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Who Knew? Crazy Facts About the Big Apple

Do you know how Manhattan got this nickname? Can you guess how many Broadway theatres there are? How many languages are spoken in the city? All will be answered and more…

South Street Seaport
The name Manhattan comes from the Delaware Native American word for Island- “Menatay.”   In the 1920’s and 30’s jazz musicians used to say: “There are many apples in the success tree but when you pick New York City, you pick the Big Apple.” They referred to New York in this way, which is where the nickname the Big Apple originated. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the longest bridges ever built, and it was the first bridge to use steel cables. The first Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration was held in 1903 when the New York Times newspaper decided to celebrate their opening in Times Square. Therefore, Times Square is actually named after the newspaper. The oldest running newspaper in the country is The New York Post established in 1803. Central Park, which is 843 acres in size, took 20 years and 10 million carloads of soil and rock to be created. Constructed in the mid-19th century, it was made so New Yorkers could enjoy the countryside on a small scale. Broadway musicals derive from “operetta,” which were introduced by European composers to New York in the early 20th century. There are 40 Broadway theatres with a capacity of 42,000 seats in the city. In 1927, the cost of a ticket to see a Broadway show was $4.50. Today, the most expensive ticket in the theatre district can be up to $600. The Statue of Liberty was a present from the people of France to the people of the United States as a symbol of friendship. It is 145 feet high and weighs 450,000 pounds. The first ever baseball game was played across the Hudson River in Hoboken, NJ on June 19, 1845. There are 155 Museums and 400 art galleries in New York City. The Museum Mile (5th Avenue, between 70th and 104th streets) names the group of prestigious museums located in the area including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The Frick Collection, The Museum of the city of New York, and many others. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest Catholic cathedral in the USA. When the Chrysler building was built in 1928, it was the tallest building in the world, but it was quickly surpassed by the Empire State Building’s construction in 1930. New York was chosen as the location for the United Nations in 1946, following World War II. The New York Public Library on 5th Avenue holds 36 million objects, including 11.3 million books. Among its treasures is a globe from 1519, which is the first globe to show America on it. The constellations on the ceiling of the Main Concourse in Grand Central Station are reversed from how they actually appear in the night sky, as French artist Paul Helleu modeled it after a medieval manuscript that showed the constellations from God’s point of view. The Swarovski chandelier in Rockefeller Center is created from 6,500 hand-cut crystals, and is actually an upside-down model of Rockefeller Center itself. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, with Spanish being the second most common language to English.

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