“ New York City is made up of millions of different people, and they all come here looking for something”
― Lindsey Kelk
New York City is the most populous city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. The city spans a land area of 305 square miles (790km²). New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world. It has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Empire State Building.
Situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of New York State. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island and they were consolidated into a single city in 1898.
Immigrants from over 180 countries live here, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Travelers are attracted to New York City for its culture, energy and cosmopolitanism.
New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the city is home to the world’s two largest stock exchanges. 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.
New York City’s history began with the first European visitor Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524. European settlement began with the Dutch in 1609. Europeans began to explore the region at the beginning of the 16th century–among the first was Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian who sailed up and down the Atlantic coast in search of a route to Asia–but none settled there until 1624.
In 1664, the British seized New Amsterdam from the Dutch and gave it a new name: New York City. For the next century, the population of New York City grew larger and more diverse.
The city recovered quickly from the war, and by 1810 it was one of the nation’s most important ports. It played a particularly significant role in the cotton economy: Southern planters sent their crop to the East River docks, where it was shipped to the mills of Manchester and other English industrial cities. Then, textile manufacturers shipped their finished goods back to New York.
At the turn of the 20th century, New York City became the city we know today. In 1895, residents of Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn–all independent cities at that time–voted to “consolidate” with Manhattan to form a five-borough “Greater New York.”
Today, more than 8 million New Yorkers live in the five boroughs–more than one-third of whom were born outside the United States. Thanks to the city’s diversity and vibrant intellectual life, it remains the cultural capital of the United States.
Top Destinations in New York City
- Grand Central TerminalLincoln Center
- Ellis Island
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Central Park
- Chrysler Building
- Rockefeller Center