New York City Yesterday

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New York City

One of the great American cities is New York City. The city has a long and interesting history. Today the city is comprised of five boroughs—Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

New York City Yesterday

The first settlement was founded by the Dutch in 1613 and eventually named New Amsterdam. In 1664 the British took over the area and renamed it New York. The Dutch regained control of the city in 1673 before ceding it to the English again in 1674. At the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, November 25, 1783, New York City became a part of the newly formed nation (“History of New York City,” 2007).

New York City Today

New York City is the largest city in the United States and is one of the world’s major cities. In addition to being the home of the United Nations, New York City is recognized for Wall Street (the financial markets), for Broadway (the theater district), for sports entertainment, for its many skyscrapers, and for being the landing place of many immigrants to the United States (Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty).

The People

New York City has a population of over eight million people. Many of these are immigrants or descendants of the 16 million immigrants who came to New York between 1892 and 1924. The percentage of foreign-born fluctuates; however, today approximately 40 percent of the population is foreign-born. The city’s population is comprised of 35 percent white, 27 percent Latino, 25 percent black, and 10 percent Asian (Fodor’s New York City, 2006, 14).

The Performing Arts

New York City offers a wide array of performing art options. When one thinks about theatre, Broadway comes to mind for the most serious-minded theatre goers. There are approximately 40 large theatres located in or near Times Square.

The Lincoln Center is the home for many of the performing arts of New York City. Lincoln Center Theatre, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic are a few of the resident organizations in the Lincoln Center. The Julliard School, a nationally recognized leader in arts education, is also housed in the Lincoln Center.

Another famous concert venue located in New York City is Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall was constructed in the early 1890s and named after the person who provided the funding for construction, Andrew Carnegie. Numerous famous performers of classical music have shared their talents in this Hall.

The Landmarks

New York City offers numerous sightseeing opportunities for tourists. Only a few of the more famous sites are included in this report.

Empire State Building. Each year millions of tourists view New York City from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. Each side of the building provides a panoramic view of the extraordinary city.

Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty, located in New York Harbor, is a symbol of political freedom. The statue was given to the United States by the people of France in 1886. The statue was often what the immigrants first saw as they came to the United States from Europe.

Central Park. Central Park provides an opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of New York City and relax. A terrific view of the skyscrapers is always available as a backdrop to the park. The park is perfect for biking, jogging, and rollerblading. Statues throughout the part memorialize famous individuals such as Beethoven and Shakespeare.

Yankee Stadium. New York has many sports teams. The Yankees, however, with their rich tradition, is the team that brings so much attention to New York City. Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built,” is a landmark in the city. When you think baseball, you think of the Yankees, winners of 26 World Series.


New York City is like no other city in the United States. The city is a hub of activity, offering something or everyone—shopping, entertainment, dining. The city is well known for its extraordinary cultural activities, numerous landmarks, and variety of sporting activities. New York has it all!


Fodor’s New York City, 2nd Edition. New York City: Fodor’s Travel Publications, 2006.

“History of New York City,” (accessed 24 October 2007).

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