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2. Facts and Figures

2.1 1.1. Geography and Population

New York is the largest city in the United States of America, located at the mouth of the Hudson River on the most southern extension of New York State. The city is made up of five Boroughs, each one being an independent County of New York State: Manhattan (New York County), Brooklyn (Kings County), the Bronx (Bronx County), Queens (Queens County) and Staten Island (Richmond County). Together, they cover an area of approximately 830 sq km. Except for the Bronx, being located on mainland, the rest of New York City is made up of several islands and parts of islands. Among the more important ones are Ellis Island, Governors Island, Liberty Island (with its noted Statue of Liberty) and Roosevelt Island.

Manhattan, often referred to as New York City, is a long narrow island surrounded by the Hudson, Harlem, and East Rivers and Upper New York Bay. In all, Manhattan covers 57 sq km, has a population of about 1.5 million, which is a population density of 26,316 per sq km. It is the commercial as well as the cultural heart of New York City, one of the most known and visited places in the world. It attracts about 17 million tourists annually, who make a major contribution to the city's income.

The Bronx, separated from Manhattan by the Harlem River, is the northernmost of the five boroughs. It has an area of 109 sq km and a population of about 1 million. It has a large waterfront area that is utilized for shipping and industry.

Brooklyn, located on the southwest of Long Island, is separated from Manhattan by the East River. It is adjacent to Queens and has a population of about 2.5 million in an area of 180 sq km. It is connected to Manhattan by three bridges (the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge) and to Staten Island by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The borough has diversified manufacturing, large residential areas, and many educational institutions, including Polytechnic University and Pratt Institute.

Being the largest borough of New York in area, Queens lies at the western end of Long Island, which a population of about 2 million. The borough is primarily residential, but industries can be found especially along the shore. New York's major air-transportation facilities are the John F. Kennedy International Airport and La Guardia Airport, both of which are located in Queens.

In Queens

Staten Island, about 23 km long and 11 km wide, with a population of about 380,000, is located on New York Bay, 8 km south of Manhattan. This borough is linked by ferry to Manhattan, to Brooklyn by the Verrazano - Narrows Bridge, and to New Jersey by three bridges. While Staten Island is mainly a residential community, a large telecommunications center is located there.

Harlem, being part of Manhattan, is the residence of the majority of the African-American community in New York. Located north of Central Park and extending to 155th Street, it can be undoubtedly distinguished from the adjacent Manhattan. A major commercial avenue is 125th Street, which clearly reveals the conditions, under which most of the population of Harlem lives.

New York's diversity is unusual in every sense, especially in its representation of nations from around the globe, even compared with other cities within the United States. The African-American community, with about 2 million people, is the largest in the nation. Most of them live in Manhattan, especially in Harlem which is located north of Central Park and is also referred to as the Black Ghetto, and in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville sections of Brooklyn. The world's largest Jewish population lives in the metropolitan area of New York. Both Little Italy and Chinatown are located in Lower Manhattan, mainly noted for its trading centers. Other major ethnic groups include Russians, English, Irish, and Poles. Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics from the Caribbean and Latin America compose the largest immigrant group settled in New York. Non-Hispanic whites still remain the largest population group, about 40% in all, but they no longer constitute the majority in New York City.

In Little Italy

2.2 Climate

The climate of New York City is moderate with cool winters and warm summers. The average temperature in January is about 0 C, sometimes even dropping to -18 C. In July the average temperature is +25 C with highs around +38 C. Extreme winter, as well as summer, temperatures sometimes have an effect on scholastic schedules. In wintertime, so called "snow-days" occur. When a certain amount of snow has fallen, the students do not attend school. As the majority of students are brought to and from schools by the traditional Yellow School Buses, the Board of Transportation will not be held responsible and therefore it will not insure potential accidents. In summertime, schools might have to close, since air-conditioning is rare in schools.

2.3 Transport

Manhattan's major transportation facilities are the Grand Central Terminal, flagship for Metro North, and Pennsylvania Station. The Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company is a division of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also administering New York's bus- and subway-system. It is the second largest commuter line in the United States, serving about 200,000 customer trips a day and approximately 57,000,000 trips a year. It is a network of 1200 km of track, partly located under Manhattan, serving 116 stations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Rockland Counties, New York State, and Fairfield and New Haven Counties in Connecticut. The railroad consists of five historic lines: its three main lines operating out of Grand Central Terminal - the Hudson, the Harlem, and the New Haven - and two lines west of the Hudson River - the Port Jervis and the Pascack Valley. The subway network serves all boroughs of New York except for Staten Island, which is connected to

Manhattan by ferry.

The core of New York is completely urban, except for Central Park and a few smaller parks, that constitute the main playgrounds and give a chance to recuperate in this modern and dense city. Manhattan's streets form a grid pattern over most of the island. A similar pattern can be found in almost every major city in the United States, as well as Canada. The scheme for this grid was laid out as early as 1811, with avenues running North-South and streets running East-West. Most of them are one way streets, with a few exceptions, e.g. Park Avenue. Fifth Avenue, known for its department stores and the several art museums, divides the East Side from the West Side.

A map of Manhattan