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In the 1630s, a small Dutch village was settled in the New World, authorized by the Dutch West India Company. The settlers named their quiet little village Breuckelen. The British conquest of New Netherland in 1664 had a new influx of settlers moving in, and the name slowly evolved over time to its current form, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn, New York is the whole of Kings County, the most densely populated of New York City’s five boroughs. Nearly 2.6 million people call this section of Long Island home, and its famous landmarks include the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, which was completed in 1883. Brooklyn was its own city until 1898, when it merged with New York City.
Brooklyn is a diverse community with many ethnic neighborhoods. Bedford Stuyvesant, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Kensington, Crown Heights, Greenpoint, Gerritsen Beach, Bay Ridge, and Crown Heights are just a few of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, all with their own distinct flavor and character.
Attractions in Brooklyn include the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn academy of Music, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the DUMBO arts district. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a beautiful location with bright pink cherry tree blossoms contrasting to the emerald green lawn. The park also includes a pond, a rock garden, and a rose garden. Coney Island is another famous landmark. Its Cyclone Rollercoaster was built in 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Prospect Park is a 585-acre park designed by the same designers who created Central Park in Manhattan.
Pedestrian-friendly and well connected, many who live in Brooklyn never have to use a car. The public transit system is extensive: there are a total of 18 New York City subway lines, and more than 90 percent of Brooklyn residents travel to Manhattan by subway. Brooklyn also has a widespread bus network covering the entire borough. New York’s yellow taxis also cover the Brooklyn area.
Brooklyn is home to several colleges and universities, including Long Island University, Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn College, Medgar Evers College, and Brooklyn Law School.
Kings County-Brooklyn contains over 150 historic sites, including several subway stations (such as 15th Street-Prospect Park, Bay Parkway, and Fourth Avenue). The Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Borough Hall, and the Brooklyn Museum are also listed as historic sites. The Brooklyn Heights Historic District contains 140 acres of properties dating to the early 1800s.