facts & history in brief
New York city, the big, big apple,
with a population of around 10 million,
is the largest city in the United
States in population and is one of
the world's most important
centres of business,
culture, and trade.
It is more than twice as large as
any other city in
the United States.
It is also the home of
the United Nations (UN).
In many respect what happens
in New York City affects what
happens throughout the United
States and around the world.
(I've heard a joke somewhere, sometime,
'that if New York catches a cold,
the rest of the world
goes down with pneumonia.)
Today's New York City had been occupied
by Native Americans for
more than 11,000 years.
In 1524 the Florentine Giovanni
da Verrazano hired by the French,
arrived at New York Bay.
In 1609, English explorer Henry
Hudson working for the Dutch East
India Company claimed it for the
company while searching for
the Northwest Passage.
The city was founded in 1625 by the Dutch
after establishing Albany,
as their capital at the mouth
of the Hudson on Manhattan Island,
which they bought from local
Indians for trinkets worth $24.
The Dutch called it New Amsterdam,
but in 1664 the British captured
it was and renamed it New York
for the Duke of York
(later became James II).
For the first hundred years Dutch and
pirates and some of the
local Iroquois prospered.
It was held by the British
throughout the War of Independence,
even after Washington's
entry into the city in 1783.
In 1789 Washington's
took place in the city and it was
the new national
capital for a while.
During the 1800's and early 1900's,
millions of Europeans settled in the
city seeking freedom,
opportunity and wealth.
Since 1886 the Statue of Liberty, in
New York Harbor is the
symbol of this new life.
New York City's skyscrapers, banks,
stock exchanges, and the famous Wall
Street play a major role in the
economy of the U.S. and of the world.
The docks, warehouses, and shipping
companies that line New York's huge
natural harbour handle much of the
nation's imports and exports.
New York City is also the major
cultural centre in
the United States.
The city's world-famous Broadway
area is the centre of professional
theatre in the United States.
The city also plays a leading role
in publishing, fashion
New York City is in southeast of
the New York State, at the mouth
of the Hudson River.
It is about 956 square kilometres,
including about 174 square
kilometres of inland water.
The city is divided into five areas
called boroughs, Manhattan, the Bronx,
Queens, Brooklyn, and
They are counties of
New York State.
Manhattan, the smallest
borough in area,
covers 88 square
It also contains
Downtown New York city
and the main business
It occupies a long,
bordered by the
Hudson River on the
west, the East River
on the east, the
Harlem River on the
north and northeast,
and Upper New York
Bay on the south.
The Bronx lies across
River from Manhattan
143 square kilometres.
It extends north along the
Hudson River and east
along the East River.
It is the only borough not
separated from upstate
New York by water.
Queens, the largest borough in
area, occupies 326
on the northwest corner
of Long Island.
Brooklyn covers 288 square
kilometres on the southwest
tip of Long Island.
Staten Island, formerly called the
borough of Richmond, is
168 sq. km. island.
Coney Island is at the
southern tip of Brooklyn is
a peninsula now days,
due to extensive land filling.
New Yorkers flock here
in summer by
underground to the beaches
and to its famous Boardwalk, which
has side shows, souvenir stands,
and many other attractions.
New York also well known for
the Times Square's New Year's
The St Patrick's Day Parade
on 5th Ave on 17 March.
The Jazz Festival in June.
Independence Day fireworks spectacle
on the 4th of July, in the East River.
The New York Film Festival takes
place in September and many others.
The city has many other famous attractions,
including the Statue of Liberty,
that was modelled on the Colossus
of Rhodes, built and
donated by Frenchmen
honouring the American conception of
political freedom, to the Land of
Opportunity, on 28 October 1886.
The 45m. (151ft) Statue stands on
Staten Island at the
entrance of New York harbour.
Another one is the Empire
New York's and the world's
'tall' building, standing
102 storeys and
436m (1454ft) above 5th Ave.
An airship and later a B25 crashed
into the building in 1945,
killing 14 people.
Central Park is a 337 hectare (843 acre)
green heaven in a huge concrete jungle
of skyscrapers, where New Yorkers relax,
exercise, play sport and can
watch various free performances.
Times Square is another world famous sight
with its huge lights and signs, especially
on New Years Eve as the brightly lit
ball descends from the roof of
One Times Square at midnight.
Than there is the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, (The Met), the Museum of Modern Art
(The MOMA), the Solomon R Guggenheim
Museum is a distinctive spiral
space, and many other museums.
SoHo (from 'south of Houston'), one of
the oldest part of the city and
famous for its art galleries,
clothing stores, boutiques and
beautifully restored cast-iron buildings.
Tribeca, (the 'TRIangle BElow CAnal'
St), of old warehouses and loft
apartments, and the area is favourite
for fashion photographers.
Greenwich Village (The Village as
New Yorkers call it) is one of the
city's most vibrant, varied and
popular neighbourhoods, known for
anything outlandish and bohemian,
where artists, writers, and jazz
musicians and gays hang out.
Also interesting is Long Island across
the East River from Manhattan with
beaches, wineries and many houses.
The nearby Atlantic City is also
a popular tourist destination for
it's gambling opportunities and
for terrific accommodation bargains
in the off-season.
New York is well served by three
major airports, (John F Kennedy Airport (JFK),
24km, (15 miles), the La Guardia Airport is
13km, (8 miles) and Newark Airport in
New Jersey, is 16km (10 miles) from Midtown
Manhattan), two train terminals Pennsylvania
(33rd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves
and Grand Central Station, at Park Ave and
42nd St) and a massive bus depot, (Port
Authority Bus Terminal at 41st St and Eighth
Ave in midtown Manhattan, from where all
suburban and long distance
buses depart from).
New York City is one of the most important
transportation centres in the USA.
New York has many excellent underground,
bus train and taxi services.
For variety's sake Hui Chin and I
left Washington D.C.
by train, and you probably guessed
it by now, we arrived in the Big
Apple by train.
By the nature of our objectives, our
plans and tactics don't vary much.
(To see and have fun doing it as
much, as cheaply and as fast as humanly
We phoned a number of Hotels and
Hostels from Penn Station, all of them
full or too expensive for us.
Left our bags in the lockers and
walked up to Times Square to catch
our sightseeing tour.
It was a double decker bus and the
first tour guide enjoyed screaming
at me for jumping up momentarily
every now again for a photo shoot.
Again it was one of those hop-on
hop-off arrangements, where we could
get of at a major attractions
for a better look.
(He had a bit of bad blood, because
when I was standing up, I wasn't
much taller than the windscreen
at the front.
We enjoyed New York, the U.N. tour,
Fifth Ave, Times Square, Grand Central
Station, colourful SoHo, Tribeca,
Greenwich Village, Long Island, Atlantic
City and the special ambience
that is strictly New York.
The variety and colour (I do not
refer to skin colour here) of people.
People going to work or working on
roller skates, the thousands of taxis
Visiting the Empire State building
After running around for hours
without finding anything suitable we
stayed a few days at the New Yorker Hotel.
Pretty expensive for us, but we
couldn't find any 'stables'.
We were disappointed when a security
guard misusing her powers and wouldn't
let us catch the Staten Island, to
see the Statue of Liberty.
After spending some time in the
queue she poked a finger towards my
camera: "Turn all cameras off,
is your camera off?"
Her finger touching the lens
of my camera.
I remarked in quite a friendly way
to her, that "You didn't have to
touch the lens", at which she 'lost
her rag' and started yelling aloud
I didn't touch your lens", "I
didn't touch his lens."
When I said, "You did", she
'really lost it', and went to see another
guard to tell him that we are
not allowed to go any further.
I did not have any reason to
say that she touched my lens if she had
I am not a trouble maker.
I am very shy and self conciencios,
especially in a crowded place like
that to even raise my voice or anything
to draw attention.
I do think she has abused her
powers for an imaginary or other personal
I apologised, to try and let Hui
Chin see the Statue.
She wouldn't accept it.
I think it is really bad when
people with a little power abuse it for
their own benefit.
I had to get this off my chest.
We spent a lot of our time going
around and having a look at Ground
Our sympathies goes out to the
poor victims and their kin.
Even after more than 12 months
it was a grim sight, especially across
the road the many little memorials
on the church fence.
We spent some time wondering around
in Greenich Village, SOHO and Chinatown
You can click on these photos for
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