NEW YORK CITY (NYC), THE LARGEST CITY IN NEW YORK AND US

New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York is an important center for international affairs and is widely deemed the cultural capital of the world. The city is also referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.

Located on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs which were consolidated in 1898: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. With a 2010 United States Census population of 8,175,133 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages could be spoken in New York, making it one of most linguistically diverse city in the World. The New York City Metropolitan Area's population is the United States' largest, estimated at 18.9 million people distributed over 6,720 square miles (17,400 km2), and is also part of the most populous combined statistical area in the United States, containing 22.2 million people as of 2009 Census estimates.New York traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic, and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surrounds came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a globally recognized symbol of the United States and its democracy.

Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known to its approximately 50 million annual visitors. Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. The city hosts many world renowned bridges, skyscrapers, and parks. New York City's financial district, anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, functions as the financial capital of the world and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere. Unlike most global rapid transit systems, the New York City Subway provides 24/7 service.Numerous colleges and universities are located in New York, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which are ranked among the top 50 in the world.

History
In the pre-colonial era the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by various bands of Algonquian tribes of Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island, the western portion of Long Island including the area that would become Brooklyn and western Queens and lower Manhattan. The Weckquaesgeek, members of the Wappinger Confederation, inhabited the area of the present-day Bronx and the northern portion of the island of Manhattan, and various bands of the Metoac, principally the Rockaway tribe, inhabited portions of present-day western Queens.

The first documented visit by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown, who sailed his ship La Dauphine into Upper New York Harbor, where he spent one night aboard ship and sailed out the next day. He claimed the area for France and named it "Nouvelle Angoulême" (New Angoulême). In January a year later, Esteban Gomez, a Portugese of African descent sailing for Emperor Charles V of Spain, entered New York Harbor and charted the mouth of the Hudson river which he named Rio de San Antonio, heavy ice kept him from further exploration.

In 1609 English explorer Henry Hudson re-discovered the region when he sailed his ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) into New York Harbor while searching for the Northwest Passage to the Orient for his employer the Dutch East India Company. He proceeded to sail up what he named the North River also called the Mauritis River, to the site of the present-day New York State capital of Albany in the belief that it may be a passage. When the river narrowed and was no longer salty he realized it wasn't a sea passage and sailed back downriver. He made a ten-day exploration of the area and claimed to the region for his employer. In 1614 the area between Cape Cod and Delaware Bay would be claimed by the Netherlands and called Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland).

The year 1614 saw the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on the southern tip of Manhattan which would be called "Nieuw Amsterdam" (New Amsterdam) in 1625. Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small band of the Lenape, in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders (about $1000 in 2006); a disproved legend says that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.

In 1664 Peter Stuyvesant, the Director-General of the colony of New Netherland, surrendered New Amsterdam to the English without bloodshed. The English promptly renamed the fledgling city "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany. At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Dutch gained control of Run (then a much more valuable asset) in exchange for the English controlling New Amsterdam (New York) in North America. Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by the arrival of the Europeans caused sizable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670. By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200. In 1702, the city lost 10% of its population to yellow fever. New York underwent no fewer than seven important yellow fever epidemics from 1702 to 1800.

New York grew in importance as a trading port while under British rule. The city hosted the influential John Peter Zenger trial in 1735, helping to establish the freedom of the press in North America. In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by George II of Great Britain as King's College in Lower Manhattan. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October of 1765 as the Sons of Liberty organized in the city, skirmishing over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.

During the American Revolution, the largest battle of the war, the Battle of Long Island, was fought in August 1776 entirely within the modern day borough of Brooklyn. After the battle, in which the Americans were routed, leaving subsequent smaller engagements following in its wake, the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees, until the war ended in 1783. The only attempt at a peaceful solution to the war took place at the Conference House on Staten Island between American delegates including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Shortly after the British occupation began the Great Fire of New York occurred, a large conflagration which destroyed about a quarter of the buildings in the city, including Trinity Church.

The assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York the national capital in 1785, shortly after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the first capital under the Constitution of the United States. In 1789 the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time, and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street. By 1790, New York had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

n the 19th century, the city was transformed by immigration and development. A visionary development proposal, the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan, and the 1819 opening of the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the North American interior. Local politics fell under the domination of Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish immigrants. Several prominent American literary figures lived in New York during the 1830s and 1840s, including William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, John Keese, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Edgar Allan Poe. Public-minded members of the old merchant aristocracy lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which became the first landscaped park in an American city in 1857. A significant free-black population also existed in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Slaves had been held in New York through 1827, but during the 1830s New York became a center of interracial abolitionist activism in the North. New York's black population was over 16,000 in 1840. The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, and by 1860, one in four New Yorkers—over 200,000—had been born in Ireland.

Anger at military conscription during the American Civil War (1861–1865) led to the Draft Riots of 1863, one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.

In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens. The opening of the subway in 1904 helped bind the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication. However, this development did not come without a price. In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board.

In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city's worst industrial disaster until the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.

New York's nonwhite population was 36,620 in 1890. In the 1920s, New York City was a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South. By 1916, New York City was home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America. The Harlem Renaissance flourished during the era of Prohibition, coincident with a larger economic boom that saw the skyline develop with the construction of competing skyscrapers.

New York became the most populous urbanized area in the world in early 1920s, overtaking London, and the metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history. The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello LaGuardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.

World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's place as the world's dominant economic power. The United Nations Headquarters (completed in 1950) emphasized New York's political influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.

In the 1960s, New York City began to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates, which extended into the 1970s. While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued a steep uphill climb through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s. By the 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to increased police presence and gentrification, and many American transplants and waves of new immigrants arrived from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy, and New York's population reached all-time highs in the 2000 Census and then again in the 2010 Census.

The city was one of the sites of the September 11, 2001 attacks, when nearly 3,000 people died in the destruction of the World Trade Center. A new complex, which includes One World Trade Center, a 9/11 memorial and museum, and three other office towers, are being built on the site and are scheduled for completion by 2014.

Geography
New York City is located in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.

The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary. The Hudson separates the city from New Jersey. The East River—a tidal strait—flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates most of Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely fresh water river in the city.

The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural variations in topography have been evened out, especially in Manhattan.

The city's total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2). 164.1 square miles (425 km2) of this are water and 304.8 square miles (789 km2) is land. The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Wikipedia

Luciano Mende

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