New York,often called New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, of which it is a part, is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York metropolitan area, the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. A global power city, New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.New York traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626.The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a globally recognized symbol of the United States and its democracy.
Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known to the city's approximately 55 million annual visitors.Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world.Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World",is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District,one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections,plus a major center of the world's entertainment industry.The names of many of the city's bridges, skyscrapers,and parks are known around the world. New York City's financial district, anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, has been called the world's leading financial center,and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world.Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city.Providing continuous 24/7 service,the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 468 stations in operation.New York City's higher education network comprises over 120 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world. Major tourist destinations include Times Square; Broadway theater productions; the Empire State Building; the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; the United Nations Headquarters; museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; greenspaces such as Central Park and Washington Square Park; Rockefeller Center; the Manhattan Chinatown; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick's Day parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage.Major attractions in the boroughs outside Manhattan include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Unisphere in Queens; the Bronx Zoo; Coney Island, Brooklyn; and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Plans were unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on September 27, 2012 for the New York Wheel, a 625-foot ferris wheel to be built at the northern shore of Staten Island, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
New York City's food culture includes a variety of international cuisines influenced by the city's immigrant history. Central European and Italian immigrants originally made the city famous for bagels, cheesecake, and New York-style pizza, while Chinese and other Asian restaurants, sandwich joints, trattorias, diners, and coffeehouses have become ubiquitous. Some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city, many immigrant-owned, have made Middle Eastern foods such as falafel and kebabs popular examples of modern New York street food. The city is also home to nearly one thousand of the finest and most diverse haute cuisine restaurants in the world, according to Michelin.The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assigns letter grades to the city's 24,000 restaurants based upon their inspection results.
New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League,Major League Baseball,the National Basketball Association,the National Hockey League,and Major League Soccer.The New York metropolitan area hosts the most sports teams in these five professional leagues. Participation in professional sports in the city predates all professional leagues, and the city has been continuously hosting professional sports since the birth of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1882. The city has played host to over forty major professional teams in the five sports and their respective competing leagues, both current and historic. They are one of five cities (along with Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia) to have won titles in MLB, the NFL, NBA and NHL, and they, along with Chicago, are the only cities of that list to have won in soccer as well (although their soccer titles are from the NASL, predecessor to MLS). Four of the ten most expensive stadiums ever built worldwide (MetLife Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Citi Field) are located in the New York metropolitan area.Madison Square Garden, its predecessor, as well as the original Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field, are some of the most famous sporting venues in the world, the latter two having been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps.