This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.


Before Brooklyn was a cultural and arts destination, it was first a Dutch settlement known as Breuckelen — named after the town of Breukelen in the Netherlands. The Dutch colonized what is now present-day Brooklyn in 1646, establishing six different towns with defined borders. These original towns eventually became English settlements, and then the settlements were consolidated to create the City of Brooklyn. (Brooklyn wasn’t incorporated into greater New York City until 1898.)

The original six Brooklyn towns that would become Brooklyn were Bushwick, Brooklyn, Flatlands, Gravesend, New Utrecht and Flatbush. Present-day Brooklyn neighborhoods bearing these names are located roughly in the center of each of these original towns. Here are a few details of those six original towns, when Brooklyn looked a whole lot different than it does today.

Map of Brooklyn towns via Ephemeral New York. (more…)

2015_05_26 William Vale 07

Steps leading to the rooftop amenity space

We recently took a hard hat tour of the under-construction William Vale hotel, rising in the heart of hipster Brooklyn and its nightlife district at 55 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg.

With the success of the Wythe Hotel, located a block south, and the increasing cultural cachet of Brooklyn, developers are eyeing the borough as a destination for tourists and a home for businesses seeking to tap into the hipster credentials of its neighborhoods.

Riverside Developers is betting on this location, a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway or ferry stop, as a destination in its own right. The plan is to offer a full-service resort-level experience to guests willing to venture out from the typical Manhattan hotel locales. (more…)

Artist Jennifer Maravillas has spent the last three years walking all 9,000 blocks of Brooklyn and collecting trash to create a 10-foot-by-10-foot map of the borough, according to Animal New York. She recently finished the map, titled “71 Square Miles,” and it went on display yesterday at BRIC in Fort Greene. The Prospect Heights resident donned rubber gloves to pick up the refuse, tracking her movements in mainland Brooklyn first by labelling blocks and later with a running app. You can check out a digitized version of the map here or see it in person through September 6 as part of the “Mapping Brooklyn” group exhibition at BRIC.

Artist Finishes Trash Map of Brooklyn After Walking Every Single Block [Animal NY]
Video by Animal NY


Sponsored By car2go.

car2go will get you to where you need to be: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

What’s it like getting around Brooklyn using car2go? BlankSlate writer Jeff Scherer planned a busy Saturday in Brooklyn in order to find out.

We had an ambitious day ahead of us, my wife and I. It was a beautiful day fall Saturday — my birthday, in fact — and we were determined to spend it well. One thing we didn’t want to do was to spend half the day on the subway. car2go to the rescue!

Our first destination that morning was the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (or BARC), an animal shelter in Williamsburg, to walk some of the dogs who are available for adoption. To get from our house in Carroll Gardens to Wythe Avenue and North 1st Street in Williamsburg by subway would take at least 45 minutes, assuming the G train was running on time, including a 15-minute walk from the station. But we wanted to get there before all the good dogs were taken, so we checked our car2go app and grabbed a nearby car.




Sponsored By car2go.

car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

Brooklyn is going through something of a transportation renaissance. Remember the old days, when it was impossible to get a cab, and you had to call for a dicey, fake-pine-smelling livery car? Now there are bike lanes, green cabs, and, coming this month, car2go. Soon, when you need a car, you’ll just find one parked nearby, drive to your destination, and leave it there for the next person to use.

If that sounds like something you might want to try, make sure to register for car2go before the October 25 launch date: for a limited time, you can sign up for free and you’ll get 30 minutes of free driving. There’s no monthly fee with car2go — you just pay for the minutes you use. So this is a free chance to drive the eco-friendly, two-passenger Smart Fortwo around your favorite borough (and to see how easy it is to park a car that’s 35 percent smaller than average). (more…)


Sponsored By car2go.

car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

In Germany and Italy, in Seattle and Austin and Miami and Montreal, people have been experiencing a quiet revolution in how they get around their cities. When they have somewhere to go, they find a nearby car, climb in, and drive it to their destination. Then they leave it there, ready for the next person to use. It’s like Citi Bike but with cars, and more places to park.

And now it’s finally our turn. car2go is coming to Brooklyn on October 25. And if you sign up now, for free, you’ll get 30 minutes of free driving.

With car2go, there’s no monthly fee. Once you’ve signed up, been accepted, and get your card, you pay only for the minutes you use. You see one of their cars on the street (or find it with their app), you just get out your card, grab it and go. When you’re done, you park it in any legal, non-metered parking space in your Brooklyn home area and walk away. Check it out!

You can probably imagine the times it might be handy to grab one of these adorable, easy-to-park cars and hit the road. There are those neighborhoods that are not directly connected to each other by subway, like Carroll Gardens and Prospect Heights. (Or Red Hook and… almost anywhere.) Take an impromptu trip to Coney Island. Get your cat to the vet in no time. The possibilities are endless.

At this point, you probably have a lot of questions. Check out car2go’s website for FAQs on signing up, driving, and parking. And don’t forget to sign up now while it’s still free (Promo code: BKLYN), and get 30 minutes of free driving!

brooklyn aerial shot

Brooklyn author and journalist Neil deMause has launched a survey asking Brooklynites what drew them to the borough and why they’ve stayed despite rapidly rising housing costs. The questionnaire is part of deMause’s research for an upcoming crowdfunded book, “Brooklyn Wars,” about Brooklyn’s gentrification and redevelopment boom.

The idea came to him while he was wondering why rents have increased even as local poverty rates have risen. “I was discussing this with a housing economist friend, and while we both had theories, none of them were convincing,” he said in a press release. “While web surveys are inherently anecdotal and unscientific, even a self-selected sample should give some hints as to how Brooklynites view their reasons for remaining in a borough that charges $3,000 a month to live in a closet an hour’s subway ride from their job.”

So far, leading early responses include “it’s cheaper than Manhattan,” “diversity” and “boyfriend.”

Photo by Juni Safont

Mapping Crown Heights’ Crazy Residential Building Boom [Curbed]
Learn to Forage in New York City at the Food Book Fair Brooklyn [Untapped Cities]
Marketing Boost for Bed Stuy Two-Family: 435 Putnam Avenue [BK to the Fullest]
Elite Gym Is Now Open on Coney Island Avenue [Ditmas Park Corner]
Check out Swoon’s Magnificent Site-Specific Installation at the Brooklyn Museum [Gothamist]
Hare Krishnas List Brooklyn Headquarters for $60 Million [TRD]
One of Gowanus’ Priciest Buildings Comes With No C of O and a Stop Work Order [PMFA]
These Neighborhood Improvement Projects Will Get Participatory Budgeting Funds [KarmaBrooklyn]
Dumbo ReRun Movie Theater Reopens With Horror Flicks and Filmmaker Screenings [DNAinfo]

Over the past 20 years, Brooklyn has gone through a shocking transformation. Where once it was nearly impossible to get your Manhattan friends to come visit you in Brooklyn, now they’re moving in next door. This is especially true of particular parts of the borough, places that started out rough around the edges, only to become the hottest destinations in the city. It’s true of Williamsburg, of course. It’s true of Smith Street. And it is certainly true of Park Slope’s 5th Avenue.


Presented By Douglas Elliman.

The only way to truly understand Brooklyn is to walk its streets, see its homes, meet its people, and understand its ebb and flow. Never before, has looking for a home in Brooklyn been this exciting.

Stop by Elliman’s Park Slope office located at 154 7th Ave.

Created By BlankSlate

Longtime Park Slopers remember a time when 5th Avenue’s crime rates made it, for some, a “no-go zone.” While 7th Avenue was the main street for young families, 5th Avenue had trouble attracting businesses other than bodegas, 99-cent stores, hardware stores, and dive bars. Now, after seismic changes in crime rates, real estate prices, and demographics, 5th avenue has become the new main street, attracting high-end boutiques, inventive restaurants, and…dive bars. We’ve come a long way, baby.

So take a walk with us down 5th Avenue! We hope you’re ready to shop, eat, play, drink and eat some more.


Judge Dismisses 150 Joralemon’s Bike-Share Suit [Streetsblog]
Citi Bike May Raise Rates [Gothamist]
What’s up With Cops Ticketing Jaywalkers at McGuinness? [Greenpointers]
Sweat Lodge on the Shore of the Newtown Creek Via Urban Spa Organics [Greenpointers]
Open Studio: Lady Grey’s Industrial Greenpoint Studio Is a Metal Head’s Dream [Racked]
Nightwood Is Leaving Williamsburg, Sharktooth Is Moving In [Bedford + Bowery]
The Yellow King Will Be Crowned at Silent Barn’s “True Detective” Marathon Sunday [Brokelyn]
Smith and Butler Boutique Will Be Replaced by Bologna-Based WP Lavori Clothing Store [PMFA]
Sewer Main Repairs Continue on 12th Street [South Slope News]
You Too Can ULURP – Come out March 17 at BBG [Q at Parkside]

Atlantic Yards Construction Alert: Modular Deliveries to Resume Sunday [AYR]
The Quest to Enter World’s Oldest Subway Under Atlantic Avenue [Curbed]
How Much for a Bed Stuy Two-Bedroom With a Glass-Walled Bedroom? [Curbed]
Red Hook’s Coffey Street Factory-to-Arts Space, Revealed! [Curbed]
Bedford Avenue Is Looking Pretty Vacant, and Oh So Pretty to Manhattanites [Bedford+Bowery]
15 Perfect Valentine’s Day Restaurants Around Brooklyn [Ditmas Park Corner]
New Billyburg Apartment Building Fetches $40 Million [Crain’s]
Tunnel Vision: How an Obsessed Explorer Found and Lost the World’s Oldest Subway [Verge]

Photo by A Cromwell

River Cafe Open for Dinner for First Time Since Sandy [Gothamist]
Dead Man Found Hanging From Prospect Park Tree [Gothamist]
Today’s Snow Ending Soon but There’s More Where That Came From! [Gothamist]
Gentrification: “Malignant Tumor” or Boost to Struggling Communities? [Gothamist]
Real Estate Giants Look to Outer Boroughs [Crain’s]
Investor Don Peebles to Bid for LICH [Crain’s]
Greenpoint Industrial Space Secures Global Art Firm Tenant [Globe St]
The 10 Most Expensive Buildings in Brooklyn [New Construction Manhattan]
Treachery in Brooklyn Heights: “Moonstruck” Tree Destroyed [Curbed]
Man Struck And Killed by Snow Plow in Brighton Beach [Sheepshead Bites]
Is Gentrification All Bad? [NY Mag]