As noted in the brilliant comments on our latest Gossip Girl episode recap, people from Manhattan all-too-frequently refer to the island as "the city." In the loose definition of "the city," they often will not mean the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, or Queens, even though all four are also, of course, part of New York. So, for example, you could be at Bohemian Hall in Astoria and ask a friend "what time are you heading back to the city?" and it would make sense, even though you are already technically there.
Forgive us for explaining this, as we know all of you already know this, but we have recently discovered that people living outside of New York City sometimes read this blog (and we don't mean our parents — thank God they don't), so they may need some extra explanation. Anyway, generally the city government's official stance is that all five boroughs constitute "the city," and use signage on roads and in the subway correspondingly. However, wily blogger Bed-Stuy Banana spotted this little MTA sign at the Nostrand A/C stop in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
It's an inoffensive little shorthand to be sure. But if the sign on the other side of the subway said "To Country," that would be a whole different kettle of fish.
Going to the City [Bed-Stuy Banana]