New York City consists of five boroughs - The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island- which are separeted by various waterways.
These five boroughs were consolidated into a single city in 1898.
Brooklyn and Queens occupy the western portion of Long Island, while Staten Island and Manhattan are compeletely on their own land mass. Bronx, to the north, remains attached to the New York State mainland.
Few cities in America are as historically rich as New York City. Discovered in 1524 by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, it wasn't until 1625 that Dutch settlers permanently moved into the area, calling it New Amsterdam. However, in 1664, the British took over New Amsterdam, and renamed the settlement after the English Duke of York and Albany. Thus, New York was born.
Over the last four centuries, New York City has undergone a series of significant changes.
Its convenient location near the Atlantic Ocean made it a significant trading port under the British regime. In the late 1700's, New York City would serve as an important battle ground during the Revolutionary War, and was America's capital city until 1790.
In those years it became the largest city of U.S. and the opening (1825) of the Erie Canal, linking New York with the Great Lakes, led to even greater expansion.
Massive immigration, mainly from Europe, swelled the city's population in the late 19th and early 20th century. After World War II, many African Americans from the South, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans migrated to the city in search of jobs.
|Il Flatiron Building|
In 1857, Central Park NY became the first landscaped park in America. Another significant moment came in 1904, when the NYC subway was opened. The Flat Iron Building was built in 1902. New York Public Library opened in 1911. The Chrysler building was erected in 1930 while the Empire State Building in 1931.
In the 1930's, the Harlem Renaissance in Manhattan inspired great African-American literary works. Racial tensions in the 1960's divided New York City, and crime rates rose dramatically. With the help of Wall Stand the Financial District, NYC saw an economic resurgence in the 1980's and 1990's. Stricter law enforcement and the easing of racial tensions led to a significant drop in crime rates in NYC, and Wall Street enjoyed an internet boom through the late 1990's.
Then, on September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center in NYC was the scene of horrendous terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Today, the Ground Zero site is the future home of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, set to open in 2011.