20 Fun Facts About New York City

New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world, and is home to a myriad of interesting tidbits and a colorful, fascinating history. As one of the largest cities in America and one of the most well-traveled to cities in the U.S. in terms of tourism, there’s no shortage of people – both within the U.S. and from other countries – who want to visit and learn more about the city known as The Big Apple. Before your next visit to NYC, here are 20 fun facts about the city that will make your visit even better:

  1. The New York Public Library is the 2nd largest library in the U.S. and the 3rd largest library in the world
  2. The famous Statue of Liberty is actually copper that rusted and turned completely green by the 1920s
  3. The Empire State Building has its own zip code address
  4. Before September 11, 2001, there were two accidental crashes where planes hit skyscrapers in New York City – once in 1945, and again in 1946
  5. New York City began to free child slaves in 1799 and completely eradicated slavery in the city by the 1840s
  6. The New York Post is NYC’s oldest and longest continually run newspaper – it originally opened in 1801!
  7. The first book published in the city was published in 1630
  8. The first “true” apartment building (AKA, one where apartments had their own private bathrooms) in NYC was built in 1870 
  9. The oldest surviving building in NYC is The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, and it was first built in 1652
  10. Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is actually larger than Central Park by a little over 1,900 acres
  11. The last hurricane to pass directly over NYC was in 1821
  12. The hotels Waldorf and Astoria (originally two separate hotels) were the two buildings previously in the current spot of the famous Empire State building – now, after moving locations in 1931, the hotels were combined into the well-known Waldorf-Astoria hotel chain
  13. An island off of Rockaway Beach called Hog Island disappeared after a hurricane hit in 1893
  14. A “secret” train station called Track 61, an extension of the Grand Central Station, is said to be housed under the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and is rumored to have been built for F.D.R. in the 1930s as a way for him to get discreetly from the train station to the hotel
  15. NYC was the home of America’s own film industry before Hollywood was built in the 1930s
  16. New York City is also home to the world’s first underground park, which city officials hope to be fully completed by 2021
  17. Central Park is home to a waterfall inspired by the Adirondack Mountains
  18. NYC is home to both the largest Chinese and Jewish communities outside of China and Israel (respectively)
  19. Times Square is named after the New York Times (the paper moved to the square, which was originally called Longacre Square, in 1904)
  20. America’s first pizzeria was opened in NYC in 1895
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