We will be running several installments of the 5 Most Intriguing Facts About New York City for our Top Tuesday's. We thought it would be interesting to see just how many facts are out there about different New York City neighborhoods that perhaps the average New Yorker or soon-to-be New Yorker might not even know about. If you already knew them comment below!
1. Macy’s, one of the largest retail department stores in the world, was sprouted from rather humble beginnings. The mastermind behind the concept of the famed department store was Rowland H. Macy, a New England native and a onetime sea captain. Macy established the famous store on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, on what was then known as “Ladies’ Mile”, reserved for New York’s elite female shoppers. The grand opening of Macy’s occurred on October 28, 1858, and first-day sales totaled a mere $11.06. Today, Macy’s department store is a quintessential symbol of New York City with its flagship store located in the heart of Manhattan, in addition to 800 locations nationwide.
2. The Panic of 1873 was another major economic crisis that affected New York, the epicenter of the budding nation's finance at the time. Over the next three years, approximately 10,000 businesses failed due to over expansion in the economy and the downfall of Jay Cooke & Co., a prominent banking house, which declared itself bankrupt. For the first time since it’s opening in 1792, the New York Stock Exchange closed its doors for ten days.
3. The quirky neighborhood conventionally known as Clinton, first acquired its moniker, “Hell’s Kitchen”, in the 1880’s. At the time, the area dubbed Hell’s Kitchen was a hotbed for crime and gangs amidst the sprawling metropolis. Hell’s Kitchen is situated along the Hudson River stretching from West 34th street to West 59th Street and 9th avenue. Today, this neighborhood is home to many hip, urban bars and restaurants.
4. The Dakota, one of New York’s most exclusive buildings with a star-studded past, first opened its doors in 1884. Beautifully situated in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side on 72nd Street and Central Park West, The Dakota has long been a co-op especially reserved for the elite. Over the years many celebrities have indeed called The Dakota home, including Beetles legend John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono.
5. The Brooklyn Bridge is often seen as one of the most iconic emblems of New York City. After about 14 years of construction and around $15 million to complete it, the 1,595-foot bridge was quickly dubbed "the eighth world wonder" when it was inaugurated on May 24th, 1883. More than 150,000 people were present including President Chester Arthur and New York Governor (and future president) Grover Cleveland, to celebrate the opening day ceremony that included an array of spectacular fireworks, receptions, and speeches. Up until today, the Brooklyn Bridge has been a cultural sensation with numerous pop icons such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe over the years famously incorporating the bridge into their art work. Several films from Moonstruck to Spiderman have also notably used the bridge as a breathtaking backdrop representing New York City.
Edited by Madeehah Shaheed