If the world has a capital, it’s Midtown Manhattan. A lot of things start much earlier and much faster here than anywhere else in the world. This is where ideas are born that shape the world: politically, economically and culturally. As Liza Minnelli sang in the film New York, New York, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” hardly any other in the world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s visual arts, music or theatre: many of the most important protagonists can be found here, either as performing artists or as residents.
Everyone who has been to New York judges this city differently. And everyone is right. Anyone who thinks they know New York experiences the metropolis anew every time. Anyone who says they know New York is arrogant. Because New York, there are millions of truths: New York is a city without equal, incomprehensible like colored air.
Nowhere else in the world are faces of so many shades and ethnic groups presented as in New York. Nowhere else are people less afraid of presenting themselves as they are. New York absorbs them all: the freaks, the oddballs, the Woody Allens, Frank Sinatra’s descendants and millions of others. Irish writer Brendan Behan said of the city: “Everyone in New York knows that they are a great personality who lives among other great personalities.”
According to Travelationary, the history of the settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam, founded by the Dutch, is ludicrous: in 1626 the governor Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from the Indians with glass beads and similar trinkets worth around 24 dollars. But just 38 years later, the Dutch lost their settlement: Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered the city to the English without a fight, who gave it the name New York. British rule lasted around 100 years – until the colonies declared their independence in 1776.
More than just Manhattan
Incidentally, New York City consists not only of Manhattan, but of a total of five districts – called “boroughs”. They are all worth seeing, because there is something to discover everywhere. For example Brooklyn with the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn Heights, the pretty brick mansions and the manicured front yards. Also unforgettable is the view of the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade (especially the sunset) or the breathtaking walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, which has connected the borough with Manhattan since 1883. There is also something worth seeing in Queens – the borough that is six times the size of Manhattan. Incidentally, the two largest New York airports are located here: JFK International and La Guardia. Both districts are characterized by the diversity of the different immigrants,
By no means just a desert
of concrete If the city planners of the early 19th century had had their way, Manhattan would probably only have been a desert of stone and concrete. But New Yorkers – especially artists, intellectuals and landscape architects – managed to get an area of almost 350 hectares removed from the development plans and dedicated as a park. In 1853 the city acquired this tract between 8th and 5th Avenues and 59th and 110th Streets. That was the birth of Central Park – now one of the largest city parks in the world. There are also parks in the other parts of the city.
Speaking of return visitors: It goes without saying that New York is always coming up with something new, whether it’s epicurean or cultural. Shopping fans will also always find good deals in the countless designer flagship stores and bargain troves. In addition, there are many small shops and stores selling second-hand books, records and other antiques. When it comes to sports, you are also in good hands here, as numerous national and international events take place here.
Incidentally, ethnic Germans have always played an important role in the history of New York: Governor Peter Minuit, for example, who founded the settlement, was a native German. As early as 1860, more than 200,000 people of German origin accounted for a quarter of the total population. In 2005 around 302,000 Austrians and Germans lived in the Big Apple. Their influence is also noticeable in the culinary sense. Like the Oktoberfest, the German-American Steuben Parade, which takes place in September, is an indication of the diversity of cultures in New York City.
Location and Size
New York City is located in the Northeast on the East Coast of the United States. The city covers an area of 789 km². The road network measures 10,300 km, the beaches are almost 30 km long. There are 1,100 parks, squares and public spaces with a total area of 150 km², besides there are 100 museums and 400 galleries, 400 theaters, about 100 skyscrapers, 3,500 churches, 18,000 restaurants and 12,000 taxis.
About 8.4 million people live in New York City, making it the most populous city in the USA. With a population of 2.6 million, Brooklyn is the most populated of the five boroughs, followed by Queens with 2.3 million, Manhattan with 1.6 million, Bronx with 1.4 million and Staten Island with 0.5 million. More Italians live in New York than in Venice, more Irish than in Dublin and more Jews than in any other city in the world.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is 16 miles southeast of Manhattan, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is 2 miles south of Newark and 16 miles southwest of Manhattan.
Both national and international flights depart from both airports. New York La Guardia Airport (LGA) is 8 miles east of Manhattan. Mainly national flights take off and land here.
New York City is known for its cultural diversity: 35% of all New Yorkers are of European descent. About a quarter each is Afro-American and Latino-American, and 10% are Asian.
The tourism industry is the fifth largest industry in New York City: in 2009, 45.6 million visitors came to New York City, in 2015 there were already 58.3 million, of which 12.3 million were international visitors. 6.1 million visitors took part in congresses and conferences. In 2016, the number of visitors increased to 60.3 million, of which 13.1 million were international visitors. There are currently 107,000 hotel rooms available, with plans to increase this to 133,000 by 2019.
New York City has a humid continental climate with cold winters and hot, humid summers. Due to the city’s coastal location, winters are not as cold as inland cities at the same latitude. Daytime temperatures are usually above freezing. Snow is common in winter, although the amount varies. Rain is very common in winter. Spring in New York is pleasantly warm, with temperatures climbing to 25° to 30° C by mid-May. Summers are generally sweltering and muggy. The best time to travel to New York is autumn, the temperatures are mild, the days are sunny and the humidity is not too high.
|Average temperatures in New York in °C|