More New York Geography Questions

A friend who lives in the Village (that’s Greenwich Village for you non-New Yorkers) swears that “upstate” is anything north of 14th Street.

I live in Manhattan and don’t consider Brooklyn and Queens as “Long Island” even though I realize that is their geographic location.

Also, although Westchester County is “upstate” from NYC, most city dwellers consider it as a suburb of the city and don’t start using “upstate” until north of Westchester.

What a terrific site, friedo! I’d been looking for a concise summary of the various annexations over the years, this is the first I’ve seen that puts it all in one place.

Friedo, nuh-uh.

In 1874 New York City/County annexed today’s western Bronx; in 1895 it grabbed the eastern portion. Even though the Bronx became its own borough in 1898, it remained part of New York County. Finally, in 1914 it became its own county too. As such, it the youngest county in the state (unless a new county was created the last time I checked – 4 or 5 years ago).

Not sure why, but the Bronx is often called a “paper county” – maybe because it’s governmental business is so intermingled with the other boroughs/counties (especially Manhattan/New York) that they all sort of blur into the monster that is Greater New York City.

I realize why the confusion surrounding Brooklyn/Kings County, and I’m surprised that no one noticed till now. ‘Brooklyn’ was the name of the city located in Kings County. In 1898, I think, The city of Brooklyn was annexed by the city of New York. Thus the double identity.

Don’t forget:

  1. Western New York. I’m from Buffalo, and went to college in NYC and was amazed to learn from my classmates that I was from “upstate” – in Buffalo, upstate means the part of the state with the Thousand Islands and the Adirondacks. No one in Buffalo thinks they live upstate.

Vinnie’s link to the New York State web page of regions is a good one, although I would argue a bit with some of the areas. Greater Niagara? Does anyone say that? That’s where I’m from, and that is Western New York. The Southern Tier is also its own region, and is located along the NY/PA border, under the Finger Lakes and Western New York. I suppose the web site is designed to lure tourists to New York State, so I can understand why they decided to go with names that reflect the attractions of the regions.

OxyMoron, I agree that friedo’s linked site is boffo indeed.

But they make one very common error – or omission, actually – relating to Queens Borough. The 1898 consolidation of Greater NYC drew the Queens Borough border as a straight line from the southeastern tip of Flushing Town – running aproximately south – to the Atlantic Ocean. If you look at map #10 on the site you’ll notice that such a border gives the Rockaway Peninsula and a western slice of Hepmstead Town to Queens Borough.

This odd situation existed for only one year. In 1899 Nassau County was created and the Queens Borough line was redrawn to the configuration that exists today. Queens Borough got to keep the Rockaway Peninsula but gave up that western slice of Hempstead to Nassau County. Thus, from 1898 to 1899, NYC had more land than at any point in its history.

The “regions” of New York listed on the NYS Tourism web pages are bureaucratic constructs that don’t necessarily correspond to how people refer to their area. “Central-Leatherstocking” and “Thousand Islands-Seaway” are particularly clumsy.

Residents of the upstate regions generally use Capital District, Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Western NY, Central NY, and Thousand Islands.

If Buffalonians(?) don’t consider themselves as living upstate then I guess Plattsburgh it the only true upstate community. OK, I am too lazy to look at the map but I think that is one of the northern most towns in NY. I could be wrong but you get the idea.

I’ll leave it at this, if you live upstate from me (outside of the 5 boroughs) I will refer to your area as upstate. If you live in Nassau and Suffolk I will refer to your area Long Island.

You may call it what you like but that’s how I see it.

And thats the end of that chapter. -H. Simpson - Police Cops

Actually, if you ever listen to a NYC radio station’s weather forecast, they often mention certain conditions “north and west of the City.” That’s me! Even though it could also be Albany, Buffalo, or even Seattle, for that matter.

FTR, I’m pretty sure Rockland is designated “Lower Hudson Valley”.