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New York

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In the precolonial era, the area of present day New York City was inhabited by various tribes of Native Americans. The first documented visit by an European was in 1524. Giovanni da Verrazzano was a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He sailed his ship into New York Harbor and claimed the area for France.

A Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez was the first non-Native American inhabitant of what would eventually become New York City. He arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–1614, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch and in about 10 years' time they called the place New Amsterdam. It soon became a Dutch trading settlement. In 1626 the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan for 60 guilders (about $1000) from the Native Americans. And that's not the end of the story! In 1664, the colony of New Netherland surrendered New Amsterdam to the English without bloodshed. The English promptly renamed the city 'New York' after the Duke of York.

Since then, New York has witnessed many changes. Among others, it was the 1st capital of the USA and became one of the most populated and visited cities in the world.

Around 49 million tourists visit New York each year what makes tourism its vital industry. The most popular sights are: Broadway theatre, The Bronx Zoo, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, American Museum of Natural History, Zero Ground Museum, United Nations Headquarters, Yankee stadium, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Chinatown and many more.

New York Trivia

  • More than 50% of New Yorkers commute to work and spend an average of 38.4 minutes a day getting to work by different means of transport, such as: buses, taxis, trains, ferries and areal tramways.
  • The Statue of Liberty symbolises American independence and was a gift from the people of France. Because of its size (46m high) and weight (225 tonnes) they had to put it into 350 individual pieces and pack in 214 crates to ship it from France to New York. It took four months to put it together again.
  • Almost 50 percent of New York City’s residents over the age of 5 speak another language other than English at home.
  • Asking the way in New York might become a problem – a language problem. Only about 51% of New Yorkers speak English, about 25% (1,87 million residents) speak Spanish, 419,000 people speak Chinese, 106,000 people chat in French Creole, 81,000 speak French, and 186,000 New Yorkers speak Russian.

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