Don’t let a long New York holiday pass you by! Enjoy the chance to visit Manhattan Island surrounded by the city’s four outer boroughs. The famous Statue of Liberty and Staten Island are just a ferry ride away from Manhattan’s tip in Battery Park. The city’s centre near Times Square provides the vibrant heartbeat of all theatrical performance, and Central Park’s green space lies some blocks away. So take a flight to New York and see all of the best of what the Big Apple has to offer.
New York was originally founded by a small trading post set up by the Dutch. In 1624, the first governor purchased the Island of Manhattan from the local Native Americans. From the Southern tip of Manhattan, New Amsterdam was born. The first settlers to the area were French, Belgium, Dutch, and English, yet African slaves constructed much of the first colony.
Many present day neighbourhoods such as New Harlem and the Bronx are named after early Dutch settlers and officials. However the British took control of the area after a 10-year struggle from the Dutch in 1674, joining the colonies that would eventually make up the first 13 United States. By the 1700 New York’s population had grown from around 5,000 to 60,000 people only a century later.
After gaining independence as a free colony, New York began setting out city plans with gridded streets and by 1860 had 813,000 inhabitants. Before the turn of the 20th century, many of the city´s cultural landmarks such as Carnegie Hall and the Museum of Metropolitan Art were just getting established. This was also a period of major immigration in New York from European countries like Ireland and Italy.
Much of the famous New York architecture like the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings were created in this time frame, and soon afterward many of the top new companies like IBM, and World Financial Center arrived. In 2001, the city´s largest two buildings – the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers – were destroyed in a terrorist attack. The city has since recovered. It has now a population of 8.2 million.
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