Looking to move to Brooklyn? There are a few things you should know before moving to this New York City borough. Brooklyn, a.k.a. Kings County, is the largest New York City borough (approximately 71 square miles of land) and the most populated, with over 2.7 million residents as of 2020 – making it even more populous than Manhattan!
The borough of Brooklyn is rich in its history, beginning as a small Dutch settlement, Breuckelen, in the 17th century. It grew to be quite sizeable in the 19th century, with the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, which ended water-only transportation to and from Manhattan. Brooklyn eventually consolidated with New York City and rural parts of Kings County, Queens, and Staten Island in 1898.
Our moving to Brooklyn tips and tricks cover six things you should know about this Big Apple borough before you pack up and go.
1. Brownstones Aren’t the Only Notable Architecture in Brooklyn
There’s just something about New York City that screams brownstone stoops. And while Brooklyn certainly has its fair share, it is also home to several other landmark attractions like Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Prospect Park.
- Deno’s Wonder Wheel on Coney Island is famous and not just for its century-long run or its giant 150-foot stature. This colorful attraction was built in 1920 and is called the most romantic ride in the world. Denos Vourderis purchased it in 1983 after he proposed to his wife in front of the Wonder Wheel and proclaimed he’d someday give her “a ring so big, everyone in the world would see how much he loved her, a ring that would never be lost.” It is now the site of many marriage proposals each year.
- If you’re wondering what to do in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge walk is a popular activity for tourists and residents alike. At its opening, the Brooklyn Bridge was considered the longest suspension bridge in the world. But this iconic landmark didn’t come without some trepidation. Did you know P.T. Barnum paraded 21 elephants across the bridge in 1884 to prove it was stable? Now, people make the trek every day to see the Brooklyn Bridge view.
- Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of NYC architecture, but Prospect Park is a grand attraction nonetheless and home to many Brooklyn activities. The 585-acre park was designed in 1866 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux after they completed Manhattan’s own Central Park. Prospect Park features a 90-acre meadow, an event hall, Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn’s only lake, and much more. Architectural points of interest include the Endale Arch, one of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park, and the Litchfield Villa, once a family home turned park administrative office building.
2. Brooklyn is Filled with Art & Cultural Institutions
If you want a diverse art and cultural experience, you’ve come to the right place. First off, Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Museum—one of the oldest and largest art museums in the US, with roots dating back to as early as 1823. It stands on and honors the ancestral ground of the Lenape people and is the “focal point of a planned cultural, recreational, and educational district for the burgeoning city of Brooklyn.” The museum has undergone redesign, expansion, and restoration over the years since it opened. Today, people come from far and wide to experience its diverse galleries and exhibits. You can view various art forms from cultures across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The size alone guarantees you’ll need more than one day to see everything.
The Brooklyn Central Library is another cultural stop worth checking out. The library was founded in 1892 and hosts over two million books and magazines, plus hundreds of thousands of digital materials—definitely not something you can peruse in just a day. Another fact, most of Brooklyn’s 2.7 million residents live within half a mile of the branch, and annual attendance encroaches 9 million! The Brooklyn Collection is also worth noting as an archive that traces the borough’s history back to the 1600s. Many of us can’t trace our lineage beyond our great-grandparents, so that’s pretty impressive.
3. Brooklyn Is On Long Island But Not Part of It
You read that right. To add confusion to the mix, Brooklyn is technically situated on Long Island, as is Queens. It’s plain as day on a map, so most people would think it’s part of Long Island, right? Wrong. Despite Brooklyn’s geographical location, the borough is part of New York City rather than considered part of the Strong Island. Long Island exclusively refers to Nassau and Suffolk counties. It stands apart from the NYC boroughs in just about every way, from the atmosphere to the accent to local sports teams. In fact, Nassau County was formed in 1899 as the result of a regional split from Queens.
4. Many Products You Love, or Use Are From Brooklyn
Between its industrial past and array of mom-and-pop shops, Brooklyn claims the spotlight for several cool inventions—all still used today. Kings County is the birthplace of products you most likely know, love, or may be in limbo about. Take deep-fried Twinkies, for example. Some well-known products that hail from Brooklyn businesses include:
- Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
- Teddy Bears
- The First Roller Coaster in the Country
- Bank Issued Credit Cards
- Air Conditioning
- Mr. Potato Head
- Tootsie Rolls
5. Some of Brooklyn’s Quirky Stereotypes are True
And we love Brooklyn even more because of it! Here are a few of the top Brooklyn stereotypes that make this borough a neat place to live:
- Egg Cream is fire: Not familiar with drinking an egg cream? That’s ok. Brooklynites love it, and it consists of milk, chocolate syrup, and carbonated water shaken together. Surprised that it doesn’t include egg or cream? That makes this drink even quirkier, as neither of the key ingredients in the name is even used in the concoction.
- It is home to many “hipsters.” When you think of hipsters, you might think of vintage clothing, coffee shops, beards, and thick-framed glasses – and you’d be right that Brooklyn is a place they often call home. Because of this, numerous businesses scattered throughout the borough cater to this group’s wants and needs.
- Brooklynites have a bit of an accent: Many Brooklyn residents have a dialect of their own that combines Irish, Italian, and Yiddish – based upon the ethnic groups that immigrated to the area over the years. Live there long enough, and you might just pick up an accent of your own!
6. Living Around Dumbo
Not to be confused with the elephant, DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It’s just one of Brooklyn’s 77 neighborhoods, which seems like a lot squeezed into 97 square miles. DUMBO is a trendy area full of old warehouse buildings converted into boutiques, restaurants, and galleries.
While the shopping and dining are great, many apartments in Brooklyn, NY, feature the classic brownstone appeal the city is known for. These range in price from affordable to…less so. Williamsburg is among the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for young professionals, thanks to its clubby nightlife, artisan shops, and creative restaurants. It is truly the hipster capital of NYC.
For those looking for something on the cheaper side, some of the most affordable neighborhoods in Brooklyn include East Flatbush, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Brighton Beach, and Prospect Park South.
Brooklyn Self Storage
If your Life Demands Space® and the closet space or parking situation near your Brooklyn apartment just aren’t cutting it, you can rent a storage unit near you in Brooklyn, New York, at Prime Storage! Prime Storage on Rockaway Avenue has a variety of self storage unit options. This includes mini storage units, indoor climate controlled units, and vehicle storage with drive-up access. We handle it all, from seasonal storage to furniture storage in Brooklyn. If you need a Brooklyn storage unit, Prime Storage can help you out! Rent a unit online today or call us at 347-252-6292. Our team of Brooklyn self storage specialists will assist you in choosing the perfect storage unit for you!