Brooklyn Bridge and Skyline
#The Lowdown

5 Fast Facts About Brooklyn

By Travel Savvy

Among the five boroughs of NYC, of course you're going to wander around Manhattan and hit up the usual sites: Central ParkUnion Square Green Market, the Met, and more. But why stick the usual tourist sites when the MTA makes traveling across all of NYC such a breeze? If you have to pick just one borough, head to Brooklyn. Here's why: 

Nathans's Famous Frankfurters 1

Photo Credit: Flickr

You Can Order Frog Legs and Beer at Nathan’s in Coney Island

Also known as Nathan’s Famous, the original Nathan’s opened in 1916 as a hot dog stand by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker. The menu at this Brooklyn landmark offers much more than hot dogs and cheese fries. Visitors can such original menu items as frogs legs and beer. Head over to the 1310 Surf Avenue location via the N or Q train. If you’re in the area during warmer months, stand in line and ride the Cyclone!

Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl (1968) 2

Photo Credit: Funny Girl (1968) | Creative Commons

Famous People are from Brooklyn

Why not see where it all started for some of your favorite celebrities? Brooklynites include Barbra Streisand, Mos Def, Larry King, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Mike Tyson, Richard Dreyfuss and Jay-Z to name a few. View a complete list here.

Meal at Junior's Cheesecake in Brooklyn 3

Photo Credit: Junior's Cheesecake | Facebook

Brooklyn Came Up with the Best Cheesecake

In 1950, Junior’s Cheesecake was born at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb. Today the iconic brand sells its creamy cakes all over the country through the magic of the internet.

And while Brooklyn doesn’t get credit, this borough came up with the tomatoey goodness known as Manhattan Clam Chowder. Specifically, you can thank Coney Island for coming up with this popular seafood soup, which is also where America’s first roller coaster was born. Riders could enjoy a thrilling 6-mile-per-hour ride on the Switchback for just a nickel in 1884, but today you’ll surely find faster coasters at Luna Park.

Brooklyn Skyline 4

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Brooklyn was Originally Its Own Separate City

It was not until the turn of the nineteenth century that Brooklyn merged with the City of New York. Many Brooklyn residents called the move “the Great Mistake of 1898.” Today, Brooklyn has over 60 distinct neighborhoods, many of which have their own rich histories as popular ethnic enclaves, like Brighton Beach and Bay Ridge.

Smorgasburg Market Dining Area 5

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

One Word: Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg, a spinoff of the Brooklyn Flea, features 100+ local and regional food vendors to upwards of 10,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brooklyn. Rain or shine, you can visit this local favorite on the weekends. Since it’s opening in May 2011, locals have enjoyed spending the day eating through the various tents and discovering new food favorites, so expect crowds. 

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