Explore Five Things That Might Surprise You About This Iconic NYC Borough
Since its beginnings, Brooklyn has steadily built a reputation for being one of the most beloved boroughs of New York. Rich in art, culture, music, architecture, and green space, Brooklyn has much to offer its residents and visitors, with attractions for all ages to enjoy. While it has been known as a hipster haven and hub for tech startups in recent years, Brooklyn has a rich history with some little-known facts about its past. Here is a list to bring you up to speed on where Brooklyn has been.
Its Original Name Was Breuckelen
Despite its modern reputation, Brooklyn was settled in the 1600s by the Dutch as a farming village dubbed Breuckelen. About 40 years later, the British arrived and anglicized the town, becoming the "Brooklyn" that we know today. The Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick also retains remnants of its historic name—Boswijck—as does the community of Canarsie.
Home of America’s First Roller Coaster
is a name known around the country and around the world—for its beach, its hot dogs, and its roller coasters. Located in Brooklyn’s southeastern corner, Coney Island is also home to the country’s first amusement park, with the world’s first roller coaster opening in 1884. By the turn of the century, theme parks were popping up all over the US thanks to Coney Island’s pioneering in the industry, many of which are still standing today.
Larger Than Manhattan
When people think of the biggest cities in the US, they immediately think of New York. But within the city limits are five boroughs that also compete against each other in terms of size and population. While Manhattan and Brooklyn aren’t considered two separate cities, if they were, Brooklyn would fall behind Los Angeles and Chicago as the third most populous city in the United States—ahead of Manhattan. With more square mileage than Manhattan, this may seem like a no-brainer, but Brooklyn’s popularity and density are often overlooked for the perceived glitz and glamour of Manhattan.
to Floyd Bennett Field
, Brooklyn boasts over 30 miles of shoreline, offering activities from outdoor dining and boat tours to kayaking and lounging on the beach, all in the middle of the city. Spend an afternoon fishing in Sheepshead Bay
or swimming in Manhattan Beach
followed by all-you-can-eat fresh crab at Clemente’s Crab House
. For outdoorsy types, you can camp out at Floyd Bennett Field and enjoy the sunset at the abandoned beach at Dead Horse Bay
Brooklyn was once known as the coffee capital of the world. By 1906, 25 million pounds of coffee were being roasted on John Street in Brooklyn’s now trendy neighborhood of DUMBO
every month, making it the highest-producing coffee building in the world at the time. Today, a number of craft coffee makers remain in Brooklyn—including Brooklyn Roasting Company—helping to preserve a part of the borough's history.
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