Madison is a purely residential subsection of Sheepshead Bay, located just south of Midwood. Named after its own James Madison High School, its borders are Kings Highway to the north, Avenue U to the south, Ocean Avenue to the west, and Nostrand Avenue to the east. Madison uses the ZIP code 11229. The area is served by Brooklyn Community Board 15.
Sheepshead Bay is a bay separating the mainland of Brooklyn, New York City, from the eastern portion of Coney Island, the latter originally a barrier island but now effectively an extension of the mainland with peninsulas both east (the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach) and west (the neighborhoods of Coney Island and Sea Gate). The mouth of the bay is about 1.0 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Marine Park, Brooklyn. The area is part of Brooklyn Community Board 15.
The name “Sheepshead Bay” applies to the neighborhood north of the bay as well as the bay itself. Sheepshead Bay was named for the sheepshead, an edible fish found in the bay’s waters. The fish, now rare, can still be caught in the local waters occasionally.
The bay itself was originally the easterly entrance to Coney Island Creek, but the filling-in of the central part of this waterway during the 1930s, in conjunction with construction of the Shore Parkway portion of the Belt Parkway, eliminated access to that waterway. At the same time, the bay was widened, deepened, and bulkheaded at its western end. Recreational fishing fleets are now located there, though the fishing fleets have been shrinking every year and are being replaced by dinner boats. Holocaust Memorial Park, located at the western end of the bay, is used throughout the year for commemorative events.
In the last decade of the 20th century, a real estate boom brought the reopening of the landmark Lundy Brothers seafood restaurant, which closed again in 2007; a grocery store now takes its place. Soviet-style restaurants/nightclubs, such as Paradise and Baku Palace, have opened along the waterfront, due to an influx of Soviet immigrants to the area. Sheepshead Bay has also experienced a growth of condominium developments, and on Emmons Avenue, the northern shoreline street along the bay, are piers boasting an active seafood market and tour boats.
Several public schools serve the community: Sheepshead Bay High School; James Madison High School; JHS 14 Shell Bank Intermediate School; The Bay Academy; P.S. 254, P.S. 206, and P.S. 52 (elementary). Private schools in the area include St. Mark’s School, St. Edmund’s School, and the Brooklyn Amity School. Kingsborough Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) is nearby. Sheepshead Bay is policed by the NYPD’s 61st Precinct.