Once a city, now a borough, Brooklyn is often overshadowed by its famous nearby counterpart of Manhattan. However, there are many interesting things Brooklyn is known for that should not be overlooked. It is a unique district with its own distinct characteristics and charm that is well worth exploring.
What Is Brooklyn Known For?
Brooklyn is known for its thriving art scene brownstone buildings and rich cultural diversity, which can be seen in the various neighborhoods. The city is home to several top landmarks in New York, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Museum, and Prospect Park. Brooklyn is also famous for its role in the growth and development of the hip-hop music genre.
History, Culture, And Traditions Brooklyn Is Known For
Hip-hop is a music genre that encompasses not only music but also dance, art, and fashion. It is one of the most famous music genres in the world and is rumored to have originated in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn’s association with hip-hop is often linked to iconic musicians and founders like the Notorious B.I.G and DJ Kool Herc.
Apart from its association with these legendary musicians, Brooklyn is also famous for being home to several influential hip-hop venues, clubs, and radio stations that have contributed to hip-hop’s growth and evolution.
The history of hip-hop can’t be discussed without mentioning street dancing, and history has it that Brooklyn also played a pivotal role in the early development of street dance forms like breakdancing. Even today, it is not uncommon to find dance crews and battles on the streets and in parks in Brooklyn.
If you’re interested in experiencing Brooklyn’s hip-hop scene firsthand, you can plan your visit around July to attend the annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Be sure to also check out live music venues, dance studios, and independent record stores.
Diverse Cultural And Religious Scene
One of the peculiar characteristics Brooklyn is known for is its cultural and religious diversity. The borough has a reputation for welcoming immigrants from all over the world, creating a rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and religions in the region.
Brooklyn is home to people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, including African American, Caribbean, Latinx, Chinese, Russian, Jewish, Italian, and many others. Each of these communities contributes to the borough’s cultural richness.
While most of these backgrounds have integrated with each other, there are still particular neighborhoods that are known for specific ethnicities.
For example, if you want to explore and observe African American and Afro-Caribbean culture in Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant is the place to go. To observe Chinese, Jewish, and Russian cultures, you can visit Sunset Park, Borough Park, and Brighton Beach respectively.
Brooklyn is also famous for hosting a multitude of cultural festivals to celebrate various ethnic traditions. Examples include the Labor Day Parade, Diwali Festival, Chinese New Year Parade, and the Arab American Bazaar.
Several institutions representing various faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more, with corresponding landmarks, are also present in Brooklyn.
This cultural diversity can be seen in various aspects of Brooklyn, from its culinary scene to languages, landmarks, and more. If you’re interested in a vacation location where you can learn about several cultures at once, especially one within the United States, Brooklyn should be on your must-visit places list.
Thriving Art Scene
Brooklyn’s thriving art scene is an integral part of its identity, involving different styles of artistic expression from contemporary galleries to street art, performance art, and more.
Art enthusiasts and lovers are welcome to browse through the diverse array of art galleries in neighborhoods like DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Williamsburg, which are known for their concentration of galleries.
Areas like Williamsburg and Bushwick are also known for their concentration of traditional street murals, arts, and graffiti. Street art tours are great for understanding the meaning and artists behind these creative expressions.
Beyond the visual art styles mentioned above, Brooklyn is also famous for performance art in the form of experimental theater, dance, and live music events.
Brooklyn is known for having some of the most iconic brownstone architectural pieces in New York. These historic brownstones, characterized by their distinctive brownish-red sandstone facades, have a unique charm that attracts residents and visitors alike.
Many of them feature intricate ornamentation, decorative ironwork, and beautiful staircases. The elegance and attention to detail are captivating.
Some of Brooklyn’s most famous neighborhoods, such as Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Fort Greene, are known for their abundance of brownstone buildings. Thankfully, there are guided architectural tours of Brooklyn’s brownstone neighborhoods that provide insight into the history, design, and preservation efforts of these iconic buildings.
Landmarks And Architecture Brooklyn Is Famous For
Brooklyn is perhaps most famous for housing one of the iconic landmarks in New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge. Many photos of the borough will feature either the bridge or the scenic view from the bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and was one of the first suspension bridges in the world to use steel cable for its main support structure.
Aside from its functionality as a bridge, it is also a stunning architectural piece. The combination of graceful arches, pointed arch windows, and majestically rising towers, constructed of limestone, granite, and cement make it so.
One of the unique features of the Brooklyn Bridge is its elevated pedestrian walkway, allowing both tourists and locals to stroll or bike across the bridge while enjoying views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
In our honest opinion, a visit to Brooklyn will not be complete without a visit to the Brooklyn Bridge, so ensure you do not miss it during your stay in Brooklyn.
Grand Army Plaza
Another significant landmark Brooklyn is known for is the Grand Army Plaza. It is a historical, cultural, and architectural focal point in the form of a public space. That said, the plaza houses several attractions and interesting features.
Standing at the center of the Grand Army Plaza is the impressive Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch built to honor the Union Army soldiers and sailors who fought in the American Civil War.
Directly adjacent to the arch is the John F. Kennedy Monument, which includes a bust of Kennedy and a surrounding plaza with seating and greenery, perfect for reflection.
There is also a beautiful Art Deco-inspired fountain that features bronze figures and intricate details at the south end of the plaza.
You also certainly do not want to miss the Brooklyn Public Library with its grand entrance and imposing columns.
Beyond its blend of architectural styles, the Grand Army is a symbol of Brooklyn’s history, culture, and architectural grandeur.
Whether you’re visiting for its historical significance, attending an event, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through Prospect Park, this plaza offers a unique and multifaceted experience you won’t easily forget.
Neighborhoods And Areas Brooklyn Is Known For
Known for its picturesque streets, beautiful brownstone buildings, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Heights is one of Brooklyn’s most popular and historic neighborhoods.
The neighborhood has a peculiar historic charm that makes it a favorite not only among residents but also among tourists.
Additionally, the neighborhood is home to several cultural landmarks Brooklyn is known for, like the Brooklyn Historical Society, where you can learn about the borough’s rich history, and St. Ann’s Warehouse, a famous performing arts venue.
There are also a plethora of shopping and dining options where you can buy souvenirs for your trip as well as try out various dishes popular in Brooklyn. You can also register for some popular food tours in Brooklyn in order to get the most out of your culinary adventure.
Overall, Brooklyn Heights’ combination of stunning architecture as well as cultural attractions makes it a must-visit for anyone in Brooklyn.
DUMBO, short for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” is a popular and vibrant district in Brooklyn that is known for its spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the East River.
The neighborhood is a thriving creative hub and is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and co-working spaces. The community’s commitment to arts can be seen in the plethora of art exhibitions, cultural events, and festivals it holds throughout the year.
After exploring the art galleries and studios, you can always indulge in its diverse culinary scene that offers everything from artisanal coffee shops to fine dining.
In addition to all these, DUMBO boasts its own scenic parks and green spaces, providing a chance to explore the city at a more leisurely pace.
Bushwick is one of the most popular and rapidly evolving neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It is known for its thriving art scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and street art installations.
It also boasts a diverse and vibrant population, including long-time residents, young professionals, and artists, making it your best bet for observing day-to-day life in Brooklyn.
Bushwick is also a great nightlife destination with a plethora of bars, music venues, and clubs hosting live performances, DJ sets, and dance parties.
Whether you’re looking for a serene environment to enjoy nature or a place to experience Brooklyn’s nightlife and culinary scene, Bushwick offers a unique and ever-changing experience for residents and visitors alike.
Famous People From Brooklyn
Shawn Corey Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z, is one of the most influential and successful figures in the world of hip-hop and music in general. The hip-hop legend was born and bred in Brooklyn, and his Brooklyn heritage has played a significant role in shaping his identity and career.
Not only does he incorporate his experiences growing up in Brooklyn into his lyrics, but he also showcases them in his music videos, as many of them feature iconic Brooklyn landmarks. For example, his video for “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys vividly featured Brooklyn Bridge Park and the views of Brooklyn.
Jay-Z’s pride in his Brooklyn heritage is evident in his music business ventures and in his commitment to giving back to the community that shaped him, and he continues to be an inspiration to many.
Exploring More Things Brooklyn Is Known For
The next time you find yourself in the city that never sleeps, remember to take a detour across the Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll be amazed by the unforgettable experiences that await you.
These barely scratch the surface of things Brooklyn is known for. For example, there are popular New York foods like the Coney Dog that have been said to originate from Brooklyn.
There are also a plethora of practices and landmarks renowned in New York that are waiting to be explored. There is a reason this borough holds a special place in the state’s tapestry. Brooklyn isn’t just a destination—it’s an adventure!