New York City is in a constant state of flux. There are few better examples of this than the ever-shifting (and ever-argued-about) neighborhood boundaries, which have a different name or border depending on which resident you ask and which real estate developer is trying to sell you on a property. To try and settle the debate once and for all, a Redditor created an official NYC Neighborhoods Map.
The map designates 288 neighborhoods in the five boroughs. It covers the obvious and largely uncontested neighborhoods (Hell’s Kitchen, Alphabet City, Park Slope) and leaves out some disputed ones (Hudson Yards and Yorkville are both left off). The map notably features 43 more neighborhoods than the “official” neighborhood map made in November 2019 by the government-sponsored NYC Census 2020.
There’s a long history of New Yorkers arguing about which part of the city belongs to which neighborhood. The city and state governments stay out of the conversation altogether, meaning the census group’s map is the closest thing to a government recognized boundary system. Most of the public comments about that map, however, were saying how wrong it was. Clearly, when it comes to New York, there is always space for another map.
Aside from being a way to settle arguments, the Reddit map makes it easy to fall into rabbit holes of New York City geography and history. Take, for example, The Hole, which comes with the note, “While some may not consider this an independent neighborhood, we have paid it homage because we find it a fascinating area.” The Hole is a tiny neighborhood that’s split by the Brooklyn-Queens border. Its name is meant to be taken literally: The neighborhood is 30 feet below the city’s grade and is just above the water table, according to Curbed, and it’s not a part of the municipal sewer system, so pools of water dot the streets (there are few sidewalks). It’s most famous for being a mob dumping ground for dead bodies and the historic home of the Federation of Black Cowboys.
Regardless of the entertainment factor, this New York City neighborhood map is also disputed. Some commenters argued about huge designations (“This whole ‘Midtown’ is too overreaching — there’s Turtle Bay, Midtown East, etc.”) while others took issue with neighborhoods being split too granularly (“Since when was Astoria broken up into two neighborhoods?”). But local disagreement is simply another thing that makes this a true New York City neighborhood map.