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Names of NYC: New York, NY 🧐
Origins of some classic NYC neighborhood names. Hell's Kitchen, anyone? (🧐Map Facts Series)
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Neighborhood Names of NYC
Fun origins of some classic neighborhood names in New York, NY
Being the largest city in the US, New York has lots of neighborhoods. Do they have good names? Yeah they do.
We can start with some historical goodies… Great Kills, Fresh Kills, Dutch Kills. No, these aren’t styles of murder, though, if they were real, and if I had to choose one, a fresh kill sounds much better than a dutch kill.. if they were real As you might know, the city was established by the Dutch who called it New Amsterdam so it inherited a bunch of dutch-i-ness. Kill in Dutch means a stream. So that makes those places a lot less intimidating.
How about The Bronx – the best named borough of New York City… turns out an immigrant named Jonas Bronck built a big farm there. So most of that area was pretty much Bronck’s land. As to how it got a capital The in front of it is anyone’s guess. The theory I like to go with is people would say they were “visiting The Broncks!”
Harlem’s a Dutch name too. It’s a city right outside Amsterdam, so they repeated the relationship. if it ain’t broke…
Also from that time: The Battery. This is the bottom tip of Manhattan. I really wanted it to be called that bc it was the city’s energy source, but turns out 17th century dutch didn’t have Duracells. But they did have an artillery battery of canons hugging the tip of the island.. and voila.
Hell’s Kitchen – the fun name given to the western side of midtown Manhattan – has been called that for centuries, and for exactly why you think. Ironically, Today’s Hell’s Kitchen now has four Michelin stars.
There’s a great spot in Brooklyn called Sheepshead Bay. I’ve always wanted it to look like a Sheepshead, but really its because of this - . (I only included this one bc I wanted to share that photo).
And last but not least, New York loves to do that abbreviation thing to turn once-forgotten places into new havens for wordplay. That includes SoHo, TriBeCa, DUMBO, NoLita, and newcomer BoCoCa (which as a New Yorker I’ve never heard before, but is featured prominently in many tourist sites, so I guess it’s a thing?)
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