The Rich Diversity of Brooklyn Can Be Found Its Neighborhoods
The variety of places to visit and things to do in Brooklyn is tremendous. If you were planning a day or more to see the sights in Brooklyn, where would you go? What would your focus be?
Brooklyn is home to many iconic neighborhoods, each with its own rich history and culture. Even though many areas have changed over the years, learning a bit about these neighborhoods can truly enrich any visit to the famous borough. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Brighton Beach’s Russian Influence is Part of What Makes it a Special Place
No visit to Brooklyn would be complete without walking through Brighton Beach. This neighborhood was a popular weekend getaway for many but lost some of its glory after WWII. But as in the rest of Brooklyn, there has been a recent uptick in activity here. With the opening of new businesses, people are once again flocking to this area. In addition to the beach, Brighton Beach is known for its distinctly Russian culture and its abundance of Russian and Central European immigrants. You will find fantastic ethnic food and a laid-back vibe here.
Coney Island is a Must-See for Anyone Heading to Brooklyn
Coney Island is not far from Brighton Beach but has a much livelier, tourist-heavy scene, according to many. The Coney Island Boardwalk, beach, and amusement park attract visitors from around the world who want to see this iconic piece of American history and perhaps taste a hot dog from the place where it all began!
Cobble Hill’s Historical Feel is Immediately Evident
You might want to check out Cobble Hill, which has retained its historical feel. The area was settled in the 1640s by Dutch farmers and remains a quaint, picturesque part of town. Today, it is an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood that boasts an array of cultural influences, including Native American, Italian, Dutch, and English. The result is a bohemian feel and plenty of independent shops, artists, and cafes to please anyone who visits.
Families Flock to Park Slope
Park Slope, which boasts everything from activities in Prospect Park to high-end designer shops, is one of Brooklyn’s most family-friendly, upscale neighborhoods. It has excellent schools, beautiful streets, and an endless array of places to eat.
Hipster Heaven in Williamsburg
Williamsburg has become an increasingly expensive, hipster neighborhood, boasting upscale boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. Williamsburg’s transition to this cool, swanky spot began when artists and recent college graduates who couldn’t afford to live in Manhattan settled in this easily accessible location. With its street art and stunning Manhattan views, Williamsburg is a must-see for anyone coming to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Heights Maintains its History and Architecture Amidst Changes
If you love history and architecture, Brooklyn Heights has some of the most beautiful homes, buildings, and churches in Brooklyn. As far back as the 1830s, Brooklyn Heights became known as “America’s first suburb,” with the creation of the first steam ferry. It was also the city’s first neighborhood to become Historic District. Today Brooklyn Heights and nearby DUMBO are family-friendly neighborhoods with some incredible waterfront views of Manhattan and some unique, artsy, laid-back establishments. DUMBO has ideal spots to take photos of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
Carroll Gardens is a “Mini Little Italy” Located in Brooklyn
Head to Carroll Gardens if you are looking for a neighborhood with a real Italian vibe.
Carroll Gardens is home to a close-knit Italian community and has many fabulous pizzerias, deli’s, and unpretentious shops. It is an area of Brooklyn that feels a bit more like a village than a city.
Greenpoint Had a Large Polish Population and Retains Some of That Influence Today
Greenpoint still retains some of its distinctly Polish culture, although less so now than in previous decades. It is now mixed with a heavy Latin American influence. Parts of Greenpoint are designated historical landmarks, including its famed pencil factory, where an eraser was first attached to the writing instrument.
Greenpoint was a neighborhood of factory workers and modest homes. Today, like many places in Brooklyn, Greenpoint is changing. As newcomers move in and mingle with the long-time residents, there is a growing mix of and tradition and newness in the vibe of the neighborhood and local businesses.
Head to Boerum Hill for an Eclectic Brooklyn Vibe
Boerum Hill is another part of Brooklyn worth visiting. Here, you can find a beautiful combination of old-world 1800’s history with a modern, hip vibe. Many people say that you can feel like you are in many different decades just walking down the street. Boerum Hill has boutique shopping, bars, and restaurants, mixed with elegant building architecture and tree-lined streets. For a day of laid-back strolling in Brooklyn, you can find everything you want in Boerum Hill.
Gowanus is Getting Revitalized
For those looking for a grittier Brooklyn feel, it might be hard to find areas that have not been affected by gentrification. Most of Brooklyn is “fancier” than it used to be. But, if you want to see the famous canal where mobsters allegedly dumped their victims, head to Gowanus. Gowanus is actually on its way to becoming an increasingly attractive area. The canal is being cleaned, and there is a growing contingency of artists and young people moving into the neighborhood, making for an interesting mix of industries and residents. Several small artisan shops have opened up, attracting even more interest in this hidden gem of a neighborhood.
Brooklyn’s Neighborhoods Attract Residents and Visitors
If you are hoping to live in one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods or are looking for a day of fun, there is no shortage of options. Brooklyn attracts foodies, artists, workers, students, tourists, families, retirees, musicians, cyclists, and others to its many activities and community vibes. Where to start? Perhaps just pick a neighborhood and start walking or choose a restaurant and go from there. You can’t go wrong spending some time in Brooklyn and learning the rich and diverse cultures of the communities living there.
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