Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New York City

New York City
—  City  —
City of New York
From top left: Midtown Manhattan, the United Nations Headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, theUnisphere in Queens, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Lower Manhattan with the Staten Island Ferry


The Big Apple, Gotham, Center of the Universe, The City That Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World
Location in the state of New York
New York City is located in USA
New York City
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°43′N 74°00′W
Country United States
State New York
New York
 - TypeMayor-Council
 - BodyNew York City Council
 - MayorMichael Bloomberg (I
 - City468.9 sq mi (1,214.4 km2)
 - Land304.8 sq mi (789.4 km2)
 - Water165.6 sq mi (428.8 km2)
 - Urban3,352.6 sq mi (8,683.2 km2)
 - Metro6,720 sq mi (17,405 km2)
Elevation33 ft (10 m)
Population (April 1, 2010 United States Census)
 - City8,175,133
 - Density27,532/sq mi (10,630/km2)
 - Urban18,223,567
 - Urban density5,435.7/sq mi (2,098.7/km2)
 - Metro18,897,109
 - Metro density2,812.1/sq mi (1,085.7/km2)
 - DemonymNew Yorker
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes100xx-104xx, 11004-05, 111xx-114xx, 116xx
Area code(s)212, 718, 917, 347, 646
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areasin the world. New York City exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. As the home of the United Nations Headquarters, it is also an important center for international affairs. The city is often referred to asNew York City or the City of New York, to distinguish it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.
Located on a large natural harbor on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, New York City consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn,Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. With a 2010 United States Census population of 8,175,133 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. The New York City Metropolitan Area's population is the United States' largest, estimated at 18.9 million people distributed over 6,720 square miles (17,400 km2), and is also part of the most populous combined statistical area in the United States, containing 22.2 million people as of 2009 Census estimates.
New York traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by Dutch colonists and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surrounds came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known to outsiders. Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. The city hosts many world renowned bridges, skyscrapers, and parks. New York City's financial district, anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, functions as the financial capital of the world and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most prized and expensive in the world.Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.Unlike most global rapid transit systems, the New York City Subway is designed to provide 24/7 service. Numerous colleges and universities are located in New York, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which are ranked among the top 100 in the world.


The region was inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans at the time of its European discovery in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown, who named it "Nouvelle Angoulême" (New Angoulême). European settlement began with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement, later called "Nieuw Amsterdam" (New Amsterdam), on the southern tip of Manhattan in 1614. Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Lenape in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders (about $1000 in 2006); a disproved legend says that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.
In 1664, the city was surrendered to the English and renamed "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany. At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Dutch gained control of Run (then a much more valuable asset) in exchange for the English controlling New Amsterdam (New York) in North America. Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by the arrival of the Europeans caused sizable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670. By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200. In 1702, the city lost 10% of its population to yellow fever. New York underwent no fewer than seven important yellow fever epidemics from 1702 to 1800.
New Amsterdam as it appeared in 1664. Under British rule it became known as New York.
New York grew in importance as a trading port while under British rule. The city hosted the influential John Peter Zenger trial in 1735, helping to establish the freedom of the press in North America. In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by George II of Great Britain as King's College in Lower Manhattan. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October of 1765 as the Sons of Liberty organized in the city, skirmishing over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.
During the American Revolution, the largest battle of the war, the Battle of Long Island, was fought in August 1776 entirely within the modern day borough of Brooklyn. After the battle, in which the Americans were routed, and subsequent smaller engagements following in its wake, the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees, until the war ended in 1783. The only attempt at a peaceful solution to the war took place at the Conference House on Staten Island between American delegates including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Shortly after the British occupation began the Great Fire of New York occcured, a large conflagration which destroyed about a quarter of the buildings in the city including Trinity Church.
The assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York the national capital in 1785, shortly after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the first capital under the Constitution of the United States. In 1789 the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time, and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street. By 1790, New York had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.
In the 19th century, the city was transformed by immigration and development. A visionary development proposal, the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan, and the 1819 opening of the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the North American interior. Local politics fell under the domination of Tammany Hall, a political machinesupported by Irish immigrants. Several prominent American literary figures lived in New York during the 1830s and 1840s, including William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, John Keese, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Edgar Allan Poe. Public-minded members of the old merchant aristocracy lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which became the first landscaped park in an American city in 1857. A significant free-black population also existed in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Slaves had been held in New York through 1827, but during the 1830s New York became a center of interracial abolitionist activism in the North. New York's black population was over 16,000 in 1840. The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, and by 1860, one in four New Yorkers – over 200,000 – had been born in Ireland.
Bird's-eye view print of Manhattan & New York City, 1873
Anger at military conscription during the American Civil War (1861–1865) led to the Draft Riots of 1863, one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.
In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens. The opening of the subway in 1904 helped bind the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication. However, this development did not come without a price. In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board.
In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city's worst industrial disaster until the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.
Midtown Manhattan, New York City, fromRockefeller Center, 1932
New York's nonwhite population was 36,620 in 1890. In the 1920s, New York City was a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South. By 1916, New York City was home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America. The Harlem Renaissance flourished during the era of Prohibition, coincident with a larger economic boom that saw the skyline develop with the construction of competing skyscrapers.
New York became the most populous urbanized area in the world in early 1920s, overtaking London, and the metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history. The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello LaGuardia as mayor and the fall ofTammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.
Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's place as the world's dominant economic power. The United Nations Headquarters(completed in 1950) emphasized New York's political influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated National Historic Landmark as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.
In the 1960s, New York City began to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates. While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued a steep uphill climb through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s. By the 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to increased police presence and gentrification, and many American transplants and waves of new immigrants arrived from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy and New York's population reached an all-time high in the 2000 census.
The city was one of the sites of the September 11, 2001 attacks, when nearly 3,000 people died in the destruction of the World Trade Center. A new 1 World Trade Center, a World Trade Center Memorial and three other office towers, are being built on the site and are scheduled for completion by 2014. The new World Trade Center site skyscrapers, memorial, and a new transportation hub that are under construction at the site will bring about a more modern Lower Manhattan and restore the skyline of New York City.


Satellite image showing the core of the New York metropolitan area
New York City is located in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.
The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary. The Hudson separates the city from New Jersey. The East River – a tidal strait – flows from Long Island Sound and separates 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 Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely fresh water river in the city.
The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural variations in topography have been evened out, especially in Manhattan.
The city's land area is estimated at 304.8 square miles (789 km2). Its total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2). 164.1 square miles (425 km2) of this are water and 304.8 square miles (789 km2) is land. The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.


Under the Köppen climate classification New York City has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and using the 0 °C (32 °F) threshold it is the northernmost major city on the continent with such categorization.
The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 58% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,400 to 2,800 hours of sunshine per annum.
Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimize the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean. Yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding of the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities located at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The average temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.1 °F(0.1 °C). However temperatures in winter could for a few days be as low as 10 °F (−12 °C) and as high as 50 °F (10 °C). Spring and autumn are unpredictable, and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically hot and humid with a July average of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C). Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, and temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 18 days each summer and can exceed 100 °F (38 °C) every 4–6 years.
The city receives 49.7 inches (1,260 mm) of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall for 1971 to 2000 has been 22 inches (56 cm), but this usually varies considerably from year to year. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area, but are not unheard of and always have the potential to strike the area.
Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 to 106 °F (-26 to 41 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934 and July 9, 1936, respectively.


Mass transit use in New York City is the highest in the United States, and gasoline consumption in the city is the same rate as the national average in the 1920s. The city's high level of mass transit use saved 1.8 billion gallons of oil in 2006; New York City saves half of all the oil saved by transit nationwide. The city's population density, low automobile use and high transit utility make it among the most energy efficient cities in the United States. Its greenhouse gas emissions are 7.1 metric tons per person compared with the national average of 24.5. New Yorkers are collectively responsible for 1% of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions though they comprise 2.7% of the nation's population. The average New Yorker consumes less than half the electricity used by a resident of San Francisco and nearly one-quarter the electricity consumed by a resident of Dallas.
As of July 2010 the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis in service, the largest number in any city in North America.
In recent years, the city has focused on reducing its environmental impact. Large amounts of concentrated pollution in New York has led to a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory conditions among the city's residents. The city government is required to purchase only the most energy-efficient equipment for use in city offices and public housing. New York has the largest clean air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet in the country, and also, by mid 2010 the city has 3,715hybrid taxis and other clean diesel vehicles, representing around 28% of New York's taxi fleet in service, the most in any city in North America.
The city government was a petitioner in the landmark Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency Supreme Court case forcing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants. The city is also a leader in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings, including the Hearst Tower among others.
The city is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed. As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States with drinking water pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.
New York is the only US city where autoless households constitute a greater percentage of the population than households with one or more cars. Approximately 55% of all NYC households do not have a car in the household


The skyline of Midtown Manhattan

The skyline of Lower Manhattan


The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, built in Art Deco style.
Manhattan's skyline with its many skyscrapers is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. As of August 2008, New York City has 5,538 highrise buildings, with 50 completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). This is more than any other city in United States, and second in the world, behind Hong Kong.
New York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles. These include the Woolworth Building (1913), an early gothic revival skyscraper built with massively scaled gothic detailing. The 1916 Zoning Resolution required setback in new buildings, and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size, to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.
The Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building (1930), with its tapered top and steel spire, reflected the zoning requirements. The building has distinctive ornamentation such as replicas at the corners of the 61st floor of the 1928 Chrysler eagle hood ornaments.
A highly influential example of the international style in the United States is the Seagram Building (1957), distinctive for its facade using visible bronze-toned I-beams to evoke the building's structure. The Condé Nast Building (2000) is an prominent example of green design in American skyscrapers.
New York's large residential districts are often defined by the classic brownstone rowhouses, townhouses, and tenements that were built during a period of rapid growth from 1870 to 1930. Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of theGreat Fire of 1835.
A distinctive feature of many of the city's buildings is the wooden roof-mounted water towers. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.
Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, including Jackson Heights in Queens.


The Statue of Liberty National Monument, in New York Harbor
New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches. This parkland complements tens of thousands of acres of federal and state parkland.

National Park System

Gateway National Recreation Area is over 26,000 acres (10,521.83 ha) in total, most of it surrounded by New York City; the New York State portion includes the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Brooklyn and Queens, over 9,000 acres (36 km2) of salt marsh, islands and water that includes most of Jamaica Bay. Also in Queens the park includes a significant portion of the western Rockaway Peninsula, most notably Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden. Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island with historic pre-Civil war era Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins, and Great Kills Park with beaches, trails and marina also on Staten Island.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are managed by the National Park Service, and are joined in the harbor by Governors Island National Monument. Historic sites under federal management on Manhattan Island include Castle Clinton National Monument; Federal Hall National Memorial; Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site; General Grant National Memorial ("Grant's Tomb"); African Burial Ground National Monument; Hamilton Grange National Memorial; and the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village is a designated National Historic Landmark as the catalyst of the modern gay rights movement.

New York State Parks

There are seven state parks within the confines of New York City, including Clay Pit Ponds State Park, a natural area which includes extensive riding trails, and Riverbank State Park, a 28-acre (110,000 m2) facility that rises 69 feet (21 m) over the Hudson River.

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

  • Central Park an 883-acre (3.57 km2) park in Manhattan, is the most visited city park in the United States, with 25 million visitors each year. The park contains a myriad of attractions; there are several lakes and ponds, two ice-skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, the 106-acre (0.43 km2) Jackie Onasis Reservoir. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and the historic Carousel.
  • Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a 90-acre (360,000 m2) meadow, a lake and extensive woodlands. Located within the park is the historic Battle Pass, which figured prominently in the Battle of Long Island.
  • Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, the city's third largest park, was the setting for the 1939 World's Fair and the 1964 World's Fair.
  • Over a fifth of the Bronx's area, 7,000 acres (28 km2), is given over to open space and parks, including Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens.
  • In Staten Island, the Conference House Park contains the historic Conference House, site of the only attempt of a peaceful resolution to the American Revolution, attended by Benjamin Franklin representing the Americans and Lord Howe representing the British Crown. Located within the park is the historic Burial Ridge, the largest Native American burial ground within New York City.

Central Park is the most visited city park in the United States.


New York's Five Boroughs at a Glance
JurisdictionPopulationLand Area
Borough ofCounty of1 April 2010
ManhattanNew York1,585,8732359
The BronxBronx1,385,10842109
Staten IslandRichmond468,73058151
City of New York
State of New York
Source: United States Census Bureau 
New York City is composed of five boroughs. Each borough is coextensive with a respective county of New York State as shown below. Throughout the boroughs there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods, many with a definable history and character to call their own. If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States.
  • Manhattan (New York County; 2009 Est. Pop.: 1,629,054) is the most densely populated borough and is home to Central Park and most of the city'sskyscrapers. The borough is the financial center of the city and contains the headquarters of many major corporations, the United Nations, a number of important universities, and many cultural attractions. Manhattan is loosely divided into Lower, Midtown, and Uptown regions. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is Harlem.
  • The Bronx (Bronx County: Pop. 1,397,287) is New York City's northernmost borough, the location of Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, and home to the largest cooperatively owned housing complex in the United States, Co-op City. Except for a small section of Manhattan known as Marble Hill, the Bronx is the only section of the city that is part of the United States mainland. It is home to the Bronx Zoo, the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, which spans 265 acres (1.07 km2) and is home to over 6,000 animals. The Bronx is the birthplace of rap and hip hop culture.
  • Brooklyn (Kings County: Pop. 2,567,098), on the western tip of Long Island, is the city's most populous borough and was an independent city until 1898. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods and a distinctive architectural heritage. It is also the only borough outside of Manhattan with a distinct downtown neighborhood. The borough features a long beachfront and Coney Island, established in the 1870s as one of the earliest amusement grounds in the country.
  • Queens (Queens County: Pop. 2,306,712) is geographically the largest borough and the most ethnically diverse county in the United States, and may overtake Brooklyn as the city's most populous borough due to its growth. Historically a collection of small towns and villages founded by the Dutch, today the borough is predominantly residential and middle class. Queens County is the only large county in the United States where the median income among African Americans, approximately $52,000 a year, is higher than that of White Americans. Queens is the site of Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, and annually hosts the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Additionally, it is home to two of the three major airports serving the New York metropolitan area, LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. (The third is Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.)
  • Staten Island (Richmond County: Pop. 491,730) is the most suburban in character of the five boroughs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City as it provides unsurpassed views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and lower Manhattan. Located in central Staten Island, the 2,500 acres (10 km2) Greenbelt has some 28 miles (45 km) of walking trails and one of the last undisturbed forests in the city. Designated in 1984 to protect the island's natural lands, the Greenbelt comprises seven city parks.