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Saturday, December 1, 2007


NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: NEW YORK ONLINE; All About Brooklyn Including Local Weather

Published: December 19, 1999

Here's a site that covers just about everything that grows in Brooklyn, even the trees.

Brooklyn On Line is the brainchild of Brett Wynkoop, owner of Wynn Data Limited, an Internet and computer consulting firm. Mr. Wynkoop, whose company powers the Web site with solar energy collected on a Park Slope Rooftop, Makes the plausible but unprovable claim that his site, begun in 1995, was the first ever dedicated to Brooklyn.

''We were heading to New England and I was able to plan our itinerary online,'' said Mr. Wynkoop, who moved to Brooklyn six years ago from Manhattan. ''Then, for fun, I decided to see how many sites Brooklyn had. There were none anywhere.'' He began building content for the site by traveling throughout the borough, notebook in hand, jotting down everything. Then others began contributing information about their own neighborhoods and the site grew. Today, with some 225,000 hits since the site's start, Mr Wynkoop is looking for volunteer help to keep things humming.

One popular section, the Jewish Billboard, wwas created and is managed by Ruben Safir, a volunteer. Apparently, Brooklyn On Line ha a sizable Orthodox following. ''All hits go down by 50 percent on Saturdays and Jewish holidays,'' Mr. Wynkoop said. Another big group is borough expatriates around the globe - the Brooklyn diaspora.

WHAT YOU SEE The sections vary from local news, chat, personal and classified ads, impressive pages on borough history (Ebbets Field is pictured above) and places for clean family fun. The site also includes a movie guide, listings of shops, restaurants, schools and services in 26 neighborhoods, a section for ''neighbors in need,'' city government offices, activities along the borough's 30 miles of waterfront and even local weather reports for all those Brooklyn microclimates.

There is also a photo gallery, a listing of Brooklyn books and a bulletin board, on which old friends and neighbors try to find one another. Edward Snyder, for example, posted a message saying, ''Yo! Brooklynite living in Midwest seeks contact with the Mother City.'' Other postings recall life in Park Slope in the 1950's, reminiscing about ''Mousey, the drug addict'' and Harry's candy store, ''where you bought those long salty pretzels'' while spinning on stools and sipping egg creams.

LINKS Scattered throughout the site, they lead to sites for local gems like the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Botanic Garden and Gateway National Park.

WHAT YOU GET At-your-fingertip resources for just about every neighborhood in the far-flung borough, as diverse as the world itself. DAVID KIRBY


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