New York City

In 1990 in New York City lived ca. 7.3 million people. New York City is located on the Eastern Atlantic coast of the United

States. New York City is made of five boroughs seperated by various waterways. Brooklyn and Queens occupy the

western portion of Long Island, while Staten Island and Manhatten are completely on their own land mass. The island

of Manhatten is largely a protrusion of granite, rising a few hundred feet from see-level. The southern tip and center

of the island are virtually solid granite, while areas in Greenwich Village and Chelsea are Composed of softer soil. As

a result of this geologic arrangement, Manhatten's talles't buildings are located in these two large "rocky" areas.

Manhatten is flanked on its west side by the Hudson River, and on the east side by the Harlem River (on the north)

and the East River (on the south). Manhatten's street layout consists primarily of avenues and streets. The space

between avenues is typically much larger than the space between streets. Avenues run North-South, starting with 1st

Avenue on the East Side, and going westward to 12th Avenue. Streets run East-West, starting with 1st Street in

Greenwich Village, and increase in value up to 220th Street at the north tip of Manhatten. Below 1st Street is

considered to be the Downtown area of Manhatten, 1st to 14th Street contains the general "Village" area. The area

west of Broadway is Greenwich Village, and to the east is East Village. 14th to 34th Street west of Broadway is

Chelsea, known for it's large loft apartments and studios, 59th to 110th Street contains the Upper West Side and

Upper East Side, respectively. Between the two lies the green oasis of Central Park. 110th to 145th Street lies the

village of Harlem and 145th to 220th Street has no special designation, but does the neighborhood of Washington

Heights and the Cloisters. Brooklyn was largely a marshland before it was settled in the late 1600s. The Dutch were

the first settlers from the old world to colonize this borough in the 17th century. Although they shared the land with

British settlers, the Dutch culture was the dominant one well into the 19th century. When first asked to join New York

city as a borough in 1833, Brooklyn refused. Brooklyn, in a close vote, did not decide to become a part of New York

City until 1898. Today, Brooklyn is a borough of many neighborhoods, each with its own strong ethnic flavor. It's

very rare to find a New Yorker whose family has been living in America for more than one generation who didn't

have an ancestor that lived in Brookly at some point in their life. Areas of Brooklyn are Downtown, Brooklyn Heights,

North Brooklyn, Institute Park, Park Slope and Prospect Park, South Brooklyn and Coney Island. The borough of

Quuens was named after the wife of Charles II of England, Quenn Catherine of Braganza in 1683. Queens became a

borough of New York City in 1898 and rapid economic and physical growth followed the merger. At the beginning

of the 19th century, Queens was populated largely by small farms and was predominantly rural. During the 18th

century, the area started to experience growth in the area of manufacturing along the shores of the East river. After

the merger with New York City the growth that had already begun increased at an ever-increasing rate. The area has

been very popular for new immigrants in the past half of this century and is largely split up into different ethnic

neighborhoods that feel very much like the home countries of the people that live there. There are a few inter-racial

neighborhoods in Queens and the new immigrants that come to live here tend to congregate in their own areas. New

York's two major airports are located in queens along with a lot of industry in New York City. Queens is connected

physically to Long Island. Areas of Queens are Flushing, Corona Park, Astoria, Long Island City, Hunter's Point,

Jamaica, Ridgewood and Southern Queens. The Bronx is the hime of New York's two greatest landmarks, the

BronxZoo and YankeeStadium. The area was named after the Dutch settler Jonas Bronck, who had claimed the area

as his farm back in 1636. The Bronx is the only borough of New York that is physically connected to the mainland of

the United States. The borough was largely undeveloped and consisted mostly of cottages, farmlands, and wild

marshes until a large swell of Irish and Italien immigrants inhabited the area. Immigrants still come to the Bronx, but

today they are Russian and Hispanic. Areas of the Bronx are Van Cortland Park, Pelham Bay Park and South Bronx.

The Florentine explorer Giovanni Da Verranzo is commonly considered to be father of Staten Island because he sailed

into New York Harbor in 1524 and landed on the Island. In 1687 the Duke of York offered the island as a prize in a

sailing competiton which the team from Manhatten won. Since that time, Manhatten has claimed the island as its

own. Until 1713, when the first public ferry was started on the island, there was no way to get back and forth to the

island unless you had a boat. Finally, in 1964 the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built by Othmar Amman. The

bridge made it relatively easy to travel back and forth between the island. The relationship between Staten Island and

the rest of hte city is not what you would call a warm one. The Island has tried to secede from the City and become

it's own City several times. People in the rest of the City generally regard people from Staten Island as being on the

fringe of New York politics and see the island as being closer to New Jersey. New York was briefly (1789-90) the U.S.

capital and was state capital until 1797. A Rumor says that the "Big Apple" is so named because during the

depression, many former financiers would travel from their suburban cottages in full suits in order to sell apples on

the streets of New York. The rumor goes that several well-to-do families had to make ends-meet by selling apples and

the charade became known to many as the "Big Apple" scam of New York. Since apples have always been a big part

of the New York economy the name simply stuck and was eventuall promoted by local government. But that's only a


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