Overview of New York City

Geography of New York City

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The United States lies within the western hemisphere in North America. The country is bordered by Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the Atlantic Ocean to the right. The United States of America are comprised by fifty states and a federal district. In total, USA is 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km²) and has more than 300 million people. It is the third largest country by total area, and third largest by land area and by population.

Many New Yorkers would say New York is the "center of the Universe", but in geographical terms New York is not even the center of the USA. The state of New York lies in the northeast of the country and is bordered by New Jersey in the west, Connecticut in the northwest and Long Island to the east. The heart of the city of New York is the skyscraper packed island of Manhattan, located just off the coast of the state. The city also consists of four other boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island (for more information on the boroughs, refer to "Neighborhoods" beneath the heading "Accommodation") .

The city wraps around one of the largest natural harbors in the world at the mouth of Hudson and East River. Much of land was carved out to make the city a trading post for the Dutch colonies and the rivers and harbor are continually being re-shaped and reclaiming areas along the waterfronts. The city's total area is estimated at 468.9 square miles (1,214.4 km2) with 164.1 square miles (425.02 km2) of this area covered by water. The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island at 409.8 feet (124.9 m). This is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. Central Park occupies 843 valuable acres in Manhattan, a lush oasis amidst the high rises and city living.

The amount of people and skyscrapers in New York have set it apart as one of the quintessential cityscapes. The city is the largest in the United States and the most densely populated with 70,595 residents per square mile (27,267/km²) . The city is a living entity and has garnered popular nicknames such as "The Big Apple" and "the city that never sleeps" with even landmarks getting their own nickname like Times Square being dubbed "the Crossroads of the World". The skyline is easily recognized by the diverse architecture and waterfront that have played a part in many parts of history and entertainment. The horrific events of September 11th took away the twin towers of the World Trade Center, but the ever-changing look and spirit of New York prevails.

New York City has a humid subtropical climate with distinct seasons. There is an average of 234 sunny days a year, but temperatures can be extreme. The winters can be bitterly cold and the summers stifling hot with any variation in-between making up fall and spring. January is the coldest month with temperatures averaging 29°F (-1.5°C). Summers are typically hot and humid with average high temperatures of 79-84°F (26-29°C) and lows of 63-69°F (17-21°C). Summer evenings can become extremely uncomfortable as urban heat island effect occurs, meaning that the heat absorbed during the day is radiated out at night and can raise the temperatures by as much as 7 °F (4 °C). For up to date weather and conditions http://www.wunderground.com/US/NY/New_York.html.

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Relatively safe from natural disaster, NYC has encountered several notable hurricanes, including the disastrous New England Hurricane of 1938. Hurricanes rarely hit the city directly, but its geography of narrow river channels, tall skyscrapers, large population, and low-lying infrastructure and coastal subway system make it one of the three cities in the United States most vulnerable to hurricanes (the other two are New Orleans and Miami).

Update 2/01/2009

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