Brooklyn (named after the Dutch town Breukelen) is one of the five boroughs of New York City, situated south of Queens at the western tip of Long Island. Brooklyn is coterminous with Kings County (a political subdivision of the State of New York), but before the Grand Unification in 1898, Brooklyn was an independent city. It is sometimes referred to as "America's Fourth Largest City", including on a (now-removed) "Welcome to Brooklyn" sign at the Verazano-Narrows Bridge; if it were still a separate city, it would indeed be the fourth largest, after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. It is the most populated borough in the city, but the borough of Queens is the largest in terms of area. The borough is connected to adjacent Queens via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Brooklyn is home to several famous neighborhoods such as Greenpoint, Flatbush, Coney Island, Williamsburg, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Many famous Americans in the entertainment industry have been born in Brooklyn, such as actresses Barbara Stanwyck and Clara Bow, directors Woody Allen and Spike Lee, and singer Barbra Streisand, to name just a few.
The Borough of Neighborhoods
Brooklyn is sometimes known as "the borough of neighborhoods" because of its many well-defined and culturally independent neighborhoods. It would be difficult to list every single neighborhood here because there are so many of them, but some of the most notable and famous are:
- DUMBO (acronym for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass")
- Downtown Brooklyn (New York City's third most significant financial center after Midtown Manhattan and Manhattan's Financial District)
- Brooklyn Heights
- Williamsburg (a well-known community popular with artists and bohemians)
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (pronounced STY-vess-ent, birthplace of many celebrities)
- Brighton Beach
- Coney Island
- Carroll Gardens
- East New York
- Crown Heights
- Jackson, Kenneth, ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995), excerpt and text search