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While Metropolis and Gotham sit on each end of the spectrum, New York City in many ways represents a reality. It is, at the same time, economically prosperous but not without its problems. Superheroes have made the city safer, but crime is still a factor in certain parts of the city. The Big Apple sits on the same precipice as much of America.

New York City has long held the torch as the World's Most Important City. A center for business, culture, and tourism, New York is respected in America and throughout the world. New York carries almost 9 million people, more than twice as much as the third largest city, Los Angeles. Many more live in the surrounding areas and Long Island. The Big Apple is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

Once the appearance of superheroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man, crime has dipped way down in New York. There is still a long way to go, however, and there are still pockets of the city with a high crime rate. The economy is doing decently, but struggling at the same rate as the national one. The city has had difficulty making their budget each year in the last half decade and has had to slash spending by 23 percent.

Eight years ago, Mark Gruenwald won a history mayoral election when he became the first Independent to win New York's mayoral office in the previous 68 years. Gruenwald refuses to take a public salary due to his previously made wealth through the financial industry. He is generally well liked by the people and has won three terms easily, but his years in office have not always been smooth. In the middle of his first term he was accused of being misogynistic towards female governmental employees over the issue of maternity rights and charges were also filed against Gruenwald for an unclear harassment case which was dropped and settled out of court. Gruenwald has focused on reforming public education and combating poverty, raising funding on both fronts by 150 percent since winning office. Aside from these two issues, he is generally thought to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

Interstate 87
Interstate 87 is a major thorough traffic eight grid highway between New York City and North New York State.
Upper Manhattan
Several sections of town make up the area known as Upper Manhattan. Though most of the area to the north is residential and not a popular spot for tourists. It is, like most of the island, made up mostly of the extremely well off, with the exception of Harlem. Parts of Central Park are also considered upper Manhattan.
  • Central Park:
         Central Park is the most well-known natural area in the world. Visitors flock here every year to visit the large, 300 acre park in the center of Manhattan. Everything from running trails to baseball games is available here for recreation.
  • Upper East Side:
         The Upper East Side is located to the east of Central Park and is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Manhattan. The area is home to a host of diplomatic missions and other governmental power brokers. The cost of living here is extremely high and there are next to no public housing projects that are prevalent elsewhere.
  • Upper West Side:
         The Upper West Side blends in with its Morningside Heights neighbor and is primarily a residential neighborhood for the affluent. This area has far less commercial activity than its southern neighbors and is stereotyped as home to business and financial workers. Most of the attractions are more community based such as theatres, museums, and the Juilliard School of Music.
  • Harlem:
         Harlem is known for many things. Beginning in the 1920s it was the epicenter for the "Harlem Renaissance," an explosion of Black culture in the first half of the century. In the later part of the century, Harlem fell on tough times as job opportunities moved away. Crime and poverty both increased. At the turn of the 21st century, Harlem has begun to rebound economically with an increasing population.
  • Morningside Heights: Morningside Heights is often considered to be part of the Upper West Side, but is home to a host of universities and college students as well as some of the more famous churches on the island. It is sometimes referred to as the "Academic Acropolis."
The Bronx
The northernmost borough is an eclectic mixing bowl of society. Jewels such as Hart Island, Yankee Stadium, the Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens are mixed in with some of New York's poorest neighborhoods. Recent attempts to revitalize the neighborhood have gone well, and there is optimism that the Bronx is in revival. East coast rap was born here and the Bronx is an epicenter for that type of music.
  • Hart Island:
         Hart Island is home to the largest cemetery in the world. Though it is loosely guarded by the Department of Corrections, it has been rumored to be a meeting place for those who prefer not to be seen.
  • New York Botanical Garden :
         The Bronx is home to one of the largest and well respected botanical gardens in the country. The site has over 250 acres of different plant life that tourists can peruse. In addition to tourism, the site is also popular for weddings, parties, and other events.
  • Yankee Stadium:
         The New Yankee Stadium is one of the nicest new fields in Major League Baseball. It replaced the old stadium or, "The House that Ruth Built" and is home to the 27 time champion Yankees. On game day the entire area is buzzing with game goers. Built just a few years ago, it cost nearly 1.5 billion dollars to construct.
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown is known for its large skyscrapers that make up the bulk of the city's skyline. Midtown has everything from the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings to Broadway and Rockefeller Plaza. It sits just north of Time Square and Lower Manhattan.
  • Chelsea:
         This neighborhood is primarily residential, and has all sorts of different dwellings from projects and tenements to apartments, townhomes, and row houses. Much of the business here is devoted to retail services for the residents of the neighborhood.
  • Hell's Kitchen :
         The gritty streets of Hell's Kitchen were forged from a group of Irish American immigrants who were ostracized upon their arrival to America. This trial by fire emboldened the residents and gave them a tough edge that people stereotypically equate with New Yorkers. Much of what can be found here are the services for the rest of Midtown such as hospitals and schools. This area of town is also known for its risque establishments and taverns.
  • Gramercy:
         Gramercy is a quiet and safe neighborhood with a historic flair. The buildings are built much lower here due to zoning laws, so it takes on a much more serene feel. Perhaps the best known landmark is Gramercy Park, which is one of only two private parks in the city. Only residents of the neighborhood are given a key to the park.
  • Greenwich Village:
         The Village is known for its artsy flair, many art galleries, and needle thin streets. Also, many small specialty restaurants and cafes litter the streets here. The sidewalks are very narrow, with the buildings coming up almost to the street, leading to large bouts with congestion.
  • Midtown Center:
         Midtown Center is a hub of attractions, anchored by the presence of the landmark that is Grand Central Terminal. Stretching from 34th to 57th Streets, and 6th through 3rd Avenues, it also boasts Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Waldorf Hotel, Bryant Park, and the New York Public Library.
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is perhaps the most well recognized portion of the world's most famous city. Here you have everything from the hustle and bustle of Time Square, the chic areas of the Lower East Side, the art sectors of Soho and Tribeca, and Wall Street. This is where the magic happens, the money is made, and the power is distributed.
  • Lower East Side:
         The Lower East Side was originally a working class neighborhood populated through immigration, but today is home to the trendiest clubs and night life in the city. The hipster culture originated here in the 1990s and 2000s and entertainment of every kind can be found here.
         Also, the neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy are adjacent to this neighborhood, known for their excellent culture, shopping, and cuisine.
  • Theater District:
         The Theatre District is home to two of New York's most enduring images: Broadway and Times Square. Theatres line the streets here, both on Broadway and off Broadway. There is also a very large shopping element in this neighborhood. During the holidays, this place is almost impassable.
  • East Village:
         The East Village really distinguished itself from the Lower East Side during the beatnik movement of the 1950s. It specializes in eclectic music and is a center for music clubs such as the CBGB. Many famous bands have cut their teeth playing small shows in this neighborhood. The area is also widely known for its art scene, but both the music and art scenes have been in decline here in the last 30 years. The result is a desperate attempt by some parts of society to cling to the past while others want to move to the future.
  • Soho:
         This area got its name, because it is the neighborhood south of Houston Street. The neighborhood's main streets are littered with high end boutiques, while up above are spacious artist lofts typically found in movies depicting New York City.
  • Tribeca:
         The Triangle Below Canal Street is famous for its film festival and its unique housing. Most of the vacant industrial buildings were refitted into housing in the 1960s and become some of the quickest selling properties. New York Law School is also found here.
  • Financial District:
         Home to some of the most important financial institutions in the world, FiDi is located at the southern tip of the island. Only a relatively small number of people live in this area, but during the day that population grows form about 60,000 to almost half a million.
         In addition to the many commercial skyscrapers, this area also holds the monument to the World Trade Center.
Staten Island
The large island to the south of the New York boroughs is Staten Island. 102.5 square miles, it borders the rest of New York to the north, New Jersey to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It's the least populated of the boroughs and known for its residential neighborhoods. The Staten Island Ferry departs to Manhattan on the hour, and is free to take for all riders.
  • Great Kills Park:
         Only in New York: Great Kills Park is a mixture of two starkly different worlds. First, the park provides a beach for swimming in recration. Unfortunately, half of the park has been used for a landfill and there are fears of radium contamination in parts of the soil.
  • Historic Richmond Town:
         At the center of the island a quaint historic district can be found. Historic Richmond Town was once the county headquarters for Staten. Now, it's a tourist attraction for history buffs.
  • Staten Island Zoo:
         This small zoo originally focused on reptiles, though has recently opened its philosophy and begun to take in other kinds of animals.
Brooklyn
This borough maintains much of its independent flavor; Brooklyn was its own city until the turn of the 20th century and still operates in much the same way. It's currently the most populous of the Burroughs, though Queens is rapidly looking to stake that claim. The world renowned Brooklyn Bridge allows commuters into Manhattan and vice versa, as do some of the subway lines.
Queens
Queens is the most ethnically diverse of all of the boroughs and is on pace with current expansions to become the most populated. The island itself is mostly made up of middle class families and is largely residential.
  • Forest Hills:
         Forest Hills is a mix of lower-middle to upperclass residences, many of which were built pre-1920s. The neighborhood has full grown trees, old-style street lamps, and porch stoops. Homes are set very close together, with chain link backyard fences that harken back to the days when neighbors were more like family. It has a large Jewish population, and a large number of pilots in residence, due to its close proximity to JFK.
U.S. Route 9
A long stretch of highway through urban areas that links some of the cities south through New Jersey and north to New York.



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