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10 Interesting Facts About New York City

1. The Big Apple

Before it was the city, it was the prize. In the 1920s a local newspaper used the phrase ‘Big Apple’ to describe the big money prize at the end of horse races. Only later it became also the famous nickname of New York City.

2. New York Taxis were not always yellow

Before the appearance of the now famous yellow cabs in 1912, New York City first used red and green taxi cars. While other cities in the US were already using yellow taxis.

3. New York is multicultural

People from all over the world call NYC their home. In fact, 40 percent of New Yorkers were born in another country (as of 2018). This concludes to a whopping number of 800 languages spoken here. 

Also, more Chinese people live in New York City than in any other city outside of Asia. As well as more Jewish people than in any other city outside of Israel.

4. The first American pizza joint opened in New York City

In 1905 Lombardi’s opened the first pizza joint in America in New York City. Since then pizza became a NYC food staple.

5. The Pizza Subway Index

It is actually called the ‘Pizza Principle’ and refers to the phenomenon that the average price of a slice of pizza in New York is also usually similar to the price of a subway ticket.

6. The Bagel Monopoly

Another food New York City is world-famous for is the bagel. In the early 1900s, an international Beigel Bakers’ Union emerged. Bagel bakers in Manhattan banded together to keep their bagel trade secrets to themselves.  The group conducted its meetings almost exclusively in Yiddish and they accepted only sons of current members. The union’s monopoly on bagel baking ended in the 1960s with the invention of the automated bagel machine.

7. The first name of the City was New Amsterdam

The first European settlers in New York City were Dutch, this is why until 1898 NYC was known as New Amsterdam. Only after the colony was granted to the Duke of York, New Amsterdam was renamed New York.

Also during this time there was a wall in the south which limited the city. This is how Wall Street got its name.

8. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French

If you’ve read my facts about Paris post, you already know this one. The statue was dedicated in1886 and was a gift from the people of France to the United States.

9. The Times Square is named after the New York Times

This one is kind of obvious, but I never made the connection before reading it in an article. Before the New York Times moved to this location, Times Square was known as Longacre Square.

10. Expensive Business

A hot dog stand permit for a year in Central Park can cost more than $200,000.

A cab medallion isn’t cheap, either. Cab medallions sold at auction in 2019 for about $136,000. That’s a steal compared to the $1,000,000 they cost in 2013.

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