姆赫斯特)
- Corona, Queens
- Chinatown, Avenue U (唐人街, U大道)
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". Communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- Holter, Lauren. "City Living: Bensonhurst, Brooklyn's Little Italy, is now teeming with diversity", AM New York, February 11, 2015. Accessed August 21, 2016. "The neighborhood's Italian roots are still visible in the many eateries and specialty shops nestled along the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn's Little Italy, including Lenny's Pizza, made famous by its cameo in the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever. However, an influx of Chinese, Russian, Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants has diversified the area for a few decades."
- Robbins, Liz. "With an Influx of Newcomers, Little Chinatowns Dot a Changing Brooklyn", The New York Times, April 15, 2015. Accessed August 26, 2016. "As the sidewalks on Eighth Avenue overflow with new arrivals in Sunset Park, Brooklyn's first Chinatown, and grocery stores proliferate along 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn's second Chinatown, immigrants have been pushing southeast toward the ocean. ... Bensonhurst has the largest number of Chinese-born residents of any neighborhood in the city, with 31,658, narrowly edging the populations in Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, according to a 2013 city report that offered the most recent data on immigrant New Yorkers."
- "The Newest New Yorkers; Characteristics of the City's Foreign-born Population", p. 69. New York City Department of City Planning, December 2013. Accessed August 26, 2016.
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- Berman, Eliza. "Why Margot Robbie Thought Her Career Was Over After Making The Wolf of Wall Street", Time, August 4, 2016. Accessed September 6, 2016. "Naomi Lapaglia, the foul-mouthed, platinum-haired lover-turned-wife she played in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, is from Bay Ridge, just a handful of blocks away from Bensonhurst. That's the birthplace of Harley Quinn, the bonkers baddie Robbie portrays in DC Comics' supervillain convention Suicide Squad, out Friday."
- West, Abby. "General Hospital: Maurice Benard on Sonny's journey home to Brooklyn", Entertainment Weekly, November 28, 2011. Accessed September 6, 2016. "'I'm very excited about the stuff I've done in the last month, when Sonny and Kate [Kelly Sullivan] go to Bensonhurst,' says Benard of episodes that kick off today and deal with Sonny's childhood abuse at the hands of his stepfather.... Sonny and Kate leave their upstate New York town for the Brooklyn neighborhood they grew up in as part of an effort to help Sonny – who recently spiraled out of control after Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) left him – deal with his anger/abandonment issues."
- Atkinson, Michael. "Reel Brooklyn: The French Connection: Gravesend/Bensonhurst", Brooklyn Magazine, August 15, 2016. Accessed September 6, 2016. "Friedkin shot and cut this chaos so clearly it practically serves as its own map: after a French hood takes a shot at Hackman's hothead from a rooftop in Gravesend, he boards the elevated B train at Bay 50th Street station, and Hackman grabs someone's LeMans and follows the train at illegal speeds under the platforms, up Stillwell Avenue, north onto 86th Street and then New Utrecht Avenue. The train doesn't stop—the assassin makes the driver blow through the stations, after offing a few transit cops—and the LeMans races it across Bensonhurst for some 26 blocks, through a hairy litany of crashes, near-misses, screaming pedestrians, and flat-out outlaw driving, until the runaway train meets another at 62nd Street Station, and crashes."
- Boyar, Jay. "Dice Man's Ford Fairlane Is One For The Junkyard", Orlando Sentinel, July 13, 1990. Accessed September 6, 2016. "In The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Clay plays the title character, a Dice-like Los Angeles detective (by way of Bensonhurst, N.Y.) who specializes in solving crimes involving the rock-music industry."
- "Keanu Reeves rides through Bensonhurst on horseback". Brooklyn Eagle. July 17, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Barron, James; Stevens, Kimberly; and Brescia, Joe. "Public Lives", The New York Times, May 29, 1998. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Steve Augeri, who sang with bands like Tall Stories and Tyketto in Manhattan in the 1980s, had all but given up on a regular spot with a major group. To pay the bills, he became a house painter in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, then a repairman for the Gap in Manhattan."
- Walters, John. "Donnie Loves Chachi: Who Is Scott Baio, And Why Is He Speaking At The Republican National Convention?", Newsweek, July 18, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2019. "Scott Baio was born September 22, 1960, in the primarily Italian-American Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York."
- Medina, Jennifer. "Studying Tiny Fruit Flies, and Reaping Big Rewards", The New York Times, April 29, 2006. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Dr. Benzer, who grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, continued to make the audience at the news conference chuckle with his anecdotes of researching fruit flies."
- Ratliff, Ben. "Bob Berg, 51, Tenor Saxophonist", The New York Times, December 7, 2002. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Mr. Berg grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and took up the saxophone at 13."
- Staff. "Kerry Butler Spills The Beans on Her Best Man Co-Stars, Tough Brooklyn Upbringing & Intoxicating Hairspray Experience", Broadway.com, March 30, 2012. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Butler dished on this amazing stage experience, then chatted about everything from her childhood in Bensonhurst to a potential Hairspray reunion."
- Sharoni, Erin. "Victor Calderone Comes Full Circle; The techno stalwart takes us on a journey from his Brooklyn roots to fated meetings in Miami...", DJ Mag, August 30, 2016. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Victor Calderone was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a neighborhood once defined by the Jews and Italians who packed its brick-lined blocks."
- Kirsch, Jonathan. "Book Review : From Flawed World to a Flawed Utopia", Los Angeles Times, June 15, 1988. Accessed June 3, 2020. "Rather, Catran insistently returns to the scene of his characters'--and his own--childhood, the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn:"
- Miller, Gregory E. "Vincent D’Onofrio recruits Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke for his new movie", New York Post, March 7, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Born in Bensonhurst but raised in Hawaii, Colorado and Florida, D’Onofrio first earned recognition playing the doughy Private Pyle in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam War drama Full Metal Jacket".
- "Vic Damone, Who Crooned His Way to Postwar Popularity, Dies at 89". The New York Times. February 12, 2018.
- Martin, Douglas (July 28, 2002). "Millie Deegan, 82, Pioneer In Women's Baseball League". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
Mildred Eleanor Deegan was born on Dec. 11, 1919, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst.... She excelled in track and field at Lincoln High School, and after graduation played amateur softball with a team called the Americanettes.
- Darrow, Chuck. "From birth to mirth: A Joey Fatone chronology", The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 4, 2011. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Jan. 28, 1977: Joseph Anthony Fatone Jr. born to Joseph and Phyllis Fatone in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N.Y."
- Specter, Michael. "How Anthony Fauci Became America’s Doctor An infectious-disease expert’s long crusade against some of humanity’s most virulent threats.", The New Yorker, April 20, 2020. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Fauci grew up in southwest Brooklyn, first in Bensonhurst and later in Dyker Heights, where his family ran a pharmacy and lived in an apartment upstairs."
- Fortuna, Matt. "Sports and Entourage were a classic match", The Athletic, May 29, 2020. Accessed August 24, 2020. "This was not out of character for the Bensonhurst-bred Jerry Ferrara, whose get-up evolved from an audition.""
- Rosenblum, Constance. "Brooklyn boy grows up and OUT", New York Daily News, January 30, 1977. Accessed August 24, 2020. "These kids adore Pumping Iron, and what they love best about it is Lou Ferrigno, a two-time Mr. Universe from Bensonhurst, who is featured in the movie."
- Chambers, Andrea. "Harvey Fierstein, the Gay Torchbearer, Could Be Queen of the Tonys", People (magazine), June 6, 1983. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Fierstein’s unlikely roots were in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which was the home of Jackie Gleason’s The Honeymooners."
- Martin, Douglas. "Marshall Flaum, Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 85", The New York Times, October 8, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- Mancari, Jim. "Like Father, Like Son In the Franco Family", The Tablet (Brooklyn), June 21, 2012. Accessed September 21, 2019. "One of those ballplayers was J.J. Franco, the son of long-time New York Mets lefty relief pitcher John Franco. John, a Bensonhurst native, spent 21 years in professional baseball – 14 with the Mets."
- Gore, Jeff. "The view from Venus; Jacque Fresco designed a society without politics, poverty and war. Will it ever leave the drawing board?", Orlando Weekly, October 12, 2011. September 21, 2019. "Jacque Fresco was 13 years old when the Great Depression began. The precipitating event – the crash of the stock market in the final days of October 1929 – occurred less than 10 miles away from his home at the corner of 67th Street and 20th Avenue in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood."
- Grimes, William. "Vincent Gardenia, Character Actor, Is Dead at 71", The New York Times, December 10, 1992. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Vincent Gardenia, a character actor known for his work in theater and television and his supporting roles in the films Bang the Drum Slowly and Moonstruck, was found dead yesterday in his hotel room in Philadelphia. He was 71 years old and lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn."
- "Daniel Glass, 35 General manager, EMI Records Group North America", Crain's New York Business. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Raised in Bensonhurst, Mr. Glass was a premed student at Brooklyn College."
- Barnes, Mike. "Family Ties' Creator Gary David Goldberg Dies at 68", The Hollywood Reporter, June 23, 2013. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Goldberg was born on June 25, 1944, in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn and raised in a noisy apartment building (think the Kramdens' place in The Honeymooners) that was crowded with his caring, extended family."
- Firestone, David. "Public Lives; An Amiable Defender of Colleges Under Fire", The New York Times, February 6, 1998. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Mr. Goldstein, 65, is a bearish man with a slow, earnest speaking style and the sure-footed Brooklyn instincts of a politician rather than an educator. Born in Bensonhurst, he worked his way up through CUNY from an instructor's post, and long ago decided that he preferred the backslap to the cannon-fire political style practiced by Mr. Giuliani."
- Houberman, J. "The Goulden Age", The Village Voice, April 10, 2007. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Yeah, baby! Gould rocketed out of nowhere (or rather, Bensonhurst by way of Broadway) to the fifth spot on the 1970 exhibitor’s poll of box-office stars."
- Manegold, Catherine S. "Philip C. Habib, a Leading U.S. Diplomat, Dies at 72", The New York Times, May 27, 1992 Accessed August 26, 2020. "A Lebanese Maronite Christian who grew up in a predominantly Jewish section of Bensonhurst, Mr. Habib became Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in 1976."
- Furse, Jane H. "N.Y.-born funnyman kills self, cops say", New York Daily News, March 12, 2007. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Jeni, who grew up in Bensonhurst and graduated from Hunter College, moved to the West Coast years ago, but would stop into the club when he was in New York and perform sometimes."
- Alexander, John. "Beloved Brooklyn-based TV series Welcome Back, Kotter debuted 44 years ago", Brooklyn Reporter, September 9, 2019. Accessed August 26, 2020. "The show debuted on Sept. 9, 1975. Comedian Gabe Kaplan played title character Gabe Kotter, who returns to teach at his alma mater. Kaplan grew up in Bensonhurst and attended New Utrecht High School, which doubled as the fictional James Buchanan High in the TV series."
- Harris, Elizabeth A. "Not All Make the Cut in a City Filled With Landmarks", The New York Times, October 1, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Some have sought, for example, an evaluation of a cheerless little spot underneath a bridge, or a seemingly unremarkable house in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which happened to be the childhood home of the talk-show host Larry King."
- Belknap, Johnny. "The Jews who created Woodstock; They weren’t rock legends but, 50 years ago, they made rock history", The Jewish Chronicle, August 14, 2020. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Back then record labels ruled the music world, and Lang blagged his way into Capitol Records to meet their youngest executive Artie Kornfeld, also Jewish, also from Bensonhurst."
- Lipman, Steve. "Where Have You Gone, Sandy Koufax?; Catching up with the baseball legend, as the 50th anniversary of his iconic Yom Kippur day off approaches. An exclusive Jewish Week interview.", The Jewish Week, March 12, 2014. Accessed August 26, 2020. "Koufax, who grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, was (and remains, as far as is known) devoutly secular, with little formal Jewish education and (according to all accounts) no bar mitzvah."
- Purdum, Todd S. "Man in the News; Persistence Pays Off: Jerrold Lewis Nadler", The New York Times, September 25, 1992. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn on June 13, 1947, in a block that is now part of his district, Mr. Nadler first became active in politics as a student at Columbia in the 60s."
- Myers, Marc. "Poms Actress Rhea Perlman on Her Wild Ride From Coney Island to Emmy Winner; The Brooklyn native was shy growing up, but her humor surfaced on school stages", The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019. "My grandparents also lived in Coney Island then. When I was 3, my parents moved to Bay Parkway in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst section."
- Mcniff, Eamon; Bentley, John; Sancho, Miguel; Welsh, Susan; and Effron, Lauren. "Leah Remini on Her Break With the Church of Scientology: 'I Wanted to Be The One to Say It'", ABC News, October 30, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Leah Remini grew up in the tight-knit Italian neighborhood of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York."
- Dicke, William. "Carl Sagan, an Astronomer Who Excelled at Popularizing Science, Is Dead at 62", The New York Times, December 21, 1996. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Carl Sagan was born on Nov. 9, 1934, in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, where his father was a cutter in a clothing factory."
- Brown, Patricia Leigh. "At Home With: Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky; Family Man With a Foot In the Veld", The New York Times, April 19, 2001. Accessed September 21, 2019. "Dr. Sapolsky, 43, grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a place he describes as 'a true tribal enclave.'"
- Hamill, Denis. "The Man Inside Paulie Walnuts; After life as a young hood, 'Sopranos' star enjoys his role as a make-believe gangster", New York Daily News, January 16, 2020. Accessed August 26, 2020. "In one year, it's like I got a life transplant. Sometimes I gotta remind myself I'm Tony Sirico, from Bensonhurst."
- Snyderman, Ralph. A Chancellor's Tale: Transforming Academic Medicine, JSTOR. Accessed August 26, 2020. "From the perspective of my humble beginnings in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the likelihood of my being offered this lofty position would have seemed so remote as to be considered impossible."
- Hamill, Denis. "That Championship Director Paul Sorvino Goes Behind The Camera For A Cable Film Of The Prizewinning Play", New York Daily News, May 16, 1999. Accessed August 24, 2020. "W hen he was a 4-year-old kid in Bensonhurst, Paul Sorvino told his mother, "I'm going to be an actor."
- Benitez-Eves, Tina. "A Death in the Family: Peter Steele of Type O Negative Remembered By Bandmate Johnny Kelly", Billboard (magazine), April 14, 2020. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Born Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn on Jan. 4, 1962, and raised in Bensonhurst, Steele was in bands with childhood friend and future Type O keyboardist-producer Josh Silver since their teens."
- "The Old Neighborhood: A conversation with Ray Suarez; Land & People", The Trust for Public Land. Accessed August 24, 2020. "[Q:] Tell us about your old neighborhood. [A:] It was Brooklyn. I was born in Crown Heights, on the edge of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and when I was three, we moved to Bensonhurst."
- Asimov, Eric. "Anthony Terlato, Who Brought Pinot Grigio to the U.S., Dies at 86 In a 60-year career as a wine importer and marketer, he introduced Americans to lesser-known labels and shaped tastes.", The New York Times, July 23, 2020. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Anthony John Terlato was born on May 11, 1934, in Brooklyn and grew up in the Bensonhurst neighborhood."
- Kaminer, Michael. "Alan Vega, Suicide Frontman and Jewish Punk Rock Pioneer, Dies at 78; The Jewish singer in the electronic, punk, minimalist two-man band Suicide and prolific solo artist died this weekend.", Haaretz, July 19, 2016. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Born in 1938 as Boruch Alan Bormowitz in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Vega studied fine arts and physics at Brooklyn College."
- Van Gelder, Lawrence. "In Her Novels, The Strength of Joy", The New York Times, November 6, 1977. Accessed September 21, 2019. "The middle child among three daughters, Mrs. Wolitzer grew up in Bensonhurst, where her parents—her father a retired dress contractor, her mother a housewife—still live."
- Goodman, J. David. "Court-Appointed Police Monitor Has Fought for City and Against It", The New York Times, September 21, 2019. "Born on Jan. 11, 1943, Peter Lenard Zimroth, the son of a dry cleaner and a homemaker, grew up in Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn."
- Media related to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn at Wikimedia Commons