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Fun Facts about New York

Fun Facts of New York

The Big Apple. The place that never fails to sleep!

It's been in a lot of movies and is known all over the world.

You may have been to New York City or are planning to go there soon. Here are some interesting facts about New York City that not many people know:

New York City is only 50% the size of London in terms of land area, but it has been the centre of more important and landmark events than some whole countries.

Also, a lot of people who love to travel might think that New York City doesn't have anything new to offer.

That's not true at all.

New York is still a place that is always changing and has many perspectives. What a great place New York is!

These interesting facts about it will show you even more than you thought.

For even more interest, we've compiled a list of 15 interesting facts about New York City that will keep you hooked on your love for this city.

Still, you can always find out more about this wonderful place!

The first capital city of the United States was not Washington, D.C., but New York City.

1. New York City was the first capital of the United States.

George Washington was elected as the first President of the United States in 1789.

At that time, the capital was officially in New York City.

It's important to remember, though, that the federal government was simply based in several places in New York City during this time, including Federal Hall on Wall Street, while plans were being made for a permanent capital.

Not until 1790, when the Residence Act was passed, was the capital moved to where it is now, in Washington, D.C.

Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison came up with the idea of building a new capital along the Potomac River.

It was a way to ease southern states' worries about where the federal government should be located.

2. The city used to be called New Amsterdam

Yes, these facts about New York begin at the very beginning! Did you know that New York wasn't always New York?

In the beginning, it was called New Amsterdam because the first people who settled there were Dutch, who came in around 1624.

However, the British took over in 1664 and changed the name of the city to honour the Duke of York.

Not only that, but some of the most famous places in New York began with Dutch names.

Wall Street was Waal Straat, the Bronx was Breukelen, and Harlem was Haarlem.

Of course! The early 1700s saw the Dutch settle the area before it became known as New York City. In 1626, it was given the name New Amsterdam.

The Dutch West India Company initially used it as a trading post. It quickly grew into a busy colonial town.

People picked the name "New Amsterdam" because it sounds like the Dutch city of Amsterdam.

The English, however, took the city from the Dutch in 1664.

As part of the Treaty of Breda, the city was officially given to the English and renamed New York in honour of the Duke of York, who later became King James II of England.

Even though the city's name and rulers changed, it continued to grow and become one of the world's most populous and important towns.

3. The name "The Big Apple" came from horse races.

One of the city's nicknames and its real name both have interesting stories behind them.

Back in the 1920s, "Big Apple" gifts were given away at horse races. People in the music and news industries started calling New York by this name because it meant "the ultimate" or "the best."

After the bad reputation of the city, New York's tourism board made "The Big Apple" an official nickname in 1971 to try to get more people to visit.

When you talk about New York, you should probably start with "The Big Apple," right?

This word was first used in a local newspaper's horse racing story to describe the big prizes in different horse races held around the city.

4. The UN Headquarters were set up in New York City after World War II.

Shortly after the end of World War II, the UN Headquarters were set up in New York City.

During the war, the idea of the United Nations was born as a way to get countries to work together and stop future conflicts.

The UN Charter was drafted and signed in 1945, and New York City was selected as the city where its headquarters would be located.

The headquarters were first built in 1948, and they were publicly opened on October 9, 1952.

Even though work kept going on after the war, the choice to put the offices in New York City was made a long time before the war ended.

Because it is a big global city and has a long history as a centre for international diplomacy, New York City was picked as the headquarters location.

The headquarters structure is on the east side of Manhattan, along the East River.

It was built in stages, with the Secretariat Building being finished in 1952.

However, the UN has been based in New York City since it was established in 1945.

5. A lot of "coffee" used

Want to blend in with the locals? 

Sit outside of a coffee shop and drink a big iced coffee while you walk around.

A global health study found that people in New York drink seven times as much coffee as people in other American cities.

People who live in the City That Never Sleeps are also the healthiest city dwellers in the US.

When you taste your way through Greenwich Village, you can start to love (and become addicted to) the area.

6. First, New York City taxis were Red and Green.

Early in the 20th century, cars in New York City were, in fact, coloured red and green.

The reason for selecting the red and green colour scheme was to enhance their visibility during the dense traffic of automobiles that congested the city streets.

These colours helped passengers locate and differentiate taxis from other types of vehicles.

The iconic yellow taxi colour scheme of New York City was implemented subsequently.

Albert Rockwell, the city's first taxi operator, painted his vehicles yellow in 1907, per the findings of a survey indicating that yellow was the colour most visible from a distance.

Over time, this trend gained popularity, and by the 1920s, yellow had become the traditional color for taxis in New York City.

Presently, the image of a yellow taxi stands in direct association with the city.

7. New York is home to over 800 Languages!

A list of amazing facts about New York is incomplete without addressing the city's diverse population.

The city's residents speak around 800 different languages together.

Almost half of New York households speak multiple languages, and one-third were born abroad.

And, because New York has the largest population of any city in the United States, one in every 38 people in the country calls New York home.

We're teasing you with all of this additional information about New York City.

However, we are confident you would agree that New York would not be New York without its diverse cultural influences.

It is important to note that the Big Apple is the most multilingual city globally, with over 800 distinct languages being spoken locally.

8. Library cards are larger than others.

The saying, "Knowledge is power" applies here.

Locals of New York have access to more than 50 million books with a library card; that is a fairly potent possession!

The public is welcome to visit the New York State Library, which ranks as the third-largest in the world and is a crucial stop during a comprehensive city tour.

Sets of polished reading rooms are located behind the renowned lion statues that adorn the stately facade of the library.

These rooms are ideal for sitting up with a good book.

Finally, by allocating additional time at home, New Yorkers can complete the assigned readings.

9. In the United States, LGBTQ+ rights started in New York.

In 1969, the Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village, New York, was the target of police harassment.

It served as a sanctuary for members of the LGBT community, who refused to surrender in the face of hostility.

As a result of the uprisings and global movement that followed, New York remains one of the most accepting cities towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Yes, we are providing you with additional NYC facts at no cost! In truth, New York has the highest number of LGBTQ+ residents of any city in the United States.

Is it surprising, then, that New York is such a hospitable city towards individuals of all backgrounds?

10. France Gifted the Statue of Liberty to New York City

Potentially, the magnificent Statue of Liberty was constructed in New York.

It is now time to discard that misinformation!

New York City received the renowned Statue of Liberty as a centenary present from France in 1886.

The structure was delivered to Ellis Island in 350 separate parts, and its assembly process took place nearly four months.

The fact that Lady Liberty, who began her journey in Paris, has become an iconic symbol of freedom and the American Dream is ironic to some degree.

In recognition of the bilateral relationship between France and the United States, the French sculptors Bartholdi and Eiffel created her.

The name of the latter sculptor is probably familiar to you from another renowned French structure.

Lady Liberty was dispatched in 350 pieces contained within 214 crates in 1885.

In 1876, her flame-holding right limb was born considerably earlier.

As a result, the Americans exhibited it in Philadelphia until the rest of the world located her.

They restored her and displayed her at the final location in New York Harbour once her body was recovered.

11. Most Lightning Strikes at the Empire State Building

Lightning impacts appear to be rare phenomena.

Twenty-five times a year, however, lightning strikes the Empire State Building, which is an interesting fact about New York.

Modern engineers' ability to absorb and deflect such a tremendous amount of energy from tall structures is something for which we are extremely grateful.

Twenty of the Best Views of New York City: Locations to Observe the Manhattan Skyline

12. Times Square was called after the New York Times.

Times Square was indeed named after the New York Times newspaper.

Previously known as Longacre Square, it was renamed after the New York Times moved its headquarters there in 1904.

So, indirectly, the name Times Square does have its origins tied to The New York Times.

New York City, including its landmarks and thoroughfares, is perpetually changing. Thus, it was Long Acre Square before the New York Times newspaper's sponsorship of Times Square.

Not exactly exciting, would you say?

Instead, the term originated in an uncomplicated residential locality situated in a London district.

The implementation of street lighting and billboards, however, revolutionised the area into the present-day state of chaos.

13. The very first Pizzeria to open in the United States

You are likely aware that pizza is New York City's speciality, correct? (As an aside, you have just been informed of a bonus truth!)

Lombardi's, the first pizzeria in the United States, was established in 1895 in the Big Apple. 

To this day, it continues to provide some of the city's finest pizza.

Regarding pizza and New York City, there is more to consider: For more than half a century, the cost of a pizza slice and a solitary tube ride has remained essentially unchanged.

One increase in price corresponds to the other.

Undoubtedly, one of our favourite interesting New York facts concerns cuisine.

In 1905, New York City welcomed the first pizzeria to receive recognition from the Pizza Hall of Fame.

Lombardi's Pizza, located at 32 Spring Street, continues to thrive and is currently one of the city's approximately 1,600 pizzerias.

Pizza prices increase in line with the cost of tube tickets, according to New Yorkers. It is referred to as "the pizza principle."

If someone could now persuade Lombardi's to reinstate their 1905 pricing of five cents per slice, certain tube riders would be extremely pleased.

14. The city with the highest population density in the United States

Deploying over 27,000 citizens per square mile, New York metropolis is the most densely populated metropolis in America, and rush-hour navigation reveals this.

It should not come as much of a surprise that a baby is born in New York City every 4.4 minutes.

In fact, that is a considerable quantity of infants!

15. Honking your car horn is illegal!

If you've ever been on New York City's roads and traffic, you'll find this hard to believe.

However, honking the car horn is banned, even in an emergency.

However, it is very clear that most people, if not all, don't care, and you won't travel far without hearing someone honk!

16. Grand Central Terminal has a whispering gallery.

We have been there, and it is true!

In the domed corridors of New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal, an incredible architectural miracle is at work.

If one person stands in one corner of the tiled wall and the other stands on the opposite side, they can whisper to each other.

And the other person will be able to listen!

It is a result of perfect arches, and there are several examples of whispering galleries throughout the world.

St. Paul's Cathedral in London is another.

This is without a doubt one of the most entertaining facts about New York. You must try it the next time you are in town.

17. The world's largest gold storage

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York City is the world's largest gold storage facility!

The vault, located 80 feet below ground level, contains gold worth approximately $90 billion.

18. The Empire State Building is struck by lightning around 23 times per year.

The Empire State Building, due to its height and location, often attracts lightning strikes.

Its tall spire acts as a lightning rod, directing strikes away from the main structure and into the ground, protecting the building and its occupants.

19. New York receives 15 times more snow than the South Pole.

New York City typically receives far less snow than the South Pole.

Despite having a sizable ice sheet covering it and experiencing extremely cold temperatures year round, the South Pole receives very little precipitation, including snowfall.

In contrast, New York City, being in a temperate climate zone, receives a significant amount of snowfall during the winter months due to its weather patterns and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

So, New York City receives more snow than the South Pole.

20. There are more women than men in NYC.

According to recent demographic data, there are indeed more women than men in New York City.

This is a common trend in many urban areas around the world, including major cities like New York, due to various factors such as migration patterns, life expectancy differences between genders, and others.

21. However, going Topless is not

Though you won't see many folks walking about the city with just their trousers and shoes, they could if they chose.

And this applies to people of both genders. You may be wondering what the laws on toplessness are like elsewhere in the United States.

They're a little unclear.

Women's breasts are classified as "private parts" in many states, allowing men to go topless in places where women cannot.