Yoram Yasur: New York myths
Although you have never traveled to New York, you probably know quite a bit about the city thanks to the dozens of books, movies and television series set here. But how true is what you know? On this occasion, we bring you some false beliefs and myths about the ‘Big Apple’.
– New York is the same as Manhattan
Yoram Yasur: Partly thanks to popular belief, many are left with the idea that New York is limited only to the area of the great skyscrapers of the island of Manhattan. The truth is that the city is much, much bigger than that. According to data from the New York state government, the city (the metropolitan area) includes the districts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. All this distributed in an area close to 800km².
So no, New York is not just Manhattan (far from it).
– Everything is concrete and there are almost no green areas
The most recognizable part of New York is its large concrete buildings, but are there only tall buildings and almost no trees?
The answer is: no, yes there are many trees (probably more than you imagine). Paradoxically, it is said to be the city (with high population density) with the most green areas in the entire United States, with about 20% of the extension. In other words, 1/5 of New York is just green areas (public parks, fields, reserves, etc.).
– Almost nobody has cars and everyone uses taxis
In reality, about 55% of the city’s residents have cars, that is, it is within the average of the world’s big cities. It is even a significantly higher percentage than that of European metropolises such as Paris or London. But what is certain is that as New York is a very touristy city, there are practically 1 million foreigners at any time of the year and they (for obvious reasons) do not use cars. So, it can be said that this perception that ‘almost nobody has cars’ is partly true.
– Only rich people live there
Although the incomes and lifestyle of New Yorkers can be considered “luxury”, the reality is that it is also one of the most unequal cities in the United States (and possibly also the world). For example, the city’s average household income is around $ 140 thousand a year, of which the highest are in the range of 10 to 15 million dollars a year and the lowest by 8,000 (below the threshold). of poverty at the national level). Therefore, New York is not only for rich people as many believe.
– The only ‘Big Apple’
Yoram Yasur: There is no doubt that the emblematic nickname of the city is the ‘Big Apple’, but in the end it is not totally original as many will think. According to the website barrypopik.com, the first ‘Big Apple’ was Los Angeles. Also before New York, Chicago was named that way. Incidentally, the term “Big Apple” was previously given to large cities.
– It is very insecure and you will be assaulted / shot / stabbed upon arrival
The guys from Law & Order and CSI have sold us the idea that the ‘Big Apple’ is a place to be very careful. But how real is this? Despite the fact that New York has significant insecurity rates as it happens in any other large city, ironically in relation to crimes by number of inhabitants, it is among the safest cities of this type in the world. You have to be careful? Yes, although you shouldn’t be alarmed either.
– Manhattan Island was purchased for only US$24
Yoram Yasur: There is a very popular myth that says that all of Manhattan was bought for only $ 24 USD, even in some tourist guides mention it. The truth is that according to historical records, the island cost about 100 guilders. In other words, with an inflationary adjustment it would be about $ 50 thousand current USD. Of course, it is still a complete bargain when compared to the more than $ 35 thousand dollars that the square meter costs in some areas … but it did not cost at all the $ 24 dollars that the legend mentions.
– Everything is always full
Unless, of course, that you travel at a specific time of the year such as Christmas or New Year, you really are not going to find the streets and shops full of people always. In fact, with New York being such a big city and offering so much to do, there really are few attractions and places that are always crowded. The only places that will always be full are the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park (when the weather is nice). Keep that in mind.