Established by French Protestants from La Rochelle, France, in 1688, New Rochelle today stands as the seventh largest city in the state and the second largest city in Westchester. Just two miles from the Bronx and 25 miles from Manhattan, the city has been nicknamed “Queen City of the Sound,” after a poem written by James J. Montague in 1926 about the city’s 2.7 miles stretch of Long Island Sound shoreline. The downtown area, which used to be the home of densely developed industrial buildings, today consists of large condominiums, high-rises, shopping malls, housing complexes, a medical center and both Iona and Monroe College.
The city is also the home of various historical sites, such as the Execution Rocks Lighthouse, the Thomas Paine Historical Site, and the Leland Castle. More modern points of interest include the Wykagyl Country Club, the 105-acre Glen Island Park and New Roc City, an entertainment complex where a 19-screen movie theater, an IMAX theater, an ice hockey arena, a mini-golf course and a go-kart track is located.
New Rochelle has been repeatedly referenced in popular culture throughout the years and movies such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Burn After Reading, Goodfellas and Starting Over has been shot here.