A. New York is really the melting pot of the world. Over 30 percent of its residents have come from abroad. It is believed that the city has the greatest linguistic diversity on the planet. There are over 800 different languages spoken by its people. As some of these languages are nearly extinct, the City University of New York has begun a project called the Endangered Language Alliance. Its aim is to preserve rare languages like Bukhari, Vhlaski, and Ormuri.
B. New Yorkers love to think they know everything about their city: where to find the best fruit, how to avoid paying full price at museums, what route to take to avoid traffic. But New York City can reveal new treasures even to its veterans. Beyond the city where New-Yorkers work, eat, play and commute every day lies a hidden New York: mysterious, forgotten, abandoned or just overlooked. There are places about which you’re not likely to read in any guidebook.
C. The Chrysler Building was in a race with the Bank of Manhattan for getting the title of the tallest skyscraper in the world. The Bank was likely to triumph, with its height of 282 meters. But the spire of the Chrysler Building was constructed in secret inside the tower. Just one week after the Bank of Manhattan was finished, it was put in place, making it 318 meters tall and beating the Bank. It wouldn’t keep this title for long: one year later the Empire State Building was erected.
D. The Flatiron Building was constructed between 1901 and 1903 at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. It was designed by Chicago’s Daniel Burnham as a steel-frame skyscraper covered with white terra-cotta. Built as the headquarters of the Fuller Construction company, the skyscraper was meant to be named Fuller Building. But locals soon started calling it “Flatiron” because of its unusual shape. The name stuck and soon became
E. How does Rockefeller Center manage to find the perfect fur-tree each Christmas season? They do aerial searches by helicopter, of course, and bring it to the city during the night when there isn’t much traffic on the streets. After the tree is taken down for the year, it continues to be useful. For example, in 2005 Habitat for Humanity used the wood to make doorframes for houses for the poor and in 2012 the paper was used to publish a book.
F. In New York life never stands still. People have to call cabs, ride subway cars, do business of all kinds, eat pizzas and sandwiches for lunch. When you multiply that by more than eight million people in less than 500 square miles, you get the idea: everyone goes everywhere as fast as it is humanly possible. Whatever you do, don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk or you’ll make everyone around you incredibly angry.
G. New York is extremely easy to navigate. Manhattan is divided into numbered streets from north to south and avenues from east to west. It’s almost impossible to get lost there. Buses are useful to travel around Manhattan, and the subway is the best means of transport to the other parts of the city. At some stage you’ll definitely use a yellow taxi. Try to get one on an avenue that’s going in the same direction you are – you’ll save time and money. And don’t forget to leave a tip for the driver.