New York City
Also referred to as NYC or the Big Apple, New York City is the most populous city in America. Within the city’s 305 square miles live an estimated 8.5 million people, which also makes it the most densely populated American city.
New York City is made up of five boroughs, or neighborhoods; The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Arguably the most famous borough, Manhattan, is home to some of New York City’s most well-known landmarks; Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Times Square. The iconic Statue of Liberty rests in New York harbor, just off of lower Manhattan.
New York City’s history is a relatively short one when compared to the major cities of the world. Italian Giovanni da Verrazano is credited with discovering New York Harbor in 1524. One hundred years later, the Dutch established the colonial settlement of New Amsterdam as the capital of their New Netherland territory. In 1664, the English conquered the Dutch and promptly renamed New Amsterdam as ‘New York’; in honor of the Duke of York.
In 1892, tiny Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened as America’s new immigration station. Between 1892 and 1954, more than 40 million immigrants had passed through its gates. Today, New York City is America’s most ethnically diverse city. It is estimated that nearly 200 languages are spoken throughout the city.
New York City is recognized around the world from countless films, commercials, music videos, and television programs. The city is a leader in global commerce with Wall Street serving as the center of the American financial markets. The city is widely considered to be America’s cultural capital; hundreds of museums, dozens of Broadway theaters, and several world-renowned concert and performing arts venues call the Big Apple home.
With so much for visitors to see and experience, its no surprise that nearly 50 million people visit every year!
Text by Katherine Lonsdorf and Gabrielle Pasternak.
Image: Iconic yellow taxi cabs in Times Square, Manhattan.