Now home to Brooklyn’s Chinatown, this historic area is bordered by four neighborhoods: Greenwood Heights in the north, Borough Park in the east), Bay Ridge to the south and Upper New York Bay to the west. Originally a European immigrant community that formed around the Bush Terminal, the largest shipping, warehousing and manufacturing complex in the U.S., and later the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Sunset Park experienced its greatest boom between 1895 and the end of World War II. The building of shipping and trucking facilities in nearby New Jersey gave rise to suburban sprawl, and many of Sunset Park’s immigrants left the area in the 1950s and early ‘60s in pursuit of employment.
The area’s empty rowhouses lost value, creating real estate opportunities for new immigrants from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. These people brought a vibrant mix of Latin shops, design and flavors to the area, some of which still remains today. The increasing Latino population, coupled with a mid-1970s wave of Christians from India, inspired much of Sunset Park’s still-lingering Norwegian-American community to bid the neighborhood farvel ('goodbye' in Norwegian) by the 1980s.
As those immigrants exited, Cantonese people were taking their place. Soon after, a larger influx of Chinese from Fuzhou started moving in, and since the late 2000s, a Mandarin-speaking community has started to grow here. The result is a full-fledged Chinatown in Sunset Park, a district of Buddhist temples, shops, restaurants and grocery markets often called Little Fuzhou.