New York is the biggest city in the USA, with a population of over 17 million. It’s made up of five different boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. The heart of the city Manhattan Island, which is surrounded by the river Hudson and the East River.
Manhattan has grown enormously as a “vertical city”. Until September 11th 2001, the date of the worst tragedy in America history, the tallest buildings were the Twin Towers, 400 metres high. Today the tallest and most famous skyscraper in New York is the Empire State Building (449 metres high), which was completed in 1931 and has 102 floors. You can enjoy a superb view of the city from its Observatory.
central park is the biggest city park in the world, 4 kilometres long and 800 metres wide, with lots of lakes and a zoo.
Another name of the Statue of Liberty is Miss Liberty. It was given to the USA by France as a sign of friendship between the two nations.
French sculptor August Bartholdi began building the Statue in 1875 and engineer Gustave Eiffel, responsible for the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed this metal frame. Public festivals and lotteries were organized in France to collect the money necessary for its construction: 250 000 dollars, then a very large sum! The statue was completed in Paris in June 1884. It was then dismantled and the following year sent to New York by ship, packed in more than 200 crates. When it arrived in New York it was mounted on a high granite pedestal and inaugurated on October 28th, 1886. At the time, it was the tallest structure in America, 46 metres high!
Miss Liberty carries the torch of freedom in her right hand and a tablet with the inscription “July IV MDCCLXXVI, Independence Day” in her left hand; at her feet are some broken chains.
By 1986 the statue had been completely restored and was ready for its centennial celebrations, which took places on a four-day week and involved parades and fireworks. The statue was closed to the public for security reasons after 11th September 2001 but has now reopened, so visitors can take lifts or go up 335 steps to reach its feet and then climb another 168 steps to the crown. It is no longer possible to get inside the torch. From the top of the statue there’s a wonderful view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
World trade centre and ground zero
The area previously occupied by the Twin Towers is called Ground Zero and has become the memorial site for the victims of tragedy in 11th September 2001.
Before that date the World Trade Centre was a complex of six skyscrapers with the Twin Towers as the tallest of the city. It was a city within the city. An elevator took passengers to the glass-enclosed observation decks for spectacular views of the city skyline. At least 70 000 people worked in the World Trade Centre and another 70 000 visited the Towers each day.
This was the gateway to the New World. From 1892 to 1954, nearly seventeen million immigrants entered the United States through this small island in New York Harbour.
Today the Main Building on Ellis Island is a national museum dedicated to the history of immigration and to the important role the island played during the mass migration of humanity in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The Empire State Building
The building was completed in 1931. it is the symbol of the city and, after the destruction of the Twin Towers has once again become New York's tallest building.
It soars above the heart of Manhattan at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. It is 443 m. high and the 86th floor has outdoor observation decks for bird's-eye views of Manhattan. On a clear day from the 102nd floor it is possible to see more than eighty miles away. King Kong climbed in 1933 and is still open today vertigo-free visitors.
An extensive green rectangle, stretching fifty-one blocks between 59th and 110th Streets, created in 1858. both New Yorkers and tourists find places to enjoy themselves – there are playground, skating rinks, playing fields and spaces for big concerts and events. Numerous celebrities have apartments overlooking Central Park.
Known as "the crossroads of the world," glittering Times Square renamed in 1904 when The seat of New York Times newspaper moved to the former Long Acre Square. It soon became the city's neon-bright entertainment centre and has recently been restored, along with several of its historic theatres. On New Year's Eve there are always fireworks with a countdown to midnight.