New York

Is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York metropolitan area, the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States  and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.

New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, its fast pace defining the term New York minute.  Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy  and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.

Situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbors,  New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of New York State. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898.  With a census-estimated 2014 population of 8,491,079 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York,  making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

The City of New York has a complex park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that the park system in New York City was the second best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities, behind the park system of Minneapolis.  ParkScore ranks urban park systems by a formula that analyzes median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are managed by the National Park Service and are in both the states of New York and New Jersey. They are joined in the harbor by Governors Island National Monument, in New York. Historic sites under federal management on Manhattan Island include Castle Clinton National Monument; Federal Hall National Memorial; Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site; General Grant National Memorial (“Grant’s Tomb”); African Burial Ground National Monument; and Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Hundreds of private properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or as aNational Historic Landmark such as, for example, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village as the catalyst of the modern gay rights movement.

New York City’s most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S.financial industry, metonymously known asWall Street. The city’s securities industry, enumerating 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to form the largest segment of the city’s financial sector and an important economic engine, accounting in 2012 for 5 percent of the city’s private sector jobs, 8.5 percent (US$3.8 billion) of its tax revenue, and 22 percent of the city’s total wages, including an average salary of US$360,700.  Many large financial companies are headquartered in New York City, and the city is also home to a burgeoning number of financial startup companies.

Lower Manhattan is the third-largest central business district in the United States and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world’s largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.

Tourism is a vital industry for New York City, receiving approximately 51 million tourists in 2011, 54 million in 2013, and a record 56.4 million in 2014. Tourism generated an all-time high US$61.3 billion in overall economic impact for New York City in 2014.

Major tourist destinations include Times Square; Broadway theater productions; the Empire State Building; the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; the United Nations Headquarters; museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; greenspaces such as Central Park and Washington Square Park; Rockefeller Center; the Manhattan Chinatown; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick’s Day parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage. Major attractions in the boroughs outside Manhattan include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Unisphere in Queens; the Bronx Zoo; Coney Island, Brooklyn; and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The New York Wheel, a 630-foot ferris wheel, was under construction at the northern shore of Staten Island in 2015, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.

Manhattan was on track to have an estimated 90,000 hotel rooms at the end of 2014, a 10% increase from 2013.  In October 2014, the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York for US$1.95 billion, making it the world’s most expensive hotel ever sold.

New York City has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries of all sizes. Forty of the city’s theaters, with more than 500 seats each, are collectively known as Broadway, after the major thoroughfare that crosses the Times Square Theater District, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to numerous influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is in Union Square, and Tisch School of the Arts is based at New York University, while Central Park SummerStage presents performances of free plays and music in Central Park.

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