23 Interesting Facts About New York

Popularly known as the “Empire State” or “The Big Apple,” New York City is a multi-cultural metropolis and a home to many famous and talented people. Millions of visitors flock annually to experience the city first hand. New York City has changed greatly over time, from its primitive state as a forest to the skyscraper-filled city it is today. It is interesting to know the stories about this Grand city which has made it the finest city on the planet. Here’s a roundup of some interesting facts about New York.


1. Cheapest city in the history…


The island of Manhattan was sold to the Dutch explorer Peter Minuit by the Lenape Native Americans for trinkets and tools worth $24 ($1,000 in modern currency).
Source: factslides.com, image: flickr

2. Gold bullion

Federal Reserve gold new york
No photos are allowed inside the vault in New York City, so this is a photo of another Federal Reserve gold vault

There are vaults located 80 feet beneath the Federal Reserve Bank which holds about 25 percent of the world’s gold bullion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t belong to the NY Fed or the residents, it simply guards the gold on behalf of the US government and other financial institutions.
Source: bigappled.com, image: untappedcities.com

3. Cemeteries turned parks

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

Believe it or not… Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and Bryant Park all used to be cemeteries. At the Washington Square Park alone there are around 20,000 bodies buried.
Source: bigappled.com, image: wikimedia.org

4. Linguistic diversity

New York is truly the melting pot of the world; substantial percent of its residents are foreign born. NY is a multi-culture metropolis with 800 languages making it the most linguistically diverse city on the earth.
Source: factslides.com

5. City cowboys at the Death Avenue


Death AvenueYes! New York City used to have cowboys and not just the one at Times Square. New York cowboys used to wave red flags and lanterns to warn pedestrians about the street-level freight trains at the Eleventh Avenue, which was known as the “Death Avenue” because of the danger. In 1934, the street-level trains were replaced by the High Line.
Source: newyork.com, image: ephemeralnewyork.files.com

6. Extreme weather

Central Park under snow
Central Park under snow

New York gets 15 times as much snow as the South Pole. During the winter of 1780 New York harbor froze over and people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island on the ice.
Source: factslides.com, image: wikimedia.org

7. A luxury bomb shelter

luxurious bomb shelterOnly in NY you can find a luxury bomb shelter buried three feet under the Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NYC.
Source: factslides.com, image: oddee.com

8. Go topless

In NY you don’t need to duck into some shady den to get a glimpse of skin—it is perfectly legal for women to walk around topless in New York City. The New York Supreme Court, in 1992, altered penal law 245.01 allowing women to go shirtless as men do. Now that’s called gender equality…!!!
Source: listverse.com


9. No Walmart

Wal-martYou won’t ever stumble across any Walmart in any of New York’s five boroughs. Walmart,  the world’s largest corporation by revenue, with approximately 9,000 locations maintains a presence throughout the world and in all 50 states. However, due to stringent unions there are no Walmarts in NY.
Source: listverse.com, image: flickr

10. Taxi medallions

Yellow Cabs in New YorkDreaming of working as a taxicab driver in NY? You’d need a fortune just to score a medallion. As of 2014, it will cost over a million bucks, $1,400,000 approximately for an independent medallion.
Source: newyork.com, image: wikimedia.org

11. The oldest newspaper

The popular tabloid New York Post established in 1801 is the oldest newspaper in New York City. Though it started out conservative, it went on to support Lincoln, oppose slavery and champion Reconstruction. The 20th century, nonetheless, saw it go tabloid and turn traditional again.
Source: history.com

12. Hidden gems

Rockefeller Center Rooftop Gardens
Rockefeller Center Rooftop Gardens

NY City certainly has many hidden gems and one of them includes the beautiful gardens hidden hundreds of feet above the ground. Rockefeller Center had five eye-catching roof gardens which have been closed since 1938. But I am sure you must have seen at least one close up: the garden which appears in a scene in Spider-Man movie.
Source: nycgo.com, image: wikimedia.orgt

13. Remnants of Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall piece in New York
Berlin Wall piece in New York

Midtown plaza at 520 Madison Avenue holds an unexpected piece of history. At first glance, this artifact appears to be just another public mural but actually is five sections of the Berlin Wall nestled here since 1990.
Source: nycgo.com, image: wikimedia.org

14. Street food

street foodWho doesn’t love to grab a bite of that yummy hot-dog from the hot dog truck after having a stroll in the park. New York City has 4000 street food vendors offering mouth watering hot dogs, pretzels, falafel, kebobs, and more. But the fact is that it can cost over $289,000 for a one-year hot dog stand permit in Central Park.
Source: bigappled.com, image: flickr

15. The Lady Liberty

Statue of Liberty, NY
Statue of Liberty, NY

The Statue of Liberty was a gift of France to honor the United States’ dedication to freedom and democracy and of the alliance formed during the American Revolution between the two countries. The Lady Liberty has since then, been the pride of NYC but the fact is that the underwater portion of Liberty Island, where it sits upon, is part of New Jersey, not New York.
Source: history.com, image: wikimedia.org

16. Manhattanhenge


For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice but for Manhattan that special day comes twice a year. Imagine a scene when the sunset aligns perfectly with the Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, creating a radiant glow of light across the streets.
Source: crazyfacts.com, image: flickr

17. Secret art installation

Time square
Time square

The gloomy hum rises through the subway grate in Times Square, which is usually attributed to a generator or some other NYC Transit equipment, but as a matter of fact is an art installation by sound artist Max Neuhaus. It has been operating since 1977 at intervals.
Source: crazyfacts.com, image: flickr

18. Hi-tech garbage collection

For past 35 years now New York City has had a vacuum-driven garbage-collection system in some parts that actually sucks trash through pipes under the streets to collect it at a central disposal location.
Source: crazyfacts.com

19. The Pizza Principle


In NY the price of a pizza slice is literally equal to the cost of a subway ride for 50 years now. Financial analysts have named it “The Pizza Principle”.
Source: crazyfacts.com

20. Gangs of New York

gangs of new yorkFor the folks who believe that the Dead Rabbits and other gangs mentioned in the film “Gangs of New York” was fiction it might come as a surprise that those were real gangs of New York which operated during the 19th century. Before becoming a crime-free State the city from 70’s to early 90’s, suffered a horrifying reputation for crime which was used as a backdrop for the movie.
Source: midmanhattan.com, image: wikimedia.org

21. The first White House

The First Presidential Mansion
The First Presidential Mansion

The first “White House” where George Washington lived and worked as the first president of the US was where the Brooklyn Bridge now stands. All that is left of the site is a dirty old marker on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Source: gypsynester.com, image: wikimedia.org

22. Pizza tours

pizzasIf there is a food that screams New York City from the top of the Empire State Building, that’s pizza. We all know how the New Yorkers love pizza but the city also has a special tour dedicated to the history of pizza in NYC.
Source: gypsynester.com

23. World’s first underground park

LowLine Proposed
Proposal of LowLine, first underground park

We all know that NY is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the world but after 2018 it will also be the only city in the world having an underground park.
Source: factslides.com, image: wikimedia.org