Sunday, August 29, 2010

Borough Tales

This summer, our great public radio station WNYC has been doing a wonderful continuing series called Borough Tales, where they examine the history of each of our city's five boroughs. This includes interviews with historians for each borough along with stories about the culture and secrets that give each one their own unique identity.

There's also a history about how these five odd, very different counties all became the five boroughs of NYC more than a hundred years ago. Today, obviously, we take it from granted that our city has five boroughs, each a little (actually, not so little) city in itself. But why did the city of Brooklyn and New York (i.e. Manhattan) agree to merge with the largely rural counties that became the Bronx (mostly farmland) and Queens (lots of farm lands along with little villages like Long Island City, Astoria, and others). And why did they also merge with Staten Island, that island far to the south of New York harbor that, culturally speaking, was practically in another country? And how has their history, both as unique boroughs and part of NYC, formed their identities today?

This series gives you some insight on this and, if you love NYC as much as I do, you'll want to hear all about it.

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