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Brooklyn

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Coordinates: 40°41′34″N 73°59′25″W / 40.69278°N 73.99028°W / 40.69278; -73.99028

Brooklyn
—  Borough of New York City  —
Kings County
File:DSCN3630 brooklynskyline e.JPG
View of Downtown Brooklyn from the Staten Island Ferry.
Location of Brooklyn shown in yellow.
Coordinates: 40°37′29″N 73°57′8″W / 40.62472°N 73.95222°W / 40.62472; -73.95222
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountyKings
CityNew York City
Settled1634
Government
 - Borough PresidentMarty Markowitz (D)
 - District AttorneyCharles Hynes
Area
 - Total96.90 sq mi (251 km2)
 - Land70.61 sq mi (182.9 km2)
 - Water26.29 sq mi (68.1 km2)
Population
 - Total2,556,598
 - Density34,916.6/sq mi (13,481.4/km2)
Postal Code112 + two digits
WebsiteOfficial Website of the Brooklyn Borough President

Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough with 2.5 million residents,[1] and second largest in area. It is also the western most County (Borough) on Long Island.

Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan).[2]

Brooklyn was an independent city until its consolidation with New York City in 1898, and continues to maintain a distinct culture, independent art scene, and unique architectural heritage. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate.

New York's Five Boroughs at a Glance
JurisdictionPopulationLand Area
Borough ofCounty ofestimate for
1 July 2008
square
miles
square
km
ManhattanNew York1,634,7952359
the BronxBronx1,391,90342109
BrooklynKings2,556,59871183
QueensQueens2,293,007109283
Staten IslandRichmond487,40758151
8,363,710303786
19,490,29747,214122,284
Source: United States Census Bureau[3][1][4]

Contents

History

Historical populations
YearPop. %±
16982,017
17121,925−4.6%
17232,21815.2%
17372,3485.9%
17462,331−0.7%
17562,70716.1%
17713,62333.8%
17904,54925.6%
18005,74026.2%
18108,30344.7%
182011,18734.7%
183020,53583.6%
184047,613131.9%
1850138,882191.7%
1860279,122101.0%
1870419,92150.4%
1880599,49542.8%
1890838,54739.9%
19001,166,58239.1%
19101,634,35140.1%
19202,018,35623.5%
19302,560,40126.9%
19402,698,2855.4%
19502,738,1751.5%
19602,627,319−4.0%
19702,602,012−1.0%
19802,231,028−14.3%
19902,300,6643.1%
20002,465,3267.2%
2008 est2,556,5983.7%
All figures are for Kings County. Sources: 1698 — 1771,[5] 1790 — 1990,[6] 2007[7]

The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area on the western end of Long Island, then largely inhabited by a Native American people, the Lenape (often erroneously referred to by the Lenape place-name, "Canarsee", in contemporary colonial documents.) The first Dutch settlement, established in 1634, was called Midwout (Midwood).[8] The Dutch also purchased land during the 1630s from the Mohawks in present- day Gowanus, Red Hook, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Bushwick.[8] 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 true municipality in what is now New York State. At the time, Breuckelen was part of New Netherland. Other villages which were later incorporated into Brooklyn were Boswijk (Bushwick), Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht), and Nieuw Amersfoort (Flatlands). A few houses and cemeteries still bear witness to the Dutch origins of the borough of Brooklyn.

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, and eventually, to Brooklyn.[8] 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 of England.

In August and September of 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 cast early doubts on his abilities as a military tactician and leader, he did keep the Continental Army intact with a brilliant overnight tactical retreat, across the East River, a maneuver seen by historians as one of his greatest practical accomplishments.[9]

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 imposing 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 Town of New Lots in 1886, the Town of Flatbush, the Town of Gravesend, and the Town of New Utrecht in 1894, and the Town of Flatlands in 1896. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the Kings County line.

Brooklyn, 1879.

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, and transportation to Manhattan no longer required a boat trip. Brooklyn now prepared to engage in the still-grander 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, nonetheless, retained its status as one of New York State's counties.

Government and politics

File:Bk Boro Hall summer dusk jeh.JPG

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 on the grounds that 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.[10]

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 Borough President is Marty Markowitz, elected as a Democrat in 2001 and re-elected in 2005.

The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. 69.7% of registered voters in Brooklyn are 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 Republican influence exist in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

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 official motto is Een Draght Mackt Maght. Written in the (old) Dutch language, it is inspired by the motto of the United Dutch Provinces and translated as 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.[11] Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.[12]

Party affiliation of Brooklyn registered voters
(relative percentages)
Party2005200420032002200120001999199819971996
Democratic69.769.270.070.170.670.370.770.870.871.0
Republican10.110.110.110.110.210.510.911.111.311.5
Other3.73.93.83.62.92.82.52.82.32.3
No affiliation16.516.916.116.216.316.515.915.515.415.2

Federal representation

Brooklyn has not voted for a Republican in a national presidential election in the last 50 years. In the 2008 presidential election Democrat Barack Obama received 79.4% of the vote in Brooklyn and Republican John McCain received 20.0%.

Presidential election results
YearRepublicanDemocrat
200820.0% 151,87279.4% 603,525
200424.3% 167,14974.9% 514,973
200015.7% 96,60580.6% 497,468
199615.1% 81,40680.1% 432,232
199222.9% 133,34470.7% 411,183
198832.6% 230,06466.3% 368,518
198438.3% 285,47761.3% 328,379
198038.4% 200,30655.4% 288,893
197631.1% 190,72868.3% 419,382
197249.0% 373,90350.8% 387,768
196832.0% 247,93663.1% 489,174
196425.0% 229,29174.8% 684,839
196033.5% 327,49766.2% 646,582
195645.2% 460,45654.7% 557,655

Six U.S. Congressional Districts (out of 435) include parts of Brooklyn. Two of those districts fall entirely within the borough.

  • Democrat Anthony Weiner of Queens is the representative of the 9th district, which includes much of central and southeastern Brooklyn, as well as portions of south-central Queens.[14]

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Main Post Office is located at 271 Cadman Plaza East in Downtown Brooklyn.[15]

Partnerships with districts of foreign cities

JurisdictionSister DistrictCountrySince
BrooklynBeşiktaş, Istanbul ProvinceTurkey2005[16]
BrooklynLeopoldstadt, ViennaAustria2007[17] [18] [19]
BrooklynAnzio, LazioItaly1990
BrooklynBorough of Lambeth
(Greater London)
England
(United Kingdom)
Crown HeightsKfar Chabad, CenterIsrael


Economy

Downtown Brooklyn is the third largest business district in New York City.

Brooklyn's job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national/city economy, population flows and the borough's position as a convenient back office for New York's businesses.[20]

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.[20]

In recent years Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back-office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech/entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms.[20]

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.[21] The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has a manufacturing plant in Brooklyn that employs 990 workers. First established as a shipbuilding facility in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard employed 70,000 people at is 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 iron-sided Civil War vessel the Monitor, and the Maine, whose sinking off Havana led to the start of the Spanish-American War. The Navy Yard is now a hub for industrial design firms, food processing businesses, and artisans, along with a growing 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.[22] Most employers in Brooklyn are small businesses. In 2000, 91% of the approximately 38,704 business establishments in Brooklyn had fewer than 20 employees.[23] As of August 2008, the borough's unemployment rate was 5.9%.[24]

Demographics

Brooklyn Compared
2000 CensusBrooklynNY CityNY State
Total population2,465,3268,008,27818,976,457
Population density34,920
/sq mi
26,403
/sq mi
402
/sq mi
Median household income (1999)$32,135$38,293$43,393
Per capita income$16,775$22,402$23,389
Bachelor's degree or higher22%27%24%
Foreign born38%36%20%
White41%45%67%
Black45%27%16%
Asian8%10%6%
Hispanic (any race)20%27%15%
Brooklyn has been New York City's most populous borough since the mid-1920s. (Key: Each borough's historical population in millions. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)

According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the borough's population was 43.7% White (36.2% non-Hispanic White alone), 36.2% Black or African American (33.7% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 9.3% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 11.9% from some other race and 1.5% from two or more races. 19.6% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [9]

37.4% of the population were foreign born (and another 3.5% were Born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parents), 46.1% spoke a language other than English at home and 27.4% had a Bachelor's degree or higher. [10]

In the 2000 Census, the following percentages of Brooklyn residents self-reported these European ancestries:[25]

  • Italian: 7.5%
  • Polish: 3.8%
  • Irish: 3.3%
  • Russian: 2.9%
  • German: 1.6%
  • Ukrainian: 1.5%

According to 2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there are 2,486,235 people (up from 2.3 million in 1990), 880,727 households, and 583,922 families residing in Brooklyn.[26][27] 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).

In 2000, 41.20% of Brooklyn residents were white; 36.44% were black; 7.54% were Asian; 0.41% were Native American; 0.06% Pacific Islander; 10.05% were of other races; and 4.27% were from two or more races. People of Hispanic or Latino origin, who may be of any race, comprised 19.79% of the population. 18.00% of the population reported speaking Spanish at home, 5.95% Russian, 4.19% French or a French-based creole, 3.92% Chinese, 3.10% Yiddish, 2.10% Italian, 1.42% Polish, 1.13% Hebrew, 1.09% Punjabi and 0.68% Urdu.[28]

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 of the New York City boroughs [11].

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.

Neighborhoods

File:Greenpoint, Brooklyn 2009.JPG
Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Brownstone rowhouses are prevalent in many parts of Brooklyn, including Bedford-Stuyvesant (seen here).

See also: List of Brooklyn neighborhoods and New York City ethnic enclaves

Brooklyn has long been a magnet for immigrants, and many ethnic groups dominate a particular ethnic neighborhood. However, with gentrification on the rise, many of Brooklyn's neighborhoods are now becoming increasingly diverse with an influx of immigrants integrating its neighborhoods. It presently has substantial populations from many countries. The borough also attracts people previously residing in the United States. Of these, most come from Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, and Seattle.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35]

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. It 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 community of Brighton Beach and surrounding communities. Brighton Beach features many Russian and Ukrainian businesses. Because of the large Ukrainian community, it has been nicknamed "Little Odessa."

Bushwick is the largest hub of Brooklyn's Hispanic-American community. With around 80% of Bushwick's population being Hispanic, it is a Hispanic cultural stronghold in New York City. Many businesses in the neighborhood reflect Bushwick's strong Hispanic presence. Sunset Park also has a significant number of Hispanics, with 42% of the demographics belonging to Hispanics.

Italian-Americans are mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, where there are many Italian restaurants and pizzerias.

Chinese-Americans are scattered throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn, but largely concentrated in Sunset Park along 8th avenue, which is known for Chinese culture and also known as Brooklyn's Chinatown. Many Chinese restaurants can be found throughout Sunset Park, and the area hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration. Currently Sunset Park still carries Brooklyn's Chinese population, however the Chinese population in recent years have been spreading more rapidly in other parts of the southern parts of Brooklyn than in Sunset Park, especially in Bensonhurst and could soon replace Sunset Park as having Brooklyn's largest Chinese population.

Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews are largely concentrated in Borough Park, where there are many yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher delicatessens, as well as other Jewish businesses. Other notable Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods are in Flatbush, Williamsburg and Crown Heights.

Brooklyn's Irish can be found throughout Brooklyn, in low to moderate concentrations in the neighborhoods of Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Vinegar Hill.

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 Arab can be found in the Southwest portion of Brooklyn. Especially in the neighborhood of Northern Bay Ridge, where there are many Middle Eastern restaurants, hookah lounges, and mosques.

Broolyn's West Indians can be found in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Flatbush is home to many of Brooklyn's West Indian restaurants and Bakeries. Flatbush is home of the West Indian Labor Day Parade.

Culture

File:P9210006.JPG
The Brooklyn Museum is one of New York's premier art museums.

Brooklyn has played a major role in American letters. Walt Whitman wrote of the Brooklyn waterfront in his classic poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. Harlem Renaissance playwright Eulalie Spence taught at Eastern District High School in Brooklyn from 1927-1938, a time during which she wrote her critically acclaimed plays Fool's Errand, and Her. In 1930, poet Hart Crane published the epic poem The Bridge, using the Brooklyn Bridge as central symbol and poetic starting point. The novels of Henry Miller include reflections on several of the ethnic German and Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn during the 1890s and early 20th century; his novels Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion include long tracts describing his childhood and young adulthood spent in the Borough. Betty Smith's 1943 book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and the 1945 film based on it, are among the best-known early works about life in Brooklyn. Chaim Potok, rabbi and Brooklyn resident, wrote The Chosen, a book about two Jewish boys growing up in Brooklyn that was published in 1947. William Styron's novel Sophie's Choice is set in Flatbush, just off Prospect Park, during the summer of 1947. Arthur Miller's 1955 play A View From the Bridge is set in Brooklyn. Paule Marshall's 1959 novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones, about Barbadian immigrants during the Depression and World War II is also set in.

More recently, Brooklyn-born author Jonathan Lethem has written several books about growing up in the borough, including Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude. The neighborhood of Park Slope is home to many contemporary writers, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody, Jennifer Egan, Kathryn Harrison, Paul Auster, Franco Ambriz, Nicole Krauss, Colson Whitehead, Darin Strauss, Siri Hustvedt and Suketu Mehta, among others. The Discovery Kids show Time Warp Trio is also set in Brooklyn.

The borough has had a part in theater and film as well. Lynn Nottage's play Crumbs from the Table of Joy is set in post-World War II Brooklyn and deals with the hopes and frustrations of an African American family recently arrived from Florida. The John Travolta movie Saturday Night Fever was set in Bay Ridge, an Italian neighborhood in southern Brooklyn. Neil Simon's 1983 play "Brighton Beach Memoirs" is set in 1937 Brooklyn. In the late 1980s Brooklyn achieved a new cultural prominence with the films of Spike Lee, whose She's Gotta Have It and Do The Right Thing were shot in Brooklyn neighborhoods. In 2001/02, the German filmmaker Christoph Weinert shot a documentary With Allah in Brooklyn.[36] The 2005 film The Squid and the Whale, by Noah Baumbach, the son of novelist Jonathan Baumbach and Village Voice film critic Georgia Brown, examined the family life of the Park Slope intelligentsia. After Radio City Music Hall, Brooklyn Technical High School houses the second largest auditorium in New York City with seating capacity of over 3,000. [37]

The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, the nation's second largest public art museum, includes 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 Association of Museums, it is one of the few globally to have a permanent collection - 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 on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district.

File:Williamsburg Arts 2009.JPG
Brooklyn's art scene has flourished in recent years, due largely to the conversion of former manufacturing buildings into art studios.

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. The BRIC Rotunda Gallery, founded in 1981, is the oldest not-for-profit gallery dedicated to presenting contemporary art work by artists who are from, live, or work in the borough. The Gallery, located in Brooklyn Heights, presents contemporary art of all media, public events and an innovative arts education program. The Gallery's aim is to increase the visibility and accessibility of contemporary art while bridging the gap between the art world and global culture in Brooklyn and the world beyond. BRIC Rotunda Gallery is the contemporary art space of BRIC Arts|Media|Bklyn, a multi-disciplinary arts and media non-profit, dedicated to presenting contemporary art, performing art and community media programs that are reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities and to supporting the creative process.

In 2008, a TKTS Booth was opened in Downtown Brooklyn (Jay St. and Myrtle St. Promenade), allowing patrons to buy both day-of and next-day matinee tickets to selected theatre, dance and music events.

Brooklyn contains the most of every group from every culture, ethnic, and racial background. The majority of the people of African descent is of Caribbean origin. Much of Brooklyn's distinct culture can be reflected on the cultures that these immigrants bring with them. A portion of Utica Avenue was historically named Malcolm X Boulevard because of his achievements as both a nationalist, and a separatist. To this day Malcolm X remains the most important figure to many of the people in that community.

Brooklyn is home to one of the most vibrant Jewish communities outside of Israel (one reason for the 2007 signed partnership[38][39] with Leopoldstadt, a district of Vienna, Austria (a main Jewish centre of Central Europe for centuries, and despite the Holocaust even today). Some estimates have the Jewish population in Brooklyn at as high as three-quarters of a million, with many living in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Gravesend, Crown Heights, and other sections of Brooklyn. Much of the Jewish community, most notably the Hasidic and Hareidi Jews, are fluent in Yiddish and often use it as their first language.

Variously called the "City of Trees," "City of Homes," or the "City of Churches" in the 19th century, Brooklyn is now often styled the "Borough of Homes and Churches". As of 2008, there are more than 516,000 Jews in Brooklyn—some 37 percent of whom are Orthodox.[40]

As a promotional gesture by the current borough administration, distinctive traffic signs are posted along major traffic arteries at Brooklyn’s border crossings. They incorporate colorful expressions associated with Brooklyn, including: "Fugheddaboudit," "Oy vey!," and "How Sweet It Is." One sign identifies the borough as: "Home to Everyone From Everywhere!"

Brooklyn and Red Hook feature in Arthur Miller's play A View From The Bridge which is a tragedy set in 1940-50s New York about an Italian American Family.

Media

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch at Grand Army Plaza

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 considered to be 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 and the arts and cultural quarterly,Cabinet. HelloBrooklyn.com is Brooklyn's largest portal with more than 10,000 links.[41]

Brooklyn has a thriving ethnic press. Major ethnic publications include the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic paper The Tablet, Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish daily, as well as several Haitian newspapers including the Haitian Times, Haiti Observateur, and Haiti Progress. 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.

The Brooklyn accent is often portrayed as 'typical New York' in American television and film. The City of New York also 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. BCAT, the Media program of BRIC, shares the former Strand Theater - adjoining BAM's Harvey Theater - with the non-profit artists collective atelier/exhibition center, Urban Glass. The facility's upcoming expansion will include a new 250-seat, year round home for BRIC's annual "Celebrate Brooklyn" performances.

Tourism

Southern Brooklyn was once the premier resort destination for New York City. Coney Island developed as a playground for the rich in the early 1900s, when wealthy New Yorkers would bet on horses at the Gravesend or Sheepshead Bay Race Track and dined at high-class restaurants and seaside hotels. No trip to Sheepshead Bay would be complete without a stop at the docks and then dinner at Lundy's Restaurant. The introduction of the subway made Coney Island a vacation destination for the masses, and it evolved into one of America's first amusement grounds. 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 undergoing a renaissance. The annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade is a hipster costume-and-float parade which honored David Byrne, pre-punk music guru, as the head merman in 1998. Coney Island also hosts the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Green-Wood Cemetery, founded by the social reformer Henry Evelyn Pierrepoint 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 some of the most famous New Yorkers, including Albert Anastasia (1903-1957), mobster, "Lord High Executioner" for "Murder Inc."; Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), artist; Aqualung, drifter; Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), composer; Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), New Orleans-born pianist and composer; Laura Jean Libbey (1862-1924), best-selling "dime-store" novelist; Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872), inventor of the telegraph; Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965), journalist; Martha Bulloch Roosevelt (1834-1884), mother of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt; Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), birth control advocate; 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.

The 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. The 52 acre (21 ha) Brooklyn Botanic Garden includes a cherry tree esplanade, a one acre (0.4 ha) rose garden, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a fragrance garden for the blind, 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.

Sports

Brooklyn has a storied sports history. It has been home to many famous sports figures such as Red Auerbach, Carmelo Anthony, Bobby Fischer, Vince Lombardi, Brandon Silvestry (aka Low Ki), Joe Paterno, Mike Tyson, Joe Pepitone, Joe Torre, Larry Brown, Vitas Gerulaitis, Al Bummy Davis, Herbie Kronowitz, Paul Lo Duca, John Franco, Stephon Marbury, John Halama, and Rico Petrocelli. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, but grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Parks throughout the borough such as Prospect Park, Marine Park, and the community sports complex at Floyd Bennett Field provide residents an opportunity to practice and hone their sports skills and talents.

In the earliest days of organized baseball, Brooklyn 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. 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. [42]

Brooklyn's most famous team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, played at Ebbets Field and was named for "trolley dodgers".[43] Dodger Jackie Robinson in 1947 became 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 borne fruit.

After a 43-year hiatus, however, professional baseball returned to the borough in 2001 in the form of the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team that plays in Keyspan Park in Coney Island. They are an affiliate of the New York Mets.

Minor league soccer arrived in Brooklyn when the Brooklyn Knights relocated from their previous home in Queens to the new Aviator Field complex, which includes a 2,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. The team plays in the USL Premier Development League, at the fourth level of US soccer.

The Eastern Professional Hockey League included a team called the Brooklyn Aces into its inaugural 2008 season membership. The team will play at Aviator Sports and Recreation.

A reminder of Brooklyn's days as a sporting goods manufacturer, a skateboard company in Brooklyn called 5boro is co-owned by Mark Nardelli and Steve Rodriguez.

Transportation

File:R143Int.JPG
A Brooklyn-bound train on BMT Canarsie Line (L)
MTA New York City Bus #840 on the B9 in Bensonhurst.

Brooklyn is well served by 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 include, Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street, Broadway Junction, DeKalb Avenue, Jay Street-Borough Hall, and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.[44]

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 station, Nostrand Avenue station, and Atlantic Terminal/Flatbush Avenue, the terminus of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The terminal is located adjacent to the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street Station, with ten connecting subway lines.

The grand 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. Major thoroughfares include, Atlantic Avenue, 4th 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 and western sections south of there have numbered streets running approximately east/west, and numbered avenues going approximately north/south. East of Dahill Road, lettered avenues run east/west, and numbered streets have the prefix "East". Numbered streets prefixed by "North", "South", "West", "Bay", "Brighton", "Plumb" or "Flatlands" exist in other areas, 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 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.

Historically Brooklyn's waterfront was 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 city has recently built a new cruise ship terminal in Red Hook that is to become a focal point for New York's growing cruise industry. The Queen Mary 2, the world's largest ocean liner, was designed specifically to fit under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the United States. The Queen Mary 2 makes regular ports of call at the Red Hook terminal on her transatlantic runs from Southampton, England. New York Water Taxi offers commuter services from Brooklyn's west shore to points in Lower Manhattan, Midtown, Long Island City and Breezy Point in Rockaway, Queens, 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

Higgins Hall at the Pratt Institute.

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 College is a senior college of the City University of New York, and was the first public co-ed 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 immigrants. Emblematic of its students’ potential is Eugene Shenderov, the son of Russian immigrants who received a 2005 Rhodes Scholarship before graduating from the College's B.A.-M.D. program in June 2005. The Brooklyn College campus serves as home to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts complex and its four theaters, including the George Gershwin.

Brooklyn Technical High School (commonly called Brooklyn Tech or just Tech), a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States. [45] Tech opened in 1922. The school'a current location is across the street from Fort Greene Park. It was built from 1930-33 at a cost of $6 million, is 12 stories high, and covers over half a city block.[46] Brooklyn Tech is noted for its famous alumni [47](including two Nobel Laureates), its academics, and the large number of graduates attending prestigious universities.

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.

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.[48]

Kingsborough Community College is a junior college in the City University of New York system, located in Manhattan Beach. It was recently named one of the top ten community colleges in the United States by the New York Times.

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, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and the School of Graduate Studies, where Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Robert F. Furchgott is a member of the 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.

Polytechnic University (New York), the United States' second oldest private technological university, 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. As of July 2008 it merged with the much larger and wealthier NYU, and is now called Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

Poly's MetroTech neighbor, 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/vocational schools worldwide. In 1971, Voorhees was incorporated into City Tech.

Long Island University is a private university in Downtown Brooklyn with 6,417 undergraduate students. In Clinton Hill, the Pratt Institute is one of the leading art schools in the United States and offers programs in art, architecture, fashion design, design, creative writing, library science, and other area disciplines.

File:Brooklyn Public Library by DS.JPG
The Central Library at Grand Army Plaza

Brooklyn is home to smaller liberal arts institutions such as Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, Saint Joseph's College, New York in Clinton Hill and Boricua College in Williamsburg.

As an independent system, separate from the New York and Queens public library systems, the Brooklyn Public Library[49] 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 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 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.

See also

New York City portal
New York portal

References

  1. ^ a b Kings County, New York, United States Census Bureau, December 30, 2006
  2. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000", United States Census Bureau, accessed May 11, 2007.
  3. ^ American Fact Finder (U.S. Census Bureau): Table GCT-T1, 2008 Population Estimates for New York State by County, retrieved on May 15, 2009
  4. ^ American Fact Finder (U.S. Census Bureau): New York by County - Table GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000 Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data, retrieved on February 6, 2009
  5. ^ Greene and Harrington (1932). American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790. New York. , as cited in: Rosenwaike, Ira (1972). Population History of New York City. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. pp. 8. ISBN 0815621558. 
  6. ^ New York State Department of Economic Development
  7. ^ Kings County, New York
  8. ^ a b c Ellis, Edward Robb (1966). The Epic of New York City. Old Town Books. pp. 53. 
  9. ^ McCullagh, David. 1776. Simon & Schuster. May 24, 2005. [ISBN 978-0743226714]
  10. ^ Cornell Law School Supreme Court Collection: Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris, accessed June 12, 2006
  11. ^ The webpage cannot be found, accessed October 10, 2007
  12. ^ Borough of Brooklyn.blue and gold.
  13. ^ "'Black seat' threatened by Yassky’s congressional run, big money support." 1 June 2006.[1]
  14. ^ Anthony Weiner neighborhoods, accessed April 15, 2007.
  15. ^ "NYC Post Offices to observe Presidents’ Day." United States Postal Service. February 11, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  16. ^ Brooklyn Borough President
  17. ^ BP (Borough Pres.) Markowitz joins Vienna deputy mayor to announce new "district partnership" (March 05)
  18. ^ Vienna in New York 2007 (2007-03-15)
  19. ^ Brooklyn in Leopoldstadt (2007-07-05)
  20. ^ a b c New York State Department of Labor Brooklyn Report, April 2006. [2]
  21. ^ New York City Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn Borough Update March 2004.[3]
  22. ^ New York State Dept of Labor [4]
  23. ^ U.S. Census Bureau, 2001 County Business Patterns. [5]
  24. ^ New York State Dept of Labor[6]
  25. ^ American Factfinder 2000 Ancestry: Kings County, NY
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  27. ^ U.S. Census Bureau, "Residential Population and Components of Change New York State and Counties, April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005." Retrieved on 2006-08-04.[7]
  28. ^ MLA Data Center - Kings County, New York Retrieved 4 November 2006.
  29. ^ "African Americans", Encyclopedia of Chicago Accessed 1 March 2008
  30. ^ Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990. U.S. Bureau of the Census - Population Division, accessed 1 March 2008
  31. ^ San Francisco Hopes to Reverse Black Flight
  32. ^ Census Shows More Black Residents Are Leaving New York and Other Cities
  33. ^ "State & County QuickFacts: California". U.S. Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html. Retrieved February 11 2007. 
  34. ^ Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Report, 2002.http://www.bedc.org/statistics/domestic_migration.htm
  35. ^ Muhammad, Nisa Islam. "D.C. ‘exodus’ sparks district renewal efforts for Whites", The Final Call, June 21, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007.
  36. ^ German Original Titel: Mit Allah in Brooklyn
  37. ^ http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Directory/school/?sid=3330#AdditionalInformationAnchor
  38. ^ Partnership with Leopoldstadt (Vienna, Austria): List of twin towns and sister cities in Austria#Vienna or scroll down to New York City, then proceed to Brooklyn on the list of sister cities in New York.
  39. ^ http://diepresse.com/home/politik/aussenpolitik/289167/index.do?from=suche.intern.portal
  40. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5irUYN-jzvVqxM2-KINEi4mGpGJiQD94KR8SG0
  41. ^ Brooklyn Events at a Glance, accessed October 10, 2007
  42. ^ Rare Sport for Connoisseurs: How Baseball Was Born in Brooklyn [8]
  43. ^ Ebbets Field, Accessed October 10, 2007
  44. ^ Convissor, DanielDOT Sees More Highways As Brooklyn's Road to Clean Air, Auto-Free Press, January/February 1992. Retrieved 4 November 2006.
  45. ^ ^ New York City School Reports 2006-07
  46. ^ http://bths.edu/school_history.jsp?rn=9612672
  47. ^ Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame
  48. ^ Leiter's Law School Rankings
  49. ^ http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org

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