New York: The city that never sleeps. New York is America’s wealthiest city and certainly one of the most influential in the world. It has one of the most beautiful and famous skylines anywhere in the world, with soaring skyscrapers and one of the world’s largest natural harbors.
This is the city that connotes excitement, change, energy, dynamism, wealth and drama. New York is the home of theater’s Broadway, finance’s Wall Street, advertising’s Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue’s exclusive shopping boutiques and a number of iconic landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. It is an international city, where travelers can get a taste of everything, where trends are developed and culture is popularized. This is the reason why this metropolitan city has often been referred to as the “cultural capital of the world.”
New York is located on the northeastern portion of the US in the State of New York, which comprises 62 counties.It is the third most populated state in the country. At the same time, the city of New York is the seventh most densely populated city of the country, with over eight million residents. The land area of the city is 302.64 square miles or 783.8 square kilometers, with a density of about 27,012.5 individuals per square mile (10,518.6 per square kilometer). If the metropolitan area of the city is taken into account, then the population jumps up to 18.9 million people, spread over an area of 6,720 square miles. Manhattan’s population density is the highest for any country in America, with 66,940 people per square mile, or 25,846 individuals per square kilometer.
The residents of New York are also some of the most diverse people in the world. New York is recognized as a gateway to immigration, so it’s not surprising to find people from all over the world here. In fact, almost 37% of New Yorkers are actually foreign-born and as much as 48.3% of the people speak a language other than English in their own homes. There are about 800 languages spoken in the city, resulting in a linguistically diverse city. This rich diversity makes the city of New York the perfect Headquarters of the United Nations.
It’s hard to discuss New York City without talking about New York State. The State is adjacent to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts. At the same time, Long Island shares a maritime border with Rhode Island and the city borders the Canadian province of Ontario and Quebec. New York State is different from New York City, although the city of New York can be found in New York State. The city is divided into five main boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. New York City also has five counties: The Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond. It is said that the city has something of everything, sometimes even more than most. New York City also enjoys a host of superlatives, since it is the biggest, largest, busiest and most influential city in many aspects of life.
New York is a gateway of commerce, information, art and immigration. The various districts of the city of New York attract more than 50 million people every year. The people of the city are constantly on the move, utilizing one of the most extensive and busiest rapid transit systems anywhere in the world, the New York City Subway service. It has an annual 1.5 billion passenger trips operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it is the largest rapid transit system in the world in terms of number of stations and route lengths.
New York is linked to the rest of the world through various means, making the city highly accessible by land, sea or air. The Grand Central Terminal of Grand Central Station is the largest railway station in terms of the number of platforms. There are 16 bridges that link the islands of New York, the busiest being the George Washington Bridge. Linking Manhattan and Bergen County in New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in the world, carrying 107 million motor vehicles each year. The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the busiest bus station in the world, with more than 7,000 buses for over 200,000 commuters a day. By sea, the Staten Island Ferry is the busiest ferry in the country, with more than 19 million passengers a year. Major cruise ships also go to the Port of New York.
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There are three major airports in New York, since the city’s airspace is the busiest in the country. JFK International, Newark Liberty International and La Guardia are the primary airports of the city, serving more than 100 million passengers. A fourth airport, the Stewart International Airport will be opened soon to accommodate the growing number of passengers in and out of the city.
New York City sits on an elevation of 33 feet or only 10 meters above sea level. At the same time, land is scarce since the city is spread out on three islands: Manhattan; Staten Island and Long Island. Much of Lower Manhattan sits on reclaimed land. The scarcity of land has pushed developers to build many of the city’s skyscrapers, to accommodate the booming population in the city. New York City can be found at a halfway point between Boston and Washington D.C., since New York is strategically placed right at the mouth of the Hudson River leading to the Atlantic Ocean. Todt Hill on Staten Island is the highest point of the city, at 409.8 feet or 124.9 meters above sea level.
The city’s climate can be quite extreme, though New York experiences four seasons. New York has a humid subtropical climate. The city enjoys 234 days of sun yearly or about 2,400 to 2,800 hours of sunshine every year, allowing locals and visitors plenty of time to enjoy the sights of the city. The hottest month of the year is the summer month of July, when temperatures hit an average of 77 °F or about 25 °C. The summer evening hours can feel much hotter, since the temperatures can go up a sizzling 90 °F or 32 °C. There are times when the temperatures can peak past 100 °F or nearly 38 °C. The summer, spring and autumn can be quite humid. In contrast, the winter season can be very cold and damp and snow is expected. The coldest month of the year is January, when the temperature drops down to as low as 32.1 °F or 0 °C. New York receives an ample amount of rainfall annually, which is spread throughout the year, about 49.7 inches or 1,260 millimeters of precipitation.
The city government has taken great strides to ensure that the streets of New York are safe for both locals and visitors. It can still be quite intimidating for many travelers to come to the Big Apple. Travelers should exercise common sense when going out. Use only marked taxis when leaving the airports and go straight to your hotel to secure your belongings. Unmarked taxis are called “gypsy cabs” and have been known to rip travelers off. Before heading out, ask for clear and concise directions from the hotel concierge. When using the subway, avoid going by yourself and don’t ride in an empty car. When out at night, it’s best to stay in well-lit areas and use busy public exits. Use the hotel safe for your valuables, or better yet, leave flashy and expensive jewelry at home. Tipping is expected, especially to cab drivers, otherwise a verbal argument may ensue. Be wary of pickpockets and street scams and buy your theater tickets and goods from reputable sources. It may be tempting to buy counterfeit products from the back of a truck on an alley because of the low prices, but remember that these are illegal and may cause you monetary sanctions as well as some embarrassment. At the same time, watch where you walk in New York. Jaywalking is illegal and can result in serious injury.
New York today continues to reign supreme in the world of finance, politics, art, fashion, education and culture. An increasing number of people are visiting New York for the excitement it offers and the diversity of the people. There truly is no other place like it in the world.
New York was originally inhabited by the Lenape people who were speaking in a language called Unami, which was similar to the Algonquian language spoken by other groups of Native Americans. The first Europeans to reach the harbor were the Italians, headed by navigator Giovanni da Verrazano who was working for the French flag. He named the place where he landed, which is the Upper New York Harbor as “Nouvelle Angoulême.” The following year, Esteban Gomez, who was sailing under the Spanish flag, sailed into the New York Harbor, and named the Hudson River “Rio de San Antonio.” In 1609, English navigator Henry Hudson was looking for a passageway to Asia for the Dutch East India Company. He sailed to the area now known as Albany.
The area that lies between Delaware Bay and Cape Cod was reclaimed by The Netherlands in 1614 and renamed Nieuw-Nederland or New Netherland. Various trading posts were quickly established. In 1614, Fort Nassau, the first Dutch settlement, was built in what is today Albany. Fort Amsterdam was established in 1625, which would evolve into New Amsterdam, and later on, New York City. Since a settlement was established along the Hudson, the area became busy with economic activity, especially with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825.
However, by the Second Anglo-Dutch war, the area was declared a province of New York under the control of the English in 1664. New York was named after the Duke of York and Albany at that time. In 1673, the Dutch regained control of the region after the Third Anglo Dutch War. However, the city would eventually revert back to British rule after the ratification of the Treaty of Westminster in 1674.
Under the British, New York grew into a significant trading port and the city became a place of importance. The city was the backdrop for establishing press freedom in Northern America in 1735. Modern day Brooklyn was also the setting of the Battle of Long Island in 1776, which was regarded in American history as the largest battle of the American Revolution. It also served as the nation’s capital for a brief period of time in 1785, before Washington became the official capital of the United States.
New York State became the 11th state to join the Union and ratify the United States Constitution in 1788. However, it was more than a century later that New York would be incorporated as a city. The city of New York was borne in 1898, by consolidating Brooklyn, New York County, Richmond County and part of Queens County. In six years, the various parts of the city were linked by a subway system, which would eventually become one of the most extensive and the busiest railway systems in the world.
New York has been a melting pot of cultures for over two centuries. From 1892 to 1924, more than 12 million European immigrants were welcomed at Ellis Island. Germans, Irish, Jews and Italians were the largest migrant group by the turn of the 20th century. Today, most immigrants come from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, China, Mexico, Ecuador, India, Italy, Columbia,Haiti, and Guyana.
By the 1920s, New York surpassed London as the most populated urban city in the world. New York also became the first Megacity in the world, hitting 10 million residents by the 1930s.
By the mid 19th century, New York’s port achieved the status of being the third largest in the United States. More than half of the cargo and passenger carrying vessels departed from New York ports. By the early 20th century till the 1950s, New York enjoyed being the busiest port in the world. In the 21st century, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey continues to be the busiest port in the northeastern section of the United States.
Perhaps the most dramatic event to occur in New York was the attack on the World Trade Center Buildings on September 11, 2001. This forever altered the history of America, affecting business, military, history, travel and many other aspects of life. The city’s symbol of global economic prowess was shattered by extreme radical attacks. New Yorkers have been able to recover given their resilient nature, but its effects can still be felt a decade later.
Today, the city of New York continues to write its own history. It maintains its position as the premiere destination in the country for media, publishing, fashion, performing arts and finance.
New York has the distinction of being the most populous city in America, with more than 8.2 million residents. It is the largest city in the country in terms of population.
In 2011, the city’s population was pegged at 8,244,910. Minors account for 21.6% of the population, while seniors comprise of 12% of the residents. The rest of the population falls between the ages between 18 to 64 years of age, giving the city a strong and dynamic labor force. There are more women than men in the city, since females comprise 52.5% of the population.
New York City also has a very diverse racial demographic. About 44% of the people are Whites, while those of African-American descent make up a quarter of the population. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin make up more than 30% of the population, while Asians account for more than 12% of the city’s residents. At the same time, about 4% of the population is reported to come from two or more races, resulting in a truly unique and diverse populace.
More than a third of the population of New York City is an immigrant, born on foreign soil and eventually migrated to the city. This translates to almost half of the population speaking a language other than English. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken foreign languages in New York, given that as much as 28.6% of the residents have Hispanic or Latino ancestry. Some of the other languages spoken in the city are Chinese, Italian, Russian, French, French-Creole, Yiddish, Polish, Korean, German, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Tagalog, and various African, Asian, European, Slavic and Scandinavian languages, to name a few. Because of the wide diversity in the city, some school districts have had to focus on teaching English as a second language. The influx of Spanish-speaking residents from the Caribbean region started after the Second World War, and has continued since then.
For those doing business in New York, it is a distinct advantage to know a second language. In other instances, it may even be necessary to utilize the services of a foreign language translation service provider to get accurate translations of important documents, or even to develop labels and marketing business tools appealing to the city’s non-English speaking demographic.
There are more than three million households in the city, with an average of 2.59 people per household. Most New Yorkers are renters as only 33% of the population owns their homes. This is probably due to the high cost of living in the city, with median home values at more than half a million dollars. The average per capita money income is placed at $30,498, while the median household income is at $50,285.
79% of the city’s residents have completed a high school education, while another 33.3% have a Bachelor’s degree or have completed higher education. This translates to an abundance of professionals in the city.
There is a wide income disparity in the city. The wealthiest residents have a median household income of $188,697, while the poorest households generate a mere fraction, at $9,320 annually. Unfortunately, more than 19% of the population lives below the poverty level.
The city of New York is also home to the most number of Jewish people outside of the country of Israel. About 25% of Indian Americans are based in New York, as well as 15% of Koreans in America. The city also has the largest African-American community in any city in the United States and the largest Indian population outside of India. New York has the most number of Chinese in the world outside of Asia, having more Asian-Americans than San Francisco and Los Angeles combined. The largest ethnic group from Southeast Asia are Filipinos, while Indians are the largest demographic from South Asia. The largest gay and bisexual communities in the country are also based in New York. In fact, since 2011, same sex marriages have been legal in the state and city.
This diverse make-up results in a truly unique cultural climate in New York. Various neighborhoods in the city are known as main havens for specific groups, such as Little Italy, Chinatown and the Bronx for Hispanics.
New York is one of the most important financial centers in the world, along with London and Tokyo. The city enjoys the eleventh strongest economy in the world. The New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in the world, in terms of total market capitalization of the companies that are listed. Given the large number of important businesses based in the city encompassing a wide range of services affecting every aspect of life, New York is said to control 40% of the finances of the world.
In 2010, the gross metropolitan product of New York is a whopping $1.28 trillion. This gives it the distinction of being the largest regional economy in the country and is the second largest economy for any city worldwide. At the same time, 45 of the Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the city. These include Citigroup, Inc., J.P. Morgan and Chase Co., Verizon Communications, Viacom, Pfizer Inc., Time Warner Inc., Merrill Lynch Inc., Morgan Stanley, American Express, New York Life Insurance Co. and Metlife Inc. Aside from this, 10% of the businesses in city are owned by foreign corporations. Midtown Manhattan is the largest CBD in the country, while Lower Manhattan is the third largest CBD in America. This is where the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ can be found.
More than a third of the city’s employment income is generated by the financial services sector. Many of the country’s top banks and investment firms are based in the city. Wholesaler and retail sales, manufacturer shipments, accommodation and food service sales are just some of the industries that also generate income for the city. More than 50% of the goods and even people that enter the country first pass through the ports of New York.
Television, book publishing, advertising, music and newspaper companies based in New York are some of the largest and most influential in the world. Creative industries are also some of the biggest employers in the city. Next to Hollywood, New York has the largest TV and film industry in the country. The city also accounts for a third of independent films produced in the United States.
Real estate is another important economic indicator in the city. New York has some of the most expensive real estate property values in the country and in the world. Park Avenue is one of the world’s most expensive addresses.
The New York City fashion industry is also one of the most important in the world. New York is the fashion capital of America, especially Manhattan’s Garment District, which is home to many of the city’s top fashion labels. The fashion industry of New York also generates more than $14 billion in sales every year. Top New York-based designers are Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne, Nicole Miller and Oscar de la Renta.
Education is also big business in New York. Some of the top 50 universities in the world are based in New York, such as Columbia University, New York University and Rockefeller University.
Tourism is a thriving industry in the city. In 2011, New York topped 50 million visitors from various parts of the country and from around the world, generating more than $31 billion for the city.
New York has the largest media market in the country and in North America. Some of the top media outlets based in the city, including Time Warner, the Thompson Reuters Corporation, the New York Times Company, The News Corporation, NBC Universal, Viacom and Hearst Corporation. CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, MTV, Fox News, HBO and Comedy Central are all headquartered in New York. The top advertising agencies in the world, such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey Advertising, BBDO, J. Walter Thompson, McCann-Erickson World Group,Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam are based in New York, while two of the top four recording labels are New York based –Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world call New York City their home. Along with the city of Moscow, New York is home to the most number of billionaires in the world, which in 2008 is about 71, while there are more than 660,000 millionaires living in the city. At the same time, the average weekly wage in the county of New York is at $2,634.
One of the key strengths of New York lies in its diversity. Given the tremendous diversity in the city, it pays to know a second language when visiting, residing or doing business in New York. It may be helpful to use the services of a professional language translation service company to help facilitate doing business in the city. Of the 944,129 firms and businesses owned in the city, more than 15% are owned by Hispanics, while Blacks and Asians each own more than 16% of businesses registered in the city. Also, the most number of Chinese people in the western hemisphere can be found in Chinatown, Manhattan.
As one of the most exciting cities in the world, New York attracts 50 million tourists annually. With so many attractions to choose from, it’s quite difficult to experience all that New York has to offer since the city is home to many of the most iconic and highly recognized landmarks anywhere in the world.
Many travelers opt to go around the city’s major sights via an open air double decker bus. Many tour groups are organized based on specific themes, such as musical jazz tours to Harlem or the East village. There are also food tours available to give travelers a taste of the various cuisines in the city. There are even tours that will take you to the scenes where popular movies and TV programs were filmed, such as Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, Godfather and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Most travelers start off at Times Square, which has been called “The Crossroads of the World.” This brightly lit hub is one of the busiest intersections in the world that is traversed by millions of pedestrians any time of the day. With the constant activity, perhaps this is where New York got its reputation for being “the city that never sleeps.”
The Statue of Liberty on Staten Island is a national monument in New York City and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The image of Libertas, the Roman goddess of Freedom created by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was a gift to the American people by the French government in 1886. The copper image measures 305 feet and one inch from the ground to the tip of the torch. Travelers can go up to the crown, though public access is not allowed to the torch due to safety reasons. While here, travelers can see the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum. A 30-foot replica of Lady Liberty can be found at the Brooklyn Museum.
In terms of architecture, some of the most beautiful buildings can be found in the city. It is also home to some of the tallest buildings anywhere in the world, with close to 6,000 high-rise buildings in the city. There is the Woolworth Building, which was built in 1913 in a Gothic style. The Chrysler Building features Art Deco design, while the Empire State Building is one of the most visited, since it was the tallest building in the world for several decades. The most expensive office tower in the world is in New York -One World Trade Center, which is being constructed to replace the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan. Ground Zero has become a popular attraction for those who want to see the site of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. Those looking for green design can find it in the Conde Nast Building.
In contrast to all the construction, New York maintains over 28,000 acres of municipal parkland and 14 miles of public beaches. Central Park is undoubtedly the most famous and is the most visited park in the country. More than 25 million visitors come to the park each year to enjoy the lakes, ponds, two ice skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo and the Central Park Conservatory and the Carousel spread on 843 acres of land. There is also the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, the BelvedereCastleand the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Those in Queens can go to the third largest park in the city, Prospect Park, which hosted the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. Washington Square Park is another popular park for tourists and locals who want to enjoy the outdoors.
During the summer, visitors can enjoy the outdoors at many of the city’s parks. Battery Park overlooks provides a view of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. There are also a number of free concerts and other performances at the Central Park at Summerstage.
The largest metropolitan zoo in the world is Bronx Zoo. Opened in 1899, it sits on 265 acres and has more than 4,000 different animals from 650 different species. Some of the exhibits include the Congo Gorilla Forest, Jungle World, Wild Asia Monorail, The African Plains Exhibit, Madagascar, Tiger Mountain, World of Birds, World of Monkeys and the World of Reptiles.
Broadway is a collection of the 39 biggest theatres in the city. Also known as The Great White Way or The Rialto, Broadway is the place to catch a world-class theater production while in the city, such as Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. Broadway Avenue is also one of the world’s longest streets, measuring 150 miles from Bowling Green to Albany.
New York has a number of museums to enjoy. The most prestigious is theMetropolitan Museum of Art. This is the place to find masterpieces by some of the world’s best painters such as Rembrandt, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, and a number of Greek and Roman sculptures, as well as an extensive collection of African and Asian art. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is the premiere museum in the world featuring modern art pieces. The MoMA can be found on 11 West 53rd Street. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is not only a museum featuring the finest modern art pieces of the 20th century, but the building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is also an architectural masterpiece of modern times. Another popular destination is the American Museum of Natural History. This is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. If you wish to learn about the Latin roots of the city can visit the Hispanic Society of America. If you want to learn about the Jewish culture in New York, you can visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Any season of the year, there is much to do in New York. If you want to go shopping will find no end to the choices in the city. The largest store in the world is Macy’s. It has a floor space of 2.1 million square feet and has more than half a million items at a given time. The top shopping destinations in the city are on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. Other world famous stores in the city are Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.
During the winter season, visitors can go ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, a complex composed of 19 buildings for commercial use. There are several sculptures in the complex that have become iconic backgrounds, including the gilded recumbent Prometheus that is a backdrop to the skating rink; the Statue of Atlas, the News bas relief done by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi and the large mural entitled American Progress, created by Spanish Catalan artist Josep Maria Sert. There is also the annual tree lighting ceremony during the holiday season, a tradition that started in 1933. The headquarters of NBC Studios is also here, so visitors often try to catch a taping of The Today Show, or even Saturday Night Live. Rockefeller Center is home to a number of shops and restaurants, and has been deemed as the second most significant piece of architecture in America by the American Institute of Architects.
There is also the Tribeca Film Festival, which features a number of independent films. In early spring, there is the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the most festive celebrations of the holiday in the country, given that a fifth of the population has some Irish heritage. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest in the world, even beating Ireland! About 250,000 participants march in the annual parade and the event is witnessed by more than two million people. During the autumn season, it is a delight to walk through Central Park and watch the leaves change colors in preparation for winter. There is also a Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village that is a truly memorable celebration.
Travelers who are in New York during Thanksgiving must watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is a nationally televised celebration of one of the biggest holidays in the country that features large multi-colored and elaborately designed floats sure to enthrall the young and old alike. The tradition began in 1924 and continues today as one of the most anticipated events in the city.
New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It is a melting pot of cultures, various ethnic nationalities and traditions. There are more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations in the city, as well as over 500 art galleries that showcase various works of art. The city is the base for visual and performing arts, as well as literary and media production companies. There is also a high concentration of artists and other creative people in the city, working in publishing, design, advertising, fashion, and the performing and visual arts. As one of the most recognizable cities in the world, it is the setting of various plots for movies, television shows and stories.
Various movements started their roots in New York. The Harlem Resistance is one cultural movement in the country, which defined the African-American literature. In the 1940s, jazz music predominated in the city. In the 1950s, the city became the base for abstract expressionism, formed by a group called the New York School, which eventually became known as the first original school of painting in the United States.
Various dance styles evolved from New York. In the 1970s, New York gave the world the hip-hop culture, while in the 1980s the punk scene was firmly established in the streets of the city. Given the large Latino heritage of the city’s residents, salsa widely spread. New York is recognized as the largest performing arts venue in the country. The performing arts have many outlets in the city, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and Juilliard School.
Today, the city is a prominent entertainment hub in the world, since many media outlets are based in the city. New York City boasts of having the most number of independent films produced, more than Los Angeles. Major cultural institutions in the city are Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Broadway musicals also found its way into the mainstream, thanks to the lavish productions on Broadway on 42nd street.
Literary giants are also based in New York. The city has more than 200 newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Village Voice, as well as 350 consumer magazines that operate in the city. Given the tremendous diversity of the city’s residents, there are also more than 270 print media published in over forty different languages, including El Diario La Prensa, the largest Spanish daily.
The city’s cuisine is also a reflection of the various influences in the city. New York-style Pizzas, New York Bagels, New York Cheesecake and Manhattan Clam Chowder are just some of the dishes popularized by the city. Visitors and locals have a wide array of restaurant choices in various price ranges. There are more than 4,000 mobile food vendors in the city. Street food in the city includes Polish hotdogs, falafels, kebabs and pretzels.
When it comes to sports, New York is endearingly called the Capital of Baseball. The city has not one but two baseball teams: the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. The city has had 35 Major League Baseball World Series wins. The New York Giants and the New York Jets are the city’s NFL teams, which play at MetLife Stadium, which happens to be the host of the 2014 Super Bowl. The city also has an active basketball team, hockey team and soccer team.
The city of New York is one of the most fascinating places on earth. The energy of the city is vibrant and dynamic, a constant reflection of the influences to the city. New York is a pioneer of culture, history, business, the arts and fashion in the country and the rest of the world. Who hasn’t heard of a New York Minute?Who hasn’t heard one of the many odes to one of the most exciting cities in the world? Here are some of the interesting facts about New York that you may find useful should you decide to visit this dynamic capital city.
- Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current mayor of New York City. He is the 12th richest person in the Americas and the 30th richest man in the world, with a net worth of $19.5 billion. He is the founder and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a financial information services media company. As the mayor of the city, Bloomberg receives a dollar a year for his salary. His reforms include public education and poverty alleviation. A popular program under his belt is the city’s first conditional cash transfer program and as well as a $7.5 billion affordable housing program to benefit 500,000 New Yorkers. He is a major philanthropist in the country, contributing $500 million to help tobacco control and $300 million to Johns Hopkins University. It is reported that he gave $254 million in 2009 to various charitable organizations.
- Although the city is the financial capital of the United States, it is not the legislative capital of the country. However, it did serve briefly as the seat of government from 1789 to 1790. This made the city the last capital city of the country under the confederate government and the first capital under the United States Constitution.
- The United States Bill of Rights was drafted in New York. This was done at Federal Hall, located on Wall Street.
- Central Park is the first landscaped park in the United States. It was developed thanks to the efforts of merchant aristocrats in 1857.
- Education is very important to New Yorkers. The public school system of New York is the largest in the country. More than 1.1 million students can be found in the 1,200 primary and secondary schools in the city, plus an additional 900 private schools. There are close to 600,000 students enrolled in higher education institutions, making it the highest number of college and university enrollees for any city in the country. Manhattan has the highest concentration of highly educated people compared to any city in the country, since three out of five residents are college graduates and one out of every four residents of Manhattan has as advanced degree. Each year, about 40,000 licensed physicians are produced.It has also produced127 Nobel Laureates. Some of the top schools in the country can be found in New York, including New York University, Columbia University, Fordham University, Barnard College, The Juilliard School, and The School of Visual Arts. Also, the New York Public Library is the largest public library system in the country.
- The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the first museum conceptualized just for children in the whole world. It was opened in 1899 and after massive renovations, including a $43 million dollar expansion and the use of geothermal wells for heating and cooling the building, it is the city’s first green museum. Today, the museum welcomes 400,000 a year.
- Chocolate is a leading specialty food export of New York. It generates about $223 million in exports annually. Chocolatier Jacques Torres has a presence in New York, and there are even chocolate tours available in the city. The Chocolate Show New York is also the largest show in the country that is all about chocolate. This expo is held every November, and is the venue for chocolate cooking demos, exhibits from more than 65 premium chocolate companies and includes a fashion show featuring items made of chocolate.
- Hellmann’s Mayonnaise hails from New York. Richard Hellmann used his wife’s recipe at his deli in Long Island at the turn of the 20th century. It became so popular, he sold it as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise and is one of the best selling mayonnaise brands in the country today. The recipe was bought by Best Foods in 1932 and is now sold under Unilever.
- The number of giant balloons used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade makes the event the second largest consumer of helium in the world, preceded only by the US government.
- It may be surprising to travelers, but New York City has one of the lowest crime rates of the 25 major cities in the country. Since the 1980s, the local government has taken great strides in bringing down the crime rate. In 2005, the homicide rates in the city were at its lowest levels, along with a 75% decrease in violent crime. However, organized crime is still recognized as a force in the city since the 1820s, and there are still a number of youth gangs in the city.
- The longest suspension bridge in North America is found in New York. This is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which was opened in 1964. This double deck bridge measures a center span of 4,260 feet or 1,298 meters and links Staten Island and Brooklyn. Up until 1981, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Today, it has the 8th longest center span among the bridges in the world. This is where the New York City Marathon starts each year. It is also the gateway to the New York Harbor and serves close to 190,000 vehicles each day.
- New Yorkers take full use of public transportation and other means to get to and from work. More than half of the city’s residents rely on public transportation to commute to work, which is significantly more than the national average of only 10%. At the same time, there are 120,000 cyclists in the city. This makes is a truly energy-efficient city in the country since 21% of trips in the city are done by either walking or biking. This makes New York the most walkable city in the country.
- The longest running Broadway production is Phantom of the Opera. It has over 9,100 performances.
- There are more than a hundred songs written about the city. Some of the most famous are the Frank Sinatra classic, New York, New York; Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) by Christopher Cross; New York State of Mind by Billy Joel; New York Minute by Don Henley; Englishman in New York by Sting; the Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel and Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z.
- New York is sister city with some of the most important cities in the world. Its sister cities are Tokyo, Beijing, Cairo, Madrid, Santo Domingo, Budapest, Rome, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, London and Johannesburg. What sets New York City apart is that unlike the other sister cities, New York is not the national political capital of the corresponding country.