New York City is the most populous city in the United States. It is all the history, culture and diversity that set NYC apart from the rest. Feel the energy that infuses the streets. Visit museums and galleries, enjoy Broadway shows. Shop for designer fashions or seek out a rare find. Dine in award-winning restaurants or savor ethnic cuisines at neighborhood eateries. Home to the United Nations, NYC boasts over 8.2 culturally diverse residents and is an economic, financial, commerce, cultural, sporting, tourism and media hub. The New York metropolitan area, with a population of nearly 22 million (21,976,224), ranks among the largest urban areas in the world. NYC has five "boroughs"; Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island all connected by a series of bridges, subways, trains and ferry systems. NYC one of the world's leading business, financial and cultural centers and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the major global cities.
As Tom Wolfe describes NYC, "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather." New York City is the second largest center for the film industry in the United States. The city has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries of all sizes. The city's 39 largest theatres are collectively known as "Broadway." The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the largest performing arts center in the United States. Central Park Summerstage presents performances of free plays and music in Central Park and 1,200 free concerts, dance, and theater events across all five boroughs in the summer months. Other major sites include: the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and attractions like Central Park, Washington Square Park, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues, and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, the Tribeca Film Festival, and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States. Many of the city's ethnic enclaves, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, and Brighton Beach are major shopping destinations for first and second generation Americans up and down the East Coast. New York City has over 28,000 acres of parkland and 14 miles of public beaches. Manhattan's Central Park is the most visited city park in the United States. Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a 90 acre meadow. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, the city's third largest, was the setting for the 1939 World's Fair and 1964 World's Fair. New York's food culture, influenced by the city's immigrants and large number of dining patrons, is diverse. There are some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city. The city is also home to many of the finest haute cuisine restaurants in the United States.
New York City is a global hub of international business and commerce and is one of three "command centers" for the world economy (along with London and Tokyo). The city is a major center for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts in the United States. The New York metropolitan area had an estimated gross metropolitan product of $952.6 billion in 2005, the largest regional economy in the United States. Many major corporations are headquartered in New York City, including 44 Fortune 500 companies. New York is also unique among American cities for its large number of foreign corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. New York City is home to some of the nation's, and world's, most valuable real estate. The New York Stock Exchange, located on Wall Street and the NASDAQ are the world's first and second largest stock exchanges, respectively. Financial services account for more than 35 percent of the city's employment income. Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was $802.4 billion in 2006. The city's television and film industry is the second largest in the country after Hollywood. Creative industries such as new media, advertising, fashion, design and architecture account for a growing share of employment. High-tech industries like bioscience, software development, game design, and Internet services are also growing. Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Garments, chemicals, metal products, processed foods, and furniture are some of the principal products. The food-processing industry is the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city.
Though it is not often thought of as a "College Town", there are about 594,000 university students in New York City, the highest number of any city in the United States. Public postsecondary education is provided by the City University of New York and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Such notable private universities include: Barnard College, Berkeley College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, Manhattan College, The New School, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Pace University, Polytechnic University, and St. John's University. Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College. New York City also features some of the most elite and exclusive private schools in the country, many of which are located on the Upper East Side. These schools include The Dalton School, Horace Mann, Brearley, The Spence School, Nightingale-Bamford, and Collegiate. The New York Public Library has the largest collection of any public library system in the country.
Violent crime in New York City has decreased 75% in the last twelve years and the murder rate in 2005 was at its lowest level since 1963. A burst of activity has broken out in Manhattan and several Brooklyn neighborhoods as New Yorkers frenetically hunt for co-ops, condominiums and town houses. Preliminary indications from real estate firms showed that this increased activity, with open houses jammed and bidding wars taking place, has occurred in all price ranges -- from tiny studios in the East Village to red-brick mansions on the Upper East Side.