Originally home to the Lenape Native Americans, New York was founded as a commercial fur trading post by the Dutch in 1624; Manhattan island was bought for 60 Guilders - $1,000. It was called New Amsterdam until 1664 when the colony came under English control. The American Revolution's largest battle was fought in modern day Brooklyn. New York was the US capital from 1785 to 1790. In 1789, George Washington, the first President of the United States, was inaugurated here. By the 19th century, immigration and development had transformed the city. It had become the centre of the anti-slavery movement with the largest African American community migrating from the American South, and the Great Irish Famine brought Irish immigrants; by 1860 1 in 4 New Yorkers had been born in Ireland. Following the Great Depression and World War 11, New York displaced Paris as the centre of world art. During Prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, the economic boom resulted in the growth of skyscrapers, becoming the world's first megacity. Wall Street in Lower Manhattan competes with London to be the financial centre of the world. Today, as many as 800 languages are spoken here. It is home to 8.4 million people and has been the United State's largest city for over 100 years.
What to do in New York: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, Times Square, Macy's, Fifth Avenue, Madison Square Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum, United Nations, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Broadway shows.
What to do in New York? The vibrant cultural scene offers you endless choice. It excels in art, cuisine, dance, music, opera, theatre, independent film, fashion, museums and literature. New York is the birthplace of many significant cultural movements including abstract expressionist art in the 1950s and hip hop music in the 1970s. 39 of the largest theatres are collectively known as "Broadway" around the glittering Times Square. The food culture includes almost all world cuisines, brought here by the city's continuous stream of immigrants over 400 years. It's most famous for bagels and New York style cheesecake and pizza.
Events in annual
Plan your New York City Short Breaks to coincide with exciting annual events such as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, St. Patrick's Day Parade, Tribeca Film Festival and the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. Every winter there is ice-skating in Central Park.
Halfway between Washington D.C. and Boston, New York located at the mouth of the Hudson River and the city is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island. Much land has been reclaimed since Dutch colonial times; land area is around 305 square miles or 789 square km.
Manhattan's famous skyscrapers include several of the tallest buildings in the world. Of nearly 6,000 high rise buildings, 50 are over 656 feet (200m), only second to Hong Kong. Noteworthy styles include the Gothic revival style such as the Woolworth building built in 1913. The tapered styles of the Art Deco Chrysler Building (built in 1930) and Empire State Building were prompted by the 1916 Zoning Resolution to allow more daylight to reach the streets. New York's residential districts are defined by the classic Brownstones and tenements built from 1870 to 1930.
It's quick and easy to travel around to see New York tourist attractions. With more than 50% of New Yorkers not owning cars, public transport is extensive and efficient featuring the Subway system, bus network, railways and Amtrak intercity rail. Yellow taxicabs are everywhere. Nearby airports include Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.