New York City, NYC, Nueva York, Nova York, Big Apple, Gran Manzana; whatever you call it, New York City is the world capital of culture, finance, media, diplomacy, and diversity.
It is also the world capital of Latin culture. La Gran Manzana (The Big Apple) is where we all mixed together into Broadway, Jazz, Salsa, Rap and Reggaeton. As the global media capital, whatever happens in New York City spreads around the world.
Our city is built on Native American Lenape land. The First Nations arrived around 13,000 years ago. “Manahatta” is now Manhattan. The Lenape village was up in Inwood. The trail to the trading post at the southern tip of Manhattan is now called Broadway. The trading post is now the National Museum of the American Indian. The Lenape sacred council elm tree was where Bowling Green Park is now.
We are still here. We have always been here, and the Great Spirit will be here when all the people are gone. In the Indigenous way of thinking, land is not owned by anyone. It belongs to all the people. NYC’s cultural community gets it.
People from the entire world come here to work and reinvent themselves ~ to create a better future for their children. Diversity, work and density have been the defining characteristics of New York City since the first immigrant, Juan Rodríguez (from what is now the Dominican Republic) established the city’s first bodega (store) at the Lenape trading post on the southern tip of Manahattan in 1613.
Everyone is here, but the communities that define New York City are Native American (~13,000 years ago), Dutch (1624), African American (1626), Jewish (1654), Irish (after 1845), Italian (1900-1910), Puerto Rican (1950s), and Dominican (1970s). New communities keep arriving in waves. We are becoming more Mexican and South American, South Asian and Chinese.
We are the immigrant city, the gateway to the United States, a land of immigrants. When new communities arrive, the “natives” complain they are low-class, unskilled, uneducated, basically inhuman. Of course, that’s nonsense. We get to work, enter politics, and start marrying each other. We become New Yorkers.
The Five Boroughs
When people speak of New York City, they usually mean Manhattan, but The City actually has five boroughs (counties).
Metropolitan New York City
Metropolitan NYC includes parts of New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut. Upstate New York is really beautiful. It starts just 30 minutes outside The City.
New Yorkers like to make fun of New Jersey, but many end up moving there to raise families.
International New York City
It’s a small world after all.
La Gran Manzana
La Gran Manzana (The Big Apple) is also the capital of the Latin world.
We acknowledge the Lenape First Nations on whose “Manahatta” New York City is built. The first settlers in the region arrived around 9,000 years ago. Archeologists think it has been continuously settled for about the last 3,000 years.
The Lenape were farmers. After the First Nations, New York City has been Latin from its very first immigrant, Juan Rodríguez, arrived in 1613.
Rodríguez was a multilingual Portuguese African sailor on a Dutch ship from Santo Domingo, now the capital of the Dominican Republic. He decided to stay instead of shipping on to the Netherlands. 🇩🇴
Rodríguez set up NYC’s first bodega (corner store) where the National Museum of the American Indian is now.
The Dutch set up New Amsterdam in 1624. The English took it in 1664 and left in 1783.
New York has always been a city of immigrants. People come from all over the world to start their lives as Americans. Wherever you are from, when you are here, you’re a New Yorker.
This is New York
New York is a great diversity of interlocking purposes. We are not the biggest human city, but we are the world’s most diverse human city.
Everyone from everywhere is here. The best and worst of every good and bad idea are here.
If you look at how people live around the world, New York City shouldn’t function at all. Humanity’s investment in petty differences is too great. But on most days, New York does work, and it works surprisingly well.
Perhaps the hurry that is necessary to survive here forces us to drop our differences and let go of our baggage. When you do that, the only thing left is our common humanity.
This is my city. This is your city. This is New York.
We are glad you are here. ¡Bienvenidos!