Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend & Brighton Beach

While Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach share their waterfront status — Sheepshead originally having been a barrier island that was artificially extended, and Brighton Beach abutting the Atlantic Ocean — Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay share the distinction of having eclectic names. Sheepshead Bay was named for the bay’s native sheepshead fish, Gravesend — Brooklyn’s only settlement with English roots — derives either from the town of s’Gravenzande, Holland, or Kent England’s Gravesend (the two possibilities are contested). Sheepshead and Brighton are defined by their predominant Russian community, many having immigrated from the former Soviet Union, while Gravesend has a more polyglot makeup.