20 Facts About New York City
One of my favorite world cities, New York is a popular destination for many in the USA and around the world. Despite living in Florida nowadays, I still love my regular visits to The Big Apple.
The iconic city has changed substantially over the past few decades and has an interesting history stretching back to its time as cow pasture before evolving into one of the world's biggest financial, cultural, and diplomatic hubs.
Historically, the city is the premier gateway for immigrants to the USA, many passing through Ellis Island before international flights became common. There are many famous landmarks in NYC, with perhaps the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building being the most famous.
Below are my facts regarding this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
1. Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. In 1898 the boroughs were consolidated into one city.
2. The city was originally called New Amsterdam. Many of the original European inhabitants were Dutch colonists fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.
3. It was the nation's first capital, lasting from 1789 to 1790.
4. It is the most densely populated major city in the USA with over eight and a half million people living there.
5. The subway system is the world's largest rapid transit system (measured by the length of routes and number of stations).
6. There are around 50,000 homeless people living in the city.
7. The headquarters of the United Nations is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan.
8. It has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia
9. The first American pizzeria opened in the city in 1895.
10. Except in cases of emergency, it is actually illegal to honk your car horn in NYC.
11. It has the largest Jewish population of anywhere in the world outside Israel.
12. Between 1886 to 1924, more than 14 million immigrants entered the United States via New York harbor.
13. According to records, the coldest day in New York history was Februry 9th, 1943, when the temperature dropped to 15 degrees below zero.
14. It is the most linguistically diverse city in the USA. More than four out of ten households speak a non-English language and there are over 800 languages used.
15. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were the worst single foreign assault on American soil. 2,753 people died in the attack, including many firefighters.
16. The Empire State Building was the world's tallest structure when building was completed in 1931 and remained so for almost forty years. After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001, the skyscraper became once again the tallest building in New York until One World Trade Center exceeded its height in April 2012. It is currently the 5th tallest (finished) skyscraper in the USA and the 34th tallest in the world.
17. An estimated sixty percent of cigarettes sold in the city are illegally smuggled in from other states.
18. The city buries its unclaimed bodies on Hart Island, which is situated off the coast of the Bronx. Almost a million bodies have been buried there since 1869.
19. Manhattan's Times Square is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions. It attracts around 50 million visitors each year. An estimated 330,000 people pass through each day.
20. Manhattan was occupied by the Lenape people, when the European colonists first arrived. The name "Manhattan" comes from "Manna-hata", meaning the "island of many hills" in the Lenape language.