On any given day, we cross innumerable borders: the threshold between bedroom and living room, between private property and public street, neighborhood boundaries, borough dividers, a personal bubble or two on the subway. Whether arbitrary, disputed, personal, or universally respected, borders are integral to the idea of distinct places.
But the city is not just a waterworld: three major land boundaries also shape New York — separating The Bronx and Westchester, Queens and Nassau County, and Brooklyn and Queens. Over the past three years, I have endeavored to understand this borderland to get a better sense of what lay undigested in the guts of our great city. This boulder, recovered during an archaeological survey in 2000, may or may not be the original Arbitration Rock which once marked the boundary between the towns of Bushwick, Kings County, and Newtown, Queens County, and was subsequently buried in a road expansion. To govern its colonies more efficiently, the British adopted a county system and established Kings and Queens counties through royal decree in 1683. The admission of New York State to the Union in 1788 did not ease the disputes; it merely shifted the locus of juridical authority from crown to local courts. These patterns persisted on January 1, 1898, when Brooklyn and Queens became two of the five boroughs of the consolidated City of New York. The grid and the border continued their dance of refinement through the first three decades of the 20th century.
Every year, City Council members from Brooklyn and Queens introduced ordinances to adjust the border to conform to the center lines of newly dedicated streets. Faced with an accumulation of such anomalies, the City finally moved to fix the border in its 1931 Administrative Code. But even this new overlay could not avoid the complications presented by the ever-changing city. The borough divisor is thereafter fixed to places that, even then, no longer existed, referencing villages and intersections of the city now obliterated by growth or subsumed beneath a new road. Despite the relative cartographic stability of the BQ border since adoption of the new Administrative Code, neighborhoods along the border experienced dramatic social transformations after World War II. In the end, however, the certitude of longitude and latitude, district and designation have had little impact on the experience of the BQ border in everyday life. Today, the border between Brooklyn and Queens tracks through a series of urban scenes: the waterways of Newtown Creek and Jamaica Bay, the eastern industrial zone, various mixed residential-commercial neighborhoods, the Evergreen Cemeteries, and the bottomlands of Lindenwood and Spring Creek. While 20 of the border’s 21 miles traverse land, the border begins and ends in water. The Brooklyn-Queens border soon passes through the old Bridgewater area, an industrial zone oriented around rail lines and trucking routes, awash in dross spaces created by viaducts and overpasses. As the border leaves behind the zone of bridges, trestles, and flyovers, it enters an area marked by auto repair garages, tire stores, salvage operations, welding and fabrication shops, and restaurant suppliers.
From the industrial landscape of its eastern stretch, the borderland changes dramatically along Cypress Avenue.
The border traverses the Cemetery of the Evergreens, Highland Park, the Ridgewood Reservoir, Cypress Hills Cemetery, and Forest Park before turning sharply south and reentering the neighborhoods along Eldert Lane south of Jamaica Avenue.
Residents in the areas on either side of the cemeteries constantly cross back and forth over the boundary line as part of their everyday routines, threading through multiple neighborhoods in the process. The final stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens border, before it plunges into Jamaica Bay, traverses the bottomlands of Lindenwood and Howard Beach. Shops along Wyckoff Avenue just southeast of the Myrtle Avenue L train stop — the photograph was taken from the Queens side of the street. Eldert Lane looking toward Jamaica Avenue — here the border separates Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, on the left from Woodhaven, Queens. Given my interest in the everyday life of cities and the ways in which human creativity shapes urban form and meaning over time, I aimed to root out some sense of place amid the jumbled conditions of the BQ borderland. When I began this project, I presumed that individual photographs shot at ground level might capture some sense of the border, even if in splinters and fragments.
Joseph Heathcott is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies at The New School and current President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. The views expressed here are those of the author only and do not reflect the position of Urban Omnibus editorial staff or The Architectural League of New York.
The boundary was once clearly marked by street sign color, but the Rhodes scholars in government decided to change that.
My understanding was that the feds stepped in and demanded standard highway signage, green on white. Prudence–thanks for the link to your article, I just read it and it is a nice detailed study. Kevin–I had a paragraph in the original version about the street sign colors but reduced it for space reasons.
I agree with Kevin that it was a beaurocratic mandate from the Federal government rather than operational inconveience that caused the City to abandon the borough specific street signs. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier, as I am just now seeing your incredibly helpful and interesting post. One question I have for you, since you obviously have a detailed knowledge of the border: do you have any idea why all of the houses along Cypress Ave are turned 90 degrees away from the street?
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Space is a premium in New York City and that holds true for other metropolis as well, such as London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The first thing you’ll want to do is map out exactly how much space is livable in your current or soon-to-be dwelling. To start with, consolidate and decrease the volume of your possessions and consider the bare minimum you need to live comfortably.
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Putting a large mirror opposite a window will fill the room with more light, giving the impression of spaciousness. When using several frames of small wall arts or pieces of arts scattered around the home, it breaks up the space in small areas.
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These lines define where we are and mark territories where unspoken rules or officially enacted laws hold sway. The border slices through the building and is incidentally marked by the thin grey line in the brick above the right corner of the garage door and in the red paint on the sidewalk noting the sewer main below. I spent many hours along the boundary taking photographs, talking with locals, getting to know the spaces of this urban seam. Political authorities ranging from divinely anointed kings to duly appointed municipal planners have altered it to accommodate changing political geographies.
Originally the border between the counties took form amid farmlands and villages, meandering across fields, marshes, forests, and hedgerows. As planners and developers laid out subdivisions, the new rectilinear streets and blocks could not readily accommodate the old borough boundary.
But city ordinances to redraw the borders often proved difficult to pass, stalled by partisan bickering, legal disputes, and lengthy land surveys. Rather than rely on movable markers such as rocks and trees as surveyors once did, the 1931 code fixes the border firmly to the abstract, extraterritorial survey grid, using coordinates proffered by the US Secretary of War, the US Navy, and other agencies that defined or enforced the boundaries of national sovereignty. At several key moments, the otherwise linear Cartesian narrative encounters phantom places. Embedded deep within the Administrative Code, the boundary narrative embodies both the rational language of urban planning and the whisper of ghosts haunting places long gone. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bushwick shifted from an Italian and Jewish enclave to one with a large African-American and Afro-Caribbean population, while the little-known Brooklyn neighborhood of City Line — named for its location at the edge of the former independent city of Brooklyn and once nearly exclusively African-American — experienced an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants after 1965. Between 1964 and 1990, the City deployed different colors for street signs for each borough. Lacking the high population densities and grand public investments of central places in each borough, the borderlands feel quiet and serene, sputtering with sporadic activity at the margins. Starting from its northernmost point, the border traces an invisible line down the middle of Newtown Creek, a tributary of the East River designated a federal Superfund site in 2010. While tens of thousands of people cross the border atop the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway every day, few visit the spaces beneath the road’s monumental concrete forms. Amid the obdurate structures, the landscape features an interconnected thicket of fences, razor wire, scaffolding, steel doors, signage, and temporary architecture. Here it threads through streets jumbled with residences, schools, churches, mosques, small businesses, garages and storage facilities. Hanging out at the corner of 95th and Forbell, for example, residents move between Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills and Queens’ Woodhaven and Ozone Park. Making photographs was a way to contemplate the interstitial corridors, fragile moments, and recombinant environs and to capture a trace of meaning. It is an invisible thread that weaves through multiple places, but the border itself is not a place until we pluck its strings. Ongoing support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the membership and board of the Architectural League, and readers like you.
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For most of us, settling in the NYC (and especially in Manhattan) means succumbing to the micro-sized living quarters - fortunately, we have some tips to help you live large, stylish and comfortable. A good rule of thumb is if there are cloths that have not been worn for at least 2 years, then it is time to get rid of them. There are plenty of options when it comes NYC storage units so it's easy to find the best one suitable depending on your preferred location, budget or perks. You might have considered getting a big enough space just to stuff all your seasonal and sentimental effects moreover all the time you spend with that extra room where you store all your stuff costs you money. Additionally you gain the time to make careful decisions on what to keep and what to kiss goodbye. Storage facilities are abundant in Manhattan from companies like Manhattan Mini-Storage or CubeSmart and come in different sizes depending on your needs.
If you are looking for a more organized space to keep your seasonal gears, accessories and etc. Space in Queens starts at $33 and Brooklyn space is available from $31, both with parking options. Don't be pressured or intimidated to rent if you are not fully comfortable, it's certainly a buyer's market when it comes to self storage units in NYC. It’s no secret; dark colors make rooms look closed-in, while bright or light colors enlarge them an is more welcoming.
But make sure you don’t place the mirrors where they can draw attention to distracting areas of your living space such as in front of your bathroom or in front of the couch. Fix that problem with one large canvas art, preferably something colorful, rich and sassy - or group several small and medium size ones together, this will provide a strong focal point for the room and steer clear of that disconnected feel to the room. If you want a queen bed, you’d better be combining it with something, and luckily fold-out beds are widely available in all shapes and sizes.
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Such as shoe racks with wheels that can be moved whenever extra floor space is needed, other examples include wheeled racks, tables, desks and even drawers and shelves. New York possesses with pulsing life, such as instant access to diverse cultures, ethnicity, dining, shopping, social events, night life. To get comfortable in urban living, you will have to be creative to maximize your home using these tips to make your square footage stretch to feel like a luxurious palace. Some may be disputed, such as where East Williamsburg ends and Bushwick begins; others are drawn through a long history of political decisions. As a researcher interested in the intersection of urban form and place, Joseph Heathcott set out to explore how one of New York’s borders shapes the lived experience and physical environment of its surroundings. This 21-mile borough and county divisor — a meandering line among factories, warehouses, commercial strips, and residential streets — is Gotham’s only major internal land boundary. BQ Borderlands, the resulting photographic project first installed at the Queens Museum in November 2013, exposes the social and spatial liminality of this urban landscape, one characterized by its incompleteness and indeterminacy. In 1636, the Dutch West India Company began awarding land grants to Dutch and English immigrants in what would become Queens County. Surveyors made use of property lines, market roads, Native American paths, and trees to mark the boundary. But the City of Brooklyn grew rapidly through a spate of annexations of surrounding villages in the 1830s and 1840s, while the five original towns of Queens grew slowly into their rural surroundings. While Kings and Queens Counties lived on as functional jurisdictions, it was City Hall rather than the county courthouses that now shaped the experience of citizenship and belonging in New York. The 1922 Hyde Desk Atlas shows the grid of East New York in Brooklyn as it runs up against the boundary of Jamaica, Queens. Amid these changes, the border remains fluid in the conduct of social and civic life, in part due to its marginality.
While Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island had little need for such differentiation, streets along the BQ border shifted between chromatic schemes: blue letters on white backgrounds for Queens, and white letters on black backgrounds for Brooklyn. When one stands at the abutment of the Brooklyn Bridge or in Grand Army Plaza, the association with Brooklyn is clear. Heading east from its intersection with the river, it makes landfall at the intersection of Metropolitan and Onderdonk Avenues. Heading further east, the border traverses train yards and slices through a series of industrial buildings that span old property lines. The presence of so many wholesale suppliers results in a constant stream of delivery vehicles entering and leaving heavily guarded parking lots.
This mixed zone is interrupted only by the expansive greensward of parks and cemeteries, where the border deviates from its southeasterly course to head northeast, traversing the Cemetery of the Evergreens, Highland Park, the Ridgewood Reservoir, Cypress Hills Cemetery, and Forest Park, before turning sharply south and reentering the neighborhoods along Eldert Lane south of Jamaica Avenue. When asked, they offer a range of opinions on where the borough and neighborhood boundaries lie.
Residents have learned to cope with the periodic floods that scour the streets and landscape.
And yet, by following the BQ border like a seam through the urban fabric, we encounter a city often unseen by most New Yorkers, a boundary unfolding through a radically indistinct urban landscape. Fulbright Distinguished Chair for the United Kingdom, and has taught at Chelsea College of Art and Design, the London School of Economics, the Catholic University of Portugal, and the University of Vienna.
While the park closed shortly thereafter and was converted into a mostly industrial area, Eldert St.
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To maximize your pad no matter how narrow or awkward it is - some out-of-the-box thinking and innovative furnishings is all you need to get the job done.
Whatever you don't use or need, sell it (ThredUp, Ebay or give away, donate them for tax deductible credits. CubeSmart also offers different kinds of storage, for students, military personnel, business and large items like vehicles. On their website, you can schedule containers and have them picked up and brought to a storage facility. Shoes can go on the bottom two shelves of a tall bookcase if you have one or use an over-door or hanging shoe storage to keep shoes off the floor. And if you think a space saver sofa bed will cramp your style, think again, just check out this Italian multifunctional furniture design.
Through historical research, photography, and deep observation, he traces the city’s only major internal land boundary — the Brooklyn-Queens border — and draws out the social and spatial conditions of this largely invisible urban seam. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazano, the Queensborough, or any of the grand kit that connects our city, we see a world of ports and piers, terminals and esplanades. Eleven years later, New Netherland director-general Willem Kieft chartered the small village of Breuckelen. While Queens achieved its current shape in 1768 with the addition of the Rockaways, disputes over the proper location of county borders continued. The 1873 Beers Atlas shows the speculative grid of Brooklyn reaching its border with Newtown (which now separates the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Ridgewood) while scattered houses, schools, and villages still punctuate the broad expanse of farms and creeks in Queens. Arbitration Rock, once critical to the communal peace, became overgrown with weeds and was eventually buried in the expansion of Onderdonk Avenue. The border cuts across streets and property lines, a recipe for havoc in the delivery of city services.
Brooklyn rules outward from its historic center at old city hall, Queens from Kew Gardens, its geographic center. The practice proved costly and unwieldy and was scrapped in favor of the uniform white on green signs still in use today.
Likewise, walking along Gantry Plaza in Long Island City or Main Street in Flushing leaves little doubt that one is in Queens. Along the creek, the border braces the heavily industrialized zones of Hunters Point, Queens, and Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. What I produced through the photographs is not the border but a border imaginary, a set of moments and conditions made meaningful by querying them. For all its legal certainty, and however we conjure it through narrative, the experience of the BQ border will always be fragmentary and incomplete. By that time, the street grid had been sufficiently developed to enable the Cypress to Menehan to St. It all adds up to you getting more for your money in addition to you having NW10 storage room which is second to none in terms of all-round quality.
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Whenever you want, you can log on to the website and see images of your items as they are in storage. Vertical stripes on wall will elongate a room (you can also do the same with striped rug or carpet).
There are also has furniture that doubles as a dining table and a desk, the perfect space savers.
It is a world carved out and defined by the congruence of rivers, estuaries, bays, and ocean, recalling our legacy as a maritime metropolis. To cross the city’s water boundaries, we channel ourselves into narrow points of access, each invoking a sense of passage. The towns of Bushwick (Kings County) and Newtown (Queens) engaged in a century-long dispute over their border, resolved temporarily by a 1769 re-survey that culminated in the designation of a large glacier erratic, “Arbitration Rock,” as the boundary marker. The US Geological Survey Map from 1891 records the border as a bright line running diagonally from Newtown Creek at top left to Jamaica Bay at bottom right. These two realms extend from their centers and collide at the boundary, where lines of authority and responsibility devolve in the murk. Meanwhile, house numbers proved a stubborn problem, often resolved ad-hoc, with some divided streets following the Brooklyn pattern, others adapting the peculiar hyphenated system of Queens, still others deploying unique addresses keyed to their immediate grids. But along the boundary line, the comforts of such place identities melt away for all but the most local of travelers.
Today, only a few operational docks and piers remain alongside ruined hulks of once-active heavy manufacturing operations.
Nicholas to Gates to Wyckoff to Eldert to Irving border to be established without that much difficulty. This made it relatively easy to demap the unopened portion in the mid-1970’s in order to enable the border crossing factory depicted in your first picture to be constructed. We can assure you that we are also flexible, which means we will cater for your individual requirements whether it’s for domestic or office storage. Every customer of ours is treated as an individual because we know that your individual circumstances mean you need a specific NW6 storage space which caters for your personal requirements.
Contacting us is a shortcut to saving money with not compromising on the quality of your NW10 storage facilities. NYPD investigators, in coordination with the FBI, hit chemical and fertilizer companies looking for customers who bought bulk and paid cash - and they were also showing up at storage centers in Long Island City. An 1898 survey map shows the condition of the borderland, where settlements expand outward from multiple centers amid a clashing patchwork of grids and geographies. Which fire station responded to a call from a burning house where the living room and dining room lay in different counties? Urban services often falter or even fail to reach the far-flung margin, as evidenced by the crumbling condition of street pavement, viaducts, and curb gutters. Much of the area is now taken up with light manufacturing and equipment storage facilities. The situation was probably somewhat more complicated for the area south of the cemeteries thus causing the arcane actions that you noted.. Coupled with the absence of clear boundary markers, delivery workers and city service providers frequently debate one another over the location of the border. The tips of the 59th Street Bridge and the Citibank Building are among the only clues that you are in New York, rather than any other post-industrial badland.
The Department of Homeland Security at the same time has issued a nationwide bulletin asking cops to look at storage facilities.
The exact targets are not known, but the find raised the specter of simultaneous blasts like the 2004 attack that killed 191 commuters in Spain. ABC News reported that investigators believe that there were three teams of four terrorists involved in the planning.
A senior counterterror official told The News, however, that nobody knows for sure who else is out there - or whether the plot is disrupted.
The feds also discovered his fingerprints on batteries and other items that could be used to make explosives. The feds are also investigating reports that Afghan men tried to rent a 26-foot truck from a Queens U-Haul on Sept. Meanwhile, a bail hearing for Ahmad Afzali, a 37-year-old Queens imam charged with tipping off Zazi that the FBI was on to him was delayed until Thursday. The FBI said Zazi, arrested in Colorado on Saturday, has admitted being trained in "weapons and explosives" last year at an Al Qaeda camp in Pakistan. The fears of a mass attack, possibly a hit on the transit system, were revealed last week when the feds raided several Flushing apartments that Zazi visited. FBI wiretaps caught Zazi's father telling his son that he'd gotten a call from Afzali warning him the G-men were showing his photo, authorities said. While Zazi was on the phone with his dad, Afzali called the suspected terrorist and told him, "They asked me about you guys." Kuby confirmed Afzali had passed on tips to the feds, but insisted he had not warned Zazi.
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