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Old 07-01-2008, 09:03 AM
Girl Next Door Girl Next Door is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Whidbey Island
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Characteristics of New York City Boroughs?

Am headed to NYC this weekend, and very excited about it. I love NYC. Well, truth is, I've only really spent time in Manhattan. Educate me as to the flavors and characteristics of the other boroughs. What are they like/known for?
Old 07-01-2008, 09:41 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: I am Queens Boulevard
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Prospect Park, hipsters in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Junior's Cheesecake, Brighton Beach, the Cyclones (minor league baseball), The Cyclone (rollercoaster).

Hipsters in Astoria, dim sum in Flushing (I recommend Jade Asian), delicious yummy food of every kind in Jackson Heights, The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park (as featured in "Men in Black"), The Panorama (a scale model of NYC), The Mets (major league baseball), pretty tree-lined neighborhoods like Forest Hills, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Old 07-01-2008, 12:44 PM
fusoya fusoya is offline
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Location: NYC
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I don't have time to give you a complete tour guide (maybe tonight if I stumble back in here) but here are the basics.

South Bronx: This is NYC's "hood". There's Yankee Stadium (which is directly connected to the subway station, but is otherwise a place to stay out of unless you have a good reason to be there. Most of NYC's few poor and high crime neighborhoods are here.

North/West Bronx: The part of the borough that doesn't get that much attention, but its a whole different story. Bronx Zoo is great. Riverdale/Kingsbridge/Van Cordlant park are great places to wander around.

Brooklyn: 4th largest population in the US. Famous for having immigrants from everywhere. And I live there too.

Queens: the western half of Queens is similar to Brooklyn. Eastern Queens is basically a suburb (2 story homes and driveways) with city taxes.

Staten Island: See eastern Queens....its good only for the ferry ride.

Last edited by fusoya; 07-01-2008 at 12:46 PM.
Old 07-01-2008, 12:51 PM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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Location: New York, New York!
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There are two other boroughs, you know

I've actually spent very little time in Staten Island, and can't really say much about it. It seems more like a dense suburb than anything else. I'm told the Staten Island Ferry (leaving from the south end of Manhattan) is a great free ride, but I've never actually shlepped there myself. A fairly large chunk of the island used to be the Fresh Kills landfill, which closed in 2001, then reopened to take most of the wreckage from the World Trade Center, where it was all hand-sorted to find any human remains or mementos like wallets and wedding rings. I believe they're now building a giant park on top of it. Staten Island sometimes feels neglected and separate from the rest of NYC, and every so often agitates to separate from the City.

The Bronx is the only borough actually connected the the continental US, and I believe it's the poorest of the five. Its most prominent tourist attractions are Yankee Stadium (get there this year, before they knock it down in favor of the new stadium they're building in the parking lot), the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Gardens, but there are other nice things to see and do as well. Wave Hill is a beautiful garden/mansion in Riverdale, and City Island is a bit of Cape Cod incongruously plunked down next to a big Bronx park.

Aside from the attractions Hello Again mentions, a bit of description: Queens and Brooklyn are the top and bottom halves of the western end of Long Island. I've heard that Queens is the most diverse county in the country, with more languages and national origins there than anywhere else, so if you're looking for pretty much any kind of food, you'll probably find it somewhere there. Both the NYC airports are in Queens, so perhaps the immigrants just don't get too far from their points of entry. If you should want to travel in Queens, bear in mind that it will have 72nd Rd., 72nd St., 72nd Ave., 72nd Lane, and possibly 72nd Crescent, which may or may not be near each other, so write down your directions carefully. Queens is trying to become cool, but is still mostly thought of as a borough of families and little houses rather than of fun urban stuff.

Brooklyn is also an incredibly diverse borough, with many neighborhoods beyond the yuppies of Park Slope and the hipsters of Williamsburg. (Being an Orthodox Jew, Williamsburg to me means Hasidim, so I find it hilarious that the rest of the world now identifies it with the young and cool. For that matter, when I think 'Brooklyn,' I think mostly of Boro Park, a dense ultra-Orthodox neighborhood not at all full of yuppies or hipsters. Maybe Flatbush, a more attractive neighborhood full of ultra-Orthodox people, or Crown Heights, full of Lubavitchers. None of these are my favorite place to hang out, but they're sometimes useful when I need to get Jewish-related stuff, like my wedding invitations. But I digress.) Every thread on NYC tourism must advise you to walk the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan. Brooklyn has gotten popular in recent years with people who've been pushed out of Manhattan due to rising housing prices, hence the reputation that some neighborhoods have for being young and cool. Much of it is very accessible from lower Manhattan via subway.
Old 07-01-2008, 01:00 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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Wait, are you telling me there are places in NYC outside of Manhattan?
Old 07-01-2008, 03:28 PM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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From a visitor's perspective, there are a bunch of great things to do in the outer boroughs. I don't know if the characteristics of the different boroughs are what you are looking for as a vistor, but there are some great things to do in them that can give you some of the flavor.

The Staten Island Ferry may be the best free ride in the world. Staten Island is largely residential, so I don't have any real suggestions for what to do there, but taking the ferry there and back is a lovely ride through New York Bay, with great views of the Statue of Liberty and the Battery. If you just turn around at the Staten Island terminal and go back, it'll be an hour very well spent.

The Brooklyn Museum is a truly underrated masterpiece. Were it not just across the river from some of the best museums in the world it would be much better known than it is. It is also right by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and behind the Botanic Gardens is Prospect Park, where you can see all of Brooklyn's warm and wonderful diversity enjoying their weekend. You can work your way through the understated neghborhood of Park Slope, with its interesting shops and goings on. On the other end of Brooklyn is Coney Island, with its beaches, boardwalk and the Cyclone, a classic wood roller coaster.

For Queens, I might explore Astoria, with its heavily Greek heritage being forced into a mixture of nearly every other nationality on earth. Here you can get a huge range of fabulous food.

In the Bronx, you can head to the Bronx Zoo or the New York (Bronx) Botanical Gardens, depending on whether you prefer flora or fauna. After that you can eat at Arthur Avenue, a much more authentic Italian neighborhood than Little Italy in Manhattan.

Enjoy your visit.
Old 07-01-2008, 03:48 PM
friedo friedo is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,653
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Prospect Park, hipsters in Williamsburg
I am instructed that it is now known as "Billyburg." There's lots to do there, especially if you like olympic sports.


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