53 Interesting Facts About New York City

New York City, often referred to as NYC, is a global metropolis located in the northeastern United States. As one of the most populous and culturally diverse cities in the world, it serves as a beacon of innovation, creativity, and opportunity. Renowned for its iconic landmarks, bustling streets, and vibrant neighborhoods, New York City is a dynamic hub for finance, arts, entertainment, fashion, and technology. Its towering skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center, dominate the iconic skyline, while Central Park offers a serene oasis in the heart of the urban jungle. From the bright lights of Times Square to the renowned museums of Museum Mile, NYC is a captivating fusion of cultures, making it a must-visit destination for travelers and a thriving home for millions of residents. Here’s a roundup of some interesting facts about New York, the City of Dreams:

New York1. When Manhattan was sold!


Do you know the cost of the world’s costliest location, Manhattan? It’s just $24. Well, don’t get excited, it was way back in 1626 when the Dutch explorer Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Native Americans for trinkets and tools worth $24 ($1,000 in modern currency).
Image: newyorkcitymoversnyc.com

2. Gold Bullion

Federal Reserve gold new york
No photos are allowed inside the vault in New York City, so this is a picture 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.
Image: untappedcities.com

3. Cemeteries-turned-parks

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

Believe it or not… almost all the major attractions of New York, whether it’s Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and Bryant Park, used to be cemeteries. At Washington Square Park alone, there are around 20,000 bodies buried.
Image: Wikimedia

4. Linguistic diversity

New York languages

New York is truly the melting pot of the world; a substantial percentage of its residents are foreign-born. NY is a multi-culture metropolis with 800 languages, making it the most linguistically diverse city on earth.
Image: concordialanguagevillages.org

5. City Cowboys at the Death Avenue

Death Avenue

Yes! 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 Eleventh Avenue, known as the “Death Avenue” because of the danger. In 1934, the street-level trains were replaced by the High Line.
Image: ephemeralnewyork.files.com

6. Almost like the South Pole

Animated GIF

When there is snowfall in New York, it probably becomes the world’s most beautiful city. Although New York may be the “City that never sleeps,” it can sometimes be brought to a standstill when the city is covered by a blanket of snow.
GIF: giphy.com

7. A luxury bomb shelter

luxurious bomb shelter

Well, it’s a very secret fact, which is, in fact, an open secret, that New York is home to a luxury bomb shelter, buried three feet under Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NYC.
Image: oddee.com

8. Go Topless!

NY is one of the cities in the United States, where you don’t need to duck into some dark den to get a glimpse of skin- it is perfectly legal for women to walk around topless in New York City as men do. Every year, the City celebrates “Go Topless Day.” Now, that’s called gender equality…!!!
GIF: i.pinimg.com

9. No Walmart!


Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, had no outlets in the City before 2018 as it faced resistance from labor groups and their political allies every time it proposed opening a store in the City. However, in September 2018, Walmart finally found a foothold on a bank of the Bronx River, below the roar of the Bruckner Expressway.
Image: Flickr

10. Taxi Medallions

Yellow Cabs in New York

Dreaming of working as a taxicab driver in NY? You’d need a fortune just to score a medallion. As of 2014, it cost over a million bucks, $1,400,000 approximately for an independent medallion.
Image: wikimedia.org

11. The Oldest Newspaper

The popular tabloid New York Post, established in 1801, is the oldest newspaper in New York City. Although 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.
Image: dailycaller.com

12. Hidden Gems

Rockefeller Center Rooftop Gardens
Rockefeller Center Rooftop Gardens

NY City certainly has a lot of hidden gems, and one such gem includes the beautiful gardens hidden hundreds of feet above the ground. Rockefeller Center had five eye-catching roof gardens that were closed in 1938. One of the gardens was shown in the Spider-Man movie.
Image: Wikimedia

13. Remnants of the Berlin Wall

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

Midtown Plaza at 520 Madison Avenue holds an amazing 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.
Image: Wikimedia

14. Running a food stall – Not everybody’s cup of tea

street food

Who 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 mouthwatering 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.
Image: Flickr

15. World’s most popular statue!

statue of liberty nyc GIF

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to honor the United States’ dedication to freedom and democracy and 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, is part of New Jersey, not New York. Moreover, the landmark is officially named “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
GIF: giphy.com

16. The battle for sunlight

light new york city GIF

Natural light has always been in short supply in the City of Skyscrapers. The City has been battling for adequate sunlight ever since the vertical buildings, defying the height, have been erected on the island of Manhattan.
GIF: giphy.com

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.
Image: Flickr

18. Hi-tech garbage collection

New York Garbage Collection

New York City has had a vacuum-driven garbage-collection system in some parts that actually suck trash through pipes under the streets to collect it at a central disposal location.
Image: Flickr

19. The Pizza Principle

In NY, having a pizza slice may cause concern to your pocket as 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.”

20. Gangs of New York

martin scorsese GIF

Well, for those 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 the late 70s to the early 90s, suffered a horrifying reputation for crime which was used as a backdrop for the movie.
GIF: giphy.com

21. Witness the White House on the Brooklyn Bridge

The First Presidential Mansion
The First Presidential Mansion

Well, where the Brooklyn Bridge now stands, there was the first “White House,” where George Washington lived and worked as the first president of the US. All that is left of the site is a dirty old marker on the Brooklyn Bridge, so next time you visit the Brooklyn Bridge, don’t forget to feel you’re in the White House.
Image: Wikimedia

22. A haven for Pizza lovers

new york illustration GIF

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

23. World’s first underground park

LowLine Proposed
Proposal of LowLine, the first underground park

We all know that NY is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the world, but after 2018, it became the only city in the world to have an underground park.
Image: Wikimedia

24. The Most Populous City

With a population of 8,622,698 (as of March 2018), New York City (NYC) is the most populous city in the United States.

25. World’s largest metropolitan area

Located at the southern tip of the New York State, New York City (NYC) is situated at the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, the world’s largest metropolitan area by urban mass.

26. Capital of the World!

New York City

New York, a global power city, has been described uniquely as the financial, cultural, and media capital of the world. So, there should be no exaggeration to term it the ‘capital of the world.’
Image: Pixabay

27. Capital of the United States!

What is the capital of the United States? Well! it’s obviously Washington, DC; however, if you were asked the same question in 1785, it would have been New York as New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.

28. New York Minute

Due to the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City, it has been given the term “New York Minute.” Well! New Yorkers move fast. Really fast.
GIF: nycgo.com

29. World’s largest foreign-born population

New York Foreign Born Population

New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, making it the world’s largest foreign-born populated city.
Image: Wikimedia

30. New York or New Amsterdam?

New Wark Was Known As New Amsterdam

Well! Before the City came under English control in 1664 and was given the name “New York,” the area was known as “New Amsterdam.”
Image: Flickr

31. World’s most visited tourist attractions

New York City has many well-known landmarks, and according to a survey in 2013, three of the world’s top ten most visited tourist attractions were in New York City, i.e., Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal.
GIF: nycgo.com

32. World’s most photographed city!

Several sources have ranked the City of New York as the most photographed city in the world.
GIF: tumbler.com

33. Heart of the world

The hourglass-shaped patch of New York City, known as Times Square, is considered by several sources as “the heart of the world.” On Times Square’s busiest days, more than 460,000 pedestrians pass through the area.
GIF: tumblr.com

34. World’s most expensive market!

With an average price of $4,100 per square foot, Manhattan’s real estate market is among the most expensive in the world.

35. World’s largest stock exchange!


New York City is home to the world’s two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, NASDAQ, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Image: Flickr

36. The Highest Natural Point in New York

Todt Hill New York

Although the City is full of skyscrapers, when it comes to the highest natural point in New York then it’s Todt Hill. At 390 feet above sea level, Todt Hill’s elevation is the highest natural point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Image: Flickr

37. The City of Dreams

Hundreds and thousands daily flock the New York City from the neighboring as well as far-flung States. Nicknamed the City of Dreams, New York is considered the largest and most diverse city in the world. The City contains everything for every age group, whether it’s education, tourism, or nightlife, you would never get tired of enjoying the City.
GIF: tumblr.com

38. The city that never sleeps

Good Morning New York - HannahLin

New York City is famously known as “The City That Never Sleeps” due to its vibrant nightlife and 24-hour activity. In fact, it is said that –

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”

GIF: Cargo

39. Broadway Capital

New York Broadway

NYC’s Broadway district is home to the largest concentration of theaters in the world, making it the global capital of theater.
Image: Wallpaper Flare

40. Times Square Ball Drop

victoria-pedretti: NEW YEAR'S EVE (2011) dir.... - GIOVANE GRIGORIJ

The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square has been a tradition since 1907, attracting millions of spectators each year.
GIF: Tumblr

41. World’s busiest train station

Grand Central Terminal is one of the world’s busiest train stations and features a stunning celestial mural on its main concourse ceiling.
GIF: Gfycat

42. World’s tallest Ferris Wheel

The New York Wheel, when completed, will be the world’s tallest observation wheel, located on Staten Island’s waterfront.

43. World’s first steel-wire suspension bridge

murder she purred (1998) — Films featuring the Brooklyn Bridge:Sleeping  With...

The Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883, was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn.
GIF: Tumblr

44. New York Fashion Week

New York City hosts the renowned New York Fashion Week twice a year, showcasing the latest trends and designs from top fashion designers.

45. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macys-thanksgiving-day-parade GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, held annually since 1924, is a beloved tradition featuring giant balloons, floats, and performances.
GIF: Giphy

46. UN Headquarters

Top 30 United Nations GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

The United Nations Headquarters is located in New York City and serves as a meeting place for international diplomacy and cooperation.
GIF: Gfycat

47. Jazz Capital

Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City
Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City

New York City has a rich jazz history and was a thriving center for the genre in the 1920s and 1930s, with renowned clubs like the Cotton Club and the Village Vanguard.
Image: Wikimedia

48. Ghostbusters’ Firehouse

FDNY Firehouse that was used for the exterior shots in Ghostbusters, and later modeled as the firehouse in the cartoons is located at Hook & Ladder 8 14 N. Moore Street, New York
FDNY Firehouse which was used for the exterior shots in Ghostbusters, and later modeled as the firehouse in the cartoons is located at Hook & Ladder 8 14 N. Moore Street, New York

The iconic firehouse from the movie “Ghostbusters” is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan and is now an operational fire station.
Image: Wikimedia

49. Little Italy

Where to Eat in NYC's Little Italy - Ethnic Eats, Episode 1 animated gif

The neighborhood of Little Italy in Manhattan is known for its Italian heritage, delicious Italian cuisine, and annual Feast of San Gennaro celebration.
GIF: GIFs.com

50. World’s largest independent bookstore

Strand Bookstore, New York
Strand Bookstore, New York

The Strand Bookstore, located in Greenwich Village, is one of the world’s largest independent bookstores and has over 2.5 million new, used, and rare books.
Image: Flickr

51. The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

The ticker-tape parade celebrating the Apollo 11 astronauts’ return from the moon in 1969 took place in New York City, with millions of people lining the streets.

52. Largest gothic-style Catholic cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located on Fifth Avenue, is the largest gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the United States and an architectural masterpiece.
Image: Flickr

53. The Great Fire of 1835

The Great Fire of 1835 destroyed much of Lower Manhattan, resulting in the creation of the first modern fire department in the city.