Alternate use: New York, New York (song)

New York—often called New York City to distinguish it from the state of New York in which it is located—is the most populous city in the United States. Affectionately known as "The Big Apple," New York is by many measures one of the most important cities in the world. The city is probably the world's most important financial center, and one of the most important cultural centers of the Western world. The United Nations headquarters is in New York, giving some credence to the city's self-designation as "capital of the world".

New York City is among 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), the land area of the city is 831 square kilometers (515 square miles); hence the density is ca. 10,000 / sq km.

New York City is part of the New York metropolitan area with a population of around 20 million. See also [1].

Manhattan Skyline, June 2003

The New York City flag

The New York City seal

Table of contents
1 History of New York City
2 The Five Boroughs
3 Crime
4 Politics
5 The court system
6 Geography and climate
7 Demographics
8 Economy
9 People of New York
10 Tourism
11 Sports teams and stadiums
12 Museums
13 Transportation
14 Events
15 Plays and Musicals set in New York
16 Movies and TV Shows set in New York
17 Further reading
18 Related articles
19 External links
20 Sources

History of New York City

Main Article: History of New York City

New York City started out as the colony of New Amsterdam in 1624, after the Dutch bought the land from the Canarsie natives. In 1664, English ships captured the city without struggle, and it was renamed New York, after the Duke of York.

Its growth as a city started in the 1700s. The city was known as the "Tory Capital of the World" during the American Revolutionary War. The city fell to Patriot control in 1783. "Evacuation Day" was long celebrated in New York.

By 1835, New York City overtook Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

The modern city of New York, with the five boroughs, was formed in 1898, when the City of Brooklyn was amalgamated into New York City. Prior to this date, New York City consisted of Manhattan and the Bronx while the city of Brooklyn included Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Interborough Rapid Transit (the first subway company) began operating in 1904. The New York skyline started to boom in the early 1900s.

An electrical blackout hit the City of New York on July 13, 1977, lasting for 25 hours and resulted in looting and other disorder.

Out of all of the affected cities, New York suffered the most during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Five Boroughs

The City of New York is composed of five boroughs, each a county of New York State:

(Population figures from 2000 United States Census, see for more information).

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 has a small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough. (The last significant power of the borough presidents—to appoint a member of the Board of Education—was abolished, with the board, on June 30, 2002.)

Residents of the city often refer to the city itself as "the Five Boroughs", reserving the phrase "the City" to refer to Manhattan.


New York has had a reputation as a crime-ridden city, partly due to the hundreds of TV and movie crime dramas set in it. However, in recent years it has been ranked in the top ten safest large cities in the United States by City Crime Rankings (9th edition, 2003). 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.

There have been some notorious crime sprees, however. For example, on July 29, 1976 the "Son of Sam" pulled a gun from a paper bag killing one person and seriously wounding another in the first of a series of attacks that terrorized the city for the next year.

As soon as the Sicilian Mafia moved to New York in the 1920s, they became infamous with their hits on businesses that did not pay money to them. They had also set up smuggling rings and fixed boxing matches. The Mafia flourished due to a distrust of the police in the Italian-American communities in New York. The five largest crime families in New York were the Bonnanos, the Colombos, the Gambinos, the Genovese, and the Luchese. The assimilation of the Italian-American population is choking the Mafia in New York, although they still operate.


New York city, viewed from the TERRA satellite.The prominent green rectangle is Central Park, on Manhattan island. Ground Zero can just be distinguished, as the largest of the pale spots near the southern tip of Manhattan.

The current mayor of New York City is Michael Bloomberg, elected in 2001 on the Republican ticket. Bloomberg had come to prominence as an expert on Wall Street, which had brought him great wealth, but the mayoralty is his first political office. Bloomberg had been a Democrat until only a short time earlier, but switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor, in order to avoid a crowded Democratic primary. Bloomberg succeeded Rudy Giuliani, who actively supported Bloomberg as his successor.

Giuliani's mayoralty was controversial. His bid for United States Senator from New York State was aborted by treatment for cancer and controversy over his affair with Judith Nathan. He handled the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center disaster well, providing much-needed leadership, and greatly increased his popularity.

The New York City Council is made up of 51 Councilmembers. The head of the City Council is called the Speaker, currently Gifford Miller. Local "Community Boards" are the decision-making bodies that take care of neighborhood based issues such as zoning variances and other local concerns.

The Borough President of the Bronx is Adolfo Carrión, Jr; of Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz; of Staten Island, James P. Molinaro; of Queens, Helen Marshall; and of Manhattan, C. Virgina Fields. They have very limited political power.

The court system

The court system of New York City differs from that of the courts of other counties in New York State. Rather than County Courts, New York City has a special New York City Civil Court, which functions much like the civil jurisdiction of the County Court in other counties of New York State. The difference is the reach of the New York City Civil Court in each county; the court's jurisdiction is extended to the other counties of New York City so that a resident of one county does not have to use the Civil Court of another county. The New York City Civil Court generally has jurisdiction of controversies up to $25,000 and also supervise small claims and housing cases.

Each county in New York City also has a Criminal Court that handles lesser criminal cases and family related domestic violence offenses (a shared jurisdiction with Family Court). Unlike other New York State counties, Family Court judges in New York City are not elected, but appointed for terms of ten years by the Mayor.

New York area at night

Like all other counties, each New York City county has a sitting Supreme Court. In New York City, Supreme Court handles criminal cases on indictment, which in other counties of the state are handled by the County Court. As in the rest of the state, Supreme Court also handles larger civil cases. Grand juries sit in each of the counties as well.

Manhattan and the Bronx are in the first appellate department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The First Department sits at the Court House on Madison Avenue and 25th Street. Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island (as well as the rest of Long Island and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange County) being in the second appellate department. The Second Department sits in Brooklyn at the Court House on Pierrepont Street and Morgan Place.

The borough of Brooklyn is also home to the Red Hook Community Justice Center, which opened in 2000 as the nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court which was built with city, state, and federal assistance in an attempt to alleviate the chronic lack of access to justice services in the isolated Red Hook area in Brooklyn. The court combines family court, civil and housing court and minor criminal court functions and takes a community development approach to justice through such programs as the Youth Court where teenagers are trained and act as mediators to help their peers resolve disputes.

Geography and climate

New York City comprises Manhattan Island, Staten Island, the western part of Long Island, part of the North American mainland (the Bronx), and several small islands in New York Harbor.

New York has a humid continental climate. The city is adjacent to water, so temperature changes are not as drastic as those inland. Every winter, it snows in New York due to its latitude. Because of its key position, New York had been king in the shipping passenger trade between Europe and the Americas for quite some time, until the airplane came into wider use across the Atlantic.

Staten Island is hilly, and is the least populated borough of the boroughs in New York City. Space is sparse on Manhattan, therefore tall buildings are preferred.

The city will be threatened if the current patterns of global warming continue to rise the sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,214.4 km² (468.9 mi²). 785.6 km² (303.3 mi²) of it is land and 428.8 km² (165.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 35.31% water.


The median income for a household in the city is $38,293, and the median income for a family is $41,887. Males have a median income of $37,435 versus $32,949 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,402. 21.2% of the population and 18.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 30.0% are under the age of 18 and 17.8% are 65 or older.

As of 2000, there are 8,008,278 people, 3,021,588 households, and 1,852,233 families residing in the city. The population density is 10,194.2/km² (26,402.9/mi²). There are 3,200,912 housing units at an average density of 4,074.6/km² (10,553.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 44.66% White, 26.59% African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 3,021,588 households out of which 29.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% are married couples living together, 19.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% are non-families. 31.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.59 and the average family size is 3.32.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.9 males.


New York is a center of many industries in the United States. It was the early center of the American film industry, until it moved to Los Angeles, and still has some movie and television production. New York is also a financial center for the country, containing the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The New York financial industry is based in Wall Street, lower Manhattan. New York is also the center of the clothing industry in the United States. Many fashions come out of New York from different designers. New York also has a lot of book publishers, which often have New York as the very first city in publishing. New York also has a large tourism industry. See below for more details about the tourism industry.

Major Corporations based in New York

Chrysler Corporation was based here until it merged with Daimler-Benz into Stuttgart based DaimlerChrysler AG. Altria was based here under its former name Phillip Morris. Altria moved its headquarters to Richmond, Virginia. Texaco was based here until it merged with Chevron into San Ramon, California based ChevronTexaco.

People of New York

A resident of New York City is a New Yorker. Residents of Brooklyn sometimes call themselves Brooklynites and residents of Staten Island, Staten Islanders. Residents generally refer to New York City (or just Manhattan) as "New York" or "the city". Ambiguity is resolved by writing "NYS" for the state and "NYC" for the city.

New York has been more of an international city than an "American" city, due to the large influx of immigrants. Only Los Angeles receives more immigrants. Hundreds of languages are spoken in New York City. Irish, Italian and Jewish areas of the city still exist. New York has a higher Jewish population than Jerusalem, Israel does. New York has also received a lot of Puerto Ricans whom migrated from their commonwealth to New York City.

Before September 11, the perception of New Yorkers was often as rude and brusque, but since the World Trade Center destruction, many people empathized with New Yorkers, and so, the stereotype has largely faded away.

New York has an intense rivalry with the city of Boston, Massachusetts. This is perhaps the most infamous city rivalry in the United States.


Tourism is a very large business, with hundreds of famous buildings, sites, and monuments in New York City. Many people visit the Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, and several other famous New York City landmarks. The World Trade Center was a famous tourist destination before 9/11, and since that day, Ground Zero has become a very important place for visitors to see. The most famous FAO Schwarz is located in Manhattan. It is so popular that long lines to enter are seen as one approaches the building.

Coney Island, in the south of Brooklyn, has New York's roller coasters and amusement parks.

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York on November 27, 1924. Since then this has been a annual event drawing tens of thousands of spectators and in later years millions of television viewers.

Many people characterize the tourist-filled Manhattan as "New York". New York is actually more diverse than that, since Staten Island and Queens have shorter buildings than Manhattan does.

A common saying about con artists is to say that they are selling "pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge."

Sports teams and stadiums

Chinatown in Manhattan

Unlike most major cities, New York has two teams for most types of sports, one for each division.

The New York Islanders reside in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum of Uniondale, New York. This arena is also home to the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. The rest of New York's teams reside in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Giants (National Football League), the New York Jets (NFL), and the MetroStars (Major League Soccer) play in Giants Stadium. The New Jersey Nets (NBA) and the New Jersey Devils (NHL) are based in the Continental Airlines Arena.

Ebbetts Field is the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1958 (Now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers)

New York City is also home to two minor league baseball teams. Both play in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League, and each is an affiliate of one of the city's major-league teams. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a Mets affiliate, and the Staten Island Yankees are (obviously) affiliated with the Yankees.



Unlike most of America's car-oriented urban areas, public transportation is the common way of travel for the majority of New York City residents. High parking fees, alternate side of the street parking rules and traffic jams discourage driving, and New York Subway—fast, efficient, but not always clean—provides the best alternative. People living in the suburbs in eastern Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York tend to use the automobile to work in New York City.

High tollway fees on bridges and underground tunnels help raise revenue and discourage too many commuters from using the crossings. New Yorkers who live in the city tend to take taxis, buses, subways (the underground in British English), and elevated trains. Ferries are also taken between Manhattan and New Jersey, as well as other parts of New York City.

The three local airports are JFK International Airport in Jamaica, Newark Liberty International in Newark, New Jersey, and La Guardia Airport in Flushing. Most New Yorkers fly domestic flights out of La Guardia, while many flying domestically into Newark and JFK are not from the New York area. Although Newark was the first airport in the area, and the closest to Manhattan, it is in New Jersey.

Rail service provided by Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad terminates at New York's two major rail stations, Grand Central Station and Penn Station. The Amtrak Acela high speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor runs from Penn Station.

Regional and interstate bus service travels from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in downtown and the smaller George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, both run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Many private ferries are run by NY Waterway, New York Water Taxi, and other operators.

Taxicabs are licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. There are two kinds of taxis: "medallion taxis," which are the familiar yellow taxis and which can be flagged down, and "car services," which are not allowed to pick up flag customers but are radio- or computer-dispatched to pick up customers who have called for a taxi.

Public transportation

The many public transportation alternatives are provided under the auspices of numerous city, state, and federal agencies.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority network includes the city subway and bus system, as well as rail and bus networks which connect the New York metropolitan area to the city.

Port Authority runs the regional low-cost Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) railroad and maintains the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The free Staten Island Ferry service, run by the NYC Department of Transportation connects Manhattan and Staten Island.

The AirTrain automated people mover (short-distance driverless metro) connecting JFK Airport with the main metro system and the Long Island Rail Road opened in December 2003.

Last but not least, the privately-operated Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway from the main island of Manhattan to Roosevelt Island

See also New York City Transit Police.


Plays and Musicals set in New York

Movies and TV Shows set in New York

North: White Plains, Newburgh
West: Paterson, Newark, Newark Liberty International Airport New York City, JFK International Airport, La Guardia Airport East: Islip

Further reading

  • Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, Oxford University Press, 1998, hardcover, 1416 pages, ISBN 0195116348, trade paperback, 2000, 1424 pages, ISBN 0195140494

Related articles

External links


simple:New York City zh-cn:纽约 zh-tw:紐約市