Fun facts about New York

Do you know all of the Statue of Liberty’s secrets? New York City may be one of the most well-known cities in the world, but there is still a treasure trove of fun facts and secret trivia about the Big Apple. Have you heard of any of these facts before?

The Statue of Liberty

  • The Statue of Liberty, sometimes called Lady Liberty, was originally intended to be a 100th birthday gift for the United States, but financial woes kept it from being completed on time!
  • Once the statue was completed, it took two years for New York to raise enough money to build a pedestal for it.
  • She stands at 47 meters (151 feet) tall, but her “skin” is only 2.38mm (3/32 inches) thick.
  • Symbolic parts of the statue include: 25 windows represent the 25 gemstones found on earth, seven rays of the crown acknowledge the seven seas of the world, Roman numerals for the date July 4, 1776 are inscribed on the tablet she is holding and she is breaking shackles with her right foot!

Times Square

  • The square is named after the New York Times, who moved their offices there in 1904!
  • There are thirty-eight theatres are located in the area, with only four fronting Broadway.
  • Times Square’s biggest event of the year is the annual New Years Eve Party, culminating in the famous ball drop signalling the New Year. The crystal ball that drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve weighs 485km!

The New York City Subway

  • NYC’s subway system is legendary. The subway opened on October 27, 1904. The showpiece of the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) line was the spectacular City Hall station, which was closed in 1945 due to its tight curve on the platform which made expansion almost impossible.
  • Number of stations: 468.
  • Kilometres of track: 753.
  • Number of subway cars: 6,200.
  • Busiest station: Times Square with over 35.6 million passengers passing through annually on 11 routes!

Central Park

  • The renowned park, at 345 hectare, is larger than the Principality of Monaco!
  • Twenty-nine statues have been placed throughout the park.
  • The park took 16 years to develop!
  • It takes up 6% of the total area of Manhattan.
  • There are 153 kilometres (95 miles) of drainage pipes below the park.
  • Every tree, shrub, cubic centimetre of dirt, gravel and topsoil was imported.

Dining in New York

  • There are more than 18,600 dining establishments in the city.
  • Restaurant week in January and June of each year see three course meals priced as low as $25 for lunch and $35 at dinner.
  • Hungry travellers can dine on cuisine from the following types of restaurants: American, American Southern food, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, German, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mexican, Puruvian, Spanish, Turkish, Uzbekistani, Venezuelan and Vietnamese!

The Empire State Building

  • The famous Empire State Building cost $25 million to build in 1931, a hefty sum today and even greater in the 1930s.
  • The building took just 14 months to construct, from start to finish.
  • Fourteen couples are married each year on the Observation Deck on Valentine’s Day.
  • The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world until 1970.
  • The spire at the top was built to be a landing port for blimps but high winds prevented them from being able to anchor!

The United Nations

  • The 39-story Secretariat is where all member nations have an office and most of the work of the U.N. gets done.
  • The newest building, completed in 1961, is the Dag Hammarskjold Library.
  • Flags from all 191 member countries are flown on First Avenue in alphabetical order, starting with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe!
  • Meetings are held in six languages: Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian.
  • Tours of the facilities are led in 20 different languages by guides representing 25 countries!

Awesome Architecture!

  • The largest cathedral in the world, at 11,241 square meters, is St. John the Divine in Harlem. Construction began in 1892 and has not yet been completed.
  • The magnificent Art Deco-style Chrysler Building, completed in 1929, features stainless eagles just below the roof and “gargoyles” on the 61st floor are fashioned after the hood decoration of the 1929 Chrysler Plymouth.
  • The New York Public Library, completed in 1911, was constructed in the Beaux Style. Inspiration for the architecture was drawn from the Place de la Concorde in Paris, a perfect harmony of statuary, pediments and columns.
  • The Flatiron Building, finished in 1902, had an odd shape of land to work with. The architect used every centimeter that was available, with the apex measuring a tiny 1.8 metres at its narrowest point!

General Fun Facts

  • With over 8.5 million people living in a city that is 790 square kilometres, it is the most densely populated city in the United States!
  • New Amsterdam was the first known name of the city, originating from the Dutch trading port at the southern tip of the city.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank holds 530,000 gold bars in its vaults 80 feet the street! It is the largest depository of gold in the world. Three people must be present every time a compartment in the vault is opened, even if it is just to change a light bulb!
  • New York City was the capital of the U.S. from 1785 to 1790.

New York City is a fascinating place to visit. There is so much to see, do, and learn while visiting the Big Apple! Explore and experience everything it has to offer while visiting the epicentre of culture, art, history, cuisine, music and theatre in the U.S.

What’s your favourite piece of trivia about New York City?

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