In 1790, the population of Brooklyn was a mere 15,394 persons. In 2012 there is still a dispute over the exact amount, but it has ballooned to over 2 and 1/2 million people.
Coney Island, An Illustrated Guide to the Sea, A first hand account of Coney Island in 1883:
“We sailed down the bay in an antiquated steamer (in 1863), mid scenes of confusion and hilarity. At the landing there was a barn-like bar-room, more conspicuous than the dingy dining-room with two barrels at either end supporting boards used as a lunch or dining counter. Chops, choweder, steaks, etc., of a very inferior quality, were purveyed at the prices of fashionable restaurants in the Metropolis.
“Three-card monte-me and swindlers occupied tables along the beach, which either for bathing purposes or promenade could not be surpassed. It is no exaggeration to say that respectable citizens, and especially ladies, could not visit this Island then without danger of robbery…”