Five things you probably didn’t know about New York

New York is undoubtedly one of the most iconic cities in the world. With over 50 million people journeying there each year, the city is regarded as one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. New York certainly packs a punch, not many cities can boast the same mix of culture, entertainment, art, food and history delivered in such a hair-raising setting. Even if you haven’t been to the ‘Big Apple’ you probably already know about the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, but here are a few things you might not know about New York City…

#1: New York has been the setting for over 20,000 films As you meander through the bustling streets of New York you’re likely to experience a lot of déjà vu. Having played host to thousands of movies, it’ll feel as if you’re stepping onto the set of some of your favourite films. Certainly, if you’re a film buff you’ll be in your element as you explore the backdrop to countless Hollywood blockbusters from King Kong to Ghostbusters to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

#2: New York has over 20,000 street vendors If you’re a foodie then New York is for you. Between thousands of incredible restaurants the streets are lined with fantastic street vendors. The range of food on offer is staggering, you can grab pretty much anything you can think of including lobster, gelato, crepes and mouth-watering sandwiches. However, the most popular snack on the streets of New York is most likely the hot dog. To give you an idea of just how popular, one hot dog stand owner near Central Park Zoo pays $289,500 a year for the right to sell from that spot…

#3: New York subway musicians go through a meticulous selection process You don’t need to go to a concert to see talented musicians in New York, you can spot them at the subway. The subway musicians are selected from hundreds of applicants each year as part of the Music Under New York program. The program, which has been running since 1985, gives the musicians a chance for a bit of cash, and more crucially, exposure. Each year 20 or so applicants are selected to join the pool of musicians, who are then distributed amongst New York’s subway system. Currently there are 350 soloists and groups playing thousands of performances each year. Make sure you take the time to watch a couple of performances, as you never know if you might be seeing a future star!

#4: The Phantom of the Opera is currently the longest running show in Broadway history, having been performed for close to 28 years The Phantom of the Opera may have its roots planted in the UK, but Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ musical has enjoyed huge success in New York. In 2012 the musical celebrated its 10,000th Broadway performance, becoming the first ever production to do so. Every year millions of people attend Broadway, which spans across 40 theatres throughout the city. Upcoming shows include a musical adaption of American Psycho (2016) and Groundhog Day (2017). #5: On a clear day you can see five different states from the Empire State Building Observatory On a clear day you can spot as many as five states from the Empire State Building Observatory: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Make sure you consider the weather, clearer days will have bigger queues but are well worth the wait. Officially the most photographed building in the world, the Empire State Building is a stunning example of architecture and a must-see for visitors.

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