New York City is a mysterious and magical place. Strolling through Times Square for the first time is an experience like no other. The sights, sounds, and smells of New York City stay with you. One of the coolest New York City facts most people already know is that the Statue of Liberty, which sits on Liberty Island in Manhattan, was gifted to us by France as a symbol of friendship, freedom and democracy back in 1886. Read below for some more facts about New York City that may surprise you.
10 New York City Facts
- New York City’s famous Times Square is named after The New York Times. (source) Originally, it was known as Long Acre Square after a similar carriage hub in London, until the NY Times moved there in 1904.
- New York City is the most linguistically diverse city in the entire world. (source) There are over 800 languages spoken in the city. Nearly 4 out of 10 households are non-English speaking.
- Today, a little over 8 million people reside in New York City. (source) For people who love statistics that means 1 in every 38 people in the entire United States call New York City their home.
- The Federal Reserve Bank in New York City has the largest gold storage in the entire world. (source) The vault is located 80 feet below ground on the basement floor of one of its main office buildings in Manhattan. Today it contains around $90 billion in gold from all over the world, weighing in at an astonishing 6,190 tons.
- September 11, 2001 will forever be a tragic date in American history. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City have been the worst single foreign assault on America. (source) This terrorist attack was also the deadliest tragedy for U.S. firefighters. A total of 2,977 people lost their lives that day.
- The Bronx Zoo in New York city is America’s largest city zoo. (source) It has over 500 species and 4,000 animals.
- New York city is also home to the first-ever US pizzeria. (source) Lombardi’s opened in 1905 and still to this day serves some of the best pizza in Manhattan. Their website domain is also a nod to this achievement: FirstPizza.com
- New York city has many nicknames, the “The Big Apple” being one of its most famous monikers. However, the name has nothing to do with the fruit, it actually came from the world of horse racing. (source) New York city racetracks were considered big time venues to traveling stable hands and after a local reporter overheard the term being used by them, he started including it in his horse racing column.
- There is a safe box in New York City that contains Albert Einstein’s brain and eyeballs! (source) After his death in 1955, a Princeton pathologist named Thomas Harvey got a blessing from Einstein’s son to preserve his brain to study it and to gift his eyes to Einstein’s long time eye doctor and friend Henry Abrams.
- If you are a homeowner in New York City, you can request a tree be planted on the street in front of it for free! (source)