BROOKLYN, New York
Brooklyn, New York
|Borough of New York City|
|Motto: In Unity There is Strength|
Location of Brooklyn shown in orange
|Country||United States of America|
|Named for||Breukelen, Netherlands|
|• Type||Borough (New York City)|
|• Borough President||
Marty Markowitz (D)|
— (Borough of Brookyn)
|• District Attorney||
— (Kings County)
|• Total||251.0 km2 (96.90 sq mi)|
|• Land||182.9 km2 (70.61 sq mi)|
|• Water||68.1 km2 (26.29 sq mi)|
|• Density||14,037/km2 (36,356/sq mi)|
|ZIP Code prefix||112|
|Area code(s)||347, 718, 917, 929|
Brooklyn // is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with about 2.5 million people, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is both the second-most populous county in New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan). It is also the westernmost county of the City of New York on Long Island. Today, if it were an independent city, Brooklyn would rank as the fourth most populous city in the U.S., behind only the other boroughs of New York combined, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Brooklyn was an independent city until January 1, 1898 when, according to the Charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated with the other boroughs to form the modern "City of New York". It continues to maintain a distinct culture. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate. Brooklyn's official motto is Eendraght Maeckt Maght. Written in the (early modern spelling of the) Dutch language, it is inspired by the motto of the United Dutch Provinces (currently the official motto of Belgium) and translated "In unity, there is strength." The motto is displayed on the borough seal and flag, which also feature a young robed woman bearing fasces, a traditional emblem of Republicanism. Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.
New York's five boroughs overview
|Borough||County||1 July 2012
|Source: United States Census Bureau|
- 1 History
- 2 Government and politics
- 3 Economy
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Neighborhoods
- 6 Culture
- 7 Events
- 8 Parks and other attractions
- 9 Transportation
- 10 Education
- 11 Weather
- 12 Brooklyn Public Library
- 13 Partnerships with districts of foreign cities
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area on the western end of Long Island, also inhabited by a Native American people, the Lenape (often referred to in contemporary colonial documents by the Lenape place-name for one of the larger native settlements:"Canarsee"). The first Dutch settlements, established in 1634, were called Midwout (Midwood) and Vlacke Bos (Flatbush). The Dutch also purchased land during the 1630s from the Lenape in present-day Gowanus, Red Hook, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Bushwick.
The Village of Breuckelen, named for Breukelen in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was authorized by the Dutch West India Company in 1646; it became the first municipality in what is now New York State. At the time, Breuckelen was part of New Netherland. Other villages were later incorporated into Brooklyn: Boswijk (Bushwick), Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht), and Nieuw Amersfoort (Flatlands). A few houses and cemeteries still show the Dutch origins of the borough of Brooklyn, including the oldest house of New York City, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Flatlands.
The Dutch lost Breuckelen in the British conquest of New Netherland in 1664. In 1683, the British reorganized the Province of New York into twelve counties, each of which was sub-divided into towns. Over time, the name evolved from Breuckelen, to Brockland, to Brocklin, to Brookline, to Brookland and eventually, to Brooklyn. Kings County was one of the original counties, and Brooklyn was one of the original six towns within Kings County. The county was named in honor of King Charles II.
On August 27, 1776, the Battle of Long Island (also called the Battle of Brooklyn) was fought in Kings County. It was the first major battle in the American Revolutionary War following the Declaration of Independence and the largest battle of the entire conflict. While General George Washington's defeat on the battlefield may have cast early doubts on his abilities as a military tactician and leader, he did keep the Continental Army intact with an overnight tactical retreat, across the East River.
New York became the British political and military base of operations in North America. This encouraged the departure of patriots and their sympathizers while attracting loyalist refugees fleeing the other colonies. Loyalists swelled the population of the surrounding area, including Brooklyn.
Correspondingly, the region became the focus of General Washington's intelligence activities (see Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War). The British also began to hold American patriot prisoners-of-war in rotting hulks anchored in Wallabout Bay off Brooklyn. More American prisoners died in these prison-ships than the sum of all the American battle casualties of the Revolutionary War.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw significant growth along the economically strategic East River waterfront across from New York City. Brooklyn's population expanded more than threefold between 1800 and 1820, doubled again in the 1820s, and doubled yet again during the 1830s. The county encompassed two cities: the City of Brooklyn and the City of Williamsburgh. Brooklyn annexed Williamsburgh in 1854, which lost its final "h" in the process. With the addition of this new area, Brooklyn grew from a substantial community of 36,236 to an influential city of 96,838.
The building of rail links, such as the Brighton Beach Line in 1878 heralded explosive growth, and, in the space of a decade, the City of Brooklyn annexed the towns of New Lots in 1886; Flatbush, Gravesend, and New Utrecht in 1894; and Flatlands in 1896. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the Kings County line.
In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, easing the trip to Manhattan. Brooklyn engaged in the consolidation process developing throughout the region. In 1894, Brooklyn residents voted by a slight majority to join with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Richmond (later Staten Island) to become the five boroughs of the modern New York City. This referendum took effect in 1898. Kings County retained its status as one of New York State's counties.
Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is a museum, library, and educational center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn's history. BHS houses materials relating to the founding of the U.S. and the history of Brooklyn and its people.
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Print of The Circle, Brooklyn, 1904.
Government and politics
Since consolidation with New York City in 1898, Brooklyn has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a "strong" mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional because Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.
Since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Brooklyn's current Borough President is Marty Markowitz, elected as a Democrat in 2001 and re-elected in 2005, and 2009.
The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. As of 2005, 69.7% of registered voters in Brooklyn were Democrats. Party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. The most controversial political issue is the proposed Atlantic Yards, a large housing and sports arena project. Pockets of majority Republican influence exist in Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Midwood by U.S. House Representative Michael Grimm & New York State Senator Marty Golden.
Each of the city's five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Charles J. Hynes, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Kings County since 1989. Brooklyn has 16 City Council members, the largest number of any of the five boroughs. Brooklyn has 18 of the city's 59 community districts, each served by an unpaid Community Board with advisory powers under the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Each board has a paid district manager who acts as an interlocutor with city agencies.
Brooklyn's job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national and city economy, population flows and the borough's position as a convenient back office for New York's businesses.
Forty-four percent of Brooklyn's employed population, or 410,000 people, work in the borough; more than half of the borough's residents work outside its boundaries. As a result, economic conditions in Manhattan are important to the borough's jobseekers. Strong international immigration to Brooklyn generates jobs in services, retailing and construction.
In recent years, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back-office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms.
Jobs in the borough have traditionally been concentrated in manufacturing, but since 1975, Brooklyn has shifted from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. In 2004, 215,000 Brooklyn residents worked in the services sector, while 27,500 worked in manufacturing. Although manufacturing has declined, a substantial base has remained in apparel and niche manufacturing concerns such as furniture, fabricated metals, and food products. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer was founded in Brooklyn in 1869 and had a manufacturing plant in the borough for many years that once employed thousands of workers, but the plant shut down in 2008. However, new light-manufacturing centered around organic and high-end food have sprung up in the old plant.
First established as a shipbuilding facility in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard employed 70,000 people at its peak during World War II and was then the largest employer in the borough. The Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese formally surrendered, was built there, as was the Maine, whose sinking off Havana led to the start of the Spanish-American War. The iron-sided Civil War vessel the Monitor was built in Greenpoint. From 1968–1979 Seatrain Shipbuilding was the major employer. Later tenants include industrial design firms, food processing businesses, artisans, and the film and television production industry. About 230 private-sector firms providing 4,000 jobs are at the Yard.
Construction and services are the fastest growing sectors. Most employers in Brooklyn are small businesses. In 2000, 91% of the approximately 38,704 business establishments in Brooklyn had fewer than 20 employees. As of August 2008[update], the borough's unemployment rate was 5.9%.
According to the United States Census 2010, the demography of Brooklyn was as follows:
- 49.5% White (35.8% non-Hispanic White)
- 35.8% African American
- 1.0% Native American
- 11.3% Asian
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 2.2% Two or more races
- 8.9% Other races
- 19.8% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
According to the 2009 American Community Survey, Brooklyn's population was 46.6% white, of which 36.9% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks made up 34.2% of the population, of which 32.9% were non-Hispanic blacks. Native Americans represented 0.3% of the population, while Asians made up 9.5% of the populace. Pacific Islanders comprised just 0.1% of the population, and Multiracial Americans made up 1.4% of the population. Hispanics and Latinos made up 19.6% of Brooklyn's population.
According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there are 2,565,635 people (up from 2.3 million in 1990), 880,727 households, and 583,922 families living in Brooklyn. The population density was 34,920/square mile (13,480/km²). There were 930,866 housing units at an average density of 13,180/square mile (5,090/km²).
Of the 880,727 households in Brooklyn, 38.6% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living in them. Of all households 27.8% are made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.41.
In Brooklyn the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. Brooklyn has more women and girls, with 88.4 males for every 100 females. Brooklyn's lesbian community is the largest out of all the New York City boroughs.
The median income for households in Brooklyn was $32,135, and the median income for a family was $36,188. Males had a median income of $34,317, which was higher than females, whose median income was $30,516. The per capita income was $16,775. About 22% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.
Brooklyn has a high degree of linguistic diversity. As of 2010, 54.12% (1,240,416) of Brooklyn residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 17.16% (393,340) spoke Spanish, 6.46% (148,012) Chinese, 5.31% (121,607) Russian, 3.47% (79,469) Yiddish, 2.75% (63,019) French Creole, 1.35% (31,004) Italian, 1.20% (27,440) Hebrew, 1.01% (23,207) Polish, 0.99% (22,763) French, 0.95% (21,773) Arabic, 0.85% (19,388) various Indic languages, 0.70% (15,936) Urdu, and African languages were spoken as a main language by 0.54% (12,305) of the population over the age of five. In total, 45.88% (1,051,456) of Brooklyn's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
Brooklyn's neighborhoods are ever-changing as populations move in and out. 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.
With gentrification, many of Brooklyn's neighborhoods are becoming increasingly mixed, with an influx of immigrants integrating its neighborhoods. What started as a trend may now be the permanent equilibrium. Brooklyn and Queens have been a worldwide example of poor immigrants getting along most of the time, often with better results than in their home countries. Presently, they have substantial populations from many countries. The borough also 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.
Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods, representing many of the major ethnic groups found within the New York City area. The borough is home to a large African American community. 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. "Bed-Stuy" is a hub for African American culture, often referenced in hip hop and African American arts. Brooklyn's African American and Caribbean communities are spread throughout much of Brooklyn.
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. Because of the large Ukrainian community, it has been nicknamed "Little Odessa." However, recently, it has been renamed to "Little Russia" because of the overwhelming presence of the Russian population. Originally these were mostly Jews, however, now it is the Russian and Ukrainian communities of Brighton Beach that represent various aspects of Russian and Ukrainian culture.
Bushwick is the largest hub of Brooklyn's Hispanic American community. Like other neighborhoods in New York City, Bushwick's Hispanic population is mainly Puerto Rican, with many Dominicans and peoples from several South American nations as well. As nearly 80% of Bushwick's population is Hispanic, its residents have created many businesses to support their various national and distinct traditions in food and other items. Sunset Park's population is 42% Hispanic, made up of these various ethnic groups. Brooklyn's main Hispanic groups are Puerto Ricans,Salvadorans, Dominicans, and Panamanians, they are spread out throughout the borough. Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans and Dominicans are predominant in Bushwick, Sunset Park, Williamsburg, and East New York. While Mexicans are predominant in Sunset Park and Panamanians in Crown Heights.
Italian Americans are mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, where there are many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Italian Americans live throughout most of southern Brooklyn, including Bath Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Bergen Beach. The Carroll Gardens area, as well as the northern half of Williamsburg, also have long-standing Italian-American communities.
Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews have become concentrated in Borough Park, Williamsburg, and Flatbush, where there are many yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher delicatessens, as well as many other Jewish businesses. Kosher restaurants, synagogues, Jewish schools and yeshivas can be found all over New York City, and many parts as well as in Brooklyn. Other notable religious Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods are Kensington, Midwood, Canarsie, Sea Gate, and Crown Heights. Many hospitals in Brooklyn were started by Jewish charities, including Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park and Brookdale Hospital in Brownsville. Many non-religious Jews are concentrated in Ditmas Park, Windsor Terrace and Park Slope. Brooklyn's Polish are largely concentrated in Greenpoint, which is home to Little Poland. They are also scattered throughout the southern parts 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. The West Indian Labor Day Parade, takes place every Labor Day on Eastern Parkway.
Brooklyn's Greek Americans live throughout the borough, but their businesses today are concentrated in Downtown Brooklyn near Atlantic Avenue. Greek-owned diners, like El-Greco on Sheepshead Bay, are also throughout the borough, but many Greeks have re-located off of Atlantic Avenue due to demographic shift.
Chinese Americans live throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, Bath Beach, 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". Many Chinese restaurants can be found throughout Sunset Park, and the area hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration.
Irish Americans can be found throughout Brooklyn, in low to moderate concentrations in the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Vinegar Hill. Many moved east on Long Island in the mid-twentieth century.
Today, Arab Americans and Pakistanis 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 predominately 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, near Brooklyn Heights.
Brooklyn has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema and theater. The Brooklyn accent is often portrayed as "typical New York" in American television and film.
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 collection – over 30,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) includes a 2,109-seat opera house, a 874-seat theater, and the art house BAM Rose Cinemas. Bargemusic and St. Ann's Warehouse are located 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 bi-weekly cultural guide The L Magazine and the arts and politics monthly Brooklyn Based is Brooklyn's most highly read email-based newsletter.
The Brooklyn Rail is one of the few surviving glossy magazines about Brooklyn. Several others, that are now defunct, include: 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. Major ethnic publications include the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic paper The Tablet and Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish daily. 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 the NYC Media Group, 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.
Parks and other attractions
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: located adjacent to Prospect Park is the 52-acre (21 ha) 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 at Astroland. Coney Island went into decline in the 1970s, but is currently undergoing a renaissance: the new Luna Park opened in 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. A variety of 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 both one of the most significant cemeteries in the United States and an expansive green space encompassing 478 acres (190 ha) of rolling hills and dales, several ponds, and a baroque chapel. Still in use, the cemetery is the burial ground of many notable New Yorkers, such as F.A.O. Schwarz (1836–1911), toy store founder; William M. "Boss" Tweed (1823–1878), notorious boss of the New York political machine; and actor Frank Morgan (1890–1949), best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film 'The Wizard of Oz'.
- 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 the New York subway, commuter rail and bus systems; it is located in the former IND Court Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights.
- Prospect Park is a public park in central Brooklyn encompassing 585 acres (2.37 km2) (237 ha). The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who created Manhattan's Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90-acre (36 ha) meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, the home of Edwin Clark Litchfield, an early developer of the neighborhood and a former owner of a southern section of the Park; Prospect Park Zoo; a large nature conservancy managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center; Brooklyn's only lake, covering 60 acres (24 ha); 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 called the Halloween Haunted Walk, complete with a carnival for kids.
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. Prior to that, they had played in Long Island and New Jersey. The NHL's New York Islanders, currently based in Nassau County on Long Island, are planning to play in the Barclays Center (while retaining their current name) in 2015, which will make it Brooklyn's second major professional sports franchise.
Brooklyn also has a storied sports history. It has been home to many famous sports figures such as Vince Lombardi, Mike Tyson, Joe Torre, 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’s rules 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. More recent attempts to bring back the Dodgers have not been successful.
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.
Brooklyn features extensive public transit. Eighteen New York City Subway lines, including the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, traverse the borough and 92.8% of Brooklyn residents traveling to Manhattan use the subway. Major stations of the 170 in Brooklyn include, Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center, Broadway Junction, DeKalb Avenue, Jay Street – MetroTech, and Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue.
The public bus network 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 located near the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, with ten connecting subway services.
The great majority of limited-access expressways and parkways are located 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, McGuiness Boulevard, Flatbush Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Bedford 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", "Plum" 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.
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by three bridges, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges; a vehicular tunnel, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel); and several subway tunnels. The Verrazano-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 Kosciuszko Bridge (part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the Pulaski Bridge, and the JJ Byrne Memorial 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 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 Verrazano-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.
NY Waterway offers commuter services from the western shore of Brooklyn to points in Lower Manhattan, Midtown, and Long Island City, as well as tours and charters. A Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, originally proposed in 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.
Education in Brooklyn is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system.
Brooklyn Technical High School (commonly called Brooklyn Tech), a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, mathematics, and technology in the United States. Brooklyn Tech opened in 1922. The location of Brooklyn Tech (as of 2010) is across the street from Fort Greene Park. This high school was built from 1930 to 1933 at a cost of about $6,000,000, and it is 12 stories high. It covers about half of a city block. Brooklyn Tech is noted for its famous alumni (including two Nobel Laureates), its academics, and the large number of graduates attending prestigious universities.
Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, and was the first public coeducational liberal arts college in New York City. The College ranked in the top 10 nationally for the second consecutive year in Princeton Review’s 2006 guidebook, America’s Best Value Colleges. Many of its students are first and second generation Americans.
Founded in 1970, Medgar Evers College is a senior college of the City University of New York, with a mission to develop and maintain high quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of a liberal arts education. The College offers programs both at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels, as well as Adult and Continuing Education classes for Central Brooklyn residents, corporations, government agencies, and community organizations. Medgar Evers College is a few blocks east of Prospect Park in Crown Heights.
CUNY's New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) (Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights) is the largest public college of technology in New York State and a national model for technological education. Established in 1946, City Tech can trace its roots to 1881 when the Technical Schools of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were renamed the New York Trade School. That institution—which became the Voorhees Technical Institute many decades later—was soon a model for the development of technical and vocational schools worldwide. In 1971, Voorhees was incorporated into City Tech.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, originally founded as the Long Island College Hospital in 1860, is the oldest hospital-based medical school in the United States. The Medical Center comprises the College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, School of Public Health, School of Graduate Studies, and University Hospital of Brooklyn. The Nobel Prize winner Robert F. Furchgott is a member of its faculty. Half of the Medical Center's students are minorities or immigrants. The College of Medicine has the highest percentage of minority students of any medical school in New York State.
Brooklyn Law School was founded in 1901 and is notable for its diverse student body. Women and African Americans were enrolled in 1909. According to the Leiter Report, a compendium of law school rankings published by Brian Leiter, Brooklyn Law School places 31st nationally for quality of students.
Long Island University is a private university in Downtown Brooklyn with 6,417 undergraduate students. The Brooklyn campus has strong science and medical technology programs, at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Pratt Institute, in Clinton Hill, is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as being one of the top 20 colleges in the Regional Universities North category. Pratt is a private college founded in 1887 with programs in engineering, architecture, and the arts. Many of Pratt's programs are ranked among the top ten in the country. Its graduate interior design program is ranked number one by US News and World Reports and by DesignIntelligence. The architecture program at Pratt was ranked as being one of the top ten in the country by DesignIntelligence. Kiplinger's Personal Finance also named Pratt as being one of the country’s best values in private colleges and universities. It was included as one of the top values for academic quality and affordability out of more than 600 private institutions. The school's Brooklyn campus has been named by Architectural Digest as being one of the top ten most architecturally significant, along with institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, and University of Virginia. Pratt has over 4700 students, with most at its Brooklyn campus. Graduate programs include library and information science, architecture, and urban planning. Undergraduate programs include architecture, construction management, writing, critical and visual studies, the arts, in total encompassing over 25 programs in all.
The Polytechnic Institute of NYU (NYU-Poly), the United States' second oldest private institute of technology, founded in 1854, has its main campus in Downtown's MetroTech Center, a commercial, civic and educational redevelopment project of which it was a key sponsor. NYU-Poly is one of the 18 schools and colleges that comprise New York University (NYU). NYU-Poly is considered one of the best engineering schools in the world. Forbes.com regularly ranks NYU-Poly among the top 10 in its list of “Top Colleges for Getting Rich”. NYU-Poly is regularly ranked among the top 4 in the nation for alumni with the highest mid-career salaries by CNNMoney.com In 2012, NYU-Poly was ranked #21 by graduate engineering enrollment in the United States according to the American Society for Engineering Education. As of 2013, NYU-Poly ranks #19 by graduate engineering enrollment in the United States according to U.S. News & World Report. The Institute counts 5 Nobel Prize winners (2 Nobel Prize in Physics, 2 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), 3 Putnam Mathematical Competition winners, 2 Wolf Prize in Physics winners, (1 Russ Prize, 3 Gordon Prize, 1 Draper Prize)(also known as Nobel Prizes of Engineering) winners, 2 Turing Award (also known as Nobel Prize of Nobel Prize of computing) winners, 2 W. Wallace McDowell Award (also known as Nobel Prize of Information Technology and Computer Engineering) winners, several National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, several Congressional Gold Medal winners, 1 List of prolific inventors inductee, multiple Technology & Engineering Emmy Award winners, 3 Israel Prize winners and many Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Awards winners (including 2 IEEE Edison Medal winners and 1 IEEE Medal of Honor winner).
St. Francis College is a Catholic College located in Brooklyn Heights and was founded in 1859 by Franciscan friars. Today, there are over 2,400 students attending the small liberal arts college. St. Francis is considered by the New York Times as one of the more diverse colleges, and it has recently been ranked one of the best baccalaureate colleges by both Forbes Magazine and U.S. News and World Report.
Brooklyn experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot summers and cold winters. It gets an average of around 22 inches of snowfall annually. Typical winter days are in the mid to low 30's and typical summer days are around 80°F. Brooklyn gets just under 50 inches of annual rainfall.
On October 29, 2012, Brooklyn suffered heavy damage from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Brooklyn Public Library
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 Kreyol, as well as French, Yiddish, Hindi, Bengali, Polish, Italian, and Arabic. The Central Library is a landmarked building facing Grand Army Plaza and is undergoing extensive renovations and an underground expansion.
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
|Brooklyn||Beşiktaş, Istanbul Province||Turkey||2005|
|Brooklyn||Borough of Lambeth
|Crown Heights||Kfar Chabad||Israel|
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Kings County, New York
- List of people from Brooklyn, New York
- Lynn Harris. The New York Times
- Frank J. Trezza. "Brooklyn Navy Yard 1966–1986, the Yard was still a Shipyard not an Industrial Park"
- Michael W. Robbins, ed. Brooklyn: A State of Mind. Workman Publishing, New York, 2001.
|Commons has media related to Brooklyn, New York City.|
|has a travel guide for Brooklyn.|
- Official website of the Brooklyn Borough President
- Brooklyn Tourism
- Brooklyn Neighborhoods
- All About Brooklyn