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About this City Journal

Manahasset Bay is a very typical New England / Northeastern US region. What was once a charming rural area is now giving way to the ever expanding skyline and suburbs of the main city;...

Entries in this City Journal



Well, after quite some time, I am back with a much overdue update. Today I will exhibit the region's cleanest city, River City, appropriately named for its position at the apex of the Green River and Branch River. Downtown sits nestled right along the river, as its suburbs spread out across the river in West City, and up towards the rolling green hills to the east. The city was originally founded by a group of settlers who left early Trentonburg for a cleaner, unspoiled landscape. They foresaw the eventual environmental calamity that would overtake Trentonburg, and established River City as a place where only clean industries would prosper, and everyone would live happier, healthier lives as a result. Below is an overall aerial shot showcasing the different areas. You will note the massive blacked-out area in South River City. This area is currently undergoing some urban renewal, with most of the funding coming from a private source. We will touch on that later.



As I said before, Downtown was settled very naturally between the two main rivers. As a result, the city is very dependant on its many bridges for transportation. The prosperous skyscrapers and high-rises in downtown are contrasted by the pretty green lawns and victorian houses on the other side of the river, making for some beautiful vistas from the top of the War Memorial at the apex of the rivers. That is, if you don't look to the north, where three massive ugly powerstations cough up thier soot and hydrocarbons. As much as this angers the denizens, there is nothing they can do, as these plants lay across the river, which is technically in another county, with its own governing bodies.


And a closer look at downtown; Below you can see the municipal center with City Hall, River County Courthouse, RCPD Headquarters, the County Census building, and the plaza, all centered around the main train station and underpass. The blue tower to the west of the plaza is the corporate headquarters for Larnwell Heavy Industries, which will come up next...



Larnwell Heavy Industries is a heavy manufacturing firm that popped up in the mostly unsettled former flood plains to the southwest of the main city. Below you can see thier buildings occupying the block between Larnwell Ave and Cassidy Road. A problem Larnwell ran into quickly was that the Trentonburg Central Railroad's mainline ran on the opposite side of the river, and as a result the company wasted a lot of money hiring trucks (originally horses and oxen) to haul thier goods up to the main rail depot in downtown. The solution they came up with was quite brilliant. You see, Larnwell used to own all the land shown below, however they didn't really need all that. So, they parceled up thier land and sold it all off to other industries one by one. With that money they were able to build thier own rail spur running eastward over the river to link up with the mainline. Thus, the district of Larnwell was born. And since the spur is owned by the company, they recoop thier costs by leasing trackage rights to the surrounding industries. Win-Win right?


Strawberry Fields

At the complete opposite end of the city, in the northeast corner lies the industrial/commercial hub of Strawberry Fields (forever!) This area exhibits some of the cleaner, more technologically advanced industries that are indicative of the city. The industries are so clean in fact, that they don't result in any loss in property values or desirability, as you can see by the minor league stadium and shopping mall that dominate the photo. This area is proof that retail, industry, residences, and even entertainment can indeed live together and get along!



Up the hill from River City is Hillsdale (Creative name huh?) While geographically isolated from the city, this villiage still belongs to River City proper. And while it lacks the excitement of the main city, they do have a farmer's market, drive in movie lot, and, of course, a Bank of Trentonburg. Sometimes River City likes to pretend it doesn't own backwards Hillsdale, until it needs to dump its trash in the nearby landfill. Lucky for them the locals here are used to smelling cow manure all day and the landfill doesn't really bother them.


...And a sneak peek at South River City...

As I mentioned at the beginning, some urban renewal is currently going on in South River City, the city's earlier industrial section. The cleared blocks below were mostly old brownstones and rowhouses left over from the industrial revoltion that are now cleared. In addition to rezoning this area, the city (with a lot of funding from a private unmentioned source) will look to reconstruct Route 83, the main north-south avenue. Since this avenue also intersects the 3-way rail junction, it leads for insane traffic issues during the rush hour. It will be interesting to see how they will finagle the avenue and rail junction, while still maintaining access to the rail station further south and maintaining the integrety of the arterial. Oh, and who is this private funding source?



Since we left off in a small sleepy town, lets head to another big city:


City of Hereford Overview

Hereford is the second biggest city in the region at about 165,000 Sims. And while only about 2/3 the size of Trentonburg, it is a much nicer and cleaner place. Below you can see an overview of the City, from the industry in Brownfield to the north, Downtown in the center, and the sprawling suburbs of Allenville and Pleasantville south of that. Hereford has always had a rich fishing and shipping industry due to the waters being a little calmer here further up the coast. There also used to be a lot of farming here, enough to rival Leyland, however the suburbs have been continuously pushing shouth and eating up the farmland.



We will start our tour as we always do, in the heart of the City, downtown. Business is a little more vibrant here than in Trentonburg. As that city got larger, it also got a lot more of the large city problems, and that sent companies looking for a cleaner, cheaper place northward to Hereford. Gleaming office towers aside, the City's proudest landmark is Central Park, located in the dead center. Surrounded by the park is City Hall to the north, Hereford County Superior Court to the west, and Hereford Police Headquarters to the east, buried below the skyscrapers of course.



Along the coast of the City lies the Promenade (pronounced prom-en-odd), a beautiful seaside park with the most luxurious condo complex in the region, Harborview Tower. The pricetag to live on top of the tallest building in the City is high of course, luxury skyboxes here start at $5,000,000. (Blue-collar Brownfield workers need not apply) You can also see Central Park from another angle in this shot:


Port of Hereford

And what would the City by the Sea be without access to the ocean? Below is a shot of the Port of Hereford. It's much smaller than Trentonburg's harbor, due to Hereford having significantly less industry than Trentonburg, but big container ships like the SS Joan Helen below still frequent the port. There also used to be a ferry terminal close to where that dockside warehouse is on the right. However ferry service across the river to North Hereford ended in 1964. More on that later...


Preston Heights

South of Downtown lies the brownstone neighborhood of Preston Heights. Which was once a quiet neighborhood of modest brownstone houses, has now become the entertainment center of the city, with the main drag running along Broadway, and of course the Hereford Arena and Gasigo Field, home of the Hereford Hellcats. (Brought to you by Gasigo, when your car is hungry, feed it Gasigo!) Although Broadway and I-95 look empty now, when the ballgame lets out, or the Arena's events let out, this place is clogged with cars. Hereford Metro is currently considering extending the Broadway Line down here to help alleviate the traffic issues.


Allen Junction

This industrial hub south of the City once started as a small depot that provided local farmers with a link to the regional rail network. As the city pushed southward, industries set up shop here due to the rail link, and eventual interstate link. Below is a shot of the junction now, and below that is a shot I dug up back in Year 13 of the game when the area was still farmland. By comparison, the City is in Year 200 now.


And back then... I think Route 7 and Allen Road are the only things present in both shots!! Even the railroad was relocated when I-95 was pushed through.



Originally a small town that popped up along Route 23 (Why does that keep happening?) Pleasentville was eventually merged into the City of Hereford and became one of its nicer suburban neighborhoods. One of the mainstays of the old agrarian days is still there though, Llary's Llama Lland on Pleasant Road is still your home for all your Llama related needs.


County Utility Yards

Instead of mucking up the high poplation centers with power production and waste disposal (Like Trentonburg did) Hereford Officials had the foresight to establish all those essentials in one location far from the City out in Hereford County. Although the archaic coal-fired power plants and incinerators pollute horribly, no one lives near enough to complain. Win-Win right?


North Hereford

Lets end our tour of Hereford across the river in North Hereford. This quiet village is its own municipality and is independant of big brother Hereford across the water. North Hereford has a tiny little schoolhouse, a tiny little firehouse, a tiny little lighthouse (not shown), and a tiny little evil Bank of Trentonburg branch. You can also see here the old cobblestone roads that led to the former ferry terminal site. The ferry used to be the only way to cross the bay, but when I-95 crossed the river in nearby Farnsworth, the little ferry company went out of business. Perhaps if North Hereford can market itself as a tourist destination, they can bring back the ferry. We will have to follow up on that in the future.




Leyland County:

Just a little inland and to the west of Trentonburg lies Leyland County, founded in 1742 it has built itself up to be the region’s breadbasket. This little county of 21,000 Sims provides the vast majority of the agricultural products that keep the region fed. The county itself consists of the Town of Leyland in the center, the tiny hamlet of Prothero to the north, and the village of Benton to the South. There are also a few more towns to the south not shown here that are still part of the county. In the image below, note the I-395 Inland Corridor slicing through the middle of the area.


Central Leyland


We will start our tour of the town in Central Leyland, which is essentially its downtown. Of course the locals here don’t like to refer to it as downtown because according to them, only big cities have downtowns. Speaking of big cities, the Packard Apartments on the corner of Main Street and Victoria Street have a lot of Sims in an uproar, claiming, “That sort of monstrosity belongs in Trentonburg, not here!” Also of note in this picture is the Town Hall located across from the Town Square, and the County Farmer’s Cooperative east of the square on Hereford Ave.


Fortesque Park


If we continue down Hereford Avenue over I-395 we find Fortesque Park, home to the largest park in town and some very ritzy mansions. In these homes reside the wealthy farm and factory owners of the area.




Originally founded as its own town, Avalon was settled a bit too close to Leyland proper, and as a result was amalgamated into the Town of Leyland in 1882. It is clear from the image below that it was founded too close to Central Leyland as some of the town’s low wealth apartments are encroaching on what was the quaint center of Avalon. You can also see Leyland County General Hospital to the left, which provides healthcare for the entire county.




And what would a working class town be without its share of industry? Creighton was named after the Creighton Brickworks that was started here, and although they went bankrupt long ago, manufacturing in this district is alive and well. The centerpiece of this area is Creighton Depot, one of the largest truck-to-train intermodal depots in the region, which Leyland relies on to ship its many wares along the corridor.





The Corridor


Since I’ve been mentioning the Inland Corridor a lot, I thought I would post a shot of it here. Being completely landlocked, Leyland relies heavily on this six-lane interstate and four-track mainline to ship its many goods to Trentonburg Harbor. And of course, like all railroads in the country, Amtrak constantly fights with the local freight carriers over priority on the rails. This line may have to be expanded in the future to meet growing passenger and freight demand.




Just north of Leyland is the tiny hamlet of Prothero, which seemed to pop up along dusty Route 23 for absolutely no reason, I have no idea why I am even featuring Prothero because nothing of interest happens here…ever.




To the south of Leyland, and slightly more interesting than Prothero is the village of Benton, Population 1,131. I say Benton is more interesting because at least residents here can partake in the festivities at the Leyland County Fairgrounds nearby, or watch the big water tanker planes take off from the County Fire Department Airfield. You may notice some new zoning on the outskirts of the town; demand seems to be picking up in this area as a result of some Trentonburg city slickers seeking a quiet country life. Some interesting history here: Benton was founded in 1763 by German immigrant Benjamin J. Tietze. He originally wanted to call his town Tiezteville, but the Leyland County Seat was quick to overturn this decision citing the obvious innuendos associated with the name. They settled on calling it Benton much to Mr. Tiezte’s dismay.




This concludes our tour of the country life to be found in Leyland. However, not all is peaceful and agrarian here. Big box stores and ugly tenements are popping up here and there such as these just south of Central Leyland. We will have to watch this town closely in the future to see if Trentonburg’s urban and suburban sprawl heads this way.



Ok, as promised here is the exciting conclusion to Part 1 of Trentonburg and its Districts. Since we left off choking on Doherty's hazarous fumes, why don't we drive down Constance Street and take a dip in the sludge known as...

Trentonburg Harbor

The shipping industry started early in Trentonburg's history due to the deep waters of the Manahasset Bay and the protection from choppier waters that the island of Holland County provides. The harbor also serves as the link to the rest of the world for the large manufacturing bases inland in Leyland County that need to get thier goods out. Below we can see the container yards in the center of the harbor, where the water is as murky as the air in Doherty.


Trentonburg International Airport

Ok take a chemical shower and lets continue our tour. Here is Trentonburg International Airport, serving all of the City of Trentonburg as well as Portland County to the south. (Sorry no fancy Airport Mods here, nothing against our Simtrop Modders but the vanilla SC4 Airport just takes up less space) Notice the easy access to and from Interstate 95. Why there is a Petco across from the terminal I have no idea, I can't imagine they do any business.


University Heights

Ok now that we have had a look at the City's transport hubs, lets head over to the University and hit the books, or the kegs, depending on your style. Trenton University was founded in 1888 and is the area's top public institution. Popular courses of study here include Business, Mathematics, Science, and Underwater Basket Weaving. Here you can see the University itself as well as the University Heights Train Station. This station lies along the four-track, below-grade mainline that runs between the City and the interior of the region. Amtrak and the local freight carriers constantly struggle to balance increasing passenger rail demand with the massive freight quantities being shipped from neighboring Leyland to the above mentioned harbor.


Verdant Meadows

Ahh, rolling green lawns and pretty pink houses, it must be Verdant Meadows! This nice little suburb of Trentonburg enjoys a slower pace of life then the more urban regions of the city, and speaking of urban, what is that little brown nasty building on the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd and Jason St.? I'll have to put in a word to the City's Urban Blight Prevention Coordinator to have that 'ahem' taken care of.



OK now to contrast those pretty green lawns, lets go to the other black (brown) eye, Perkins, also known as Doherty's twin. Which is the evil twin is for you to decide. The area started as one factory, the Perkins Furniture Company, (Gray building, left center) where the district's name come from. But after Perkins built thier own rail spurs along the mainline, it encouraged other factories to open shop here, and there we have it, another industrial cesspool that the city likes to pretend it doesn't have.



And to finish off our tour, lets look at Richmond, while not technically part of the City of Trentonburg, Richmond lies across the bay on the Island of Holland County. The richest of the rich reside here and nothing peeves them off more than when those dirty Trentonites take the ferry over and muck up thier pretty beaches with thier bonfires and hip hop music.


Thats it for your introduction to the City of Trentonburg. We will continue to check up on what the city does in the future, but for our next update we will hop on the train and take a ride inland to Leyland County to see how the region's breadbasket keeps Trentonburg fed. Stick around!


Overview of Trentonburg

Trentonburg was originally established in 1642 as a Dutch fur trading colony. After falling into British control shortly thereafter, it expanded at an exponential rate. Industry boomed in the area during the late 1800s with the primary industries being steel production, and later automobile manufacturing. Today, Trentonburg is a city of over 250,000 sims and still growing. However, typical big city problems like traffic and pollution are starting to rear thier ugly heads, and the city will have to act fast if it wants to continue to grow as it has in the past.

Below is an aerial shot of the city where you can see some of the neighborhoods and districts labeled. We will take a closer look in a moment.


Downtown Trentonburg

We will start with the heart of the city, the downtown financial district. Downtown is centered around City Hall which faces Trenton Square, and the Trentonburg Superiour Courthouse across from that. Located a block from City Hall is the TENDAQ Stock Exchange which has brought some Fortune-500 headquarters to the area including:

Capital Autos - They make cars for the working man, and working woman.

Gasigo Oil Company - They drill and refine the oil and gas that keeps America running.

Bank of Trentonburg - They find new and interesting ways to make money off of other people's money.

The Phillips Company - Massive worldwide conglomerate operating out of that big brown tower looming over Trenton Square

Buchanan Financial - A competitor to Bank of Trentonburg

Trentonburg News Corp - Staunchly moderate news group, they don't seem to have an opinion on anything, and that's good, right?

Waco Defensive Systems - CLASSIFIED

Traffic is becoming an issue here as the TRTA busses and subway systems are grossly overcrowded, forcing some to actually give up on transit and risk taking thier cars through the narrow one way streets of downtown. (Unfortunatly the game was paused while i was photographing and the traffic sim wasn't loading yet...oops)



The first area to be settled outside of the center of the city was Fairbanks, named after City Planner Neil Fairbanks. This area is primarily middle and upper class condos and apartments. You can see the Amtrak High-Line to the bottom. This Class 1 main rail line was actually at ground level and caused a traffic nightmare with all of the grade crossings, forcing both the City and Amtrak to elevate the entire thing through half the city. Another traffic nightmare (seems to be a lot of those here) is Victoria Avenue on the right of the photo, as this is the main arterial connecting to Interstate 95 (not shown)


South Trentonburg

To the south of Downtown is, you guessed it, South Trentonburg. Essentially the ghetto of the city, this area has failed to develop the weathier real estate that Fairbanks has as a result of its proximity to Doherty which we will see after this. Although things in the area are improving, the historical photos I will post in another update will show you what things used to look like here. The city built Southside Park right in the middle of the district in an attempt to raise land values here. Unfotunatly all this did was provide an aesthetically pleasing area for drug dealers and thugs to conduct thier business. Oh, and don't ride the TRTA Elevated Train through here, just dont...



Ahh, take a big whiff and inhale those toxins. Welcome to the Doherty Industrial District, Trentonburg's black (or brown) eye. This area attracted all the industries during the late 1800s since it is in a prime spot between Downtown and the Harbor. Unfortunatly, lax envionmental standards and a currupt political system in the 1900s allowed the area to get even worse. Pollution in this area is out of control, which is why poor South Trentonburg nearby is stunted economically. But hey, people need consumer goods right? And thats just what the area provides with its many steel mills, auto plants, and manufaturing facilities. You can see Interstate 95 slicing through the middle, as well as the Amtrak High Line mentioned earlier. Also of note in the upper left is Trenton Field, home of the Trentonburg Typhoons major league baseball team. This was the city's attempt to start cleaning up the area by pushing out the industries and bringing in commerce wanting to set up shop near the stadium. We'll have to see if that happens in future updates.


Well that's it for the first look at Trentonburg's neighborhoods and districts, stay tuned for Part 2. We will take a look at the Harbor, the Airport, and some of the outlying suburbs.


Region Overview

Region Maps

For my first non-intro page I decided to show you all some maps of my region that have been a work in progress along with the cities themselves. Unfortunatly, I know absolutely nothing about photoshop, so you all get to enjoy...my terrible hand-drawn maps I made on grid paper!!...cough...ok so first off:

Counties, Cities, Towns, and Villages

This first map shows county outlines in orange, with cities, towns and villages labeled, as well as some of the water features. The counties are as follows:

Trentonburg County

Hereford County

Portland County

River County

Greenwood County

Ashford County

Leyland County

Holland County

There are probably more to come as I expand the region outward. Within the towns, there are even smaller districts and hamlets which aren't shown in this map, but will be explained in more detail when we take a look at the individual cities.


Highway Map

Ok so with that horribleness done, lets move on, what follows is a convoluded regional highway network, mostly state routes (in black) with the only interstate in the region so far, I-95 (and its spur, I-395) More often than not, the state highways make up the main street of whatever town they happen to pass through, which is very true to Northeastern US form.


Rail and Ferry Map

Ok so 2 of 3 poorly scanned-in maps done. Lets get through this. The last map for today shows the intercity-railroad network in red. Note that no transit systems are shown here, only inter-city rail provided by Amtrak, Trentonburg Central Railroad, Norfolk Southern, and CSX Corp. Also of note are the blue dashed lines representing ferry routes across the bays and rivers that are too wide for bridges. Oh, and those wierd looking bird symbol things are supposed to be the airports in Trentonburg and Hereford County...


Yikes, these things scanned in very poorly, maybe I can fix those at some point, but by the next update, maybe we will get to see some actual pictures of the cities themselves.



Hello and Welcome!

First and foremost, my name is Nick, and despite being a Simtropolis member since 2003 (Has it been that long already?) I have never made a City Journal. Well, here it is, my first journal; Trentonburg and the Manahasset Bay.

Below you can see my first picture and a bit of a teaser. For those old-school Simtropolites such as myself, you may recognize it as the Digby-East Coast Region by lewellan222. I love his region and old city journal, and although he has vanished from the site a long time ago, a lot of my inspiration for this region has come from him.

About the Region...

The Manahasset Bay is a fictional area that I always imagined as being somewhere on the Atlantic Coast of northeastern USA. Being from the New York-Connecticut area myself, I loosely based a lot of what you will see on this area. The main focal point of the region is the City of Trentonburg, along with several other counties, cities, towns, villages, and tiny hamlets. So, with that brief and tantalizing intro, here is my first CJ teaser, (and the first photo I ever posted on Simtropolis, two firsts for me today, Hooray!)


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