New York City Geography

New York City is mostly made up of 50 islands, besides Manhattan, that span a 309 square-mile area. Some of the islands are basically lumps of rock in the water, but the larger islands include, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island; the three of which make up the western most point of Long Island, something that is not always clear to see when looking at a map.

The Bronx is actually the only borough of New York City that is physically connected by land to the 48 contiguous states of the USA, though officially its border also includes the offshore fishing port of City Island. There are over 500 miles of waterfront in New York City and 6,374 miles of streets.

The slim waterway between Staten Island and Brooklyn (the ‘Narrows’ through which the first Europeans arrived) serves as the seaport entrance to New York harbor; it can also be reached by ships via the Long Island Sound from the north. Two main bodies of water surround Manhattan Island; the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east – both of these rivers are estuaries and affected by the ocean tides.