Most people have heard, or at least know about, New York’s Five Boroughs. People outside New York probably can’t name them all, and most inside New York have little or no connection to the history of these boroughs. New York City has always been a place where nothing is static. Surges of immigrants passed through New York harbor, which has changed with the years and the industries as well. In many ways, the city is a reflection of American history itself.
Perhaps it’s that connection to history, that feeling that New York somehow encompasses the whole of America, that makes the concept of the “sixth borough” so relatable. It’s a term that has been used to describe any one of the surrounding areas around New York, including New York harbor and New Jersey’s Hudson Waterfront. Even Miami and Philadelphia have been referred to as the sixth borough.
The term also has connotations related to transportation. Anywhere a PATH train could take commuters might be called “the sixth borough”. The George Washington Bridge also bore the name, which indicates that New Yorkers tend to look upon the “sixth borough” as more of a concept than a place.
In 1894, the voters of Yonkers were included in a referendum to become part of New York City proper. The territory borders the Northern Bronx, and while the rest of New York was in favor of the idea the voters of Yonkers didn’t find the concept of an actual sixth borough very interesting.
About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.