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The Five Towns also refers to Stoke-on-Trentmarker in Arnold Bennett's novels.
The Five Towns is an informal grouping of villages and hamlets in Nassau Countymarker, New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker on the South Shore of western Long Islandmarker adjoining the border with Queens Countymarker in New York Citymarker. Despite the name, none of the communities are towns. The Five Towns is usually said to comprise the villages of Lawrencemarker and Cedarhurstmarker, the hamlets of Woodmeremarker and Inwoodmarker, and "The Hewletts", which consist of the villages of Hewlett Bay Parkmarker, Hewlett Harbormarker and Hewlett Neckmarker and the hamlet of Hewlettmarker, along with Woodsburghmarker. North Woodmeremarker has also been included in the grouping. The "towns" most commonly included as constituents of the "Five Towns" are all in the southwest corner of the Town of Hempsteadmarker.

The 5 Towns is a unique area for the South Shore of Long Island. While the rest of The South Shore of Nassau County is very urbanized, resembling Queens in many ways, The 5 Towns, with its enormous mansions and former plantations dating back to the time of the Revolutionary War, resembles the North Shore's Gold Coast making it one of the most affluent communities outside of The Hamptons and in all of New York State.

The name "Five Towns" dates back to 1931, when individual Community Chest groups in the area banded together to form the "Five Towns Community Chest", consisting of Inwood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere and Hewlett. The organization still exists (as of 2006) as a local charity, but the "Five Towns" moniker caught on as a designation for the entire area. A 1933 article in The New York Times references a Girl Scouts of the USA encampment by the "Five Towns Council, embracing the villages of Inwood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere and Hewlett", interestingly, listed in order by LIRR station.


Each of these "towns" has a consecutive stop on the Far Rockaway Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. All five communities are part of the Town of Hempsteadmarker. Woodmere is the largest and most populous community in the Five Towns, while the commercial and cultural hub is usually considered to be Cedarhurst, with its shopping area (along Central Avenue) and nearby park.

There are more communities that are sometimes considered to be part of the Five Towns, including Atlantic Beachmarker, Woodsburghmarker and North Woodmeremarker, which are all officially part of the Lawrence Public Schools (except for a part of North Woodmere and most of Woodsburgh, which is part of the Hewlett-Woodmere School District), but their inclusion in the Five Towns is unclear since there is no official Five Towns designation. Woodsburgh is arguably part of Woodmere, Atlantic Beach is geographically part of the same barrier island as Long Beachmarker and North Woodmere is an unincorporated section of Valley Stream.

Each of the Five Towns, with the exception of Inwood which is predominantly Christian, has a large Orthodox Jewish community, with many Jewish day schools, yeshivas, synagogues, kosher restaurants and Judaica stores serving the needs of the surrounding community. Roman Catholics also make up a large percentage of the Five Towns.


There are two school districts in the Five Towns, the Lawrence Public Schools (District 15) and the Hewlett-Woodmere School District (District 14). Roughly speaking, the Lawrence school district contains all of Lawrence, Cedarhurst and Inwood, and part of Woodmere while the Hewlett-Woodmere district contains all of Hewlett and part of Woodmere and extends partly into the neighboring villages of Lynbrookmarker and Valley Streammarker (North Woodmere and Gibson, in particular). One reason for the small number of school districts is that many local residents choose to avail themselves of parochial education facilities in the area.

Five Towns College

Although Lawrence was planned to be the location for Five Towns College, the original site was no longer available by the time the school received its charter in 1972. The college is currently located in Dix Hillsmarker, Suffolk Countymarker. Other than the proposed original site, the school never had a physical connection to the Five Towns.

Popular culture

On May 11, 2009 and May 12, 2009, Jerry Seinfeld filmed a commercial for Australia's "Greater" bank in Cedarhurst.

On the April 8, 2007, episode of Entourage, titled Less Than 30, the character Johnny "Drama" Chase was noted to be acting in a fictional NBC series called "Five Towns." Entourage writers Rob Weiss and Brian Burns (Edward's brother) attended Hewlett High Schoolmarker, but the name of the fictional TV show came from the title of a script fellow staff writer Cliff Dorfman had written years before. On the May 13, 2007 episode, titled The Resurrection, the posh and affluent Village of Hewlett Harbor was said to be the setting of the fictional NBC series called Five Towns.

Additionally, the character playing Henry Hill's wife in the movie Goodfellas is said to be from Lawrence. "Goodfellas Script - Dialogue Transcript", Script-o-rama. Accessed September 27, 2008. "Karen, where you from?
- Lawrence.
On the Island. Nice."

The 1993 movie Amongst Friends by Rob Weiss was filmed and set in the Five Towns.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of the Five Towns include:


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