Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Northeast Megalopolis

I have always been amazed by the people and cultures of different cities in the world. But you don't have to get a travel visa to see different cultures in different cities if you live in the Northeastern part of the United States. I have always found it amazing how a one hour drive can make a load of difference in culture. Now before we get into this, let us define the term "Megalopolis". According to Merriam-Webster, a Megalopolis is 'a thickly populated region centering in a metropolis or embracing several metropolises.' I have found that the Northeast Megalopolis is the perfect example of this phenom.

I live right outside the city of Washington, DC in the nearby Maryland suburbs. If I decide to drive 45 minutes to the northeast, I run into the city of Baltimore, a former industrial city on one of the most important bays in the United States, the Chesapeake. This city, although only 45 minutes from DC is culturally, environmentally, and economically different from DC. But if I decide to drive 1 hour and 30 minutes to the northeast, I run into Wilmington, Delaware which happens to be the largest city in the state. However, in comparison the population and feel of most major East Coast cities, it is merely a big town. It is apart of the Delaware Valley Metropolitan Area in which the principle (largest) city is Philadelphia, PA. This city is only 25-30 minutes from Wilmington. I have to say that Philly is one of my favorite cities. It is a very large city of 1.5 million people and scenic with its many city fountains, its exceptional downtown (city centre) area, and the famous Art Museum, in which Rocky Balboa did his famous morning exercise routine. I just simply LOVE Philly.

1 hour and 30 minutes to the northeast of Philadelphia, you run into the city of all cities...the concrete jungle...a city of 8 million people within city limits and a metropolitan population of over 22 million people, New York City is a world class city. I am not much a fan of the crowded environment, but NYC is a marvel once visited and it amazes me every single time I do visit. From the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, United Nations, Central Park, and many more attractions, it is a city to be reckoned with. Maybe that's why New Yorkers have such a huge ego, and some might say that they have that right. Last but not least, drive 4 hours to the northeast and you come into another world class academia city known as Boston, located in the state of Massachusetts. Higher Learning Institutions such as MIT, Harvard, and Tufts Universities call Boston and surrounding areas home. Within the Northeast Megalopolis, Boston is the farthest from any of the previously mentioned cities by car. Boston is the only city within the Northeast Megalopolis that I have not visited yet, but am definitely planning on visiting in the near future.

In conclusion, all these cities are no farther than 4 hours from each other and an average of 2 hours from each other with some closer to each other than that. Some much smaller cities in the area which are apart of the Megalopolis are Annapolis, MD, Camden, NJ, Trenton, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Dover, DE, Hartford, CT, New Haven, CT, Providence, RI, Montpelier, VT, and Newark, NJ. There are some more smaller cities that won't be mentioned. The whole megalopolis boasts a population of nearly 45 million people. Of course as the traveler that I am, this is all amazing and interesting information that makes me want to travel even more to explore more parts of the United States and the rest of the world. What amazing place have you visited lately or in the past? Tell me about it in the comments below.