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1Crosswalk 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.

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

3. On 9/11, when all transport out of the city was shut down, citizen boat owners managed to transport over 500,000 people from Manhattan Island in an amazing act known as the "9/11 Boatlift".

4. Henryk Siwiak was fatally shot on 9/11 and because the deaths from the terror attacks are not included in the city's official crime statistics, Siwiak's death is the only homicide recorded in New York City on that date.

5. There is an abandoned subway station under City Hall in New York that no train stops at but you can see it in passing if you take the number 6 train.


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.

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

8. During the 1977 New York blackout, a number of looters stole DJ equipment from electronics stores and as a result, the hip-hop genre, barely known outside of the Bronx at the time, grew at an astounding rate from 1977 onward.

9. 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.

10. Chinese mathematician Yitang Zhang could not get an academic job upon graduating, having to work as an accountant and a delivery worker for a New York City restaurant. He later went on to solve a math problem that had been unsolved for 150 years and won a MacArthur Genius Grant.

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11Different languages

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

12. Decommissioned New York City Subway cars are dumped into the ocean to provide homes for sea creatures.

13. 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.

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

15. 7 schools (Walton High School) in New York City look exactly the same, apparently because they only had money for 1 set of blueprints.

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16USS Recruit

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.

17. If the Native Americans really did sell Manhattan to the European for $16 in the 1600s and had invested that $16 at annual interest rates of 8%, today that $16 would be worth enough for them to buy back all of Manhattan and still have $222 Trillion dollars left over.

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

19. 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.

20. 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.

21Hot dog vendor

There is a New York City hot dog vendor who pays $289,000/year for his location.

22. In 2012, a man named David Villalobos intentionally jumped off of the monorail at the Bronx Zoo into the tiger exhibit, to be 'one with the tiger'. He survived, and when the police asked him why he did it he replied: "everyone in life makes choices".

23. New York City plans to turn all of its old phone booths into wifi hotspots.

24. After the Empire State Building opened in New York City in 1931, much of its office space went unrented. It was nicknamed the "Empty State Building" by New Yorkers and didn't become profitable until 1950.

25. 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.


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