New York City (1613- ) is the largest city in America. From 1925 to 1965 it was the largest city in the world. It is not so much a large American city as a world city that is in America. The people in New York come from all over the world.
Where Washington is the capital of American government, New York is the capital of American business.
Among other things, New York gave the world: Santa Claus, pizza, Billie Holiday, electric power, hip hop, baseball and the New York Times.
When you live in New York it seems like the centre of the world. It is just like that Saul Steinberg cover of the New Yorker which shows everything between Ninth Avenue and China: New York takes up more than half the picture.
I do not know why, but when I walk down Fifth Avenue I feel more alive and more right in my skin than anywhere else. One time I had been away from New York for a number of years and when I came back I felt like I had grown old. There is just something about New York.
New York is in the north-east of the country on the sea, at the end of a long island. In the harbour is a tall green woman, Lady Liberty. If you come from over the sea she is the first thing you see of New York.
New York is a world unto itself and it has worlds within worlds. You will see more change and difference in one mile of New York than in 500 miles of the middle of America. You could visit every part of New York and when you were done, it will have all changed and you could do it all over again.
New York has prostitutes, madmen, killers and drunks, but most people are like those anywhere. It is true New Yorkers do not always seem nice, but it is more their manner than their hearts. They do not trust charm and want you to tell it like it is.
New York has beautiful women of every shade and colour.
In New York no one knows you. They do not know your past in wherever it was you came from. Nor do they care. This gives you the freedom to leave your past behind and start all over.
What helps is the feeling in the city that life is not ruled by fate or chance but by what you make it.
The crime in New York is not like it was. If you keep your wits about you and use some common sense, you will be safe enough.
New York is made up of five boroughs, all but the last have a million or two each:
- The Bronx
- Staten Island
Most New Yorkers work in Manhattan but live in one of the other boroughs – the “Outer Boroughs” – where it is cheaper to live. Manhattan is the heart of the city.
– Abagond, 2006.
- Why I love New York
- Race in New York
- New York English
- The best American writers live north of 110th Street
- Money in New York in 2007
- New York Times
- Parts of the city