New York City NYC Tourist Guide
New York City
Attractions in NYC, New York, USA
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New York City
New York City, officially the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States and the most densely populated major city in North America. Located in the state of New York, New York City has a population of over 8.1 million within an area of 321 square miles (approximately 830 km²).
The city is a center for international finance, fashion, entertainment and culture, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s major global cities with an extraordinary collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations and financial markets. It is also home to the headquarters of the United Nations.
The New York metropolitan area has a population of about 22 million, which makes it one of the largest urban areas in the world. The city proper consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. With the exception of Staten Island, each of these boroughs is home to at least a million people and would be among the nation’s largest cities if considered independently.
Nicknamed the “Big Apple”, the city attracts large numbers of immigrants (over a third of its population is foreign born) as well as people from all over the United States who come for its culture, energy, cosmopolitanism, and economic opportunity. The city is also distinguished for having the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest American cities.
New York City Tourism
Some 39 million foreign and American tourists visit New York each year. According to some estimates, as many as one in four Americans can trace their roots to Brooklyn. Many visitors investigate their genealogy at historic immigration sites such as Ellis Island and the French-made Statue of Liberty. Other tourist destinations include the Empire State Building, for many years the world’s tallest building after its construction in 1931, Radio City Music Hall, home of The Rockettes, a variety of Broadway shows, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, housed on a World War II aircraft carrier, high-end shopping districts around Fifth Avenue, and city landmarks such as Central Park.
28,000 acres (113 km²) of parkland and 14 miles (22 km) of public beaches in the city provide recreational space. Prospect Park in Brooklyn, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, has a 90 acre (360,000 m²) meadow thought to be the largest meadow in any U.S. park. Flushing Meadows Park in Queens is the city’s third largest park and hosted the World’s Fair in 1939 and 1964. Historically, some of the most visited waterfront was around the Coney Island boardwalk. The area was an immigrant and working class resort with amusement parks and ocean atmosphere. It went into decline in the 1970s, although the beach has always remained popular in the summer and Russian immigrants have begun revitalizing area businesses. The popular Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team now plays there. Fishing, swimming and rowing are increasingly popular as the water quality of the city’s waterways improve. Several canoe and kayak clubs offer nighttime circumnavigations of Manhattan and tours of the East River.
Shopping is popular with many visitors. Fifth Avenue is a famous luxury shopping corridor. Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store, and the surrounding area of Herald Square is a major destination for more moderately-priced goods. Greenwich Village is home to hundreds of independent music and book stores, while the East Village has many purveyors of rare and hard-to-find items. Union Square is known for its large farmer’s market and a plethora of other gourmet food shopping options. The diamond district around 47th Street is one of the three primary centers of the global diamond industry (along with Antwerp, Belgium and South Africa), as well as the premiere center for jewelry shopping in the city, and SoHo, formerly the center of the New York art scene, is now known for high-end clothing boutiques. The art galleries are now concentrated in Chelsea. There are also large shopping districts in Downtown Brooklyn and along Queens Boulevard in Queens. Many of the city’s ethnic enclaves, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, and Brighton Beach are major shopping destinations for first and second generation Americans up and down the East Coast, who seek out stores such as the sari shops, ethnic food markets, and Hong Kong snack food chain Aji Ichiban.