GUIDE TO NYC - A MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY



New York. Metropolis. The Big Apple. Gotham. New York looms in the imagination as an almost mythical place, a vast organism of steel and glass and concrete that sprawls over several islands and sets its edges deep into the continental soil around its towering heart. And yet eight million people call this legendary monstrosity home, each sees a different city, each functions as a different cell in the body of the Beast. There are eight million people, eight million stories, and eight million New York Cities. This is just one story.



THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS
Through Chimaeran eyes, New York is a shimmering universe all by itself, both paradise and inferno, battlefield and haven. But this universe is hardly an open one, nor is it boundless or undivided. The Chimaera see a Metropolis marked and subdivided into a myriad of differing zones. But unlike the human divisions such as "Midtown" and "TriBeCa," the Chimaera zones are unrestrained to two-dimensional districts, and just as many boundaries follow lines of power, money, and control as do they explode across the vast three dimensional terrain.

This page will look at New York City and her Chimaera from two viewpoints. First, a look at the Chimaera themselves and where they have staked out their territories; and second, a breakdown of the local geography to further illuminate the fracture lines of Chimaera power and influence. But first, a few notes on the Big Apple itself.

FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK CITY
New York City can be a confusing place to those unfamiliar with her structure. Essentially, the designation "New York City" encompasses a landmass composed of five separate boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

Each borough has a very different flavor. Situated below Westchester County and Yonkers, The Bronx is the only borough actually connected to the continent, and though it is quite run-down and often associated with high crime statistics, it also holds the Bronx Zoo and Yankee Stadium as well. Brooklyn is the largest borough, and was once an independent city all to itself -- one of America's largest, and equal in importance to her neighbor Manhattan. Indeed, the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge was quite an event, linking these two titans together in 1883. But in 1898 the above Five Boroughs incorporated into one "Greater New York City," and Brooklyn lost her independent status, something that made more than a few of her residents unhappy. Even today, though, Brooklyn has a charm and uniqueness all of her own, and there is a certain feeling of independence and pride shared by Brooklynites -- perhaps the most multicultural designation of people in the world. Queens, while not quite as multicultural as Brooklyn, is similar in character, and has a large Greek community as well as a few great Irish pubs. Queens also hosts the City's two major airports; La Guardia to the north and JFK in the south. Across the East River from Brooklyn and Queens is Manhattan, unquestionably the most important borough, often what people think of first when they imagine New York City -- Manhattan Island is where all the skyscrapers are! Staten Island is the most remote borough, connected to Brooklyn via the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and directly accessible to Manhattan by only a ferry. Staten Island has more of a residential feel that the other boroughs, and shares a lot of similarities to its neighbor, New Jersey (which is where this lass is from). Indeed, recently the residents of Staten Island have been grumbling about their membership in Greater New York, and there is a growing movement to secede from the "union."

Although often associated with the City, Long Island is not a political component of New York City; and the term generally refers to the central and eastern half of the island rather than the western end which forms Brooklyn and Queens. Nevertheless, Long Island is an important part of the City, and boasts some wonderful beaches, beautiful stretches of countryside, and some very elegant homes.

So what about government? New York City is governed by her Mayor and the city government, and each borough is allowed to elect its own president -- sort of a local mayor. But there is also a twist, as each borough is also a New York State county: The Bronx is actually Bronx County, Brooklyn is Kings County, Manhattan is New York County, Queens is Queens County, and Staten Island is Richmond County. There is a second level of state government here as well; and of course then you have to factor in the State Government, and Federal Senators and Representatives. . . . sigh. Is it any wonder that the City has a reputation for corruption? Ah, speaking of corruption. . .

THE CHIMAERA AND WHERE THEY PLAY
Once upon a time, the Kindred and the Shapeshifters ruled this city. The Noblesse family have been in this city since the city first became what it is today. However, the Giovanni and Malachite clans also staked their claims early on. The three Kindred families shared Manhattan from Harlem down to Battery Park. Brooklyn and Staten Island were firmly under Shapeshifter control, and the Bronx and the northeastern part of Queens were understood to be a no-man's land between the Kindred Metropolis, the Sanctuary of the weres and the forces of anarchy and darkness. Long Island of course was haven to all. But of course, things have changed in the past few years. Now the city has to accommodate all the families and more. Though the Noblesse have been here the longest, this is no longer Ďtheirí city. The Bronx and most of queens are Diablo territory as well as the clanless and Shadows. As far as everyone is concerned it is still no manís land. The Shapeshifters still hold tight to Brooklyn and part of Soho. Even Kindred held Manhattan is no longer a unified power bloc, and Gitanne Noblesse must share with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, as well as the Giovanni, and even the mortals. Of course each is now jealously guarding their domains from the otherís corrupt manipulations; none of which help defend her towers from the machinations of the Shadows.

Gia Noblesse and her family however still maintain a power base of businesses here in the city. Belladonna enterprises centers its sphere of influence of Midtown Manhattan, and Rockefeller Center is synonymous with the Mistress of Beasts power. While the Upper West and Upper East Sides were once amicably shared between Giovanni and Noblesses, now the Upper East and West sides are fraught with tensions between the Seelie and Unseelie as well as the Kindred families. It is obvious that NYC is not big enough for all of them and many fights have broken out between the younger members of the clans. It is not just a war between Kindred anymore but a war between Chimaera. The Village, SoHo, and TriBeCa are now mortal haunts, especially that of the Satinamuh although there are Chimaera haunts here and there. Of course Gia believes that Chelsea -- the center of a new artistic revival and gentrification -- should be hers. Unfortunately Roarke Bellemorte feels the same way and the two are constantly fighting over holdings there.

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