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Walking Tours Lead New Yorkers Through Brooklyn's Culture and History

 The Municipal Art Society is hosting a number of walking tours in Brooklyn for Jane's Walk.
Walking Tours of Brooklyn
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BROOKLYN — One hundred free walking tours will roam New York this weekend, highlighting neighborhoods across the city, including many in Brooklyn.

Jane’s Walk, organized by the Municipal Art Society of New York, will take place May 4 and 5, leading walkers through Brooklyn’s rich cultural history.

While Jane’s Walk, which honors activist and writer Jane Jacobs, started in 2007 as a Manhattan-centric event, it has grown over the years to include all five boroughs, plus 19 countries and 90 cities around the world.

From Sandy-damaged Red Hook to artsy DUMBO and the polluted Newtown Creek, the tours will be led by historians, art organizations, urban geographers and others, to showcase more than a dozen Brooklyn neighborhoods.

“It mimics the diversity of the city,” said Stacey Anderson, an events and community engagement manager at MAS. “We can see the city through very different perspectives.”

Through Jane’s Walk, MAS also wanted to draw attention to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the city. Historian Deborah Gardner will lead a tour through Red Hook, parts of which were flooded after the superstorm.

DNAinfo.com New York has highlighted one tour from each neighborhood. A complete list of tours can be found here.

Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Bridge Park: How a Waterfront Park Survived the Storm
Date: May 4
Time: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m.
Meeting Place: The corner of Old Fulton and Water Street in the Fulton Ferry Landing section of the park in front of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

Hurricane Sandy tore through the city last year but left Brooklyn’s waterfront park with minimal damage. The tour is a chance to learn about Brooklyn Bridge Park’s design and how it saved the park from the storm.

Park Slope
Bike to the Future: Brooklyn’s Burgeoning Bicycling Infrastructure
Date: May 4
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Meeting Place: Bartel-Pritchard Square, Prospect Park West and 15th Street, corner near Pavilion Movie Theater (188 Prospect Park West)

New bike lanes are rolling out in Park Slope and with the Citi Bike sharing program on everyone's mind, the “Jane’s Ride” biking tour will highlight upcoming additions to the neighborhood’s biking infrastructure. Make sure you bring your own bike for the tour.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn: On the Come Up
Date: May 4
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Meeting Place: Outside of Spike Hill Bar, located at 184 Bedford Ave.

Explore Williamsburg with Sheilla Sumayang, an urban geographer, who will examine how the 2005 rezoning resolution made the neighborhood popular. The tour will also look at Williamsburg's latest attractions.

Downtown Brooklyn
Architecture, Arts and History in Downtown Brooklyn
Date: May 4
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Meeting Place: On the steps of the Brooklyn Borough Hall (north side)

After this tour of Downtown Brooklyn’s architecture and history, stick around for lunch at an outdoor market at Albee Square on its opening day.

DUMBO: Tour of Public Art, Galleries and Artists Studios
Date: May 4
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Meeting Place: Meet by the Fish Heads sculpture at the corner of Washington and Prospect streets, just off the steps from the Brooklyn Bridge or accessible via A/C, F, 2/3, East River Ferry

DUMBO is known for its vibrant arts community and Lisa Kim, the cultural affairs director of Two Trees Management, will explore the cultural development of the neighborhood through public art projects, exhibitions and galleries.

Red Hook
Brooklyn’s Red Hook: Past and Post-Sandy
Date: May 4 and 5
Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Meeting Place: In front of the Trader Joe's at 130 Court St. in Brooklyn, on the Atlantic Avenue side.

It was only six months ago that Red Hook faced the brunt of Hurricane Sandy with flooding and damage throughout the neighborhood. While the community has worked to rebuild, there are still signs of the storm in the waterfront neighborhood. Historian Deborah Gardner will take a walk through the Sandy-struck area, discussing the future as well as Red Hook’s maritime and industrial past.

Crown Heights
Western Crown Heights, Brooklyn: It’s Not What Happened, It’s What’s Happening
Date: May 5
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Meeting Place: Outside the Eastern Parkway Subway entrance to the 2/3 trains in front of the Brooklyn Museum

This walk will explore the evolving neighborhood, including a reservoir that’s now a park, an armory turned into a shelter and the ever-changing commercial corridors. The tour will also partly focus on the proposed rezoning of western Crown Heights.

The Gunk Under Greenpoint
Date: May 5

Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Meeting Place: Monitor Statue at northern edge of McGolrick Park, Monitor Street Nassau and Driggs avenues

Newtown Creek was just 6 inches away from being deluged by sewage during Hurricane Sandy, a recent report showed. The polluted creek has been designated as a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency, but Newtown Creek also has a rich history making it a core part of Greenpoint, showcased in this walking tour.