Brooklyn is the most populous of New York Citys five boroughs, with a Census-estimated 2,621,793 people in 2014. It is geographically adjacent to the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, the most populous county in the State of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan). With a land area of 71 square miles (180 km2) and water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is the fourth-smallest county in New York State by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among New York Citys boroughs. Today, if it were an independent city, Brooklyn would rank as the fourth most populous city in the U.S., behind only the other boroughs of New York City combined, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city (and previously an authorized village and town within the provisions of the New York State Constitution), until January 1, 1898, when, after a long political campaign and public relations battle during the 1890s, according to the new Municipal Charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated with the other cities, boroughs and counties to form the modern "City of New York" surrounding the Upper New York Bay with five constituent boroughs. It continues, however, to maintain a distinct culture, as befitting the former second or third largest city in America during the later 19th Century. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic and nationality groups and cultures predominate. Brooklyns official motto is . Written in the (early modern spelling of the) Dutch language, it is inspired by the motto of the United Dutch Provinces (first Dutch Republic, predecessor of the current Kingdom of the Netherlands), (currently also the official motto of the neighboring Kingdom of Belgium) and translated "In unity, there is strength." The motto is displayed on the Borough seal and flag, which also feature a young robed woman bearing a bundle of bound rods known as a "fasces", a traditional emblem of Republicanism. Brooklyns official colors are blue and gold.
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The history of European settlement in Brooklyn spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizable city in the 19th century, and was consolidated in 1898 with New York City (then confined to Manhattan and part of the Bronx), the remaining rural areas of Kings County, and the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern City of New York.
Brooklyns job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national and city economy, population flows and the boroughs position as a convenient back office for New Yorks businesses.
Brooklyn has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema and theater. The Brooklyn accent is often portrayed as "typical New York" in American television and film.
Brooklyn hosts the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the second largest public art collection in the United States, housed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, is New York Citys second-largest public art museum. It has in its permanent collection more than 1.5 million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. The Brooklyn Childrens Museum, the worlds first museum dedicated to children, opened in December 1899. The only such New York State institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it is one of the few globally to have a permanent collection – over 30,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) includes a 2,109-seat opera house, an 874-seat theater, and the art house BAM Rose Cinemas. Bargemusic and St. Anns Warehouse are located on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district. Brooklyn Technical High School has the second-largest auditorium in New York City (after Radio City Music Hall), with a seating capacity of over 3,000.
Parks and other attractions
Brooklyn Botanic Garden: located adjacent to Prospect Park is the 52-acre (21 ha) botanical garden, which includes a cherry tree esplanade, a one-acre (0.4 ha) rose garden, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a fragrance garden, a water lily pond esplanade, several conservatories, a rock garden, a native flora garden, a bonsai tree collection, and childrens gardens and discovery exhibits.
Coney Island developed as a playground for the rich in the early 1900s, but it grew as one of Americas first amusement grounds and attracted crowds from all over New York. The Cyclone rollercoaster, built in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1920 Wonder Wheel and other rides are still operational at Astroland. Coney Island went into decline in the 1970s, but is currently undergoing a renaissance: the new Luna Park opened in 2010.
Floyd Bennett Field: the first municipal airport in New York City and long closed for operations, is now part of the National Park System. Many of the historic hangars and runways are still extant. A variety of nature trails and diverse habitats are found within the park, including salt marsh and a restored area of shortgrass prairie that was once widespread on the Hempstead Plains.
Green-Wood Cemetery, founded by the social reformer Henry Evelyn Pierrepont in 1838, is both one of the most significant cemeteries in the United States and an expansive green space encompassing 478 acres (190 ha) of rolling hills and dales, several ponds, and a baroque chapel. Still in use, the cemetery is the burial ground of many notable New Yorkers, such as F.A.O. Schwarz (1836–1911), toy store founder; William M. "Boss" Tweed (1823–1878), notorious boss of the New York political machine; and actor Frank Morgan (1890–1949), best known for his portrayal of the title character in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
Prospect Park is a public park in central Brooklyn encompassing 585 acres (2.37 km2). The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who created Manhattans Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90-acre (36 ha) meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, the home of Edwin Clark Litchfield, an early developer of the neighborhood and a former owner of a southern section of the Park; Prospect Park Zoo; a large nature conservancy managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center; Brooklyns only lake, covering 60 acres (24 ha); the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime; and various sports and fitness activities including seven baseball fields. Prospect Park hosts a popular annual Halloween Parade called the Halloween Haunted Walk, complete with a carnival for kids.
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