10 Things You Didn’t Know About New York City

Picture of New York City

New York City is one of the most famous and visited cities in the world. It is a city of dreams, opportunities, and diversity. New York City that never sleeps, literally. It is a city that has something for everyone, from culture to cuisine, from art to architecture, from history to entertainment.

But how well do you know New York City? Do you know its secrets, its stories, its surprises? Do you know what makes it unique, special, and fascinating? We will reveal 10 things that most people don’t know about New York City, such as its history, culture, landmarks, and secrets.

Thing 1: New York City was the first capital of the United States

Did you know that New York City was the first capital of the United States? Yes, before Philadelphia and Washington D.C., New York City served as the seat of the federal government from 1785 to 1790. During this period, some of the most important events in American history took place in New York City, such as:

  • The inauguration of George Washington as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall on Wall Street.
  • The ratification of the Constitution of the United States by New York State on July 26, 1788, at Poughkeepsie.
  • The drafting of the Bill of Rights by James Madison and others at Federal Hall on Wall Street.

Thing 2: New York City has more than 800 languages spoken by its residents

Did you know that New York City has more than 800 languages spoken by its residents? Yes, New York City is one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world, with immigrants from over 150 countries. Some of the neighborhoods that are known for their linguistic and cultural diversity are:

  • Chinatown: One of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in the world. It has a population of over 100,000 people who speak various dialects of Chinese, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Fujianese, and Shanghainese. It also has a rich history and culture that can be seen in its restaurants, shops, temples, and festivals.
  • Little Italy: One of the most famous and historic Italian neighborhoods in the world. It has a population of over 5,000 people who speak Italian or Sicilian. It also has a vibrant culture and cuisine that can be seen in its bakeries, cafes, pizzerias, and gelaterias.
  • Harlem: One of the most influential and diverse African-American neighborhoods in the world. It has a population of over 200,000 people who speak various languages such as English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, and Wolof. It also has a rich history and culture that can be seen in its music, art, literature, and activism.
  • Jackson Heights: One of the most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods in the world. It has a population of over 100,000 people who speak over 150 languages such as English, Spanish, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Tibetan, and Quechua. It also has a colorful culture and cuisine that can be seen in its restaurants, markets, parades, and festivals.

Thing 3: New York City has the largest subway system in the world

Did you know that New York City has the largest subway system in the world? Yes,
New York City’s subway system covers more than 1,300 km of tracks and has more than 470 stations. Some of the facts and features of the subway system are:

  • It is one of the oldest and busiest subway systems in the world. It was opened in 1904 and carries over 5 million passengers every day.
  • It is one of the most artistic and creative subway systems in the world. It has over 300 art installations, such as murals, mosaics, sculptures, and paintings, that showcase the talent and diversity of New York City’s artists.
  • It is one of the most mysterious and secretive subway systems in the world. It has over 40 secret stations, such as City Hall, 18th Street, and Waldorf Astoria, that are closed to the public or used for special purposes.

Thing 4: New York City has more than 1,700 parks and green spaces

Did you know that New York City has more than 1700 parks and green spaces? Yes, It is not only a concrete jungle but also a green oasis, with more than 14% of its land area dedicated to parks and green spaces. Some of the famous parks and green spaces in New York City are:

  • Central Park: The most famous and visited park in the world. It covers over 340 hectares of land and has over 25 million visitors every year. It has various attractions and activities, such as lakes, bridges, statues, gardens, playgrounds, a zoo, a carousel, an ice skating rink, and concerts.
  • Prospect Park: The second largest and most popular park in it. It covers over 210 hectares of land and has over 10 million visitors every year. It has various attractions and activities, such as meadows, forests, waterfalls, ponds, trails, a zoo, a carousel, an ice skating rink, and concerts.
  • Bryant Park: The most centrally located and most active park in New York City. It covers over 4 hectares of land and has over 6 million visitors every year. It has various attractions and activities, such as lawn, fountain, library, chess tables, ping pong tables, reading room, cafe, and events.
  • High Line: The most innovative and unique park in New it. It is a linear park that is built on an elevated railway track that runs for 2.3 km along the west side of Manhattan. It has various attractions and activities such as gardens, artworks, views, seating areas, and events.

Thing 5: New York City has more than 40,000 street vendors

Did you know that New York City has more than 40000 street vendors? Yes, New York City’s street vendors are an integral part of its culture and economy, selling a variety of food, drinks, goods, and services.

Some of the types and examples of street vendors in New York City are:

  • Hot dog carts: The most iconic and ubiquitous street vendors in here. They sell hot dogs, sausages, and condiments, such as mustard, ketchup, relish, and onions. They can be found on almost every corner of Manhattan, especially near tourist attractions, such as Times Square, Empire State Building, and Central Park.
  • Pretzel stands: The second most common and popular street vendors in New York City. They sell pretzels, which are twisted breads sprinkled with salt or sugar. They can be found on many streets of Manhattan, especially near subway stations, bus stops, and office buildings.
  • Halal trucks: The third most common and popular street vendors in here. They sell halal food, which is food that is prepared according to Islamic law. They usually sell dishes, such as chicken or lamb over rice, gyro, falafel, and salad. They can be found on many streets of Manhattan, especially near Midtown, Downtown, and the Financial District.
  • Coffee carts: The fourth most common and popular street vendors in New York City. They sell coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and other hot or cold beverages. They also sell pastries, muffins, bagels, and donuts. They can be found on many streets of Manhattan, especially near subway stations, bus stops, and office buildings.

Some of the challenges and regulations that street vendors face in here are:

  • Permits: They need permits to operate legally. But the permits are limited and the waiting list is long. Many vendors operate without permits or with expired permits. This makes them vulnerable to fines or arrests.
  • Fines: They face fines for violating the rules and regulations. Some violations are parking illegally, blocking traffic or sidewalks, selling prohibited items, or operating without permits. The fines can range from $50 to $1,000.
  • Competition: They face competition from other vendors and businesses. They have to compete for customers, locations, and prices. They also have to deal with complaints or conflicts from other vendors or business owners.

Thing 6: New York City has more than 100 museums

Did you know that New York City has more than 100 museums? Yes, It is a cultural hub and a museum lover’s paradise, with more than 100 museums that cater to different interests and tastes. Some of the famous and iconic museums in New York City are:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: The largest and most visited art museum in the United States. It has over 2 million artworks that span over 5,000 years of history and culture. It has various collections and exhibitions, such as Ancient Egypt, European Paintings, American Art, Asian Art, and Costume Institute.
  • Museum of Modern Art: The most influential and innovative museum of modern art in the world. It has over 200,000 artworks that showcase the creativity and diversity of contemporary artists. It has various collections and exhibitions, such as Painting and Sculpture, Architecture and Design, Photography, Film, and Media and Performance Art.
  • American Museum of Natural History: The largest and most comprehensive museum of natural history in the world. It has over 33 million specimens and artifacts that explore the wonders of nature and science. It has various collections and exhibitions, such as Dinosaur Hall, Hall of Ocean Life, Hall of Human Origins, and Rose Center for Earth and Space.
  • Guggenheim Museum: The most distinctive and recognizable museum of modern art in the world. It has a spiral-shaped building that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It has over 1,000 artworks that represent various movements and styles of modern art. It has various collections and exhibitions, such as Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism.

Thing 7: New York City has more than 2 million rats

Did you know that New York City has more than 2 million rats? Yes, New York City has a notorious rat problem that dates back to its colonial times. Some of the facts and figures about rats in New York City are:

  • There are about four rats for every human in New York City, which means there are over 8 million rats in total.
  • Rats can reproduce rapidly, with a female rat giving birth to up to 12 pups every three weeks.
  • Rats can eat almost anything, from garbage to pizza to human flesh.
  • Rats can carry over 40 diseases, such as leptospirosis, plague, and rabies.

Some of the measures and methods that are used to control rats in New York City are:

  • Traps: The most common and traditional method of catching rats. There are various types of traps, such as snap traps, glue traps, and live traps.
  • Poisons: The most effective and lethal method of killing rats. There are various types of poisons, such as anticoagulants, bromethalin, and zinc phosphide.
  • Predators: The most natural and ecological method of reducing rats. There are various types of predators, such as cats, dogs, hawks, and owls.
  • Sterilization: The most innovative and humane method of preventing rats from reproducing. There are various types of sterilization, such as birth control baits, immunocontraception, and gene editing.

Thing 8: New York City has more than 250 movies filmed every year

Did you know that New York City has more than 250 movies filmed every year? Yes, New York City is one of the most popular and recognizable locations for movie-making in the world. Some of the genres and themes that are associated with movies set in New York City are:

  • Comedy: New York City is a great place for comedy movies, as it has a lot of humor, Irony, and satire. Some of the famous and iconic comedy movies that were filmed in New York City are: Annie Hall, Ghostbusters, Home Alone 2, When Harry Met Sally, etc.
  • Romance: New York City is a great place for romance movies, as it has a lot of love, passion, and drama. Some of the famous and iconic romance movies that were filmed in New York City are: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sleepless in Seattle, Serendipity, The Notebook, etc.
  • Crime: New York City is a great place for crime movies, as it has a lot of violence, corruption, and suspense. Some of the famous and iconic crime movies that were filmed in New York City are: The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc.
  • Superheroes: New York City is a great place for superhero movies, as it has a lot of action, adventure, and fantasy. Some of the famous and iconic superhero movies that were filmed in New York City are Spider-Man, The Avengers, Batman Begins, etc.

Thing 9: New York City has more than 50 skyscrapers

Did you know that New York City has more than 50 skyscrapers? Yes, New York City is one of the most impressive and influential cities for skyscraper architecture in the world. Some of the facts and features of skyscrapers in New York City are:

  • A skyscraper is a building that is at least 150 meters or 500 feet tall. New York City has over 280 buildings that meet this criterion, of which over 50 are considered skyscrapers.
  • The first skyscraper in New York City was the Equitable Life Building, which was completed in 1870 and had a height of 142 feet. The first skyscraper in the world was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, which was completed in 1885 and had a height of 180 feet.
  • The tallest skyscraper in New York City is One World Trade Center, which was completed in 2014 and has a height of 1,776 feet. The tallest skyscraper in the world is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which was completed in 2010 and has a height of 2,717 feet.
  • The design of skyscrapers in New York City reflects various styles and movements of architecture, such as Art Deco, International Style, Postmodernism, and Deconstructivism. The design of skyscrapers also incorporates various elements and features, such as spires, setbacks, facades, and antennas.

Iconic Skyscrapers in New York City:

Some of the famous and iconic skyscrapers in New York City are:

  • Empire State Building: The most famous and visited skyscraper in the world. It was completed in 1931 and has a height of 1,250 feet. It has various attractions and features, such as observation decks, lights, exhibits, and King Kong.
  • Chrysler Building: The most distinctive and recognizable skyscraper in the world. It was completed in 1930 and has a height of 1,046 feet. It has various attractions and features, such as crowns, gargoyles, eagles, and a lobby.
  • One World Trade Center: The most symbolic and meaningful skyscraper in the world. It was completed in 2014 and has a height of 1,776 feet. It has various attractions and features, such as a spire, memorial, museum, and observatory.
  • Rockefeller Center: The most complex and diverse skyscraper complex in the world. It was completed in 1939 and has a height of 850 feet. It has various attractions and features, such as plaza, ice rink, Christmas tree, and Top of the Rock.

Thing 10: New York City has more than 20 secret speakeasies

Did you know that New York City has more than 20 secret speakeasies? Yes, New York City has a hidden and vibrant nightlife scene that dates back to its prohibition era. Some of the characteristics and locations of speakeasies in New York City are:

A speakeasy is a hidden or disguised bar that sells alcoholic beverages illegally or without a license. They were popular during the prohibition era from 1920 to 1933 when alcohol was banned in the United States.

They can be accessed by various methods, such as passwords, secret doors, hidden entrances, or invitations, can be located in various places, such as basements, back rooms, phone booths, or bookcases.

A speakeasy can have various ambiances, such as cozy, classy, funky, or edgy. They can also have various themes or concepts, such as:

  • Bathtub Gin: The most cozy and classy speakeasy in New York City. It is accessed by a secret door behind a coffee shop. It has a bathtub in the middle of the bar and serves various cocktails and snacks.
  • The Back Room: The most authentic and historic speakeasy in New York City. It is accessed by a hidden alley and a staircase. It has a fireplace, a bookcase, and a secret room. It serves drinks in teacups and bottles in paper bags.
  • Please Don’t Tell: The most funky and edgy speakeasy in New York City. It is accessed by a phone booth inside a hot dog joint. It has a taxidermy bear, a photo booth, and a jukebox. It serves creative and experimental drinks and hot dogs.
  • PDT: The most innovative and unique speakeasy in New York City. It is accessed by an app that generates a random password every day. It has a digital art installation, a touch screen menu, and a robot bartender. It serves personalized and futuristic drinks and snacks.

New York City is one of the most amazing and surprising cities in the world. It has many things that most people don’t know about, such as its history, culture, landmarks, and secrets. In this article, we have revealed 10 things that you didn’t know about New York City, such as its first capital, its languages, its subway, its parks, its street vendors, its museums, its rats, its movies, its skyscrapers, and its speakeasies.


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