Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To the Corners of the Big Apple -OR- New York In Geographical Extremes

NOTE: This entry was revised at 12:45AM 11/25/2011 to correct borough location of Rockaway Point.

An aerial view looking north over Lower Manhattan's Financial District and toward Midtown. This is one of the iconic pictures of New York City, a place that is arguably the de facto Capital of early 21st Century human civilization.

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I wanted to post an entry to update this blog but I'm quite tired right now and don't feel much like talking about myself or the usual topics. Rather, this entry is a "geographical extremities" dedicated one. This one focuses on New York City's northern, eastern, southern, and westernmost geographical points. The images in here are taken from Bing aerial map view since the boundary is dashed in and it appears to be reasonably accurate.

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Again, one of the great iconic images of New York City showing the top of the Empire State Building on July 7, 2010.

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As you know, I grew up in New Jersey on the upper Jersey shore (Long Branch / Sea Bright) and have always felt a connection to New York City, if only because you could see its massive skyline on a clear day about 30 miles due north.

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And still one more great New York City image -- an aerial view looking north showing Central Park on a lovely fall day, Nov. 11, 2008. This aerial image along with the ones above were taken from this Denver Post site.

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Anyway, this entry focuses on the northern, eastern, southern, and western most geographical points of the five boroughs that make up New York City.

Here is the full map of New York City's 59 recognized neighborhood, each individually numbered by the five boroughs / counties that make up the city. The "zoom in - able" PDF version of the map from the New York City Department of City Planning is available here. Click on the "view the full map" PDF link in the top banner.

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Northernmost point in New York City ...

This honor goes to Riverdale or (as shown on the map) North Riverdale with Wakefield getting runner up honorable mention. Both are in the borough of The Bronx (Bronx County). (North) Riverdale is an upscale community while Wakefield is a working class one.

New York City's northernmost geographical point is actually in the Hudson River, but on land it is where the College of Mount Saint Vincent meets the river. The Hudson or Metro-North Railroad bisects it along the river. Amtrak also uses this line.

Here is an aerial view of part of the College of Mount St. Vincent with the boundary of the Bronx and Yonkers in Westchester County (Yonkers??).

The tennis court in this image is certainly the northernmost one in New York City, and the cars on that loop outside of Founders Hall and Rosary Hall (Sisters of Charity).

Here is a Bing "bird's eye" view of Founders Hall that shows (drawn in white by yours truly) approximately where the NYC - Westchester County boundary runs. The geographic northernmost point on land is (about) where the line intersects the river.

Got it?

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Now the neighborhood is a working class one called Wakefield is not as far north geographically as the above point. However, it is still quite far north with the Wakefield subway station the northernmost one on the Metro-North Harlem Line.

This is an aerial view of the Wakefield section of the Bronx with the boundary between it and Yonkers crudely drawn in (by me -- I really need Photoshop instead of Paint). The northernmost point here is not as far north as the one in Riverdale.

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Easternmost point of New York City ...

Here is a map of Floral Park with only some of the streets shown.

Bing aerial map showing (drawn in) what I believe is the easternmost point of the borough of Queens (Queens County), and hence of New York City. It is along Hillside Avenue just beyond 268th Street.

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OK, although it is well to the west of this easternmost point, the section of Queens called Glendale includes this well-known house:

It is the (double) house at 89-70 Cooper Avenue (across the street from a large cemetery) that was featured in the opening sequence of All in the Family (although the Bunkers' house had a porch). That house was located at the wholly fictitious 704 Hauser Street.

Here is a Google map street view of the house at 89-70 Cooper Avenue, Queens, New York City -- the All in the Family house -- except as it looks today. I guess it was painted a different color at some point.

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Southernmost point in Queens (Queens County), New York City ...

Here is a map of the area called Breezy Point just south of Coney Island. The community is on the Rockaway Peninsula and itis the southernmost tip of Queens,although it is not the southernmost point in all of New York City. 

I *think* the actual southernmost point in Queens is called Rockaway Point, although I've also seen it listed as Breezy Point. (The city's community map does shown above does not specifically label it.) 

Oh, yes, as for Brooklyn, Coney Island includes that borough's southernmost point, but it is north of Rockaway Peninsula.

A close-up (Bing) aerial view of the tip of the Rockaway Peninsula, New York City. I am referring to the point itself as Rockaway Point although it may also be called Breezy Point. Also, yes, the image is split between two different photographs taken at different times.

Regardless, it looks like an oddly serene albeit strangely located spot.

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Southernmost and Westernmost point in New York City ...

Staten Island (Richmond County) features both the southernmost and westernmost point in New York City, and they are quite close to each other.

Here is an aerial view of both locations shown in the above map.

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Toucan Sam and Staten Island

Speaking of Staten Island and its ferries faeries, I think that the place whence Mr. Sirius's life-mate Toucan Sam harks.

 I wrote about Staten Island's (and New York City's) highest spot, Todt Hill, in this entry in Oct. 2009. It's about 410ft high.


Pictured above: Toucan Sam roosting in the woods atop Todt Hill while the one "QUACKS!" and the other "CAWS!" about this or that.

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Anyway, here is a map showing the southernmost tip of Staten Island in relation to South Amboy, New Jersey -- where my mom and uncle were raised (and my uncle still lives). 

I've circled Henry Street, which was (is) where their house was located, except it was actually a bit farther to the lower left (off the map), dead-ending on an old (discontinued?) freight train line and an embankment leading up to Rt. 35.

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Immaculate Conceptions and Godfathers ...

There is an enormous church near the southernmost tip of Staten Island called Mission of the Immaculate Version (MIV) Mount Loretto. 

Its soaring spire is visible about eight miles away from Henry Street in South Amboy, N.J. I would link to its website, except that site wants to play music / runs things, so I won't. However, I found this image online of the church. Apparently, a scene from The Godfather was filmed there.

Wonderful.

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One last great iconic picture of New York: Lady Liberty at the entrance to New York Harbor. 

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And with that, I will end this entry. My next planned update will be on Wednesday or Thursday. 

--Regulus 

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