Williamsburg was a small farming community in the early 19th century. A thriving neighborhood quickly grew around the docks. The Williamsburg Bridge, completed in 1903, permitted immigrant residents to easily commute to jobs in Manhattan.
In recent years the neighborhood has been rediscovered. The Northside abounds with art galleries, bars and boutiques. The Southside is an ethnic gumbo of Latino, Hasidic and Italian influences.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Public Library, and Prospect Park are situated in Crown Heights. It is home to the greatest number of Caribbean residents outside the West Indies and the world wide headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community .
Boro Park is a residential neighborhood which today is home to the world's largest Orthodox Jewish community outside of Israel. Its main shopping street, 13th Avenue, has dozens of stores catering to the religious Jewish population of the neighborhood. The Avenue Plaza Hotel caters to Hasidic New York City visitors requiring Kosher meals.
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