Brooklyn's sprawl can surely not be summed up in a paragraph or two. Its 2.5 million residents live in an area of 71 sq. miles but closer inspection will make it seem even bigger! Brooklyn has long been a borough of neighborhoods, many of which are ethnic enclaves. From the Hasidic communities of Williamsburg, to the Polish inhabitants of Greenpoint, through the Hispanic community of Sunset Park to Chinatown nestled right near by, to the Italian neighborhood of Bayridge, all the way out to Russian quarter of Brighton Beach Brooklyn offers visitors a nearly endless number of ways of life, and cuisines, to explore.
In Brooklyn Heights, right over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, visitors can get a peek at New York's rich past, literally. The area was once home to NYs elite, including the Roosevelts. The streets are lined with leafy trees and beautiful brownstone row houses, gorgeous, well-restored examples of period architecture.
Williamsburg is a hugely popular area of former factories, which have now blossomed into lofts, artist studios and cavernous eateries. It's a bit like Neverland, as no one on the street seems to be older then 30, but its teeming with life. Williamsburg has more artists per square foot then any neighborhood in the country, which makes for great gallery spaces!
Park Slope, another popular neighborhood of pre-war brownstones, is young urban paradise. The area houses great restaurants, bars and specialty shops, including countless bookstores on 7th Ave. The area is bordered by Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum on Flatbush Ave. Greenwood, the neighborhood to the south of Park Slope, looks to be the next hotspot in the real estate boom. For now you'll find a quieter family neighborhood which, while not really a tourist stop, has one noteworthy sight: Greenwood Cemetery. The sprawling cemetery was founded in 1838 and is now the quiet repose of many a famous NYer, including: Jean Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein and the city's most infamous mayor - Boss Tweed. Several different tours are offered of the park-like grounds.
One of New York's most storied sights is the boardwalk at Coney Island, bordered by beaches and the neon lights of the amusement parks that line it. Ride the famous Cyclone rollercoaster for a near-death experience - really. Shoot some skee ball, eat cotton candy and catch it all while it lasts because the neighborhood is in the decline.
There are a huge number of neighborhoods and sights left out here, and many a Brooklyn resident would make noise about being omitted, but 100's of books can't cover all Brooklyn has to offer! Jump on the subway and explore, ask locals for tips and they'll happily point you to the world's best whatever-you're-looking-for. This is Brooklyn after all, and we've got everything you could possibly want!