New York, or “The Big Apple” as it is called, is the biggest city in the USA with its more than eight million people.
The first people of New York were the Native Americans who lived on an island than they had called “Mana-Hatin” (hilly island), the actual Manhattan Island. The first European to arrive in the area where New York in now was Giovanni da Verrazano in 1525.
In 1625 a Dutchman bought Manhattan Island from the Native Americans for the equivalent of $24. the Dutch built houses on the island and called their little town “New Amsterdam”.
In 1664 the island was occupied by people from England and it was called New York , in honour of the Duke of York. In 1783 New York was the first capital of the new nation.
Half of its population is of foreign birth or parentage belonging to several ethnic groups: Italians, Chinese, Jews, Latinos, Greeks, Arabs, Jamaicans, etc.
New York is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens.
In Manhattan there are several districts such as Little Italy, Chinatown and Harlem, where the Afro-American community lives. The statue of Liberty, south of Manhattan, is the most famous monument in New York and it is at the entrance to New York harbour. The main artery of Manhattan is Brodway, “The Great White Way”, as it is called. It is the most famous theatrical district in the world. Times Square is the heart of New York; it is a meeting place for many people and an attraction for tourist. Central Park, four Kilometres long and 800 metres wide, is the lungs of Manhattan. It is not a natural park, but a man-made one.
Brooklyn is the place where ninety ethnic groups live. It is the largest hilly and that is why the Dutch, who were the first to settle there, called it “broken land” or “Breukelen”. Brooklyn Bridge, probably the most famous bridge in the world, links Brooklyn to Manhattan.
New York is full of skyscrapers; the most famous is the Empire State Building which has 102 floors and is 400 metres high.