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The metropolis of New York (also referred to as "New York City" or "the Big Apple") is at the bottom of the Hudson Valley in New York state. It is part of the Mid-Atlantic region on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. The New York Metropolitan Area extends across three states—including lower New York (including parts of Long Island), northern New Jersey and parts of southwestern Connecticut.
It is the USA's largest metro area, with a population of 18.7 million. As of 2007, it was ranked 5th in the world, after Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Seoul. 1.6 million people live within Manhattan.
New York is a major center for media, culture, food, fashion,
art, research, finance and trade. It also has one of the largest and
most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Empire State
New York city skyline
New York City is divided by its residents into various districts and
quarters, as well as into several official governmental divisions. New
York City proper consists of five boroughs, which are actually
five separate counties. Each borough has a unique culture—each could be
a large city in its own right. Within each borough individual neighborhoods—some
only a few blocks in size—have "personalities" lauded in music and
film. Where you live, work and play in New York says something to New
Yorkers about who you are.
The five New York boroughs are:
(New York County) — located on the famous island between the Hudson and
East Rivers; includes many diverse and unique neighborhoods and is the
most-visited area of New York City. Brooklyn
(Kings County) — the most populous borough, at one point a separate
city. Located south and east of Manhattan across the East River.
Queens (Queens County) — U-shaped, located to the east of Manhattan, across the East River, and north, east, and south of Brooklyn.
(Bronx County) — located immediately north of Manhattan Island. This is
the only part of New York City that is physically connected to the
(Richmond County) — a large island situated within New York harbor,
south of Manhattan and just across the narrow Kill Van Kull from New
Jersey. Unlike the rest of New York City, Staten Island has a
distinctly suburban character.
New York City is one of the global centers of international finance,
politics, communications, film, music, fashion, and culture, and is
among the world's most important and influential cities. It is home to
many world-class museums, art galleries, and theatres. Many of the
world's largest corporations have their headquarters here. The
headquarters of the United Nations is in New York and most countries
have a consulate here. Immigrants (and their descendants) from over 180 countries
live here, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Travelers are attracted to New York City for its culture, energy and
The focus of interest for most travelers are the areas in and around Manhattan
island. When most people think of New York, they think of Manhattan and
in fact, Manhattan is generally referred to as "the city", while the
other four boroughs are typically called "the Outer Boroughs". The
island of Manhattan is long and narrow, positioned squarely within the
harbor of New York and separated from the Outer Boroughs and New Jersey
by the Hudson River (to the west), the East River (actually a tidal
strait between Manhattan and Long Island) and the Harlem River
(actually a tidal strait between Manhattan and the Bronx).
New York City has a humid continental climate and experiences all
four seasons with hot and humid summers (June-Sept), cool and dry
autumns (Sept-Dec), cold winters (Dec-Mar), and wet springs (Mar-June).
Average highs for January are around 38°F (3°C) and average highs for
July are about 84°F (29°C). However, temperatures in the winter can go
down to as low as 10°F (-12°C) and in the summer, temperatures can go
as high as 100°F (38°C). The temperature in any season is quite
variable and it is not unusual to have a sunny 70°F (21°C) day in
January followed by a snowy 25°F (-3°C) day. New York can also be prone
to snowstorms and nor'easters, which can dump as much as 2 feet of
snow. Hurricanes can also hit New York City in the summertime, although
they tend to be weak. Overall, New York is warmer than inland cities
like Chicago and Cleveland, but, in winter, it can seem a lot colder
because you spend a lot more time outdoors.
The diverse population includes some of America's wealthiest
celebrities and socialites, as well as hundreds of thousands of
immigrants. New York's population has been diverse since the city's
founding by the Dutch. Successive waves of immigration—first Dutch,
then British, African, Irish, German, Italian, Jewish, Eastern
European, Jamaican, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Haitian,
Korean, Indian, Arab—make New York a giant social experiment in
cross-cultural harmony. The city's ethnic heritage illuminates different neighborhoods
throughout the five boroughs. In Manhattan, Little Italy remains an
operating (if touristy and increasingly Chinese) Italian enclave,
though many New Yorkers consider Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to be the
"real" Little Italy. Chinatown remains a vibrant center of New York's
Chinese community, though in recent years the much larger Chinese
neighborhood of Flushing in Queens has rivaled if not eclipsed it in
importance, and two other Chinatowns have formed in Brooklyn. Traces of
the Lower East Side's once-thriving Jewish community still exist amid
the newly-gentrified neighborhood's trendy restaurants and bars, but
there are Chassidic communities in Borough Park, Crown Heights and
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Harlem has been gentrifying and diversifying
lately but remains a center of African-American culture in New York.
East (Spanish) Harlem still justifies its reputation as a large
Hispanic neighborhood. Little known to most tourists are the large
Dominican neighborhoods of West Harlem and Washington Heights in upper
Manhattan. Brooklyn and Queens are known for being home to many of New
York's more recent immigrant groups, which since 1990 have included
large numbers of Russians, Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis,
Africans, Mexicans, Jamaicans, Koreans and Japanese, amongst others.