New York City is the largest city in the United States, and one of the largest cities in the world. The city of New York has a population of over seven million people, and the surrounding urban areas bring the total to about twenty million people. However, New York City is not merely a very large city; it is also known as one of the world’s leading centers of financial, artistic, and media activities.
Compared with most of the great cities of the world, New York is very young. The first permanent settlements were established during the seventeenth century, by settlers from the Netherlands. Those people named their town “New Amsterdam.” Soon, the colony was taken over by English settlers, who re-named the city “New York.” New York grew quickly, and by the nineteenth century it was the largest city of the United States.
New York was usually the place where new immigrants to the United States would arrive. In the nineteenth century, immigrants from Germany and Ireland were numerous in New York. In the early twentieth century, New York City was the home of many Jewish immigrants, and also immigrants from Italy. In addition, many African-American people arrived in New York from other parts of the United States, and many persons came to New York from the American territory of Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking island in the Caribbean. In more recent decades, immigrants have arrived in New York from places all over the world.
One of the most famous features of New York City is its dramatic skyline. New York has more tall buildings, called “skyscrapers,” than any other city in the world. Many of the tallest and most interesting buildings in New York-including the Woolworth Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building-were constructed during the early decades of the twentieth century. In addition to these impressive buildings, New York is also known for the huge bridges that join the island of Manhattan to the surrounding areas. The Brooklyn Bridge is the most famous of these remarkable and old bridges.
Of course, New York is famous for much more than just its architecture. New York City’s financial district, Wall Street, and its theatre district, centered on Broadway, are the most important in the United States. Central Park is one of the world’s great urban parks, and the art galleries, museums, and concert halls are among the greatest to be found anywhere. The United Nations has its headquarters in New York City. People around the world recognize the famous Statue of Liberty, which stands on an island in the harbor of New York, and the bustling Times Square, located in the mid-town Manhattan area.
Visitors to New York find it to be an extremely busy, fast-placed city and are struck by the extremes of wealth and poverty that surround it. Many people love New York City, but even those who would not want to live in New York do agree that it is a very interesting place.