That Brooklyn is not a monolith is not a new idea, but a new map that breaks down the murder rate by neighborhood shows again just how different the experiences of Brooklynites can be.
While the waterfront neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights and Carroll Gardens are about as dangerous as the tropical paradise city of Honolulu, the interior neighborhoods of Brownsville, Crown Heights and East New York are more comparable to Oakland, Newark and Chicago, respectively.
The comparables come from a map by data visualization guru Ben Wellington of I Quant NY, a site which breaks down the data of New York City with unique rigor. He made the map using Bushwick mapping platform CARTO.
Further west, Bedford-Stuyvesent is comparable to Buffalo, and Bushwick’s murder rate compares to Houston and Fort Worth. Downtown Brooklyn and Clinton Hill most resemble Jacksonville and Nashville, according to the map.
As Wellington shows, maps can sometimes get to the truth of a place more intuitively than other methods of explanation can. The news, for instance, is different in different places. In Williamsburg, for instance, the news of the weekend was the spectacle of shoppers flocking to the enormous wall of LaCroix seltzer water at a new Whole Foods. In Brownsville it was, among other things, a shooting at a house party, outside of which police found a 23-year-old man gravely wounded, who would soon die.
At the risk of being didactic, the difference of about five miles up Broadway is the cognitive distance between Honolulu and Newark.