Western New York
Western New York is the westernmost region of the state of New York. It includes the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, the surrounding suburbs, as well as the outlying rural areas of the Great Lakes lowlands, the Genesee Valley, the Southern Tier; the historic beginnings of the region can be defined by its original eastern boundary of Preemption Line, created by the December 16, 1786 political settlement between the states of New York and Massachusetts, both of which claimed political dominion over the land. This eastern boundary shifted because of changing county borders in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Western New York consists of 17 western counties in New York State: Allegany, Chautauqua, Erie, Livingston, Niagara, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Yates, with a land area of 11,764 square miles. Western New York includes the area of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase; the area is served by Buffalo and Rochester media markets, although there is considerable overlap between these two markets, as well as other American and Canadian media markets.
In terms of the combined statistical areas used by the United States Census Bureau, Western New York consists of the Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY area, the Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY area, the Elmira-Corning, NY area. Western New York is in some contexts considered a sub-region of "Upstate New York". While the term includes both the Buffalo and Rochester metropolitan areas "Western New York" describes only the Buffalo-Niagara region, with Greater Rochester being classified as part of the Finger Lakes Region. Western New York has four "sub-regions". One "sub-region" is the Greater Niagara Region, comprising Niagara and Wyoming counties; the second "sub-region" is the Genesee Region. This “sub-region” includes Monroe, Wayne, Orleans and Yates counties; these two sub-regions share Wyoming County. A further subset of the Genesee Region is the GLOW Counties, a collection of rural counties that includes Genesee, Livingston and Orleans Counties; the mountainous southern regions of Chautauqua and Allegany counties make up a third "sub-region" known as Chautauqua–Allegheny Region.
This portion of Western New York takes up most of the western New York counties along the New York–Pennsylvania border. The fourth region is the western Finger Lakes Region, Seneca, Steuben and Chemung counties. A large portion of the Finger Lakes Region is not part of Western New York, but rather Central New York; the first three sub-regions are included in Western New York, while the western Finger Lakes region are included in the Finger Lakes region, though it is at times considered part of Western New York. If it were counted as a single area, the population of Western New York would number just over 2.6 million, would rank as the 24th largest metropolitan area of the United States, between the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and the Sacramento, California metropolitan area. However, the U. S. Census Bureau has classified the Rochester areas as two different metropolitan areas. If it were counted as a state, the population of Western New York would rank as the 37th most populated state in the United States.
Allegany County, population 48,357 Cattaraugus County, population 79,458 Chautauqua County, population 133,539 Chemung County, population 88,911 Erie County, population 919,086 Genesee County, population 59,977 Livingston County, population 64,810 Monroe County, population 747,813 Niagara County, population 215,124 Ontario County, population 108,519 Orleans County, population 42,836 Schuyler County, population 18,514 Seneca County, population 35,305 Steuben County, population 99,063 Wayne County, population 92,962 Wyoming County, population 41,892 Yates County, population 25,344 The following cities are found in the 17 western counties: Batavia, Canandaigua, Dunkirk, Geneva, Lackawanna, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Rochester, Tonawanda. Hornell; the following villages are found in the 17 western counties: Addison, Albion, Alexander, Allegany, Andover, Angola, Arkport, Avoca, Barker, Belmont, Bemus Point, Blasdell, Bolivar, Brocton, Caledonia, Canisteo, Castile, Celoron, Cherry Creek, Clarence, Clifton Springs, Cohocton, Cuba, Delevan, Dresden, Dunkirk, East Aurora, East Randolph, East Rochester, Elba, Elmira Heights, Falconer, Forestville, Fredonia, Geneseo, Hamburg, Hilton, Honeoye Falls, Interlaken, Lakewood, Lancaster, Le Roy, Lewiston, Limestone, Little Valley, Lodi, Lyons, Macedon, Mayville, Middleport, Montour Falls, Mount Morris, Newark, North Collins, North Hornell, North Tonawanda, Oakfield, Orchard Park, Painted Post, Panama, Penn Yan, Perrysburg, Pike, Portville, Red Creek, Riverside, Rushville
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
The Southern Tier is a geographic subregion of the broader Upstate New York region of New York State, consisting of counties west of the Catskill Mountains in Delaware County and geographically situated along or near the northern border of Pennsylvania. Definitions of the region vary but encompass localities in counties surrounding the Binghamton and Elmira-Corning metropolitan areas; this region is bordered to the south by the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania and both these regions together are known as the Twin Tiers. The eight counties always included in the Southern Tier are: Less included in the "Southern Tier" designation are Schuyler County, Yates County, Cortland County, Tompkins County. At least one definition used by the state Department of Transportation includes Sullivan County, which isn't included in other definitions; the National Weather Service office in Buffalo includes Wyoming County and Southern Erie County in its definition. The Encyclopedia of New York State lists only Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Steuben Counties as part of the Southern Tier, with anything east of that being considered Central New York.
Other definitions define it as comprising the combined Corning-Elmira-Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which includes Steuben, Chemung and Broome Counties but not Chautauqua, Cattaraugus or Allegany, which are considered Western New York. The New York State Division of Local Government Services presently classifies the following fourteen counties as members of the Southern Tier: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Cortland, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben and Tompkins; this definition corresponds to the same 14 counties in New York State that are members of the Appalachian Regional Commission formed in 1963. Much of the Southern Tier is in area code 607, with the exception of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, which are in area code 716 or area code 585; as of 2013, the westernmost portion of the Southern Tier is located in New York's 23rd congressional district. The Southern Tier is hilly without being mountainous; this can range from low rolling hills to more steep and rugged valleys. Both the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers flow through the Southern Tier in their upper reaches, as does the Allegheny River in the western Southern Tier.
The Southern Tier lies on the Allegheny Plateau. It is defined on its western boundary by the Chautauqua Ridge in Chautauqua County, including this ridge and extending eastward across the northern bounds of the region, the continental divide between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watersheds exists; the Eastern Continental Divide runs directly in Steuben County. The Southern Tier has long been home to the people of the Iroquois Confederacy. There were major settlements along the Allegheny River in Cattaraugus County, at Painted Post in Steuben County, at what is today the northeast side of Corning, New York; the Seneca Nation has a headquarters at Salamanca. There are Indian lands on Cuba Lake in Allegany County; the colonies that became the states of New York and Pennsylvania all laid claim to the Southern Tier at various points in the 17th and 18th Centuries, while not making any significant attempt to settle the territory. The region was settled by whites after the Revolutionary War, when settlers were again allowed west of the Appalachian divide.
The Southern Tier shared in the economic growth of the early 19th century, but its hilly terrain made it less suitable to canal-building, railroading, than the more level corridor to the north between Albany and Buffalo. There was an attempt at a Genesee Valley Canal in the western half, in the eastern half, the Chemung and Chenango Canals did connect the Erie Canal to Elmira and Binghamton respectively. Beset by financial and technical difficulties, the latter two canals nonetheless were important catalysts for economic growth, indeed for the construction of the railroads that would supplant them. Plans to connect these canals to the Pennsylvania Canal system, thus making them much more than feeders to the Erie Canal, never came to fruition. Railroads did arrive and the Erie Railroad, which followed the water-level of the Allegheny and Delaware watersheds accelerated industrial progress in the region about the time of the American Civil War; the railroad and available fuel from the region's dense forests attracted Corning Glass Works to Steuben County in 1868.
Schenectady, New York
Schenectady is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135; the name "Schenectady" is derived from a Mohawk word, skahnéhtati, meaning "beyond the pines". Schenectady was founded on the south side of the Mohawk River by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, many from the Albany area, they were prohibited from the fur trade by the Albany monopoly, which kept its control after the English takeover in 1664. Residents of the new village developed farms on strip plots along the river. Connected to the west via the Mohawk River and Erie Canal, Schenectady developed in the 19th century as part of the Mohawk Valley trade and transportation corridor. By 1824 more people worked in manufacturing than agriculture or trade, the city had a cotton mill, processing cotton from the Deep South. Numerous mills in New York had such ties with the South. Through the 19th century, nationally influential companies and industries developed in Schenectady, including General Electric and American Locomotive Company, which were powers into the mid-20th century.
Schenectady was part of emerging technologies, with GE collaborating in the production of nuclear-powered submarines and, in the 21st century, working on other forms of renewable energy. Schenectady is near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, it is in the same metropolitan area as the state capital, about 15 miles southeast. In December 2014, the state announced that the city was one of three sites selected for development of off-reservation casino gambling, under terms of a 2013 state constitutional amendment; the project would redevelop an ALCO brownfield site in the city along the waterfront, with hotels, housing and a marina in addition to the casino. When first encountered by Europeans, the Mohawk Valley was the territory of the Mohawk nation, one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, they had occupied territory in the region since at least 1100 AD. Starting in the early 1600s the Mohawk moved their settlements closer to the river and by 1629, they had taken over territories on the west bank of the Hudson River that were held by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican people.
In the 1640s, the Mohawk had all on the south side of the Mohawk River. The easternmost one was Ossernenon, located about 9 miles west of New York; when Dutch settlers developed Fort Orange in the Hudson Valley beginning in 1614, the Mohawk called their settlement skahnéhtati, meaning "beyond the pines," referring to a large area of pine barrens that lay between the Mohawk settlements and the Hudson River. About 3200 acres of this unique ecosystem are now protected as the Albany Pine Bush; this word entered the lexicon of the Dutch settlers. The settlers in Fort Orange used skahnéhtati to refer to the new village at the Mohawk flats, which became known as Schenectady. In 1661, Arent van Curler, a Dutch immigrant, bought a big piece of land on the south side of the Mohawk River. Other colonists were given grants of land by the colonial government in this portion of the flat fertile river valley, as part of New Netherland; the settlers recognized that these bottomlands had been cultivated for maize by the Mohawk for centuries.
Van Curler took the largest piece of land. As most early colonists were from the Fort Orange area, they may have anticipated working as fur traders, but the Beverwijck traders kept a monopoly of legal control; the settlers here turned to farming. Their 50-acre lots were unique for the colony, "laid out in strips along the Mohawk River", with the narrow edges fronting the river, as in French colonial style, they relied on rearing wheat. The proprietors and their descendants controlled all the land of the town for generations acting as government until after the Revolutionary War, when representative government was established. From the early days of interaction, early Dutch traders in the valley had unions with Mohawk women, if not always official marriages, their children were raised within the Mohawk community, which had a matrilineal kinship system, considering children born into the mother's clan. Within Mohawk society, biological fathers played minor roles; some mixed-race descendants, such as Jacques Cornelissen Van Slyck and his sister Hilletie van Olinda, who were of Dutch and Mohawk ancestry, became interpreters and intermarried with Dutch colonists.
They gained land in the Schenectady settlement. They were among the few métis who seemed to move from Mohawk to Dutch society, as they were described as "former Indians", although they did not always have an easy time of it. In 1661 Jacques inherited what became known as Van Slyck's Island from his brother Marten, given it by the Mohawk. Van Slyck family descendants retained ownership through the 19th century; because of labor shortages in the colony, some Dutch settlers brought African slaves to the region. In Schenectady, they used them as farm laborers; the English imported slaves and continued with agriculture in the river valley. Traders in Albany kept control of the fur trade after the takeover by the English. In 1664 th
Timeline of town creation in the Hudson Valley
The towns and cities of the Hudson Valley were created by the U. S. state of New York as municipalities. In 1683, prior to the creation of modern towns, the Province of New York was divided into twelve counties for administrative purposes by the Colonial Governor of New York. In the Hudson Valley, these divisions included Dutchess and Ulster counties. Dutchess and Orange remained unorganized with Dutchess administered from Ulster. Future counties would be formed and towns exchanged over time, with Rockland County split from Orange in 1799, at which time the southern towns of Ulster were transferred to Orange as compensation for the loss. Another change that occurred was the transfer of Dutchess County's northern section, the Livingston Manor, to Columbia County. Greene County was formed in 1800 by the combination of the southernmost towns of Albany County with the northernmost towns of Ulster; the history of the towns of Greene and Columbia counties can be found at the Timeline of town creation in New York's Capital District.
New York experimented with different types of municipalities before settling upon the current format of towns and cities occupying all the land in a county, all previous forms were transformed into towns in 1788 when all of the state of New York was divided into towns. Some early forms of government in earlier years included land patents with some municipal rights, districts and boroughs. Though intended to be mere "…involuntary subdivisions of the state, constituted for the purpose of the more convenient exercise of governmental functions by the state for the benefit of all its citizens" as defined by the courts in 1916, towns gained home rule powers from the state in 1964, at which time towns became "a municipal corporation comprising the inhabitants within its boundaries, formed with the purpose of exercising such powers and discharging such duties of local government and administration of public affairs as have been, or, maybe conferred or imposed upon it by law."The following is a timeline showing the creation of the current towns from their predecessors stretching back to the earliest municipal entity over the area.
The timelines only represent which town a particular town was created from and do not represent annexations of territory to and from towns that existed. All municipalities are towns unless otherwise noted as patent, borough, district, or city. Dutchess County was one of the twelve original counties formed in 1683 in the Province of New York. In 1737 Dutchess was divided into seven precincts, six of which descended into the present towns of Dutchess County while the seventh became the progenitor of the towns of Putnam County. Wiltwyck and Esopus were a dependency of the Village of Beverwyck prior to 1661. Dash lines are used for leading to the town of Olive from its antecendants only help in tracking those lines, which due to space constraints cross other town's lines. No significance should be interpreted with the use of dash lines leading to the town of Olive. In 1863 the Orange County Board of Supervisors erected two new towns from part of Monroe, named Highlands and Southfield; this was declared overruled by the state legislature in 1865 and therefore those towns are not shown here.
Part of Monroe will become the Town of Palm Tree pursuant to a 2017 referendum but the effective date has not been determined. Timeline of town creation in Downstate New York Timeline of town creation in New York's Capital District Timeline of town creation in Central New York French, John H.. Gazetteer of the State of New York. Syracuse, NY: R. Pearsall Smith. OCLC 299184938
Utica, New York
Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The tenth-most-populous city in New York, its population was 62,235 in the 2010 U. S. census. Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is 95 miles northwest of Albany, 55 mi east of Syracuse and 240 miles northwest of New York City. Utica and the nearby city of Rome anchor the Utica–Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area, which comprises all of Oneida and Herkimer counties. A river settlement inhabited by the Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, Utica attracted European-American settlers from New England during and after the American Revolution. In the 19th century, immigrants strengthened its position as a layover city between Albany and Syracuse on the Erie and Chenango Canals and the New York Central Railroad. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city's infrastructure contributed to its success as a manufacturing center and defined its role as a worldwide hub for the textile industry.
Utica's 20th-century political corruption and organized crime gave it the nickname "Sin City."Like other Rust Belt cities, Utica underwent an economic downturn beginning in the mid-20th century. The downturn consisted of industrial decline due to globalization and the closure of textile mills, population loss caused by the relocation of jobs and businesses to suburbs and to Syracuse, poverty associated with socioeconomic stress and a decreased tax base. With its low cost of living, the city has become a melting pot for refugees from war-torn countries around the world, encouraging growth for its colleges and universities, cultural institutions and economy. Several theories exist regarding the history of the name "Utica". Although surveyor Robert Harpur stated that he named the village, the most accepted theory involves a 1798 meeting at Bagg's Tavern where the name was picked from a hat holding 13 suggestions. Utica was included because Utica is a city of antiquity: several other upstate New York cities had adopted classical Mediterranean city names earlier, such as Troy and Rome, or would as with Syracuse.
Utica was established on the site of Old Fort Schuyler, built by English colonists for defense in 1758 during the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War against France. Prior to construction of the fort, the Mohawk and Oneida tribes had occupied this area south of the Great Lakes region as early as 4000 BC; the Mohawk were the largest and most powerful tribe in the eastern part of the Mohawk Valley. Colonists had a longstanding fur trade with them, in exchange for firearms and rum; the tribe's dominating presence in the region prevented the Province of New York from expanding past the middle of the Mohawk Valley until after the American Revolutionary War, when the Iroquois were forced to cede their lands as allies of the defeated British. The land housing Old Fort Schuyler was part of a 20,000 acres portion of marshland granted by King George II to New York governor William Cosby on January 2, 1734. Since the fort was located near several trails, its position—on a bend at a shallow portion of the Mohawk River—made it an important fording point.
The Mohawk called the bend Unundadages, the Mohawk word appears on the city's seal. During the American Revolution, border raids from British-allied Iroquois tribes harried the settlers on the frontier. George Washington ordered Sullivan's Expedition, Rangers, to enter Central New York and suppress the Iroquois threat. More than 40 Iroquois villages were destroyed and their winter stores, causing starvation. In the aftermath of the war, numerous European-American settlers migrated into the state and this western region from New England Connecticut. In 1794 a state road, Genesee Road, was built from Utica west to the Genesee River; that year a contract was awarded to the Mohawk Turnpike and Bridge Company to extend the road northeast to Albany, in 1798 it was extended. The Seneca Turnpike was key to Utica's development; the village became a rest and supply area along the Mohawk River for goods and the many people moving through Western New York to and from the Great Lakes. The boundaries of the village of Utica were defined in an act passed by the New York State Legislature on April 3, 1798.
Utica expanded its borders in subsequent 1817 charters. On April 5, 1805, the village's eastern and western boundaries were expanded, on April 7, 1817, Utica separated from Whitestown on its west. After completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, the city's growth was stimulated again; the municipal charter was passed by the state legislature on February 13, 1832. The city's growth during the 19th century is indicated by the increase in its population. Utica's location on the Erie and Chenango canals encouraged industrial development, allowing the transport of anthracite from northeastern Pennsylvania for local manufacturing and distribution. Utica's economy centered around the manufacture of furniture, heavy machinery and lumber; the combined effects of the Embargo Act of 1807 and local investment enabled further expansion of the textile industry. Like other upstate New York cities, mills in Utica processed cotton from the Deep South, a slave society. Much of the New York economy was involved with slavery.
Long Island is a densely populated island off the East Coast of the United States, beginning at New York Harbor 0.35 miles from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U. S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live in Brooklyn and Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are suburban in character, conversely employing the term the City to mean Manhattan alone. Broadly speaking, "Long Island" may refer both to the main island and the surrounding outer barrier islands. North of the island is Long Island Sound, across which lie Westchester County, New York, the state of Connecticut. Across the Block Island Sound to the northeast is the state of Rhode Island. To the west, Long Island is separated from the island of Manhattan by the East River.
To the extreme southwest, it is separated from Staten Island and the state of New Jersey by Upper New York Bay, the Narrows, Lower New York Bay. To the east lie Block Island—which belongs to the State of Rhode Island—and numerous smaller islands. Both the longest and the largest island in the contiguous United States, Long Island extends 118 miles eastward from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, with a maximum north-to-south distance of 23 miles between Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coast. With a land area of 1,401 square miles, Long Island is the 11th-largest island in the United States and the 149th-largest island in the world—larger than the 1,214 square miles of the smallest U. S. state, Rhode Island. With a Census-estimated population of 7,869,820 in 2017, constituting nearly 40% of New York State's population, Long Island is the most populated island in any U. S. state or territory, the 18th-most populous island in the world. Its population density is 5,595.1 inhabitants per square mile.
If Long Island geographically constituted an independent metropolitan statistical area, it would rank fourth most populous in the United States. S. state, Long Island would rank 13th in population and first in population density. Long Island is culturally and ethnically diverse, featuring some of the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhoods in the Western Hemisphere near the shorelines as well as working-class areas in all four counties; as a hub of commercial aviation, Long Island contains two of the New York City metropolitan area's three busiest airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, in addition to Islip MacArthur Airport. Nine bridges and 13 tunnels connect Brooklyn and Queens to the three other boroughs of New York City. Ferries connect Suffolk County northward across Long Island Sound to the state of Connecticut; the Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America and operates 24/7. Nassau County high school students feature prominently as winners of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and similar STEM-based academic awards.
Biotechnology companies and scientific research play a significant role in Long Island's economy, including research facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, the City University of New York, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. Prior to European contact, the Lenape people inhabited the western end of Long Island, spoke the Munsee dialect of Lenape, one of the Algonquian language family. Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to record an encounter with the Lenapes, after entering what is now New York Bay in 1524; the eastern portion of the island was inhabited by speakers of the Mohegan-Montauk-Narragansett language group of Algonquian languages. In 1609, the English navigator Henry Hudson explored the harbor and purportedly landed at Coney Island. Adriaen Block followed in 1615, is credited as the first European to determine that both Manhattan and Long Island are islands.
Native American land deeds recorded by the Dutch from 1636 state that the Indians referred to Long Island as Sewanhaka. Sewan was one of the terms for wampum, is translated as "loose" or "scattered", which may refer either to the wampum or to Long Island; the name "'t Lange Eylandt alias Matouwacs" appears in Dutch maps from the 1650s. The English referred to the land as "Nassau Island", after the Dutch Prince William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, it is unclear. Another indigenous name from colonial time, comes from the Native American name for Long Island and means "the island that pays tribute." The first settlements on Long Island were by settlers from England and its colonies in present-day New England. Lion Gardiner settled nearby Gardiners Island. T