New York has a long and storied history, but not all of that history is prestigious or glamorous. In fact, some of it is downright silly or simply odd. From the ignoble to the ludicrous, a city as large and pivotal as New York is bound to be embedded with a host of unusual and hilarious anecdotes. That is why we have collected some of the juiciest gems to share with you.
Things you maybe don’t know about your model hometown New York
Two Unknown Virtues
Did you know that the two lions in front of the New York Public Library have names? Arguably, only the MGM Lion, Leo, has appeared in more movies than these two. Their names are patience and fortitude, and it shows. Having to stand guard in the same place forever surely requires both. To tell them apart, just remember that Fortitude is the one closest to 42nd Street.
Life Is a Beach
New York is known for its captivating skylines and awe inspiring marvels of modern architecture. Understandably, it seems that good old Mother Nature has been left by the wayside—or has she? While everyone is familiar with Central Park, far fewer people know that Manhattan actually sports a legitimate beach with sand and everything. On Governor’s Island there exists a small beach nestled away from the hustle and bustle of New York. There are even art exhibits, restaurants, and biking paths.
A Bridge to the White House
Despite what it may seem, the White House has not always been the epicenter of American politics. Completed in 1800, the White House was not where the President of the United States lived until the 2nd President, John Adams, took up residence there. Before that, George Washington ran the country from a mansion in New York. The Samuel Osgood House was where George Washington conducted the duties of the executive office, but was demolished in 1865—four years before construction on the Brooklyn Bridge began.
A City of Migration
Thanks in large part due to Ellis Island and the early 20th Century, United States became known as “the great melting pot” with peoples from across the globe flocking to settle and claim their piece of the American Dream. Of course, being such a large city and a vital link in the international transit chain, that quality remains unchanged today. In fact, over forty percent of all New York residents were born somewhere else, either within a different state or outside of the country. This has even led to an astounding 800 languages or more being spoken within its borders on any given day.
No, You Decide
If you think it is difficult picking a place to eat at home, you will likely suffer from debilitating bouts of analysis paralysis while trying to choose someplace to go to eat in New York. With over eight million people to feed, New York has no shortage of restaurants, delis, delicatessens, bakeries and more. In fact, if you ate at a different eatery every day of the week, you would still not exhaust all of the possible locations to get some grub in New York after twelve years.
The Best Amateur Talent Around
New York is famous for its live, impromptu musical performances, also known as buskers. It is entirely possible to take the subway and randomly find yourself being serenaded by a classically trained cellist playing Debussy. However, to maintain such a high degree of quality amateur artists, New York goes the extra mile. In order for someone to legally busk in the New York subway, you must have a permit. That is right, those “amateurs are actually legally sanctioned artists who are self-employed. Consider that the next time someone tells them to “get a real job.”
Models and the big, big apple New York City
A Microcosmic City For Models Worldwide
New York is an enormous city. It is so mind-bogglingly large that even its districts, called boroughs, are cities unto themselves. However, this is not simply a novel way of looking things. Each borough is large enough to be a major city, not just a town. Manhattan itself is home to over 1.6 million people. Brooklyn is so populated that were it its own city, it would be the fourth most populated in the United States. In fact, Staten Island is the only New York borough that does not surpass one million people.
Even More Microcosmic Than You Thought
Despite being known as a great melting pot, New York can also be fairly segregated. This is not a matter of de jure law, but de facto human behavior. People have a tendency to congregate around others who are similar to themselves. Well, after a century or more, what you end up with are a motley collection of different neighborhoods with strong heritage roots. While Little Italy and Chinatown may be the most famous, New York is home to dozens upon dozens of the racial enclaves, from the Caribbean to Eastern European to South Asian and more.