In the 1661 it was chartered as the Dutch village of “Boswijck” or “Boswyck,” aka “town in the woods.” By the mid-1800s, it had become Bushwick, part of the new city of Brooklyn. Until World War I, Bushwick was home to a huge German population. Then Italians began moving in, making it one of the city’s biggest Italian neighborhoods by 1950.
There’s not much left of Italian Bushwick these days, but Circo’s Pastry Shop serves as a reminder of when Italian shops and restaurants lined Knickerbocker Avenue. Just think of all the Italian wedding cakes they’ve baked since opening in 1945.