The Reaches of New York City

The Reaches of New York City
The National Geographic Society, 1939

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Spring Break! Coming back to our lovely campus again, I thought we could look into a few maps of the places we are all familiar with. 😉 

This exquisite map of “The reaches of New York City” is a supplement of an article about Long Island in the National Geographic magazine issued in April 1939. (I didn’t realize that the magazine has existed for over 100 years, I just found out that the first issue came out in 1888!) In the past few weeks, we have looked into a couple of National Geographic maps,  be aware of how the style of the map changes over time!

Like other National Geographic maps, “the Reaches of New York City” map also contains interesting annotations on historical events and monuments along with features such as highways, railroads, and churches. Intriguingly, New York City itself is shaded in parallel lines. Though the map lacks topographic contours, the three-dimensional shaded mountains give a good sense of the landform feature of the region. 

This is overall an aesthetically pleasing map. On the two sides of the map are the alternating depictions of famous people, sites, and events that are related to New York City and surrounding areas. Besides the lower right corner being placed with a magnified map of south Jersey, the other three corners are all painted with NYC landmarks. The putti and fruits decorations around the banners add an “antique” sense to the map. There are a lot of details for close-up looking as well. For example, some parts of the map frame are painted as railroads and highways! 

Poughkeepsie is on this map as well, can you find it?

Have a great week and enjoy the beautiful spring!

Yidan Xu ‘24