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New York City

The City of New York is one of the world's most famous cities (and ports) and is located at the mouth of the Hudson River, in the north-eastern United States. Although in New York state, it is not it's capital - that accolade is given to the city of Albany. New York is the largest,  most populous, most international and most influential metropolis in America and covers Manhattan and Staten islands, the western sections of Long Island and a small part of the New York state mainland to the north of Manhattan. It has five boroughs, namely Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. It covers an area of 305 square miles (790km²) and it has a population of over 8.5 million (this figure rises to over 20 million in the metropolitan area).

Note: The photographs on this webpage were taken from visits to New York City pre-9/11. Further to another visit in 2017, an addendum may be found lower down the page (Click Here). The addendum includes a much more extensive collection of photos and this is simply as a result of after many years, taking a digital camera as opposed to an old fashioned compact camera with 35mm film. Featured in the addendum are a return visit to the World Trade Center site and a walk along one of New York City’s most exciting projects in more recent years – The High Line.


The city is a multi faceted affair encompassing all manner of cultures, economic classes, historic (by American standards) and modern architecture, urban and green spaces and so forth. In terms of its history, there are not many which can boast such absolute growth in such a short amount of time. The island of Manhattan is the oldest part of the city and this is the original Lenape Native American name. Although Native people lived here for 1000's of years, New York City was first explored by Europeans in the 1500's. Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano found the entrance to New York Harbor in 1524 and the English explorer Henry Hudson named the Hudson River in 1609. The Dutch settled here in 1624 and named a fort and town at the southern end of Manhattan New Amsterdam. During the second Anglo-Dutch War, The English took over the colony in 1664 and changed the name of the locality to New York, in honour of the Duke of York (who later became King James II). Later on, millions of immigrants from all over the world came here and New York quickly flourished to become the financial, commercial and cultural capital of the continent. The city has developed a lifestyle like no other in the world and whilst some may criticize this, to many others, it is an envy. The city's rise to world prominence was primarily due to the fact that it's harbour is one of the best in the world - it ranks as one of the largest and as well as being sheltered, is deep enough to accommodate large vessels. Much of the early history continued to take place at the southern end of Manhattan in a small area from the Battery to about where Wall Street now stands. From 1792, the New York Stock Exchange began operating on a Wall Street green/ In 1700, the first library opened and the new city hall (later, Federal Hall) was also completed. The city served as the capital of the United States from 1789 to 1790, at the end of  the American Revolution. In 1789, on the steps of Federal Hall, George Washington was inaugurated the first President of the United States.

With the founding of the United States and an open immigration policy New York City became the 'melting pot' of the nation. Two immigration centres were set up, one at Ellis Island and one at Castle Garden and here more than 27 million new arrivals were processed, many of whom remained in the city. Each group of people brought with them their own way of life, working hard and ensuring the rapid growth of the city whilst at the same time, enriching it's culture. Many names of areas of the city reflect the original independent communities whom settled here - for example, Chinatown, Greenwich Village and Little Italy. Many of them still hold their own and so sometimes walking from one part of the city to another can feel like entering a different country at times.

The city has some 6,074 miles of streets and the most famous is Broadway (also known as the Great White Way, particularly between 39th and 57th Streets, in the Times Square District). This is the home of America Theatre. Other famous streets include Wall Street (where the financial heart of America is), Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue (shopping) and Madison Avenue, home of the advertising business. Whilst the city is one of superlatives, it is also one of constant change and growth. For the visitor, there is something for everyone and it is here, you will find the widest choice of art galleries, museums, shopping, restaurants and entertainments available with few, if any exceptions.

A selection of some of my photos from four trips to the city are in the thumbnail gallery below and it may quickly become apparent that all of the visits took place in the 1990's, prior to the atrocities of 9/11. And so, it goes without saying, another visit to The Big Apple is long overdue. Click on an image to enlarge:

Of course, a detailed description of the many sites the city has to offer, or indeed those that I have had the pleasure of visiting could take a seemingly endless amount of time to write and space to fill, and so this text has been kept to an absolute minimum. Suffice to say, I have several lasting memories of the city as varied as seeing a sermon outside RIverside Church in Upper Manhattan by the Reverend Jesse Jackson, going to see a baseball game at the Yankees stadium and a couple of visits to the observation deck of the original World Trade Center.

Addendum to Webpage – August 2017

Further to the above, a fifth visit was made to New York City by the author of this website in August, 2017. It was the first visit made to the city since the September 11 attacks (9/11) of 2001. Two of the main sights seen during this visit were the 9/11 Memorial and also The High Line, a 1.45 mile (2.33km) long elevated linear park created in 2009 on a former New York Central Railroad spur on Manhattan. More on these two sites further down the page.


During this visit, accommodation was in a YMCA in Brooklyn and the thumbnail gallery below shows a selection of photographs taken on the approach to and whilst walking around Manhattan. Sights seen (armed with two cameras) include Manhattan as seen from the eastern side of the East River, the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, views from Battery Park on the southern end of Manhattan, Times Square (including the “Naked Cowboy”), and the Trump Tower. Click on an image to enlarge:

World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan dominated the Manhattan skyline from 1937 until the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack in which American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were crashed into the North and South Towers, respectively. “Ground Zero” continues to develop these days as the area is redeveloped and offices are reoccupied. Dominating the site now is One World Trade Center. Finally topped out in 2012 and if the spire is included, at 1,776 feet it is the tallest skyscraper in the United States. It opened to the public in 2015 whom are able to take high speed elevators up to the three panoramic viewing decks of One World Observatory.
On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the National September 11 Memorial was opened. It is composed of twin reflecting pools, shimmering in the “footprints” of where the Twin Towers once stood. Water in each pool flows into a central square hole, with no apparent bottom. The pools feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America, flowing in lines reminiscent of the outer shells of the original towers. Around each pool, etched in bronze, are the names of all 2,983 victims of the atrocity. An accompanying museum features collections relating to the history of the World Trade Center and the 9/11 attacks, including tributes of remembrance. Some photographs taken around the site of the World Center, of One World Trade Center and of the National September 11 Memorial are shown in the thumbnail gallery below (click on an image to enlarge):

The High Line

Opening in 2009, The High Line is a 1.45 mile long (2.33 km) elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan. It begins on Gansevoort Street, adjacent to Washington Street, in the Meatpacking District and ends at 34th Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues (depending on which way round you look at it). As well as both ends of the elevated park, access points are also located at 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th and 34th Streets. It is free to enter, although there are also tours available, for those wishing to find out more information during their visit (see Running mostly through West Chelsea, this elevated greenway represents an ambitious regeneration programme and is perhaps New York City’s most unique park, slicing through buildings and old factories and residential areas on the former elevated rail line. The High Line is narrow in some places, and in other parts it is more spread out with some interesting features, such as an amphitheatre for people-watching, a subtle water area, public artwork including sculptures, and plenty of greenery. It makes for an excellent place to walk away from Manhattan’s busy traffic and with plenty of places en-route to sit down, a good place to stop by and eat lunch. The design of The High Line, through collaboration, has been to redesign the abandoned railway spur as a "living system", drawing from multiple disciplines which include landscape architecture, urban design, and ecology. Photos from a walk along its entire length are shown in the thumbnail gallery below (click on an image to enlarge):

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