Brooklyn’s Beat: Tour Brooklyn with Native Brooklynites!
Many tourists commonly confuse Manhattan as New York City – nothing more. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Greater New York City of Five Boroughs includes Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and our favorite place in the world – a multi-cultural spot right across the East River that can easily fill up a half or whole day’s worth of adventure – Brooklyn! Explore Brooklyn’s fascinating neighborhoods with born ‘n bred Brooklynites. (Represent!)
Our Brooklyn tour can include as many of these neighborhood as you’d like to see: a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge; Fulton Ferry Landing; the brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park for sweeping views of NY Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the Lower Manhattan skyline; DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass – an industrial neighborhood turned into galleries, boutiques and million dollar lofts apartment and Brooklyn Heights, NYC’s first landmarked neighborhood with stunning architecture from the mid-19th century.
There’s more to see as we visit Cobble Hill & Boerum Hill – Brooklyn’s famed Brownstone neighborhoods; Park Slope and around Prospect Park, considered Olmstead & Vaux’s Masterpiece. Learn about the ethnic diversity of such neighborhoods as Dockside Red Hook, Italian Carroll Gardens, Caribbean Crown Heights, Orthodox Jewish Borough Park, Russian Brighton Beach, and The Levys’ very own Victorian Ditmas Park. In North Brooklyn there’s hip and happenin’ Williamsburgh and Street Art fueled Bushwick.
For old timers wanting to revisit the Brooklyn of their youth, we drive past the former site of Ebbets Fields and the Loews Kings theater on Flatbush Avenue, see the magnificent Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and, with enough advance notice, we can even swing past old addresses where you or your family spent their yout’, gulping down egg creams and running the manholes during a game of stickball!
And when we get to the fabled Coney Island, we’ll ride the Cyclone Roller Coaster (seasonal) and scarf down a Nathan’s hotdog while learning how Coney’s Nickel Paradise entertained the millions and will do so again.
Brooklyn’s Beat can also be a walking or driving Brooklyn tour expanded and focused on any selection of Brooklyn neighborhoods.
For visitors who’ve seen Brooklyn before, why not book our Edible Ethnic Brooklyn Eats tour!?
A Quick History of Brooklyn:
Brooklyn was originally a series of 5 Dutch Villages and 1 English Village, spread throughout the 70 square miles of Brooklyn’s natural borders. The five villages, founded as early as 1624, included Midwout (today’s Midwood,) Vlacke Bos (Flatbush – where the Levys are from!) Breuckelen (today’s Brooklyn Heights and downtown BK,) Boswyck (Bushwick – see our Graffiti to Galleries tour!) and New Amersfoort (Flatlands.) Alongside the 5 Dutch Villages was 1 English Village – Gravesend, founded by Lady Deborah Moody, an Anabaptist fleeing religious persecution in New England. So Brooklyn has always welcomed outsiders to raise their families and find a name for themselves!
The City of Brooklyn, 1879
When the British arrived in 1664, they took control of New Amsterdam (and with it, Breuckelen) from the Dutch and renamed the various villages into English boroughs. New Amsterdam became New-York and Breuckelen became Brooklyn. Following the American Revolution, Brooklyn developed into an independent city and grew in size and substance as it swallowed up the associated towns and villages surrounding its downtown civic center. By the middle of the 19th century, Brooklyn was the 3rd largest city in the country. 1 in 4 American Families can trace their roots to Brooklyn!
Many famous Brooklyn inventions include the Roller Coaster; the #2 Eberhardt pencil; Penicillin; the Monitor, the world’s first iron-clad warship; artificial sugar (by way of Sweet-and-Low); the hot dog; the Teddy Bear and more. Brooklyn was known the world over for producing the following in its many factories and industrial neighborhoods: beer, glue, pottery, glass, steel, tinware, marble mantels, buggy whips, cordage and more!
Map of Brooklyn and its many neighborhoods
Many famous Brooklynites include: Jackie Gleason, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Henry Miller, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Jay-Z, Mike Tyson, Mae West, Marisa Tomei, Al Capone, Phil Silvers, Vince Lombardi, Jimmy Kimmel, Bugs Bunny (really!) and so many more. In fact, the great New York accent, known the world over is really from Brooklyn! Here’s how that happened – in the midst of WWII, Hollywood wanted to keep American’s spirits up. And what’s more recognizably American than New York City? So in a smattering of rah-rah-America films, starring the likes of Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, there always happened to be a fast-tawkin’, wise-crackin’ street-smart kid “from da hart of Flatbush!” who “wuz gunna give it to dem Krauts, or die tryin’!” and who almost always perished in the second act. Therefore, it was Hollywood films, starring New York soldiers with Brooklyn accents that brought “Noo Yawk” around da world!
Brooklyn lost its cityship status in 1898 and became a part of The Greater New York City of Five Boroughs but that didn’t stop the flood of immigrants into Brooklyn – during the 18th and 19th century it was Irish, German, Italian, Jewish and Black; post-WWII it was everyone else from all over the world: Polish, Russian, Syrian, Lebanese, Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Caribbean, Korean, Chinese and more. Nowadays, Brooklyn has been called “The Coolest City in America” by GQ Magazine, is the brand new home of the Brooklyn Nets, is churning out homemade artisanal foodstuffs by the forkful (Brooklyn plays a prominent title to: pickles, beer, bread, furniture, kombucha, hot sauce, whiskey, gin, vodka and so much more.)
Come spend a day in Brooklyn, we’d love to show you around!!