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Crown Heights is known for its street carnivals and strong Caribbean community. Bordered by Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights was initially named Crow Hill because of its hilly landscape running from Utica Avenue to Classon Avenue. The name Crown Heights came about after the creation of Crown Street in 1916.
In the early 20th century, the neighborhood was home to many upper-class residents, who inhabited elegant brownstones along Eastern Parkway -- the main thoroughfare. By the mid-20th century, the area became known for its large middle-class orthodox Jewish population. The neighborhood's character began to change yet again, as more Jamaican-born residents moved into the area. In 1964, organizers of a large Caribbean culture celebration moved their annual parade from Harlem to Crown Heights. To this day, the annual Labor Day carnival attracts up to 3 million people each year.
Today, Crown Heights is experiencing a resurgence, attracting artists and young professionals alike. The neighborhood alternates between ornate architecture and older buildings, depending on the area. Moreover, residents of Crown Heights are equally diverse, with Hasidic families and Caribbean residents part of the area's 'great melting pot' aesthetic. The neighborhood's close proximity to subways and popular destination spots like Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, make it a good draw for residents priced out of Park Slope.
Crown Heights is home to a number of landmarks, including the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Medgar Evers College and the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement at 770 Eastern Parkway. Other landmarks include the Weeksville Heritage Center and the famous Ebbets Field Apartments, located on the site of the former Dodgers home field.
ProCro -- as the new Prospect Heights/Crown Heights area is called -- features several noteworthy dining and nightlife options. Tom's Restaurant is guaranteed to have a long line. Across the street, Sunshine Co. is a hot brunch spot. Other noteworthy establishments include Five Myles art gallery and the Islands, a restaurant that offers an intimate dining experience.