"Gotham City is based on many large cities, especially New York City, but also Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, London, Boston and Montreal. The longstanding nickname "Gotham" was first attached to New York in 1807 by Washington Irving in his magazine Salmagundi."
and yes Gotham is a name for New York, as WalktheWorld posted. Of course Gotham City in Batman is not necessarily a specific city and Chicago was used in the recent movies.... but the name Gotham has always been a nickname for New York, and obviously Gotham City in Batman was originally envisioned like New York, and hence named like it.
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