New York City


2010: 8,175,133, #1 in U.S., #1 in New York

1950: 7,891,957, #1 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 18,897,109, #1 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 12,911,994, #1 in U.S.


New York City was founded by the Dutch in 1624 at the mouth of the Hudson River. It is made up of five boroughs, four of which are on islands: Manhattan, the original settlement and central business district (an island on the east shore of the Hudson River); Brooklyn and Queens (on Long Island); Staten Island (off the coast of New Jersey); and the Bronx (on the mainland).


Tallest building: One World Trade Center (2013), 1,776 feet

List of tallest buildings

There are observation decks on One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building and the GE Building (850 feet, 1933) in Rockefeller Center.


Midtown Manhattan has a variety of department stores, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, J.C. Penney, and Barneys New York. Macy’s also has a store in downtown Brooklyn, in the former Abraham & Strauss store.


Amtrak uses Pennsylvania Station, which is mostly underground. (The historic station was demolished in 1963.) Trains run frequently on the Northeast Corridor, north to Boston and south to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Other Amtrak trains include the Silver Star and Silver Meteor to Florida, Palmetto to Savannah (Ga.), Carolinian to Charlotte, Crescent to Atlanta and New Orleans, Cardinal to Cincinnati and Chicago, Pennsylvanian to Pittsburgh, Lake Shore Limited to Buffalo and Chicago; Adirondack to Montreal, and the Ethan Allen Express and Vermonter to Vermont.

The Long Island Rail Road (1834) is a commuter system that serves the length of Long Island, mostly from Pennsylvania Station. It is the busiest commuter railroad in North America.

New Jersey Transit's commuter rail lines are mostly between Pennsylvania Station and New Jersey cities.

Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) operates commuter trains between New York City (near Pennsylvania Station) and New Jersey, including Jersey City and Newark.

The New York City Subway operates 24 lines to all the boroughs except Staten Island. The subway is served by Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal (1913).

Grand Central is also the southern terminus of commuter trains of Metro-North Railroad, with three lines serving the Hudson Valley and Connecticut.

The Staten Island Railway provides commuter service on Staten Island, with 14 miles of track that connect with the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan.



Manhattan Skyline
(Photo by David Shankbone)


Manhattan's many museums include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.


Manhattan has many first-run movie theaters, independent theaters, and former movie palaces. The most famous theater is Radio City Music Hall, which was the largest movie theater in the world when it opened in 1932. Today it mainly has concerts and special events.

The New York Philharmonic plays at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center (1962). The Metropolitan Opera also plays at Lincoln Center. The city's many live theaters always have a wide variety of musicals and non-musicals.


The New York Yankees of the American League play at Yankee Stadium (2009) in the Bronx, and the New York Mets of the National League play at Citi Field (2009) in Queens. The NBA New York Knicks and the NHL New York Rangers play at Madison Square Garden (1968). The NBA Brooklyn Nets play at the Barclays Center (2012) in Brooklyn. The NFL New York Giants and New York Jets play at Meadowlands Stadium (2010) in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Map of Midtown Manhattan

New York Architecture