Is Marine park in Brooklyn safe?

Posted by Megz 
Is Marine park in Brooklyn safe?
August 17, 2005 01:20AM

Hey there again... I am moving to Brooklyn near Marine park I maybe spelling it wrong but hey at least I am trying lol...
Someone said to me that its a bad part of brooklyn. If you know can you please let me know. Thank you!
Re: Is Marine park in Brooklyn safe?
August 17, 2005 01:41AM
I've driven out there. Seemed like a clean, safe place. Not much to do. Lots of residential homes and a public golf course. Curious why have you choosen Marine Park?
Re: Is Marine park in Brooklyn safe?
August 17, 2005 04:37PM
I believe this is a safe area. I think it's a bit far from the subway, if you care about it. You would have to take a bus to get to the subway. If you like that area of Brooklyn, move closer to Midwood and closer to th subway. Subway is everything in New York, I believe.
Saw your question online. I have lived in the heighborhood adjacent to Marine Park (Flatlands) for several years now. The Marine Park area, like the Flatlands neighborhood is clean, quite, safe (well as safe as you can be in a city as large as this) and family oriented. There are many young families in the area, and for whatever reason you will find no other place in Brooklyn with a higher concentration of American flags displayed in the front yards. Many police officers and firemen live in the area. There are a handful of bars and gathering places, mostly on Flatbush Avenue, but nothing to compare to the nightlife of say, Bay Ridge (another Bklyn neighborhood). As someone mentioned it's in a two-fare zone - so either get a car or be prepared to catch a bus to the train if you plan to head into the city. As to the housing - most homes are in the 2 and 3 family type. There are few if any apartment buildings. Which is a good thing: you don't have many people living on top of people. Hope this was helpful - I think anyone would like it here.
Re: Is Marine park in Brooklyn safe?
September 09, 2005 03:52PM
I live in Marine Park, it is a very safe neighborhood with tree lined blocks and no alternate side of the street parking. Depending on the subway you take into the city the bus ride is only 5 minutes on a limited bus. There are also express Command bus services that will take you into Manhattan.

Brooklyn, N.Y. l930. The family came down from Boston in l928. We purchased a new home in what was to be called Marine Park. I was sitting on the steps of my front porch with two newfound friends. We soon discovered that we had three things in common: we were all named Bill, four years old and not allowed to cross the street. Bill Phillips (Phil) and Bill Horohoe (Harry) and I shared a lot of life. I managed to keep a close friendship with Phil until his death at 56. I am still in close touch with Harry after 66 years.

Mrs. Horohoe was a wonderful woman, but she worried and always kept a close watch on Harry. This tight rein caused Harry to miss a lot of adventure in the remote parts of the neighborhood. Those early years tried Harry’s patience. He had to watch as Phil and I broke loose. As I look back now, I realize Mrs. Horohoe had good reason to worry.

Until the time we were six years old, we were more or less confined to the block. We soon realized that if we stayed out of trouble, we could go anywhere. Our parents trusted us along as they thought we were in a safe environment. Our parents always had a very narrow interpretation of safe environment. Catching butterflies to them was the safe environment. Our interpretation was much broader, only limited by death’s door.

We started to get the itch to roam, like cubs wanting to leave the cave. Our parents loosened the reins a little and let the three of us wander in a nearby field to catch butterflies. We loved it. We competed with each other. The most prized butterfly was tiny, blue and much smaller than the plentiful white and the rarer yellow. The large orange and blacks were very common in those days. (This was long before the advent of the Gypsy Moth spray). We never used a net or anything resembling one. All we needed was the lid of a five-gallon tar can. The lids were easy to find because of the abundance of building material in our new neighborhood.

There were a large variety of butterflies, and they were plentiful. It’s painful to think that some of those species are now extinct. I can remember the pleasure of stalking a big black butterfly with blue circles on its wings. I waited breathlessly for it to land. I had to make my approach with the utmost stealth. Creeping close with the lid in hand, I pounced, being careful not to crush it. I just used enough pressure to hold it against the soft grass. Oh, the summer air, the smell of the grass and the flowers, there is definitely a time to catch butterflies.

The lid of the tar can reminds me of the unique time we grew up in. Up and down the block a whole new neighborhood was going up. Little did the builders realize that they were erecting a ghost town. The Great Depression was about to descend, causing these new homes, including those partially built, to stand empty and unfinished until l940. A new ice age was about to hold us in a time lock. For roughly ten years, all construction in our neighborhood ceased.

While the building was still going on we set up a stand to sell lemonade to the Italian bricklayers. One of them talked us into pinching a bottle of wine from Phil’s house to add to the lemonade. We did it, they drank it, and Phil got killed when his parents found out.

Then one day the only people left were the watches. These were the men hired to keep an eye on all the blocks of empty houses. Most of the people who had moved into the new homes soon lost them as unemployment spread.

Once our parents set us free to catch butterflies, we adopted the life of the butterfly. We fluttered around the neighborhood; what a neighborhood. Can you imagine what fun it was to have all those empty houses and construction sites to run around in?

The game that is called “man-hunt” today was called “ringaleaveo” in our time. We played that for hours in the ghost town. I remember how frightened I was when I was being chased along a narrow foundation that was a little too high for my taste. Of course, you always had to be on the alert for the cry of “CHICKEE THE WATCHIE.” When you heard that cry of alarm you immediately wished you were the fastest kid in the neighborhood. Out of nowhere a man appeared waving a piece of two-by-four and cursing you in Italian. The man bearing down on us was the watchman, hired to protect the property. Being chased was part of the excitement of growing up. Once in a while he would catch one of us. He would scare us, which would motivate us to run a little faster the next time we heard “CHICKEE.”

Because of the construction coming to an abrupt halt, there were stacks of building material all about. Whenever we needed two-by-fours for building a clubhouse or stilts, we copped it from the stacks with a watchful eye for you-know-who. I remember even stilts had a season. For about two weeks every kid in the neighborhood walked around on stilts of various heights, depending on how much moxie he had.

As soon as we got tired of our stilts we turned to building scooters. These scooters were very simple to build. All you needed was one skate, a two-by-four about three feet long and one of those old wooden orange crates. You took the skate apart and placed two wheels on each end of the two-by-four. You then nailed the crate to the front of the board. In order to have something to hold on to while you scooted, you nailed two strips of wood across the top. They protruded at an angle, about six inches from either side.

After completing this operation we hunted up another orange crate to make rubber band guns. In those days, the crate was made up of three frames, one on either end and one in the middle. We broke the frames loose and with a little sawing and chiseling, we produced about twelve rubber band guns. The little one-inch squares of linoleum that the gun shot could take your eye out at thirty feet. After we had our scooters and guns ready for action, we had our neighborhood war. Nobody lost an eye.

Shooting a game of marbles was a great sport. That was another season. There were a variety of different games you could play with marbles, but one was the most popular. Somebody said, “five up,” then about four boys placed several marbles apiece inside a drawn dirt circle, known as “the pot”. The brightest of the contestants yelled “LARRY!” That immediately designated him as the last shooter, which was the cat bird seat of marbles. The second quickest lad yelled, “NEXT TO LARRY” and so forth until the order of shooting was established.

The game had its own terminology, “rounds,” “double rounds,” “heist,” “no heist,” “killer,” “globolers,” “purees,” “emmies,” “fivers” and “teners.” By the end of the season I had managed to lose not only all of my marbles, but a great many belonging to my brother, Bob. He was deadly. He attacked a pot as if his life was at stake. He had unbelievable concentration. I think he was the first person to be able to control a moving object with his mind. The marble he shot wouldn’t dare stray from its appointed path. You know, I never saw Bob play golf or shoot pool, but if I ever had to face him, I would want a spot.

When I was cleaned out, I dipped into his supply. The only way the guys could get their marbles back from Bob was to play me. Occasionally, I paid the price. Bob did not take lightly to marble thieves. He was a strong believer in capital punishment. My saintly Mother, by placing her body between that raging maniac and me, prevented a punishment that definitely did not fit the crime.

Phil and I, with a lot of courage, occasionally borrowed Bob’s B.B. gun. The Daisy pump gun provided a lot of sport. It was well worth the risk of Bob’s wrath. Next door, our Jewish neighbors lost their house and left a large supply of Yiddish phonograph records in their basement. We carted the records into a nearby field for a skeet shoot. One fellow threw a record into the air, or rolled it on the ground, while the other guy took a pot shot at it.

B.B. guns were quite common in those days. Phil and I used to forage for empty soda bottles so that we could redeem them for the nickel deposit to purchase B.B.s. We knew of a doctor in the neighborhood who always had a supply of bottles in his garage. We foraged them. Five bottles got you a five pound bag of B.B.s. Kids were always eager to show you where a B.B. had hit them. It would leave a definite indentation in the skin. I regret to say that one boy did suffer minor eye damage.

When we were about nine, our parents could no longer keep track of us. We became free spirits. We soon discovered that our homes bordered an area composed of fifteen thousand acres that was originally purchased from the Keshawchquerin Indians in 1854. This land was composed of fertile salt marshes, verdant meadows adorned with wild flowers, and jungle-like thickets of scrub and vines dominated by a sea of cattails. Myrtle warblers, grasshopper sparrows, cottontail rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, horseshoe crabs and toads are a small sampling of the animals that inhabited the area in and around Gerritsen Creek. It was a great area for small boys to camp, fish, dig, build fires, fly kites, catch butterflies, and live in our own world, free from the worriers.

Phil’s father was a crack electrician, but was unemployed for several years. Just to keep himself busy, I guess, he built Phil and me two huge red and blue box-kites. Boy, did they fly! I never saw kites go higher. They were as steady as if they were nailed to the sky. And pull! If he had made them one inch bigger we would have been airborne. I remember once when Phil’s cord broke, we chased that kite for about a half mile before it finally touched down just short of the millpond. I have built and flown a lot of kites since then, but I never came near the expertise of Mr. Phillips.

I remember one day he presented Phil and me with two bows and a bunch of arrows. Both had been handcrafted out of oak. I’m talking arrows. They penetrated an inch of wood. An old-fashioned tin can was butter at fifty yards. I have no doubt that one of our arrows would have gone clear through a person. The bows were so powerful we could send an arrow well over a hundred yards. I remember how my oldest brother Dick enjoyed using mine. When I look back now, I realize those bows were awesome. I wouldn’t let my boys go near them today. Mr. Phillips was tops.

“OUT “

In the early thirties, Brooklyn had some great snow falls. After a heavy fall there would be just enough cars on the road for a night of hitching. The ideal time was be the Christmas holidays. Our parents would let us stay out until 9. We gathered in small packs at intersections with our sleds.

I recall a group of us looking up at a street light, as it reflected off the falling flakes. We stood there with our mouths open, catching the snow, not an easy trick.

Eventually a car, with its chains clattering in the night, would slow down to make a turn. The back bumpers in those days were not streamlined and jutted out, allowing for a good firm grip. As the car slowed, we would all take a bellywop at the bumper. Some guys got it, some missed, but the fellows who missed still had a chance to grab the back rudders of the sleds that made the hitch. Sometimes we would be three abreast, or a chain of sleds 3 or 4 long. It was fun and exciting, we moved along at a fast clip. It wasn’t for the faint of heart. If bad luck had its way, you would hit stretch of dry pavement, sparks would fly and you would feel as if your arms were about to leave their sockets. You would hold on as long as you could, hoping that you could ride out the dry spot.

If the driver became aware of the chain he would either stop and chase us, or, if he were a good sport, he would take evasive action, and try and snap us off. A fast corner would do the trick, and we ended up in a snow bank.

We picked ourselves up, had a good laugh, and got ready for the next hitch. Sometimes we lost a sled in the action and spent the rest of the evening on a friend’s back. Nine out of ten sleds in those days were Flexible Flyers. They were sturdy and got most of us through our youth.

After hitching a couple of hours we were frozen stiff. We headed for my cellar to thaw out. I can still smell and feel the heat that came out of that old coal-burning furnace. We dried our gloves on it as we huddled around it and shivered.

Those old furnaces had two drawbacks. If we forgot to stoke and bank them at night it would be murder getting out of bed with the fire out. The other problem was lugging the ash cans up the cellar stairs and putting them out on the sidewalk. My brothers and I did not look forward to ash day.

You can imagine how grateful the guys on the Department of Sanitation were when the neighborhood switched to oil.

About ten days after the Christmas holidays, the neighbors took down their trees and put them out in front of their homes so the garbage men could include them in their pickup. We shuddered when we thought of a beautiful Christmas tree being stuffed into a garbage truck. Thanks to the kids in the neighborhood, very few trees ever saw the back of that truck. We devised a much more fitting end to the object that had brought so much pleasure during the holidays. As soon as the trees started showing up in front of the houses, the gathering began. We scrounged the neighborhood that whole week, amassing a stockpile of trees. It was highly competitive.

Each gang of kids strove to have the biggest pile. It was a common sight to see two boys lugging a tree down the middle of the street. We stashed them in secret hideaways, preferably in somebody’s back yard. We were always acutely aware of tree thieves. All trees were fair game, no matter where you found them, even in somebody’s back yard. When you were carrying you had to be wary of treejackers, the big guys. If you don’t know why boys put such an effort into gathering a bunch of Christmas trees, than you never saw one burn.

Finally, when we had scrounged out the neighborhood, we started getting giddy with anticipation. Late in the afternoon we moved them out to a desolate area in the grassland. We had about a thousand acres of barren land surrounding our neighborhood. When night fell we were ready. The trees were as dry as that proverbial bone, yet still filled with pine tar, begging to light up the night.

The trees were stacked into a huge pile, made up of about fifty trees. Get the picture: night, dark, cold, in the middle of nowhere, not a parent to be seen—we were ready.

With fiendish grins we attacked the pile from all directions with our matches. At first there was heard a low crackling that was being emitted from each individual puff of smoke, then small orange flames started to appear on the circumference of the pile, and then those Christmas trees did what only they could do. In seconds an orange ball of flame the size of a house exploded from inside the pile. The heat was so intense, your lungs burned and your skin pained.

From the summit of this mountain of fire a huge shower of sparks was sucked high into the dark sky. The sheer beauty and horror of it forbade you to move. There was only the fire and the black night.

The tree that one-week before was used to demonstrate God’s love had also the potential to show us vividly hell’s fire. It appeared too awesome to be in our midst. We felt we had created something too diabolical to grasp, an evil genie springing forth from the depths.

In a short while it was all over and night was blacker. How could someone put that into a garbage truck?
There remained on the ground only the charred skeletons. I remember for many years they lay over the landscape marking all the Christmases past. It reminded me of the Great Plains, when they were strewn with the bones of the buffalo after our forefathers had almost exterminated them.

To this day, when I visit a home at Christmas and the host asks, “What do you think of our tree?” I always think of it burning, but I just say, “Beautiful.”

* * *

“HEY, BILL, YOU COMING OUT?” None of the guys ever thought of using a doorbell. I think the reason we did this was to keep a safe distance from the parents. They were not to be trusted. They asked too many questions, like, “Where are you going?” When I got outside there was old Phil, redheaded, freckled face, short pants, no shirt, wearing a beat up pair of Keds. On his knees, he wore those badges of an active life, two scabs. He was clutching a hammer in one hand and a bag of nails in the other.

“Hey, Phil, what’s up?”

He smiled, “How would you like to build a raft down at the millpond and sail it down the creek, out into the bay?” The bay was the Atlantic Ocean.

“Wow, what a great idea. Wait one minute and don’t talk so loud.”

There are some things that parents are too old to understand. We knew they would prefer thinking we were out catching butterflies. Not that we had anything against catching butterflies.

His nerve was only exceeded by Phil’s imagination. I quickly disappeared into the cellar. In seconds I appeared with my Father’s hammer and pockets filled with nails. We made a hasty retreat out of my alley, before I could get a call back on Dad’s hammer.

When we arrived at the pond, we had no trouble gathering up driftwood along the shore. Our building strategy leaned more to haste than to stability or beauty. All we knew about shipbuilding was that wood floated, you needed a place to sit and oars to get you where you wanted to go. We built a raft that any two ten-year-old boys would be proud of. We poled off and, in a short time; we were out in the middle of the creek. With the help of our paddles and mainly the tide we made fairly good headway. The creek was about three hundred yards wide, and about thirty feet deep in the channel. It was about a mile out to the bay. I remember a four mast Spanish training ship had once dropped anchor right in our channel, I saw it with my own eyes. I often wondered why she had sailed up into that desolate area of water. I think it was a hell of a mistake. I figured the poor navigator thought he was entering Sheepshead Bay, a body of water that opened about a mile further down the coast.

Phil and I were out on the raft about an hour, moving at a good clip, about to leave the creek and head into the open bay. My instinct to survive made me conscious of two facts that had a strong relationship to each other: one was that most of the wood we had used was waterlogged, and our raft was turning into a submarine. It was not riding as high out of the water as when we first started. The second fact was that I had not won any swimming medals lately. I informed the redhead of the seaworthiness of our vessel and my lack of swimming prowess. He quickly attempted to put my mind at ease by informing me that he could swim, meaning good enough for both of us. His confidence in the raft had not wavered. This guy was made out of Huck Finn stuff.

As we reached the opening of the bay, the wind and the water kicked up. We were in complete agreement that we were in deep trouble and that this might be the end of us. As the bay opened in front of us, it became obvious that we were running out of shoreline to make a landfall. We soon realized to alter course on a raft that was going with the tide, was one tough job. After a terrific and frightening struggle, we just barely made it ashore. When I got home that evening late for supper, my Mother was ready to go around the bend. She used her favorite expression, “I’m going to tear the skin off of you.” I always tried to picture my self without skin. I condensed my adventure into that one word that saves mothers so much needless worry. “Out, just out”. Dad’s hammer is still at the bottom of the Creek.

* * *

Phil was a pilot during the war. God should have made him a bird, he lived to fly. I think he flew every weekend of his life. When he came home after the war we flew over that same inlet. He had this old biplane, dual-control, with open cockpits. It really wasn’t his. He had a summer job spraying crops out on Long Island. It was my first flight and Phil had no mercy. To Phil, fun and danger were synonyms. We skimmed over the old millpond, and then up, up, and away. I felt like I was in a World War I fighter plane, one of those flying coffins. I mean this crate was old. All that crate needed was those twin Vickers that Phil could fire through the propeller at the Baron, and a Lewis for me to nail those specks, diving out of the sun.

Phil had one flying weakness that he managed to conceal from the Air Corps and the “Bouche”. He was the only guy I ever knew that, when he looked into the sun had a sneezing fit. I had shellfish. Phil had the sun.

He insisted I take the stick for awhile. When I did I had a strange feeling that I was parked, till I noticed the wings were flapping. I didn’t know wings did that and I didn’t want to know. I logged about five minutes, just long enough to show him I too was made of the right stuff. I was amazed that I was flying that crate. I would have much preferred being back on that flimsy raft, fighting the current.

Phil, who had spent his life as a test pilot and aircraft designer, died in his sleep at fifty-six. I never forgave him.


I am a child that lives in Marine Park. There are many families that live in the neighborhood. There is a sad legened of a girl haunting the neighborhood. Its true but the neighborhood is nice. Many teenagers and children roam around because its safe to go out alone. But a few listed pedifiles. I may be young 12 to be exact but the neighborhood is safe. A few trouble makers but all together it is a great place great elementary schools and middle schools. Its a happy place and i can say its fairly stable. Mostly families with children should move here because there is mostly children.
It's very safe. School is good, as well. Nice neighborhood.

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