New York City
The City of New York, commonly called New York City and New York, has been the most populous city in the United States since 1790, while the New York metropolitan area ranks among the most populous urban areas in the world. A leading global city located in the state of New York, it exerts a powerful influence over worldwide commerce, finance, culture, fashion and entertainment. As host of United Nations headquarters, New York is also an important center for international affairs.
With a large harbor located on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, the city consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city’s estimated population exceeds 8.2 million people  living in just under 305 square miles (790 km2), making New York City the most densely populated major city in the United States. The New York metropolitan area’s population is also the nation’s largest, estimated at 18.8 million people over 6,720 square miles (17,400 km2).
New York is notable among American cities for its high use of mass transit, much of which runs 24 hours, and for the overall density and diversity of its population. In 2005, nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was born outside the United States. The city is sometimes referred to as “The City that Never Sleeps”, while other nicknames include Gotham and the Big Apple.
New York was founded as a commercial trading post by the Dutch in 1624. The settlement was called New Amsterdam until 1664 when the colony came under British control. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.
Many neighborhoods and landmarks in the city have become world-famous. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, has been a dominant global financial center since World War II and is home to the New York Stock Exchange. The city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Empire State Building and the twin towers of the former World Trade Center.
New York 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 and Tin Pan Alley in music. It is the home of Broadway theater.
New York City is located in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.
The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary. The Hudson separates the city from New Jersey. The East River, actually a tidal strait, flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates Manhattan from the Bronx.
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