New York or ‘The Big Apple’ ,as the universally know, is the largest city in the U.S.A., a magical city which as attracted and still millions of people from every part of the world.
Today, workers and visitors go to this colourful metropolis which is an artistic, financial and political centre, to enjoy the view of the skyscrapers or, as at the beginning of the century, simply to start a new life.
Its great expansion has taken place during the last two hundred years. At the end of the last century the population was only about a million while today it as a population of more than 17 million people.
The first European visitors to go there was Giovanni Verazzano, a Florentine who discovered the entrance to New York Harbour in 1524. About a century later, in 1664, the Dutch colonist settled there, and bought the modern Manhattan, one of New York’s five boroughs, for only $24. The island was called new Amsterdam.
Then, when the English captured the city in 1664 it was renamed New York in honour of the Duke of York. Apart from Manhattan, the heart of New York and the borough in which the tallest buildings and central Park are situate, the other boroughs are: the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. They are situated on islands, except Bronx.
In New York’s port, one of the largest in the world, there is the Statue of Liberty, the main symbol of the city, together with its skyscrapers. Much of the colourful atmosphere of New York is due to its interesting neighbourhoods with their mixture of cultures and traditions. The most famous among them are : Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Soho and Harlem. They are all in Manhattan. Although the cultural and ethnic groups living there have intermingled, each one still maintains it own identity. So, more than a “melting pot”, a New York City is for his reason also called a “salad bowl”.