By Gretchen Pille, Storage.com
Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.
Manhattan is a great place to spend the day, and maybe even a weekend. But there are definite reasons why more and more people are deciding to call Brooklyn home. Sure, Manhattan is flashy and has lots to do and see, but here are 13 real reasons people are skipping the part of the city that never sleeps for its less touristy twin borough, Brooklyn.
1. BREATHING ROOM
With nearly half the population density of Manhattan, Brooklyn streets, subways, and businesses are notably less crowded than those in its counterpart borough. While rent prices in Brooklyn may be catching up to those in Manhattan, you can still expect more space for your money. According to Curbed.com, Manhattan’s median rent runs approximately $56/sq. ft. per month, while Brooklyn sits around $42/sq. ft. per month.
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2. SORRY, STARBUCKS
There may be a Starbucks on every corner in Manhattan, but Brooklyn boasts a wealth of independent coffee shops to explore – like Steeple Chase of Windsor Terrace and Breukelen Coffee House of Crown Heights – each with their own unique character and personality. Every neighborhood has different shops to fall in love with, so you never have to travel far to find good coffee.
3. PRO SPORTS
The construction of the Barclays Center means you never have to leave Brooklyn to catch a great sporting event. Both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders play there. What’s more, the tickets to them are actually affordable! Brooklyn even has a Minor League Baseball team, the Brooklyn Cyclones who play at Coney Island in MCU park.
4. CYCLIST FRIENDLY
Did you know that Brooklyn is home to the first-ever official bike path? The scenic stretch on Ocean Parkway allows you to bike in the comfort of your own lane for over five miles. More bike paths are created each year in Brooklyn. For that reason, (along with the fact that there’s more space there than in Manhattan) urban biking is popular for recreation as well as a means of transportation to and from work. Citi Bike is a city-wide bike sharing program, that has really caught on with the folks of Brooklyn. Urban biking is popular in Brooklyn for recreation as well as transportation to and from work. Sometimes big events like Celebrate Brooklyn have a bike valet service available!
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5. ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL AGES
A visit to the historic Coney Island is a classic Brooklyn experience for all ages. Royal Palms Shuffelboard Club is another place that brings together young (21 and older that is!) and old alike. And who doesn’t like ice cream? Especially when it comes from The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory! In Brooklyn, age is just a number.
6. RICH HISTORY
Brooklyn has had a key role in America’s history since the beginning, another point of pride for the borough. The famous Battle of Brooklyn was fought during the revolutionary war. Brooklyn was also a major source for Union troops and resources during the Civil War. Brooklyn was a refuge for many European immigrants in the 1800s. One can learn all about Brooklyn’s past at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
7. PERFORMANCE ART
Brooklyn communities treasure their theaters. Smaller theaters like The Bushwick Starr give residents access to professional theater productions with a ticket price that is often a fraction of Broadway shows in Manhattan. St. Ann’s Warehouse is a venue that brings unique theatrical, musical, and puppetry programming to the bustling neighborhood of Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, otherwise known as DUMBO.
8. ONE-OF-A-KIND MUSIC SCENE
There’s something about Brooklyn that seems to breed musical greatness. Pat Benetar, Beverly Sills, Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, and Arlo Guthrie are only a few famous musicians to come out of Brooklyn. Maybe it’s because indie venues like Silent Barn and Music Hall of Williamsburg give new and emerging artists a great place to start. It might also be institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music that give children an opportunity to learn about music at a young age. Be sure to give a listen to a group called Moon Hooch (pictured above), an up-and-coming favorite who got their start in the subways in Brooklyn.
9. ARTISTIC INSIDE AND OUT
Street art alone is proof that Brooklyn is literally covered in art. There are countless art galleries to discover in the borough, the highest concentrations most likely being in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Gowanus. Brooklyn is also home to the world-famous Brooklyn Art Museum, which constantly shows fresh and cutting-edge exhibits as well as permanent African and European masterpieces.
10. YEAR-ROUND EXCITEMENT
Moments are never dull in this massive borough. In the spring, Brooklyn is host to the NYC Hot Sauce Festival and the annual Bad Film Fest. Summer brings with it the Mermaid Parade and wraps up with the NY Caribbean Carnival. The PUPkin Dog Costume Contest is a longstanding fall tradition in Fort Green. Less-than-ideal temperatures don’t keep Brooklyn from having some outdoor fun in the dead of winter. Scores of Brooklynites love to ring in the new year with the Polar Bear Club’s Annual New Year’s Day Swim.
Brooklyn’s parks are spacious and give New Yorkers a way to step out of the urban bustle, away from tourists, and into some fresh air. Stunning views, year-round programs and events, and abundant opportunity for community involvement make Prospect Park one of Brooklyn’s (and likely NYC’s) greatest parks. Prospect Park is often compared to Central Park in Manhattan, because it was designed by the same people just years after. Many feel that designing Central Park first was a nice warm up for the masterpiece that is Prospect Park.
12. SECRET GREEN THUMB
There’s more than just trees growing in Brooklyn these days. Brooklynites are making the most of their limited space with urban agriculture projects. Rooftop farms, like Eagle Street, and community gardens, like Target Community Garden seem to be sprouting up everywhere. They bring communities together and are making fresh food more accessible to the people of Brooklyn than ever before.
13. AMAZING FOOD
Not only are there great restaurants all over Brooklyn, but you can eat great just about anytime you want. If you’re an early riser, try Bagel Pub for a classic Brooklyn bagel or Elsie’s for a signature doughnut. If Brunch is more your speed, Tom’s in Prospect Heights is a must. At lunchtime, pizza is a cheap and delicious option. Mayor De Blassio’s favorite slice comes from Di Fara Pizza. Or you could try a slice from the lesser known but still wildly popular Smiling Pizza. No. 7 is a popular choice for dinner because of it’s great atmosphere and delicious food. But if you’re out late, be sure to check out Daisy’s Diner in Park Slope.
What do you love about living in Brooklyn? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re moving to Brooklyn and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Brooklyn.
All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.