Situated at the mouth of the deep Hudson River, New York has always been the gate of the USA. But it is more than just a door: it is also a window through which the life of the whole nation may be observed. New York is a city of striking social contrasts. It is a place where most of the millionaires live and at the same time a greater proportion of New Yorkers live at a lower level than the average for the US. In 1 626 Dutch colonists set up here the first settlement, named New Amsterdam. They bought Manhattan Island from Indians for 24 dollars and a barrel of rum. The Americans say that it was the best business deal ever made in New York. In 1664 the colony was captured by British fleet under Duke of York and renamed New York.
Now New York includes five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Richmond.
Manhatten is the smallest of the five city boroughs in size and it is not the largest in population although the majority spend a considerable part of the day in this center of business life. Here are Broadway, Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. This is the heart and source of American policy.
Harlem is also in Manhatten. Thick walls separate this "Black Bottom" with 450,000 coloured people from the white population.
In the bay stands the bronze Statue of Liberty given to the United States by France as a present in 1886. Its torch is 60 meters high and can be seen at night for many miles. A new American Museum of Immigration is open at the base of the Statue.
The Bronx is a morenresidential rather than industrial part of the city. The well-known Zoo and Botanic Gardens are in the Bronx.
Queens is both a residential and industrial area. New York's two biggest airports are both there.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is the largest naval shipbuilding center in the world. Brooklyn has more people than any other part of the city - about 3,000,000. It is mostly a district of middle-class people.
Richmond is the borough of piers and warehouses. Its population is only 200,000.
What makes New York? First of all, it is a 'great seaport, the greatest in the USA. The sea encircles many of the city areas. It is also a great financial center, where "money-making" is the main law of life. It is the symbol of big business and its Wall Street has become a nickname for big monopolies all over the world. New York is the leading textile center of the country and its clothes industry. It has a considerable printing industry and many book-shops. It is also undoubtedly one of the centres of social and spiritual life of America. There are a lot of Art Galleries, among them rich Henry Frick collections, and many impressive art museums (Metropoletan Museum, Modern Art Museum, American Art Museum and others). For a long time New York specialized in giving visitors a good time at its theatres, restaurants, night clubs, sporting arenas, and therefore has a large hotel industry. It is the main publishing, advertising and radio center with Columbia and New York universities and various city colleges.
Among the inhabitants of New York one can meet people of almost all nations. The population of New York numbers about 16 million. The citizens speak seventy-five different languages.
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