Empire State

A penny dropped off the empire state would land four floors below, killing nobody.

Classic column: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_225.html

This may be true for the building but a penny dropped off the Empire State would land in:
[list][li]the Hudson, Niagara, or St. Lawrence River,[]the state of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connectictut, or Pennsylvania,[]Lake Ontario or Lake Erie,or the Canadian province of Quebec.[/li]
Just in the interest of clarity. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, Authur Kill, the Harlem River, the East River, and the other various bays and estuaries around the Big Apple.


John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

so why is New York the Empire State? I thought you guys wanted out of the Empire.

You’re forgetting the Garden State—New Jersey…


“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”
–Jessica Rabbit,Who Framed Roger Rabbit

also Lake Champlain, don’t forget Lake Champlain
Drop the chalupia

It struck back.

Back in the early days, it was, overall, the richest. Other states were a lot smaller, or had large mountain ranges impeding settlement, or were crippled by plantation economics, and New York also had New York City, the greatest natural harbor in the entire world, located at the mouth of the long and navigable Hudson River.

Even today, the Governor of the State of New York and the Mayor of New York City enjoy a certain de-facto preeminence among other Governors and Mayors. (If it weren’t traditional for the two to be just short of mortal enemies, it would be even more so.)

So it’s the “Empire State” because it’s the state-that-is-an-empire-unto-itself.


John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Speaking of NY & NJ, is it true the Statue of Liberty is in NJ harbor? Why then would NY lay claim to it? Maybe they need it with the Empire?

If you will look at a map of New York Bay (the centerfold in the Rand McNally Road Atlas will do for a beginning), you will see that New York claims all the islands. Now, in some cases, like Staten Island, there’s no question that the island belongs to New York, even though it’s much closer to New Jersey. But in other cases, the legal paperwork, stretching back 300 or more years, isn’t as clear. In particular, a court has just ruled that NJ has a valid claim to Ellis Island and that NY had just elbowed its way in. NJ, as a result, will be collecting sales tax.

Liberty Island, as far as I recall, is definitely in NY, but, as you can see, it is closer to NJ. I don’t know how all these things happened; if I remember rightly, ownership of Staten Island was decided centuries ago by a foot race…


John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Handy: I agree that you’re probably mistaking Libery Island for Ellis Island. I remember learning on the news that, according to an old agreement, New Yawk owned the waterways while New Joisey owned the island itself. I have no idea why you’ld make an agreement like this, but then there’s alot about politics I don’t get. As JWK said, NY just kinda took over the place. Now NJ wants it back (why now?) and New York is raising hell and trying desperately to find some legal justification for keeping the famous Ellis Island.


“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

NJ wants it partly for the bragging rights, but chiefly (as I hinted earlier) because there’s a lot of sales tax to be collected at the souvenir and food stands.


John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams