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Big City Fun Facts: New York City

Travelers Today       By    Carly Okyle

Updated: May 16, 2012 04:52 PM EDT

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New York City
New York City is one of the most popular travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend.(Photo : Reuters)

There were approximately 50.6 million visitors to New York City – both foreign and domestic – in 2011, according to Some people choose to stay as permanent residents, creating a population of over 8.2 million in the five boroughs. New York City is the subject of movies, songs, books, and dreams. So it might be a popular destination and a cultural powerhouse, but how much do you really know about the city? Here are a list of facts that might surprise you.


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•Dutch explorer Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan (really its southern tip) from the Algonquin tribe for trinkets and tools worth about $24.

•More than 47 percent of New York City's residents over the age of 5 speak a language other than English at home.

•New York's Yellow Cabs are yellow because John Hertz, the company's founder, learned from a study that yellow was the easiest color for the eye to spot. He was right.


•New York had the first organized St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1766.


•Manhattan’s Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave in the Western Hemisphere.

•New York City was briefly the US capital from 1789 to 1790 and was the site of the inauguration of George Washington as President on April 30, 1789.

•There are 6,374.6 miles of streets in New York City.

•The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the world’s first museum for kids.

•The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is the only museum in America dedicated exclusively to medieval art.

•The first ticker-tape parade in Lower-Broadway's Canyon of Heros celebrated the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

•The Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge to be lit using electricity.

•Brooklyn was an independent city rivaling NY until 1898.


•Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street was the site of the first Capitol Building of the United States – and the Bill of Rights was passed there.

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