There is a lot more to New York City than the island of Manhattan. New York's other boroughs have fascinating neighborhoods with strong, unique personalities, tons of history and lots of flavor.
Brooklyn the County of Kings
Brooklyn Facts: It is the 4th largest city in the U.S. with an area comprising 96.9 sq. miles. Kings County is named after King Charles II.
Brooklyn's cultural influence can be said to have had an almost global cultural influence. Brooklyn has left its powerful imprint in literature, art, Hollywood, television, Broadway, politics, business and influenced generations through its many larger than life Brooklyn personalities that have cut a broad swath throughout the world.
Brooklyn gave birth to the powerfully contemplative poetry of W.H. Auden, the raciness of Mae West, the beauty of Rita Hayworth, gangsters Al Capone and Bugsy Seigal, the seminal works of Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Joseph Heller, the humor of Henny Youngman, Buddy Hackett, Phil Silvers, Jimmy Durante and others. Musical maestros from Brooklyn include George & Ira Gershwin, Tupac Shakur, Carole King, Lena Horne, and Clive Davis.
Brooklyn natives have traveled far and wide bringing with them a passion and a depth of feeling for interaction with the world around them. Brooklynites are sophisticated observers and very able doers.
Famous Brooklynites that were born in or lived in Brooklyn include Mae West, Woody Allen, Barbara Streisand, Al Capone, Vince Lombardi, Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, Jackie Gleason, Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck, Mickey Rooney, Carole King, Lena Horne, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Carl Sagan, Michael Jordan, Jerry Seinfeld, George & Ira Gershwin, Zero Mostel, Vanessa Williams, Ken Burns, Wolfman Jack, Mel Brooks, Eddie Murphy, Harry Nilsson, Eli Wallach, Tupac Shakur, Buddy Rich, Harvey Fierstein, Mary Tyler Moore, Jack Lord, Richard Dreyfuss, David Geffen, Tony Danza, Neil Diamond, Joe Torre, and Joan Rivers. Brooklyn has always had a hard to pin down special quality that has allowed for many kinds of creations and creators to be nurtured here. The bridges that span New York City's harbor speak of the period when Manhattan became more solidly connected with Brooklyn, its very independent neighbor.
The busy harbor where the Hudson and the East River mingle, teems with vessels of all kinds both local and foreign; reminding one of the water's link with a world beyond these restless city streets. From the privileged view of the Brooklyn Heights promenade through the river's bend at Red Hook along the pathways under the Verrazano Bridge through the beaches of Coney Island; the rivers and Atlantic Ocean anchor Brooklyn's borders barely containing it's energies at the water's edge.
Each Brooklyn neighborhood has certain distinct qualities that come through as one walks through them block by block. In South Brooklyn and Red Hook a remnant of the rugged nautical atmosphere still hangs in the air close to the old docks. The infamous Gowanus Canal now somewhat cleaner is undergoing transformation from being a keeper of morbid secrets to an arts colony.
Sunset Park has given birth to one of the newest enclaves of Chinese immigrants and with it a second Chinatown, though a little roomier than its city cousin. The Ocean Parkway area and Borough Park have one of the largest populations of Jewish orthodox and Jewish people from Russia. East New York, once one of the "hardest" neighborhoods on the planet is changing too with new homeowners planting roots.
Park Slope that bastion of enlightened yuppies is mobbed with baby strollers and the politically correct hipsters. Crown Heights, Flatbush, Bay Ridge, Canarsie, Flatlands, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Rockaway, Cobble Hill, Vinegar Hill, all have an atmosphere that is uniquely their very own.
Brooklyn is deep. Brooklyn keeps changing. It would take several lifetimes and a great deal of wherewithal to get to know all of Brooklyn, there are not many that do.
Brooklyn Attractions, Information & History
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. http://www.bbg.org/
Brooklyn Stories. Tour of Brooklyn landmarks. http://www.brooklyn.net/bklyn_stories_01.html
The Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Team. Information and season schedule. http://www.brooklyncyclones.com
Go Brooklyn. Brooklyn Paper's guide to Brooklyn. http://www.go-brooklyn.com/
Saint Francis College. https://www.sfc.edu