Brooklyn is the second Borough in importance of the Boroughs that make up Greater New York, and is said now to slightly exceed Manhattan in the actual number of residents. It has certainly grown tremendously in the last years and has a larger physical area. It is essentially a city of homes. Most of its people have business in New York. It is connected by four bridges and three subway tunnels, to which more will soon be added.
Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn was at one time a great mecca of tourists to New York. So much so, that Brooklyn was at one time described as "lying between Pleasure and the Grave." It is, nevertheless, one of the most beautiful Cities of the Dead in the world. Public taste has changed of late years and Greenwood has to a certain extent lost its attraction to visitors. Yet one will never regret an hour or two spent in this God's Acre.
Many noted men and women are buried here, and the beauty of its monuments, its shaded paths, its atmosphere of profound peace, yields a restful sensation that is long remembered. If time permits, pay a visit to this old hallowed spot. It is something you will never regret. Brooklyn is as different from New York as day is from night. It thinks differently, lives differently, acts differently. Marshall Wilder became rich through his famous bon-mot: that the subways were built so that a New York man could go to Brooklyn without being seen. It is a city of churches, as well as of homes, and has a strong religious life. It cannot seem to outgrow its village origin. It has, however, a rare intellectual life.
People from abroad and our own people from other states speak of Brooklyn as a beautiful city. It often perplexes the Brooklynite to know what this term means. Evidently it is not meant in the sense that a statue is beautiful or even a building, for there are only a few conspicuously fine statutes or buildings in the borough. And yet it is evident to any one who has been in Brooklyn even for a short time that the description is true.
There is something in the atmosphere that induces the kindly feeling, and perhaps this again is produced by the long streets and avenues of homes, for Brooklyn is preeminently the city of homes. Already the population numbers over two millions and the influx of people is growing greater with every new bridge or tunnel that is built. Happily there is an immense area yet to be filled up, land that is admirably suited for the building of homes and all within easy reach of business centers in Manhattan.
Of the five boroughs of Greater New York, Brooklyn has distinctively the flavor of Art and Letters. The trend of the population is easily discerned in the large audiences that attend the lectures given almost every night during eight months of the year at the Brooklyn Institute and elsewhere. A Brooklyn audience, as has often been remarked, is discriminating and exacting. Perhaps no teacher or lecturer embodies the Brooklyn idea more distinctly than our late minister to Holland, Henry Van Dyke, himself a Brooklyn man and a fine scholar. His unaffected manner, his extensive knowledge of literature and his mastery of the arts and subtle-ties of humor, represent in actual life the ideals of the Brooklyn mind.
On the other hand, the utilitarian side has its votaries, as is shown in the crowded halls of the various institutions offering technical instruction, with also such advantages for social recreation as have always characterized this city. Even without the attractions of splendid theatres and great amusement places, Brooklyn contrives to get along in these matters perhaps even better than her sister borough of Manhattan.
As for the drama, Brooklyn has several dramatic societies which, although entirely composed of amateurs, rival some of New York's best companies and surely furnish amusement and recreation far excelling them. These societies have produced some of the best talent in the histrionic art. Ada Rehan, who lived in Brooklyn with her mother a great part of her life, was wont to say of them that they were the nurseries of New York's dramatic talent. Music also has its votaries, and the many societies for the cultivation of this art contribute greatly to the pleasure of living in Brooklyn. An orchestra composed entirely of women and led by a woman gives three concerts every year during the season, and its performances can scarcely be rivaled anywhere.
As an art center Brooklyn has achieved distinction and contributed her full share of glory to the country. There are a number of art schools and art clubs in Brooklyn. In one of these clubs, the Two Hour Sketch Club, made up partly of earnest young artists and partly of ambitious amateurs, one of America's most virile and famous artists, Frederic Remington, was a member during a part of his student days. He is remembered today by those of his associates who re-main for his strong, daring and progressive methods, and loved for his warm, generous and manly spirit.
The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences is to be credited with much of the impetus that is given to the intellectual life of the city and it undoubtedly supplies also that higher order of amusement which takes the place here of the mammoth movie palaces of other large cities.
The Museum is on a par with the finest in New York and the building, which is beautifully situated in Institute Park, on Eastern Parkway, one of Brooklyn's finest boulevards, will vie in size and beauty with any that has been erected for this purpose anywhere. The famous collection of paintings by Tissot, depicting the life of Christ, and the water color paintings by Sergeant are alone well worth a visit, but there are many other collections of rare and valuable objects to be seen.
Brooklyn Facts and Description 2