I love travelling to NYC. Although I can say I know the city quite well now, New York never ceases to amaze me. The ever-present noise, the crowds, the yellow cabs that never stop honking, street food sellers, all the languages of the world heard on the street… indeed, NYC is like a living body and if you fall in love with this city that never sleeps like I did, you will want to come back here time and again.
This time, I am here partly for pleasure and partly on business. As I have written recently on the blog, I am working on an offer of concierge services at Crystal House and I have a few meetings planned with companies offering such services in NYC. But this post will be devoted to 10 fun facts about this magical city that you may have not known.
1. The Big Apple
New York City is often dubbed The Big Apple. Why is that? In the 19th century, the expression “big apple” was used to describe something great and important. It is said that this was what jockeys called a victory during the horse races held in NYC. The expression was “borrowed” from jockeys by sports journalist John F. Fitzgerald who wrote a column about horse races called “Around the Big Apple”. Over time, The Big Apple became a moniker for NYC.
2. Parks that used to be cemeteries
I am familiar with parks that became cemeteries (e.g. the Warsaw Powązki cemetery) but I had not heard of the opposite case until I came to New York. It turns out that Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, Bryant Park and Madison Square Park all used to be cemeteries in the past.
3. 8,5 milion inhabitants
New York has a population of over 8.5 million people, and Manhattan itself is visited by nearly 4 million people every day. This is more than in many US states. We should not be surprised though, given the fact that a new US citizen is born every 4.4 minutes on average.
4. Central Park
This huge park located in central Manhattan is larger than Monaco. Interestingly, Central Park has a Polish element to it: one of the largest monuments there is the statue of King Władysław Jagiełło, on the eastern bank of Turtle Lake.
5. Topless is ok!
There is one thing I particularly like about New York City – women are permitted to walk topless on the streets. I don’t know about you, but I like this idea a lot 😉
6. Parrots from South America
If you are ever in New York and see a colourful parrot flying over your head, do not call the vet. These birds were freed by a zoological store that went bankrupt and they are now roaming free around Brooklyn. The parrots have actually got accustomed to the frosty NYC winters and are doing just fine in the city.
7. Yellow Cabs
The yellow cabs are featured in all films shot in this city. Have you ever wondered why the NYC cabs are yellow? The answer is simple and obvious at the same time: yellow is a colour that is best seen from a distance.
The cherry on the cake
I would not be myself if I did not add a fun fact about real estate. You probably know that real properties in New York City are very expensive and highly in demand. Just to give you one example: the average price of a flat in Manhattan is USD 850,000. And the most expensive penthouse ever sold had a view of Central Park and it was worth USD 100,000,000.