New York City--officially, "City of New York," and affectionately known as "The Big Apple"--is the largest city of the state of New York and in the United States, and by many measures, one of the most important cities in the world. The city is probably the most important financial center in the world, and by any account, one of the most important cultural centers of the Western world. The United Nations headquarters is in New York City, giving some credence to the city's claim to be "capital of the world".
New York is also the location of what was, according to many experts, the most devastating act of terrorism in history: the September 11, 2001 attack that utterly destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings.
The City of New York is composed of 5 boroughs, each a county of New York State:
- 1). Manhattan - New York County, population 1,537,195
- 2). Bronx - Bronx County, population 1,332,650
- 3). Brooklyn- Kings County, population 2,465,326
- 4). Queens - Queens County, population 2,229,379
- 5). Staten Island - Richmond County, population 443,728
The boroughs, although legally counties, do not have separate county governments. Each borough elects a Borough President, but under the current city charter, the Borough President's powers are limited--he or she appoints a member to the board of education, and has a small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough.
New York City is amongst the most densely populated places in the United States. The population of the City of New York is more than eight million (2000 US Census), with the population of the entire metropolitan area at around 20 million.
A resident of New York City is a New Yorker.
NYC is the abbreviation for New York City.
The city has a high crime rate compared to the United States of America at large, but a relatively low rate compared to other North American cities. In addition, New York has been growing safer for most of the last decade--FBI data indicate that the murder rate in 2000 was the lowest since 1967.
The current mayor of New York City is Rudy Giuliani. He has been a very controversial mayor. His bid for United States Senator from New York was aborted by treatment for cancer and controversy over his affair with Judith Nathan. He handled the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster well, providing much-needed leadership, and greatly increased his popularity.
The history of New York City begins with the Dutch settlement in 1624. That town, at the southern tip of Manhattan, was called Nieuw Amsterdam, and was the main city of the Dutch colony of Nieuw Netherland.
In 1664, British ships captured the city, with minimal resistance: the governor at the time, Peter Stuyvesant, was unpopular with the residents of the city. The British renamed the colony New York. The city grew northward, and remained the largest and most important city in the colony of New York.
New York was briefly the capital of the new United States of America, in 1789 and 1790, and George Washington was inaugurated as President in New York, then the nation's largest city.
The building of the Erie Canal, in the 1820s, helped the city grow further, by increasing river traffic upstate and to the west.
The modern city of New York -- the five boroughs -- was created in 1898, as the merger of the cities of New York (then Manhattan and the Bronx) and Brooklyn with the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island.
Famous buildings, sites, and monuments:
- World Trade Center (destroyed)
- Empire State Building
- Rockefeller Center
- Flatiron Building
- Chrysler Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Woolworth building
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Lincoln Center for the arts
- United Nations
- Columbia University
- Wall Street
- Central Park
- New York Stock Exchange
- New York Yankees
- New York Mets