Oldest town: Albany
Age: 401 years old
According to legend, the Dutch sponsored Henry Hudson to find a waterway to China, but he stumbled upon the Albany area en route and colonized while he was at it. The Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 and, boom: settlement. It’s one of the oldest in America (here we go bragging again) and has other claims like “oldest continuously chartered city in the US,” possibly the “longest-running municipal government in the Western Hemisphere,” blah blah blah. We get it. It’s OLD. Today it’s not as badass anymore. Only about 100,000 people live there and the town is mostly made up of college kids and government people. They kind of cancel each other out in terms of “fun.”
Oldest tree: Alley Pond Giant
Alley Pond Park, Queens
Age: 350-450 years old
It was here before all of us and the Alley Pond Giant (aka the Queens Giant) will probably outlive us, too. Even if it is 450 years old like some people think, it may still have another 150 years left in it because that’s how long tulip trees can live. It’s hard to believe this thing was here even before the settlers came because anyone who has lived in New York City long enough knows we can’t have nice things. At least not for long. Real tree-hugging historians have been harping on the city for neglecting the Giant, but if it lasted this long without anyone helping it out then maybe we should just do it a solid and keep ignoring it.
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Mara Montalbano is a contributor to Thrillist and does believe there’s nothing like a New York Post headline or a pie at Lombardi’s. Follow her: @MaraMontalbano.