Brooklyn is an enigma. Situated on the westernmost location of Long Island, it forms the entrance to New York Harbor with Staten Island in the geological scheme. When it comes to human emotion, just the mere mention of the word Brooklyn is enough. We know you are not talking about Brooklyn, Ohio or Brooklyn Park, Minnesota but the Brooklyn located in Kings County, New York — the one made famous the world over through literature and media. The place whose greatest resource is the people who call it home.
Once one of six towns making up Kings County itself encompassed what is now the downtown area from Brooklyn Heights down to Red Hook and just into Sunset Park. The other towns were Flatlands, Flatbush, Bushwick, New Utrecht and Gravesend. Williamsburg was a growing village within the township of Bushwick that was granted its own charter and became a city. Within a decade before the Civil War, both Williamsburg and Bushwick were annexed by the city of Brooklyn. The other towns remained agricultural well into the 20th century, yet they were all incorporated to Brooklyn between 1894-1896.
In 1898, Brooklyn itself was annexed to the City of New York. All towns were Dutch except Gravesend, which was founded by a woman, Lady Deborah Moody, who left England in persecution of her beliefs, and came to Brooklyn via a radical Anabaptist sect from Massachusetts. The name Brooklyn itself means Broken Land in the Dutch language.
From the times of the Algonquins, whose place and tribe names still grace many community and place names here, to the European settlement and subsequent annexation into the greatest city in the world, we may live on Broken Land (Breuckelen) in what is arguably the finest collection of residential architecture in a single county in the United States. The past here may not have always been pleasant or fair, but yet in this small county we have not only created a world class image but the image of America itself or what it hopes to be some day. This is why I LOVE Brooklyn.