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City

New York City

The city where dreams are made of
  • City New York City
  • StateNEW YORK
  • ContinentNorth America
  • Settled1624 by the Dutch
  • BoroughsManhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Bronx
  • MayorBill de Blasio
  • Population8.5 million
  • ResidentsNew Yorkers
  • CurrencyUS DOLLAR (USD $)
  • LanguageAmerican English
  • Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
  • Phone+ 1
  • NicknamesEmpire State, the Big Apple, the city, gotham, concrete jungle, The melting pot, city that never sleeps, the city where dreams are made of, new amsterdam
  • Famous ResidentsRobert de Niro, Woody Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Al Pacino, Jake Gyllenhaal, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Liv Tyler, Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss, Famke Janssen, Katie Holmes

New York (officially ‘The City of New York’) is the largest and most densely populated city in the United States of America. It’s also one of the most important cities in the world, housing many influential companies and people working in finance, education, trade, theater, music, fashion, media, art, publishing and food. The city is called New York City (NYC) as to distinguish itself from New York state, the state is which the city is based. Funnily enough, New York City, despite its size and importance, is not the capital of New York state. The much lesser-known city of Albany is.

New Yorkers
New York City is filled with inspiration: museums, great architecture, parks, shops, restaurants, landmarks, night clubs, cafes and galleries: anything you want, the city that never sleeps has got it. The greatest thing about New York, I think, is meeting new people. NYC is a melting-pot of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. The city is stuffed with successful designers, businessmen, bankers, artists, musicians, hoteliers, dancers, writers, restaurateurs, models and of course established or up-and-coming entrepreneurs. All are driven by the fantastic energy the city offers.

Work hard, play hard
I am constantly inspired by the creative and driven people I meet, to listen to their life-stories and the projects they’re working on. And they work their ass off to accomplish the things they want and live their dream. New Yorkers unwind through sports, visiting one of the many museums, shopping, a weekend at the Hamptons, walking in the park and of course, by sipping cocktails and having long brunches and dinner at one of the many, many restaurants in NYC. If you live here, having a network of a few reliable friends, is helpful as the city could make you feel lonely at times, because people come and go in NYC.

This post is checked & updated : 2016

The New Yorker

Be happy and excited about everything

Give big hugs to people you haven’t seen for years and that you’ve actually only met twice.

Let’s meet for coffee soon! And then never hear from him/her again.

Smile and give compliments all the time. And ALWAYS overreact. (Say ‘I LOOOVE your shoes!’ to someone you don’t know in front of you in line for coffee)

Grocery shopping in NYC is almost as expensive as going out for dinner, so why bother with a kitchen?

Buy everything with creditcard and semi-faint when a shop takes cash only.

Engagement rings are a big thing in NYC. Guys, don’t even think about proposing without one!

Want a dog? Too busy to walk the dog? No problem! Just hire a dog walker.

Celebrate everything. I mean everything! Baby showers, birthdays, engagements, weddings, any anniversary, Labor day, Memorial day, and of course your dog’s first birthday.

Work like crazy, cause the city never sleeps (and you do have to pay the rent!)

Find out the subway isn’t that bad after all after trying to catch a cab in the rain

Be annoyed when another film set is blocking your way to work or home (and realize too late you’re walking in the middle of it already, because of all the stand-ins).

In time, you won’t hear sirens anymore

Have zero vacation time

Say ‘Oh my God’ about 1.000.000 (and counting) times a day

Order everything (from breakfast, lunch, coffee, shopping goods, movies, wine to dinner). And get it delivered by bike

Avoid Midtown

Manhattanites will only go to the Bronx to visit Yankee Stadium

Call the messenger for anything that needs to be send

Lunch break at the office? Eat in front of your computer

Have a super expensive personal trainer (or train at SoulCycle or Ballet Beautiful)

First thing you do when getting into a cab? Turning of the (annoying) entertainment video.

Find it totally normal not to see your next door neighbor for months, because you’re both so busy

Feel the happiest person in the world when Spring starts. Hamptons here we come!

Say please and thank you for everything

Go to work wearing sneakers, only to replace at the office with the latest high-heeled footwear.

Skiing? Aspen!

New Yorkers have made a silent agreement for subway-rides in the morning: No talking! (Take the subway in the early morning and you will stand like sardines in a can, but it’s totally quiet)

Eat healthy and do juice cleanses

Saying ‘I love you’ out loud to a friend is totally normal. And we don’t mean a lover.

Be busy, busy, busy.

Neighborhoods

ABOUT NYC NEIGHBORHOODS
New York City is built up of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and, last but not least, Manhattan. When people tell you they’re going to New York, they usually mean Manhattan. The island of Manhattan is therefore the most famous of the five. It’s connected to the mainland and other boroughs by bridges and tunnels and consists of several districts like The West Village, Upper East Side, NoLiTa and the Financial District. Every district has its own flavor, its own style. You can move in and out of different spheres. Brooklyn has become, next to Manhattan, a new favorite. Some Manhattinites have switched Manhattan for Brooklyn and tourists visit the many new, eclectic and good restaurants that have made Brooklyn their home. Places like Flea Market and Smörgåsburg offer great food and the typical hipster vibe that Brooklyn is nowadays known for.

Click here to find out everything about all NYC neighborhoods 

Avenues & streets

Thanks to a system of avenues (going North till South) and Street (going East to West) it’s very easy to navigate in Manhattan. Downtown Manhattan though can still be a little tricky as this is the oldest part of the city and based on the never very logical European style of city-planning. Many streets here have their own name and form a zig-zagging pattern that sometimes let you end up in unexpected places.

Seasons

Every season in New York has its own charms. Winters can be harsh and cold, Summers extremely hot, but nearly every day you’ll find the city blinking in the sun under clear blue skies.

SPRING
Spring in New York is, like anywhere, beautiful. Everything starts to come alive, trees and flowers start to bloom, and people leave their homes again, enjoying the outdoor air after a cold Winter. Walking the park, having brunch on a terrace and just getting some much needed vitamin D; the city feels extra alive and New Yorkers are in their element.

SUMMER
NYC Summers are infamous for their often intense heat. The hot air often lingers making it seem even hotter than it is. The subway-stations especially heat up immensly and you can’t wait till your onboard an airconditioned train. Summers do have their own special and mellow ambience, especially during the evenings when temperatures drop a little and people enjoy meals outside and you can stroll around in your summer dress. There are several music stages throughout the city and open-air movietheaters in Bryant and Central Park. The city is more quiet during Summer, as this is the time when most New Yorkers use their (rare) vacation-days  to go on holiday or spend the weekends in their homes in the Hamptons.

FALL
In Autumn, when the trees are starting to color, temperatures are still enjoyable. Not too hot, not too cold, but just perfect crispy Fall weather.

WINTER
Winters in NYC can be enormously cold and snow is no exception. Taking kilomter-long strolls around the city, one of our favorite things to do, is often made impossible due to the freezingly cold weather. The cold does invite you to spend hours having dinner and drinks in one of New York’s romantic, fire-place heated restaurants. Of course, everything in New York is lavishly decorated for the holiday season, giving the city a unique atmosphere. From cafes to restaurant, shop-windows to 5th Avenue facades, everything is lit up and inviting. You’ll find ice-skating rinks in front of Rockefeller Center and in Central and Bryant Park.

Getting around

Walking
The great thing about New York, and especially Manhattan, is that it’s great place for walking. Wandering around the city on foot is one of the best ways to enjoy and experience a city. Taxis, bikes, busses and the subway are, of course, very convenient for covering longer distances or visiting the outer boroughs. If you’re moving from downtown (SoHo, East Village, Lower East Side, West Village, Meatpacking District) to mid- or uptown (Upper East or West Side), or from East to West Village, I recommend taking the subway, taxi or a bike.

Taxi’s
Need a taxi? Just hold up your hand. If the light on top of the yellow cab is on, the taxi is free. When off, the taxi is occupied (and don’t worry, you won’t be the first to hail a taxi with its light off). Taxis are relatively inexpensive and an easy and relaxed mode of transport, at anytime during the day. Don’t expect a nice chit-chat with the taxi drivers, as they’re usually on the phone. If you do need to ask something though, you can usually expect a friendly reply. Don’t forget to tip 10, 15 or 20%.

Bike
Yes,  CitiBike in NYC! It’s easy-peasy to rent a bike here and cycling is a great way to explore the city. You will see and experience much more than by taking the Subway. CitiBike has bicylces parked all through the city. Renting one is easy. Just use your creditcard to unlock a bike at one of their stations and off you go. Best thing: you can park your bike at any station. Grab a bike in West Village and cycle to SoHo where you park your bike at any CitiBike spot. Download the CitiBike app to find out where to park and get up-to-date information on availability of free spots at the place where you’d like to hand in your bike. Be very careful though, not all streets have cycling lanes and taxi drivers and motorist are not yet used to cyclists popping up everywhere. Drive safely and try to avoid Midtown.

Subway & buses
New York Subway is great! It can be incredibly busy at some spots in NYC, especially during rush hour, but the subway, with its many stops, is a fast and reliable form of transport. New Yorkers, young and old, rich or poor, all use the subway. Don’t expect classy stations, because many were build in the 1930s and outworn. What we love about the subway are the musicians and dancers performing in the many stations and trains. A one-way fare is $2.50, but we recommend the 7-day unlimited fare ticket ($30) if you’re staying for a week. This tickets allows free use of any subway-line or local bus for 7 days. We hardly use busses, as this is a slower way of transport and usually only used by New Yorkers from neighborhoods without a subway station. The advantage of taking the bus though is that you do get too see more of the city. The one bus New Yorkers do like to use (often) is The Jitney: the bus going to the Hamptons.

NYC Subway app:  New York Subway MTA Map and routeplanner

Airports

New York has three major airports:

  1. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  2. LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  3. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

Transportation from airports to Manhattan:
Use the subway or a (yellow!) taxi to get to and from the airport. Taxis have a flat rate + toll. Don’t forget to tip, 10, 15 or 20%.

Newark to Manhattan with Public transportation
From Newark Liberty International Airport the AirTrain service, running year-round, is a good public transport option for getting to Manhattan. AirTrain gets you from the airport to Newark Liberty Airport station, and from there you can switch to the NJ Transport system taking you right to New York Penn Station. The trip costs about $12.50 and takes about 30 minutes, but reserve around 1 hour from airport to Manhattan.

LaGuardia to Manhattan with Public transportation
From LaGuardia Airport you can take the Airporter Bus to the NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs $13.00. Alternatively various busses connect the airport with the New York subways system. M60 busses take you to N and Q subway trains at Hoyt Avenue/31st Street; the 4, 5, and 6 subway trains at Lexington Avenue; and the Metro-North Railroad at Park Avenue. The bus fare is $2.50 or $2.75 and the subway fair is dependent on where you’re heading further.

JFK to Manhattan with Public transportation
From JFK airport, use the AirTrain service, running year-round to get to Manhattan. To get to Midtown Manhattan, take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station and change to the Long Island Rail Road. The journey takes about 30 to 40 minutes and costs $15.50. For Downtown Manhattan, take the AirTrain to the Howard Beach – JFK Airport Station, and change to subway line A, or go to Sutphin Boulevard station and take subway line J or Z for Downtown, or E for Midtown Manhattan. These journeys will take about 50 to 75 minutes and costs around $7.50.

 

Wifi

Many cafes, libraries and parks have free wifi available. Starbucks is always an option for free wifi. Some hotels charge you for using their wifi, but (thankfully) that’s more exception than rule.

Money & Tipping

Money
The currency in the United States is the US dollar. There are many ATMs available in the city. Creditcards are commonplace among New Yorkers and accepted (nearly) everywhere. There are a few small shops and eateries that’ll only accept cash.

Tips
Tipping is very common in NYC. Restaurant staff are often paid low wages so the tips are what they’re working for. The plusside is that you can usually expect good service everywhere you go, something European restaurants have a great deal to learn from. If you don’t tip, don’t be surprised when the staff asks if something was wrong. The usually tipping fee is at least 15% in restaurants, cafes and beauty/hair salons. In taxis the usual tipping fee is between 10% and 20%.

 

Funny facts

4.6 MILLION PEOPLE RIDE THE SUBWAY EACH DAY
236.000 NEW YORKERS RIDE BICYCLES EACH DAY
550 SKYSCRAPERS OVER 100 METRES HIGH

History NYC

The early inhabitants of Manhattan (Island) were the Lenape indians, but it was Henry Hudson who has mapped the area. Hudson, an Englishman working for the Dutch East India Company, came across Manhattan Island in 1609, when he sailed past it on his way to what is now Albany. The river he sailed across was later named after him: Hudson River. Months later Hudson led several Dutch trading vessels into the area. In 1626 the Dutch founded New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, allegedly after trading the land with the natives for various trade goods worth about 60 guilders (now worth about 1000 dollars). The English conquered New Amsterdam in 1664, and named the settlement New York, after the Duke of York. In 1673 the Dutch had briefly re-captured New York, naming it New Orange, but traded it, according the the Treaty of Westminster, for Suriname, a colony then owned by the English (As a Dutch girl, in love with New York, you can imagine I don’t think this was the best decision). During British rule NYC’s importance as a trading post increased. In 1788 NYC became the first capital of the United States of America with George Washington as its first president. The thriving 18th and 19th century saw many immigrants trying their luck in the USA, arriving in New York, on Ellis Island, with hopes of living the American Dream. During this time, neighborhoods like Little Italy and China Town were formed. The early 20th century saw an enormous industrial and economic impulse for New York City. The city became an important, global center for industry, trade and communication. Subways and the first skyscrapers were built during this booming period, even during the Great Economic Depression in the 1930s. During and after World War 2, America started to play a leading role in international politics. After the war, in the 1960s and 1970s, crime in NYC was rive, but the city continued to develop itself. Wall Street once again became a financial giant during the 1980s and helped improve the city’s economic health. Crime decreased enormously during the 1990s enabling the city to continue to grow as an international city. Nowadays New York is one of the most influential cities in the world.

NYC, I LOVE YOU!

Weekends are for sleeping in and brunches with cocktails

Summers are too hot and winters too cold, BUT almost every day brings clear blue skies and sunshine

Freshly brewed coffee-to-go available at every corner

New York is like a small town. You bump into the same faces all the time.

The sun reflecting on a skyscraper

A new adventure waits just around the corner

Want to have dinner? You’ll know that somewhere in Manhattan a great new restaurant opens its doors

Summers are for endless nights on rooftops drinking cocktails and enjoying skyline views

Realizing the doormen knows your schedule better than you think

Zero vacation time, but we have The Hamptons for the weekends.

Everything fast. Very fast. (Except eating a cupcake)

You are never (ever!) overdressed

Endless opportunities

Street and subway musicians are the best

Wandering around the city, discovering new places (at the same time you’ve done a great work-out)

Get everything (lunch, dinner, groceries, movies, coffee, wine, chocolate..mmm…) delivered

Need a cab? It’s right in front of you.

Stores that are open 24/7

Walking in the West Village, after a lovely dinner on a Summer night, when it’s quiet, all the trees are in bloom, a musician is playing on a cello, and an artist is drawing an illustration at one of the cute West Village corners of West 4th Street. Best thing ever!

Looking up at night to check which color The Empire State Building is

The most frequently used part of a taxi is the horn

You can meet artists, succesful business people, models, designers, writers, actors and musicians every minute.

Juice cleanses, salad bars and fresh sushi available on every corner

Realizing how much you love this city when driving over a bridge or standing on a rooftop with views on the skyline

Duane Reade open 24/7

Dance all night, like nobody’s watching, in the best clubs with the best dj’s in the world

You always find yourself having new ideas and inspiration

Paris has macarons, New York has cupcakes (AND delicious cheesecake!)

Inspiration? The best galleries, festivals, events, and museums in the world are only minutes away.

Don’t even think about doing your own nails. Always get a mani and pedi at the salon!

There’s always a great party going on somewhere in the city

Be the person you want to be

Need a course, education or private lessons? You can find it all in the city

No limits

The subway will get you everywhere

Never, ever, feel weird sitting alone in a cafe and drinking your coffee all by yourself

Is that Jake Gyllenhaal? Eva Mendes? Marc Jacobs? Miranda Kerr? Yes, you bump into celebrities, models and actors all the time.

Dream and live your dream

New York CityCurated