The distinct personality and rich culture of Brooklyn have been significant draws for many transplants to the area, and you'll find it to be a thriving center of art, design, culture and entrepreneurship. Brooklyn is one of New York City's most recognizable boroughs, and it's also one of the most populous. It's population alone would place it in the top most populous cities in the country. However, it's very small in terms of land area, therefore contributing to a very high population density. From Brooklyn, it's easy to reach other boroughs of the city, like Manhattan and Staten Island, thanks to convenient bridge connections and public transit.
Brooklyn was originally named Breuckelen, after an ancient town in Holland, by the Dutch European settlers who arrived in the 17th century. From there, it played a significant role in American history. From hosting one of the largest battles of the Revolutionary War to acting as the epicenter of the urbanization movement in the early 1800s to birthing a group of homegrown Civil War soldiers that President Lincoln personally recognized, Brooklyn was witness to many turning points in history.
The iconic Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883, strengthening ties between Brooklyn and New York City. Up until 1898, Brooklyn was its own city incorporated in the state of New York. Then it became one of the five boroughs to form modern-day New York City.
Living in Brooklyn
If you plan on moving to Brooklyn, there are a few things you need to know. First, Brooklyn isn't the dangerous, crime-ridden city it was decades ago. Today, you can enjoy peaceful parks, diverse culture ripe with entertainment opportunities and a full array of some of the best restaurants in the country. It's a great place for professionals looking to start careers, thanks to the hundreds of companies located there and in the surrounding area.
- Brooklyn has many different neighborhoods, so you're certain to find one that meets your needs. Some neighborhoods are extremely pricey, while others are affordable for families and young career professionals.
- Brooklyn is an energetic place with a thriving arts community, and it's becoming a haven for young and talented musicians, entertainers and artists. Alongside this cultural growth, new companies and start-ups are springing up daily, so opportunity abounds no matter what you do for a living.
- Space is at a premium in Brooklyn because of its small land area, so be ready to either trim down your belongings or rent a self-storage space.
- Having a car in Brooklyn can be more trouble than it's worth. Parking can be a hassle and isn't provided everywhere, so many Brooklynites just use public transportation or taxis.
Here are just a few of Brooklyn's dynamic neighborhoods you'll want to check out:
The Williamsburg neighborhood is a hub for the young and trendy, though many families also call the area home. It has a prime waterfront location that provides sweeping views of Manhattan, and is home to a rich variety of street art and murals.
The historic brownstones and tree-lined streets make this Brooklyn neighborhood one of the most desirable in all of New York, and it consistently tops a range of "Best of" lists. You'll find Park Slope to be a welcoming community dotted with neighborhood gardens, farmers' markets and friendly people.
Bushwick is a diverse community of cultures and religions, mainly due to its long history as a hub for immigrants settling in New York City. Most recently, it's become a dynamic Hispanic community, and hosts a small art collective in a unique live-work community.
The historic neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is filled with hundreds of brownstone row houses that date back to the pre-Civil War era, and was also one of the centers of the Abolitionist movement. Many of the streets in the neighborhood are named after figures that had important roles in its history, like John Adams, Charles Doughty and James Monroe.
Brooklyn's schools are as diverse as the city itself. There are several hundred schools for you to choose from, with a fairly even balance of both public and private schools. Public schooling in Brooklyn is managed by the New York City Department of Education. The borough is also home to one of the most well-known specialized high schools in the country, Brooklyn Technical High School, which counts two Nobel Laureates among its graduates. There, your child can experience a specialized study track focused on science, technology and math.
You have several school choices if you're pursuing higher education, including schools of law, medicine, art and technology.
Tips for Moving to Brooklyn
Making the move to Brooklyn doesn't have to be stressful. Here are a few key resources that'll help you transition smoothly:
Power: Two main electricity companies service Brooklyn: National Grid and Con Edison. Where you live will determine which of the companies provides your power, but you're able to shop around for the best electricity and gas rates from an alternate energy services company if you want.
Water: In many New York rentals, water is managed by the landlord and included in your monthly rent. However, if you own your own home, you'll need to contact the NYC Department of Environmental Services to turn on your water supply.
Garbage and Recycling: The New York City Department of Sanitation provides curbside pickup for both trash and recycling. You can visit their website to determine your home's scheduled collection day.
Transportation: On average, over half of Brooklyn households don't own a car – mainly because public transportation is simply so much more convenient. Take advantage of your wide range of public transit options, including the subway, bus, shuttle and ferry.
The market for homes in Brooklyn has been on an upswing for several years, and there's no end in sight. This is due to a large influx of new residents, the thriving economy, new professional opportunities and the general quality of life. You can find affordable homes in a few of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but expect to pay more than you would anywhere else for a similar size and style of home.