Facts and background of New York City
Today I want to give you some information about New York City. The first thing I want to tell you is the position of New York City on the map. You can find it on the east coast of the USA in the state New York. New York City consists of the two islands Manhattan and Long Island in the north, another island in the south west called Staten Island and the Peninsula on which you can find the Bronx. On Long Island you can find the tow districts Brooklyn and Queens, on Staten Island Richmond.
Now I want to tell you something about the history: Immigrants from the Netherlands founded the place in 1626 and called it New Amsterdam.
In 1664 the English conquered the city and called it New York in honour of the Duke York. Now the enormous growth of New York began because more than 20 million people passed through the famous immigration gates on Ellis Island until 1954 and a lot of them stayed in New York City. Another reason for the population explosion was that the South lost the Civil War in 1861 and than nearly three million black people moved from the south to New York. Today New York City is the biggest city of the USA and the third biggest in the world. In the year 2000 nearly 8 million people from all over the world, all colours and races live there on the place of 828 square metres.
In the earlier years New York was the most important immigration port of the USA, today the city is one of the most important trading and financial metropolis of the world. After telling you some important facts about New York City I will show you the most famous and important part of the city Manhattan. Manhattan is a 21 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide island in the northern part of New York it's the real city centre. Manhattan is flanked on its west side by the Hudson River, and on the east side by the Harlem River and East River. Manhattan's street layout consists primarily of avenues and streets. Avenues run North-South, starting with 1st Avenue on the Eastside, and going westward to 12th avenue. Streets run East- West, starting with 1st street in Greenwich Village, and increase in value up to 220th street at the north tip of Manhattan.
All over the world Manhattan is famous for its skyline, shops, theatres and museums.
In the northern part of Manhattan is the Central Park located, and in the southern you can find the main commercial district, with the banks, the Stock Exchange and the offices.
A lot of bridges connect the island with Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, like the Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge.
But know I want to tell you something about the famous skyline.
In Manhattan you can see the Empire State Building which is one of the most recognisable structures in the world. An U.S. National Historic Landmark, it is been a symbol of New York ever since construction was completed in 1931. It is designed in the Art Deco style that was popular at that time.
The Empire State Building rises 381m above the heart of Manhattan, making it one of the best spots to view the city. The Empire State Building has two observation decks located on the 86th and 102nd floor. The Observation decks are open 365 days a year and have entertained over 117 million people.
Today, the Empire State building has more to offer than just a spectacular view. There are also three restaurants, three coffee shops, several speciality boutiques, a post office and two banks located inside the building.
Another important and famous building of New York is the Rockefeller Center, which is one of the most stylistic and wealthy areas of the city. Rockefeller Center built in 1930 is the perfect spot for shopping, eating, and relaxing. It is a wonderland of restaurants, theatres, and other imposing structures. It is also the site of the world-famous Christmas tree lighting and ice skating rink, as well as NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall. The architecture is breathtaking, the epitome of art deco design. Radio City Music Hall is an example of the Art deco style. Home to the world-famous Rockettes chorus line, Radio City Music Hall is one of the largest indoor theatres in America.
The next building I will show you is the World Trade Center. Construction on the Center began in 1966 and finished four years later.
Today it is the home for many businesses and corporations and offers a capacity of over 70,000 inhabitants, most of whom are employees of the big businesses. Of course, it is also quite popular as a tourist attraction, and the views of the city that are offered are absolutely breathtaking and not to be missed. A particular note is the observation tower located on the 107th floor of the building. This outdoor installation is studded with binocular stations. The taxicabs look like Matchbox cars and the people are like ants. The edges of the building are, of course, extremely marked and safeguarded, but it is still very terrific.
In Manhattan you can also see the Madison Square Garden. Named "The World's Most Famous Arena", the Garden has over five million fans a year passing through its doors. It is the home of three different kinds of New York Sports: The New York Knicks, The Rangers and the Liberty (WNBA). It is also the site for numerous other events like Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus, World Championship Boxing and much more. In 1968 the construction of the new Madison Square Garden was completed.
I also have to tell you something about the Central Park which was the first landscaped public park in the United States, and continues to function as a sort of oasis in the heart of a big city. It is located in the middle of Manhattan, and millions of the city's residents visit the Central Park, as well as a popular tourist attraction and site of several interesting things to see and do. Besides jogging, biking, and rollerblading trails and wide open spaces, Central Park offers several activities that will allow you to stop and take a break from all the cars and skyscrapers.
The United Nations are the next famous institution which is located in New York. The United Nations Headquarters is an eighteen acre area, part of which houses a hundred and eighty five member-inclusive complex. The flags of each countries are displayed proudly up on poles outside, right along United Nations Plaza. The complex itself was designed by eleven architects, led by Wallace K. Harrison from the United States.
There are six main parts of the United Nations: the Secretariat does all the menial, day-to-day operations. The Security Council keeps the peace. The General Assembly votes on issues like the environment and race relations, the Economic and Social Council co-ordinates economic and social well-being, the Trusteeship Council helps self-governing countries achieve independence, and the International Court of Justice punishes criminals, reviews complaints, and things of that nature.
There are also some very famous streets in Manhattan everybody has to know.
One of these streets is the 5th Avenue, where many expensive stores like Tiffany and Gucci are located. Another is the Broadway, which is the longest street in New York City with 29 kilometres and its also the cultural heart of the city, because you can find there a lot of theatres, musicals and movies.
All in all in New York there are 250 theatres, 500 art galleries, 300 movies, and 150 universities. The most important part of Manhattan for the world industry is the Financial District, where you can find the Wallstreet with the New York Stock exchange, which influences the stockmarket transaction all over the world.
But the symbol of New York, the Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in front of the south tip of Manhattan.
The icon for the tired, huddled masses has attracted over three and a half million people since its renovation and subsequent reopening for her centennial on July 4, 1986. The steel skeleton was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), and the one hundred and fifty-four-foot pedestal on which the Lady rests was designed by Richard Hunt and dedicated in 1886. Since then, the structure has been a symbol of America's willingness to care for the unfortunate and downtrodden, happily scooping them up from their ships and allowing them access to the Land of Opportunity. Things are a bit different in modern times, but the message remains.
I also have to mention that New York City is full of interesting museums and cultural institutions, which are nearly all located in the 5th avenue. These great cultural treasures combine the Modern Age with the past. At the 5th Avenue you can find the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Public Library. The American Museum of National History is located on Central Park West in Midtown Manhattan.
After telling you something about the sights of Manhattan I have to tell you where all the residents of New York live. Only a small rich social class is able to pay the expensive rent of the Manhattan's luxurious apartments.
Especially families with an average income move more and more to the outskirts, particularly to Long Island, where thousands of houses and villas were built during the last 20 years. The poor and homeless people, especially blacks, live in the Bronx and Harlem. These parts of New York are very dangerous with lots of crime and poverty. A lot of people are robbed out or even were killed every year there. New York has a big social problem, because nobody cares about the homeless people and so the live in the street of the city and nobody does really know how much they are.
The last thing I want to tell you is a rumour about the nickname of New York. A Rumour says that the "Big Apple" is so named because during the depression, many former financiers would travel from their suburban cottages in full suits in order to sell apples on the streets of New York. The rumour goes that several well-to-do families had to make ends-meet by selling apples and the charade became known to many as the "Big Apple" scam of New York. Since apples have always been a big part of the New York economy the name simply stuck and was eventual promoted by local government. But that's only a rumour.