Friday, September 11, 2015

"New York is a city of neighborhoods, and debating where those neighborhoods begin and end is a time-honored tradition. Longtime Lower East Siders reject its subdivision into the East Village. Uptown Manhattan residents feud over whether Thayer Street is part of Inwood or Washington Heights. Some Brooklynites insist 4th Avenue is in Park Slope, while others insist it's Gowanus.

"You could take two people who live side by side and ask them 'what are the boundaries of the neighborhood in which you live?' and you'll get two answers," Bronx historian Lloyd Ultan said.

It turns out there's a good reason those debates haven't been settled: the city doesn't have official neighborhood boundaries. According to Department of City Planning spokeswoman Rachaele Raynoff, officials have a general idea of where neighborhoods are and even has a map of the city's neighborhoods, but lines are a different story.

"We've never put down boundaries," Raynoff said. "Community districts are what are in the City Charter." City Planning does have something called a "Neighborhood Tabulation Area," but Raynoff stressed that these lines are only approximations of neighborhoods created purely for statistical purposes. So with no official answer coming, we're leaving it to you, dear readers: use the map to draw where you think your neighborhood's borders are.

When you finish you can compare your boundaries to those of other residents in your neighborhood — and once we've collected enough results we'll share the consensus and see if we can finally settle this feud once and for all."

~ Nigel Chiwaya | August 11, 2015