In East New York for most of its length, Barbey Street, named for Andrew Barbey of the 19th Century Barbey and Sackman real estate developing firm (there is also a Sackman Street a mile to the west) behaves like any other north-south side street, running from roughly north to south.
However, between Sunnyside Avenue and Highland Boulevard it runs into one of Brooklyn’s steepest hills, the hill that separates the highlands of Highland Park from the lowlands north of Jamaica Bay. No avenue challenges the hill except Miller Avenue, which succeeds, and Barbey Street, which doesn’t.
Barbey Street gives it the old college try, making an S-curve as it negotiates up the hill. This must be quite the sledding spot for neighborhood kids, or used to be. However it never quite makes it and comes to a dead end. Pedestrians can reach Highland Boulevard with three flights of steps, making Barbey one of Brooklyn’s few “step streets.” Northern Manhattan and the Bronx have the lion’s share. Nearby is the soundalike Barberry Court, purely a coincidence.