“Front Page” is the nickname for the area of East Flatbush, Brooklyn at Foster Avenue and Nostrand Avenue, at the Vanderveer Estates apartment buildings. Crime was so bad that drug murders in the 1990s made the “front page” of newspapers.
“Back Page” is the nickname for the area of East Flatbush at Foster Avenue and New York Avenue. The crimes in this area were less sensational than at the “Front Page.”
The terms “Front Page” and “Back Page” are still infrequently used in East Flatbush.
Wikipedia: East Flatbush, Brooklyn
East Flatbush is a residential neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The area is part of Brooklyn Community Board 17. East Flatbush is patrolled by the NYPD’s 67th Precinct.
Crime generally had always been a problem in the community; for instance, a number of stores on Flatbush and Church Avenues were looted during the New York City blackout of 1977. In addition, a drug epidemic ravaged East Flatbush during the 1980s and early 1990s, mostly in the Vanderveer Estates Apartments now known as Flatbush Gardens and isn’t a complex of the New York City Housing Authority. The intersection of Foster Avenue and Nostrand Avenues was nicknamed “the Front Page” because of media attention to drug murders there. The intersection of Foster between New York Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue area to the south was called “the Back Page” because its many murders went unnoticed. The area around the Nostrand playground had various gangs: Crips, particularly notorious for drug turf wars, shootouts, and pitbull fights.
The Village Voice (New York, NY)
Landlord Meets the Mob
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2001 AT 4 A.M. BY TOM ROBBINS
Despite its lofty name, Vanderveer Estates has been a euphemism for urban ailments in Brooklyn for years. It has 2500 apartments in 59 six-story buildings made of worn red brick, strung along Foster and New York avenues and facing empty courtyards of overgrown grass glinting with broken bottles.
The size of a small city, the complex houses more than 12,000 people, most of them African Americans and Caribbean immigrants, who wage a daily battle against rodent infestation and declining conditions and a nightly barrage of gang shootings and drug dealing.
New York (NY) Times
As Murders Fall, New Tactics Are Tried Against Remainder
By SHAILA K. DEWAN DEC. 31, 2004
At one time the Vanderveer Estates, a housing project where large drug rings have been dismantled in recent years, was among them. One intersection near the project, Foster and Nostrand, was referred to by residents as the Front Page, because the drug murders that happened there made the news, said Ric Curtis, an anthropologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and one of the study’s authors. Another area was called the Back Page, because it was the site of less sensational crimes.
New York (NY) Sun
A Once-Troubled Housing Complex Seeks Change
By JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN, Special to the Sun | March 15, 2007
And it was indeed a very, very bad place. A criminologist and professor of anthropology at John Jay College who produced a report on crime for the Brooklyn district attorney in 2003, Ric Curtis, said Vanderveer residents nicknamed the intersection of Foster and Nostrand avenues “the Front Page” because the drug murders there often ended up on the front pages of local papers. The area to the south they called “the Back Page” because its many murders went unnoticed.
But Mr. Curtis’s report also notes that aggressive policing by the Police Department and other enforcement agencies dismantled “entrenched and highly organized drug-distribution organizations” at Vanderveer, making it an NYPD success story.
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Uploaded on Mar 18, 2008
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Danny Boy 2 years ago
So you was there in the 80’s in it’s prime, golden era when it was really bad!. My aunt used to have a crazy boyfriend living there who live in the beginning of the back page on Foster & NY ave. Somebody told me how that corner store on Nostrand & Foster used to have these evil arabs, who if you owe them money or tired to rob them, they would find bodies cut up in the back outside the store into pieces!. Also the elevators used to go into the basement, not anymore today.
A Journey Through NYC Religions
MARCH 9, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Hope in the age of Crack Cocaine
Youth moving on up at Brooklyn church, Part II. God’s Row Ralph Avenue
By Sofia Tongson, Alexis Beasley, Tony Carnes
Eddie Karim grew up in a close knit community in East Flatbush that was hunkered down trying to survive the chaos and violence of the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s. It was not unusual to hear of another body found wrapped up in a blanket and left in an abandoned building or an unwrapped body just lying in the street. The Vanderveer Estates in the neighborhood were a violent, competitive drug market. Gangs like the Rastafarians, Crips, and Trinidadians fought it out. Locally, Foster and Nostrand Avenues were nicknamed “the Front Page” because the numerous murders on their corners so often ended up in the newspapers.
Another, even more gloomy area in south East Flatbush was named “the Back Page” because nobody seemed to pay attention to its prolific murders.