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Brooklyn New York is a borough, or New York City neighborhood, with an extreme sense of pride. Especially in recent years, this pride residents have in Brooklyn New York is completely justified: it is the most hip place in the city to visit, live, or play.
The village of Breuckelen, as this southwest segment of New York City was originally called, was the first official municipality in the state of New York, authorized by the Dutch West India Company in 1646. Later known as Brooklyn, this area remained its own city until 1898, and even then only joined the Big Apple by a slight majority.
This independent spirit lives on in many of Brooklyn’s roughly 2.5 million residents, who are quick to boast the many Brooklyn attractions their neighborhood has to offer. Since this neighborhood is a huge city in itself, an outsider could take a different Brooklyn tour each day for weeks without exhausting all of the amazing Brooklyn attractions available for visitors. There are, however, highlights that take top priority, such as the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, and (for the fun family) the Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island.
As you attempt to discover Brooklyn New York, it may be wise to first do some neighborhood exploring to kick off your Brooklyn Tour. The distinct neighborhoods within the borough make up major Brooklyn attractions in themselves, including the stunning Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights areas. These well-known Brooklyn New York neighborhoods include some of the most beautiful residential areas in the city, with gorgeous brownstones in Park Slope (and, of course, Prospect Park), and unbelievable old houses with stunning Manhattan views on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights. To experience the more up-and-coming neighborhoods of the young hipster crowd, check out DUMBO and Williamsburg. Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, or DUMBO, as you will hear it colloquially called on your Brooklyn Tour, is mainly warehouses recently gentrified and converted to all kinds of interesting real estate, both residential and commercial. Williamsburg is a bit more established as a hip place to eat, shop, live, and be seen. A borough map is a must to get the most out of a day of neighborhood exploration!
If you make Park Slope the grand finale of your Brooklyn tour through the neighborhoods, pick up where you left off the next morning in the Prospect Park area, as it includes some of the most memorable Brooklyn attractions. The Park includes the only major Brooklyn New York zoo, but may be best known for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which is a breathtaking stop for any plant lover, especially those who love roses. Time your visit in the autumn for an incredible walking tour through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden during the height of the fall foliage.
Don’t miss the nearby Brooklyn Museum, which is simply incredible, and would garner much more attention if it weren’t in the shadow of the MET in Manhattan. This museum is able to celebrate art from many different cultures, and offers a fun family event on the first Saturday of each month.
Perhaps due to the fact that artists have largely been priced out of living in Manhattan, the arts have thrived in Brooklyn New York. This renowned creativity, from painting to dance, and found in the work of novelists to hip-hop artists, expresses in each medium the rightfully proud soul of Brooklyn.
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