New York City
City and port located at the mouth
of the Hudson River, southeastern New
York state, northeastern U.S. New York City is the centre
of the largest urban agglomeration in the United States. It occupies Manhattan and Staten
islands, the western end of Long Island, a portion of the mainland, and various
islands in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound. Its urban area extends into
neighbouring parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
York City is an ethnic melting pot where the most dramatic cultural contrasts
are commonplace. It is among the most geographically and demographically
complex of world cities, its economy one of the most diverse, and its cultural
scene among the richest and most variegated.
brief treatment of New York City follows. For full treatment, see New York
city consists of five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and
Staten Island [formerly Richmond]), which correspond to five counties of New
York state (New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond, respectively). All
are located near the point where the Hudson River empties into Upper New York
Bay of the Atlantic Ocean. The city's only land boundaries are Westchester
county on the north and Nassau county on Long Island to the east. The city's
waterfront is used for shipping and recreation.
city may be described as a collection of many neighbourhoods, each with its own
character and life-style. Manhattan is the economic and cultural heart
of the city and is often considered to be "the city." Administration
and services, however, have become increasingly decentralized as community
planning boards have assumed more power in areas such as education, health,
housing, and public works. Manhattan, the magnet for tourists and businessmen,
is at first glance a city of skyscrapers, glaring lights, and frenetic pace.
The shopping promenade of Fifth Avenue, the financial institutions of Wall
Street, the residential mansions of Park Avenue, or the bohemian life in the
East Village and SoHo give typical impressions. Only Brooklyn of the other
boroughs has a similar ethnic heterogeneity and a similar range of social life,
with commercial and industrial districts and residential areas ranging from the
wealth of Brooklyn Heights to the most abject poverty of parts of
Bedford-Stuyvesant. Queens is mainly residential and middle class, and Staten
Island is partly suburban but still rural in some areas. In the Bronx luxurious
residences and solid middle-class apartments prevail in some sections, but
other areas, especially the South Bronx, are the scene of severe urban blight.
pockets abound throughout Manhattan, from black and Spanish Harlem in the
north, to the various enclaves of the Lower East Side such as Little Italy and
Chinatown. New York City also has large numbers of Italians, Irish, Puerto
Ricans, and West Indians, as well as the largest Jewish population of any city
in the world. This ethnic and racial mix is the result of the waves of
immigration that the city has absorbed during its history. The Statue of
Liberty, located on Liberty Island off Manhattan, has long stood as a symbol of
refuge and opportunity.
York City is a centre of world trade and finance, communications, art and
entertainment, and fashion. The city is the financial capital of the United
States and holds the headquarters of many of the world's largest corporations.
Wall Street in Manhattan is home to the nation's largest stock exchange and is
the headquarters of the country's largest brokerage firms. With the
headquarters of the nation's television and radio networks and the main offices
of the largest advertising agencies, New York City is the heart of the mass
media in the United States. Printing and publishing are also of great
importance, and most of the nation's major publishing houses are based in
midtown Manhattan. The city's economic life also depends on the great diversity
of its numerous small businesses and manufacturing establishments.
apparel, symbolized by its famous garment district, continues to be New York
City's major manufacturing industry. White-collar jobs, however, are far more
numerous. The main nonmanufacturing employers include service businesses;
wholesale and retail trades; finance, insurance, and real estate; transport and
public utilities; government; and construction.
and mergers have resulted in the loss of many jobs in the city. In addition,
escalating rents and taxes and high crime rates have caused many firms to
leave. Steps have been taken by the city government, however, to alleviate
these problems and to provide incentives for remaining.
The artists of New York City exhibit
in a wide variety of forms, ranging from traditional crafts to the most
avant-garde work, flavoured by complex blends of ethnic and national
influences. Theatrical arts and entertainment are also widespread: Broadway is
the synonym for musical comedies and legitimate drama; Carnegie Hall is one of
the most famous concert halls in the world; and Lincoln Center for the
Performing Arts is the home of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera,
the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. Though the importance
of Broadway has declined, theatre is very much alive in the more venturesome
Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions. The city has numerous
motion-picture theatres, among which are many revival and foreign-film houses.
The New York Public Library is one
of the best research libraries in the world. Most famous among the city's many
museums are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the
American Museum of Natural History. Many lesser known museums house special
collections. The city's extensive system of public parks includes Central Park
New York City has an extensive
public university system. Outstanding private colleges and universities in the
city include Columbia, New York, Rockefeller, and Fordham universities,
numerous medical schools, the New School for Social Research, and the Juilliard
New York City's subway system
carries more than one-third of all mass-transit passengers in the metropolitan
area, with the balance provided by commuter rail lines and buses. The
once-famous docks of Hell's Kitchen along the Hudson River in Manhattan have
disappeared, and considerable shipping has shifted to the New Jersey side of
the harbour. Rail lines radiate in all directions. International and domestic
air service is provided by Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark (New Jersey) international
airports. Area city, 304 square miles (787 square km); metropolitan area, 1,384
square miles (3,585 square km). Pop. (1990) city, 7,322,564; New York PMSA,
8,546,846; New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island CMSA, 18,087,251.
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