New York City Travel Guide

Culture and contemporary life

New York City has been described as the cultural capital of the world by the diplomatic consulates of Iceland and Latvia and by New York's Baruch College. A book containing a series of essays titled New York, culture capital of the world, 1940–1965 has also been published as showcased by the National Library of Australia. In describing New York, author Tom Wolfe said, "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather."

Numerous major American cultural movements began in the city, such as the Harlem Renaissance, which established the African-American literary canon in the United States. The city was a center of jazz in the 1940s, abstract expressionism in the 1950s and the birthplace of hip hop in the 1970s. The city's punk and hardcore scenes were influential in the 1970s and 1980s, and the city has long had a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.

The city is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art; abstract expressionism (also known as the New York School) in painting; and hip hop, punk, salsa, disco, freestyle, Tin Pan Alley and Jazz in music. New York City has been considered the dance capital of the world. The city is also widely celebrated in popular lore, frequently the setting for books, movies (see New York in film), television programs, etc.

Entertainment and performing arts

New York is a prominent location in the American entertainment industry, with films, television series, books, and other media being set there. As of 2008, New York City is the second largest center for the film industry in the United States, with 63,000 workers who were paid as much as $5 billion in wages in 2008, and by volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York City. The city has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries of all sizes.

The city government funds the arts with a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts. Wealthy industrialists in the 19th century built a network of major cultural institutions, such as the famed Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, that would become internationally established. The advent of electric lighting led to elaborate theater productions, and in the 1880s New York City theaters on Broadway and along 42nd Street began featuring a new stage form that became known as the Broadway musical. Strongly influenced by the city's immigrants, productions such as those of Harrigan and Hart, George M. Cohan, and others used song in narratives that often reflected themes of hope and ambition.

Forty of the city's theaters, with more than 500 seats each, are collectively known as "Broadway," after the major thoroughfare that crosses the Times Square Theater District, sometimes referred to as "The Great White Way". Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is home to 12 influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is in Union Square, and Tisch School of the Arts is based at New York University, while Central Park SummerStage presents performances of free plays and music in Central Park.

Tourism

Tourism is one of New York City's most vital industries, with more than 40 million combined domestic and international tourists visiting each year in the past five years.

Major destinations include the Empire State Building; Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; Broadway theater productions; museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; greenspaces such as Central Park and Washington Square Park; Rockefeller Center; Times Square; the Manhattan Chinatown; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick's Day parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage. Special experiences outside the key tourist areas of the city include the Bronx Zoo; Coney Island; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; and the New York Botanical Garden. Plans were unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on September 27, 2012 for the New York Wheel, the world's tallest ferris wheel, to be built at the northern shore of Staten Island, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.

In 2010, New York City received nearly 49 million tourists, subsequently surpassed by a record 50 million tourists in 2011.

Media

New York City is a center for the television, film, advertising, music, newspaper, and book publishing industries and is also the largest media market in North America (followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto). Some of the city's media conglomerates include Time Warner, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, the Associated Press, the News Corporation, The New York Times Company, NBCUniversal, the Hearst Corporation, and Viacom. Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks have their headquarters in New York. Two of the "Big three" record labels' headquarters are in New York: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group also has offices in New York.

One-third of all American independent films are produced in New York.

More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city and the book-publishing industry employs about 25,000 people. Two of the three national daily newspapers in the United States are New York papers: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. Major tabloid newspapers in the city include: The New York Daily News, which was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson and The New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. The city also has a comprehensive ethnic press, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages. El Diario La Prensa is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation.

The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a prominent African American newspaper.

The Village Voice is the largest alternative newspaper.

The television industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city's economy. The four major American broadcast networks are all headquartered in New York: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.

Many cable channels are based in the city as well, including MTV, Fox News, HBO, and Comedy Central. In 2005, there were more than 100 television shows taped in New York City. The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, NYCTV, that has produced several original Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods and city government.

New York is also a major center for non-commercial educational media. The oldest public-access television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971. WNET is the city's major public television station and a primary source of national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programming. WNYC, a public radio station owned by the city until 1997, has the largest public radio audience in the United States.

Cuisine

New York City's food culture includes a variety of international cuisines influenced by the city's immigrant history. Central European and Italian immigrants have made the city famous for bagels, cheesecake, and New York-style pizza, while Chinese and other Asian restaurants, burger joints, trattorias, diners, and coffee shops are ubiquitous. Some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city, many immigrant-owned, have made Middle Eastern foods such as falafel and kebabs popular examples of modern New York street food. The city is also home to many of the finest and most diverse haute cuisine restaurants in the United States. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assigns letter grades to the city's 24,000 restaurants based upon their inspection results.

Accent

The New York area has a distinctive regional speech pattern called the New York dialect, alternatively known as Brooklynese or New Yorkese. It is generally considered one of the most recognizable accents within American English. The classic version of this dialect is centered on middle and working-class people of European descent, and the influx of non-European immigrants in recent decades has led to changes in this distinctive dialect.

The traditional New York area accent is non-rhotic, so that the sound does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant; hence the pronunciation of the city name as "New Yawk." There is no in words like park or (with vowel backed and diphthongized due to the low-back chain shift), butter, or here . In another feature called the low back chain shift, the vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, chocolate, and coffee and the often homophonous in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American.

In the most old-fashioned and extreme versions of the New York dialect, the vowel sounds of words like "girl" and of words like "oil" become a diphthong . This is often misperceived by speakers of other accents as a reversal of the er and oy sounds, so that girl is pronounced "goil" and oil is pronounced "erl"; this leads to the caricature of New Yorkers saying things like "Joizey" (Jersey), "Toidy-Toid Street" (33rd St.) and "terlet" (toilet). The character Archie Bunker from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family (played by Carroll O'Connor) was a good example of such a speaker. This speech pattern is no longer prevalent.

Sports

New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. Four of the ten most expensive stadiums ever built worldwide (MetLife Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Citi Field) are in the New York metropolitan area. The New York metropolitan area has the most professional sports teams in these five leagues.

New York has been described as the "Capital of Baseball". There have been 35 Major League Baseball World Series and 73 pennants won by New York teams. It is one of only five metro areas (Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore–Washington, and the San Francisco Bay Area being the others) to have two baseball teams. Additionally, there have been 14 World Series in which two New York City teams played each other, known as a Subway Series and occurring most recently in . No other metropolitan area has had this happen more than once (Chicago in, St. Louis in, and the San Francisco Bay Area in).

The city's two current Major League Baseball teams are the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, who compete in six games of interleague play every regular season that has also come to be called the Subway Series. The Yankees have won a record 27 championships, while the Mets have won the World Series twice. The city also was once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers), who won the World Series once, and the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), who won the World Series five times. Both teams moved to California in 1958. There are also two Minor League Baseball teams in the city, the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees.

The city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Giants and the New York Jets, although both teams play their home games at MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey, which will host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

The New York Rangers represent the city in the National Hockey League. The New York Islanders, who currently play in Nassau County on Long Island, will become the second team in the city after their move to Brooklyn in 2015.

Also within the metropolitan area are the New Jersey Devils, who play in nearby Newark, New Jersey.

The city's National Basketball Association teams include the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, while the city's Women's National Basketball Association team is the New York Liberty. The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city.

In soccer, New York is represented by the Major League Soccer side, New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls play their home games at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, New Jersey. The New York area's second Major League Soccer club, to be called New York City FC, is planned to start play in the 2015 season, to be majority-owned by Manchester City F.C. owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, partnering with the New York Yankees baseball organization.

Queens is host of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, one of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments. The New York Marathon is one of the world's largest, and the 2004–2006 events hold the top three places in the marathons with the largest number of finishers, including 37,866 finishers in 2006. The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.

Many sports are associated with New York's immigrant communities. Stickball, a street version of baseball, was popularized by youths in the 1930s. A street in the Bronx has been renamed Stickball Blvd, as tribute to New York's most known street sport.

source: Wikipedia

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