Brooklyn (/ˈbrʊklᵻn/) is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York, the most populous county in the state, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010.QuickFacts for Kings County (Brooklyn Borough), New York, United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 28, 2018. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.
With a land area of 70.82sqmi and water area of 26sqmi, Kings County is New York state's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among the city's five boroughs.2010 Gazetteer for New York State, United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2016. Today, if each borough were ranked as a city, Brooklyn would rank as the third-most populous in the U.S., after Los Angeles and Chicago.
Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city (and previously an authorized village and town within the provisions of the New York State Constitution) until January 1, 1898, when, after a long political campaign and public relations battle during the 1890s, according to the new Municipal Charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated with the other cities, boroughs, and counties to form the modern City of New York, surrounding the Upper New York Bay with five constituent boroughs. The borough continues, however, to maintain a distinct culture. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves. Brooklyn's official motto, displayed on the Borough seal and flag, is Eendraght Maeckt Maght, which translates from early modern Dutch as "Unity makes strength".
In the first decades of the 21st century, Brooklyn has experienced a renaissance as an avant garde destination for hipsters, with concomitant gentrification, dramatic house price increases and a decrease in housing affordability. Since the 2010s, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving hub of entrepreneurship, high technology startup firms, postmodern art and design.
The name Brooklyn is derived from the original Dutch colonial name Breuckelen, meaning marshland. Established in 1646, the name first appeared in print in 1663. The Dutch colonists named it after the scenic town of Breukelen, Netherlands. Over the past two millennia, the ancient town in Holland's name has been Bracola, Broccke, Brocckede, Broiclede, Brocklandia, Broekclen, Broikelen, Breuckelen and finally Breukelen. The New Amsterdam settlement of Breuckelen also went through many spelling variations, including Breucklyn, Breuckland, Brucklyn, Broucklyn, Brookland, Brockland, Brocklin, and Brookline/Brook-line. There have been so many variations of the name that its origin has been debated; some have claimed breuckelen means "broken land." The final name of Brooklyn, however, is the most accurate to its meaning.
The history of European settlement in Brooklyn spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizeable city in the 19th century, and was consolidated in 1898 with New York City (then confined to Manhattan and part of the Bronx), the remaining rural areas of Kings County, and the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern City of New York.
Six Dutch towns
A typical dining table in the Dutch village of Brooklyn,, from The Brooklyn Museum.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Long Island's western edge, which was then largely inhabited by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking American Indian tribe who are often referred to in colonial documents by a variation of the place name "Canarsie". Bands were associated with place names, but the colonists thought their names represented different tribes. The Breuckelen settlement was named after Breukelen in the Netherlands; it was part of New Netherland. The Dutch West India Company lost little time in chartering the six original parishes (listed here by their later English town names):
- Gravesend: in 1645, settled under Dutch patent by English followers of Anabaptist Deborah Moody, named for 's-Gravenzande, Netherlands, or Gravesend, England
- Brooklyn Heights: as Breuckelen in 1646, after the town now spelled Breukelen, Netherlands. Breuckelen was along Fulton Street (now Fulton Mall) between Hoyt Street and Smith Street (according to H. Stiles and P. Ross). Brooklyn Heights, or Clover Hill, is where the village Brooklyn was founded in 1816.
- Flatlands: as Nieuw Amersfoort in 1647
- Flatbush: as Midwout in 1652
- Nieuw Utrecht: in 1657, after the city of Utrecht, Netherlands
- Bushwick: as Boswijck in 1661
The colony's capital of New Amsterdam, across the East River
, obtained its charter in 1653, later than the village of Brooklyn. The neighborhood of Marine Park was home to North America's first tide mill. It was built by the Dutch, and the foundation can be seen today. But the area was not formally settled as a town. Many incidents and documents relating to this period are in Gabriel Furman's 1824 compilation.
Six townships in an English province
Village of Brooklyn and environs, 1766
What is Brooklyn today left Dutch hands after the final English conquest of New Netherland in 1664, a prelude to the Second Anglo–Dutch War. New Netherland was taken in a naval action, and the conquerors renamed their prize in honor of the overall English naval commander, James, Duke of York, brother of the then monarch King Charles II of England and future king himself as King James II of England and James VII of Scotland; Brooklyn became a part of the new English and later British colony, the Province of New York.
The English reorganized the six old Dutch towns on southwestern Long Island as Kings County on November 1, 1683, one of the "original twelve counties" then established in New York Province. This tract of land was recognized as a political entity for the first time, and the municipal groundwork was laid for a later expansive idea of Brooklyn identity.
Lacking the patroon and tenant farmer system established along the Hudson River Valley, this agricultural county unusually came to have one of the highest percentages of slavery among the population in the "Original Thirteen Colonies" along the Atlantic Ocean eastern coast of North America.
The Battle of Long Island was fought across Kings County.
On August 27, 1776, was fought the Battle of Long Island (also known as the 'Battle of Brooklyn'), the first major engagement fought in the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared, and the largest of the entire conflict. British troops forced Continental Army troops under George Washington off the heights near the modern sites of Green-Wood Cemetery, Prospect Park, and Grand Army Plaza.
Washington, viewing particularly fierce fighting at the Gowanus Creek from atop a hill near the west end of present-day Atlantic Avenue, was famously reported to have emotionally exclaimed: "What brave men I must this day lose!".
A preindustrial Winter Scene in Brooklyn,, by Francis Guy (Brooklyn Museum).
The first half of the 19th century saw the beginning of the development of urban areas on the economically strategic East River shore of Kings County, facing the adolescent City of New York confined to Manhattan Island. The New York Navy Yard operated in Wallabout Bay (border between Brooklyn and Williamsburgh) during the 19th century and two-thirds of the 20th century.
The first center of urbanization sprang up in the Town of Brooklyn, directly across from Lower Manhattan, which saw the incorporation of the Village of Brooklyn in 1817. Reliable steam ferry service across the East River to Fulton Landing converted Brooklyn Heights into a commuter town for Wall Street. Ferry Road to Jamaica Pass became Fulton Street to East New York. Town and Village were combined to form the first, kernel incarnation of the City of Brooklyn in 1834.
In parallel development, the Town of Bushwick, farther up the river, saw the incorporation of the Village of Williamsburgh in 1827, which separated as the Town of Williamsburgh in 1840 and formed the short-lived City of Williamsburgh in 1851. Industrial deconcentration in mid-century was bringing shipbuilding and other manufacturing to the northern part of the county. Each of the two cities and six towns in Kings County remained independent municipalities, and purposely created non-aligning street grids with different naming systems.
However, the East River shore was growing too fast for the three-year-old infant City of Williamsburgh; it, along with its Town of Bushwick hinterland, was subsumed within a greater City of Brooklyn in 1854.
By 1841, with the appearance of The Brooklyn Eagle, and Kings County Democrat published by Alfred G. Stevens, the growing city across the East River from Manhattan was producing its own prominent newspaper. It later became the most popular and highest circulation afternoon paper in America. The publisher changed to L. Van Anden on April 19, 1842, and the paper was renamed The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat on June 1, 1846. On May 14, 1849, the name was shortened to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle; on September 5, 1938, it was further shortened to Brooklyn Eagle. The establishment of the paper in the 1840s helped develop a separate identity for Brooklynites over the next century. The borough's soon-to-be-famous National League baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, also assisted with this. Both major institutions were lost in the 1950s: the paper closed in 1955 after unsuccessful attempts at a sale following a reporters' strike, and the baseball team decamped for Los Angeles in a realignment of major league baseball in 1957.
Agitation against Southern slavery was stronger in Brooklyn than in New York, and under Republican leadership the city was fervent in the Union cause in the Civil War. After the war the Henry Ward Beecher Monument was built downtown to honor a famous local abolitionist. A great victory arch was built at what was then the south end of town to celebrate the armed forces; this place is now called Grand Army Plaza.
The number of people living in Brooklyn grew rapidly early in the 19th century. There were 4,402 by 1810, 7,175 in 1830 and 15,396 by 1830.The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol. III, (1847), London, Charles Knight, p. 852 The city's population was 25,000 in 1834, but the police department comprised only 12 men on the day shift and another 12 at night. Every time a rash of burglaries broke out, officials blamed burglars from New York City. Finally in 1855, a modern police force was created, employing 150 men. Voters complained of inadequate protection and excessive costs. In 1857, the state legislature merged the Brooklyn force with that of New York City.Jacob Judd, "Policing the City of Brooklyn in the and ", Journal of Long Island History (1966) (6)2 pp. 13–22.
Fervent in the Union cause, the city of Brooklyn played a major role in supplying troops and materiel for the American Civil War. The most well-known regiment to be sent off to war from the city was the 14th Brooklyn "Red Legged Devils". They fought from 1861 to 1864, wore red the entire war, and were the only regiment named after a city; President Lincoln called them into service personally, making them part of a handful of three-year enlisted soldiers in April 1861. Unlike other regiments during the American Civil War, the 14th wore a uniform inspired by the French Chasseurs, a light infantry used for quick assaults.
As a seaport and a manufacturing center, Brooklyn was well prepared to contribute to the Union's strengths in shipping and manufacturing. The two combined in shipbuilding; the ironclad Monitor was built in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, by Currier and Ives
Brooklyn is referred to as a twin city of New York in the 1883 poem, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which appears on a plaque inside the Statue of Liberty. The poem calls New York Harbor "the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame". As a twin city to New York, it played a role in national affairs that was later overshadowed by its century-old submergence into its old partner and rival.
Economic growth continued, propelled by immigration and industrialization, and Brooklyn established itself as the third-most populous American city for much of the 19th century. The waterfront from Gowanus Bay to Greenpoint was developed with piers and factories. Industrial access to the waterfront was improved by the Gowanus Canal and the canalized Newtown Creek. The USS Monitor was only the most famous product of the large and growing shipbuilding industry of Williamsburg. After the Civil War, trolley lines and other transport brought urban sprawl beyond Prospect Park and into the center of the county.
The rapidly growing population needed more water, so the City built centralized waterworks including the Ridgewood Reservoir. The municipal Police Department, however, was abolished in 1854 in favor of a Metropolitan force covering also New York and Westchester Counties. In 1865 the Brooklyn Fire Department (BFD) also gave way to the new Metropolitan Fire District.
Throughout this period the peripheral towns of Kings County, far from Manhattan and even from urban Brooklyn, maintained their rustic independence. The only municipal change seen was the secession of the eastern section of the Town of Flatbush as the Town of New Lots in 1852. The building of rail links such as the Brighton Beach Line in 1878 heralded the end of this isolation.
Sports became big business, and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms played professional baseball at Washington Park in the convenient suburb of Park Slope and elsewhere. Early in the next century, under their new name of Brooklyn Dodgers, they brought baseball to Ebbets Field, beyond Prospect Park. Racetracks, amusement parks, and beach resorts opened in Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and elsewhere in the southern part of the county.
Toward the end of the 19th century, the City of Brooklyn experienced its final, explosive growth spurt. Railroads and industrialization spread to Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. In the space of a decade, the city annexed the Town of New Lots in 1886, the Town of Flatbush, the Town of Gravesend, the Town of New Utrecht in 1894, and the Town of Flatlands in 1896. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the ends of Kings County.
Mayors of the City of Brooklyn
Brooklyn elected a mayor from 1834 until consolidation in 1898 into the City of Greater New York, whose own second mayor (1902–1903), Seth Low, had been Mayor of Brooklyn from 1882 to 1885. Since 1898, Brooklyn has, in place of a separate mayor, elected a Borough President.
Party Start year End year
George Hall Democratic-Republican 1834
Jonathan Trotter Democrat 1835 1836
Jeremiah Johnson Whig 1837 1838
Cyrus P. Smith 1839 1841
Henry C. Murphy Democrat 1842
Joseph Sprague 1843 1844
Thomas G. Talmage 1845
Francis B. Stryker Whig 1846 1848
Edward Copland 1849
Samuel Smith Democrat 1850
Conklin Brush Whig 1851 1852
Edward A. Lambert Democrat 1853 1854
George Hall 1855 1856
Samuel S. Powell Democrat 1857 1860
Martin Kalbfleisch 1861 1863
Alfred M. Wood Republican 1864 1865
Samuel Booth 1866 1867
Martin Kalbfleisch Democrat 1868 1871
Samuel S. Powell 1872 1873
John W. Hunter 1874 1875
Frederick A. Schroeder Republican 1876 1877
James Howell Democrat 1878 1881
Seth Low Republican 1882 1885
Daniel D. Whitney Democrat 1886 1887
Alfred C. Chapin 1888 1891
David A. Boody 1892 1893
Charles A. Schieren Republican 1894 1895
Frederick W. Wurster 1896 1897
New York City borough
Brooklyn in 1897
In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, transportation to Manhattan was no longer by water only, and the City of Brooklyn's ties to the City of New York were strengthened.
The question became whether Brooklyn was prepared to engage in the still-grander process of consolidation then developing throughout the region, whether to join with the county of New York, the county of Richmond and the western portion of Queens County to form the five boroughs of a united City of New York. Andrew Haskell Green and other progressives said Yes, and eventually they prevailed against the Daily Eagle and other conservative forces. In 1894, residents of Brooklyn and the other counties voted by a slight majority to merge, effective in 1898.
Kings County retained its status as one of New York State's counties, but the loss of Brooklyn's separate identity as a city was met with consternation by some residents at the time. Many newspapers of the day called the merger the "Great Mistake of 1898", and the phrase still denotes Brooklyn pride among old-time Brooklynites.
Brooklyn is 97sqmi in area, of which 71mi2 is land (73%), and 26mi2 is water (27%); the borough is the second-largest in land area among the New York City's boroughs. However, Kings County, coterminous with Brooklyn, is New York State's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area. Brooklyn lies at the southwestern end of Long Island, and the borough's western border constitutes the island's western tip.
Brooklyn's water borders are extensive and varied, including Jamaica Bay; the Atlantic Ocean; The Narrows, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Staten Island in New York City and crossed by the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge; Upper New York Bay, separating Brooklyn from Jersey City and Bayonne in the U.S. state of New Jersey; and the East River, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Manhattan in New York City and traversed by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and numerous routes of the New York City Subway. To the east of Brooklyn lies the borough of Queens, which contains John F. Kennedy International Airport in that borough's Jamaica neighborhood, approximately two miles from the border of Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood.
Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 32°F coldest month (January) isotherm, Brooklyn experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with partial shielding from the Appalachian Mountains and moderating influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Brooklyn receives plentiful precipitation all year round, with nearly 50in yearly. The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum. Brooklyn lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.
Landmark 19th-century rowhouses on tree-lined Kent Street in Greenpoint Historic District
Brooklyn's neighborhoods are dynamic in ethnic composition. For example, during the early to mid-20th century, Brownsville had a majority of Jewish residents; since the 1970s it has been majority African American. Midwood during the early 20th century was filled with ethnic Irish, then filled with Jewish residents for nearly 50 years, and is slowly becoming a Pakistani enclave. Brooklyn's most populous racial group, white, declined from 97.2% in 1930 to 46.9% by 1990.Gibson, Campbell; and Jung, Kay. "Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals by Race, 1790 to 1990, and by Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, for Large Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States", United States Census Bureau, February 2005. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
The borough attracts people previously living in other cities in the United States. Of these, most come from Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, and Seattle."African Americans", Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved March 1, 2008.Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 19, 2016.Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Report, 2002. www.bedc.org. Muhammad, Nisa Islam. "D.C. 'exodus' sparks district renewal efforts for Whites", The Final Call, June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
Given New York City's role as a crossroads for immigration from around the world, Brooklyn has evolved a globally cosmopolitan ambience of its own, demonstrating a robust and growing demographic and cultural diversity with respect to metrics including nationality, religion, race, and domiciliary partnership. Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods representing many of the major culturally identified groups found within New York City. Among the most prominent are listed below:
Over 600,000 Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews, have become concentrated in Borough Park, Williamsburg, and Flatbush, where there are many yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher restaurants, as well as many other Jewish businesses. Other notable religious Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods are Kensington, Canarsie, Sea Gate, and Crown Heights (home to the Chabad world headquarters). Many hospitals in Brooklyn were started by Jewish charities, including Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park and Brookdale Hospital in Brownsville. Many non-Orthodox Jews are concentrated in Ditmas Park and Park Slope, with smaller Jewish populations in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island.
Over 200,000 Chinese Americans live throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, and Homecrest. The largest concentration is in Sunset Park along 8th Avenue, which is known for Chinese culture. It is called "Brooklyn's Chinatown" and its Chinese population is composed in majority by Fuzhounese Americans, rendering this Chinatown with the nicknames "Fuzhou Town (福州埠), Brooklyn" or the "Little Fuzhou (小福州)" of Brooklyn. Many Chinese restaurants can be found throughout Sunset Park, and the area hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration.
Caribbean and African American
Brooklyn's African American and Caribbean communities are spread throughout much of Brooklyn. Brooklyn's West Indian community is concentrated in the Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Kensington, and Canarsie neighborhoods in central Brooklyn. Brooklyn is home to one of the largest communities of West Indians outside of the Caribbean, being rivaled only by Toronto, Miami, Montreal, and London. Although the largest West Indian groups in Brooklyn are mostly Jamaicans, Guyanese and Haitians, there are West Indian immigrants from nearly every part of the Caribbean. Crown Heights and Flatbush are home to many of Brooklyn's West Indian restaurants and bakeries. Brooklyn has an annual, celebrated Carnival in the tradition of pre-Lenten celebrations in the islands. Started by natives of Trinidad and Tobago, the West Indian Labor Day Parade takes place every Labor Day on Eastern Parkway. Bedford-Stuyvesant is home to one of the most famous African American communities in the city, along with Brownsville, East New York, and Coney Island.
Bushwick is the largest hub of Brooklyn's Latino American community. Like other Latino neighborhoods in New York City, Bushwick has an established Puerto Rican presence, along with an influx of many Dominicans, South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans, as well as a more recent influx of Puerto Ricans. As nearly 80% of Bushwick's population is Latino, its residents having created many businesses to support their various national and distinct traditions in food and other items. Sunset Park's population is 42% Latino, made up of these various ethnic groups. Brooklyn's main Latino groups are Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dominicans, and Panamanians; they are spread out throughout the borough. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are predominant in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and East New York, while Mexicans are predominant in Sunset Park and Panamanians in Crown Heights.
Russian and Ukrainian American
Brooklyn is also home to many Russians and Ukrainians, who are mainly concentrated in the areas of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. Brighton Beach features many Russian and Ukrainian businesses and has been nicknamed Little Russia and Little Odessa, respectively. Originally these communities were mostly Jewish; however, in more recent years, the non-Jewish Russian and Ukrainian communities of Brighton Beach have grown in size and the area now reflects diverse aspects of Russian and Ukrainian culture.
Brooklyn's Polish are largely concentrated in Greenpoint, which is home to Little Poland. Another Polish Community is Borough Park and Sunset Park. They are also scattered throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn.
Italian Americans are mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens, where there are many Italian restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens, pizzerias, cafes, and social clubs.
Today, Arab Americans and Pakistani Americans along with other Muslim communities have moved into the southwest portion of Brooklyn, particularly to Bay Ridge, where there are many Middle Eastern restaurants, hookah lounges, halal shops, Islamic shops and mosques. Coney Island Avenue is home to Little Pakistan as Church Avenue is to Bangladeshis. Jay Street Borough Hall (Downtown Brooklyn) is little Arabia. Pakistani Independence Day is celebrated every year with parades and parties on Coney Island Avenue. Earlier, the area was known predominantly for its Irish, Norwegian, and Scottish populations. There are also many Middle Eastern, particularly Yemeni, businesses, mosques, and restaurants on Atlantic Avenue west of Flatbush Avenue, in Boerum Hill.
Third-, fourth- and fifth-generation Irish Americans can be found throughout Brooklyn, in moderate concentrations in the neighborhoods of Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Vinegar Hill. Many moved east on Long Island, to suburban and Upstate New York Counties (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, and Sullivan Counties), Staten Island, and New Jersey in the mid-twentieth century. Those that stayed engendered close-knit and stable communities, representing many to the civil services (esp. in law enforcement, transportation and the FDNY) as well as the legal profession and the building and construction trades.
Brooklyn's Greek Americans live throughout the borough, especially in Bay Ridge and adjacent areas where there is a noticeable cluster of Hellenic-focused schools and cultural institutions, with many businesses concentrated there and in Downtown Brooklyn near Atlantic Avenue. Greek-owned diners are also found throughout the borough.
Brooklyn became a preferred site for artists and hipsters to set up live/work spaces after being priced out of the same types of living arrangements in Manhattan. Various neighborhoods in Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, DUMBO, Red Hook, and Park Slope evolved as popular neighborhoods for artists-in-residence. However, rents and costs of living have since increased dramatically in these same neighborhoods, forcing artists to move to somewhat less expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn or across Upper New York Bay to locales in New Jersey, such as Jersey City or Hoboken.
The Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema, and theater. The Brooklyn accent has often been portrayed as the "typical New York accent" in American media, although this accent and stereotype are supposedly fading out. Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.
Brooklyn hosts the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the second largest public art collection in the United States, housed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, is New York City's second-largest public art museum. It has in its permanent collection more than 1.5 million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. The Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's first museum dedicated to children, opened in December 1899. The only such New York State institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it is one of the few globally to have a permanent collectionover 30,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) includes a 2,109-seat opera house, an 874-seat theater, and the art house BAM Rose Cinemas. Bargemusic and St. Ann's Warehouse are on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district. Brooklyn Technical High School has the second-largest auditorium in New York City (after Radio City Music Hall), with a seating capacity of over 3,000.
Brooklyn has several local newspapers: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Bay Currents (Oceanfront Brooklyn), Brooklyn View, The Brooklyn Paper, and Courier-Life Publications. Courier-Life Publications, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is Brooklyn's largest chain of newspapers. Brooklyn is also served by the major New York dailies, including The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post.
The borough is home to the arts and politics monthly Brooklyn Rail, as well as the arts and cultural quarterly Cabinet. Hello Mr. is also published in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Magazine is one of the few glossy magazines about Brooklyn. Several others are now defunct, including BKLYN Magazine (a bimonthly lifestyle book owned by Joseph McCarthy, that saw itself as a vehicle for high-end advertisers in Manhattan and was mailed to 80,000 high-income households), Brooklyn Bridge Magazine, The Brooklynite (a free, glossy quarterly edited by Daniel Treiman), and NRG (edited by Gail Johnson and originally marketed as a local periodical for Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, but expanded in scope to become the self-proclaimed "Pulse of Brooklyn" and then the "Pulse of New York").
Brooklyn has a thriving ethnic press. El Diario La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States, maintains its corporate headquarters at 1 MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn."Contact ." ImpreMedia. Retrieved June 1, 2010. Major ethnic publications include the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic paper The Tablet, Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish daily and The Jewish Press, an Orthodox Jewish weekly. Many nationally distributed ethnic newspapers are based in Brooklyn. Over 60 ethnic groups, writing in 42 languages, publish some 300 non-English language magazines and newspapers in New York City. Among them the quarterly "L'Idea", a bilingual magazine printed in Italian and English since 1974. In addition, many newspapers published abroad, such as The Daily Gleaner and The Star of Jamaica, are available in Brooklyn.
Our Time Press published weekly by DBG Media covers the Village of Brooklyn with a motto of "The Local paper with the Global View".
The City of New York has an official television station, run by NYC Media, which features programming based in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Community Access Television is the borough's public access channel.
- The annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade (mid-to-late June) is a costume-and-float parade.
- Coney Island also hosts the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest (July 4).
- The annual Labor Day Carnival (also known as the Labor Day Parade or West Indian Day Parade) takes place along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.
- The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival runs annually around the second week of June.
Parks and other attractions
Kwanzan Cherries in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: adjacent to Prospect Park is the 52acre botanical garden, which includes a cherry tree esplanade, a one-acre (0.4 ha) rose garden, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a fragrance garden, a water lily pond esplanade, several conservatories, a rock garden, a native flora garden, a bonsai tree collection, and children's gardens and discovery exhibits.
- Coney Island developed as a playground for the rich in the early 1900s, but it grew as one of America's first amusement grounds and attracted crowds from all over New York. The Cyclone rollercoaster, built in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1920 Wonder Wheel and other rides are still operational. Coney Island went into decline in the 1970s, but has undergone a renaissance."New park adds rides at Coney Island". Reading Eagle. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Floyd Bennett Field: the first municipal airport in New York City and long closed for operations, is now part of the National Park System. Many of the historic hangars and runways are still extant. Nature trails and diverse habitats are found within the park, including salt marsh and a restored area of shortgrass prairie that was once widespread on the Hempstead Plains.
- Green-Wood Cemetery, founded by the social reformer Henry Evelyn Pierrepont in 1838, is an early Rural cemetery. It is the burial ground of many notable New Yorkers.
- Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: a unique Federal wildlife refuge straddling the Brooklyn-Queens border, part of Gateway National Recreation Area
- New York Transit Museum displays historical artifacts of Greater New York's subway, commuter rail, and bus systems; it is at Court Street, a former Independent Subway System station in Brooklyn Heights on the Fulton Street Line.
- Prospect Park is a public park in central Brooklyn encompassing 585acre. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who created Manhattan's Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90acre meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, Prospect Park Zoo, the Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center; Brooklyn's only lake, covering 60acre; the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime; and various sports and fitness activities including seven baseball fields. Prospect Park hosts a popular annual Halloween Parade.
- Fort Greene Park is a public park in the Fort Greene Neighborhood. The park contains the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument, a monument to American prisoners during the revolutionary war.
Barclays Center in Pacific Park within Prospect Heights, home of the Nets, as well as part-time home of the Islanders.
CC BY-SA 2.0
Brooklyn's major professional sports team is the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. The Nets moved into the borough in 2012, and play their home games at Barclays Center in Prospect Heights. Previously, the Nets had played in Uniondale, New York and in New Jersey. Barclays Center is also one of the home arenas for the NHL's New York Islanders (the other is Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale). The Islanders had originally played at Nassau Coliseum full-time since their inception until 2015, when the team moved to Barclays Center full-time for three seasons.
Brooklyn also has a storied sports history. It has been home to many famous sports figures such as Joe Paterno, Vince Lombardi, Mike Tyson, Joe Torre, Sandy Koufax, Billy Cunningham and Vitas Gerulaitis. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn though he grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In the earliest days of organized baseball, Brooklyn teams dominated the new game. The second recorded game of baseball was played near what is today Fort Greene Park on October 24, 1845. Brooklyn's Excelsiors, Atlantics and Eckfords were the leading teams from the mid-1850s through the Civil War, and there were dozens of local teams with neighborhood league play, such as at Mapleton Oval. During this "Brooklyn era", baseball evolved into the modern game: the first fastball, first changeup, first batting average, first triple play, first pro baseball player, first enclosed ballpark, first scorecard, first known African-American team, first black championship game, first road trip, first gambling scandal, and first eight pennant winners were all in or from Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's most famous historical team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, named for "trolley dodgers" played at Ebbets Field. In 1947 Jackie Robinson was hired by the Dodgers as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball in the modern era. In 1955, the Dodgers, perennial National League pennant winners, won the only World Series for Brooklyn against their rival New York Yankees. The event was marked by mass euphoria and celebrations. Just two years later, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. Walter O'Malley, the team's owner at the time, is still vilified, even by Brooklynites too young to remember the Dodgers as Brooklyn's ball club.
After a 43-year hiatus, professional baseball returned to the borough in 2001 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team that plays in MCU Park in Coney Island. They are an affiliate of the New York Mets. The New York Cosmos of the NASL began playing at MCU Park in 2017.
Brooklyn once had a National Football League team named the Brooklyn Lions in 1926, who played at Ebbets Field.
Brooklyn has one of the most active recreational fishing fleets in the United States. In addition to a large private fleet along Jamaica Bay, there is a substantial public fleet within Sheepshead Bay that includes the Marily Jean, Ocean Eagle, Brooklyn, Captain Dave, Midnight Star, Sea Queen and Flamingo. Species caught include Black Fish, Porgy, Striped Bass, Black Sea Bass, Fluke, and Flounder.
Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue subway station
About 57 percent of all households in Brooklyn were households without automobiles. The citywide rate is 55 percent in New York City.Brooklyn. Tri‐State Transportation Campaign and the Pratt Center for Community Development. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
Brooklyn features extensive public transit. Nineteen New York City Subway services, including the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, traverse the borough. Approximately 92.8% of Brooklyn residents traveling to Manhattan use the subway, despite the fact some neighborhoods like Flatlands and Marine Park are poorly served by subway service. Major stations, out of the 170 currently in Brooklyn, include:
Brooklyn was once served by an extensive network of streetcars, many of which were replaced by the public bus network that covers the entire borough. There is also daily express bus
service into Manhattan. New York's famous yellow cabs also provide transportation in Brooklyn, although they are less numerous in the borough. There are three commuter rail stations in Brooklyn: East New York
, Nostrand Avenue
, and Atlantic Terminal
, the terminus of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The terminal is near the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, with ten connecting subway services.
In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio
announced that the city government would begin a citywide ferry service called NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to communities in the city that have been traditionally underserved by public transit. The ferry opened in May 2017, with the Bay Ridge
ferry serving southwestern Brooklyn and the East River Ferry serving northwestern Brooklyn. A third route, the Rockaway ferry, makes one stop in the borough at Brooklyn Army Terminal.
A streetcar line, the Brooklyn–Queens Connector, was proposed by the city in February 2016, with the planned timeline calling for service to begin around 2024.
View of Eastern Parkway looking toward the Brooklyn Museum, cellulose nitrate negative photograph by Eugene Wemlinger
Most of limited-access expressways and parkways are in the western and southern sections of Brooklyn. These include the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Gowanus Expressway (which is part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the Prospect Expressway (New York State Route 27), the Belt Parkway, and the Jackie Robinson Parkway (formerly the Interborough Parkway). Planned expressways that were never built include the Bushwick Expressway, an extension of I-78 and the Cross-Brooklyn Expressway, I-878. Major thoroughfares include Atlantic Avenue, Fourth Avenue, 86th Street, Kings Highway, Bay Parkway, Ocean Parkway, Eastern Parkway, Linden Boulevard, McGuinness Boulevard, Flatbush Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Nostrand Avenue.
Much of Brooklyn has only named streets, but Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park and the other western sections have numbered streets running approximately northwest to southeast, and numbered avenues going approximately northeast to southwest. East of Dahill Road, lettered avenues (like Avenue M) run east and west, and numbered streets have the prefix "East". South of Avenue O, related numbered streets west of Dahill Road use the "West" designation. This set of numbered streets ranges from West 37th Street to East 108 Street, and the avenues range from A–Z with names substituted for some of them in some neighborhoods (notably Albemarle, Beverley, Cortelyou, Dorchester, Ditmas, Foster, Farragut, Glenwood, Quentin). Numbered streets prefixed by "North" and "South" in Williamsburg, and "Bay", "Beach", "Brighton", "Plumb", "Paerdegat" or "Flatlands" along the southern and southwestern waterfront are loosely based on the old grids of the original towns of Kings County that eventually consolidated to form Brooklyn. These names often reflect the bodies of water or beaches around them, such as Plumb Beach or Paerdegat Basin.
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by three bridges, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges; a vehicular tunnel, the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel (also known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel); and several subway tunnels. The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge links Brooklyn with the more suburban borough of Staten Island. Though much of its border is on land, Brooklyn shares several water crossings with Queens, including the Pulaski Bridge, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge (part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), and the Grand Street Bridge, all of which carry traffic over Newtown Creek, and the Marine Parkway Bridge connecting Brooklyn to the Rockaway Peninsula.
Brooklyn was long a major shipping port, especially at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. Most container ship cargo operations have shifted to the New Jersey side of New York Harbor, while the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook is a focal point for New York's growing cruise industry. The Queen Mary 2, one of the world's largest ocean liners, was designed specifically to fit under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the United States. She makes regular ports of call at the Red Hook terminal on her transatlantic crossings from Southampton, England.
In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city government would begin NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to traditionally underserved communities in the city. The ferry opened in May 2017, offering commuter services from the western shore of Brooklyn to Manhattan via three routes. The East River Ferry serves points in Lower Manhattan, Midtown, Long Island City, and northwestern Brooklyn via its East River route. The South Brooklyn and Rockaway routes serve southwestern Brooklyn before terminating in lower Manhattan. Ferries to Coney Island are also being planned. NY Waterway offers tours and charters. SeaStreak also offers weekday ferry service between the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Manhattan ferry slips at Pier 11/Wall Street downtown and East 34th Street Ferry Landing in midtown. A Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, originally proposed in the 1920s as a core project for the then new Port Authority of New York is again being studied and discussed as a way to ease freight movements across a large swath of the metropolitan area.
Brooklyn Public Library
The Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.
As an independent system, separate from the New York and Queens public library systems, the Brooklyn Public Library offers thousands of public programs, millions of books, and use of more than 850 free Internet-accessible computers. It also has books and periodicals in all the major languages spoken in Brooklyn, including English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, and Haitian Creole, as well as French, Yiddish, Hindi, Bengali, Polish, Italian, and Arabic. The Central Library is a landmarked building facing Grand Army Plaza.
There are 58 library branches, placing one within a half mile of each Brooklyn resident. In addition to its specialized Business Library in Brooklyn Heights, the Library is preparing to construct its new Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPA) in the BAM Cultural District, which will focus on the link between new and emerging arts and technology and house traditional and digital collections. It will provide access and training to arts applications and technologies not widely available to the public. The collections will include the subjects of art, theater, dance, music, film, photography and architecture. A special archive will house the records and history of Brooklyn's arts communities.
Partnerships with districts of foreign cities
- Anzio, Lazio, Italy (since 1990)
- Gdynia, Poland (since 1991)
- Beşiktaş, Istanbul Province, Turkey (since 2005)
- Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria (since 2007)
- London Borough of Lambeth, United Kingdom
- Bnei Brak, Israel
Hospitals and healthcare