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Williamsburg is one of the areas of New York that is located in the borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is located on the edge of Brooklyn with Queens bordering it to the east as well as Bushwick. Also surrounding Williamsburg is Greenpoint on the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is growing rapidly as far as housing, retail space and population are concerned. The neighborhood, present day is rather large with a population of 125,000 inhabitants, about the same as Harlem.
Williamsburg was originally founded in 1827 as the Village of Williamsburg within the town of Bushwick. After two years, there was already a population of over 1,000 people. Shipyards were almost instantly built in the area and raw materials were shipped in from Europe. The sugar industry played a major part in the area here along with brewing and shipbuilding.
After developing into districts in the 1830's, the population of the town quickly went over 11,000 by 1845 and became the City of Williamsburg in 1852 before becoming part of the city of Brooklyn in 1855. Eventually in 1898, Brooklyn along with Williamsburg became part of New York City. The town had an upscale population and at one point during the 19th century, Williamsburg held 10 percent of the wealth of the United States.
During this time period, the population was mostly German and a large number of Jews from Manhattan came over to the area. Over the years, this population, like most of New York City has continued to grow and diversify. Williamsburg is now home to a large number of Italians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Hasidic Jews. The neighborhood has strong influences from indie rock and the hipster culture. There is also a large and growing art community in Williamsburg.
Due to the large rise in population of Williamsburg, there are communities inside of the town. "South Williamsburg" is filled with a large number of Puerto Ricans as well as Hasidic Jews. Slightly north of "South Williamsburg" is the "South Side". This area is filled with Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. North of this area is the "North Side", which is home to the Polish and Italian populations. East Williamsburg is mainly retail spaces and has a lot of diversity in the area with African Americans, Hispanics, and Italian Americans living in the area.
The Satmar Hasidic group of Jews consist of 45,000 inhabitants in Williamsburg. They moved to the area to escape the horrible living conditions on the Lower East Side of Manhattan prior to World War II. This community in Williamsburg has the highest birthrate of any place in the country with an average of eight children per family.
Another community is Williamsburg is the first artist's community. This community first moved to Williamsburg from SoHo and the East Village in the 1970's. After starting off slow, the community rose to an artist population of 3,000 people by 1996. There are also theaters here as well as a music scene with live music and new bands.
Transportation and Geography
Williamsburg is situated near an L-Train stop. The Williamsburg Bridge crosses into the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There are also multiple bus routes that go through Williamsburg.
The areas inside Williamsburg are not just made up of buildings and skyscrapers. There are also parks and other outdoor life, including nearly 1,600 trees in the neighborhood. Most of this green area can be found along the western and northern areas as the eastern and southern borders are less green, making them more affordable and less safe.