Somehow when I think of the five boroughs of NY I keep forgetting about Staten Island. After all, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens are all locations which make sense. Never mind that there are Islands involved – more than one as a matter of fact. What is important is that there is no “Island” in the name of the other boroughs so that you can ignore the fact that the particular portion of the city is surrounded by water and originally could only be reach by ship. Building bridges was an early access requirement for both use and investment.
After all, the principle still holds – access and perceived exclusiveness are what determine use and cost. Take, for example, some of the islands off Seattle. Small but liveable; accessible by ferry. Exclusive and expensive. Or, look at Manhattan. Mostly expensive and status.
Now take Staten Island – 8 miles wide, 17 miles long which makes it bigger than Manhattan but certainly much smaller in population. Do you suppose it is being so close to New Jersey on three sides that is the problem? Staten Island connects to the mainland with three bridges and to Brooklyn (aka another island with one) for all those who just have to drive their own car or want to go somewhere other than Manhattan via the the passenger only Staten Island ferry (which is free).
If you want to drive or otherwise travel in the traditional US fashion it is going to take longer and cost more, but I guess we all expect that.
Meanwhile – about 400,000 live in their little section of paradise. And I don’t see anything at all that looks like Pilgrims or Native Americans.
Staten Island, NY
(and yes, Miriam was more than happy with her birthday presents)