What makes New York New York?

New York City

Is it the rich history, vibrant arts and culture, or fantastic nightclubs that make New York such a great city? What sets it apart from other global metropolis such as Barcelona, Moscow, Tokyo, or London? The answer to this question may depend on who you ask. Well, this article explores 6 reasons why New York is one of the most glorious cities in the world.

The Skyline

There’s no disputing that New York has one of the most majestic skylines of all cities in the world. From the Empire State building to the Chrysler building, New York is home to breathtaking architecture. The fantastic skyline is one of the reasons why so many tourists visit New York City each year. To take in panoramic views of the city, visit the One World Observatory on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center. You’ll be able to see the Hudson River, the 5 Boroughs of New York, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller all from one staging point. The Brooklyn Bridge Park, located on the East River, offers breathtaking views of the lower side of Manhattan. This is a perfect spot for a weekend picnic. If you have a few hundred dollars to spare, pay for a helicopter tour of New York and take the majestic views right from above.

The Entertainment

You probably have heard about NYC being referred to as the city that never sleeps – there’s a good reason for this. The city has an epic nightlife. While most other American cities slumber by 2 am, the part in New York is still going strong at this time. And this doesn’t necessarily have to do with the bar and club scene. Restaurants, hookup spots, markets, and holes in the wall are open till early morning. What’s more, Broadway shows, countless museum tours, and talk show opportunities are up for grabs regardless the time of day. And let’s not forget about the vibrant street art that is evident throughout the city.

The Food

Where else on the planet would you get authentic French, Mexican, Colombian, Thai, Italian, Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Caribbean and Indian food all in one place? There’s a good reason the City of New York is referred to as America’s melting pot. There are all types of diners in this place, from curbside to upscale. Get hungry while walking on the street? There’s almost always a good eatery around the corner. And don’t forget to spoil yourself at street food car in Manhattan.

The Rich History

While you’re enjoying all the majesty of New York, take a break and indulge in the city’s fascinating history. Visit the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and other hotspot to learn more about New York’s moving heritage. It’s estimated that up to 40% of Americans citizens have ancestors who at some point passed via New York City. Visit Ellis Island to understand the comprehend migrations that forged modern-day United States.

The Music and pop culture

New York attracts all types of music, from street performers to famous names. The city has inspired an entire punk rock movement. There’s a lot of hip hop going on here, with legends such as Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Notorious BIG dominating the space.

What’s more, New York City is a reference point for pop culture. A lot of major television shows and movies have been set in NYC. Think about shows Sex and the City, Friends, and films like Spider-Man.

The Subway

Many first time New York visitors find the subway stations extremely intimidating. But once you get the hang of it, there’s no better way of getting around the city. New York has a vibrant subway network, with stations every other street corner. And while you wait in one of the stations, there are tons of singers, dancers, musicians, and rappers to keep you entertained as they try to make it in this huge city. The next time you are in New York, make sure to familiarize and make full use of the subway system.

8 fascinating things you might not know about New York’s Upper West Side

New York

New York is one of the most visited and recognizable places on the planet. The Upper West Side, New York’s number one neighborhood, is in many ways the heart of the city. Sandwiched between two majestic parks, the Upper West Side offers a rich blend of architecture, culture, shopping and entertainment. This article explores 7 less known facts about this stately neighborhood.

#1 A village was put down to make way for Central Park

Way before the brownstones and banks moved in, this neighborhood was an open, ‘barren’ land marked with vegetable gardens, occasional shanties, and huge rock outgrowths. Morningside Heights – currently a separate neighborhood – was once part of the Upper West Side and was a famous rural farm at the time of the revolutionary war.

Between 1825 and 1857, the area was known as Seneca Village. This was a safe, small, enclave of several hundred people that was established by liberated black folks. When construction commenced on Central Park back in the 1850s, the village was brought down and its residents displaced.

#2 Both Beresford and San Remo were sold in the 1940s

The Upper West Side is famous for its elegant, ornate apartment blocks, including the Dakota, the Beresford, Ansonia, San Remo and El Dorado. Synonymous with luxury and attracting who’s who resident, both the Beresford and San Remo are located on 145 Central Park West. Around the time of the Great Depression, these buildings were not so swanky and even had problems finding steady owners. By 1940, the San Remo and Beresford were sold away in one package for just $25,000. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

#3 Columbia University is located where a former asylum for the insane sat  

About 26 acres of land surrounding 116th Street used to host the Bloomingdale Asylum. Open between 1821 and 1892, this was the only insane asylum of its type in the entire state. Various reports seem to claim that the kind of care provided here was indeed questionable. In 1872, a New York Tribune journalist infiltrated the facility and documented serious abuses, including blind men that were beaten by angry keepers. According to the journalist – Julius Chambers – there were also cases of brutal treatment, filthy baths, foul food, and very vulgar attendants. Columbia acquired the real estate in 1982 and utilized some of the existing buildings. Currently, all that still remains of the old facility is Buell Hall, which is the site where wealthy male clients were treated.

#4 A little Tudor village sits on 95th Street

On the west 95th Street, close to West End Avenue is an iron gate that opens into a tiny movie set-like street that is landmarked by Tudor-style homes. There’s also Pomander Walk, a complex built back in 1921 to model a London play stage set. This Tudor village boasts a total of 27 homes, and boasts elegant street lamps, flower boxes, and well-manicured shrubbery. Unfortunately, it’s only open to residents, so you’ll need to have a friend there to experience all this drowsy English village awesomeness.

#5 The Dakota is haunted

You probably are going to resist this one, but wait until I present the facts. There are numerous reports that the Dakota – a 132 years old structure – is haunted by a number of spirits. Residents have reported seeing a little blend haired girl, and a young boy in a brown suit. There’s also the ghost of John Lennon, which some residents say they have seen.

#6 Best collection of tulips in all of NYC

You probably have seen one of those huge flower beds in Brooklyn and the New York Botanical Gardens. But the West Side Community Garden, situated on West 89th and 90th Streets, has an outstanding collection of tulips. This privately operated garden is entirely run by volunteers. It used to be an empty lot till the 1970s, and now includes a vegetable garden, an amphitheater, and a flower garden. Every April, this UPW garden hosts the Tulip Festival as thousands of blooming flowers blast the garden with color.

#7 Some of the best NYC movies have been filmed here

Did you watch ‘You’ve Got Mail’? Well, this NYC-centric movie was staged right here in Upper West Side. This New York neighborhood tends to be very photogenic, attracting film makers from all over the country. Other notable movies that have been staged here include Black Swan, Ghostbusters, and Michael Douglas’s Fatal Attraction. Even better, these are just but a few of the many movies that highlight Upper West Side’s cinematic appeal.

#8 New york has some of the highest Nursing home costs in the U.S

You may not be surprised to learn that just as New York has a high cost of living it also has some of the highest nursing home facility costs in the United States. Medicaid will not cover the costs of Long-term Care in new york and a year of care can run you and upwards of $394,200 in just Manhattan. Check out the average costs of long-term care in new york here.