Written and produced by Sabine Rothman
Photographs by John Bessler
Saturday Night Fever? Forget about it. The Dodgers? Dem bums! Walt Whitman? In his words: "Brooklyn, of ample hills, was mine." It was.
It's pretty clear that nostalgia helps define New York City's premier outer borough--apologies to Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island--and cements the idea of it in our collective consciousness. Brooklyn's unique character has roots in the past yet always looks forward with creative gusto. That's the balance that keeps it alive and continually desirable to never-ending waves of people from all over who arrive there--each with his or her own reasons--whether from Des Moines, Russia, Haiti, or, yes, even Manhattan.
With approximately 2.5 million inhabitants, the borough--if it ever seceded from New York City--would still rank as the fourth largest city in the United States. Independent or not, Brooklyn boasts a rich history--and a bright future. Its cultural, architectural, and demographic diversity continues to contribute to the borough's vibrant character, which is as varied as it is exciting, a confluence of history and the avant-garde.