Everyone knows that the masses have been migrating to Brooklyn for years. Manhattanites who swore they’d never be “bridge and tunnel” are moving into lofts, apartments, and brownstones from Williamsburg to Park Slope and beyond. Brooklyn has become the “it” spot for any New Yorker to call home and for good reason. The borough takes flack for offering everything artisanal but there are some unique finds and activities that you can only do in Brooklyn. Here are some reasons to switch ZIP codes and head over to the most happening borough in the city.
Not only is Brooklyn home to a host of beautiful views, it’s lucky enough to call Sunset Park one of its hidden gems. If you’re looking for the best view of the Manhattan skyline, head to the park that shares the neighborhood’s name. Be sure to check out the highest point in the park at sunset for a view that’s unmatched.
Canoeing in the Gowanus Canal
The borough is home to a unique opportunity to canoe right in the city. Set out on the Gowanus Canal to explore its former industrial history. Known as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country, the canal is now designated as a Superfund site. Despite its toxic status, tour hosts, the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, note that you might see various wildlife along the waterway.
Coney Island is one of the most historic amusement parks in the United States. Situated right in Brooklyn, it’s home to the 16th oldest roller coaster in the world. The Cyclone, opened in 1927, has been serving thrill seekers for decades. Take a ride on this wooden wonder that’s specific to Brooklyn.
Learn About NYC Transit History
New York is synonymous with efficient public transit and its subway system moves millions each year. But only in Brooklyn will you have the opportunity to explore decades old subway cars featuring wicker seats and vintage advertisements. At the New York Transit Museum, you’ll learn about what public transit in the city was like when rides cost just a nickel.
Within the Brooklyn Museum lives the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Here you’ll find Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, which is widely regarded as the first epic feminist artwork. The piece is an installation that functions as a symbolic history of women in Western civilization. This unique feature is a must-see.
The Oldest Edifice
In addition to the rest of its history, Brooklyn is home to New York City’s oldest building. Built in 1637, the Wyckoff Farmhouse is still standing and currently serves as a museum to build cultural and agricultural connections with the community through teaching about history. Be sure to visit the “farm” in the middle of the city.
As one of the oldest settled areas in all of the United States, Brooklyn is rich with history. While you could spend days exploring all the history the borough has to offer, one of the most incredible sites is the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park. This memorial honors the 11,000 American who died on board British ships during the Revolution. These people were prisoners that mostly died from disease or malnutrition and were unceremoniously thrown overboard. More Americans died aboard those ships than during the entire war.
The City Reliquary is not only unique to Brooklyn, it’s just unique in general. This museum is home to a permanent display of New York City artifacts as well as rotating exhibits of community collections. From a history of burlesque to artifacts from numerous World’s Fairs, this museum is as quirky and hip as the neighborhood in which it’s located: Williamsburg.