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Talk:New York (state)

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I moved this page from "New York State" to be in accord with the article naming conventions. -- Evan 11:36, 4 Nov 2003 (PST)

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So, I tried to get started on regions in New York state. I took a couple of the regions that were on here already, and then I went to the ILOVENEWYORK Web site and copied some off of their regions index. I only copied the ones that sounded familiar to me and that seemed like real regions that people know about. The four I left out were "Greater Niagara", "Chautauqua-Allegheny", "Central-Leatherstocking" and "Capital-Saratoga". I'd heard of the places, but these sounded kinda mashed-up for some kind of administrative purposes.

Anyways, does anyone have a clue for real names for these regions? Or are there other ways to split up the state? New York seems like it has a lot of space and a lot of distinct parts to it. -- Evan 17:10, 10 Nov 2003 (PST)

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As far as regions go: did you mean Thousand Islands? Never heard of Thousand Lakes. The rest sound fine to me as travel blocks. SC 17:49, 10 Nov 2003 (PST)

Saranac Lake?[edit]

What's with all the stuff about Saranac Lake on the New York (state) page? Looks like someone put some promotional stuff up, and in the wrong place. I'm moving it to the "talk" page for Saranac Lake, where people can decide what to do with it.

Michael 07:58, 27 Apr 2006 (UTC)

For Contributors[edit]

Regions[edit]

What's up with regions for this state? Is there a plan? Albany/Saratoga seems to be left out. What about http://www.iloveny.com/search/regions_index.asp ? OldPine 21:05, 28 August 2006 (EDT)

It doesn't appear that anyone has proposed a regional breakdown for New York yet, so no, there isn't currently a plan. The region names on the above website look a bit clunky to me - are they in common usage? Also, are there fairly well-understood borders to the region? See Talk:Ohio, Talk:Massachusetts and Talk:California for discussions we've had about region names in other states. -- Ryan 20:58, 28 August 2006 (EDT)
Bah, that's me above. I got logged out, so I just signed it. I don't know the state all that well. Just noticed the discussion at the top of the page. I don't think there are borders that are all that solid. Probably need to designate what counties are in what region. I believe I saw that that had been done for the Hudson River Valley region here on Wikitravel. The region names are not in common use in some instances, but I don't think that can be avoided without going into a larger number of regions -- perhaps to the county level in some cases. OldPine 21:05, 28 August 2006 (EDT)
The state tourism [1] designations aren't bad, but the overlap is going to be the stuff of countless edit wars. Even the state tourism site gets wacky on this: it shows all of Ulster County in the Catskill region, but the county seat, Kingston (located on the Hudson River), can only be searched from the Hudson Valley region. Some clarification needs to be made, but it isn't clear (pardon the pun) how. SHC 21:27, 28 August 2006 (EDT)
Btw — David, nice work on Saratoga Springs. SHC 21:29, 28 August 2006 (EDT)
Thanks. Can't stand to see great places with crap articles. It's a powerful engine :) Thanks for pointing out the fuzziness. I had a feeling that was the case. OldPine 21:45, 28 August 2006 (EDT)
All right, I've read the discussions on regions for OH, MA, and CA. Looks like NY will have the same issues as anywhere else. The state tourism designations are as good as any other arbitrary naming convention so I propose that we bring some order to the NY state article by adopting those 11 regions. This should be relatively painless as the existing 9 regions in New York (state) already roughly follow the tourism layout. Aside from a couple renamings and additions, the only major surgery would be splitting the Southern Tier between Finger Lakes and Chautauqua-Allegheny. Fans of the Southern Tier Expressway may squawk, but even the name of that highway is facing extinction under the DOT's converting it to I86. SHC 13:35, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
(re-indenting) A few quick comments - first, does it make sense to combine Long Island & New York (city) and (perhaps) Hudson Valley into a single region? Right now the New York (city) article isn't a region article - it's a huge, huge city article, and it seems like trying to make it a top level region article would be like trying to make Los Angeles a top-level region for California. Second, the iloveny site has two regions for Western New York. Do we need two, or does a single region make more sense? And last of all, is there some way we can arbitrarily assign known borders to these regions? Can we use existing counties as guidelines, or rivers, or some other concrete border to determine what is in (for example) the Fingerlakes region vs. what is in Chautauqua-Allegheny? I've been through New York a bunch of times, but I don't have a lot of local knowledge so I don't know if any of the above makes sense, just throwing it out there... -- Ryan 14:02, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
Looks like the iloveny site is using county boundaries. OldPine 14:12, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
Treating New York (city) similarly to Los Angeles, as part of a top-level region, kind of makes sense since the city sprawls across parts of the Hudson Valley and Long Island. However, I'm not sure where to draw the line to the north. New Yorker's think of anything north of the Bronx as "upstate" (meaning they view the entire Hudson Valley as part of the hinterlands) while the reverse view tends to lump together the lower half of the Hudson Valley, NYC, and Long Island. From a traveler's perspective, the latter generalization of a massive "downstate" region makes sense as the lower half of the Hudson Valley (from NYC to Poughkeepsie) and Long Island are closely linked economically and by transportation to NYC. As a resident of the Hudson Valley who works in Manhattan, I make regional distinctions that a casual traveler might not want or need to make, so before I or anyone else starts to reconstruct this end of the state, I would like to hear opinions of those who are not as close to the subject.
I've lived in and traveled around Western New York. For the purposes of a traveler, treating it as a single region makes sense. Southern Tier is not a distinction a traveler would make and would be better split between Western New York and Finger Lakes. County borders should suffice for most of this. SHC 14:05, 30 August 2006 (EDT)

Regions again[edit]

regions draft
regions draft 2

Yikes! Have we figured out yet where Albany resides? --Peter Talk 15:36, 30 December 2007 (EST)

Alright, we need this figured out. NY is too important a state to neglect to build an actual regions hierarchy. The current one is a mess, but I've tried to apply it as best as I can here to a draft regions map. Here is a key to show which county is which. I left out Thousand Islands, since that seems to be more of an "other destination" than a region. Do these look right at all? Is this how we want to break them down? Or should we totally overhaul the regions? --Peter Talk 17:55, 21 February 2008 (EST)
No big objections, but it looks like one of the green key items (Mohawk?) should match the purple region. 75.67.115.59 18:54, 21 February 2008 (EST)
True, I've now fixed the key. Any other thoughts on this breakdown? Should we make this live (with a prettier map, rest assured) or does NY need a total redo on the regions breakdown? --Peter Talk 00:56, 6 March 2008 (EST)
I'd say, combine Southern Tier with Catskills and Finger Lakes; Keep Adirondacks as is; Take Rochester out and shove it into a NW NY (include Geneseo and Corning in this region). Keep Hudson Valley as is or pop Albany into Mohawk, Saratoga Sp into Adirondacks and keep Hudson Valley as the area around the Hudson south of Albany.--Wandering 21:42, 6 March 2008 (EST)
OK, I combined the Southern Tier with the Finger Lakes, while shrinking the Finger Lakes to the counties that actually contain the lakes in question. I also expanded the Adirondacks a bit into other counties that contain chunks of the park proper, including bits of Oneida & Herkimer counties (the bits that are Adirondack Park property). I also moved Albany into the Mowhawk Valley and displayed NYC as its own top-level region, as per suggestions in the discussions above. I'm inclined to keep the Catskills as a separate region, because I have some background there and have always considered it a unique travel region. I had trouble creating a NW NY region, because that just didn't fit well with the other existing regions and with the actual county borders themselves.
But the one thorn in my organizational side remaining is that Jefferson County (in blue). It doesn't fit anywhere. It's out of the Adirondacks, and no finger lakes get anywhere near there. The only real reason to visit, as I understand it, is for the Thousand Islands. Perhaps we could group it with the Thousand Islands article, as a subregion? --Peter Talk 19:32, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Just to be clear, I'd like to call this an established consensus before overhauling the regions (because the overhaul itself is a chore). So I'll want to a) wait one month, and b) get at least one voice here to let me know someone else supports this new regional hierarchy per "regions draft 2." --Peter Talk 22:59, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
Hey, I'm new, but I might through a wrench into this. The proposed divisions are decent, but there are still some quirks. I know there will always be some quirks, but I thought I'd mention them anyway. The main problems are three major non-Buffalo upstate cities -- Albany, Rochester, and Syracuse. Rochester and all of Monroe County (plus Livingston County, really) are right on the cusp between Western New York and the Finger Lakes region. The dividing line should really go right down the Genesee River, if anywhere, but then you have the absurdity of splitting Rochester over two regions. I note that the Rochester article places it in the (article-less) Genesee Valley region, which is as good a description for Monroe and Livingston as any. The Finger Lakes article mentions Rochester as a member but not Monroe County. Syracuse I usually consider part of Central New York (with Utica) rather than Finger Lakes, but again it's a transition area. Albany's problems are mentioned above; it probably has the most in common with the Hudson Valley but has Central and Adirondack properties as well. LtPowers 21:08, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
OK, it took all morning but I created this map to show my own perceptions of the New York regions. I think it also demonstrates the major problem areas (namely, where the gradients are). I also had no idea what to do with Chenango County; that's why it's gray. (Can Wikitravel not display SVGs natively?) LtPowers 12:46, 26 May 2008 (EDT)

Awesome map! And the wrench is welcome—I really don't know the state that well (outside of the areas along the Northway, north of Albany. I like your regions breakdown a lot.

Splitting counties is certainly fine, although it helps to have a clear geographic indicator of where the split is, so that it's clear into which regions towns should be placed. We could just use your map for the time being with the gradients, and tackle specific intra-county boundary questions ad hoc. The major destinations need to be placed in a specific region, regardless of the fact that they could fit into more than one—our regional hierarchies exist more for organizational purposes than anything else; we can note Albany's relevance to Central New York, for example, in that region article, while keeping Albany firmly in the Hudson Valley region article.

I'd prefer that we keep Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs together, IMO in the Hudson Valley region. I'd lean towards putting Syracuse in Central New York. About Jamestown I honestly have no idea—I just flipped a coin and it says Southern Tier. The Chenango Co WP article claims it's a part of the Southern Tier, so we might as well include the whole of it there, unless we can find a reason not to.

Regarding the map, I personally like the color gradients, although I think I might hold a minority opinion on that (if I remember this discussion correctly). Regardless, I think we could make use of your map with the gradients, provided we increase the color contrasts between bordering regions—organizational clarity > aesthetics. And we technically could render SVGs, but for some reason chose not to. The solution is to export a PNG file & upload it as well. I'd like to hear your thoughts on those final destinations for the borderline cases & otherwise we should wait a couple days, see if anyone else chimes in, and then go forward with the reorganization. --Peter Talk 20:03, 26 May 2008 (EDT)

Oh and one last point—we probably shouldn't call the NYC region New York City unless it follows the exact boundaries of the city itself (mostly to avoid disambiguation problems). We could instead follow the Chicagoland example and create a "Metro New York" region article, which would link the 9 most relevant cities (including NYC) in the area, as well as the relevant subregions in New Jersey & Connecticut (Gateway (New Jersey), Fairfield County, & Greater New Haven). --Peter Talk 20:09, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
Well I don't claim to be an expert on the regions of New York. The map I whipped up was mainly intended to illustrate my own perceptions. And "New York City" was just a convenient label at the time; I agree if we include Westchester and Rockland Counties that we should be clear about the region name.
As noted in the discussion you linked, color gradients do undermine the strict hierarchical organization of Wikitravel, and I would agree they are undesirable in a map intended to illustrate that organization. At the same time, a map with gradients (more expertly executed than mine, I hope -- as you note, the color selection is less than optimal and the gradients are rudimentary) illustrates the reality better. In either case, a note in the article about the distinction between "Wikitravel's regions" and actual state regions may be useful (although I'm sure some would argue unnecessary).
As far as assigning the regions goes, we may just have to bite the bullet and just "pick something", so to speak. The alternative is to use the official tourism regions from the state. The main disadvantage of that option is that said regions appear to be not very well defined; the borders cut through the middle of some of the counties at seemingly arbitrary angles, at least based on the maps on the iloveny.com web site -- the border between Hudson Valley and Catskills appears to cut straight through Ulster County, for example. As you note, this is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it makes it hard to have a single article on those split counties. (The state DMV offers a series of regional license plate designs based on these regions, and I note that Ulster County can have either the Hudson Valley or Catskills design.)
My personal preference would be to keep the region borders along county lines to avoid that sort of thing. The main problem areas in such an organization would then be:
  1. Monroe and Livingston Counties. Rochester, as I noted above, is smack in the middle between the Niagara Frontier and the Finger Lakes. (I'm still undecided between "Niagara Frontier" and "Western New York". In Rochester the term encompasses everything west of Syracuse, but in Buffalo it usually means just the westernmost seven counties. On the other hand, it's a more well known term than "Niagara Frontier".) Livingston County probably fits best with the Finger Lakes, since Hemlock and Conesus are actually in the county and the Genesee River Gorge, the main tourist attraction, has many similarities (attraction-wise) to the Finger Lakes. Monroe County is still the major stumbling point. With the strong city of Rochester in the middle, it is really a region unto itself, although it of course borrows from the surrounding areas on their respective sides of the county. I think the weight of argument is toward the Finger Lakes, ultimately; any good-sized city is going to have strong distinctions from the rest of its region, and the state's tourism divisions can't be ignored.
  2. Chautauqua and Allegheny Counties. The state punts on this one and puts them in their own region, but I think it's too small for our purposes. I think I agree with you that Jamestown works best as a Southern Tier city, so in they go.
  3. Wayne County. If Rochester is in the Finger Lakes region, then Wayne County has to be, as it is completely surrounded, despite having no lakes. It does have lots of small towns and lots of farms, though, so it works.
  4. Oswego County. Has elements of both the North Country and Central New York, but probably has more in common with the Syracuse/Utica area.
  5. Onondaga County. Central, I think, despite the State putting it in the Finger Lakes. Onondaga Lake isn't a Finger Lake and Syracuse should be grouped with Utica and Rome in my opinion.
  6. Chenango County. To address your suggestion above, I don't think it fits in the Southern Tier because it doesn't border Pennsylvania's Northern Tier. The real problem is -- there's nothing there. Its only city is Norwich, with less than 8,000 people, and I can't find any real attractions even on the county's own web site. Culturally it's probably most aligned with the Finger Lakes, although Chenango Lake isn't technically a Finger Lake. I'm tempted to toss it in with Central New York; the state has it in the Central-Leatherstocking region with Broome, so maybe that works.
  7. Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga Counties. I agree with you that the three cities should be with Troy; I think we can safely lump them in with Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley counties.
  8. Herkimer County. Ugh. If ever a county needed to be split, this is it. It's the big tall one east of Utica. It's in the Utica-Rome MSA, which would put it in the Central New York region, but the northern half is unambiguously part of the Adirondacks. No clue what to do here. The state splits it in half.
  9. St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties. Again, half North Country, half Adirondacks. I'm tempted to not try to separate out the North Country as a separate region from the Adirondacks. That would have a few benefits: there'd be no temptation to put Oswego in the region, leaving it unambiguously in Central New York; we could put Herkimer in Central without leaving only three counties for the huge Adirondacks region; the North Country/Thousand Islands areas provide more to say about the region than just "here there be mountains". Disadvantages: There ain't no mountains in Jefferson County; the two regions really are distinct, especially tourism-wise.
I suppose it will be best to just accept that the divisions are going to be somewhat arbitrary. Travelers to New York, though, often explore large areas in order to find enough attractions, so much of the relevant information will be at the Region level rather than County or City. That makes it important to make sure the regions are useful rather than arbitrary.
(One other way of analyzing the regions: the Rule of 7+/-2 (mentioned at Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy) might be useful to look at. Most of our regions fall within 5-9 counties each, except for the Finger Lakes (10 with Monroe and Livingston), Adirondacks (3 or 4 without the North Country), and Long Island. I think that's probably an acceptable level of variation. The number of regions is 10, which is high but not enough to split into two five-region sub-states.)
LtPowers 15:11, 27 May 2008 (EDT)
Lets see, first regarding "split counties": they're really only a problem when figuring out into which parent region to list cities/towns that belong in that county (e.g., if we split Monroe Co., do we put Rochester in the list for Niagara Frontier or for Finger Lakes?). We can still write a unitary region article for the "split" county, and simply list it as having two parents. Moreover, while we use them often as a tool for drawing boundaries, Wikitravel usually disparages the use of administrative divisions as travel divisions unless it really makes sense to do so.
draft 3
To address the points of controversy:
  1. I'm sure you have a better handle on this than I do, but I'm tempted to agree to putting both Monroe & Livingston into the Finger Lakes region. I think that using the term Niagara Frontier, rather than Western New York, makes this easier to do (it's hard to argue that Rochester isn't in "Western New York"). Wikitravel also prefers descriptive names beyond boring, simply directional ones, so I think we should pick Niagara Frontier.
  2. To the Southern Tier then.
  3. Fair enough.
  4. Agreed, Oswego to Central New York.
  5. Agreed.
  6. I think Chenango is probably unimportant where we could just lump it with any of the surrounding regions; since you prefer Central New York, lets do that.
  7. Done then.
  8. This is about as clear a case for a split as there could be. The location of the split couldn't be easier to describe—the park boundaries—and it should be listed from both the Adirondacks & Central New York region pages (if we ever actually get to writing a Herkimer county region article!).
  9. Here too I'm very tempted to split counties, since the park boundaries are easy for anyone to double check on an online mapping service or whatever. The regions are definitely different enough where writing one region article would be odd; also the Adirondacks are such a well understood travel region that it might seem a bit amateurish to readers if we have a bunch of non-Adirondacks information tossed into that article. I like the North Country-Adirondacks split. I'm actually a little tempted to split Clinton County along the park boundary as well.
On another note, I'd put Fulton County in the Adirondacks, since well more than half of its territory is part of the park. And I wouldn't worry too much about the 7+2 rule here since we're close to it all over the state, and that rule is more of a guideline for regions breakdowns (whereas it's pretty much a hard rule with cities lists).
I've put up a new draft regions map. I'd be happy to hear your thoughts, and I think we're pretty close to having this figured out. --Peter Talk 15:39, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm fine with splitting counties as you suggest, so long as there's no compelling reason not to do so. I'm not sure about Clinton; you're more familiar with it than I am. Your map has Onondaga County (Syracuse's) in the wrong region; it should be in Central New York per the above.
Other than that, my only remaining concern is downstate. I'm a little worried that the Long Island region is too small, along with the part of the New York City Area region that's outside the city proper. That region is going to say "Well there's the city and then there's a few other things too." Would it be desirable/useful to combine them into one Downstate region?
-- LtPowers 17:07, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
OK, I've been thinking about Cortland County, and I think it belongs in Central New York, too. It has no Finger Lakes and it'll keep Chenango from sticking out so much. I think the two of them and Otsego County go well together. LtPowers 20:35, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm on board with moving Cortland to Central NY & I'll make sure Onondaga winds up there too. I'd like to fold both Long Island (which should still retain its article as a sub-sub-region of NY state), NYC, and the two other downstate counties into that "Metro New York" region article, which would include the Gateway region of New Jersey & the relevant CT counties. I think I like that better than keeping all of the NYC metro area segregated by state. --Peter Talk 01:53, 3 June 2008 (EDT)
No arguments here, as long as I don't have to try to straighten out that Metro NYC article. =) So how do we go about getting a nice WikiTravel-style region map? LtPowers 09:59, 3 June 2008 (EDT)
Alright! This has been on my mind for about half a year, and it's finally complete! It'll probably be a while before I have the courage to try and develop a regions structure for the Adirondacks Park, although that is probably my favorite place in the US.
The only thing left on my mind is that the region descriptions are a little long—we might want to move those to serve as the introductory paragraphs for individual region articles & leave a shorter, punchier description. That's mainly just to conserve visual space on the state article. As for beautifying the map, the one I put up was all I intended to do. The svg is here if you'd like to modify it, and if you're looking to make it look more like the United States of America map, take a look at Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition & Wikitravel:How to draw a map. --Peter Talk 04:49, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
The map is definitely a good start, but I'll have a go at the colors I think (Catskills and Adirondacks are a bit close together in hue). I was going to quibble about the nine cities on the map, but there's more to do in Cooperstown, Saratoga Springs, and Ithaca than I realized, and I don't have any good replacements. The map looks bare to me without Watertown, Utica, Jamestown or Olean, and Binghamton, but nine's the rule, right? =)
I look forward to seeing what you do with the Adirondacks article; should we remove the Park as an Other Destination since it's apparently coterminous with the Region?
Apologies for the long-winded descriptions; I can try to pare some of them down. One or two sentences for each?
-- LtPowers 09:32, 4 June 2008 (EDT)

All right, time for another change, I think. It's absurd not to have Skaneateles in the Finger Lakes region, so I'm going to propose we extend a small loop east to encompass the final two lakes even though they're in Onondaga County. I'm also suggesting the top section of Steuben County be added to the region, so as to encompass the rest of Keuka Lake; that'll get all of the lakes and their shore communities into the Finger Lakes region, which I think is key. LtPowers 16:59, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

That sounds fair. The tricky part will be defining which new articles within Onondaga & Steuben counties will wind up in the Finger Lakes region, or grouped with their counties. But provided you keep an eye on things, all should be good. --Peter Talk 20:43, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Highway map[edit]

I added a highway map, let me know if there are any improvements to be made. LtPowers 20:17, 12 June 2008 (EDT)

Hey, looks fantastic! I'd only recommend adding linked cities & other destinations (although we haven't yet figured out which 9 other destinations that will be...) in order to help move this article in the right direction. --Peter Talk 02:02, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
I tried having cities on the map but it cluttered things up quite a bit. The basic idea comes from the map on the Texas article, which has separate maps for cities and roads. LtPowers 09:58, 14 June 2008 (EDT)

Other destinations[edit]

Surely we can come up with a list of other destinations for NY? Of the existing two, Thousand Islands are good, while the Adirondacks might be such a large region that it is a bit of a stretch to double list it here. Lake George seems a possibility, although it would need to be disambiguated between the town (which is not an "other destination") and the lake, which is (and which would use a region template). Keene Valley is another possibility, maybe also Hunter Mountain? That's it off the top of my head for the parts of the state that I know. --Peter Talk 23:14, 5 June 2009 (EDT)

The top-level regions have the following for other destinations:
Adirondacks: Lake George, Adirondack Scenic Railroad (which is probably an attraction rather than a destination)
North Country: Thousand Islands
Finger Lakes: Letchworth State Park
On the Niagara Frontier map, I show Darien Lake, but I haven't listed it in the article yet (mainly because it's a redlink). I think it just barely meets the threshold to have its own article rather than be listed as an attraction in what would otherwise be a barren Darien (New York) article.
Overall though, unlike many western states, I don't think New York has a lot in the way of destinations that aren't communities. LtPowers 10:54, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
Oh, and Allegany State Park in the Southern Tier could possibly qualify as an "Other Destination" as well. LtPowers 11:13, 7 June 2009 (EDT)

I took a stab at this. I left Adirondack Park, but that does mean it's double-listed on both Regions and Other Destinations. I added Lake George despite its ambiguous status between city and lake. I couldn't come up with a ninth entry, but only because I don't know Keene Valley well enough to know if it would work. One thought I had was to move Niagara Falls from Cities to Other Destinations (which is where it is in Mid-Atlantic), freeing up room in Cities for Binghamton, Jamestown, Plattsburgh, or some other city. (Could even make an argument for moving Cooperstown, maybe.) Thoughts? LtPowers 12:32, 9 November 2009 (EST)

I'd replace Adirondacks with [[Adirondacks|High Peaks]]. The actual article is still in the planning stages, but we can update the link once it's created. Keene Valley will likely get redirected once we finally implement a new Adirondacks regions breakdown, so lets leave that off. Lake George is more complex than just the town—I intend to include the various resorts, restaurants, bars, etc. that ring much of the lake within the one article—so that should be fine. Moving Niagara Falls sounds like a fine suggestion too. --Peter Talk 12:44, 9 November 2009 (EST)
Done. LtPowers 15:24, 16 February 2010 (EST)

I think Chautauqua Institution and Turning Stone Resort & Casino should be removed since they are only attractions. Long Island could be added instead. —The preceding comment was added by Sumone10154 (talkcontribs)

Both easily meet our "can you sleep there" criteria, and they're also both major tourist destinations. Long Island might be a good OD at the Mid-Atlantic level, but at the state level it seems a little too broad. LtPowers 14:53, 20 January 2011 (EST)
8 out of 9 of these destinations are in upstate New York and many of them I've never heard of before. How about Times Square, Coney Island, Fire Island, Shelter Island, or Montauk? Sumone10154 16:42, 20 January 2011 (EST)
What makes those "other destinations" instead of cities? LtPowers 22:02, 20 January 2011 (EST)
Fire Island National Seashore (on Fire Island) would be a park, not a city. Sumone10154 23:47, 27 January 2011 (EST)
Although they meet the "can you sleep there" criteria, if they aren't cities or parks (one is a casino, the other is "an adult summer camp") then they wouldn't normally be given Wikitravel articles. Would there be a reason to make an exception in these two cases? -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:32, 21 January 2011 (EST)
Turning Stone has three hotels, multiple restaurants, and multiple attractions. It is its own destination; it is not like a casino within a city, because they built it out in the middle of nowhere. As for the Chautauqua Institution, it's just as much a park as Central Park is, with the addition of actual places to sleep and organized activities. It's pretty much the only thing in Chautauqua (the hamlet), which would be the name of the article. LtPowers 09:07, 21 January 2011 (EST)
I do not think that our policies on this are very clear. In the region template we say that other destinations are all destinations that are not cities (and then we give national parks as an example), this implies that other destinations could really be anything. But in the other destination template we say that other destinations are parks or other natural areas, which is a more narrow defintion. And in What is an article we describe a number of exceptions for other things that could be other destinations. I think we should change these policies to make sure that the definitions of other destinations are the same everywhere. For the two other destinations in question, I would say that they should for a start go into the relevant city article, and only if the information about them at some point gets too complex, they should have their of article, --ClausHansen 17:32, 21 January 2011 (EST)
That's not in question for Chautauqua; as I said, the article will be on the hamlet of Chautauqua, not on the Chautauqua Institution. For Turning Stone, there is no "relevant city article". It is in the middle of nowhere. It is its own destination and has more places to eat, sleep, and recreate than most hamlets. Anyway, the question isn't whether these places deserve their own articles, it's whether they should be listed under "Other Destinations". LtPowers 19:56, 21 January 2011 (EST)
Although you claim that Turning Stone is in the middle of nowhere, it is in the town of Verona (New York) (according to Wikipedia) and should be in that article instead of getting its own. I propose replacing Turning Stone with Fire Island National Seashore in the other destinations. –sumone10154 20:48, 2 February 2011 (EST)
Verona is a civil township, rather than a community about which we would generally write an article. (Towns in New York cover the entire state outside of cities; please see wikipedia:Town (New York).) The only facilities for travelers are at or around the casino. It would be silly to title the article "Verona" when the entirety of the article would be about the casino.
To be perfectly honest, I just picked some stuff to fill out the "Other Destinations" section. I'm not inherently averse to changing what the items in the list are; the problem is the basis that you originally stated for making a change. I continue to strongly assert that the items on the list are valid destinations; if you care to discuss whether they are the best nine options to list, that's a different story, and that should have been the tack originally taken.
LtPowers 11:51, 3 February 2011 (EST)

Towns and Communities [2][edit]

If we're going to have only articles on communities, then should articles like Brookhaven (about the town instead of the community) be changed to be only about the community or should we just keep that article the way it is? (and create another article about the community) –sumone10154 13:54, 4 February 2011 (EST)
Brookhaven is one of the largest towns in the state; if it has that many villages in it, it ought to be a region article. LtPowers 21:40, 4 February 2011 (EST)
So could I rename Brookhaven (New York) as Brookhaven (town, New York) and then create Brookhaven (hamlet, New York) about the community? –sumone10154 12:27, 5 February 2011 (EST)
Yes, if you think the hamlet needs its own article. LtPowers 15:29, 5 February 2011 (EST)

Metro New York[edit]

Metro New York isn't just New York City; it includes Westchester County and Long Island. I thinks its description should be changed to include those two places, and the current description can be moved to New York City under the Cities section. –sumone10154 15:08, 8 February 2011 (EST)

Feel free to rewrite, though the current description is far too long for the Cities section. But be careful not to overemphasize Long Island; NYC is by far the primary draw in the area. LtPowers 15:27, 8 February 2011 (EST)

Fire Island National Seashore[edit]

I propose (again) adding Fire Island National Seashore to other destinations. Earlier, I proposed replacing Turning Stone Resort & Casino or Chautauqua Institution but LtPowers refused so I'm not sure which other one should be removed. –sumone10154 19:22, 1 March 2011 (EST)

I'd say go ahead and replace either Turning Stone Resort or Chautauqua Institution now-- they don't have articles yet anyway. No reason to keep a decent, filled-out article off the list just to keep red links there in the hope that they will someday get a decent article. If they both later get nice articles, we can re-open discussion later about which ones should appear in the list. texugo 00:09, 2 March 2011 (EST)

Usable status[edit]

So what does this article need to reach usable status? –sumone10154 14:22, 2 March 2011 (EST)

"See" and "Do" need more information. LtPowers 21:31, 3 March 2011 (EST)

Regions again, again[edit]

Per LtPowers 17:07, 28 May 2008, "Splitting counties is certainly fine..." The Catskills region is radically different from its regional neighbors, including the Hudson Valley, and county boundaries don't respect topography at all. Thus it's extremely reasonable, even crucial, that some counties have two regional parents, Ulster being a prime example. My personal experience is relevant, I think: as a first time visitor to the Hudson Valley page, and seeing Ulster County not listed, my first thought was, "No one's made a page for it yet." It didn't even occur to me that Ulster wouldn't be considered part of the Hudson Valley and a foreign visitor browsing the region would just overlook Ulster entirely.

As to a boundary for county splits, in the Catskills and Adirondacks we can use the "Blue Line", the Forest Preserve statutory boundary. It's hardly moved in over 100 years and bounds the mountainous areas quite well (please, no jokes about the Catskills and Adirondacks just being speed bumps compared to real mountains).

On the broader NY region topic, with no disrespect toward the creator of the current region breakdown, I think the state's current 11-region tourism split (http://www.iloveny.com/Cities-And-Towns.aspx) is a much more pertinent division, and one devised by tourism experts. For example, although Albany is unarguably on the banks of the Hudson, when NYers think Hudson Valley, Albany doesn't generally come to mind. The area is invariably (ok, that's an exaggeration) referred to as the Capital District. Saratoga and Albany are closely related in destination thinking, while Saratoga and Fishkill (both in the current Hudson Valley region) may as well be in different states.

At any rate, please give up the idea that regions should follow county boundaries. Counties were delineated 100 years before tourism. I believe strongly that tourism regions should follow topographic, watershed, and urban/rural divisions.

For myself, at the moment, I very much want to give Ulster County two parents so I can proceed with adding content appropriately. JohnGunther 15:02, 24 Aug 2011 (EST)

Well, Ulster County can't have two parents, per se. While we can split Ulster County between the two regions, that means we won't be able to have a single article on all of Ulster County, due to our strict geographical hierarchy. (And of course, if we split Ulster between the two regions, we should probably also split Greene and Orange accordingly.)
No offense to the "tourism experts" who created the New York tourism regions, but frankly, they suck. There's no Southern Tier and no North Country; apparently they think Plattsburgh is in the Adirondacks, and Syracuse isn't part of Central New York (while Binghamton, just miles from Pennsylvania, is).
The Capital Region is a fine travel area, but it should probably be a subregion of the Hudson Valley.
I appreciate your input overall, but I would encourage you to look around a bit and see how we do things here. There are always going to be aspects of any regional breakdown that can be argued one way or another; at some point, we have to just pick something and go with it. The Hudson Valley and Catskills areas are very poorly developed as far as Wikitravel goes, so we can certainly make changes there without too much trouble. But overhauling the entire state is not really a feasible option at this point. LtPowers 15:45, 24 August 2011 (EDT)


I'm just looking for a place to move my trove of travel data, and it doesn't have to be here. Clearly, you have a lot more invested in Wikitravel than I do, so I don't expect to sway your time-tested opinions. I will present my arguments, though, and then leave you to it. I have 30 years experience with geo-database issues and geocoding, dating back to the early days of DBMS tool development, so I've been through more of it than almost anyone except those who make it their sole career. Regardless of how much I wish for it when I develop each new application, and regardless of Wikitravel policies, geographic information absolutely cannot be modeled successfully as an arborescence, an ordered directed tree. Forcing such data into that model makes users deal with fictional distinctions and falsely exclusive relationships. In building a database, this problem adds unwanted but needed complexity, but in a document structure like Wikitravel, there's no obstacle to adopting a more realistic model. The definition of a useful model is one that represents reality over some domain of applicability. Sure, I can make a model airplane by constraining the tail to be made of lead, but as a flyable unit, it's not a useful model. Likewise, constraining every geographic entity to one and only one parent is unuseful in organizing information. I can offer hundreds of examples, but I'm sure you're aware of them yourself in dealing with site content. To cite an absurd one, Mt Fairweather is on the Alaska/British Columbia border. In Wikitravel terms, would it make any sense whatsoever to have two articles, "Mt Fairweather, Canada" & "Mt Fairweather, USA"? The mountain is impossible to climb from the Canadian side without crossing into the US. For the sake of simple modeling, would you split the route description into two articles? Closer to home, the middle Delaware River is shared by New York and Pennsylvania. Should canoeing advice be split into two, "Skinner's Falls is best entered along the right bank. Immediately after... (see NY article for remainder of whitewater advice)". Would you divide a list of riverside campsites by which state each lies in? The examples go on and on: Walkway Over the Hudson is evenly divided in two counties, Dinosaur National Monument straddles a state boundary, The NYC-Kingston bus makes a stop in NJ... Your model simply fails, and I don't see any reason it can't be modified. Why can't the single Ulster County article have two parent regions as in my initial change? The arbitrary strict hierarchy constraint simply forces Wikitravel contributors to make bad choices that disserve the users. I'm happy to debate this with you, but you've probably heard all you want to from me already. Despite my criticism of the thinking, I salute your selfless contributions to this important site. JohnGunther 17:15, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
It actually is OK for a region to have two parents (see Wikitravel talk:Geographical_hierarchy#Single parents), but only one will display in the breadcrumb trail at the top of the article. If you have a good way to split the counties to better delineate the Catskills boundaries, by all means, lets see it drawn on a map! You have probably noticed that we have already "split counties" (or better said, we have simply used boundaries other than county boundaries) for the Adirondacks region. --Peter Talk 18:21, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
I think the case of "two parents" remains rare, though, and I don't think it's an appropriate solution here. If the two sides of Ulster County are so different as to belong in different subregions of New York State, then why push them together in the same Ulster County article? ... Perhaps the real problem is that we have counties listed as "default" subdivisions of the various regions, which causes people to think in terms of counties first, instead of grouping destinations logically. John, to what destinations does the material you want to contribute pertain? Maybe you're better off creating city articles for now and seeing how they group into subregions from there? LtPowers 19:19, 24 August 2011 (EDT)
Referencing the last two commenters:
1) I don't care which one of multiple parents the breadcrumb trail displays, although I'm sure it offends someone's sense of order to think of only one, perhaps arbitrarily chosen, parent appearing. What's important to me, to stick with this generalizable example, is that Ulster County appear as a subregion of both the Catskill and Hudson Valley tourism regions and that the dual parentage is explained on the top line of the county article, as in my instantly-reverted initial change, "Ulster County overlaps two New York regions: the western portion is in the Catskills, and the eastern portion is in the Hudson Valley."
2) The Catskill and Adirondack Preserve "Blue Lines" would make very appropriate boundaries for those two regions. You can see them as the preserve boundaries on almost any non-Google state map, (eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Line_%28New_York_State%29 . Incidentally, see paragraph 2 of the History section for an outsider's pertinent comment.)
3) Ulster County does NOT need two articles. It's a relatively small area and much of the information about it applies countywide. All it needs is two parents because it's an important part of two regions.
4) Geographically, administratively, and informationally, the case of two parents is NOT rare. If it appears so in Wikitravel, perhaps that's because the veteran editors fit everything into the "strict hierarchy" policy and block the newbies until they get their minds right. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything needs to be a nail. Designating multiple parents, where applicable, clearly increases user utility, which I assume is a primary goal of the project.
I'm sorry to be so strident, but I've spent a significant fraction of my life dealing professionally with geographic data architecture, and I don't think it's arrogant to assert that I know a lot about what does and does not work -- and an arborescence doesn't. You guys have a lot invested in the project, though, so all I can do is take my best shot and not get upset if it doesn't change anyone's mind. JohnGunther 21:03, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
I appreciate your professional experience. We do have good reasons for trying to stick to a strict hierarchy, which are explained at Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy. We're not trying to describe the planet's geography; our goal is just to help travelers get to the information they need as quickly and as straightforwardly as possible. To the extent the two goals overlap, it may appear as if we're oversimplifying things, but there is a method to our madness. LtPowers 22:17, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
I have read it, and I'm baffled. I couldn't have written the "Overlap" section better myself. Nowhere does the page mandate the "strict hierarchy" or single parentage to which you refer. Please explain how what you're enforcing is consonant with the published policy. Your method is madness I tell you, madness![grin] JohnGunther 03:06, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
I agree with John—the policy is pretty clear that linking to a region from two other regions further up in the hierarchy is kosher. I'd prefer, though, to do away with the Ulster County article, since it seems to be an arbitrary division that is not helpful for travelers. Something more like "Southeastern Catskills" might cover the western portion, along with other areas to its northwest. We are similarly developing subregions that ignore county boundaries at Talk:Adirondacks#Subregions, since they are simply irrelevant for travel. Revising the Catskills region to follow the accepted blue boundary seems a no-brainer. --Peter Talk 16:49, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Now I'm confused. You say you agree with John, but then recommend doing away with Ulster County as a region so that we don't have it split between two regions? Again, I'm absolutely fine with revising the region borders, and I know they don't have to follow county boundaries; I just think we should avoid subdividing the regions such that the subregions have more than one parent. What's the point in saying "Here's a coherent travel region (e.g., Catskills), and we've divided it up into convenient subregions... but some of them include areas from other travel regions"? If that's what we end up with, it says to me there's an error in the original regionalization. LtPowers 16:57, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
On the abstract point, I agree with John re: parenthood. For practical matters, though, I think we need to revise the hierarchy, making this point moot. --Peter Talk 17:18, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Well, where do we go from here, then? Where should the new borders be? LtPowers 20:05, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I would be happy to revise the map to reflect new borders for the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, but I'm not sure exactly what was being proposed. LtPowers 13:02, 2 November 2011 (EDT)

Orange County isn't really in the Catskills, as it turns out. (I didn't do much research lo these many years ago when I made my initial recommendations.) It's very much a valley area, with only a few low hills between the Delaware and Hudson valleys. I'd kind of like to toss it in to the Hudson Valley region, along with the eastern edges of Ulster and Greene, but I'm not sure where exactly the boundary line should go through Ulster and Greene. Thoughts? LtPowers 10:52, 30 November 2011 (EST)

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