Williamsburg, Long Island
Williamsburg is a neighborhood located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, on Long Island. The neighborhood is on the East River and bordered by Greenpoint, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick. It is a part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. Williamsburg is served by 3 subway lines which are the BMT Canarsie Line, BMT Jamaica Line, and Crosstown Line. It is also served by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Many ethnic groups are within the neighborhood. It was among the highest number of slaves per capita in New York until the abolition of slavery in 1827. As of 2000 census, there was a total population of 12,304 with 2.6% as their population growth. The elevation is 13 feet.
During 1638, the Dutch West India Company purchased the land from the local Native Americans. The town’s name was changed to Bushwick after the English takeover of New Netherland in 1664 and called it Bushwick Shore during colonial times. That name lasted for about 140 years. It remained a small farming community until the opening of the Erie Canal.
In the nineteenth century, Bushwick was dominated by two competing ferry operators that farmers and gardeners from the other Bushwick villages used to carried farm products to markets in Lower Manhattan. The neighborhood auspicious location close to New York City leads to the creation of several farming developments. In 1802, real estate speculator Richard M. Woodhull acquired 13 acres of land and hired Coronel Jonathan Williams, a United States army engineer to map out the Cripplebush waterfront and named it Williamsburgh (with an h at the end) in his honor. In 1827, Williamsburg became an independent City joining Brooklyn in 1855.
Williamsburg is the home of many sweet-singing sensations such as Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, and Robert Merrill. It is considered a prominent indie rock community with a respectable funk, soul and worldbeat music scene. The Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Company was one of the many industries that developed along the waterfront. The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center is one of the historic sites in the area. This arts center is among the most important new art centers in the city which has achieved international recognition over six short years with articles being written about it in papers in Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Pakistan and many other countries.
In recent time, Williamsburg is New York’s largest art community with over 10,000 writers, artists, and performers, many of whom are in some of the foremost galleries in the city or write for major magazines and papers worldwide. The opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 creates easy access for residents to the rest of the neighboring cities. One of the great restaurants in the area is the famous Peter Luger steakhouse. It often cited as the best steak house not only in New York but in the USA.