ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

New York, New York, U.S.A.

Updated on March 10, 2010
"New York Sunset - HDR" by fergusonphotography from Flickr. Original URL:
"New York Sunset - HDR" by fergusonphotography from Flickr. Original URL:

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years” – Thomas Wolfe

"New York Taxis" by ShedBOy^ from Flickr. Original URL:
"New York Taxis" by ShedBOy^ from Flickr. Original URL:

New York, New York, a city of bright lights and big dreams--chewing you up, spitting you out and have you coming back for more.

Whether through pop art to pop culture, the city has infiltrated the consciousness and imagination of people all over the world.
Every year, thousands of people from all over the globe head to New York to turn their dreams into reality. Although, the city’s sharp claws may leave some worse for wear, young and old continue to flock to the city urban hub.

It has become a cliché to say, “New York is a melting pot,” but in a city of immigrants, transients and vagabonds, the phrase holds true. New York’s diverse population have carved out the city landscape into five main boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) which contain numerous districts and neighbourhoods. Manhattan is the most popular or the five boroughs and is where most of the city’s main sites are located. The area is a sensory assault of sights, smells and sounds. Its diverse neighbourhoods – from Lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side – include the ‘Financial Hub of Wall Street and Battery Park, Chinatown and Little Italy, Greenwich Village (The Vilage), Soho and Tribeca, the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, Central Park, Harlem, and much more.

History of New York

Though often touted as the epicentre of the Modern World, the first inhabitants of this now-bustling metropolis were the Iroquois Confederacy (the indigenous people of America) in the Western area and the Lenape people (another society of Native Americans) who lived in the far South. The islands were their home for 500 hundred years until 1524 when the Italian explorer, Giovanni da Varrazo, arrived in what is now known as Staten Island. In 1608, Henry Hudson came to claim the land for the Dutch East India Company. In 1626, Peter Minuit allegedly bought the area from the Algonquin-speaking people for $24. (Though this is unlikely, since the Lenape culture did not believe in private property and would not have agreed to sell it.) Nonetheless, by1930, the Dutch colony’ claimed the land. Their population, which included Belgians (Walloons), French Huguenots and the English, rose to 270. There was much unrest throughout the settlement and in 1647, Peter Suyvesant arrived to restore order. In 1664, the British came in Battleships. Stuyvesant surrendered and the city was named New York, after King Charles II brother, the Duke of York.

During the Revolutionary War during the 1770s, the British stronghold in the islands remained loyal to George III. However, George Washington and his army of disenfranchised men, fought the settler colonialist. Though they were nearly wiped out by the British, Washington was eventually victorious. The British left in 1783 and on April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States at Federal Hall on Wall Street.

Post-Revolutionary New York was a thriving city. It acquired the nickname “The Empire State” due to its booming economic success. The New York Stock Exchange opened soon after.
However, the tides soon turned and the mid-1800s were rife with disease, poverty, intense immigration, overpopulation, political corruption and urban unrest. The population grew to 25,000, most of whom were immigrants, who came in through Ellis Island, working in factories and living in tenements.

Gangs, portrayed in many popular films such as Scorsese’s “The Gangs of New York” controlled the different districts. From politicians to industrialists, corruption ran rampant throughout the city.

"New York, 10 June 1945 " by PhillipC from Flickr. Original URL:
"New York, 10 June 1945 " by PhillipC from Flickr. Original URL:

Although it was a difficult period in the city’s history, the metropolis was growing – bridges, skyscrapers, subways and elevated trains were constructed. In 1898, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan merged and became the five boroughs we know today.
The 1900s is when the Golden Age of New York began. It was during this time that the cultural, artistic and liberal vitality of the city was cultivated and became legendary. Despite the difficult economic times- the collapse of the stock market in 1929 – the city was also the site of sweeping movement, change and cultural milestones, such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Jazz Era, and the Civil Rights Movement.

"Memorial Tiles " by Anosmia from Flickr. Original URL:
"Memorial Tiles " by Anosmia from Flickr. Original URL:

Though the city and its people weathered numerous catastrophes, none was as devastating as the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Often referred to as 9/11 or September 11, al-Qaeda launched a suicide attack by hijacking four commercial passenger jet airlines and crashing it into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. No passengers on the planes survived and thousands of people working in the Twin Towers as well as the nearby buildings died. The total death count? 2,973.

The world stood still, but for New Yorkers, there is no choice but to honour the past while looking forward to what lies ahead. And the beat goes on…

"Tribute in Light to honor victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks - New York City" by Monika Szyma from Flickr. Original URL:
"Tribute in Light to honor victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks - New York City" by Monika Szyma from Flickr. Original URL:
"Woody Allen" by Mayra F. from Flickr. Original URL:
"Woody Allen" by Mayra F. from Flickr. Original URL:

The New York Cultural Beat

From Woody Allen (Manhattan, Bullets over Broadway, Annie Hall), Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of Vanities, Sex and the City, the Ramones, Andy Warhol, Sesame Street, to Billie Holiday, and to nearly anything by Scorcese or with DeNiro (Taxi Driver at the top, of course), the city’s many layers have been the source and subject for pop culture’s greatest developments.

It’s the reason why so many bright-eyed, hopeful dreamers and visionaries continue to flock to the Big Apple. And who can blame them?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)