Map of New York City (NYC) Area | What is New York City Known for?
There is no city in the world like New York City. It lives in the popular imagination and in countless books, paintings, movies, songs, and TV shows.
But the reality of the city is so much more vibrant and complex than any creative representation.
Here’s a primer on what New York City is known for.
Where is New York City located?
New York City is located in the southeast corner of New York State, along the border with Jersey and the Atlantic coast.
You can think of New York City as a series of metropolitan neighborhoods that extend from Long Island on the east to the Hudson River on the west, from the Westchester suburbs to the north to Central New Jersey to the south.
What are New York City’s size and population?
With a population of about 8.5 million people, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the eleventh most populous worldwide.
It is also the most densely populated city in America, with 27,000 people per square mile. New York City’s land-mass is approximately 303 square miles.
What are the Five Boroughs of NYC?
New York City is composed of five distinct boroughs, each of which is its own county. They are as follows:
- Manhattan is the most densely populated borough, an island that is the center of New York City’s commercial and creative life. When locals refer to “the city” they’re talking about Manhattan.
- Brooklyn is the most populated borough. If it split off as a separate city, Brooklyn would be either the third or fourth most populous city in the US. It’s located across the East River from Manhattan. Over the last couple of decades, Brooklyn has become a cultural, artistic, and business destination unto itself.
- Queens is the second-largest borough by population and largest by land area. Located adjacent to Brooklyn on the western end of Long Island, Queens is the most ethnically diverse area in America.
- The Bronx is located above Manhattan, on a horn of land just below New York’s commuter suburbs. While the Bronx has faced economic and crime issues, it is seeing the same economic resurgence the City as a whole is. As the birthplace of hip-hop and home of the Yankees, it typifies much of what the world considers New York.
- Staten Island is the least populated borough in New York. Located west of Manhattan, it is accessible by the free Staten Island Ferry and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects it to Brooklyn. Viewed by many as the forgotten borough, Staten Island is largely residential.
Is New York City a good place to live?
If you watch some quintessentially “New York” films like The Naked City, The French Connection, or Taxi Driver, your impression of New York City as a crime-ridden, dirty urban wasteland.
Contemporary New York is totally different. Crime declined precipitously at the turn of the century, and multiple city and state administrations worked to revitalize neglected areas.
This attracted many employers to New York. Today, you can walk the city at all hours, enjoying its diverse cultural and commercial offerings, without fear or discomfort.
One concern for anyone considering making New York City their home is the cost of living. It is by far the most expensive place to live in America.
What are the best areas to live in New York City?
The most desirable neighborhoods in New York tend to be located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. They are also among the most expensive.
Near the rebuilt World Trade Center and the bustle of Wall Street, wealthy Manhattanites make their homes in residential Battery Park City and trendy, cobblestoned TriBeCa. Above these neighborhoods, you can find the funky and historic streets of Greenwich Village.
Closer to the Midtown theater and business districts are Chelsea and Gramercy, full of fancy boutiques and prewar residences.
Further uptown, Manhattan is bisected by the grand 51-block-long, three-avenue-wide Central Park.
On either side are the tony, moneyed Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Some of the most exclusive real estate is here, in neighborhoods that contain countless museums and Lincoln Center.
In Brooklyn, New Yorker’s cover housing in the brownstones of Park Slope and Cobble Hill. Their easy-going culture, good food, and proximity to sprawling Prospect Park are extremely attractive.
The super-chic historic townhouses and lofts or Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO offer sublime city views. Meanwhile, Williamsburg, with its award-winning eateries, music venues, and dive bars, is a mecca for the young, hip, and affluent.
Queens has seen a real estate boom lately. Long Island City, its westernmost neighborhood, has a glorious waterfront dotted with parks and luxury highrises.
The adjacent Astoria neighborhood is a destination for lovers of world cuisine. It also contains the Museum of the Moving Image, a must-see for film buffs.
What is New York City known for?
It is impossible to capture everything New York can offer its visitors, but here are some highlights.
As one of the great historic American cities, New York has many captivating destinations. On Wall Street, you can see the place George Washington was inaugurated.
Down the road is Fraunces Tavern, where he celebrated winning the Revolutionary War with his troops.
Also in Lower Manhattan, you can commemorate more recent history by visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum near the World Trade Center.
New York City is certainly an entertainment capital. In Midtown, you can catch a Broadway performance or stand in line for an audience spot at a taping of the Tonight Show or the Daily Show.
Further downtown, you can catch a more out-there off-Broadway theater show. During the summer, you can try your luck securing free tickets to the acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park.
There are 83 museums in New York City, many of them free to the public. You should make time for the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Up in the Bronx, you can also check out the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanic Garden, within walking distance of each other.
In Brooklyn, you can visit the New York Aquarium, then enjoy an original Nathan’s hotdog and a ride on the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island.
New York City has two teams in each major sport, and they play throughout the city. The Yankees play in the Bronx; the Mets in Queens. The Knicks play in Manhattan, and the Nets in Brooklyn. Both the Giants and the Jets play across the river in New Jersey.
Don’t worry about finding a good meal. There are 76 Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City at last count, the fifth most of any city in the world.
If you feel like something less fancy, though, you can always order a famous pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli on Houston Street.
Of course, this isn’t the full accounting of all that New York City has to offer. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The best way to discover what the city has to offer is to visit yourself!