|The large blue expanse of the Delaware Bay separates two of America's most important cities. To the southwest lies Metropolis, Delaware, the City of Tomorrow. At the northeastern tip of the bay is Gotham, an American relic. Farther northward up into the Delaware River lies Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE.
|Gentrification reigns supreme here and the result is the very wealthy neighborhoods of Uptown running up against neighborhoods like the Bowery and Crime Alley. The elements of the city are never far away.
The lands here are heavily wooded, the largest expanse of unspoiled wilderness anywhere near Gotham. Even Bristol Hills, quite a drive along the river to the northeast, is heavily populated with the homes of the wealthy.
This was originally an area where the wealthy had their summer homes, though most of them moved away as the neighborhood became more mixed. Despite this "decline," however, the Coventry has never become a particularly bad part of town. Instead, its varied architecture and small cloisters of buildings have attracted the artistic and intellectual set, turning this into what passes for the city's artists' quarter. More affordable than some parts of Gotham, this is still a reasonably nice place to live with a decent sense of community. There is also the boon of Gotham University, which is located in the western central part of this district. To the south are Robinson Park, Gotham's large central green space, and the park's reservoir. Other notable features here include the Gotham Zoological Gardens, billed as the oldest zoo in the country, and the Hegler Historical Library.
This region is about as bright and colorful as Gotham City ever gets, though it retains that same peculiar flavor that so defines the city. While there a few gothic towers here, in their stead are art deco edifices and bold murals on the sides of once-posh townhouses, presenting a stylized view of the chiaroscuro that is Gotham City.
Chelsea, unlike its namesake in New York, is a quiet and forest filled section of Gotham, home to Gotham University. This has a lot of green space and is only accessible by a few roads.
As with many of Gotham's neighborhoods, Bryantown was originally a separate small town until it was absorbed by Gotham City in the economic shuffle of the 1930s. It still retains the flavor of a city-within-a-city, having a central post office, a miniature Financial District with tall buildings that butts up against the Manchester district to the north, and a city hall that has been converted into offices for state representatives and county officials, including the Gotham County Sheriff's Department. Many residents still prefer to think of Bryantown as a separate entity from Gotham, which they call "the other city." Most of Bryantown has distinctively Grecian-inspired architecture, displaying many prominent columns and marble edifices.
|Upper East Side
|As one leaves the Garden State Parkway, the effect as if one has left New Jersey entirely. The area along the coast becomes somewhat mountainous, the weather becomes a bit more oppressive, and the atmosphere generally feels almost more like Massachusetts or Rhode Island. The hill the urban landscape fades away, and after one passes the first big hill a thick carpet of forest spreads across the horizon. The road into Gotham City is a simple one, broad and full of gradual curves, though many narrow lanes branch off into the woodlands. The city's skyline can just barely be seen from here, the gothic spires mingling a bit with the dark, cloudy backdrop.
The bridge road winds its way north, away from the river and into the wooded foothills north of Gotham. The Bristol Hills area consists of a few narrow public roads surrounding the highway junction and a number of even smaller private driveways. The most expensive homes are built on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, including Wayne Manor, the stately home of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. The various estates in this region are separated by acres of woodland, ranging from old, overgrown orchards to thick evergreen forest. This, coupled with the snakelike roads through the foothills, can make the area rather difficult to navigate if one is not familiar with it. One thing can certainly be said for it, though, and that is that the houses on the hills offer a splendid view of the entire region.
Apart from a tiny ranger station in the southwest corner of the area, this area is made up entirely of the homes of the extremely wealthy. Most of these are mansions in a range of styles and tastes, though many date back to the Civil War or even Revolutionary times.
- East River:
The East River is a river in Gotham City. It has long been polluted, and in 2009 the river actually caught on fire. Since, the city government here has tried to push environmental reform and restore the water and shoreline.
- Blackgate Isle:
A short boat ride out on the Atlantic finds the Blackgate Isle, home of Blackgate Prison. The Island itself isn't really much. It's completely surrounded by barbed wire and fencing, with a small trail leading up from the doc to the front gates.
On the very outskirts of the Bowery lies Victoria Place. This upscale commercial center is the buffer zone between Old town Gotham and the business and commercial districts of Gotham City. Home to technologically advanced factories and store fronts, the proximity to the Bowery prevents it from being quite on par with the likes of LexCorp and Wayne Technology, but is no less a welcomed counterpart to the run down old and forgotten factories just to the south.
|The western part of the West side is dominated by the beach and more rural homes, while to the east, the buildings get higher and more condensed as you get closer to Gotham's center.
Glendale is the rusted out remains of Gotham's formerly vibrant industrial sector. While there is still some activity here, most of the buildings have dilapidated and become perfect hideouts for the villainous elements of the city.
The west bank of the Delaware Bay is home to the Sommerset district, an area still somewhat unspoiled by the city's sprawl. There is a Nordic settlement here which traces its roots back before the founding of Gotham City, and it is here that the annual Shakespeare festival is held from June through September. The main feature of the festival is a large outdoor stone amphitheater, which is said to have been used by Native Americans well before Europeans ever came to America's shores. Many claim to feel something unusual here, a special kind of power from within the structure which bolsters performances and enhances the experience.
Sitting on the edge of the commercial centers is the forgotten district of Charon. In the 1950s it had been planned as a new and stylish area for artists and shop keepers. As businesses failed, the area became home to petty criminals who needed cheap housing and an area to exploit. On the western edge, out towards the water is the Memorial Cemetery, while the hospital is also located in this district.
- Arkham Island:
Arkham Island was once the home of one of the founding families of Gotham City, but has since been converted into satellite holding facility for the Nation's most dangerous criminals. Styled as a 'Hospital' for the criminally insane, the facilities are self-sufficient to limit access to the rest of the citizens of Gotham. The former mansion grounds have been converted into a multi-wing facility that caters to the particulars of each individual patient.
Two bridges lead to the island from the mainland, with a single off-ramp that takes a winding route through the cavernous terrain of the island. The facility also features a dock for transport by the water way. All entrance and exit from the island is heavily moderated and observed in an attempt to keep the escapes from the Asylum to a minimum.
|Midtown Gotham city is a mixture of contrasting architectural styles. Many of the buildings are neo-classical monuments to Gotham's past, particularly those of financial organizations that presumably want to convey an image of sheer strength. These buildings are severe and solid, nearly devoid of decoration, with huge-columned entrances and tiny windows. These structures seem almost designed to minimize the human element, but are balanced somewhat by the more whimsical Gotham landmarks. Tall gleaming towers rise above the simpler structures, though nothing is quite as distinctive as the great Gotham Cathedral, a dark structure of gray stone covered in weeping angels and crowned with a large bell tower and steeple.
- Central Business District:
The tallest building of the Gotham skyline is the Wayne Enterprises tower, with its silver "W" emblem, which overlooks this neighborhood, rising from the central hub of the city's monorail. The Gotham Clocktower is located nearby, smaller and far older. The area is also home to most of Gotham's most popular clubs, lounges, hotels, and restaurants, sharing space with other commercial-zoned high rises. There are a variety of options for private residences here as well, from penthouses and lofts to multi-unit apartment buildings.
- Museum District:
The area's general population of towering skyscrapers prominently includes the largest of Gotham's banks and the stock exchange, but it is also home to the botanical gardens, the city's library, and Gotham's own Museum Row, which includes the Butler Museum of Modern Art, the Gotham Art Institute, and the Gotham Museum of Natural History.
Neville, by contrast to the hustling commerce sections of the city, is serene and almost peaceful. Here can be found the governmental functions of the city. City Hall and the Police Headquarters are here, as is the Wayne Foundation.
At the south end of Bob Kane Sound, the Aparo Expressway bridges the way across Miller Harbor. This meets the eastern edge of the Fashion District at Port Adams, also bordering on the northern end of the Financial District's waterfront. Here, the calm, dark waters see a fair bit of traffic, especially luxury yachts and tour boats. Buoys bob placidly on the waves, penetrating the fog that often hangs low over the water. For those days when the mist is thicker, a series of automated beacons stand in for lighthouses along Gotham's shores to guide incoming ships to port. Just beyond, the open sea of the Atlantic stretches away to the east.
|The heart of downtown consists of refurbished buildings that are a bit sleeker and more modern than the aging, gargoyle-encrusted spires of the Fashion District to the east, but they still retain the essence of that gothic feel that embodies the spirit of the city. Everything is just a bit glitzier, with lots of lights and a variety of neon signs to light up the night from the street-level up. Yet, if one goes high up enough, the garish lights of the street level fade, leaving only city's towers, lost in the dusky haze of gray days or lit only by deepest night's gloom. Here, the shadows reign by night, and by day the buildings glint dully in the gray light.
The buildings of downtown Gotham form an eclectic outline in the west, silhouetted against the often cloudy western sky. The stars are seldom seen above, but the view is dazzling on a clear night. Things often clear up in the daytime, but somehow everything looks just a bit flat, as though the life had retreated from Gotham -- without the benefit of dramatic lighting and perspective, it seems drab and sullen. Here the city has fallen into the decay of organized crime.
- Old Gotham:
Scattered bits of trash litter the area, often blown about like tumbleweeds in the Old West. These alleys are almost always dark, shrouded in the shadows of gothic spires and crumbling brick even at high noon. This makes it a welcome place for drug dealers and pimps to ply their trades, giving the place its nickname. The cement is caked with mud and grime; broken liquor bottles and empty syringes are common among the piles of refuse. Oddly enough, despite the heavy traffic of transients and petty crooks at the front end of the alley, for some reason the far side seems quiet, almost solemn, and is usually deserted.
The burnt-out husk of an old movie theater can be found farther up the alley, sagging under its own weight. A sign which once proudly proclaimed it to be the Monarch Theatre now barely hangs in place, most of the letters gone, leaving only "M ar Th a " behind. The ticket booth has long since been boarded up, most of the windows smashed. A few movie posters from the 1980s still hang along its walls, edges curling and torn, but the theater retains only the meanest shell of its former glory.
Businesses here are little holes in wall, pressed beneath the gloom of heavy skies and aging brick high-rises -- poorly lit grocery and liquor stores, half-functional Laundromats, peep shows, adult bookstores, and small-time drug dealers. The lucky ones here are those who have jobs in Gotham proper, only living here for the low rent. The others may be petty crooks, leeching off of others, struggling small business owners, or one of the great many homeless who live here, whether around alley fires or in abandoned, often condemned buildings.
|Lower East Side
|The eastern part of this region is actually the upper middle class community of Irving Grove, just across the river from the Dayton Forest Preserve. Southwest of this is the Hill, surrounded by Finger Boulevard. The southern end of this area is mixed residential, from single-family homes to fifteen-story apartment buildings, though atop the Hill itself is the modern, landscaped Gotham Memorial Cemetery.
However, tucked away at the edge of Irving Grove is Rose Lawn Cemetery, long since filled up and half forgotten. Many of the graves date back to the 1650s, some of those resting there are original settlers of the area. Tall, standing headstones and above-ground crypts make it a much more striking place than its modern counterpart, and the superstitious fears of many keep the public away.
Though widely renowned as a tourist attraction, Chinatown is also a solid ethnic community. More than perhaps any other neighborhood in Gotham, Chinatown lives by its own set of standards. These are not imposed on non-residents, but when the city's laws and procedures clash with tradition, the residents here are most likely to follow their own ways. Perhaps because of this, Chinatown is one of the city's most crime-free neighborhoods. Modern architecture seems at home with faux ancient Chinese buildings in a surprisingly coherent meld against the backdrop of the Diamond District's gothic spires, just to the east. Herbal shops can be found next to Christian churches, and elegant pagodas surround plain white storefronts where one can buy little plastic Buddha statues.
The southern part of this area is the nearly suburban community of Evanstown, once a small town in its own right, which has remained one of the nicest parts of Gotham that is not dominated by the supremely rich. Instead, a strong sense of community reigns and crime is remarkably low, while no building stands more than four stories tall, and scores of children get together in the afternoons and on weekends to play organized sports.
- Irving Grove:
The upper-middle class condos and small family homes are surrounded by the Dayton Forest Preserve. These expensive homes are the pet project of wealthy manufacturer Nathaniel Dayton.