Brooklyn, the "Borough of Homes and Churches," is one of the five boroughs of New York City. It used to be a separate city, and still feels much like one. It has about 2.5 million inhabitants. If separated from the rest of New York City, Brooklyn would be the 4th most populous American city.
Brooklyn is on the westernmost point of Long Island and shares a land boundary with Queens, which partially encircles Brooklyn to the north, east and south; Manhattan lies across the East River to the west and north of Brooklyn, and Staten Island is across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the southwest.
Brooklyn is enjoying a period of growth and affluence not seen since before World War II. The Brooklyn Academy of Music boasts world-class theater performances, and the nearby Barclays Center is the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Coney Island's Luna Park is one of the attractions for summer crowds seeking fun during the New York summer heat.
Downtown Brooklyn has been undergoing extensive redevelopment and now boasts upscale boutiques, abundant public spaces, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park stretching along the waterfront and providing unparalleled views of New York City's skyline. Prospect Park, a national historic site, was even preferred by its designer Frederick Law Olmsted to his other creation, Manhattan's Central Park. Williamsburg has been named by Forbes magazine as one of America's best hipster neighborhoods. Brighton Beach is home to New York's largest concentration of Russian immigrants, while the growing 8th Avenue Chinatown paints a more authentic picture of New York's Asian community than its counterpart in Manhattan. However, despite these developments, Brooklyn is full of old gems, like family-owned brick-oven pizzerias, dive bars that seemingly haven't changed since the 1950s, and vast historical neighborhoods with buildings dating back to Dutch colonial times.