Brooklyn is a borough of well-defined neighborhoods, from the gentrified brownstone communities of Park Slope and Cobble Hill to Bedford-Stuyvesant, the largest African-American neighborhood in the city. Brighton Beach has a large community of Russian Jews, and there are also neighborhoods of Caribbean blacks, Hispanics, Italians, Poles, Hasidic Jews, Arabs, Chinese, and others.
Among educational institutions in the borough are Brooklyn College of the City Univ. of New York, Polytechnic Institute of New York Univ., Pratt Institute, St. Joseph's College, and Long Island Univ. Near Prospect Park, scene of fighting in the American Revolution (see Long Island, battle of), is the main building of the Brooklyn Public Library. Nearby are the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the renowned, innovative Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In the "City of Churches," the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, where Henry Ward Beecher preached, is perhaps best known. Other points of interest include Coney Island, with its beach, amusement park, and New York Aquarium; the Barclays Center (2012), home to professional basketball's Brooklyn Nets; Green-Wood Cemetery; and the Lefferts Homestead (1777). Fort Hamilton (1831) overlooks the Narrows of New York Bay. Marine Park and parts of Jamaica Bay are included in Gateway National Recreation Area.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.