Map of the Day: New York's Geography of Complaining

Garbage is an issue.

Finally, statistical confirmation of what we always knew: Manhattan is loud, the Bronx is the world's graffiti capital, and the other three boroughs are covered in garbage.

At least those seem to be the obvious conclusions from this map, by Dietmar Offenhuber, based off two years of 311 complaints. Green corresponds to noise complaints, blue to litter complaints, and magenta to graffiti.

But there are some more subtle conclusions. The Manhattan-priced neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and Park Slope all fade to green, indicating that their residents are concerned with noise rather than with garbage, like their Manhattan compatriots.

Chinatown, Bushwick, and Corona (particularly Corona, wow) struggle with graffiti more than elsewhere in their boroughs. Harlem residents complain about trash more than other Manhattan residents. Battery Park City is LOUD! Graffiti in deep Brooklyn seems to follow the paths of the subway lines down from Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. And people on 5th Avenue along Central Park, judging by the dully shaded blocks, either don't have much to complain about at all, or perhaps, don't know what 311 is.

Courtesy of Dietmar Offenhuber.

Top image: Xiaojiao Wang/Shutterstock.

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.