10 Things You Didn’t Know About New York City

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You might think you know a thing or two about New York City, but let us tell you: for every thing you know about it, there’s a lot more that you don’t.

If you’re plotting a visit to NYC, and you want to wow your fellow travelers with your knowledge of the city, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about “The Big Apple.”

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1. It Got Its Nickname From Horse Racing

New York City has quite a few nicknames. Arguably the most famous of the bunch is “The Big Apple.” That term initially applied to the prize handed out at major horse races around the city.

2. It Was the First Capital of the United States

New York City was the first capital city of the United States. The capital was then moved to Philadelphia in 1791, and finally to what is now Washington, D.C. not long thereafter.

3. It’s The Most Linguistically Diverse City in the World

New York City is the most linguistically diverse city in the world. All told, its citizens speak a whopping 800 languages—more than any other city on the planet. It’s also has a larger Chinese population than any city outside of Asia, and a larger Jewish population than any city outside of Israel. Needless to say, it’s a melting pot in the truest sense of the term!

4. It’s an Extremely Wealthy City

There’s a lot of money in New York City. It’s home to more billionaires than any other city on earth, and almost 400,000 millionaires. New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank also has the largest gold stash in the world. There’s so much wealth in the city that one man actually makes his living by digging gold and other precious materials out of the sidewalks!

5. It Has a Lot of Coastline

Coastline might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City, but make no mistake, the city has a ton of it—520 miles of it, to be exact. Better still, 14 of those miles are occupied by public beaches.

6. It’s Home to the First American Pizzeria

New York is famous for its pizza, and for good reason. The city has a long history of cooking this popular dish. In fact, it’s home to the first pizzeria in the United States. This historic pizzeria, called Lombardi’s, set up shop way back in 1905, and is still open for business on the corner of Mott Street in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood today.

7. It’s Illegal to Honk Your Horn Outside of Emergencies

The sound of honking car horns is as synonymous with New York City as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or Times Square—but did you know it’s actually illegal to honk your horn outside of emergency situations? Unnecessary honking can earn you a hefty $350 ticket. Thankfully, this law isn’t really enforced.

8. Nearly a Third of North American Bird Species Have Been Seen in Central Park

The most recent National Geographic Bird Field Guide claims that there are 990 bird species in North America. A ridiculous 275 of those species—that works out to almost a third—have been spotted in New York City’s sprawling Central Park. Needless to say, it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise. Don’t forget your binoculars!

9. It’s the Birthplace of Many Famous Inventions

New York City is the birthplace of dozens of famous and important intentions. Highlights include toilet paper, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, Scrabble, eggs Benedict, teddy bears, credit cards, Mr. Potato head, and hip-hop.

10. A Baby is Born Every 4.4 Minutes

New York City is already a huge city, and it’s population is constantly growing. According to multiple sources, a baby is born in the city every 4.4 minutes. Needless to say, the maternity wards of the city’s hospitals are just a little crowded.

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