New York City

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New York City, officially the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States and the most densely populated major city in North America.

The city is a center for international finance, fashion, entertainment and culture, and is widely considered to be one of the world's major global cities with an extraordinary collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations and financial markets. It is also home to the headquarters of the United Nations.

Located in the state of New York, New York City has a population of 8.1 million<ref>The U.S. Census Bureau estimated New York City's population at 8,104,079 in 2004.United States 2000 Census data for New York City</ref> within an area of 321 square miles (approximately 830 km²).<ref>New York City Land Use - New York City's total area is 468.9 mi². 159.88 mi² of this is water and 321 mi² is land.</ref> The New York Metropolitan Area has a population of about 22 million, which makes it one of the largest urban areas in the world.<ref>This figure is for the New York City consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA). An area is considered a CMSA by the Census Bureau if it qualifies as a metropolitan area (MA), has a census population of one million or more, has component parts that qualify as primary metropolitan statistical areas (PMSAs) based on official standards, and local opinion favors the designation. New York City meets these requirements. A second measurement, the metropolitan statistical area (MSA), is often inaccurately applied to New York and counts the city's metro population as roughly 18 million. This figure fails to include the city's suburbs in Connecticut.[1]</ref> The city proper consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Each of these boroughs, except for Staten Island, is home to at least a million people and would each be among the nation's largest cities if considered independently.

Nicknamed "the Big Apple", the city attracts large numbers of immigrants, with over a third of its population foreign born. Moreover, it attracts people from all over the United States, who come for its culture, energy, cosmopolitanism, and economic opportunity. At present, the city has the lowest crime rate among major American cities.



Template:Main Image:Castelloplan.jpg The region had been inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans at the time of its discovery by Italian Giovanni da Verrazano. Although Verrazano sailed into New York Harbor, his voyage did not continue upwards and instead he sailed back into the Atlantic. It wasn't until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who was employed by the Dutch monarchy that the area was mapped. He discovered Manhattan on September 11, 1609, and continued up the river that bears his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site where Albany now stands. The Dutch established New Amsterdam in 1613, which was granted self-government in 1652 under Peter Stuyvesant. The British conquered the city in September, 1664 and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York. The Dutch briefly regained it in August 1673, renaming the city "New Orange", but ceded it permanently in November 1674.

Under British rule the City of New York continued to develop, and while there was growing sentiment in the city for greater political independence, the area was decidedly split in its loyalties during the New York Campaign, a series of major early battles during the American Revolutionary War. The city was under British occupation until the end of the war and was the last port British ships evacuated in 1783.

New York City was the capital of the newly-formed United States from 1788 to 1790. In the 19th century, the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 enabled New York to overtake Boston and Philadelphia in economic importance, and local politics became dominated by a Democratic Party political machine known as Tammany Hall that drew on the support of Irish immigrants. The New York Draft Riots during the American Civil War were suppressed by the Union Army. In later years known as the Gilded Age, the city's upper classes enjoyed great prosperity amid the further growth of a poor immigrant working class; it was also an era associated with economic and municipal consolidation of what would become the five boroughs in 1898. Image:Old timer structural worker.jpg A series of new transportation links, most notably the opening of the New York City Subway in 1904, helped bind together the newly-consolidated city. The height of European immigration brought social upheaval, and the anticapitalist labor union IWW was fiercely repressed. Later, in the 1920s, the city saw the influx of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the American South. The Harlem Renaissance blossomed during this period, part of a larger boom in the Prohibition era that saw the city's skyline transformed by construction of dueling skyscrapers. New York overtook London as the most populous city in the world in 1925, ending that city's century-old claim to the title.

The city suffered during the Great Depression, which saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and the end of Tammany Hall's eighty years of political dominance. The city's industries and port facilities, such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, also played a major role in World War II. The middle of the twentieth century also saw a dramatic and controversial overhaul of the city's infrastructure under the direction of Robert Moses.

New York emerged from World War II as the unquestioned leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's emergence as the world's dominant economic power, the United Nations headquarters (built in Manhattan in 1952) emphasizing its political influence, and the rise of Abstract Expressionism displacing Paris as center of the art world. The growth of post-war suburbs saw a slow decline in the city's population. Later, changes in industry and commerce, white flight, and rising crime rates pushed New York into a social and economic crisis in the 1970s.

Image:LOC Lower Manhattan New York City World Trade Center August 2001.jpg The 1980s was a period of modest boom and bust, followed by a major boom in the 1990s. Racial tensions calmed in latter years; a dramatic fall in crime rates, improvements in quality of life and a major reinvigoration of immigration and growth renewed the city, and New York's population surged past eight million for the first time in its history. In the late 1990s, the city benefited disproportionately from the success of the financial services industry during the dot com boom, one of the factors driving a decade of booming residential and commercial real estate values.

The city was the site of a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 people were killed in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Among those who died were workers in the buildings, passengers and crew on two commercial airplanes, and hundreds of firemen, policemen, and rescue workers who responded to the disaster. The city's economy was substantially hurt but has since rebounded. The Freedom Tower, intended to be exactly 1,776 feet tall (a number symbolic of the year the Declaration of Independence was written), is to be built on the site and is slated for completion by 2010.


Geography and environment


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Image:Waterways New York City Map Julius Schorzman.png New York City is located at the center of the BosWash megalopolis, 218 miles (350 km) driving distance from Boston and 220 miles (353 km) from Washington, D.C.. The city's total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214.4 km²), of which 35.31% is water. The city is situated on the three major islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and western Long Island. The Bronx is the only borough that is part of the mainland United States.

New York City's significance as a trading city results from the superb natural harbor formed by Upper New York Bay, which is surrounded by Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the coast of New Jersey. It is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island in Lower New York Bay.

The Hudson River flows from the Hudson Valley into New York Bay, becoming a tidal estuary that separates the Bronx and Manhattan from New Jersey. The East River, actually a tidal strait, stretches from the Long Island Sound to New York Bay, separating the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates Manhattan from the Bronx.

The city's land has been altered considerably by human intervention, with substantial land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most notable in Lower Manhattan with modern developments like Battery Park City. Much of the natural variations in topography have been evened out, particularly in Manhattan. One possible meaning for "Manhattan" is "island of hills"; in fact, the island was quite hilly before European settlement.



Despite being located at a more southerly latitude than Italian Tuscany or the French Riviera, New York has a humid continental climate resulting from prevailing wind patterns that bring cool air from the interior of the North American continent. New York winters are typically cold, but somewhat milder than those of inland cities at a similar latitude in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. Temperatures below 0 °F (-18 °C) occur about once per decade, but nighttime low temperatures in the 10s and 20s (-12 to -2 °C) are common at the height of winter. Snowfall varies from year to year, usually averaging about 2 feet (60cm) in total. The winters from 2003 to 2006 have had above normal snowfall with over 3 feet(100cm) for each season. Rain is more common than snow in the winter, because the Atlantic Ocean helps keep temperatures warmer than in the interior Northeast. Higher amounts of snow usually occur 25 miles north and west of the city.

Springs in New York are mild and sometimes quite hot, with high temperatures averaging in the 50 °Fs (10 to 15 °C) in late March to the lower 80 °Fs (25 to 30 °C) in early June. But 90 °F days have been recorded as early as mid-April. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 90 °F (32 °C). High temperatures occasionally reach 100 °F (38 °C), usually once or twice a summer, but more in parts of interior New Jersey.

Autumns in New York are comfortable with sunshine and average temperatures in the 50 °Fs (10 to 15 °C). 70 °F days are common through mid-October.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 38
Avg low temperature °F (°C) 25
Rainfall in. (mm) 3.4
Source: Weatherbase

Environmental Issues

New York's unique population density facilitates the highest mass transit use in the United States. Recently, the City has enhanced its energy efficiency, reducing demand on environmental resources, and becoming one of the most energy efficient cities in the United States. Gasoline consumption in the city is at the rate the national average was in the 1920s.<ref>Jervey, Ben. "The Big Green Apple: Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Living in New York City." See Metro New York article:[2]</ref> Citing its density, land use, transit systems, watershed management and local agricultural resources, the environmental organization SustainLane ranked New York highest in environmental sustainability of all U.S. cities with more than 1 million residents in its 2005 US City Rankings.<ref>SustainLane US City Rankings March 2006.</ref> Since the 1990s the city has been a national leader in municipal environmental policy, and the city government is required to purchase only the most energy efficient cars, air-conditioners, and copy machines.<ref>"It Never Sleeps, but It's Learned to Douse the Lights." The New York Times December 11, [[2005]</ref> New York has the largest clean-air (hybrid and compressed natural gas) bus fleet in the country,<ref>Metropolitan Transportation Authority. [3]</ref> and some of the first hybrid taxis.<ref>"Sweet victory: NYC makes way for hybrids", The Nation July 9, 2005. [4]</ref> City planners concerned about future electricity demand have introduced experimental underwater turbines in the East River to take advantage of tidal currents.

The city is also a leader in energy-efficient "green" office buildings, such as Hearst Tower and 7 World Trade Center, which recycles rainwater for use in toilets and for irrigation, and uses computer-controlled heating and lighting.

New York's water is supplied by the vast Catskill Mountains watershed, one of the largest protected wilderness areas in the United States. As a result of the undisturbed natural water filtration process, New York is one of the few cities in the United States with drinking water that does not require purification by water treatment plants, and only chlorination is necessary to ensure its purity at the tap.<ref>"Maintaining Water Quality that Satisfies Customers: New York City Watershed Agricultural Program." New York City Department Of Environmental Protection 20 Nov 1998.[5]</ref>

Nevertheless, air pollution remains a major problem. An analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds New York City's air to be the dirtiest in the United States, with Manhattan residents facing the highest risk in the country of developing cancer from chemicals in the air.<ref>"EPA: New York Has Dirtiest Air In Nation." WNBC 22 May 2006.[6]</ref> The numbers produced by this analysis show that the risk of developing lung cancer due to particulate matter is three times the national average in Manhattan, eventually affecting 0.0136% of the population, or 136 residents out of every million.

Boroughs and neighborhoods

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New York City is comprised of The Five Boroughs. Throughout the boroughs there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods in the city, many with a definable history and character all their own.

  • Manhattan (New York County, pop. 1,564,798) is the business center of the city, and the most superlatively urban. It is the most densely populated, and the home of most of the city's skyscrapers. Template:Seealso
  • The Bronx (Bronx County, pop. 1,363,198) is known as the purported birthplace of hip hop culture, as well as the home of the New York Yankees. Excluding its minor islands, the Bronx is the only borough of the city that is on the mainland of the United States. Template:Seealso
  • Brooklyn (Kings County, pop. 2,472,523) is the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S., with more immigrants than anywhere else in the nation. It is also the most populous borough, with a strong native identity. It ranges from a modern business district downtown to large historic residential neighborhoods in the central and south-eastern areas. It also has a long beachfront and Coney Island, famous as one of the earliest amusement grounds in the country.
  • Queens (Queens County, pop. 2,225,486) is geographically the largest borough, and home to Shea Stadium and the New York Mets; Queens County is also one of the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S., with more immigrants than anywhere else in the nation. Two of the region's three major airports; Flushing Meadows Corona Park, site of the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs; and Arthur Ashe Stadium, host of the annual U.S. Open. Template:Seealso
  • Staten Island (Richmond County, pop. 459,737) is quiet and the most suburban in character of the five boroughs, but has gradually become more integrated with the rest of the city since the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964, an event that caused controversy and even an attempt at secession. Template:Seealso


Template:Main Since its consolidation in 1898, New York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a "strong" mayor-council form of government. The mayor and councilors are elected to four-year terms. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 Council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries. Each councilor represents approximately 157,000 people. The mayor and councilors are subject to eight year term limits. The most recent election was held in 2005. Image:Nyc city hall jan06a.jpg

The city has historically elected Democratic mayoral candidates. The current and previous mayor, however, are pro-choice, liberal Republicans considerably to the left of their national counterparts. Councilors are elected under specific issues and are usually well-known.

The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. Party platforms are centered on affordable housing, education and economic development. The city's political demographics are liberal and Democratic. Labor politics are important. Housing and economic development are the most controversial topics, with an ongoing debate over the proposed Brooklyn Nets Arena. 87% of registered voters in the city are Democrats. This is in contrast to New York State, which is less liberal.

The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the national and state governments. New York City receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to the federal government in taxes (or annually sends $11.4 billion more than it receives back). The city also sends an additional $11 billion more each year to the state of New York than it receives back.<ref>"A Fair Share of State Budget: Does Albany Play Fair with NYC?" New York City Finance Division 11 Mar 2005.[7]</ref>

Because the state of New York consistently votes Democratic in national elections, many observers argue that New York City is insignificant in presidential contests. New York City, however, is the most important source of political fundraising in the United States. Four of the top five zip codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top zip code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2000 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and Al Gore.

The current mayor is Michael Bloomberg, a Republican (and former Democrat) elected in 2001 and re-elected four years later with 59% of the vote. He is known for taking control of the city's education system from the state, rezoning and economic development, fiscal management, and banning smoking in bars and restaurants. He is also known for his strong support of strict gun control laws, abortion rights, and aggressive public health policy.

New York City Hall is the seat of city government and is where the city council convenes. The Mayor's Office is among thirteen municipal agencies located in the nearby Manhattan Municipal Building, one of the largest government buildings in the world.

Virtually all statewide office-holders, including the governor, attorney general, and both US senators, have offices in Manhattan. In some cases, officials use these offices more regularly than the main government buildings in Albany, the state capital.

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Template:Main Image:NYSE july 2003.jpg New York City is a major center for international business and commerce and is one of three "command centers" for the global economy (along with Tokyo and London) according to sociologist and economist Saskia Sassen.<ref>Sassen, Saskia. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo.</ref> The financial, insurance, and real estate industries form the basis of the city's economy. New York is also the most important center for mass media, journalism and publishing in the United States as well as the preeminent arts center in the country. Other important sectors include the city's television and film industry, second largest in the United States after Hollywood; medical research and technology; non-profit institutions and universities; and fashion.

The city's stock exchanges are among the most important in the world. The New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume, while the NASDAQ is the world's largest by number of listings. Many international corporations are headquartered in the city, including more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else. New York is unique among American cities for its large number of foreign corporations. One out of every ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. Often this makes the perspective of New York’s business community internationalist and at odds with the federal government’s foreign policy, trade policy, and visa policy.<ref>"Keeping the Economy Growing." Gotham Gazette 23 Jan 2006.[8]</ref>

Specialized manufacturing accounts for a large but declining share of employment. Garments, chemicals, metal products, processed foods, and furniture are some of the principal manufacturers. New York’s fine natural harbor has meant international shipping has always been a major part of the city’s economy, but in recent decades most cargo shipping has moved from the Brooklyn waterfront across the harbor to the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey. Some cargo shipping remains; Brooklyn still handles the majority of cocoa bean imports to the United States.

“Creative” industries, like design, new media, and architecture account for a growing share of employment. With the increasing commercial role of the city’s many medical laboratories and research centers, science and research is another strong growth sector. Jobs in the sector grew 4.9% in 2004 - 2005. High-tech industries like software development, gaming design, and Internet services are also growing; New York is the leading international internet gateway in the United States, with 430 Gbit/s of international internet capacity terminates, because of its position at the terminus of the transatlantic fiber optic trunkline. By comparison, the number two U.S. hub, Washington/Baltimore, has 158 Gbit/s of internet terminates.<ref>"Telecommunications and Economic Development in New York City: A Plan for Action." New York City Economic Development Corporation Mar 2005.[9]</ref>

New York City has an estimated gross metropolitan product of nearly $500 billion within the city limits, larger than the GDP of Switzerland and nearly equaling that of Russia. If it were a nation the city would have the 17th largest economy in the world, and at $59,000 per person, New York would have the second highest per capita GDP after Luxembourg.<ref>Gross Metro Product was estimated at $489 billion in 2003, up from $470 billion in 2002. This figure counts activity only within the city limits. Including the northern New Jersey and Long Island, NY suburbs puts the 2004 GMP at $901.3 billion, greater than the GDPs of India, South Korea, and Australia.[10] and [11]</ref>

During the past forty years, New York City has had a largely flat net job growth due to the growth in service sector jobs replacing those in the declining manufacturing and industrial sectors. During the 1990's, however, the city's economy outpaced the nation's for the longest period since WWII.

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City of New York
Population by year [12]
1790 33,131
1800 60,515
1850 515,547
1900 3,437,202
1950 7,891,957
1960 7,781,984
1970 7,894,862
1980 7,071,639
1990 7,322,564
2000 8,008,278

Template:Main As of the census of 2004, there are 8,168,338 people (up from 7.3 million in 1990), 3,021,588 households, and 1,852,233 families residing in the city.Template:GR This amounts to about 40% of New York State's population and a similar percentage of the New York City metropolitan population.

Recently, New York City has had large numbers of foreign immigrants arriving, many long-standing residents leaving, an increase in the gap between the rich and the poor, and a rise in the black middle class. In some areas of the city there is rapid growth fueled by immigrants and their children. Some areas are undergoing racial and ethnic transition; others are gentrifying.

The population density was 10,194.2/km² (26,402.9/mi²). There were 3,200,912 housing units at an average density of 4,074.6/km² (10,553.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.66% White, 26.59% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.98% of the population. 35.9% of the population was born outside the United States of America (18.9% born in Latin America, 8.6% Asia, 7.0% Europe). The ethnic makeup was 11.5% African-American, 9.8% Puerto Rican, 8.7% Italian, 5.3% Irish, 5.1% Dominican, 4.5% Chinese, 3.8% South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi), 2.0% Arab/Persian, 1.8% Filipino and 1.6% Korean.

The two most notable demographic features of the city are its density and diversity. By American standards, the city has an extremely high population density of 26,402.9/mi², about 10,000 more people per square mile than the next densest city, San Francisco. Manhattan's population density is 66,940.1/mi². New York is also uniquely diverse. 35.9% of its population is foreign born, the third-largest percentage in the United States, after runner-up Los Angeles and first-place Miami. Whereas in Los Angeles the majority of immigrants are from Mexico, and in Miami, from Latin America (especially Cuba), in New York no single country or region of origin dominates. Only the four largest countries of origin, the Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, and Russia represent groups larger than five percent.

New York City's estimated daytime population is the largest in the United States at more than 8.5 million persons. In absolute terms the increase of more than half a million people over the nighttime population is larger than anywhere else. However, as a percentage of the city's total population, the 7% increase puts New York mid-pack among cities with more than a million residents. This is because a disproportionately high number of people both work and live in the city compared with the national average.

New York City Compared
2004 Census EstimateNY CityNY StateUnited States
Total population8,168,33819,254,630288,368,698
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000+9.4%+5.5%+13.1%
Population density26,402.9/mi²401.9/mi²79.6/mi²
Median household income (1999)$38,293$43,393$41,994
Per capita income$22,402$23,389$21,587
Bachelor's degree or higher27%27%24%
Foreign born36%20%11%

Median family income in New York was $44,131 in 2003. The unemployment rate in March of 2005 was 5.2%, identical to the nationwide rate. The median age is 34, a year younger than the figure nationally. Nearly 30% of New York City households have children under 18.

New Yorkers belong to a diverse range of ethnic groups. 11.5% are African-American, 9.8% Puerto Rican, 8.7% Italian, 7.0% West Indian, 5.3% Irish, 5.1% Dominican, 4.5% Chinese, 3.8% South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi), 2.0% Arab/Persian, 1.8% Filipino and 1.6% Korean. Many of these minority populations have defined certain neighborhoods; examples in Manhattan are Chinatown, Harlem, Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Manila, Spanish Harlem and Washington Heights. The Irish have also had a notable presence in the city, and according to a 2006 genetic survey by Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, about one in 50 New Yorkers of European origin carry a distinctive genetic signature on their Y chromosomes inherited from Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the fifth century A.D.<ref>"If Irish Claim Nobility, Science May Approve." The New York Times 18 Jan. 2006.[13]</ref> Additionally, New York City is home to the nation's largest community of American Jews, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, with an estimate of just under one million in 2002. The city is the worldwide headquarters of the Hasidic Lubavitch movement and the Bobover and Satmar branches of Hasidism. Even more Jews live in the adjacent suburbs, and only Israel has more Jews within its borders than the New York metropolitan area.

There are also 600,000 Muslims, 250,000 Hindus, and 100,000 Sikhs who call New York City home.



Since 1991, New York City has seen a continuous fifteen-year trend of decreasing crime, and is currently the safest major city in the United States.<ref>Crime in New York City dropped 14% from 2001 to 2004, compared to a national decline of 1.5%. New York City is responsible for 20% of the entire nation’s decline in crime since 2001. Of the 240 cities with a population of 100,000 or more that report data to the FBI, New York City now ranks 222 between Fontana, California and Port St. Lucie, Florida. New York ranks the safest of the 25 largest cities in the United States with the fewest overall crimes on the total crime index.[14]</ref> While this trend is said to be due in part to the NYPD's innovative strategies implemented in the 1990s, including CompStat, economist Steven Levitt and others have pointed instead to broader socio-economic trends. Along with decreasing crime rates, gentrification has caused many neighborhoods, once rife with crime and drug dealing, to become thriving and safe neighborhoods. Overall, New York City had a rate of 2,800 crimes per 100,000 people in 2004, compared with 8,959.7 in Dallas, 7,903.7 in Detroit, and 7,402.3 in Phoenix.


Template:Main Image:Newyorkstreetscene.JPG The people of New York City, New Yorkers, share a unique culture rooted in centuries of immigration and city life. There is considerable diversity in this local culture, varying by ethnic group, social class, and neighborhood.

To some observers, New York, with its large immigrant population, is more a quintessentially cosmopolitan, global city than something specifically "American", but to others, the city's very openness to newcomers makes it an archetypal city in a "nation of immigrants". The city government maintains translators in 180 languages; the term "melting pot" was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side.

Everyday life for New Yorkers is often compared to that of urban Western Europeans. The 'car culture' that dominates most of the United States is displaced by New York’s overwhelming use of public transit. Many New Yorkers live in compact rental apartments. The city’s food culture, influenced by its immigrants and vast number of dining patrons, is incredibly diverse. Jewish and Italian immigrants made New York famous for bagels and pizza. Numerous delicatessens serve authentic Eastern European and Jewish cuisine, towering corned beef and pastrami sandwiches being a local favorite. More recent arrivals have made falafels and kebabs standbys of contemporary New York street food.

There are many stereotypes about "The City That Never Sleeps." The American idiom "in a New York minute" means "immediately." The "sophisticated New Yorker" often defines American notions of urbanity.


New York City’s density and size, multicultural history, and wealth of arts institutions makes it the cultural capital of the United States and a global crossroads for music, film, theater, dance and visual art. Tom Wolfe wrote of New York that "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather." The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs has a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts.


Many major American cultural movements originated in the city. The Harlem Renaissance established the African-American literary canon in the United States. The city was the epicenter of jazz in the 1940s and beyond. Jazz greats likes Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald found refuge from the segregation in the mixed communities of Queens, while a younger generation were developing bebop in the clubs of Harlem. The New York School of painters, which developed abstract expressionism in the post-World War II period, became the first truly original school of painting in America. American modern dance developed in New York during that same time. In the 1970s, punk rock developed in the downtown music scene while hip-hop was emerging in the Bronx.

New York is home to several world class art museums. Foremost amongst them is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has one of the largest and most diverse collections of any art museum in the world. Other museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (of avant-garde art), Whitney Museum of American Art, Frick Collection (of Old Master paintings) and the Neue Galerie (of German and Austrian art). In addition, there are 2,000 arts and cultural non-profits and 500 art galleries of all sizes.<ref>"Creative New York". Center for an Urban Future Dec. 2005. [15]</ref>

The city’s performing arts venues are equally numerous and varied. These include the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts which includes Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet. Carnegie Hall is a smaller but very historic venue. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is known for its cutting edge programming. Downtown clubs such as CBGB and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe are the city's destinations for rock, blues, jazz, mixed media and experimental theater.

While the big-budget film industry has consolidated in Hollywood, New York is the capital of American theatre and independent cinema. Broadway theatre, which refers to performances in one of New York’s 39 large-scale theaters with more than 500 seats, is often considered to be the highest professional form of theater in the English language (along with London's West End). Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions are often more innovative and are staged in the city's many smaller theater houses.

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Template:Main New York City is the nation's largest metropolitan media market, comprising about 7% of American television-viewing households. Three of the "Big Four" record labels have their headquarters in the city. One-third of all independent films in the world are produced in New York City. More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city. The book-publishing industry alone employs about 13,000 people. For these reasons, New York is often called "the media capital of the world."

Image:NYC subway riders with their newspapers.jpg The city is home to four of the ten largest newspapers in the nation. These include two of the USA's three national dailies: The New York Times (circulation 1.1 million), and the The Wall Street Journal (circulation 2.1 million). (The remaining national daily, USA Today, is based in Arlington, Virginia.) Aside from the Times, the other leading local English-language papers are New York Daily News (circulation 730,000), and the New York Post (circulation 650,000), which was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. <ref>"Editor & Publisher International Year Book 2004." Found at[16]</ref> El Diario La Prensa (circulation 265,000) is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation. The city also has a large ethnic press with newspapers in over twenty languages.

Radio broadcasting in the city is equally varied. WQHT ("Hot 97"), claims to be the nation's premier hip-hop station. WNYC is the most listened-to public radio station in the United States. Shock jock Howard Stern and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh are based in the city. WBAI in Manhattan, with news and information programming, is one of the flagship stations of the leftist Pacifica Radio network. The morning radio program El Vacilón de la Mañana on WSKQ is the highest-rated Spanish-language radio show in the United States.

New York City is the national headquarters of the four major American broadcast television networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. The city is also the home of many large cable television channels, including MTV, Fox News, HBO and Comedy Central. Silvercup Studios produced the popular television shows Sex and the City and The Sopranos. In 2005 there were more than 100 new and returning television shows taped in New York City.<ref>The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting.</ref> New York is also a major force in non-commercial television; public access television got its start in New York, and WNET, the city's major public television station, is a primary national provider of PBS programming.

Tourism and recreation

Some 39 million foreign and American tourists visit New York each year. According to some estimates, as many as one in four Americans can trace their roots to Brooklyn. Many visitors investigate their genealogy at historic immigration sites such as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Other tourist destinations include the Empire State Building, for many years the world's tallest building after its construction in 1931, Radio City Music Hall, home of The Rockettes, a variety of Broadway shows, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, housed on a World War II aircraft carrier, high-end shopping districts around Fifth Avenue, and city landmarks such as Central Park. Image:Union Square Farmers Market.jpg Image:Worlds Fair NYC 1964.jpg 28,000 acres (113 km²) of parkland and 14 miles (22 km) of public beaches in the city provide recreational space. Prospect Park in Brooklyn, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, has a 90 acre (360,000 m²) meadow thought to be the largest meadow in any U.S. park. Flushing Meadows Park in Queens is the city's third largest park and hosted the World's Fair in 1939 and 1964. Historically, some of the most visited waterfront was around the Coney Island boardwalk. The area was an immigrant and working class resort with amusement parks and ocean atmosphere. It went into decline in the 1970s, although the beach has always remained popular in the summer and Russian immigrants have begun revitalizing area businesses. The popular Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team now plays there. Fishing, swimming and rowing are increasingly popular as the water quality of the city's waterways improve. Several canoe and kayak clubs offer nighttime circumnavigations of Manhattan and tours of the East River.

Shopping is popular with many visitors. Fifth Avenue is a famous luxury shopping corridor. Macy's, the nation's largest department store, and the surrounding area of Herald Square is a major destination for more moderately-priced goods. Greenwich Village is home to hundreds of independent music and book stores, while the East Village has many purveyors of rare and hard-to-find items. Union Square is known for its large farmer's market and a plethora of other gourmet food shopping options. The diamond district around 47th Street is one of the three primary centers of the global diamond industry (along with Antwerp, Belgium and South Africa), as well as the premiere center for jewelry shopping in the city, and SoHo, formerly the center of the New York art scene, is now known for high-end clothing boutiques. The art galleries are now concentrated in Chelsea. There are also large shopping districts in Downtown Brooklyn and along Queens Boulevard in Queens. Many of the city's ethnic enclaves, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, and Brighton Beach are major shopping destinations for first and second generation Americans up and down the East Coast, who seek out stores such as the sari shops, ethnic food markets, and Hong Kong snack food chain Aji Ichiban.


Template:Main Image:Brooklyn Bridge.jpg Image:Grand Central Station Main Concourse Jan 2006.jpg Image:PATH WTC Station.jpg New York City is home to the most complex and extensive transportation network in the United States, with its more than 12,000 iconic yellow cabs, landmark bridges, 112,000 daily bicyclists, vast subway system, the nation's busiest public ferry and bus station, immense airports, pioneering underwater vehicular tunnels, the largest shipping port on the East Coast and even an aerial commuter tramway. While nearly 90% of Americans drive to their jobs, only about 30% of New Yorkers do; about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York and its suburbs.<ref>Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation [17] and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority [18]</ref> Data from the 2000 U.S. Census reveals that New York City is the only major city in the United States where more than half of all households do not own a car (the figure is even higher in Manhattan, over 75%; nationally, the rate is 8%).<ref>Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation.[19]</ref> New York's uniquely high rate of public transit use and its pedestrian-friendly character makes it one of the most energy-efficient cities in the country. A study by the environmental organization SustainLane found New York to be the city in the United States most able to endure an oil crisis with an extended gasoline price shock in the $3 to $8 dollar per gallon range.<ref>"U.S. Cities’ Preparedness for an Oil Crisis." March 2006 SustainLane.[20]</ref>

Mass transit

Template:Main New York's public transit system, which moves 2.4 billion people each year, is the largest in North America. The New York City Subway is the largest subway system in the world when measured by track mileage (656 miles of mainline track) and the world's fifth largest when measured by annual ridership (1.4 billion passenger trips in 2004).<ref>Metropolitan Transportation Authority.[21]</ref> Life in the city is so dependent on the subway that New York is home to two of only three 24-hour subway systems in the entire world. New York City's public bus fleet, the largest in North America, supplements the subway. A vast commuter rail network, also the largest in North America with well over 250 stations and 20 rail lines serving more than 150 million commuters annually, connects the suburbs in the tri-state region to the city.<ref>Metropolitan Transportation Authority.[22]</ref> The commuter rail system converges at the two busiest rail stations in the United States, Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, both in Manhattan.


Three major airports serve New York City and its surrounding suburbs: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), both in Queens, and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in nearby Newark, New Jersey. About 100 million travelers used these New York-area airports in 2005 as the metropolitan region surpassed Chicago to become the busiest air gateway in the nation. JFK and Newark's outbound international travel accounted for nearly a quarter of all U.S. travelers who went overseas in 2004.<ref>Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation.[23]</ref> JFK is the largest international air freight gateway in the nation by value of shipments.<ref>Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation.[24]</ref> Both JFK and Newark have rail connections to Manhattan.

See also:

Buildings and architecture

Template:Main Image:Panorama clip3.jpg The skyline of New York is one of the most recognizable in the world. It has the second largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world<ref name =>"Most Active Cities In Terms of High-rise Construction."[25]</ref>, after Hong Kong. New York actually has three separately recognizable skylines: Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, and Downtown Brooklyn. Many prominent architects, such as Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, and Renzo Piano, are currently working on major projects in the city. The Freedom Tower, to be built on the site of the former World Trade Center, is set to be the tallest building in the United States when it is completed in 2011.

New York City has achitecturally significant buildings in a variety of styles, including French Second Empire (The Kings County Savings Bank Building), gothic revival (the Woolworth Building), Art Deco (the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building), modernist (the Seagram Building and Lever House), and post-modern (the AT&T Building). The Conde Nast Building is an important example of green design in American skyscrapers. The residential parts of the city have a distinctive character to the skyscrapers of the commercial cores, defined by the elegant brownstone rowhouses and apartment buildings which were built during the city's rapid expansion from 1870–1930.


Education and research

Template:Main New York is a global center for research and education, particularly in medicine and the life sciences. New York has the most post-graduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, 40,000 licensed physicians and 127 Nobel laureates with roots in local institutions. The city receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities.



The City University of New York (CUNY) is, with over 400,000 students, the third-largest university system in the United States. It has been called "the poor man's Harvard" because of its low tuition and record of graduating the highest number of Nobel Laureates of any public university in the world. Much of its student body, which represents 145 countries, is comprised of new immigrants to New York City. CUNY has campuses in each of the five boroughs. Image:Washington square park.jpg

Columbia University is an Ivy League university in upper Manhattan. It was established in 1754 as King's College and is the fifth oldest chartered institution of higher education in the United States. During these early years, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, and Robert Livingston studied at Columbia.

New York University (NYU) is a major research university in Greenwich Village, located in downtown Manhattan. Founded in 1831 by a group of prominent New Yorkers, NYU has become the largest private, not-for-profit university in the United States with a total enrollment of 39,408. The University comprises 14 schools, colleges, and divisions, which occupy six major centers across Manhattan.

Fordham University, which has campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx, was the first Catholic university in the northeast. Yeshiva University is a competitive university in Washington Heights with a strong rabbinical school. The New School, whose graduate faculty was founded by scholars exiled by totalitarian regimes in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, is known for its progressive intellectual tradition.

In addition to many more universities, New York City is home to several of the nation's top schools of art and design, including Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Parsons School of Design.

Three of the nation's most prestigious conservatories are located on the Upper West Side: the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Mannes College of Music.


The New York City public school system, the New York City Department of Education, is the largest in the United States. More than one million students are taught in 1,200 separate schools. Many schools struggle with the problems typical of urban American school districts, while a few are exceptional. Stuyvesant High School is one of the best public high schools in the United States; Hunter College High School sends the highest percentage of its graduates to Ivy League schools of any public school in the United States, while the Bronx High School of Science boasts the largest number of Nobel Laureates among its graduates of any high school in the world. The city has a number of other unique schools, including the controversial Harvey Milk High School, the only public high school in the United States for gay, lesbian, and transgendered students.

There are about 1,000 additional privately-run secular and religious schools in New York. These include some of the most prestigious private schools in the United States, such as The Dalton School, The Brearley School, The Fieldston School, York Prep School, and The Horace Mann School. The Archdiocese of New York of the Diocese of Brooklyn run an extensive network of Catholic schools.


Image:Nyc-nypl.jpg New York City has three public library systems. The New York Public Library comprises simultaneously a set of scholarly research collections and a network of community libraries and is the busiest public library system in the world. The largest of its four research centers is the Library for the Humanities, which ranks in importance with the Library of Congress, the British Library, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. It has 39 million items in its collection, among them the first five folios of Shakespeare's plays, ancient Torah scrolls, and Alexander Hamilton's handwritten draft of the United States Constitution.

The Brooklyn Public Library is the fourth-largest library system in the country, with an extensive foreign language collection in 70 different languages, from Arabic to Creole to Vietnamese. Offerings are tailored by library branches to the neighborhoods they serve.

The Queens Borough Public Library serves the city's most diverse borough with a full range of services and programs for adults and children. Lectures, performances and special events are presented by neighborhood branches. Internet access is available at every branch location.

Medical research

New York is a leader in biotech, pharma, informatics, medical equipment and clinical programs. The city has 15 nationally leading academic medical research institutions and medical centers. These include Rockefeller University, Beth Israel Medical Center, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Weill Cornell, Mount Sinai Medical Center (where Jonas Salk, developer of the vaccine for polio, was an intern), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the medical schools of New York University. In the Bronx, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is a major academic center. Brooklyn also hosts one of the country's leading urban medical centers, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, an academic medical research institution and the oldest hospital-based medical school in the United States. Professor Raymond Vahan Damadian, a pioneer in magnetic resonance imaging research, was part of the faculty from 1967 to 1977 and built the first MRI machine, the Indomitable, there. More than 50 bioscience companies and two biotech incubators are located in the city, with as many as 30 companies spun out of local research institutions each year.


Template:Main New York's most popular sport is baseball. The city has two Major League teams, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The rivalry between the two teams is fierce. There have been 14 World Series championship series between New York City teams; such matchups are called Subway Series. Baseball is also a closely followed sport in New York's large Dominican community, where the many Major League players from the Dominican Republic have devoted fans. Image:2005 New York City Marathon.jpg Basketball is also popular. The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains there to this day. The New York Knicks are the city's National Basketball Association team.

The New York Rangers represent the city in hockey's National Hockey League. They are in close competition with metropolitan area rivals New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders. Hockey is generally not the most popular sport in the city, but it has it's moments; most memorably in 1994 when the Rangers won the NHL's Stanley Cup after 54 years.

The New York metro region is the only area in the United States with more than one team in each of the four major sports, with nine such franchises. The U.S. Tennis Open is held annually in Queens. Golf's U.S. Open and PGA Championship are frequently held at courses in suburban New Jersey, Westchester, and Long Island. The New York City Marathon every November is one of the world's pre-eminent long-distance running events.

Immigrants have always influenced sports in New York. Stickball, a street version of baseball, first became popular in the city's Italian and Irish neighborhoods. The popularity of cricket and soccer are growing with immigration from British Commonwealth countries. The first children's Junior Cricket League in the United States opened in Brooklyn in 2004, bringing the number of cricket leagues in the city to seven.

Soccer is popular especially among the Irish, English, Honduran, Ecuadorean, and Mexican cultural affinity groups, so much so that jerseys from the English and Irish teams as well as the Liga Mexicana appear in Manhattan as frequently as those of the Mets or the Knicks.


Image:Majestic Liberty Large.jpg

  • With over 8 million residents, New York City has a larger population than 39 U.S. states. It has more than twice the population of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country, and more than 27 times the population of Buffalo, the second largest city in New York State.
  • Approximately two out of five New York State residents live in New York City.
  • Approximately 1 in 37 United States residents live in New York City.
  • More than a third of the actors in the United States are based in New York.<ref>"Creative New York." Center for an Urban Future Dec. 2005.[26]</ref>
  • The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is so long – 4,260 feet (1.3 km) – that the towers are a few inches out of parallel to accommodate the curvature of the earth.
  • Central Park is nearly twice as big as the world's second-smallest country, Monaco.


Sister cities

New York has ten sister cities. Johannesburg is the latest to become a sister city of New York.<ref>New York City website. Sister City Program.[27]</ref> The year each relationship was formed is shown in parentheses below.




External links


Virtual Tours

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