From Forest to City: How Midwood Got Its Name

Avenue M and East 17th Street in 1932. Photo via Untapped Cities


Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.

Home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel, Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood is a largely residential area, abounding in kosher eateries, historic synagogues, and the types of local mom-and-pop shops that are increasingly disappearing in most other sections of the borough.

Hebrew signs dot the southern Brooklyn enclave’s commercial strips and mosques proliferate the area as well.

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Joy Fong Chow Mein on Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue in 1971. Photo via Brooklyn Memories

Midwood’s title, anglicized from its original Dutch name “Midwout” (“middle woods”), was assigned by settlers in reference to the area’s former state as a dense woodland located midway between Bushwick — then known as the town of Boswyck — and the town of Breuckelen.

One of the many sub-nabes that make up Flatbush, Midwood is today known for its polyglot community, low crime rate, and the famous pizzeria Di Fara’s.

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An around-the-block line for Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza. Photo via Google Plus

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Brooklyn’s Priciest Block is in Midwood
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Made It From Midwood to the Supreme Court
Cocaine Break-ins and Broadway Strolls: The Life of a 1960s Midwood Pharmacist

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