The Big Apple: 40 Surprising Facts About New York City

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26Crosswalk buttons

Crosswalk buttons

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.

27. 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.

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

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

30. 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."

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31Robert Moses

Robert Moses

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.

32. 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."

33. 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.

34. 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.

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

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36Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

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

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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.



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