Bensonhurst derives its name from Arthur W. Benson, the former president of Brooklyn Gas, who in 1835 began buying farmland that formerly belonged to the Polhemus family. Between 1835 and 1850 Benson divided the farmland into lots that were sold in the following decades as part of the newly created suburb of Bensonhurst, which was annexed into the 30th Ward of Brooklyn in the 1890s. Today, Bensonhurst is bounded by 86th Street in the Southwest, 60th Street in the Northeast, 14th Avenue in the Northwest, and Bay Parkway to Avenue P to McDonald Avenue in the Southeast.
In the early 1900s, Bensonhurst became home to many Jewish and Italian immigrants; following WWII, there was an influx of immigrants from southern Italy, and most of the Jewish population left the neighborhood. In the 1990s, immigrants and native New Yorkers alike began coming to the area and establishing local restaurants and businesses. Today, Bensonhurst is a cultural melting pot and ever growing in popularity for new residents and native Brooklynites.
A bright and breezy day is perfect for a stroll through Bensonhurst Park, which is just outside of the neighborhood, where one can find tennis courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds. From there, one can see the water and stare out onto the open bay. For shopping, Eighty-Sixth Street is the outdoor mall of Bensonhurst where one can find large scale department stores to small scale shops and boutiques.