50 Interesting Facts about New York City

26Ota Benga

In 1906, the Bronx Zoo featured a caged African Man (Ota Benga) as an exhibit.

27. If you die homeless or with no money in New York City, you are buried by prisoners on Hart Island in a mass grave, up to 1000 per grave for children and 50 for adults, with the exception of Special Baby number 1, the first baby to die of AIDS.

28. If Texas had the same population density as New York City, all of the world's 7.4 billion people would fit inside the state's borders.

29. New York City is one of four major cities in the United States whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants. The city is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.

30. The US Navy built a replica ship in the middle of New York City during World War 1 to boost recruitment. It was staffed by a full crew who stood guard, slept on board and manned wooden guns. It helped enlist 25,000 men.

31Super rich people

No more than 40 people live above 800 feet elevation in New York City. It's an exclusive privilege for the super-rich.

32. Albert Einstein's brains were kept and dissected both improperly and against his wishes. His brain and eyeballs remain in a safe deposit box in New York City.

33. 800 different languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city on Earth.

34. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 crosswalk buttons in New York City function essentially as mechanical placebos. They haven't worked since the late 1980's.

35. The Times Square, while taking up just 0.1% of New York City’s total land area, creates 11% of the city’s economic output and 10% of its jobs.

36Snapple popsicle

Snapple once tried to break a world record for largest Popsicle, but instead, it melted and covered Times Square in pink goo.

37. The design of the tallest residential building in the world, 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan, is inspired by a trash can.

38. Hell's Kitchen is a neighborhood in Manhattan, NYC most likely named after 2 cops watching an Irish riot. The rookie said "this is hell," and the veteran said, "It's hotter. It's Hell's Kitchen."

39. Robert Moses, the extremely powerful New York City urban planner, hated the idea of poor people lowering the tone at the seaside, so he built low bridges over his parkways to ensure that only cars, not buses, could make the trip.

40. New York City officials admitted they forgot about a stalled train during the 2010 blizzard, which left dozens of passengers stranded for 7 hours. The subway chief said at a hearing they simply "forgot about that train."

41Keron Thomas

In 1993, a 16-year-old Brooklyn teen named Keron Thomas pretended to be a subway conductor and drove a train for over 3 hours before getting caught.

42. There is a Superhero Supply store in Brooklyn with a Cape Fitting room with a wind tunnel. They also sell Oxygen Gum, Bottled Chaos and have an Invisibility Testing Center.

43. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NYC is so polluted that unidentifiable new forms of microbiological life have arisen in its sludge.

44. The Brooklyn Bridge in New York is older than Tower Bridge in London by 11 years.

45. After the opening of the New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, a rumor came about that the Bridge was unstable and was going to collapse. To prove it was safe, P.T. Barnum led 21 elephants across it on May 17, 1884.

46Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt, when made Police Commissioner of New York City, inherited a vastly corrupt police force. In order to make sure officers weren't slacking off or performing corrupt activities, he himself would walk their beats most nights and early mornings.

47. Madison Square Garden has not paid property taxes since 1982 because a 10-year tax abatement was inadvertently made perpetual due to a clerical error. This has cost New York City (and saved MSG) about $200M.

48. Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla created one of the world's first wireless remote controls, unveiled at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1898.

49. New York City homeowners can request that a tree be planted outside their homes for free.

50. In 1939, 20,000 people attended a Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden.

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