By: Nivedita Balamurugan
New York City, officially named the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States, and the most densely populated major city in North America. The city is at the center of international finance, politics, entertainment, and culture, and is one of the world's major global cities (along with London, Tokyo and Paris) with a virtually unrivaled collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations, and stock exchanges. The city is also home to the United Nations, along with all of the international missions associated with it.
Long before the arrival of European settlers, the New York City area was inhabited by the Lenape people, including such tribes as the Manahattoes, Canarsies and Raritan.
Major events in New York history include
¢ In 1524 the first European explorer enters New York Harbor
¢ European settlement begins with the following the 1609 voyage of Henry Hudson
¢ Founding of the Dutch fur trading settlement in Lower Manhattan in 1613 later called New Amsterdam
¢ English ships captured the city without struggle in 1664
¢ The Dutch formally ceded New York to the English in the Treaty of Breda at the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667
¢ The city was renamed New York, after James, Duke of York, and became a royal colony in 1685
¢ After the Civil War, the rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886
¢ In two separate actions in 1874 and 1895, New York City (and New York County) annexed sections of southern Westchester County known as the Bronx
¢ In 1898, New York City took the political form in which it exists to this day.
¢ 9/11 changed the political map of the world
Place of interest
Tourism is a major local industry, with hundreds of attractions and 39 million tourists visiting the city each year on average. Many visitors make it a point to visit Ground Zero, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, United Nations Headquarters, the American Museum of Natural History, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, and the Brooklyn Bridge, among other attractions. There are over 28,000 acres (113 km²) of parkland found throughout New York City, comprising over 1,700 separate parks and playgrounds. The best known of these is Central Park, which is one of the finest examples of landscape architecture in the world, as well as a major source of recreation for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Other major parks in the city include Riverside Park, Battery Park, Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Washington Square Park, and Forest Park.
Museums & Art Galleries
New York is a city of great museums with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's assemblage of historic art, the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum's 20th century collection, and the American Museum of Natural History and its Hayden Planetarium focusing on the sciences. There are also many smaller specialty museums, from El Museo del Barrio with a focus on Latin American cultures to the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design. A number of the city's museums are located along the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue.
In addition to these museums, the city is also home to a vast array of spaces for opera, symphony, and dance performances. The largest of these is Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is actually a complex of buildings housing 12 separate companies, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Other notable performance halls include Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
New York City boasts a highly active and influential theater district, which is centered around Times Square in Manhattan. It serves both as the center of the American theater industry, and as a major attraction for visitors from around the world. Broadway theaters are considered to be of the highest quality in the world.
Shopping is popular with many visitors, with Fifth Avenue being a famous shopping corridor for luxury items. Macy's, the nation's largest department store, and the surrounding area of Herald Square are a major destination for more moderately-priced goods. In recent years 23rd Street has become a major location for "big-box" retailers. In southern Manhattan, Greenwich Village is home to hundreds of independent music and book stores, while the East Village continues to prevail as purveyors of all things "strange" and unusual which you can't find anywhere else. The "diamond district" (located on 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) is the city's main location for jewelry shopping, and SoHo, formerly the center of the New York art scene, is now famous for high-priced clothing boutiques, and the art galleries are now concentrated in Chelsea. There are also large shopping districts found in Downtown Brooklyn and along Queens Boulevard in Queens.
Food & Drink
New York is the best restaurant town in USA and one of the finest in the world. New York has literally thousands of restaurants to choose from (more than 25,000, in fact), encompassing nearly every cuisine in the world. Some of the big names are Eleven Madison Park, The River Café, Boat Basin Café, Veritas. Like restaurants, thousands of bars and cafes are there in the city. A few old noteworthy among those are: McSorleys Old Ale House, Revival, Push Café and White Horse Tavern.
New York City is served by the publicly run City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban university in the United States, which has a number of campuses throughout the five boroughs. The city is also home to a number of other institutions of higher learning, some of national or even international reputation, including Columbia University, Fordham University, Manhattan College, New York University, the Juilliard School, The Cooper Union, Marymount Manhattan College and The New School. New York City is also a major center of academic medicine. Manhattan contains the campuses of the world-class Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and NYU Medical Center and their medical schools. New York City is home to several of the nation's top schools of art and design, including Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Parsons S!
chool of Design
Although in much of the rest of the country American football has become the most popular professional sport, in New York City baseball arguably still stirs the most passion and interest. A "Subway Series" between city teams is a time of great excitement, and any World Series championship by either the New York Yankees or the New York Mets is considered to be worthy of the highest celebration, including a ticker-tape parade for the victorious team.
Hotels & Accommodation
The City of New York is known as the "city that never sleeps", but its visitors have to. The city hosts a large number of accommodations options.
New York has many "grand dames," classic elegant hotels that have been around for years and endured majestically. The St. Regis, the Waldorf, Tribeca Grand Hotel, Ritz-Carlton New York, Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers - are some to mention about.
Besides all those luxury hotels, a large number of budget hotels are available in New York City. They are comfortable, homely and light weight for the pocket. Some of them to mention are - The Whitehouse Hotel of New York, The Pioneer, Chelsea Center, Guesthouse and Harlem YMCA. Except these hotels and guesthouses, Skyline Hotel and Travel Inn are rare exception among affordable hotels for their services and facilities.
Tours and Sightseeing
To know and see the New York City with no tension way, a number of tour operators are there for travelers help. These tours contain city and outskirt of the city sightseeing. Tours may vary from its contents or theme. It may be a helicopter tour of Big Apple or may be a double-decker bus tour. Some fair tour agencies are there in the city. Tours can be booked from tour agencies or some hotels arrange them for its patrons. Another easy way to book any of these tours is online tour ticket booking. Some helpful websites for this purpose are: http://www.newyork.com/.
The airport authority owns and operates the four major airports in the New York City area, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Jamaica, Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, La Guardia Airport in Flushing, and Teeterboard Airport in Teeterboard, New Jersey.
Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. Other than cabs, New York City has a mass transit system. Unlike most of America's car-oriented urban areas, public transportation is the common mode of travel for the majority of New York City residents. The city is served by an extensive network of parkways and expressways, including four primary Interstate Highways enter the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The world-famous New York City Subway is operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). It is the most extensive subway system in the world. The subway system connects all boroughs except Staten Island, which is served by the Staten Island Railway via the free Staten Island Ferry. In addition to these, city residents rely on hundreds of bus lines, both publicly and privately operated.
Many private ferries are run by NY Waterway, which provides several lines across the Hudson River, New York Water Taxi, with lines connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, and other operators
About The Author
Biography: Nivedita is with The Reservation Center - providers of discounted tours to make your vacations and sightseeing trips in various cities across the world as comfortable and enjoyable as possible
This article was posted on January 18, 2006
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