The Sixth Borough Explorers Club
Fishing // farming // marksmanship // birding // watercraft // handiness // industry
What is The Sixth Borough?
If you’ve lived in New York City long enough, you’ve heard many different places referred to as the mythical “sixth borough.” Sometimes it’s Jersey City, sometimes it’s another part of NJ, sometimes it’s Yonkers, and the list goes on. It even includes fictional places, like this 2004 piece from The New York Times.
But until New York City reengages with the forces of municipal consolidation that created it in 1898, there will be no physical sixth borough.
Nonetheless, I think we already have a sixth borough in a meaningful way.
It’s the social graph of people who experience, or try to experience, a wider New York City. Who are not urban provincials. Who love all five boroughs. Who live in a way that connects them with the rest of America, even though they are in a place that can feel far removed from it by default.
These are the residents of The Sixth Borough. And I am the Sixth Borough President.
What do you do in The Sixth Borough?
You can find almost anything in New York City, so goes the common sentiment. This is true—New York City offers more things, with more variety, than almost anywhere else on Earth. But when many people express this idea, what they really mean is, “You can find almost anything associated with my narrow concept of urbanity.”
The fact is, you can find almost anything associated with many parts of America: the suburbs, the farms, the small towns, the grassy shores of a lake with birds chirping overhead, the beach, and more.
The diversity of New York is a fractal image of the diversity of America.
But many New Yorkers struggle to see the full crystalline glory of this fractal, even if they want to. Have you ever gone fishing in Manhattan? Have you explored the industrial manufacturing capabilities of our city? Have you trained to use a rifle? Have you fixed or grown something with your own two hands? Do you know how to judge the freshness of an egg at Trader Joe’s? Have you waited in patient stillness to observe wildlife? All of these things and more can be done in the five boroughs; they are just as much a part of New York City as Broadway, but they are also portals that connect Sixth Borough dwellers with the world beyond them in each borough, in New York State, and throughout America.
The Sixth Borough Explorers Club
If you’re a resident of the Sixth Borough, or you think you might want to be, join the Sixth Borough Explorers Club.
Beginning in about March of 2024, we’ll get together at least once a month to experience the borough.
The ethos of the Explorer’s Club:
Kindness, charity, and open-mindedness
What we will do (including but not limited to):
Training to understand and use a rifle. Having basic, but robust facility with this tool will help you understand much about the world.
Fish in Central Park, or another of the city’s wonderful parklands.
Grow plants for decoration and consumption, and present them at a garden show for prizes and auction.
Go birding, and learn what it means to see an animal. If you embrace the lessons of birding, your wider relationship to animals will be wonderfully altered forever.
Kayak around our mostly-island home of NYC.
Tour a factory and observe the industrial manufacturing process directly.
And so much more.
Join the Club
If you want to be notified when the club begins, and receive its calendar of events, fill out this form. I can’t wait to meet all of you, and for you to meet each other.
Your Sixth Borough President,