Skip to main content
Select Source:

New York

New York

Getting There
Getting Around
Public Safety
Health Care
Parks and Recreation
Performing Arts
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
Famous Citizens
For Further Study

New York, New York, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1613; Incorporated: 1898
Location: Southeastern New York on the Atlantic coast, United States, North America
Time Zone: 7 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 63.9%; Black, 28.7%; Asian/Pacific Islander, 7%
Elevation: 15244 m (50800 ft) above sea level
Latitude and Longitude: 40°45'N, 73°59'W
Coastline: 1,942 km (750 mi)
Climate: Continental climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean, with hot summers, cold winters, mild springs, and crisp autumns
Annual Mean Temperature: 12.2°C (54.0°F); January 0.1°C (32.2°F); July 24.8°C (76.6°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall : 737 mm (29 in)
Average Annual Precipitation (total of rainfall and melted snow): 1016 mm (40 in)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 212, 718
Postal Codes: 1000199; 1010199; 1020182

1. Introduction

Located at the mouth of the Hudson River in southeastern New York state, New York is one of the world's great cities. It has the largest population of any city in the United States, and it is unrivaled in the diversity of its neighborhoods and their often-colorful residents. New York runs the gamut from great concentrations of wealth, epitomized by luxury apartment buildings and hotels and mammoth corporate headquarters, to the grinding urban poverty of its ethnic and racial ghettos. A major financial and economic center, it is also a cultural mecca that has attracted generations of artists and intellectuals and draws millions of tourists every year. In its 400-year history the city has grown and changed rapidly, repeatedly renewing itself through successive waves of immigration and urban development. As a new century approaches, it remains, perhaps more than anything else, a city on the move.

2. Getting There

Located at the southeastern-most point in the state of New York, New York City is situated on the Atlantic coastal plain, at the mouth of the Hudson River.


New York City is known for its traffic congestion, and many New Yorkers walk or use public transportation within the city itself. The major north-south interstate routes leading to New York are I-95 and I-87 (which approaches New York from the north only). In New Jersey, I-95 becomes the New Jersey Turnpike. East of the Hudson River, it becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway before heading north up the coast of New England. I-95 leads to the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the George Washington Bridge. I-87 (the New York Thruway) becomes the Major Deegan Expressway as it nears the city from the north. I-80 (the Bergen-Passaic Expressway) approaches New York heading eastward from Pennsylvania.

Bus and Railroad Service

Amtrak offers daily service to New York's Penn Station from Chicago (on the Lake Shore Limited ), Miami (the Silver Star ), New Orleans (the Crescent ), Toronto (the Maple Leaf ), and Montreal (the Adirondack ). Amtrak also operates a high-speed rail shuttle, the Metroliner , between New York and Washington, D.C. Other rail lines that operate out of Penn Station are the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit. Metro-North operates service from New Haven, Connecticut, and Poughkeepsie, New York, to Manhattan's Grand Central Railroad Terminal.


Almost every major domestic carrier operates flights to and from New York, as do most international airlines as well. The city is served by three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (which handles over 200 international flights per day) and LaGuardia Airport, both in Queens, and Newark International Airport in New Jersey.

New York Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 7,333,000
Area: 800 sq km (308.9 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 63.9% white; 28.7% black; 7% Asian/Pacific Islander
Nicknames: The Big Apple; The Empire City

Metropolitan Area

Population: 16,626,000
Description: New York City and surrounding communities
World population rank 1: 5
Percentage of national population 2: 6.0%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.4%
Ethnic composition: 91.2% white; 4.4% black; 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander

  1. The New York metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the New York metropolitan area.


New York is home to two Foreign Trade Zonesone at Kennedy International Airport and one at the Brooklyn Navy Yardwhich encourage trade by providing exemptions from certain import duties. Although New York has one of the world's largest and safest harbors, shipping traffic through its port (and that of New Jersey) has been cut by more than half in the past 30 years, as shippers have begun using modern railroad flat cars that cross over land bridges. However, the World Trade Center, home to many of the world's largest trading companies, is still owned by the Port Authority of New York.

3. Getting Around

New York City consists of five divisions called boroughs. Manhattan and Staten Island occupy separate islands. Brooklyn and Queens, across the East River, are located at the western end of Long Island, and the Bronx occupies part of the mainland to the north, across the Harlem River.

City Fact Comparison
Indicator New York Cairo Rome Beijing
(United States) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 16,626,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1613 AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $198 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $44 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $2 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs $244 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 10 13 20 11
Largest newspaper The Wall Street Journal Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 1,740,450 1,159,339 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1889 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Although it is the smallest of the five boroughs, Manhattanbounded on the west by the Hudson River and on the east by the East River and Harlemis geographically, financially, and culturally the heart of the city. The streets at the southern end of the islandin areas including the Wall Street financial district, Chinatown, and SoHoare laid out in an irregular pattern that dates back to the days of Dutch settlement in the seventeenth century. As settlement later expanded northward, a grid pattern of streets and avenues emerged. The streets run east-west, with numbers ascending northward; avenues run north-south, with numbers ascending westward. Fifth Avenue, running north-south, is the dividing line between streets labeled "east" and "west": to the east of Fifth Avenue, 23rd Street is East 23rd, to the west it is West 23rd. Instead of numbers, a few avenues east of Fifth Avenue are labeled by names (Madison, Park, Lexington) or, in the southern part of the city, letters (A, B, C, and D). In addition, Sixth Avenue is also known as Avenue of the Americas, and some of the other numbered avenues on the west side are known by other names above 59th Street (Central Park West, Columbus, Amsterdam, and West End avenues).

The streets and avenues north of 14th Street are perpendicular to each other except for Broadway, which runs diagonally across the island, northwest to southeast, from the Upper West Side to 14th Street, after which it runs southward to the tip of Manhattan, serving as the dividing line between east and west for this section of the island. The famous "squares" of the city (Times Square, Herald Square, Union Square, etc.) are located at the intersections of Broadway and the major avenues.

A major point of reference in upper Manhattan is Central Park, which runs northward from 59th to 110th streets and from Fifth to Eighth avenues (Eighth Avenue is called Central Park West for the length of the park).

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

New York's subway system is one of the largest in the world, with 1,149 kilometers (714 miles) of track and 469 stations. Trains run 24 hours a day, making frequent stops during rush hour and other daytime hours. Both local and express trains are available. Buses run daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm in all five boroughs; more than 200 routes are covered by a fleet of 3,700 buses. Taxicabs are a popular mode of transportation in Manhattanduring peak traffic hours, an ocean of yellow cabs seem to fill the city's streets. Taxi stands abound throughout the city, and cabs can be easily hailed in most areas.


Visitors may tour New York in organized tours by trolley or double-decker bus, and many walking tours of specific neighborhoods are offered, as well as self-guided walking tours of historic sites in Manhattan. Brief helicopter tours offer a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline, as do scenic cruises of New York Harbor. In addition there are many specialized tours of specific sites, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City, and the studios of the NBC television network.

4. People

New York is the nation's most populous city and has more than twice the population of its nearest competitor, Los Angeles. In 1990, the population of New York was 7,323,000, with the following racial composition: 63.9 percent white, 28.7 percent black, and seven percent Asian/Pacific Islander, with other groups accounting for percentages of less than one percent. Hispanics (an ethnic rather than a racial designation) accounted for 24.4 percent of the population. The 1994 population estimate was 7,333,000. The population of the New York Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 8,611,099 as of 1997. The region's racial composition was listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 as 91.2 percent white; 4.4 percent black; and 3.4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. Hispanics accounted for two percent of the metropolitan area population.

5. Neighborhoods

In the busy financial district in lower Manhattan, the maze of narrow streets laid down during the oldest period of the city's history are home to the towering skyscrapers of Wall Street, the nation's foremost symbol of financial power and prosperity. To the north of the financial district lie New York's teeming, colorful Chinatown and Tribeca ("Triangle Below Canal Street"), a former market district whose warehouses have been converted to artists' lofts and galleries to create one of Manhattan's trendiest upscale residential neighborhoods, graced by fashionable shops and restaurants.

The chic SoHo ("South of Houston"; pronounced HOW-stun) neighborhood just to the north of Tribeca has had a similar history of rejuvenation fueled by its popularity with the artistic community; today, however, gentrification has brought the district out of reach of many artistslike the ones who were responsible for the rebirth of the neighborhood in the 1960s. To the east of SoHo are Little Italy, known for its authentic Italian cuisine, and the Lower East Side, the former home to a teeming population of Eastern European immigrants and today a mecca for shoppers in search of both local color and bargains on Orchard Street.

Greenwich Village, between Houston (pronounced HOW-stun) and 14th streets and west of Broadway, is the historical capital of Bohemianism in America, once home to a dizzying array of artists, writers, musicians, and political radicals. Like other once-marginal areas of New York, the Village has become a prime upscale neighborhood with soaring rents, including some of the highest in the city. However, it is still a colorful area and cultural mecca, as well the center of the city's gay community and home to three colleges: New York University, Parsons School Design, and the New School for Social Research. The East Village, located, as its name suggests, east of Greenwich Village, is the edgier counterpart of the Village, although even this formerly gritty area has become more fashionable and expensive since the 1980s. However, it remains a focal point for the city's pierced and tattooed youth culture, a popular site for after-hours clubs, and an ethnically diverse area.

Chelsea, stretching from 14th Street to about 30th Street, west of Sixth Avenue, is yet another neighborhood traditionally linked with artists and writers, especially through its most famous landmark, the Chelsea Hotel. Today it is home to large Hispanic and gay communities, and its "main drag," Eighth Avenue between 15th and 23rd streets, is known for its cafes, bistros, boutiques, fitness clubs, and the Chelsea Piers sports complex, which includes a climbing wall. Midtown Manhattan is primarily a business rather than a residential neighborhood. Home to numerous corporate head-quartersincluding those of many entertainment and communications giantsit is also the site of landmarks including Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, and the main branch of the New York Public Library, "guarded" by the famous stone lions outside its front entrance.

New York's Upper West Side is a colorful, heavily residential area that is home to many middle-class families and young professionals, although its residents run the gamut from homelessness to upper-echelon wealth. The neighborhood's landmarks include the Lincoln Center performing arts complex, the Museum of Natural History, and, at its northernmost point, Columbia University. The major thoroughfare in this district is Broadway, which offers a wide variety of shopping experiences, including Zabar's gourmet foods and Shakespeare & Company's eclectic book selection. The Upper East Side is New York's most exclusive neighborhood. Its residents live in posh apartment buildings with uniformed doormen; its visitors stay at luxury hotels. It is home to Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses, Bloomingdale's, and a host of foreign embassies and consulates, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim and Frick museums.

Washington Heights, at the northern end of the city, is primarily a Latino enclave. Home to the largest Dominican population in the United States, in recent decades it has been plagued by problems associated with the drug trade. However, it is still the site of noteworthy landmarks, including the Cloisters (home of the Metropolitan Museum's medieval collection), the Audubon Ballroom, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and Yeshiva University. Beginning at 125th Street on the West Side and 96th Street on the East Side, Harlem is America's most famous black neighborhood. From the days of the 1920s literary and cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance until urban decay and violence set in the 1960s, the neighborhood was a unique cultural and political center and home to many famous black musicians and intellectuals, and such historic venues as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.

6. History

Four hundred years ago, the present-day site of New York City was forest land inhabited by Algonquin and Iroquois Indians who called the central island "Manhattan," which meant "city of hills." In 1609 Henry Hudson (c. 15501611), an Englishman employed by the Dutch East India Company, sailed up the river that now bears his name, and settlement of the region began five years later. In 1625 the first permanent European settlementa trading post called New Amsterdamwas formed on Manhattan, and the Dutch "purchased" the island from its Native American inhabitants by bartering items that amounted to the modern equivalent of $24.

By 1664, the Netherlands' colonial rivals, the British, had taken control of the growing settlement and renamed it New York, and it became their second-busiest trading port in North America, surpassed only by Boston to the north. The rapidly growing town had about 4,000 residents by the turn of the century, and had nearly doubled its population by 1720, becoming the third-largest population center in the British colonies. New Yorkers played an active role in the agitation that led to the American Revolutionary Revolutionary War (177583). The city was overrun and occupied by British forces early in the war, and the occupation continued throughout the conflict. In the period after the colonies won their independence, New York served briefly as the seat of the new nation's government (from 1785 to 1790).

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, New Yorkwith a population of 30,000had become the nation's second-largest city, after Philadelphia. In the first half of the century, the city's growth was further bolstered by the opening of the Erie Canal linking the East Coast with the Great Lakes, and by the first waves of mass immigration, from Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. Although New York was a center of the abolitionist movement, pro-slavery feeling was strong among unskilled laborers who feared that their jobs would be threatened by freed slaves. The Civil War (186165) brought a new economic boom, and the city's population reached one million by the 1870s. By this time, New York's government had become a locus of graft and corruption under the infamous Tammany Hall political machine, which spurred a series of political reforms. The last two decades of the century saw new waves of immigration, much of it from Eastern Europe, and the completion of some of the city's greatest landmarks, including the Metropolitan Opera House and the Statue of Liberty (1882), and the Brooklyn Bridge (1883). The immigration station at Ellis Island opened in 1892.

In 1898 New York achieved its present form with the official consolidation of its five boroughs to form Greater New York City, with a population of three million. The shape of things to come was previewed in the first years of the new century: the Flatiron buildingone of its first skyscraperswent up in 1902, and the first subway line opened in 1904. During World War I (191418), New York was a major shipping center for Allied weapons and military equipment. The 1920s brought an era of cultural brilliance marked by the achievements of the Harlem Renaissance, the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table and the founding of the New Yorker magazine, and the growth of Greenwich Village as a bohemian mecca for writers and others involved in the arts. In 1929 New York was the epicenter of the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression of the following decade. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (18821947; mayor, 19331945) led the city through these dark times, which nevertheless saw the construction of the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler Building, the reform of local government, the hosting of two World's Fairs, and the introduction of the Art Deco style into art and architecture.

New York's international stature was further enhanced with the establishment of United Nations headquarters in the city following World War II (193945). It was also during the post-war era that the city became an international leader in the fields of culture and fashion. In every decade, the city became a focal point for trends in popular culture, from the literary "beat generation" of the 1950s to the counterculture of the 1960s and the opening of the disco club Studio 54 in the 1970s. Beginning in the 1950s, a wave of Puerto Rican immigration and increased migration of blacks to the city from rural areas transformed the city's ethnic makeup, leading to the flight of whites from the city and the eruption of racial tensions in the 1960s. The erosion of the city's tax base, aggravated by the flight of businesses, brought the city to the point of bankruptcy by 1975. It was rescued by the newly formed Municipal Assistance Corporation, and a new mayor, Ed Koch (b. 1924; mayor 197890) helped reverse the city's decline through his policies and his popularity with ordinary citizens.

By the late 1980s New York, together with much of the country, was slipping into recession. In 1989 the city elected its first black mayor, David Dinkins (b. 1927; mayor 19901994), who was replaced in the 1993 mayoral election by U.S. attorney Rudolph Giuliani (b. 1944; mayor 1994), the first Republican to hold the post in 28 years. The city's fortunes revived in the 1990s as the city shared in the country's economic upswing, and tourism boomed. Giuliani was credited with a major decrease in the New York's crime rate, although the city's police department drew universal condemnation in the late 1990s for widely publicized incidents of brutality against members of minority groups.

7. Government

New York City has a mayor-council government. The mayor and the council president (who presides over council meetings) are elected to four-years terms by all the city's voters. Of the 51 council members (all of whom also serve four-year terms), 35 are elected from their own districts, and 16 are elected at large. New York had an estimated 232,588 city employees in 1997.

8. Public Safety

In spite of its violent reputation, New York City actually has less crime per capita than a number of other major cities, including Washington, D.C., Boston, New Orleans, and Dallas. The city's crime rate actually has dropped in recent years, thanks partly to public safety policies, such as gun amnesties and gun confiscation, as well as anti-drug initiatives. In 1997, New York's crime rate was the lowest it had been since 1968. The New York Police Department is one of the country's largest. It covers a jurisdiction of some 829 square kilometers (320 square miles) and has an annual budget of $2.4 million. Over 38,000 uniformed officers and about 9,000 civilians are employed by the department. The city's five boroughs are divided into eight Patrol Borough Commands, which are in turn subdivided into 76 precincts.

In 1995, violent crimes reported to police (per 100,000 population) totaled 1,573 and included 16 murders, 32 rapes, 810 robberies, and 715 aggravated assaults. Property crimes totaled 4,503 and included 1,009 burglaries, 2,500 cases of larceny/theft, and 993 motor vehicle thefts.

9. Economy

With over 200,000 businessesand the headquarters of some 65 Fortune 500 companiesNew York is one of the country's major economic and financial centers. All of the world's major financial institutionsincluding some 400 foreign bankshave offices in the city, and more than $15 billion worth of stocks are traded every day on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to banking and finance, New York is also an important center for the major service industries of insurance, accounting, and law.

New York is the nation's publishing capital. By far the largest number of major publishers in the country are located here, as well as the two leading newsmagazines, Time and Newsweek, and the major wire services, the Associated Press and United Press International. Film and television production are also thriving industries in New York. Madison Avenue is famed as the world's advertising capital, and the city boasts over 1,000 ad agencies.

Although it now takes a back seat to the service sector, manufacturing still plays an active role in New York's economy. The city is home to some 11,000 manufacturers and 20 industrial parks. The garment industry, in which the city has historically been a leader, still employs approximately 75,000 people, and the city is known worldwide as a center of high fashion. New York is also known for its diamond and jewelry industry, which has traditionally been centered around Canal Street and West 47th Street. Newer sectors that are emerging as industrial leaders include semiconductors, computer equipment, and health-care equipment.

10. Environment

Although New York is better known for skyscrapers and traffic congestion, the city Department of Parks and Recreation has jurisdiction over 834 square kilometers (322 square miles) of urban wilderness, including 83,368 hectares (206,000 acres) of parkland and 2,024 hectares (5,000 acres) of forest preserves. Also included in the resources protected by the parks department are approximately 500,000 trees located on the city's streets. These trees are also protected by the Department of Environmental Conservation and citizens' groups, notably Trees New York, founded in 1976.

In addition, volunteers are helping restore 341 hectares (843 acres) of wild-life habitat in Central Park, including areas frequented by migrating birds and the New Yorkers who gather regularly to watch them. Also within the city's borders are beachfront wildlife habitats, such as that along Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, which is home to two federally listed endangered species and one listed by the state of New York. The city's Urban Park Rangers have taken measures to protect these rare beach-dwelling species, including monitoring, patrolling, vehicle exclusion, and fencing.

11. Shopping

New York is a mecca for shoppers, in terms of sheer abundance and variety. The most famous shopping venue is Fifth Avenue, with its major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, and large bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli). Specialty retailers include Cartier, Tiffany, the Warner Brothers Studio Store, and the famed toy store FAO Schwarz. Also located on Fifth Avenue is the Trump Tower shopping complex, which boasts more than 40 stores and restaurants. Seventh Avenue is home to garment and fur wholesalers (some of which will also sell retail). In the Chelsea neighborhood are the Manhattan Mall and Macy's (West 34th St.), the world's largest department store.

The Upper East Side mixes upscale retailers, including Bloomingdale's, with fashionable second-hand shops. The Lower East Side is famous as a bargain hunter's paradise, with designer clothing and other high-quality items regularly sold at a discount, especially on Orchard Street, the best-known shopping venue in the area. Specialty shops and boutiques abound in Greenwich Village, whose Bleecker Street is home to ethnic bakeries and grocery stores.

A special form of shopping is available at New York's exclusive auction houses, which include Christie's and Sotheby's, and the city's many museum gift shops also offer unusual and high-quality items.

Mixing commerce and local color are New York's open-air markets, which sell everything from flowers to antiques. Specialty gourmet food markets include Dean & Deluca, Zabar's, and Balducci's.

12. Education

In the fall of 1996 the New York City Public School Systemthe nation's largestenrolled 1,063,561 students in grades K through 12; 16.1 percent were white, and 83.9 percent belonged to minorities, including 37.3 percent Hispanic, 36.1 percent black, and ten percent Asian/Pacific Islander. The school system operated 1,120 schools with a staff of 110,709, of whom 57,338 were teachers, making a pupil-teacher ratio of 18 to one. The school system has won acclaim for its career magnet schools, which include the High School of Music and Art, the High School of Fashion Industries, the School of the Performing Arts, the New York School of Printing, Bronx High School of Science, and Stuyvesant High School.

The City University of New York operates branches in all five boroughs, including eight liberal arts colleges, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Since 1970, the city university system has had an open admissions policy for all New York City high school graduates. New York also has more than 20 private colleges, some of the best known being Columbia University (the oldest), New York University, Fordham University, Rockefeller University, and the Juilliard School, which trains students for careers in music, theater, and dance.

13. Health Care

New York City has over 130 hospitals, including more than 30 teaching hospitals. Its public hospital system is the largest in the country, employing over 45,000 people at over 20 facilities, including acute care hospitals, long-term care institutions, and family care centers. Among the city's best-known hospitals are Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Mount Sinai Medical Center, whose health system consists of 21 hospitals and 13 long-term care facilities. The New York University School of Medicine, which dates back to 1837, has 1,360 full-time and 2,175 part-time faculty members.

In 1995, New York's primary metropolitan statistical area was served by 19,337 office-based physicians and 84 community hospitals, with a total of 39,205 beds.

14. Media

New York's major daily newspaper is the New York Times, the nation's "paper of record." Although competition from the city's spirited tabloid publications has expanded the Times' local coverage, it is still known for the breadth and depth of its international and national coverage and its news analysis, as well as its coverage of specific areas such as business and the arts. Favorite features of the Sunday edition include the weekly magazine, the book review supplement (whose reviews are influential throughout the literary and academic world), and the notoriously huge and difficult crossword puzzle.

Specializing in local news are the city's two remaining tabloid newspapers, the New York Post (the city's oldest newspaper, founded in 1801), and the New York Daily News. Among the most-quoted examples of their bold banner headlines are the Daily News' "FORD TO CITYDROP DEAD" (referring to President Gerald Ford and the 1970s budget crisis) and the Post 's "HEADLESS WOMAN FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR." A fourth daily newspaper is published in New York: the Wall Street Journal, the country's most authoritative financial publication. The city's best-known weekly newspaper is the Village Voice, which features investigative reporting on local topics and comprehensive arts coverage and listings. Other weeklies include New York magazine, Time Out New York, and the New York Press. Another local publication with a national audience is the New Yorker magazine (also a weekly), whose tradition of urbanity and high-quality writing received a contemporary spin in the 1990s by British-born editor Tina Brown.

In addition to the wide spectrum of cable television programming, New York has over a dozen broadcast television stations, representing the four major networks and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), as well as independent, educational, and Spanish-language stations. The city also has 17 am and 33 FM radio stations.

15. Sports

The professional sports scene in New York is a busy one, with two major league teams in all the main professional sports. The New York Yankees of the American League, who play at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, are the city's most famous sports team. The team of such baseball legends as Babe Ruth (18951948) and Joe DiMaggio (191499), the Yankees have won more World Series than any other baseball team. The New York Mets, of the National League, play at Shea Stadium in Queens. In football, New York is home to New York Giants and the New York Jets; both teams play at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey. New York has two NBA (National Basketball Association) teams: the Knicks, who play at Madison Square Garden, and the Jets, who play at Continental Airlines Arena. The city's two NHL (National Hockey League) teams are the New York Islanders, who play at the Nassau Coliseum, and the New York Rangers, who play at Madison Square Garden.

The New York area also has four horse racing tracks (the Aqueduct, Belmont, and Meadowlands race tracks and the Yonkers Raceway) and is the site of the annual U.S. Open tennis championship games.

16. Parks and Recreation

Extending over 341 hectares (843 acres) at the heart of the city, Central Park is one of New York's most famous landmarks. Designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (18221903), together with Calvert Vaux (182495), the park was laid out between 1859 and 1870. In spite of its association with some high-profile crimes, the park is still heavily used by a wide spectrum of New Yorkers, from joggers and rollerbladers to picnicking families. Special features of the park include the Central Park Zoo (and recently opened children's petting zoo), International Peace Garden, Belvedere Castle Shakespeare Garden, Conservatory Garden, and many others. Other parks in Manhattan include Battery Park, at the island's southern-most tip; Bryant Park, located behind the public library at 42nd Street; Union Square Park, Gramercy Park, and Washington Square Park.

The Bronx Zooone of the nation's most famousis home to more than 4,000 animals. Over the years, the century-old facility has transferred many of its animals from cages to areas resembling their natural habitats, a change reflected in the zoo's current name: the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park. Also located in the Bronx is the 101-hectare (250-acre) New York Botanical Garden, the city's oldest and largest public garden. Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Prospect Park, and Flushing Meadow-Corona Park is located in Queens.

In Manhattan, Central Park is a favorite venue for recreational activities of many kinds, including jogging, inline skating, walking, frisbee, and bicycling (altogether New York has some 161 kilometers/100 miles of bicycle paths). The Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in the Chelsea neighborhood offers a gymnastics center, golf club, running track, roller and ice-skating rinks, and rock-climbing wall.

17. Performing Arts

Home to 240 performance venues, including such famous sites as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Lincoln Center, New York is one of the world's great centers for the performing arts. It is the theatrical capital of the nation, with performances ranging from large, expensive Broadway hits to the smaller and more innovative Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions (the last two designations are actually determined by the size of the theater rather than its location). New York is also home to the prestigious New York Shakespeare Festival, which mounts productions at the Joseph Papp Public Theater most of the year and presents the Shakespeare in the Park series in Central Park in the summer.

New York is home to the New York Philharmonic, one of the nation's most acclaimed symphony orchestras (and its oldest), and the country's premier opera company (the Metropolitan Opera), as well as classical music ensembles of all kinds, from early music groups to those specializing in contemporary performance. Opera is also presented by the New York City Opera and several other groups. In addition to the famous Juilliard School, the city is home to two other highly regarded schools of music, the Manhattan School Music and the Mannes College of Music, both of which present their own concert series featuring performances by both students and faculty. A unique classical music experience is offered by Barge-music, a series of chamber music concerts presented on a boat docked on the East River.

New York is also a thriving center for all kinds of dance and is particularly known for its classical ballet companies, notably the American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet, which have boasted such illustrious names as George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. New York also has several other ballet companies, and modern dance is represented by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and other groups.

Many types of popular musicincluding jazz, rock, blues, and Latin musicthrive in New York in clubs scattered throughout the city. Among the city's legendary jazz clubs are the Blue Note, Sweet Basil, the Five Spot, and the Village Vanguard.

18. Libraries and Museums

The main branch of the New York Public Library has one of the world's five largest library collections, with book stacks stored on eight different levels and covering an area of at least half an acre. Its legendary reading room is one of the city's treasures. Founded in 1895, the New York Public Library System consists of both research libraries and branch libraries that serve the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The library's book holdings total 17,762,034 volumes. The library system operates 79 neighborhood branches, serving a population of 3,070,302, with an annual circulation of over 11 million items.

There are 150 museums and some 400 art galleries in New York. With over 3.5 million artworks, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the premier American museum. Its 148,640 square meters (1.6 million square feet) house not only its famed European and American collections, but also extensive Asian, Classical, and Islamic collections. Special features include the Frank Lloyd Wright Room, a Costume Hall, the largest Arms and Armor galleries in the West, and a Musical Instrument Collection containing the world's oldest piano. The Cloisters at the northern-most tip of Manhattan houses the museum's medieval collection.

The Museum of Modern Art (known as MOMA) has one of the world's most extensive collections of modern art, with holdings that include not only paintings and sculpture but also architectural plans, photographs, and films (two classic or foreign films are screened daily). The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum displays twentieth-century artworks in a unique Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building featuring a spiral that winds down through six levels of displays on its outer walls. A ten-story annex completed in 1992 provides room for four additional galleries.

Manhattan's other museums include the Frick and Whitney collections; the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which features a restored tenement that re-creates nineteenth-century apartment life as lived by New York's immigrant population; the Jewish Museum; the Children's Museum of Manhattan; El Museo del Barrio; and the International Center of Photography. Museums in New York's other boroughs include the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Transit Museum, and the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn and the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

19. Tourism

Over 25 million people visit New York every year to see its historic landmarks, sample its cultural activities, and enjoy its fine dining and varied shopping. The city's hotel rooms have an average occupancy rate of about three-quarters, and new hotel construction activity has been brisk in recent years. Conventions generate millions of dollars in income annually for the city.

New York attracts more foreign visitors than any other U.S. city. In 1995 approximately 4,252,000 foreign travelers visited the city.

20. Holidays and Festivals

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance
National Black Fine Art Show
New York National Boat Show
Outsider Art Fair

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Art Expo New York
New York Restaurant & Foodservice Show
New York Underground Film Festival
Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Passports to Off-Broadway Theatres

African Film Festival

Music Hall at Snug Harbor

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
Crafts on Columbus
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Center Flower Sale


American Crafts Festival
Belmont Stakes
JVC Jazz Festival
New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Queens Day Festival
Texaco New York Jazz Festival
Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival

Shakespeare in the Park
Washington Square Music Festival

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Summer Stage

Fourth of July Concert in Battery Park
Great July Fourth Festival
Lincoln Center Festival
Macy's Fireworks Celebration

Celebrate Brooklyn Festival
Mostly Mozart Festival

Moonlight Dancing in the Park

U.S. Open Tennis Championships

New York Film Festival

Fifth Avenue Art & Antiques Show
Chrysanthemum & Bonsai Festival
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

Big Apple Circus

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
New York Marathon

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

First Night New York
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Celebration

New Year's Celebration & Ball Drop in Times Square

Empire State Building Holiday
Lights Lincoln Center Family Art Show
Winter Wildlife Holiday Events

21. Famous Citizens

Film director, comedian, and author Woody Allen (b. 1935).

Abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher (18131887).

Poet William Cullen Bryant (17941878).

Statesman Aaron Burr (17561836).

Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (18351919).

Composer George M. Cohan (18781942).

Former New York state governor Mario Cuomo (b. 1932).

Former New York City mayor David N. Dinkins (b. 1927).

African-American activist Marcus Garvey (18871940).

"Beat" poet Allen Ginsberg (19261997).

Journalist Horace Greeley (181172).

Writer and editor Pete Hamill (b. 1935).

Statesman Alexander Hamilton (17551804).

Artist Keith Haring (193890).

Author Washington Irving (17831859).

Architect Philip Johnson (b. 1906).

Former mayor Ed Koch (b. 1924).

Former mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (18821947).

Novelist Norman Mailer (b. 1923).

Industrialist and financier J. Pierpont Morgan (18371913).

City planner Robert Moses (18891981).

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (18221903).

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (192994).

Playwright Eugene O'Neill (18881953).

Humorist Dorothy Parker (18931967).

Photojournalist Jacob Riis (18491914).

Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller (18391937).

New York governor Nelson Rockefeller (190879).

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld (b. 1954).

Playwright Neil Simon (b. 1927).

Baseball entrepreneur George Steinbrenner (b. 1930).

Real estate developer Donald Trump (b. 1946).

Railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (17941877).

Pop artist Andy Warhol (19261987).

22. For Further Study


New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

The Official New York City Website. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
1 Centre St. Municipal Building
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-3000

New York City Hall
1 Centre St. Municipal Building
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-3000

New York County
60 Centre St.
New York, NY 10007
(212) 374-8359

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 216-2300

New York Convention & Visitors Bureau
810 7th Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 484-1200


The New York Post
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

The New York Times
229 W. 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036

The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty St.
New York, NY 10281


Alleman, Richard. The Movie Lover's Guide to New York. New York: Perennial Library, 1988.

Auster, Paul. The New York Trilogy: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1996.

Baldwin, James. Another Country. New York: Dial Press, 1962.

Barile, Susan Paula. The Bookworm's Big Apple: A Guide to Manhattan's Booksellers. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Biondi, Joann, and James Kaskins. Hippocrene U.S.A. Guide to Black New York. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1994.

Hijuelos, Oscar. Our House in the Last World. New York: Persea Books, 1983.

Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Leeds, Mark. Ethnic New York. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books, 1995.

Mitchell, Joseph. Up in the Old Hotel. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.

Parker, Dorothy. Complete Stories. New York: Penguin, 1995.

Riis, Jacob. How the Other Half Lives. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

Roth, Andrew. Infamous Manhattan. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1996.

White, N., and E. Willensky, eds. AIA Guide to New York. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Economy

New York: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Despite the loss of the World Trade Center buildings, New York has remained at the core of national and international financial dealings and has continued as the global center of corporate headquarters in finance and services, media, entertainment and telecommunications, manufacturing, and trade. Profits on Wall Street, however, are not expected to equal the heights achieved in 2003, and financial services jobs are on the decline at present. Hundreds of nationwide corporations make their home in New York, from finance to insurance to advertising. New York City leads the country in the number of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies headquartered there, including 8 of the world's top 10 securities firms, and about two-fifths of the country's 50 leading law firms, as well as 219 banks representing every major country. The city's biggest industry is publishing, with more printing plants than anywhere else in the United States and approximately 13,000 employees. New York's clothing industry is headquartered in the Garment District near Times Square, where hundreds of factories employ more than 100,000 people.

In recent years, the high-tech and "new media" industries have taken a $9.2 billion toehold in the city, particularly in what is being termed Silicon AlleyUpper Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. New York City has supported growth in this arena through its Digital NYC: Wired to the World program that assists with construction and remodeling efforts that result in affordable spaces with ready access to the Internet. New York City offers hundreds of thousands of miles of installed fiber-optic cable, enabling businesses to communicate with clients around the globe. Life science research and development is seeing a similar surge in activity, as the headquarters of at least three of the world's primary pharmaceutical companies have located within midtown Manhattan. Pfizer has announced ambitious expansion plans that will reportedly result in 2,000 new jobs by 2009, along with new office space and an extensive makeover for its current headquarters. Alongside cutting-edge research, professional services firms related to financial consultation or legal issues of intellectual property also flourish.

New York tourism contributes greatly to the local economy, fueled by huge advertising campaigns and interest in the site of the 9/11 tragedy. Hotel room occupancy rates are steadily increasing to more than 85 percent, and traffic through the area's airports broke the 8,000,000 mark in early 2005. Many tourists visit the city in order to experience its art and culture, resulting in a leisure and hospitality industry with more than 600,000 workers.

Television and film production in New York City constitutes another growth industry, demonstrating a significant increase in the number of overall shooting days for movies, videos, advertisements, and television programs. Almost 150 studios and stages support the industry, and film production costs in the city are now so reasonable that they rival those of Los Angeles. Three of the "Big Five" music recording businesses have headquarters in New York City.

Items and goods produced: published goods, apparel, chemicals, food products, furniture, machinery, paper products, textiles

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Mayor Bloomberg took office in January of 2002, mere months after the decimation of the World Trade Center buildings. Facing not just a public relations nightmare but also the nationwide economic downturn at that time, the mayor and his administration have expanded the city's industrial interests beyond Wall Street and into biotechnology, film production, and the recreation and tourism business. Unemployment is at its lowest point in 25 years, with 62,000 new jobs created in the city since the middle of 2003. The City of New York appears to acknowledge the value of small businesses, as reflected in its Business Improvement Districts.

Local programs

New York City has many programs available to assist eligible businesses with locating real estate, accessing capital for expansion, lowering energy costs, finding skilled employees and lowering taxes. Businesses that locate in the lower Manhattan area and who complete renovations in excess of 20 percent of the property's assessed value may qualify for the Lower Manhattan Energy Program, which can reduce energy costs up to 45 percent. Manufacturers may receive a tax credit for 3.4 percent of the money spent on utility costs, plus an additional sales tax exemption on purchases of electricity, fuel oil, steam, and natural gas.

State programs

Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency responsible for promoting economic development in New York, has programs available to assist businesses that are expanding and creating jobs. Qualified businesses that locate in an Empire enterprise zone can be exempted from sales tax, benefit from tax reductions, or receive credits on real property and business taxes. Enterprise zone businesses may additionally save money on utilities, receive technical assistance, or receive tax credits on wages for newly-created jobs. Even outside of these zones, businesses that create new jobs can capitalize on Investment Tax Credits. Companies specializing in research and development are eligible for tax credits on 9 percent of their corporate facility tax and may receive a capital credit for their investment in emerging technologies. Machinery and equipment, facilities, property, fuels, and utilities dedicated to research and development activities may also qualify for sales tax exemptions, and the state operates more than 50 high-tech business incubators to further develop the industry. New York State has additionally partnered with electric and gas utility companies to create the "Power for Jobs" program in which companies that fulfill the requirement of retaining or generating a specified number of jobs then receive a break on their utility costs that can be as much as a 25 percent savings.

Low interest loans can be accessed through Empire State Development by small manufacturing enterprises, small service operations that are independently owned and operated, businesses operating within an Empire Zone, businesses located in "highly distressed" areas, businesses owned by women or minorities, defense industry manufacturers, and small businesses seeking to increase their export activities. Other loan programs range from direct financing through the ESD to interest subsidies and loan guarantees. Depending on the financing source, funds can be used for building construction, equipment acquisition, building purchases, and working capital. New York State's progressive tax structure combines tax credits, deductions, exemptions, and write-offs to help reduce the tax burden on businesses.

Businesses that start up in or relocate to designated Commercial Expansion Areas may be eligible for a 3-5 year rent credit of up to $2.50 per square foot, dependent on lease length and company size. New York City's Commercial Expansion Areas include certain Commercial Zones and Manufacturing Zones in Bronx, Upper Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. To qualify, businesses must occupy a building of at least 24,000 square feet and constructed prior to 1999. Businesses in these same zones may be eligible for participation in the Relocation and Employment Assistance, or REAP, program. A tax credit of $3,000 per job is allowed for up to 12 years for jobs relocated from Manhattan below 96th Street or from outside the city to Manhattan below Houston Street. Businesses that have renovated a facility at a cost of more than 50 percent of its assessed value may also be eligible, as may businesses that sign a lease of no less than three years and that spend no less than $25 per square foot improving the space.

The Printers' Relocation Fund allows for partial reimbursement of relocation expenditures to commercial printing businesses and graphic arts companies that move within New York City. Grants may be 50 percent of the qualifying moving costs or $200,000, whichever is the lesser amount.

The New York City Industrial Development Agency offers straight lease transactions and issues low-cost double and triple tax-exempt and taxable bonds on behalf of a wide range of commercial, industrial, and nonprofit companies and organizations. Many financing programs are aimed at eligible small and medium-size businesses to help them obtain financing often not available elsewhere. Various programs provide tax-exempt financing for the purchase of production equipment and machinery; tax exemptions on newly acquired property or renovations for industrial companies; venture capital funds to make capital available for companies specializing in advanced technology; funds for the expansion of nonprofit organizations; loans to small start-up city-based service, retail contracting and manufacturing businesses; and funds to assist community-based banks in making loans for which businesses may not have qualified previously.

Job training programs

In 2003, the New York City Department of Small Business Services was merged with the Department of Employment to create a single point of entry called the Division of Workforce Development. The Division staffs Workforce1 Centers throughout the boroughs of New York City, where job seekers can find extensive databases of open positions, career counseling, skills workshops, and placement programs. The centers also provide GED preparatory courses and instruction in English as a Second Language. Employers can find assistance through the Division's NYC Business Solutions Centers, where customized recruitment and training allows industries to hire workers who are already trained. The Business Solutions Centers offer advice for entrepreneurs, resources for negotiating governmental regulations, and onsite skill development for employees.

The New York City Employment and Training Coalition has combined the resources of local community colleges, community-based organizations, and training programs associated with labor unions to create a comprehensive approach to training and retraining of the workforce. The Coalition offers employer roundtable discussions, training for management staff to facilitate recruitment and retention of quality employees, workshops and conferences, research, and technical assistance.

In 2005, the New York City Council partnered with the United Way of New York City to publicize a request for proposals for grant funding that will support programs as part of NYCWorks. The $10 million initiative will increase access to education, job readiness training, and specific job skill development for unemployed or underemployed workers in the metropolitan area.

Development Projects

New York City's Economic Development Corporation has continued its efforts to restore and reenergize the Lower Manhattan region through tax incentives that encourage retail, commercial, and residential development. Minimum amounts of investment in property improvements, minimum lease lengths, and other criteria for participation in the Lower Manhattan Revitalization Program ensure stability and commitment on the part of businesses and citizens alike.

A division of L'Oreal beauty products has decided to locate its stylist training facility in the TriBeCa neighborhood. Approximately 120 employees of the Matrix salon beauty products company will work in the 31,000 square foot space, where hairstylists will learn how to effectively use the company's products on clients.

Coney Island has meant summer fun for generations of New Yorkers; the stretch of Brooklyn beach, with its amusement park, circus sideshows, and hotdog-eating contests, has sometimes seemed to be on shaky ground, but new development in the area has bolstered the landmark yet again. In 2001, construction was completed on KeySpan Park, home of the new minor league Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team (an affiliate of the New York Mets). In 2005, the Coney Island Development Corporation chose a designer to revitalize the historic Parachute Pavilion at Coney Island, with the ultimate goal of creating a year-round attraction that will preserve the essence of the amusement park and its surroundings.

In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for a commercial biotech research and development campus on the grounds of the city-owned Bellevue Hospital. The East River Science Park is expected to attract major players in the pharmaceutical, medical device production, and biotechnology fields. Approximately 4.5 acres have been set aside for the facility that, when completed, will encompass 870,000 square feet of research, retail, and office space. The Economic Development Corporation has committed $10 million to the project, with an expected return of 6,000 construction jobs during realization of the science park and 2,000 new permanent jobs upon completion. One of Manhattan's current pharmaceutical residents, Pfizer, also has plans in the works to renovate its existing headquarters, expand into several new buildings, and relocate thousands of employees to the downtown headquarters, at the cost of $1 billion over the next 15 years.

In the 1970s, Hunts Point (Bronx) was a crime-infested area notorious for frequent arsons in its abandoned buildings and warehouses. After being designated an In-Place Industrial Park in 1980, followed by Empire and Empowerment Zone designations in 1994, Hunts Point emerged as an industrial powerhouse, with an emphasis on food production. The City of New York and the Bronx Borough plan to capitalize on that momentum through the Hunts Point Vision Plan announced in 2005, in which the existing Produce Market on the site will be upgraded, vacant parcels in the Food Distribution Center will be developed, a buffer zone of food-related businesses will be created between the industrial park and the nearby residential neighborhood, bike paths will be constructed, rail and highway access will be enhanced, new parks will be planted, the visual appeal of the area will be heightened with new sidewalks and streetscapes, the appearance of the waterfront will be improved, and a Hunts Point Works employment and training center will be generated.

In 2005, the city of New York and the borough of Queens put a plan in motion to redevelop the former Municipal Parking Lot 1. Approximately $500 million has been set aside to turn the five-acre site into a new town square with residential spaces, a community center, retail slots, recreational facilities, and a business-class hotel. The project is called Flushing Commons and it is anticipated to generate 2,000 construction jobs during the building phase and an eventual 2,000 permanent jobs. An ancillary project in Flushing involves the construction of more than 100 affordable housing units complemented by retail spaces. The city of Flushing is also undertaking an $11 million downtown redevelopment project that will make the area more friendly for pedestrians, and a former industrial property in western Flushing will eventually be transformed into a 3.2 million square foot retail and residential area called Flushing Town Center, at a cost of about $600 million.

Economic Development Information: New York City Economic Development Corporation, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; telephone (212)312-3600; toll-free (800)NYC-0100

Commercial Shipping

In 2003, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey area handled about 4 million cargo containers and 55 million tons of bulk cargo, at a record value of $100 billion. The world's leading airport system includes LaGuardia, which transported 14,096 tons of cargo and 15,219 tons of air mail in 2004 in addition to 24,435,619 passengers. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) opened two new cargo facilities in 2003, encompassing 435,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. Japan Airlines operates a sophisticated cargo structure at JFK, with 260,000 square feet of space, and the JFK Air Cargo Center is equipped to handle live animal shipments. In 2003, JFK moved 1,709,457 tons of cargo, 84,243 tons of air mail, and 31,732,446 passengers.

In 2002, New York State government and the Port Authority partnered in a rail freight service improvement project that was expected to cost about $40.195 million. Movement of goods within and outside the New York City area should be enhanced as track and yard capacity are increased in Brooklyn and Queens, vertical clearances are heightened along the Oak Point Link, cargo facilities are expanded, a new engine house is constructed for NY&A rail line, and other enhancements are instituted that will benefit rail freight service providers such as CSX and CP.

Two Foreign Trade Zones in New York City cover three major import-export sites: the Brooklyn Navy Yard, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Howland Hook Marine Terminal (along with Port Ivory). Foreign Trade Zones are legally outside U.S. Customs territory and permit importers to store or assemble goods with minimal U.S. Customs scrutiny and no duty charges until goods enter U.S. commerce streams.

The city is bisected and surrounded by a web of interstate highways, including I-95, I-80, I-78, I-295, and I-280. More than 60 trucking companies offer local and national ground transportation of freight, and both FedEx and United Parcel Service operate air freight and package delivery services that are sited in Jamaica, NY.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

The 2000 U.S. Census reported that 72.3 percent of New Yorkers possess a high school diploma or its equivalent; 27.4 percent of the city's population goes on to earn at least a bachelor's degree, and 11.6 percent achieve a graduate degree of some variety. Overall, this makes for a well-educated workforce. For the State of New York, labor market analysts predict that there will be marked growth in the education and training industry, with a 15.4 percent increase in available positions by the year 2012. Healthcare and healthcare support professions are expected to pick up 147,930 jobs, and community social service work is anticipated to increase by almost 20 percent. Manufacturing and administrative support positions will more than likely decrease in availability, while transportation-related and agricultural work are projected to remain essentially static. Financial services employment will continue its gradual rebound, with an 11.5 percent gain in jobs by 2012.

The following is a summary of data regarding the New York consolidated metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 8,278,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 329,700

manufacturing: 499,600

trade, transportation and utilities: 1,582,400

information: 289,300

financial activities: 769,700

professional and business services: 1,223,500

educational and health services: 1,358,000

leisure and hospitality: 606,700

other services: 346,000

government: 1,273,000

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.35 (April 2005)

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (April 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees (2004)
City of New York 300,000
New York Public Schools 73,774
Merrill Lynch 50,600
JFK International Airport 35,000
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 21,928
Credit Suisse First Boston 18,341
Consolidated Edison Co. of NY 14,079
New York University 13,000
Bear Stearns Companies 10,961
HSBC Banks 10,800
Morgan Stanley Financial 9,700
Cornell University 9,200
LaGuardia Airport 8,000
Beth Israel Medical Center 7,460

Cost of Living

New York is by far the nation's most expensive city in which to live, and it ranks as the thirteenth most expensive worldwide. The city's unique rent control policies provide cheap rent to long-ensconced residentswho tend to be middle class or affluentwhile leaving newcomers to fend for themselves on the open market. Areas that have been undergoing gentrification in the last decade, such as the Park Slope (Brooklyn) and Parkchester (Bronx) neighborhoods, have seen a more than 50 percent increase in rents. To deter rent inflation that may chase older residents or lower-income owners out of their properties, New York City is now offering a property tax abatement to owners of buildings comprised of less than six units and who rent to senior citizens. The city has also proposed that renters in New York City be able to benefit from the School Tax Relief program that at present only applies to property owners, and that property owners who trim the City of New York trees near their homes may qualify for a property tax credit.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the New York area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $990,800 (Manhattan only)

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 216 (Manhattan only, U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 4% to 7.7%

State sales tax rate: 4%

Local income tax rate: Graduated, from 1.5% to approximately 4.45%

Local sales tax rate: 4.375%

Property tax rate: Class 1 (single-family dwelling) in Manhattan, 15.094% of assessed value; Class 4 in Manhattan, 11.558% of assessed value (2004-2005)

Economic Information: Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, 1375 Broadway, Third Floor, New York, New York, 10018; telephone (212)479-7772; fax (212)831-4244

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Economy." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Economy." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Recreation

New York: Recreation


An energetic visitor could keep busy for weeks in Manhattan alone. A good place to start is where the Dutch explorers first settledin Battery Park on the southernmost tip of Manhattan, which offers spectacular views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty, itself accessible by boats leaving from the park. The American Museum of Immigration at the base of the statuethe largest of modern timestraces the history of the men and women who sailed into the harbor for a new future. Ellis Island processed more than 12 million European immigrants before it was shuttered in 1954; it is once again open to the public and drawing visitors from around the country and the globe.

A natural sightseeing transition might be a trip to the New York City Hall, the oldest in the nation still housing the city's governmental functions. Back in 1802, a design team consisting of a Frenchman and a native New Yorker won a competition to create the then-new City Hall; the resulting building reflects the Federal style of architecture, with noticeable French influences. Ten Corinthian columns, a soaring rotunda, arched windows, and a cupola crowned by a copper statue of Justice make the building a dramatic sight. The Governor's Room in the City Hall contains a museum with relics from the civic development of the U.S. and New York; its visitors have included Albert Einstein and President Abraham Lincoln, who later lay in state in the room following his assassination.

The New York Stock Exchange offers free tours and a visitor's gallery to observe the hectic activity; for a more peaceful perspective, the sightseer can look down on the city from the observation platform of the fabled Empire State Building, once the world's tallest building. Grand Central Station is a destination in itself; since it opened in 1913, the station whose name has become synonymous with bustle has added shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Group and individual tours can be arranged. Rockefeller Center is not just a place to see but to be seenthe NBC network produces "The Today Show" in the historic complex of buildings that includes the Rainbow Room and the Radio City Music Hall.

Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Center complex, is a powerful experience. Interim memorials are located near the site to keep alive the memory of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The absence of the towering buildings themselves, in a city that uses every available space, is haunting.

The United Nations meets for about three months beginning on the third Tuesday of September, and free tickets to the General Assembly are distributed about an hour before each conclave. Guided tours of the building are also available in at least 16 languages. Visitors should also take time to stroll through New York's many neighborhoods. Chinatown abounds with restaurants and stores. Greenwich Village retains much of its Bohemian charm with bookstores, nightlife, and specialty boutiques. The Garment District, still a headquarters for the clothing trade, teems with workers pushing racks of clothing down the street.

In the Bronx, the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden owns one of the world's biggest plant collections in an herbarium with four million specimens. The Bronx Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals in natural environments. The zoo is active in preservation activities, having been the home of the Wildlife Conservation Society since 1895. Some of the realistic habitats include the Himalayan Highlands Habitat, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and an Asian rain-forest. The zoo also contains a butterfly garden, a tiger exhibit that puts visitors within a whisker of the cats, and a bug carousel for the kids.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden cultivates 900 varieties of roses and is undergoing a series of improvements and restorations in 2005. Astroland, near the Coney Island Board-walk, is a family fun center with rides, games, and other amusements. Also nearby, the New York Aquarium highlights a shark tank, dolphin and sea lion shows, Beluga whales, and thousands of other fish and varieties of marine life. The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the world's most beautiful suspension bridges, is open to pedestrians for a memorable view of lower Manhattan.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens is nearly as large as Manhattan and is a beautiful site for nature walks. On Staten Island, the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge offers similar opportunities. The Staten Island Zoo is small, but maintains an excellent reptile collection.

New York is famous around the world for its glittering nightlife, from jazz clubs in Harlem to discos and nightclubs in Manhattan. Comedy clubs, improvisational theater, and singles lounges are key New York attractions.

Arts and Culture

New York City is the ultimate destination for performers in and consumers of all aspects of the arts. The city's rich culture attracts fans to the fabled lights of Broadway (and off-Broadway) theaters and the all-night clubs of Greenwich Village. The Theater District in Manhattan offers 36 theaters and a ton of talent in a small strip of land. Performance venues named for luminaries such as Ethel Barrymore, the Gershwins, and Helen Hayes line the streets and entertain millions every year. The artistic heart of the city literally beats at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, home of cultural icons such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the School of American Ballet, the New York City Opera, The Chamber Music Society, the New York City Ballet, and the Metropolitan Opera. The 268-seat Walter Reade Theater located within the Lincoln Center is the first permanent home of the Film Society. The Dance Theatre of Harlem started as an initiative to give underserved children the opportunity to study a wide variety of dance forms and has now become one of the best-known multicultural professional companies in the world.

Cultural and historical museums in New York City are as diverse as the populace. El Museo del Barrio has evolved into a primary ethnic institution for New York's Latino residents and is a must-see within Manhattan's Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. Both the Museum of the City of New York and the collections of the New York Historical Society illustrate how the "Big Apple" developed into the metropolis it is today. The Museum of Television and Radio keeps a vault of 16,000 radio and television tapes that visitors can select by computer and then watch in private booths. The museum also holds special screenings and is a center for radio, television and film research efforts. The Jewish Museum is devoted to Jewish culture both ancient and modern, as is the Yeshiva University Museum. The South Street Seaport Museum is actually a historical district that is several blocks long and features exhibits relating to New York's marine past. A fleet of ships from the late 1800s and early 1900s is docked at the museum pier and can be boarded by the public. The American Museum of Natural History in Central Park features permanent exhibits on peoples from around the globe, meteorites, gems, primates, birds and reptiles, and is probably best known for its dramatic dinosaur reconstructions. The 563-carat sapphire called Star of India is on display at the museum, and the museum's Hayden Planetarium presents frequent lecture series, weekly galaxy explorations, and daily astronomy demonstrations. The New York City Fire Museum resides in a circa-1903 firehouse built in the Beaux Art fashion and contains historical articles, equipment, and memorabilia related to fire-fighting. The New York City Police Museum contains one of the world's biggest collections of police and emergency services memorabilia.

The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA as it's popularly known, is the largest art museum in the country with 135,000 specimens of painting, sculpture, photography, films, and drawings. The building itself recently underwent an expansion and remodeling that increased both the total square footage and the exhibit space by approximately a third. The collections within MoMA include some of mankind's greatest art treasures ranging from classical Greek sculpture to avant-garde photography. The permanent collection features artists such as Raphael, El Greco, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Hopper, Dali, and Pollock. The Whitney Museum of American Art holds the largest collection of twentieth-century American work and is now amassing pieces from the twenty-first century. The museum has collected the works of Hopper, O'Keefe, and Calder extensively and has dedicated rooms to each of these artists. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, housed in a Frank Lloyd Wright building, is a masterpiece itself and specializes in modern painting, sculpture, and graphic arts. The now-public collections started as the private holdings of the Guggenheim family; Peggy Guggenheim was known for her appreciation for and support of contemporary art and was instrumental in the careers of several modern artists, including Jackson Pollock. The New Museum of Contemporary Art (NMCA) exhibits some of the most current trends in the art world. In 2005, the NMCA will begin construction of a 60,000 square foot facility on Prince Street to allow for expanded collections and programming. A temporary location for viewing will be established on the ground floor of the Chelsea Art Museum on West 22nd Street. The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) opened exactly two months after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, and the building itself has won several awards for its architecture. The AFAM collection includes 4,000 paintings, quilts, sculptures, and weathervanes. The Studio Museum in Harlem collects culturally relevant works in a variety of media and offers educational workshops. The Dahesh Museum has concentrated its collection efforts on the works of nineteenth and early-twentieth century European artists such as Bonheur, Vernet, and Picou. The younger set will appreciate the Children's Museum of the Arts, where a hands-on experience in visual and performing arts awaits. The Museum of African Art, located on SoHo Museum Row, seeks to increase public awareness and appreciation of the works of African artisans. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation's only museum devoted to contemporary and historical design.

Festivals and Holidays

Practically every day is a party somewhere in New York City. The St. Patrick's Day Parade (Irish) and the Columbus Day Parade (Italian) remain the city's two biggest ethnic celebrations. Others include the German Steuben Day Parade, the Muslim Day Parade, the Brooklyn Latinos Unidos Parade, the Mexican Day Parade, and the Polish Pulaski Day Parade. The Great 4th of July Festival explodes with fireworks by Macy's Department Store and a street fair. Toward the end of July, the River to River Festival at the waterfront in Manhattan honors the arts in all forms. In August, the New York Fringe Festival is an alternative celebration of visual and performing arts. The Festival of the Americas in mid-August expresses the diversity of the continent from north to south. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast nationwide, features huge cartoon-character balloons that drift over city streets and has figured largely in movies such as "Miracle on 34th Street." Since 1933, the lighting of the communal tree in Rockefeller Center has drawn New Yorkers and visitors in a kick-off for various cultural observations occurring in December. New Year's Eve is celebrated in a raucous party that centers on Times Square where the "Big Apple" and the ageless Dick Clark have for many years marked the start of a new year.

Sports for the Spectator

A Big League city demands Big League sports heroes and New York's professional teams have provided those for generations. The New York Yankees of professional base-ball's American League East play in the "House That (Babe) Ruth Built," Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The National League New York Mets play their baseball games at Shea Stadium in Queens. The New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association all play home games at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The National Hockey League's New York Islanders host their hockey matches at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, which is also the scene for arena football action with the New York Dragons. From the National Football League, the New York Giants and the New York Jets both play their home games across the river in New Jersey at Giants Stadium within the Meadowlands complex.

While New York City was unsuccessful in its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, there are still plenty of amateur sporting events to enjoy in the metropolis. Minor league baseball is represented by the Brooklyn Cyclones, an affiliate of the Mets, and the Yankees' farm team in Staten Island. Columbia University competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in a number of sports such as basketball, cross-country, and soccer.

Aqueduct Race Track in Queens attracts horseracing fans as do nearby Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont and the Meadowlands in New Jersey. For almost 140 years, the Belmont Stakes have been one leg of the Triple Crown thoroughbred horserace series. The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are played annually in August and early September at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park area of Queens.

Sports for the Participant

Recreational sports for hundreds of thousands of Manhattan residents center on gigantic Central Park, an 840-acre green oasis of rolling hills, ponds, and biking and running paths. Many roads through the park are closed on weekends and certain hours during the week to allow cyclists to pedal in peace. Rowboats can be rented from Loeb Boathouse for a small fee. Runners, walkers, and rollerbladers have unlimited access to miles of footpaths in Central Park, but should exercise caution at night and in isolated areas of the park.

New York City's Parks and Recreation Division administers more than 1,700 parks and facilities scattered throughout the five boroughs that constitute the city. With 614 ball fields, 991 playgounds, 53 outdoor swimming pools, 14 miles of beaches, and 550 tennis courts, the city offers something for everyone. A plethora of city-sponsored sporting opportunities are available for individuals and groups, and the Police Athletic League operated by the police department coordinates sporting events for more than 70,000 children every year.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens is nearly as large as Manhattan, with 9,155 acres of natural habitats and hiking trails that aren't overly demanding. On Staten Island, the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge covers 2,500 acres where hikers can hit either the Blue or White trails as they pass through diverse ecosystems. Outside of New York City, the Adirondack Forest Preserve contains more than 2,000 miles of established trails that can challenge hikers of all ages and abilities. The Adirondacks offer opportunities for backpacking and camping, rock climbing and bouldering, or canoeing in the lake country. In the winter, there's skiing at Whiteface Mountain and hiking trails convert to cross-country skiing use. A number of resorts with downhill and cross-country trails are within easy driving distance of the city.

The New York City Marathon, held annually, is one of the biggest races in the country, attracting thousands of professional and amateur participants from around the globe. In the winter, ice skaters can glide on rinks at Rockefeller Center and at the Wollman Memorial Skating Rink in Central Park. Open all year is the New York City Building rink at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park where rentals are available. There are eight golf courses within the vicinity, including Rock Hill, Montauk Downs, Spook Rock, and Swan Lake.

Shopping and Dining

The iconic Macy's in Herald Square, the world's largest store, covers 2.1 million feet of space and offers 500,000 different items for the shopper's consideration. Macy's has a visitors center that conducts tours in several languages and the department store houses a gourmet food shop in The Cellar. Flagship stores for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Versace, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, and others have led to a designer boom on Fifth and Madison avenues and 57th Street. SoHo (short for the area south of Houston Street) remains a favorite destination for its unique boutiques and stylish art galleries.

Fifth Avenue, New York's avenue of fashion, includes Bergdorf Men, located across from Bergdorf Goodman and featuring clothing for men only. The venerable Henri Bendel resides in a beautifully restored Beaux Arts building; nearby, Saks Fifth Avenue still caters to upscale shoppers. Also nearby is FAO Schwarz toy emporium, where kids of all ages come to be amazed and entertained. Rare toys, collectibles, faux vehicles, and stuffed animals run rampant in a store that invites visitors to play with the merchandise.

Designer clothing at bargain prices can be found at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, located about an hour outside of Manhattan in upstate New York. Vendors include Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Banana Republic, The Gap, and Chanel. A shuttle bus service is available to and from the city.

The Crystal District is a five-block expanse of Madison Avenue that houses the world's greatest collection of luxury crystal. Baccarat, a French crystal company, maintains a flagship store in that area, along with Steuben, Swarovski, and Lalique. More sparkly things can be found at the perennial source for engagement and wedding rings, Tiffany and Co. The most extensive offering of Lladro ceramics in the United States is available at Lladro U.S.A. Inc. on 57th Street. New York is also home to world-famous auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's.

Books are a popular and readily available item, sold in general bookstores, specialty shops for specific subject matter, and at sidewalk stands. International goods are the bailiwick of the United Nations Gift Center, and Greenwich Village has continued to be a source for hip and happening music or golden oldies found in its plentiful record and CD shops. All five boroughs also host greenmarkets, some of which are seasonal and some year-round.

Dining options in New York are limited only to one's pocketbook. The more than 18,000 possibilities include everything from posh four-star restaurants to sidewalk cafés and Kosher delicatessens. Continental cuisine coexists with soul food in Harlem, pasta in Little Italy, and Asian specialties in Chinatown. Several restaurants atop New York's skyscrapers offer meals with a breathtaking view. There are a number of time-honored eateries that deserve individual mention: The Four Seasons combines luxurious surroundings with sumptuous food that continually pushes the envelope of American cuisine; the Russian Tea Room is a New York institution which recently reopened and is enjoying a renaissance; Tavern on the Green has been feeding its flocks since 1934before that, it was a sheepfold; Tom's Restaurant was featured on the comedy series "Seinfeld" and serves up cheap eats.

Visitor Information: NYC & Company, Convention and Visitors Bureau, 810 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019; telephone (212)484-1200; fax (212)245-5943

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York (city, United States)

New York, city (1990 pop. 7,322,564), land area 304.8 sq mi (789.4 sq km), SE N.Y., largest city in the United States and one of the largest in the world, on New York Bay at the mouth of the Hudson River. It comprises five boroughs, each coextensive with a county: Manhattan (New York co.), the heart of the city, an island; the Bronx (Bronx co.), on the mainland, NE of Manhattan and separated from it by the Harlem River; Queens (Queens co.), on Long Island, E of Manhattan across the East River; Brooklyn (Kings co.), also on Long Island, on the East River adjoining Queens and on New York Bay; and Staten Island (Richmond co.), on Staten Island, SW of Manhattan and separated from it by the Upper Bay. The metropolitan area (1990 est. pop. 18,087,000) encompasses parts of SE New York state, NE New Jersey, and SW Connecticut. The port of New York (which is now centered on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River) remains one of the world's leading ports.


New York is a vibrant center for commerce and business and one of the three "world cities" (along with London and Toyko) that control world finance. Manufacturing—primarily of small but highly diverse types—accounts for a large but declining amount of employment. Clothing and other apparel, such as furs; chemicals; metal products; and processed foods are some of the principal manufactures. The city is also a major center of television broadcasting, book publishing, advertising, and other facets of mass communication. It became a major movie-making site in the 1990s, and it is a preeminent art center, with artists revitalizing many of its neighborhoods. The most celebrated newspapers are the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. New York attracts many conventions—including the national Democratic (1868, 1924, 1976, 1980, 1992) and Republican (2004) party conventions—and was the site of two World's Fairs (1939–40; 1964–65). It is served by three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, both in Queens, and Newark International Airport, in New Jersey. Railroads converge upon New York from all points.

With its vast cultural and educational resources, famous shops and restaurants, places of entertainment (including the theater district and many off-Broadway theaters), striking and diversified architecture (including the Woolworth Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Seagram Building, 8 Spruce St., and One World Trade Center), and parks and botanical gardens, New York draws millions of tourists every year. Some of its streets and neighborhoods have become symbols throughout the nation. Wall Street means finance; Broadway, the theater; Fifth Avenue, fine shopping; Madison Avenue, advertising; and SoHo, art.

Ethnic Diversity

New York City is also famous for its ethnic diversity, manifesting itself in scores of communities representing virtually every nation on earth, each preserving its identity. Little Italy and Chinatown date back to the mid-19th cent. African Americans from the South began to migrate to Harlem after 1910, and in the 1940s large numbers of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic-Americans began to settle in what is now known as Spanish Harlem. Since the 1980s New York City has undergone substantial population growth, primarily due to new immigration from Latin America (especially the Dominican Republic), Asia, Jamaica, Haiti, the Soviet Union and Russia, and Africa.

Points of Interest and Educational and Cultural Facilities

The city's many bridges include the George Washington Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge, Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough) Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The Holland Tunnel (the first vehicular tunnel under the Hudson) and the Lincoln Tunnel link Manhattan with New Jersey. The Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Hugh L. Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel, both under the East River, connect Manhattan with W Long Island. Islands in the East River include Roosevelt Island, Rikers Island (site of a city penitentiary), and Randalls Island (with Downing Stadium). In New York Bay are Liberty Island (with the Statue of Liberty); Governors Island; and Ellis Island. New York City is the seat of the United Nations. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a complex of buildings housing the Metropolitan Opera Company, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, and the Juilliard School. Also in the city are Carnegie Hall and New York City Center, featuring performances by musical and theatrical companies.

Among the best known of the city's many museums and scientific collections are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), the Frick Collection (housed in the Frick mansion), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Neue Galerie, the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage–a Living Memorial to the Holocaust, the American Museum of Natural History (with the Hayden Planetarium), the museum and library of the New-York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum (see Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences), and the Paley Center for Media. The New York Public Library is the largest in the United States. Major educational institutions include the City Univ. of New York (see New York, City Univ. of), Columbia Univ., Cooper Union, Fordham Univ., General Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary, New School Univ., New York Univ., and Union Theological Seminary. A center for medical treatment and research, New York has more than 130 hospitals and several medical schools. Noted hospitals include Bellevue Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital (part of Mt. Sinai NYU Health), and New York–Presbyterian Hospital (encompassing Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and New York Weill Cornell Medical Center). Among New York's noted houses of worship are Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel (dedicated 1776), Saint Patrick's Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (see Saint John the Divine, Cathedral of), Riverside Church, and Temple Emanu-El.

New York's parks and recreation centers include parts of Gateway National Recreation Area (see National Parks and Monuments, table); Central Park, the Battery, Washington Square Park, Riverside Park, and Fort Tryon Park (with the Cloisters) in Manhattan; the New York Zoological Park (Bronx Zoo) and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx; Coney Island (with a boardwalk, beaches, and an aquarium) and Prospect Park in Brooklyn; and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (the site of two World's Fairs, two museums, a botanic garden, and a zoo) in Queens. Sports events are held at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, home to the Knickerbockers (basketball) and Rangers (hockey); at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, home to the Yankees (baseball); at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, home to the Nets (basketball); and at Citi Field, home to the Mets (baseball), and the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home to the U.S. Open (tennis), in Queens. In the suburbs are the homes of the Islanders (hockey; in Uniondale, Long Island) and the Giants and the Jets (football; at the Meadowlands, in East Rutherford, N.J.).

Other places of interest are Rockefeller Center; Battery Park City; Greenwich Village, with its cafés and restaurants; and Times Square, with its lights and theaters. Of historic interest are Fraunces Tavern (built 1719), where Washington said farewell to his officers after the American Revolution; Gracie Mansion (built late 18th cent.), now the official mayoral residence; the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage; and Grant's Tomb.


The Colonial Period

Although Giovanni da Verrazano was probably the first European to explore the region and Henry Hudson certainly visited the area, it was with Dutch settlements on Manhattan and Long Island that the city truly began to emerge. In 1624 the colony of New Netherland was established, initially on Governors Island, but the town of New Amsterdam on the lower tip of Manhattan was soon its capital. Peter Minuit of the Dutch West India Company supposedly bought the island from its Native inhabitants for 60 Dutch guilders worth of merchandise (the sale was completed in 1626). Under the Dutch, schools were opened and the Dutch Reformed Church was established. The indigenous population was forced out the area of European settlement in a series of bloody battles.

In 1664 the English, at war with the Netherlands (see Dutch Wars), seized the colony for the duke of York, for whom it was renamed. Peter Stuyvesant was replaced by Richard Nicolls as governor, and New York City became the capital of the new British province of New York. The Dutch returned to power briefly (1673–74) before the reestablishment of English rule. A liberal charter, which established the Common Council as the main governing body of the city, was granted under Thomas Dongan in 1686 and remained in effect for many years. English rule was not, however, without dissension, and the autocratic rule of British governors was one of the causes of an insurrection that broke out in 1689 under the leadership of Jacob Leisler. The insurrection ended in the execution of Leisler by his enemies in 1691. In 1741 there was further violence when an alleged plot by African-American slaves to burn New York was ruthlessly suppressed.

Throughout the 18th cent. New York was an expanding commercial and cultural center. The city's first newspaper, the New York Gazette, appeared in 1725. The trial in 1735 of John Peter Zenger, editor of a rival paper, was an important precedent for the principle of a free press. The city's first institution of higher learning, Kings College (now Columbia Univ.), was founded in 1754.

The Revolution through the Nineteenth Century

New York was active in the colonial opposition to British measures after trouble in 1765 over the Stamp Act. As revolutionary sentiments increased, the New York Sons of Liberty forced (1775) Gov. William Tryon and the British colonial government from the city. Although many New Yorkers were Loyalists, Continental forces commanded by George Washington tried to defend the city. After the patriot defeat in the battle of Long Island (see Long Island, battle of) and the succeeding actions at Harlem Heights and White Plains, Washington gave up New York, and the British occupied the city until the end of the war for independence. Under the British occupation two mysterious fires (1776 and 1778) destroyed a large part of the city. After the Revolution New York was briefly (1785–90) the first capital of the United States and was the state capital until 1797. President Washington was inaugurated (Apr. 30, 1789) at Federal Hall.

New development was marked by such events as the founding (1784) of the Bank of New York under Alexander Hamilton and the beginning of the stock exchange around 1790. By 1790 New York was the largest city in the United States, with over 33,000 inhabitants; by 1800 the number had risen to 60,515. In 1811 plans were adopted for the laying out of most of Manhattan on a grid pattern. The opening of the Erie Canal (1825), ardently supported by former Mayor De Witt Clinton, made New York City the seaboard gateway for the Great Lakes region, ushering in another era of commercial expansion. The New York and Harlem RR was built in 1832. In 1834 the mayor of New York became an elective office. In the next year a massive fire destroyed much of Lower Manhattan, but it brought about new building laws and the construction of the Croton water system.

By 1840 New York had become the leading port of the nation. A substantial Irish and German immigration after 1840 dramatically changed the character of urban life and politics in the city. The coming of the Civil War found New Yorkers unusually divided; many shared Mayor Fernando Wood's Southern sympathies, but under the leadership of Gov. Horatio Seymour most supported the Union. However, in 1863 the draft riots broke out in protest against the federal Conscription Act. The rioters—many of whom were Irish and other recent immigrants—directed most of their anger against African Americans. Extensive immigration had begun before the Civil War, and after 1865, with the acceleration of industrial development, another wave of immigration began and reached its height in the late 19th and early 20th cent. As a result of this immigration, which was predominantly from E and S Europe, the city's population reached 3,437,000 by 1900 and 7 million by 1930. New York's many distinct neighborhoods, divided along ethnic and class lines, included such notorious slums as Five Points, Hell's Kitchen, and the Lower East Side. They were often side by side with such exclusive neighborhoods as Gramercy Park or Brooklyn Heights.

Municipal politics were dominated by the Democratic party, which was dominated by Tammany Hall (see Tammany) and the Tweed Ring, led by William M. Tweed. The first of many scandalous disclosures about the city's political life came in 1871, leading to Tweed's downfall. Although not always victorious, Tammany was the center of New York City politics until 1945.

Until 1874, when portions of Westchester were annexed, the city's boundaries were those of present-day Manhattan. With the adoption of a new charter in 1898, New York became a city of five boroughs—New York City was split into the present Manhattan and Bronx boroughs, and the independent city of Brooklyn was annexed, as were the western portions of Queens co. and Staten Island. The opening of the first subway line (1903) and other means of mass transportation spurred the growth of the outer boroughs, and this trend has continued into the 1990s. The Flatiron Building (1902) foreshadowed the skyscrapers that today give Manhattan its famed skyline.

Later History

In the 20th cent., New York City was served by such mayors as Seth Low, William J. Gaynor, James J. Walker (whose resignation was brought about by the Seabury investigation), Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Robert F. Wagner, Jr. (see under Robert Ferdinand Wagner), Abraham Beame, John V. Lindsay, Edward I. Koch, David Dinkins (New York City's first African-American mayor), and Rudolph Giuliani. The need for regional planning resulted in the nation's first zoning legislation (1916) and the formation of such bodies as the Port of New York Authority (1921; now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), the Regional Plan Association (1929), the Municipal Housing Authority (1934), and the City Planning Commission (1938).

After World War II, New York began to experience the problems that became common to most large U.S. cities, including increased crime, racial and ethnic tensions, homelessness, a movement of residents and companies to the suburbs and the resulting diminished tax base, and a deteriorating infrastructure that hurt city services. These problems were highlighted in the city's near-bankruptcy in 1975. A brief but spectacular boom in the stock and real estate markets in the 1980s brought considerable wealth to some sectors. By the early 1990s, however, corporate downsizing, the outward movement of corporate and back office centers, a still shrinking industrial sector, and the transition to a service-oriented economy meant the city was hard hit by the national recession.

In the late 1990s the city capitalized on its strengths to face a changing economic environment. While the manufacturing base continued to dwindle, the survivors were flexible and, increasingly, specialized companies that custom-tailored products or focused on local customers. Foreign markets were targeted by the city's financial, legal, communications, and other service industries. The city also saw the birth of a strong high-technology sector. Budget cuts in the mid-1990s reduced basic services, but a strong national economy and, especially, a rising stock market had restored vigor and prosperity by the end of the 20th cent.

The destruction of the World Trade Center, formerly the city's tallest building, as a result of a terrorist attack (Sept., 2001) was the worst disaster in the city's history, killing more than 2,700 people. In addition to the wrenching horror of the attack and the blow to the city's pride, New York lost some 10% of its commercial office space and faced months of cleanup and years of reconstruction. The crisis brought national prominence and international renown to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who provided the city with a forceful and calming focus in the weeks after the attack. Michael R. Bloomberg, a moderate Republican, succeeded Giuliani as mayor in 2002. In 2012 low-lying areas of the city's boroughs suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. In 2014, Bill de Blasio, a populist and liberal Democrat, became mayor.


See I. N. P. Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island (6 vol., 1915–28, repr. 1967); R. G. Albion, The Rise of New York Port, 1815–1860 (1939); J. A. Kouwenhoven, Columbia Historical Portrait of New York (1953, repr. 1972); N. Glazer and D. P. Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot (1963); E. R. Ellis, The Epic of New York City (1966); R. A. Caro, The Power Broker (1975); D. Hammack, Power and Society (1982); Federal Writers' Project, WPA Guide to New York City (repr. 1982); J. Kieran, A Natural History of New York (1982); J. Charyn, Metropolis (1987); R. A. M. Stern et al., New York 1960 (1995); E. G. Burrows and M. Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (1998); H. Adam, New York: Architecture & Design (2003); A. S. Dolkart and M. A. Postal, Guide to New York City Landmarks (3d ed. 2003); R. Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World (2004); J. Brash, Bloomberg's New York (2011); S. H. Jaffe, New York at War (2012); M. B. Williams, City of Ambition (2013); K. T. Jackson, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York City (2d ed. 2010).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: History

New York: History

Islands Draw Native American, Dutch, and English Settlement

Imagine a New York City lacquered in ice, specifically the last ice age that covered a good part of the continent more than 15,000 years ago. As the ice began to retreat, it simultaneously scraped minerals out of the earth and deposited rocks and soil in its path. Two of the terminal moraine deposits eventually became present-day Staten Island and Long Island. Early inhabitants were drawn to the fertile ground, the abundant fauna, and the clean rivers; archeological evidence suggests that the area was first peopled around 6,000 years after the retreat of the glaciers. The abundant waterways surrounding modern-day New York eventually made the area an ideal base for Algonquian tribes, who lived on the banks of the harbor at the time of initial European discovery.

Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to arrive in the region, landing at Staten Island in 1524 and mapping the region. Henry Hudson, however, became the first European to reach Manhattan in 1609 and then sailed up the river that would later bear his name. Hudson's mission had been to look for the fabled Northwest Passage to the Orient. Although English, Hudson represented a Dutch concern. The Dutch West India Company dispatched the first permanent settlers to Manhattan Island in 1624. They established Fort Amsterdam, which grew into the town of New Amsterdam as more settlers arrived. In 1626, the fledgling town's governor, Peter Minuit, bought Manhattanmeaning "Island of Hills"from the Canarsie tribe for 24 dollars' worth of beads and trinkets; locals sometimes cite this transaction as one of the last real estate bargains in New York.

New Amsterdam's population grew to roughly 1,000 people by the 1650s, but strife between Europeans and local Native Americanswho resisted being taxed by the settlersalso escalated. The Dutch West India Company, fearing the strife could hurt its economic interests, selected the autocratic Peter Stuyvesant to end the troubles. Stuyvesant, who was fitted with a decorated wooden leg and known as "Hardheaded Pete," was able to restore peace locally, but during his seventeen-year rule the Dutch and the English fought three naval wars. The English early recognized the trading potential of the site. Finally, in 1664, English war ships arrived in New York Harbor. Stuyvesant surrendered and the town was renamed New York in honor of the Duke of York. New York prospered under English rule, as the population swelled to 7,000 people by 1700. The first newspaper, The New York Gazette, was published in 1725 and King's College, now called Columbia University, opened in 1754.

New York has always thrived on rough-and-tumble politics, beginning as early as the Revolutionary War era. The Stamp Act Congress, which protested unfair taxes levied by the British rulers, met there in 1765 and five years later New Yorkers first clashed with British troops. American forces took control of New York at the start of the war, but British troops recaptured the area after the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 and held New York until the end of the war in 1783. Two years later, New York was made the temporary capital of the new nation and was the seat of Congress until 1790. New York City hosted the first presidential inauguration, as George Washington was sworn in there in 1789.

New Residents Bring Growth, Challenges

New York was once smaller than the other two colonial centers, Philadelphia and Boston. But its importance as the major East Coast port brought millions of immigrants, many of whom settled in ethnic ghettos. German, Irish, and other northern European immigrants flocked to the city throughout the 1800s, drawn by the lure of working on the city's docks and in its mills. By the last two decades of that century, Italian and many eastern Europeans also began arriving. With them came a variety of religions, including Catholicism, which heightened cultural and racial tensions between old and new residents. The immigrants, a number of whom did not speak English, came to depend on the Democratic Party-controlled Tammany Hall, a political machine that dispensed jobs and advice to immigrants in return for their votes. Led by William "Boss" Tweed, Tammany Hall eventually collapsed under the weight of its own corruption, and Tweed himself was arrested in 1871 on charges of cheating the city of as much as $200 million.

At the same time, nationwide unrest was fomenting around the issues of states' rights and slavery. New York was not a center of abolitionist sentiment during the Civil War, despite joining the Union; merchants feared trade with important Southern industries would be damaged. When army conscription was established in 1863 to fill dwindling Union ranks, riots broke out that eventually killed about 1,000 people, including many African Americans who were lynched. Order was not restored until troops arrived from Gettysburg to quell the disturbances.

Various political coalitions struggled to rule the city until Fiorello LaGuardia, nicknamed "The Little Flower," was elected mayor in 1934. LaGuardia, for whom one of the city's two major airports is now named, brought a spirit of reform to a city $30 million in debt in the middle of the Great Depression. He restored fiscal stability during his tenure, which ran until 1945, fought growing crime, and also introduced public welfare services to the city. New York's place as a world capital was bolstered in 1946 by its selection as headquarters for the United Nations. World Fairs held in New York City, the first in 1939 featuring the introduction of television and a second in 1964, further enhanced the reputation of the metropolis.

Growth Balanced by Reform

As the science of civil engineering grew, so did the city. Brooklyn for example was fairly isolated from the rest of the area until the Brooklyn Bridge was finished in 1883. But Brooklyn and three other then-separate boroughsthe Bronx, Queens and Staten Islanddid not join with Manhattan to become New York City as it is known today until 1898. Manhattan then counted the largest population, but the expanding network of bridges and tunnels leading to and from the island allowed New York City workers to spread to outlying areas.

By the 1960s, though, the city seemed nearly ungovernable. Striking transit workers shut down all subway and bus servicein a city dependent on mass transitin 1966. A 1968 garbage workers' strike left mountains of trash to pile up on hot city streets for nine days. Police and firefighters struck in 1971 and by 1975 the city faced bankruptcy or a default on its bond payments. A bailout from the federal government helped stabilize the crisis. Into that void stepped Edward Koch. Elected mayor in 1978, Koch helped return the city to a delicate balance between competing social forces and introduced his trademark phrase: "How am I doing?" In 1989 David N. Dinkins became New York City's first African American mayor, inheriting the steward-ship of a city mired in the worst recession in the post-World War era and the demise of which was predicted daily, as has been the case throughout its history. The tenure of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the 1990s saw a historic reduction of the city's crime rate, several years of balanced budgets, and a much-hailed improvement in the overall quality of life of city residents. Mayor Giuliani had entered office on the heels of the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, in which six people were killed, thousands more were injured, and extensive property damage was incurred. Before leaving office in January 2002, he was faced with an unimaginable tragedySeptember 11, 2001.

9/11: Sadness and Solidarity

Most citizens of the United States remember exactly what they were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001, when they heard the newsa plane had struck the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex in New York City. Initial reports were that it was an accident until many of those same people watched, stunned and horrified, as live television chronicled the second plane crashing into the south tower. Thirty-five minutes later, word came that a third plane had hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., followed by the downing of a fourth plane in a Pennsylvania field. Compounding the tragedy was the stark realization that the weapons used against the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon were hijacked U.S. commercial airliners, full of travelers. The magnitude of lost lives was overwhelming, nowhere more than in the streets of New York where citizens witnessed the crashes with their own eyes. Within minutes, emergency personnel from across the massive city were mobilized to respond to the WTC crash sites.

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were dependent on a central structural core, and the impact and jet fuel fires from the planes had first sent shockwaves down the length of each building and then compromised the supporting structure. At 9:59 a.m., as office workers, janitors, and executives fled the World Trade Centerwhile rescue workers filed in to help them to safetythe south tower suddenly collapsed into a heap of rubble. The north tower followed a half-hour later. Hundreds of rescue workers and thousands of WTC workers and visitors were killed or injured. The U.S. Government ultimately determined that the four attacks on 9/11 were a symbolic strike at the financial and military emblems of the country and were coordinated through a Muslim terrorist group, al-Qaeda, under the leadership of a man named Osama bin Ladin.

In the days after 9/11, New Yorkers pulled together with a new appreciation for each other and their city. Thousands of volunteers hailing from the city and far beyond gathered to offer aid for rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts, while donations avalanched in from across the country to support the injured and bereft. Mayor Giuliani was onsite at Ground Zero soon after the attacks, and he stayed onsite to boost the morale of workers and volunteers. The city as a whole vowed that it couldn't be brought to its knees by fear-based tactics, and plans were almost immediately put into effect to prove just that.

While the smoke was still rising, New York Governor George Pataki and Mayor Giuliani created the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to oversee the design and construction of a lasting memorial to the victims of 9/11, while also generating a plan to rebuild and revitalize the area most profoundly affected by the horrific events. Mere months later, mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg continued the momentum and supported the previous administration's steps to remediate the damage.

Spontaneous memorials had been started soon after the collapse of the towers, and the need for a more permanent observation of the events and recognition of the victims was quickly deemed necessary. A design competition for the memorial was held in 2002, with the idea of architect David Childs being selected as the favorite. The "Freedom Tower," as redesigned in 2005, will eventually surpass the height of the original Twin Towers and will feature an observation deck, office space, listings of the names of victims of the tragedy, and a spire of light beaming endlessly into space from the top of the structure. Groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower is scheduled for 2006, with completion expected by 2010. In the meantime, Governor Pataki announced in June 2005 that construction would start on two interim memorials to the victims, survivors, and rescue workers affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. One of the memorials is an oral history project located at the Port Authority Transit Hub near the WTC site, where people can record their recollections of that day and of the loved ones they lost. The second interim memorial is the Tribute Center located across from the WTC area, housing the collected items left at the site after the tragic occur-rences of 9/11.

After the smoke cleared, New York City remained the financial powerhouse of the world. The city won't forget the sacrifices made by its citizens on September 11th and on many previous occasions, and it's a city that realizes that the best memorial is to live on. The tourist trade rebounded with surprising speed, and New York City's gritty determination has pulled it through tough economic times not necessarily related to the events of 9/11. The biggest city in the country was built on the diversity of its citizenryIrish, Jewish, Palestinian, Russian, Italian, Muslim, African, Portuguese, and so many moreand it will continue to be the cultural, financial, and educational heart of the nation.

Historical Information: New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194; telephone (212)873-3400

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: History." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: History." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: History." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York City


NEW YORK CITY. While it shares characteristics with a thousand other cities, New York City is also unique. At the southern tip of New York State, the city covers 320.38 miles and is divided into five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. By the twenty-first century New York City was well established as the preeminent financial and cultural center of American society and an increasingly globalized world economy. Its stature is anchored in part on one of the great, natural deep-water ports in the world; on its resultant concentration of financial services, commercial ventures,

and media outlets; and on its long and colorful history as the "front door" to the United States for millions of immigrants.

Prior to European settlement in 1624, Native Americans, including the Rockaways, the Matinecooks, the Canarsies, and the Lenapes, populated the region. While northern European and Spanish explorers had contact with these groups before 1600, the establishment of a Dutch fort on Governor's Island began New York's modern history. The Dutch West India Company christened the settlement New Amsterdam, and it became the central entrepôt to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Dutch officials had trouble attracting settlers from a prosperous Holland and eventually allowed in non-Dutch settlers from nearby English colonies and northern and western Europe. As a result, by the 1660s the Dutch were close to being a minority in New Amsterdam. Led by Colonel Richard Nicolls, the British seized New Amsterdam on 8 September 1664. Nicolls renamed the city "New York City" to honor the brother of King Charles II, the duke of York (later King James II).

For its first hundred years the city grew steadily in diversity, population, and importance as a critical economic bridge between Britain's southern, agricultural colonies and its northern mercantile possessions. The first Africans arrived in 1626, and by the eighteenth century African slaves comprised approximately one-fifth of the city's population. At times the city's ethnic and racial diversity led to social unrest. In 1712 and 1741 city authorities brutally crushed slave insurrections. By 1743 New York was the third largest American city, and by 1760 it surpassed Boston to become second only to Philadelphia.

New York City saw substantial anti-British sentiment during the early years of the American Revolutionary period as radical Whig leaders organized militant Sons of Liberty and their allies in anti-British violence. As the Revolution progressed, however, the city became a bastion of Loyalist sympathy, particularly following the defeat of George Washington's forces at Brooklyn Heights and Harlem Heights in 1776. The British occupied the city for the remainder of the war.

After the British departed in 1783, New York City grew in economic importance, particularly with the establishment of the stock exchange in 1792. As European powers battled in the Napoleonic Wars, New York City supplied all sides with meat, flour, leather, and cloth among other goods and by 1810 emerged as the nation's premier port and the single most lucrative market for British exports.

The Nineteenth Century

To a significant extent New York City's subsequent rise in the nineteenth century stemmed from the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Originally advocated in 1810 by Mayor (and later governor) DeWitt Clinton, the canal allowed New York to overshadow New Orleans and St. Louis as an entry point to the western territories and provided cheap access to the "inland empire" of the Great Lakes region. As a result the city's population surged from 123,706 in 1820 to 202,589 by 1830, surpassing Philadelphia as the largest city in the hemisphere. While it prospered, New York City also became more ethnically diverse as German, French, and Irish arrivals joined older Dutch and English groups. By mid-century, a large influx of German and Irish Catholics into a city still strongly dominated by Protestant groups led to significant social conflict over jobs, temperance, municipal government, and what it meant to be an "American."

As the population and diversity increased, New York's political environment became more fractious. Ignited by desire for political patronage and inclusion and fueled by class and ethnic resentments toward the city's traditional elite, the Democratic Party developed the notorious political machine Tammany Hall. Originally formed in 1788 to challenge the city's exclusive political clubs, Tammany garnered political influence by helping immigrants find work, gain citizenship, and meet other needs. Tammany also developed a well-deserved reputation for graft, scandal, and infighting. Under the leadership of Fernando Wood in the 1850s, William Marcy "Boss" Tweed after the Civil War, and Richard Crocker and Charles Murphy, Tammany became entrenched in the city's political operations and was not routed out until the 1930s.

The American Civil War dramatically stimulated New York's industrial development and made the city the unquestioned center of American finance and capitalism. Buoyed by federal war contracts and protected by federal tariffs, New York manufactures of all types expanded rapidly. As a result many of New York's commercial elite made unprecedented fortunes. In 1860 the city had only a few dozen millionaires; by the end of the war the city had several hundred, forming the basis for a culture of conspicuous consumption that continued into the twenty-first century.

Between 1880 and 1919,17 million immigrants passed through New York City, among them growing numbers of Jewish, Hungarian, Italian, Chinese, and Russian arrivals. This surge in immigration placed significant pressure on the city's resources and led to the creation of a distinctive housing type, the tenement. As the tenant population grew, landlords subdivided single-family houses and constructed flimsy "rear lot" buildings, railroad flats, and from 1879 to 1901 the infamous "dumbbell" tenement, all noted for overcrowding, filth, and danger.

As a consequence New York City became a testing ground for regulatory reform, most notably in the areas of housing, public health, and occupational safety. Jacob Riis's landmark 1890 photo essay How the Other Half Lives detailed the overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions in the tenements and marked a major turning point in urban reform. Such efforts increased after the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire of 1911, which inspired a generation of local and national reformers, including Francis Perkins, Harry Hopkins, Robert F. Wagner, and Al Smith.

The Twentieth Century

Until the late nineteenth century "New York City" meant Manhattan. Two developments at that time, however, greatly expanded the city's boundaries. Led by Andrew Haswell Green, the consolidation of the city in 1898 unified the four outer boroughs with Manhattan, combining the country's largest city, New York, with the third biggest, Brooklyn, and raising the city's population from 2 million to 3.4 million overnight. In addition the subway system, which first began operation in 1904, eventually grew to over seven hundred miles of track in the city, the most extensive urban rail system in the world.

The city grew up as well. The construction of the Equitable Building in 1870 began the transformation of New York City's skyline. With the development of safety elevators, inexpensive steel, and skeleton-frame construction, office buildings leapt from six stories (or less) to twenty, forty, or sixty floors (or more). The construction of the Manhattan Life Building (1895), the Flatiron Building (1903), and the Woolworth Building (1913) among many others represented important architectural and engineering improvements. New York's love affair with the skyscraper culminated in 1930 with the race between H. Craig Severence's Bank of Manhattan on Wall Street and Walter Chrysler's eponymous Chrysler Building on Forty-second Street to claim the prize for the tallest building in the world. Both structures were quickly overshadowed in 1931 by the 102-story Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue and eventually by the twin towers of the 110-story World Trade Center in 1974. At the beginning of the

twenty-first century New York had more skyscrapers than any other place on Earth, and as business and residential structures, hotels and public housing, they have come to articulate American economic vitality. Sadly this symbolism made these structures attractive targets for attack. The Trade Center was bombed in 1993 by a group of Muslim fundamentalists. On 11 September 2001 two commercial airliners were hijacked and flown into the towers, destroying the entire complex and killing almost three thousand people, making it the most lethal terrorist attack to that date.

From the 1930s to the 1960s the city's landscape was further transformed as Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, and other planners channeled state and federal money into massive highway and park projects, shifting the city from its nineteenth-century reliance on horses, trains, and streetcars to accommodation of the automobile. Public works projects such as the Triborough Bridge (1936), the Lincoln Tunnel (1937), the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (1950), and the Cross-Bronx Expressway (1963) made it possible for white, middle-class New Yorkers to move to the suburbs, leaving many older, inner-city communities neglected and consequently vulnerable to economic decline.

Beginning in the early nineteenth century New York City became the cultural capital of the United States, serving as the focal point for American literature, publishing, music, theater, and in the twentieth century movies, television, advertising, fashion, and one of America's unique musical contributions, jazz. The interactive artistic, literary, intellectual, and commercial life of New York has evolved into one of the city's most distinctive features.

Immigration continued to flavor the city. After World War II and the passage of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, which ended discrimination based on national origin, New York City became even more ethnically diverse. Large numbers of Middle Eastern, Latino, Caribbean, Asian, African, and eastern European immigrants settled in neighborhoods such as the Lower East Side, Flushing, Bay Ridge, Fordham, and Jackson Heights in Queens. In 1980 immigrants made up about 24 percent of the city's population; of them 80 percent were from Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. With the city's still vigorous communities of Italians, Irish, African Americans, and Chinese, the city's diversity has proven a source of both ethnic and racial tensions on the one hand and cultural enrichment and the promise of a more tolerant social order on the other.


Burrows, Edwin G., and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Caro, Robert A. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. New York: Vintage Books, 1975.

Kammen, Michael. Colonial New York: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Plunz, Richard. A History of Housing in New York City. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Reimers, David M. Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

Stokes, I. N. Phelps. The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498– 1909. 6 vols. Reprint, Union, New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, 1998.

Jared N.Day

See alsoBrooklyn ; Manhattan ; New Amsterdam .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York City." Dictionary of American History. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York City." Dictionary of American History. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York City." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Education and Research

New York: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

New York City's public school system is the largest in the nation, serving more than one million children. Until recently, school district activities were dictated by the New York City Board of Education, which gained a reputation for poorly serving its student population. Soon after taking office, Mayor Bloomberg abolished the Board of Education and assumed mayoral control of New York Public Schools under a school governance agreement. One of Bloomberg's campaign promises was to create special classrooms that would keep students with multiple disciplinary infractions involved in education but in a controlled setting. As a result, the district opened 20 New Beginnings Centers by 2004 along with five off-site Suspension Centers that operate in partnership with community-based organizations to provide a complete range of student support services.

The school system leans toward the magnet model, with a variety of specialized learning institutions within the elementary, middle, and high school strata. Concentrations include leadership studies, writing and communication, culinary arts, technology, computer science, international relations, performing arts, law, social justice, aerospace, and sports professions to name just a few. In the fall of 2005, the Department of Education plans to open more than 50 new small secondary schools across the city, in an effort to broaden the academic choices available to students and their parents or guardians. The new schools will concentrate on an academically rigorous curriculum, personalized to each student and enhanced with community partnerships. In addition, there are 48 charter schools in operation within the district, which is divided into 10 regions that are loosely based on sections of the five New York City boroughs.

New York City public schools tend to have fewer teachers, administrators, and librarians than the state average; spending per pupil also lags behind the state average. Approximately 54.3 percent of the city's public school students graduate from high school, while the district sends about 71.5 percent of that diminished group on to an institution of higher education.

Many private K-12 schools operate in the New York City area, some of which are secular and some of which are religiously based. Since the city is a major television and film production center, a number of acting and technical schools related to the industry have been created.

The following is a summary of data regarding the New York City public schools as of the 20042005 school year.

Total enrollment: 1,047,156

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 616

junior high schools: 221

senior high schools: 295

special education schools: 57

Student/teacher ratio: 12.5:1

Teacher salaries (2004)

minimum: $39,900

maximum: $81,232

Funding per pupil: $11,627

Public Schools Information: Chancellor's Office, New York City Department of Education, New York, NY 10007; telephone (212)374-5115

Colleges and Universities

New York is the only U.S. city with a large public-university system. The City University of New York (CUNY) offers open admission at its 20 sites to all New York City residents with a high school degree. With branches in all five boroughs, CUNY embraces eight liberal arts colleges, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the New York City College of Technology, the City University School of Law, business programs, and graduate degree programs. The extensive State University of New York (SUNY) system operates several specialized branches in the city, such as the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Downstate Medical Center, the State College of Optometry, and the Maritime College.

More than two dozen private colleges in New York City provide access to associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. New York University is one of the largest private institutions of higher education in the country, enrolling almost 40,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs with a focus on the arts. Columbia University belongs to the Ivy League and is the city's oldest college. Columbia is renowned for its journalism program and has gained a reputation for its medical research work. Yeshiva University, a private Jewish academic research institution, enrolls almost 7,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs in its Albert Einstein School of Medicine and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Julliard School is considered one of the best music, dance, and theater schools in the country. In recent years, Juilliard has begun to focus on community outreach, the interface of technology and art, and interdisciplinary programming. Fordham University is a Jesuit institution with a specialty in medieval studies, while Rockefeller University is famous for its biomedical sciences. The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, which opened in 1993, offers a master of arts degree. The New School in New York was formerly the New School for Social Research, and it has retained that academic bent.

Libraries and Research Centers

The New York Public Library system, like the city itself, is immense. Five central libraries, four specialized research libraries, and 80 branch facilities hold collections of more than 19 million books system-wide, in addition to 1.6 million audio resources, 205,074 video materials, and more than 85,000 periodicals. The Science, Industry and Business Library (SIB), which opened in 1996, is the nation's largest public information center dedicated to science and business. The SIB houses more than 2 million volumes and 60,000 periodicals and provides users with broad access to electronic science and business content via 150 networked computer work stations. Among the research centers' special collections are the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, which includes the Vladimir Nabakov Archive; manuscripts and archives of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Theater on Film Archive, which preserves videotapes of live theater performances accumulated for more than 25 years.

In addition to the city library system, more than a thousand other libraries are operated in the city by schools, private groups, and most museums. The Pierpont Morgan Library is known for its collection of rare books and manuscripts. The Morgan Library is on the grounds of a 45-room Victorian brownstone, connected to the library by a glass-enclosed conservatory. In 2005, the library temporarily closed for a major expansion effort that will improve the entrance, internal circulation, the galleries, and auditorium space. Masonic literature, history, and relics are collected in the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of Grand Lodge, while the New Historical Society houses a fine collection of materials relevant to New York's role in early United States history. At the United Nations, the Dag Hammarskjold Library specializes in international affairs and world peace with an aim of getting U.N. members the best information possible as quickly as possible. The U.S. National Archives for the Northeastern United States houses such items as court records from the Rosenberg and Hiss cases, limitation of liability suits involving the Titanic, and census records since 1790 on microfilm.

With its universities and industry research campuses, New York City has become a global contributor in practically all areas of research and development. On average, the city receives $1.2 billion in funding from the National Institute of Health, underwriting the efforts of its 128 resident Nobel Laureates and other members of the scientific community. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority assesses public utilities, conducts research on energy efficiency and alternative power, and supports projects in schools, municipalities, and local industries. New York University is a leading research center with programs in medicine and health fields, international studies, urban affairs, and Latin America. The State University of New York maintains a research foundation that supports efforts across the SUNY system of universities. Recent projects include a study of brain cell behavior and methods of preventing blindness. Columbia University's Center for Environmental Research and Conservation studies nature and wildlife issues nationally and globally. Among the independent organizations researching health areas are those focusing on drug addiction, blood disorders, hearing problems, genetic disorders, and psychiatric issues. The New York Botanical Garden studies the flora of the New World, catalogs five million samples in its herbarium, and publishes the Botanical Review. Offering research and consultation on government public policy is the Institute of Public Administration. The New York Public Interest Research group conducts consumer-interest, environmental, energy, governmental system, social justice, and health research. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research studies all aspects of United Nations policy, operation, and organization.

Public Library Information: The New York Public Library, 188 Madison Ave #1, New York, NY 10016; telephone (212)930-0800; fax (212)921-2546

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Transportation

New York: Transportation

Approaching the City

The two major New York City airports saw a combined total of 54,215,216 passengers pass through their gates in 2003. Thousands of flights depart each day from New York to more than 500 destination cities around the world. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) handles the most international flightsmore than 200 a dayof any other airport, in addition to domestic traffic. LaGuardia Airport, somewhat closer to Manhattan, offers mostly domestic connections. Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey also serves the metropolitan area. A rapid rail link to Newark Liberty was completed in 2001 and construction on the JFK and LaGuardia branches of the AirTrain system are expected to be complete within the next few years, creating easier access to the airfields while reducing traffic.

Interstate, U.S., and state highways form a virtual web around and through the New York City area, with I-495, I-95, and U.S. 1 being primary routes. The New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) is the major artery leading into the city from the south. From the north, the New York Thruway (Interstate 87) connects with the Major Deegan Expressway, which follows the east side of the Harlem River through the Bronx. The New England Thruway (another part of I-95) also leads into the city from the north. Interstate 80 from western New Jersey parallels I-95 as it approaches New York City.

The two main train stations, Pennsylvania and Grand Central, serve as both commuter and long-distance terminals for more than 600,000 people every day, as well as providing Amtrak connections. In the past decade, Grand Central Station underwent a renovation that restored it to its previous magnificence, with a gourmet food market, five restaurants and lounges, entertainment, and updated information kiosks. The Port Authority Bus Terminalthe largest in the worldis the main station for bus transportation locally and nationally.

Traveling in the City

New York City consists of a collection of islands, making bridges and tunnels an important aspect of navigation. The Lincoln Tunnel connects Interstate 495 to Manhattan, and Queens links up via the Long Island Expressway. The Brooklyn Bridge in the southern part of Manhattan crosses the water to the eponymous borough, and the Holland Tunnel gets commuters to New Jersey. In all, there are 12 major bridges or tunnels connecting the boroughs.

Traffic in New York is probably the heaviest in the nation. The term "gridlock," a traffic jam out of which no one can move, was invented there and many intersections are clogged during any given day. Many residents do not own cars, relying instead on plentiful taxis or public transportation. A $100 million system of sensors has been installed under the city's roadways to enable the New York City Transportation Department to monitor congestion, identify trouble spots, and control the flow of traffic by changing the duration of traffic lights. Much of Manhattan is laid out in a grid pattern, but other boroughs require a good street map for visitors. Broadway Avenue runs from north to south through the city, intersecting the numbered east-west streets. Parking in a garage in Manhattan ranges from $6.00 to $15.00 per hour.

Subways are one of the best bargains in the city. A $1.50 token or Metrocard fare payment permits travel on more than 704 miles of subway track, including local and express trains. The subway system is well-maintained and policed so that it is much safer and cleaner than its somewhat unshakeable 1970s-era reputation would indicate. Subways and buses are the only sure way to beat Manhattan's numbing gridlock on surface streets. Many New Yorkers walk or ride bikes to their destinations.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Communications

New York: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

More than 200 newspapers have offices in New York, including the city's major daily newspapers: The New York Times, one of the world's most influential newspapers, Newsday, and the The New York Daily News. Many other English- and foreign-language dailies and weeklies and more than 100 scholarly journals serve specialized reader-ships, including the Wall Street Journal and the Amsterdam News, which focuses on African American issues.

Hundreds of local and national magazines are published in New York. Newsweek and Time are both based in the city. Other magazines include Flying, Psychology Today, Sports Illustrated, Parade, Cosmopolitan, People Weekly, Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit, Cycle World, Forbes, GQ, and Glamour.

Television and Radio

Eight television stations broadcast from New York City, including the three major networks of CBS, ABC, and NBC. Appearing in the background of the morning news programs has become a competitive sport for residents and visitors alike. Throughout the history of television, many programs have been created, produced, and set in New York City, including "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Late Night With David Letterman," "I Love Lucy," "That Girl," "Kojak," "All in the Family," "Mad About You," "Sex and the City," "Seinfeld," and "Law & Order: SVU." Hundreds of radio stations broadcast from the city, covering all major radio formats from all-talk to urban contemporary music to classical music on both AM and FM bands. Other radio stations cater to those with a taste for Spanish music and news, Caribbean music, Christian music, and soul.

Media Information: The New York Times Company, 1 New York Times Plaza, Flushing, NY 11354-1200; telephone (718)281-7000

New York Online

City of New York. Available

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Available

New York City Department of Education. Available

New York City Economic Development Corporation. Available

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Available

The New York Historical Society. Available

New York Public Library. Available

NYC & Company, Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Available

Selected Bibliography

Bull, Chris and Sam Erman (eds.). At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories. (New York, NY: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002)

Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace. A History of New York City to 1898. (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Ellis, Edward Robb and Jeanyee Wong. The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History. (Kodansha America, 1997)

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir. (Touchstone Books, 1998)

Homberger, Eric, and Alice Hudson (Illustrator). The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City's History. (Henry Holt & Co., 1998)

Murphy, Dean E. (compiled by). September 11: An Oral History. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2002)

Osofsky, Gilbert. Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto. Negro New York, 1890-1930. (Elephant/Ivan R. Dee, 1995 reprint)

Remnick, David and Susan Choi, eds. Wonderful Town: New York City Stories from the New Yorker. (Random House, 2000)

Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar. The Park and the People: A History of Central Park. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Communications." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Communications." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Communications." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from


NEW YORK A city and port at the mouth of the Hudson River, in the state of the same name: a major city of the US and of the English-speaking world, and the centre of one of the largest US urban areas. It occupies Manhattan and Staten Island, the western end of Long Island, and part of the adjacent mainland, and its conurbation extends into the states of New Jersey and Connecticut. It typifies the American concept of the meltingpot, having received through Ellis Island many waves of immigrants, especially from Europe and Latin America. Many languages are spoken in the city, which is the centre of a sub-dialect within the general Northern DIALECT area of AMERICAN ENGLISH.


(1) New York pronunciation has a long, tense, very round vowel in words like caught, and a long, tense, relatively high vowel in words such as cab. (2) Like eastern New England and the American South, it is a non-RHOTIC (non-r-pronouncing) variety and, also like eastern New England and some accents of England (including RP), it has the LINKING r and INTRUSIVE r. When a word ending in r (which would normally not be pronounced) is followed closely by a word beginning with a vowel, the linking r is sounded: gopher is pronounced ‘gopha’, but in The gopher is lost the r is pronounced. By ANALOGY, an intrusive r occurs where it is not etymologically or orthographically justified: sofa rhymes with gopher, but in The sofa/r is lost an r-sound often intrudes. In contrast, the Southern US shares neither the linking nor intrusive r-sounds with the other non-rhotic varieties, indeed often losing an r-sound even between vowels, as in ve'y for very and Ca'olina for Carolina. Non-rhotic pronunciation differs widely in its prestige, depending on where it occurs. In the American South, r-lessness is a universal feature of many areas at all social levels. In New York City, on the other hand, it correlates strongly with class differences and has low prestige. In his investigations, William Labov found that r-pronouncing was more common among the employees of up-market department stores and shops than among those of businesses with merchandise of lower quality and prices. He also found more r-pronouncing in ‘careful’, self-conscious speech than in spontaneous dialogue. There is also an upper-class, old-family New York English, but it has been little studied and its features are not widely known.

Low prestige

New York English has low prestige even among its own speakers. Their reaction, which has been dubbed ‘linguistic self-hatred’, is not typical of many other areas, where the local speech-ways are usually regarded as indicating that the speaker is honest, friendly, sympathetic, intelligent, and reliable. New Yorkers' discomfort with their speech patterns may reflect the low regard the rest of the nation has for those patterns. It is, however, odd that the major city of the nation (its cultural and financial centre) should be low in linguistic prestige. In fact, the STEREOTYPE of New York English is the language of a lower socioeconomic group, as though LONDON English were to identify with COCKNEY usage, without the affectionate respect often accorded to it. See BROOKLYNESE, DIALECT (AMERICA), JEWISH ENGLISH.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"NEW YORK." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"NEW YORK." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . (January 18, 2018).

"NEW YORK." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York


Albany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309

Buffalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321

Ithaca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347

Rochester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367

Syracuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379

The State in Brief

Nickname: Empire State

Motto: Excelsior (Ever upward)

Flower: Rose

Bird: Bluebird

Area: 54,556 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 27th)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 5,344 feet

Climate: Cold winters, warm summers with lower temperatures in the mountains; abundant precipitation

Admitted to Union: July 26, 1788

Capital: Albany

Head Official: Governor George Pataki (R) (until 2007)


1980: 17,558,165

1990: 17,990,455

2000: 18,976,457

2004 estimate: 19,227,088

Percent change, 19902000: 5.5%

U.S. rank in 2004: 3rd

Percent of residents born in state: 65.3% (2000)

Density: 401.9 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 537,121

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 12,893,689

Black or African American: 3,014,385

American Indian and Alaska Native: 82,461

Asian: 1,044,976

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 8,818

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 2,867,583

Other: 1,341,946

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 1,239,417

Population 5 to 19 years old: 3,971,834

Percent of population 65 years and over: 12.9%

Median age: 35.9 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 260,844

Total number of deaths (2003): 157,251 (infant deaths, 1,642)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 66,660


Major industries: Wholesale and retail trade, transportation, finance, manufacturing, foreign trade, publishing

Unemployment rate: 4.9% (April 2005)

Per capita income: $36,296 (2003; U.S. rank: 6th)

Median household income: $43,160 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 14.2% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: 4.0%7.70%

Sales tax rate: 4.25%

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Population Profile

New York: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents (PMSA)

1980: 8,275,000

1990: 8,546,846

2000: 9,314,235

Percent change, 1990-2000: 8.98%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (PMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (PMSA)

City Residents

1980: 7,071,639

1990: 7,322,564

2000: 8,008,278

2004 estimate: 8,104,079

Percent change, 1990-2000: 9.36%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (State rank: 1st)

Density: 26,402.9 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 3,576,385

Black or African American: 2,129,762

American Indian and Alaskan Native: 41,289

Asian: 787,047

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 5,430

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 2,160,554

Other: 1,074,406

Percent of residents born in state: 49.5% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 540,878

Population 5 to 9 years old: 561,115

Population 10 to 14 years old: 530,816

Population 15 to 19 years old: 520,641

Population 20 to 24 years old: 589,831

Population 25 to 34 years old: 1,368,021

Population 35 to 44 years old: 1,263,280

Population 45 to 54 years old: 1,012,385

Population 55 to 59 years old: 369,105

Population 60 to 64 years old: 314,349

Population 65 to 74 years old: 494,794

Population 75 to 84 years old: 321,360

Population 85 years and over: 121,703

Median age: 34.2 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 124,345

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 59,213 (of which, 807 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,402

Median household income: $38,293

Total households: 3,021,588

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 485,306

$10,000 to $14,999: 214,421

$15,000 to $24,999: 354,413

$25,000 to $34,999: 346,777

$35,000 to $49,999: 430,297

$50,000 to $74,999: 503,722

$75,000 to $99,999: 273,552

$100,000 to $149,999: 234,553

$150,000 to $199,999: 75,626

$200,000 or more: 103,810

Percent of families below poverty level: 18.5% (20.6% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 250,630

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Health Care

New York: Health Care

New York City offers the opportunity for world-class medical care and has one of the highest concentrations of hospitals on the planet, with 111 facilities that span the spectrum from smaller neighborhood hospitals to major medical centers. The city is served by more than 30 teaching hospitals, a number of medical schools, more than 10 cardiac rehabilitation centers, and 6 cancer treatment centers. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporationby far the largest public hospital system in the countryemploys thousands of workers at 11 acute care hospitals, 6 diagnostic and treatment centers, 4 long-term care facilities, 1 home health agency, and 100 community health clinics.

According to U.S. News & World Report, a number of the top hospitals in the country in 2005 are located in New York City, including: New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell (third in neurology, second in psychiatry, and fourth in kidney disease); Hospital for Special Surgery (second in orthopedics and third in rheumatology); Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (first in cancer care); Mount Sinai Medical Center (third in geriatrics and seventh in digestive disorders); and Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center (eighth in rehabilitation). Other specialized services can be obtained at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center, the Orthopaedic Institute, and the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary. Residents of New York City can also access a wide variety of holistic healthcare, including homeopathy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Diagnosis and treatment for pets and exotic animals is available from the nearly 400 veterinarians and animal hospitals operating in the five boroughs.

Health Care Information: The New York Health and Hospitals Corporation, 125 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013; telephone (212)788-3339

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York


NEW YORK. First settled by Dutch traders in 1624, New Amsterdam, called New York after its transfer in 1664 to the English, grew from about thirty families to a population of three thousand by 1680. By 1776, it boasted twenty-five thousand inhabitants, chiefly of Dutch, English, and African origin.

Unlike its colonial neighbors Boston and Philadelphia, New York was settled for commercial rather than religious purposes. Initially a trading center for furs, fish, and timber products (including shipbuilding materials such as pitch), New York's protected harbor was ideal for large ships, encouraging immigration and trade of all kinds. Ships that traveled the seas bearing slaves, rum, sugar, tobacco, and rice originated in New York harbor throughout the eighteenth century. New York also incubated the American colonies' burgeoning urban culture, embracing newspapers, coffeehouses, colleges, gentlemen's clubs, and political groups.

New Yorkers' trading relationships kept them closely tied to England during the tumultuous 1760s and 1770s. Although New York was host to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, it was a reluctant rebel for the most part. The British took the city after winning the Battle of Long Island in 1776, and held it throughout the war.

In spite of its Tory sympathies, after the Revolution New York became the first capital of the new nation, hosting the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. When the capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the political center of the republic shifted, but the economic centrality of New York remained. The creation of the New York Stock Exchange in 1792 only underlined the city's status as the center of American trade and finance, a role it retains to this day.

See also Boston ; British Colonies: North America ; Dutch Colonies: The Americas ; Philadelphia .


Kammen, Michael. Colonial New York: A History. New York, 1975.

Fiona Deans Halloran

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York

New York

New York: Introduction
New York: Geography and Climate
New York: History
New York: Population Profile
New York: Municipal Government
New York: Economy
New York: Education and Research
New York: Health Care
New York: Recreation
New York: Convention Facilities
New York: Transportation
New York: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1613 (incorporated, 1898)

Head Official: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) (since 2002)

City Population

1980: 7,071,639

1990: 7,322,564

2000: 8,008,278

2004 estimate: 8,104,079

Percent change, 1990-2000: 9.36%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (State rank: 1st)

Metropolitan Area Population (PMSA)

1980: 8,275,000

1990: 8,546,846

2000: 9,314,235

Percent change, 1990-2000: 8.98%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (PMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (PMSA)

Area: 303 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 50 to 800 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 54.91° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 42.6 inches of total precipitation; 26.5 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; government; professional and business services; financial services; leisure and hospitality

Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $22,402 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 250,630

Major Colleges and Universities: City University of New

York (several branches); CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center and Maritime College; New York University; Columbia University; Juilliard School

Daily Newspapers: The New York Times; New York Daily News; The New York Post; Newsday

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Convention Facilities

New York: Convention Facilities

New York has been named one of the world's "Best Cities" by Travel + Leisure magazine, and in 2002 Conde Nast Traveler designated it a "Hot City." The combination of 71,000 hotel rooms, cultural attractions, world-class professional sports teams, and proximity to the world's financial powers makes New York City an extremely attractive choice for conventions and tradeshows. Venues range from traditional convention halls to unique accommodations in museums, ships, racetracks, and universities.

The Jacob Javits Convention Center is named for the former United States senator from New York and was designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei. The stunning glass facade of the building mirrors the city's skyline by day and glows from within at night. It offers 814,000 square feet of exhibition space including the largest single hall in the Western Hemisphere at 410,000 square feet, supplemented by more than 100 other rooms.

Pier 94 New York styles itself as "The Unconvention Center" as it offers a 175,000 square foot space that can be flexed to meet the needs of any event. The Show Piers on the Hudson offers 225,000 square feet of space on the water-front for tradeshows, exhibits, and conferences. Other major convention destinations are Madison Square Garden, the Hilton New York, Lincoln Center, the Waldorf Astoria, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Convention Information: NYC & Company, Convention & Visitors Bureau, 810 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019; telephone (212)484-1200; fax (212)245-5943

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Introduction

New York: Introduction

The "Big Apple," the "City That Never Sleeps"New York is a city of superlatives: America's biggest; its most exciting; its business and cultural capitals; the nation's trendsetter. The city seems to pull in the best and the brightest from every corner of the country. The city's ethnic flavor has been nuanced by decades of immigrants whose first glimpse of America was the Statue of Liberty guarding New York Harbor and by large expatriate communities such as the United Nations headquartered there. Just minutes from the multimillion-dollar two-bedroom co-op apartments of Park Avenue, though, lies some of the most dire urban poverty in America. But the attendant crime that affects New Yorkers and visitors alike has seen a continued dramatic reduction from 1993 to 2004NYC has a murder rate half that of cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago, in part as the result of a concerted effort by local agencies. But for all its eight million residents, New York remains a city of neighborhoods, whether it's avant-garde Greenwich Village, bustling Harlem, the ultra-sophisticated TriBeCa, or one of the ethnic enclaves such as Little Italy or Chinatown. And a cleaner, brighter, safer New York is attracting people from around the world who are coming to enjoy the city's renaissance.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York City

New York City City and port in se New York State, at the mouth of the Hudson River; largest city (by population) in the USA. Manhattan Island was settled in 1624 and was bought (1626) from Native Americans by the Dutch West India Company. New Amsterdam was founded at the s end of the island. In 1664, the British took the colony and renamed it New York. The founding of the Bank of New York by Alexander Hamilton, and the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 made New York the principal commercial and financial centre in the USA. After the American Civil War and in the early 20th century, the city received a great influx of immigrants. It is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Sights include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. It is one of the world's major ports and a vital financial centre. On September 11, 2001, terrorists piloted two hijacked airplanes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, killing c.2750 people and destroying the towers. Industries: clothing, chemicals, metal products, scientific instruments, shipbuilding, broadcasting, entertainment, tourism, publishing. Pop. (2000) 8,008,278.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York City." World Encyclopedia. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York City." World Encyclopedia. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York City." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Geography and Climate

New York: Geography and Climate

New York, located on the Atlantic Coastal Plain at the mouth of the Hudson River, is a city made up mostly of islands. Of the city's five boroughs, only the Bronx is contiguous to upstate New York. The larger metropolitan area takes in Long Island, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut. Commuters now live as far away as eastern Pennsylvania. The city lies at the conjunction of the Hudson and East Rivers with New York Bay leading to the Atlantic Ocean. The weather is mostly continental with the ocean moderating summer temperatures and keeping the humidity relatively high. Due to the number of colossal buildings and the city's high level of energy use, New York City tends to have its own "micro-climate" of warmer summers and winters than surrounding areas.

Area: 303 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 50 to 800 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 32.4° F; July, 76.9° F; annual average 54.91° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 42.6 inches of total precipitation; 26.5 inches of snowfall

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York: Municipal Government

New York: Municipal Government

New York City operates under the mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected in a citywide election, and 51 council members are elected from as many state senate districts within the municipality; a council speaker is elected by the council membership. All officials serve four-year terms. The mayor represents the executive branch of the local government, while the council is largely responsible for legislative functions and also has sole right of approval for the city budget. The Public Advocate, who is not a member of the council, presides over meetings and may vote only in case of a tie. New York City is divided into five boroughs, each of which has its own president and district attorney.

Head Official: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) (since 2002; current term expires 2006)

Total Number of City Employees: 300,000 (approximate; 2005)

City Information: Office of the Mayor, New York City Hall, New York, NY 10007; telephone (212)788-9600

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

New York City

New York City: see New York, city.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"New York City." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"New York City." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (January 18, 2018).

"New York City." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from