On the weekend, I decided to venture across the East River, and explore a bit of Brooklyn — America’s first suburb. I went on an evening walking tour (which is, I am convinced, the best way to see and learn about a city) and these are some of the photos I took, and things I learned:
- Brooklyn is where Jackie Robinson signed his first contract for the then Brooklyn Dodgers (now LA Dodgers), making him the first African American on a major league baseball team sports – paving the way for thousands.
- Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist, after escaping slavery herself, made 13 trips to the South from Brooklyn, helping to free more than 70 slaves.
- Manhattan comes from ‘Mannahatta’ used by Native Americans, meaning ‘island of many hills’.
- ‘Brooklyn’ evolved from the Dutch naming the area ‘Breuckelen’.
- It is called the city of churches as there are 400 churches in Brooklyn’s 70 sqm.
- Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman while living on Pierrepont Street.
- Outside Plymouth Church, mock slave auctions were held to raise money that would then be spent in the south on buy, and ultimately freeing, slaves.
- When the French sent the Statue of Liberty to the U.S., the large copper sheets sat in crates for 10 years before it was constructed, as the Americans couldn’t afford the base to build it on.
- The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, at the under the bridge and by the water, does have the most delicious butter pecan ice-cream.
I highly recommend this tour and the guide John was fantastic — you can read more about the tour at the Free Tours by Foot website.