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New York, New York

New York—often called New York City to distinguish it from the state
in which it is located—is the largest city in the state of New York
and in the United States. Affectionately known as "The Big Apple," New York
is by many measures one of the most important cities in the world. The city
is probably the world's most important financial center, and one of the most
important cultural centers of the Western world. The United Nations
headquarters is in New York, giving some credence to the city's
self-designation as "capital of the world".

Political divisions

The City of New York is composed of 5 boroughs, each a county of New York State:

   * Manhattan - New York County, population 1,537,195
   * Bronx - Bronx County, population 1,332,650
   * Brooklyn - Kings County, population 2,465,326
   * Queens - Queens County, population 2,229,379
   * Staten Island - Richmond County, population 443,728

The boroughs, although legally counties, do not have separate county
governments. Each borough elects a Borough President, but under the current
city charter, the Borough President's powers are limited -- he or she has a
small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough. (The
last significant power of the borough presidents -- to appoint a member of
the Board of Education -- was abolished, with the board, on June 30, 2002.)

New York City is among the most densely populated places in the United
States. The population of the City of New York is more than eight million
(2000 US Census), the land area of the city is 831 square kilometers; hence
the density is ca. 10,000 / sq km.

New York City is part of the New York metropolitan area with a population of
around 20 million.

Crime

New York has had a reputation as a crime-ridden city, partly due to the
hundreds of TV and movie crime dramas set in it. However, in recent years it
has been ranked in the top ten safest large cities in the United States by
City Crime Rankings (9th edition, 2003). In addition, New York has been
growing safer for most of the last decade--FBI data indicate that the murder
rate in 2000 was the lowest since 1967.

There have been some notorious crime sprees, however. For example, on July
29, 1976 the "Son of Sam" pulled a gun from a paper bag killing one person
and seriously wounding another in the first of a series of attacks that
terrorized the city for the next year.

As soon as the Sicilian mafia moved to New York in the 1920's, they became
infamous with their hits on businesses that did not pay money to them. They
had also set up smuggling rings and fixed boxing matches. The Mafia
flourished due to a distrust to the police in the Italian-American
communities in New York. The five largest crime families in New York were
the Bonnanos, the Colombos, the Gambinos, the Genovese, and the Luchese. The
assimilation of the Italian-American population is choking the Mafia in New
York, although they still operate.

Politics

The current mayor of New York City is Michael Bloomberg, elected in 2001 on
the Republican ticket. Bloomberg had come to prominence as an expert on Wall
Street, which had brought him great wealth, but the mayoralty is his first
political office. Bloomberg had been a Democrat until only a short time
earlier, but switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor, in order to
avoid a crowded Democratic primary. Bloomberg succeeded Rudy Giuliani, who
actively supported Bloomberg as his successor.

Giuliani had been a very controversial mayor. His bid for United States
Senator from New York State was aborted by treatment for cancer and
controversy over his affair with Judith Nathan. He handled the aftermath of
the World Trade Center disaster well, providing much-needed leadership, and
greatly increased his popularity.

The Bronx Borough President is Adolfo Carrin, Jr., of Brooklyn, Marty
Markowitz, of Staten Island, James P. Molinaro, of Queens, Helen Marshall,
and Manhattan, C. Virgina Fields. The City Council is made up of 51
Councilmembers. The head of the City Council is called the Speaker,
currently Gifford Miller. Local "Community Boards" are the decision-making
bodies that take care of neighborhood based issues such as zoning variances
and other local concerns.

The court system

The court system of New York City differs from that of the courts of other
counties in New York State. Rather than County Courts, New York City has a
special New York City Civil Court, which functions much like the civil
jurisdiction of the County Court in other counties of New York State. The
difference is the reach of the New York City Civil Court in each county; the
court's jurisdiction is extended to the other counties of New York City so
that a resident of one county does not have to use the Civil Court of
another county. The New York City Civil Court generally has jurisdiction of
controversies up to $25,000 and also supervise small claims and housing cases.

Each county in New York City also has a Criminal Court that handles lesser
criminal cases and family related domestic violence offenses (a shared
jurisdiction with Family Court). Unlike other New York State counties,
Family Court judges in New York City are not elected, but appointed for
terms of ten years by the Mayor.

Like all other counties, each New York City county has a sitting Supreme
Court. In New York City, Supreme Court handles criminal cases on indictment,
which in other counties of the state are handled by the County Court. As in
the rest of the state, Supreme Court also handles larger civil cases. Grand
juries sit in each of the counties as well.

Manhattan and the Bronx are in the first appellate department of the
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The First Department sits at the
Court House on Madison Avenue and 25th Street. Queens, Brooklyn and Staten
Island (as well as the rest of Long Island and Westchester, Putnam,
Dutchess, Rockland and Orange County) being in the second appellate
department. The Second Department sits in Brooklyn at the Court House on
Pierrepont Street and Morgan Place.

The borough of Brooklyn is also home to the Red Hook Community Justice
Center, which opened in 2000 as the nation's first multi-jurisdictional
community court which was built with city, state, and federal assistance in
an attempt to alleviate the chronic lack of access to justice services in
the isolated Red Hook area in Brooklyn. The court combines family court,
civil and housing court and minor criminal court functions and takes a
community development approach to justice through such programs as the Youth
Court where teenagers are trained and act as mediators to help their peers
resolve disputes.

Geography and climate

New York City comprises Manhattan Island, Staten Island, the western part of
Long Island, part of the North American mainland (the Bronx), and several
small islands in New York Harbor.

New York has a humid continental climate. The city is adjacent to water, so
temperature changes are not as drastic as those inland. Every winter, it
snows in New York due to its latitude. Because of its key position, New York
had been king in the shipping passenger trade between Europe and the
Americas for quite some time, until the airplane came into wider use across
the Atlantic.

The city will be threatened if the current patterns of global warming
continue to rise the sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of
1,214.4 km² (468.9 mi²). 785.6 km² (303.3 mi²) of it is
land and 428.8 km² (165.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is
35.31% water.

Demographics

The median income for a household in the city is $38,293, and the median
income for a family is $41,887. Males have a median income of $37,435 versus
$32,949 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,402. 21.2% of
the population and 18.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the
total people living in poverty, 30.0% are under the age of 18 and 17.8% are
65 or older.

As of of 2000, there are 8,008,278 people, 3,021,588 households, and
1,852,233 families residing in the city. The population density is
10,194.2/km² (26,402.9/mi²). There are 3,200,912 housing units at
an average density of 4,074.6/km² (10,553.2/mi²). The racial
makeup of the city is 44.66% White, 26.59% African American, 0.52% Native
American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and
4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or
Latino of any race.

There are 3,021,588 households out of which 29.7% have children under the
age of 18 living with them, 37.2% are married couples living together, 19.1%
have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% are
non-families. 31.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.9%
have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average
household size is 2.59 and the average family size is 3.32.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18,
10.0% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who
are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100
females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there
are 85.9 males.

Economy

New York is a center of many industries in the United States. It was the
early center of the American film industry, until it moved to Los Angeles,
and still has some movie and television production. New York is also a
financial center for the country, containing the New York Stock Exchange and
NASDAQ. The New York financial industry is based in Wall Street, lower
Manhattan. New York is also the center of the clothing industry in the
United States. Many fashions come out of New York from different designers.
New York also has a lot of book publishers, which often have New York as the
very first city in publishing. New York also has a large tourism industry.

Major Corporations based in New York

    * Amereda Hess                      * KPMG
    * American Broadcasting Company     * MAD Magazine
      (owned by Disney)                 * Mcgraw-Hill Companies
    * American Express                  * Mercantile Exchange
    * American International Group      * Merrill Lynch
    * Avon                              * Metlife
    * Bank of New York                  * Mutual Of New York
    * Bankers Trust                     * NASDAQ
    * Bear Stearns                      * National Broadcasting Company
    * Bloomberg                           (owned by General Electric)
    * Bristol Myers Squibb              * News Corporation Company
    * CBS                               * New York Stock Exchange
    * Citigroup                         * Paine Webber
    * Colgate Palmolive                 * Pfizer
    * Conde Nast                        * Reuters
    * Dow Jones & Company               * Revlon
    * Ernst & Young                     * RJR Nabisco
    * Estee Lauder                      * Simon and Schuster (owned by
    * FAO Schwarz                         Viacom)
    * HBO (owned by Time Warner)        * The New York Times Company
    * Interpublic Group                 * Time Warner
    * JetBlue                           * Verizon
    * J.P. Morgan Chase                 * Viacom
    * King World Productions

Chrysler Corporation was based here until it merged with Daimler-Benz into
Stuttgart, Germany based DaimlerChrysler AG. Altria was based here under its
former name Phillip Morris. Altria moved their headquarters nearby Richmond,
Virginia. Texaco was based here until it merged with Chevron into San Ramon,
California based ChevronTexaco.

People of New York

A resident of New York City is a New Yorker. Residents of Brooklyn sometimes
call themselves Brooklynites and residents of Staten Island, Staten
Islanders. Residents generally refer to New York City (or just Manhattan) as
"New York" or "the city". Ambiguity is resolved by writing "NYS" for the
state and "NYC" for the city.

New York has been more of an international city than an "American" city, due
to the large influx of immigrants. Only Los Angeles recieves more
immigrants. Hundreds of languages are spoken in New York City. Irish,
Italian and Jewish areas of the city still exist. New York has a higher
Jewish population than Jerusalem, Israel does. New York has also recieved a
lot of Puerto Ricans whom migrated from their commonwealth to New York City.

Before September 11, the perception of New Yorkers was often as rude and
brusque, but since the World Trade Center destruction, many people
empathized with New Yorkers, and so, the stereotype has largely faded away.

New York has an intense rivalry with the city of Boston, Massachusetts. This
is perhaps the most infamous city rivalry in the United States.

Tourism

Tourism is a very large business in New York. Many people visit the Radio
City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the
Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, and several other famous New York City
landmarks. The World Trade Center was a famous tourist destination before
9/11. Now, Ground Zero is a famous tourist destination. The most famous FAO
Schwarz is located in Manhattan. It is so popular that long lines to enter
are seen as one approaches the building.

Coney Island, in the south of Brooklyn, has New York's roller coasters and
amusement parks.

Many people characterize the tourist-filled Manhattan as "New York". New
York is actually more diverse than that, since Staten Island and Queens have
shorter buildings than Manhattan does.

Famous buildings, sites, and monuments

   * Broadway
        o Times Square
   * Bronx Zoo
   * Brooklyn Botanic Garden
   * Brooklyn Bridge
   * Brooklyn Public Library
   * Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
   * Central Park
        o Strawberry Fields Memorial
   * Chrysler Building
   * Columbia University
   * Empire State Building
   * Flatiron Building
   * Grand Central Terminal (in second or third incarnation, earlier version
     was demolished in 1910s to make way for present GCT)
   * Grand Army Plaza
   * Ground Zero of the World Trade Center (see World Trade Center site)
   * Harlem
   * Lincoln Center
   * Madison Square Garden (currently in fourth incarnation)
   * Metropolitan Opera
   * New York Botanical Garden
   * New York Public Library
   * Pennsylvania Station (currently in second incarnation as basement of
     Madison Square Garden)
   * Prospect Park
   * Rockefeller Center
   * St. Patrick's Cathedral
   * Singer Building (demolished)
   * Statue of Liberty
   * United Nations headquarters
   * Wall Street
        o New York Stock Exchange
   * Washington Square Park
        o New York University campus
   * Woolworth Building

A common saying about con artists is to say that they are selling "pieces of
the Brooklyn Bridge."

Sports teams and stadiums

Unlike most major cities, New York has two of each team for most types of
sports, one for each division.

   * New York Knicks, National Basketball League, Madison Square Garden
   * New York Mets, Major League Baseball, Shea Stadium (1964-)
   * New York Rangers, National Hockey League, Madison Square Garden
   * New York Yankees, Major League Baseball, Yankee Stadium (1923-)

The New York Islanders reside in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum of
Uniondale, New York. The rest of New York's teams reside in the Meadowlands
Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Giants (National
Football League), the New York Jets (NFL), and the MetroStars (Major League
Soccer) are based in the Giants Stadium. The New Jersey Nets (NBA), and the
New Jersey Devils (NHL) are based in the Continental Airlines Arena.

Ebbetts Field is the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1958 (Now
known as the Los Angeles Dodgers)

Museums

   * American Museum of Natural History
   * Brooklyn Museum of Art
   * Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
   * Metropolitan Museum of Art - commonly called "The Met"
        o The Cloisters -- Castle & medieval art on a hill in Washington
          Heights, Manhattan, part of the Met
   * Museum of Modern Art - MoMA, currently displaying work in Queens (at a
     location called MoMA QNS, normally on 53rd St. in Manhattan)
   * Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Public transport

Unlike most of America's car-oriented urban areas, public Transportation is
the common way of travel for New York City residents. High parking fees,
alternate side of the street parking rules and traffic jams discourage
driving, and a fast, efficient, but not always clean, subway system provides
the best alternative. People living in the suburbs in eastern Long Island,
New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York tend to use the
automobile to work in New York City.

High tollway fees on bridges and underground tunnels help raise revenue and
discourage too many commuters from using the crossings. New Yorkers who live
in the city tend to take taxis, buses, subways (the underground in British
English), and elevated trains. Ferries are also taken between Manhattan and
New Jersey, as well as other parts of New York City.

Most New Yorkers fly domestic flights out of La Guardia Airport, while many
flying domestically into Newark and JFK are not from the New York area.
While Newark was the first airport in the area, and the closest to
Manhattan, it is in New Jersey.

   * New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) comprises
        o MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit Authority): the 5th largest
          metro system in the world (here called subway), the largest
          underground train system in the US and North America.
        o Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
        o Long Island Bus
        o Metro North Railroad (MNR)
        o Staten Island Railway until recently known as Staten Island Rapid
          Transit
        o MTA Bridges and Tunnels operates interborough bridges and tunnels
   * Amtrak: from Pennsylvania Station long-distance trains, including the
     Acela high speed rail
   * Roosevelt Island Tramway: aerial tramway from the main island of
     Manhattan to Roosevelt Island
   * NYC Department of Transportation runs the free Staten Island Ferry
     service
   * many taxis, licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission
   * many ferries run by NY Waterway, New York Water Taxi, and other
     operators
   * Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates:
        o three local airports: JFK International Airport in Jamaica, New
          York City, New York, Newark Liberty International in Newark, New
          Jersey, and LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, New York City, New York
        o Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) railroad
        o Port Authority Bus Terminal for long-distance buses (operated by
          other companies)
        o George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
        o under construction: AirTrain automated people mover
          (short-distance driverless metro) connecting JFK Airport with the
          main metro system and the Long Island Rail Road; it is expected to
          be ready in 2003.

Events

   * 1853 - Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (1853)
   * 1909 - Hudson-Fulton Celebration (1909)
   * 1939 - 1939 New York World's Fair exhibits included The World of
     Tomorrow Futurama Trylon Perisphere
   * 1964 - 1964/1965 New York World's Fair
   * 2001 - September 11 Terrorist Attack
   * 2003 - Northeastern US/Canada Blackout

Crimes, disasters, and assassinations

   * July 11-13, 1863 - Approximately 50,000 people riot in protest of
     President Lincoln's announcement of a draft for troops to fight in the
     civil war.
   * March 12-13, 1888 - A record blizzard drops 21 inches of snow on the
     city. An estimated 800 people die.
   * June 14, 1904 - The General Slocum catches fire while cruising the East
     River. Over 1000 passengers are killed.
   * June 25, 1906 - Stanford White is shot and killed by Harry K. Thaw. The
     murder would soon be dubbed "the Crime of the Century".
   * March 25, 1911 - 145 employees, mostly women, are killed in the
     Triangle Factory fire.
   * July 28, 1945 - A B-25 Mitchell bomber accidentally crashs into the
     79th floor of the Empire State Building, killing 13 people.
   * March 13, 1964 - Kitty Genovese is stabbed to death. The crime is
     witnessed by dozens of people, none of whom aid Genovese or call for
     help.
   * July 29, 1976 - David Berkowitz (aka the "Son of Sam") kills one person
     and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks that
     terrorized the city for the next year
   * December 8, 1980 - John Lennon is killed in front of his home, the The
     Dakota building.
   * December 22, 1984 - Bernhard Goetz shoots four men on a subway who
     tried to rob him.
   * April 14, 1989 - Trisha Meili (aka the Central Park Jogger) is
     violently raped and beaten while jogging in Central Park. The crime is
     later attributed to a group of young men who were practicing an
     activity they called "wilding".
   * February 26, 1993 - A bomb planted by terrorists explodes in the World
     Trade Center's underground garage, killing six people and injuring over
     a thousand.
   * December 7, 1993 - Colin Ferguson shoots 25 passengers on a commuter
     train out of Penn Station.
   * July 17, 1996 - TWA Flight 800 crashes in Long Island Sound. Some
     people allege the plane was struck by a missile.
   * September 11, 2001 - The World Trade Center towers and several
     surrounding buildings are destroyed by a terrorist attack.
     Approximately 3000 people are killed.
   * 23 July 2003 - 31-year-old Othniel Askew, a Brooklyn resident and
     political rival of City Councilmember James E. Davis, fired multiple
     gunshots in the City Hall chambers of the New York City Council,
     killing Davis. New York City Police Officer Richard Burt, who was on a
     special security detail in the Council Chamber, shot and killed Askew.
     According to news reports, Askew appeared at Councilmember Davis's
     Brooklyn office and drove with him to the New York City Hall. The
     security guards permitted both men to circumvent the security posts.
     (Under an agreement between the City and the City Council,
     councilmembers and their staff and guests were allowed to enter the
     building without a security check.) Since the shooting, however, Mayor
     Michael Bloomberg has announced that everyone (including himself)
     wishing to enter City Hall must go through the security checkpoints.
   * October 15, 2003 - At about 3:30 pm, the Staten Island Ferry boat the
     Andrew J. Barberi collided with a pier on the eastern end of the St.
     George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island killing at least ten people,
     seriously injuring many others, and tearing a huge slash through the
     lowest of the three passenger decks. It is the worst mass transit
     disaster in New York City in over a century.

Plays and Musicals set in New York

   * West Side Story (1957)
   * Rent (1996)

Movies and TV Shows set in New York

   * Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
   * West Side Story (1961)
   * Sesame Street (1969-XXXX)
   * Diff'rent Strokes (1978-1986)
   * Oliver and Company (1988)
   * Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
   * NYPD Blue (1993-XXXX)
   * Mega Man TV Show, US
   * The Sopranos (1999-XXXX)
   * Catch Me If You Can (2002)
   * Gangs of New York (2002)
   * Spider-Man (2002)
   * Daredevil (2003)
   * Uptown Girls (2003)
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