The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area that is today Brooklyn, a western part of Long Island then largely inhabited by the Canarsee Native American tribe. The area was considered a part of New Netherland, and the Dutch West India Company lost little time in chartering the six original towns (listed here first by their later, more common English names):
- Gravesend: in 1645, settled under Dutch patent by English followers of Anabaptist Lady Deborah Mood
- Brooklyn: as "Breuckelen" in 1646, after the town now spelled Breukelen, Netherlands
- Flatlands: as "New Amersfoort" in 1647
- Flatbush: as "Midwout" in 1652
- New Utrecht: in 1657, after the city of Utrecht, Netherlands
- Bushwick: as "Boswijck" in 1661
It seems like most folks have a grandmother, great-uncle or some other distant relative that used to live in Brooklyn, or perhaps a friend that lives there now. In the early 1900s, it was a Mecca for immigrants arriving via Ellis Island. A hundred years later, young professionals and artists left pricey Manhattan digs for Brooklyn's cheaper and more expansive space. Neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope, which had fallen into disrepair over the years, were restored and reborn as funky enclaves. Walk or bike over the historic Brooklyn Bridge (or ride the subway) to Brooklyn Heights for a stroll along the Promenade and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. Meander through Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for a taste of nature in the urban wilds. Catch a performance at the world-famous Brooklyn Academy of Music. From the delicious Italian restaurants of Bensonhurst to the Irish bars that line the avenues of Bay Ridge, from the hotdogs and rollercoasters of Coney Island to the bagels and handball courts of Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a state of mind as well as a dynamic community. Discover why, no matter where people move on to, they remain Brooklynites at heart.