NYC vs Charleston Geography – Long Lost Sisters?

This past Sunday, I was working at the Real Estate Studio when a couple came in to look at what kinds of homes were available in Charleston because they were considering moving here.  She lives in Manhattan, so of course we immediately swapped NYC addresses and stories and bonded over the lack of an H&M here and the joys of Jules Bistro.  As we started looking for a home for them, I brought out a map of the Charleston area to point out different locations of the homes they liked.  It occurred to me then, how similar New York and Charleston geography are and I began to tell her, “think of Mt. Pleasant like Long Island, James Island like New Jersey and Sullivan’s Island like LBI.”  A look of recognition and understanding showed up on her face and thus the idea for this post was born.

New York and Charleston actually have more similarities than just geography.  Both were officially established in the same 10-year period, both were major port cities, both had an influx of immigrants…even today they have a similar work/play culture though separated by numerous longitude lines and of course, size.  But just for fun, let’s take a look at how New York and Charleston geographies are similar in ways that go beyond the fact that both are surrounded by water with land masses on either side and barrier islands and beaches to the east and southwest.  Perhaps it will help you New Yawkers coming South to our beloved Lowcountry.  So take a look at the list below and the two maps, and let me know what YOU think.  Are they long lost sisters?

  1. King St = 5th Ave
  2. Lockwood Blvd = Westside Hwy
  3. East Bay St/Morrison Drive = The FDR
  4. The Battery = The Battery
  5. Marion Square = Washington Square Park
  6. Hampton Park = Central Park
  7. The Joe = Yankee Stadium (as a matter of fact, our baseball team, the Riverdogs, is a Class-A affiliate of the Yankees!)
  8. Ashley River = Hudson River
  9. Cooper River = East River
  10. Ravenel Bridge = 59th St Bridge
  11. James Island Connector = The GW
  12. West Ashley and James Island = New Jersey
  13. Mt. Pleasant = Long Island
  14. Sullivan’s Island = LBI or Fire Island
  15. Isle of Palms and Wild Dunes = The Hamptons
  16. Dewees Island = Shelter Island
  17. Folly Beach = the Jersey Shore

Alright – there IS no Staten Island here – though we do have an island in the middle of our Harbor where you can find the venerable Fort Sumter.  And some birds.  And we don’t have any tunnels to speak of, though I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these days a diver unearthed a secret tunnel built by a Pirate to smuggle booty into our vivacious little town.


New York

Update 5/11 – I met a gentleman today and unprompted he said “New York and Charleston are so much alike, because frankly, each considers itself the center of its respective universe.”  Well said!  You know he is right in the most delightful of ways…. 🙂

4 Responses to “NYC vs Charleston Geography – Long Lost Sisters?

  • lol interesting…

  • David Quick
    15 years ago

    I’ve thought this for awhile, in part, because NYC Marathon made me dream up a five boroughs marathon through Charleston … We are missing an opportunity here PEEPLE! … Kristen, thanks for doing the detail work.

  • Cathy Nixon Heibel
    14 years ago

    Would love it, have thought about it, no doubt, several of us could make a go of it. Lots of logistics, but if they can do it in the Big Apple then why not the Holy City! It could be a 5 to 7 island bike ride, marathon or a 3 day island walk…nice job Kristin.

    Good to see you at the LAB get together, enjoyed “Going out of Business” great venue for cyclists and anyone who enjoys a tasty brew.

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