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12 Things to Know About Living in Brooklyn

Moving to Brooklyn? New York City‘s most populous borough offers safe and affordable neighborhoods, diverse culture, and mouthwatering food. Here are 12 things to know about living in Brooklyn!

Embrace Diversity

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One of the best things about life in Brooklyn is its people. Residents of this New York borough hail from every corner of the world, making it stand out from the rest of the city. The Brooklyn area was first inhabited by the Lenape people—some of whom still live in the area—and then later settled by a small group of Dutch colonists in 1636. Since then, Brooklyn has grown to over 2.6 million residents of many backgrounds, countries, and cultures. Walk through one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and you can hear more than 15 languages spoken, including Yiddish, Russian, Arabic, and French. Residents and visitors alike have access to rich cultural neighborhoods like Little Italy in Bensonhurst and Chinatown in Sunset Park, which both offer a bevy of unique shopping and eatery destinations. It’s truly one of the most diverse areas in NYC!

Explore Brooklyn Job Opportunities

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Over the years, the creative, the tech-savvy, and the pioneering crowds have flocked to the area looking for jobs in Brooklyn. Major corporations and startups like Etsy, goTenna, and SportsRecruits are headquartered here, so if you’re looking for exciting job opportunities, you’ll find them! The borough of Brooklyn is also home to the Brooklyn Tech Triangle—made up of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and Brooklyn Navy Yard—creating one of New York City’s largest clusters of tech companies. Aside from tech-related jobs, you’ll be able to find Brooklyn jobs in industries like healthcare at top hospitals like Maimonides Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, and The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Residents can also find plenty of hospitality jobs in Brooklyn at high-quality hotels like Ace Hotel Brooklyn, Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg, and Pod Brooklyn Hotel.

Live in Affordable & Trendy Neighborhoods

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Although the Brooklyn cost of living is high, its median home price of $845,000 is still affordable compared to nearby Manhattan’s $1.6 million median home price. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are filled with trendy eateries, world-class amenities, and a strong sense of community. DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a popular area to live in Brooklyn, thanks to its waterfront views, cool boutiques, and opportunities within the Tech Triangle. If you’re looking for one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for young professionals, settle in the expressive Williamsburg, where you’ll find everything from quirky restaurants to gallery shows by local artists. There are also a ton of great NYC neighborhoods for families in Brooklyn like Park Slope, which is known for its highly-rated schools, casual restaurants, and closer proximity to parks. Young professionals looking for a calm area or retirees who want to live in Brooklyn, New York, should check out the community-focused Bay Ridge, which offers proximity to great healthcare amenities, a low crime rate, and breathtaking waterfront views at Owl’s Head Park.

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Use Great Public Transportation in Brooklyn

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When living in Brooklyn, you don’t need to own a car to get around town! There are plenty of Brooklyn public transportation options that allow you to travel to different parts of the borough at an affordable price, as well as other areas of New York City. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as MTA) is the subway and bus system for all of NYC, and it operates 24 hours a day. Simply purchase a MetroCard and scope out the service routes needed for your travels. Hop on the South Brooklyn Route of the NYC Ferry to enjoy beautiful views of the Brooklyn waterfront and get to Manhattan with no hassle. And because of Brooklyn’s high walk and bike score, you can ditch vehicles altogether and jump on a Citi Bike to explore the 300 miles of bike lanes in Brooklyn.

Find Fun for the Whole Family

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You don’t have to travel an hour into Manhattan to find family fun—there are tons of fun things to do with kids in Brooklyn for everyone to enjoy! Start a friendly competition to find out who’s the best bowler in your family at Brooklyn Bowl. Get the kids outside to learn about different flowers, gaze at cherry blossoms, and enroll in classes at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Experience pure chocolate bliss on the Chocolate Bus Tour of Brooklyn—one of the best things to do in Brooklyn—where you can sample delicious treats from four of the best chocolatiers in the area. Learn about the evolution of the subway or sit at the wheel of a vintage New York bus from the early 1900s at the New York Transit Museum, a must-see in Brooklyn! Unleash your kids on the Tarzan swing, or cool off with the water jets while letting your kids explore several different play areas at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Playgrounds. Discover a new fact about bugs in the insect collection and have fun with exhibits like AirMaze and The NEST at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Visit Coney Island

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Looking for fun things to do in Brooklyn when the weather is prime? Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city for Coney Island! Coney Island first opened in 1895 as Sea Lion Park and was the first enclosed amusement park of its kind, bringing entertainment to a variety of economic classes. This district is your one-stop shop for fun Brooklyn attractions. Buy a pass for Luna Park to ride the infamous Coney Island Cyclone and Steeplechase for intense thrills or play arcade games to win yourself a fun prize! Make your way to the iconic Deno’s Wonder Wheel before enjoying a renowned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog, which has hosted the International Hot Dog Eating Contest for 46 years! Rock out to live music in Brooklyn at venues like the Coney Island Amphitheater and Margarita Island. And if you need a break from the heat, the New York Aquarium is located right off Coney Island Beach!

Spend the Day at Prospect Park

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One of the best places to explore in Brooklyn is Prospect Park, a 585-acre haven dedicated to recreation and relaxation in every season! Explore miles of beautiful trails when you jog around the park, join a running club, or participate in a race. Saddle up for horseback riding to enjoy scenic terrain along a 3.5-mile-long path. Have wildlife encounters with unique animals like sea lions, feed the alpacas, and walk along the discovery trail at Prospect Park Zoo. Pick one of the many green spaces to have a family BBQ or a picnic date in Brooklyn. Stay active on the baseball diamond, shoot some hoops, and participate in catch-and-release fishing at Prospect Park Lake, Brooklyn’s only freshwater lake! Buy fresh produce and other unprocessed goods at the Greenmarket. Lace up your roller skates in the summer or ice skates in the winter at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Or jam out at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn—New York’s longest-running free summer music festival.

Discover Brooklyn’s Shopping Scene

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Residents can unleash their inner shopaholic with the large number of Brooklyn shopping destinations available in this NYC borough. Explore trendy shopping spots along Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg like the Mini Mall, Brooklyn Woke Vintage, and Pinkyotto. Take a trip to Park Slope for eclectic boutiques like Brooklyn Superhero Supply CO., Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, and Community Bookstore. Head over to City Point in Downtown Brooklyn to shop for homewares at Casper, Joybird, and The Black Home. After stopping by Starbucks for your morning coffee, hit up well-known stores like Best Buy, Gamestop, and Marshalls at Atlantic Terminal. Shop ’til you drop at the Gateway Center in stores like Michaels, Nike, and Old Navy. Or do some Brooklyn vintage shopping at the unique stalls in the Brooklyn Flea!

Root for Your Home Team

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If there’s one thing that Brooklyn residents love, it’s their sports—and you’ll find a variety of amazing sports teams in Brooklyn and other nearby areas to cheer on! Root for the home team Brooklyn Cyclones (MiLB) as they strike out the competition at Maimonides Park. Watch the Brooklyn Nets (NBA) and New York Liberty (WNBA) slam dunk over their opponents at the Barclays Center. Go on a day trip outside of the city to support the New York Islanders (NHL) as they glide across the ice at UBS Arena. Are college sports your passion? Then cheer on the Long Island University-Brooklyn Sharks (NCCA Division 1) as they compete in a variety of sports like basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and more. If you can’t get enough of the Brooklyn sports action, cross the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to see one of the many other New York City sports teams!

Immerse Yourself in Brooklyn Art

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Throughout the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, art is created, showcased, and highly appreciated. Visit the Brooklyn Museum to catch a performance from the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, or peruse about 1.5 million works of art in collections like Art of Asia and the Period Rooms. Be sure to scope out DUMBO, which is home to several nonprofit galleries like A.I.R. Gallery and Cuban Art Space, which host rotating exhibits to showcase new artists. But art in Brooklyn isn’t just confined within the walls of a gallery or museum—the entire Brooklyn area is a canvas for artists to unleash their creativity! Wind your way through the city streets to see a variety of Brooklyn murals and street art like the Notorious B.I.G. “King of New York” Mural, Fight For Street Art, and the Bushwick Collective murals. Find sculptures scattered throughout different parks in Brooklyn, as well as other forms of art on sidewalks or outside restaurants. Or attend live recitals of classical music, dance company performances, and more at the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts.

Experience Love at First Bite

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Foodies will rejoice at the large amount of amazing places to eat in Brooklyn! Grab a Roots Burrito, a Sammie, and a cup of fresh-brewed coffee for breakfast at Roots Cafe. Head out for a cozy Brooklyn brunch to taste the Egg Sandwich or Millet Graincake, and wash it down with a Breakfast Cocktail at Henry Public. Try delicious Mediterranean eats like the Lamb Shish Kebab, Chicken Gyro, and Kofte Wrap at Tava. Feast on Brooklyn Korean BBQ like American Wagyu Ribeye, Steak Kimchi Fried Rice, and Shrimp Mandu from Atti. If you’re looking for the best pizza in Brooklyn, check out the world-famous Original Brooklyn Pizza Tour, where you can find your next favorite slice from restaurants like Grimaldi’s and L & B Spumoni Gardens. Treat yourself to delicious desserts like Caramelized Pineapple Cake, Coffee Chai Ice Cream, and Chocolate Sorbet at Nura. And be sure to check out one of the most unique things to do in Brooklyn by visiting Smorgasburg, the largest weekly food market in America. Each year, more than 2 million people come to Smorgasburg to try heavenly dishes, drinks, and desserts from 70+ local vendors, making it one of the best things to do in Brooklyn!

Traverse Brooklyn Nightlife

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Looking for Brooklyn spots to visit at night? Take time to explore all that Brooklyn nightlife has to offer! Make your way to Our Wicked Lady for live music and fun-filled evenings every weekend at this rooftop bar. Explore the Brooklyn stand-up comedy scene at local clubs like the Eastville Comedy Club, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, and Old Man Hustle. Stay warm in the heated beer garden and order classic pub food like the Bartman Hotdog while you sip on a variety of beverages on tap at Lock Yard. Take in views of the city while sipping on craft cocktails at rooftop bar, Weslight. Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, or go on a winery tour with some friends, at Brooklyn Winery. Have a date night at The Four Horsemen, a restaurant and wine bar with a constantly rotating menu. Sip on signature cocktails like the Paloma, Muy Bueno, or The Birdcage at Pokito. Or get your quarters ready and aim for a high score on classic arcade machines like Crazy Taxi while sipping on one of the on-tap drinks at the original location of Barcade.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.