What You Don’t Know About New York City

Where Do You Think Lady Liberty is Located?

There is no specific term for those who are New York City experts, but we’re sure there are lots of them. Whether you’ve lived here all your life, you've seen every movie with NYC in it or you have yet to book discount airfare visit, you can learn a lot about the City that Never Sleeps. Do you even know where that nickname comes from? (We don’t either!) If you thought you knew everything about this thriving metropolis, think again.


You can find Ancient History in Central Park


Even though New York City dates back to the days of the Dutch who called it New Amsterdam, the history of the city is fairly young compared to European cities like London and Rome. But, did you know that there is an Ancient artifact that dates to 1450 B.C. right in Central Park? Cleopatra's Needle is a tall, rocky obelisk that is actually older than the rule of Cleopatra. In the late 19th century, the Needle was given to the U.S. as a gift, or a thank you for helping Egypt when Great Britain and France were trying to conquer.


The New York City Subway is pretty impressive


Love it or hate it, The New York City subway is kind of awesome for many reasons. It may not be the oldest system (thanks to London), but it is quite impressive. Did you know that an average of over five million people ride the subway each weekday? This large system has almost 500 stations and over 800 miles of track.  That mileage can take you from NYC to beyond Chicago if you were to put those tracks in a straight line going west! There are 21 total subway lines with the latest being built as we speak- the 2nd avenue line which will be the T line. Best of all, you can ride the rails all day and all night, every day since the system is 24 hours a day. (We can’t guarantee it will be fast all day, every day!)


Brooklyn used to be its own city?


We all know and love the five boroughs- Manhattan is the main island everyone knows and love. You've got the Bronx holding it down with the Yankees and The Bronx Zoo. Don't forget the cultural diffusion in Queens where you can find lots of delicious ethnic food. Make sure not to call Staten Island the lost borough; you know you love taking the State Island Ferry over on a summer day. Last but not least is Brooklyn; a transformative place with a little bit of everything.  Brooklyn used to be an independent city, until the consolidation of New York City in 1898. Brooklyn remains the most populous borough of New York, and if it were a separate city would be the fourth largest in the U.S. We can honestly see why it feels like a city in itself. 


Spanish Harlem used to be Italian Harlem


When Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States and turned into a Commonwealth, thousands of Puerto Ricans came to New York City in the middle of the 20th century for a piece of the American dream. Spanish Harlem got his name for the large Hispanic population; mainly Puerto Ricans who stayed together and called this area their new home. But before this became what it is today, it was actually Italian Harlem. Before Little Italy existed, the area between 96th and 116th on the East Side was home to over 100,000 Italians in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Italian gangs and mafias threatened the arriving Puerto Ricans, but eventually they learned how to live together. There is only a slice of Italians left in the area- like a barber shop, a bakery and Patsy's Pizzeria. The most famous is the exclusive Rao's Restaurant; good luck trying to eat there!


The Statue of Liberty is not in New York, or is it?


One of New York's biggest tourist attractions is Lady Liberty; a wonderful statue given to the Americans by the French. It's associated with New York because of its proximity to New York City; after all, it is in the River close to Manhattan, so it must belong to New York City, right? Located on Liberty Island on the Upper New York Bay, the islands were ceded by New York to the federal government in 1900. But, the Statue of Liberty is located in New Jersey waters but due to maritime law technicalities dating back to 1664. They decided to set the border at the bay's midpoint in 1834, which meant the islands are New York territory, but located on the New Jersey side of the State line. It sounds complicated, but luckily, you can visit from both the New Jersey and New York pier- your choice.

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