Cities and Sights – 2 – New York City

New York City is situated at the mouth of Hudson River in New York State. The city is divided into 5 boroughs. One of these is Manhattan which was populated by Indians  and also got its name from them (Mana-Hatin which means hilly island).

In 1609, Henry Hudson sailed up the river from the Atlantic Ocean past the island that we call Manhattan today. The river was named after Him.

In 1624, a Dutchman bought Manhattan Island and named the place New Amsterdam, but 38 years later the English took control and renamed the land New York.

The oldest part of Manhattan Island is the Downtown, which is the financial district with Wall Street, home of the New York Stock Exchange. You can also find traditional international districts here, like Chinatown or Little Italy. Wall Street got its name from the wooden fence (called a palisade) built by the Dutch in the 17th century to protect the settlement from Indians’ attacks.

Uptown Manhattan is home to Central Park, Harlem (where a lot of black and Hispanic people live) and the famous Guggenheim Museum.

Midtown Manhattan is the cultural centre of the city with the Broadway and Times Square which is the heart of the whole city. You can find a popular ice-skating rink in the Rockefeller Center, and a beautiful cathedral named St Patrick’s Cathedral in this part of Manhattan.

The most popular sight of New York City is an iconic landmark once used to greet immigrants to the States. It is the Statue of Liberty that is a symbol of freedom as well as a token of friendship of the French and the Americans. These nations allied during the American Revolutionary War in 1778. The statue is a woman’s figure holding a torch in her right hand (to symbolize freedom). In her left hand, she holds a tablet  with the words “July 4, 1776 – American Independence Day” inscribed.

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