An overview of New York City

Hi there! I hope you’re well. Today’s post will be highlighting the largest city featured in my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba©. For this post, I’ll give you a quick run-through of New York City.

Demographics and City Layout

New York City is the most diverse and populated city in the United States (the city has a population density of over 27,000 people per square mile). In New York, you’ll find almost every race and language you can think of under the sun, hence the common moniker, “the melting pot of the world.” The city is made up of 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, all of which were “grouped” together into a single city in 1898.

New York City boroughs

History

Present day New York City was originally inhabited by Native Americans, who sold it to the Dutch. After a series of forays by various European explorers, including Henry Hudson who discovered Manhattan Island in 1609, the Dutch “colonized” the region via The Dutch West India Holding Company in 1624 and set up a settlement called New Amsterdam. In 1664, the region was taken from the Dutch by the English, an event that was part of the Anglo-Dutch Wars that occurred during that era (1652–1784).

Fun Fact: “New York” was named after the Duke of York, who would go on to become King James II.

New York would grow to become a major trading port in the 1700s. New York was also a known slavery hub during this period. Fast forward a few years to The Great Irish Famine, which resulted in a large influx of Irish immigrants to New York in the late 1800s. Italians would migrate to New York in large numbers between 1820 and 1978, and settle into areas like Little Italy in Manhattan. Today, Italians make up the largest European ethnic group in New York City. The demographic makeup of the city would change once again as a result of the Great Migration, when large scores of minorities, predominantly African American would migrate to New York City from Southern States. This mass movement would last from around 1910 all the way to 1970, and would be a major influence behind the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. Greeks migrated to the city in large numbers, especially in the years following the devastation brought from World War II and between 1965 and 1980. Chinese traders began migrating to the city from as early as the 18th Century, and today New York City has the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere. Puerto Ricans have had a long history with the city from as far back as the mid 19th century, and today make up the largest Hispanic group in New York.

Fun Fact: Jesús Colón was a Puerto Rican writer that started an intellectual movement in 1960 among fellow Puerto Rican writers, musicians, artists and thought leaders in New York City. This movement was known as the Nuyorican movement and was the driving force behind the the now famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe:

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York’s Alphabet City (Lower East Side)

The fall of the Rafael Trujillo military regime in 1961 saw large waves of Dominicans migrate to New York City, forming strong bases in areas like Washington Heights and the Bronx.

Russians also make up a significant population of the city, and began migrating to the city from as far back as the 19th century. Brooklyn in particular has a high concentration of Russians.

New York City would go on to become the first megacity in human history and would attract settlers from all over the world predominantly due to its strong economic health.

Economy

Today, New York City is widely recognized as the global center for the financial services industry. It’s also the heartbeat of the American publishing industry (traditional anyway), media, entertainment (along with California), telecommunications, law and advertising industries. The city houses the main headquarters for many global corporations and business entities. Check out the long list below for some names you might recognize:

AOL (internet)

Polo Ralph Lauren (fashion)

Calvin Klein (fashion)

New York Times (media)

DC Comics (publishing/media)

Ernst & Young (accounting)

KPMG (accounting)

Morgan Stanley (financial services)

Goldman Sachs (financial services)

American Express (financial services)

Sony Music Entertainment (media)

HBO (media)

Showtime Networks (media)

Random House (publishing)

HarperCollins (publishing)

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (law)

White & Case (law)

Trump organization (real estate)

New York Stock Exchange (financial exchange)

NASDAQ (financial exchange)

WPP (advertising)

Omnicom (advertising)

New York Times (media)

Iconix (fashion)

Time Warner (media)

Tumblr (internet)

DKNY (fashion)

Verizon (telecommunications)

Virgin Media (telecommunications)

Edelman (public relations/communications)

Cushman & Wakefield (real estate)

Viacom (media)

SeanJohn (fashion)

Hearst Corporation (media)

Bristol-Myers Squibb (pharmaceuticals)

The United Nations (government)…

The above is just a small sample of the hundreds of corporate/business entities that call New York home. All this means is that there is alot of money flowing through this city’s veins, which is affirmed by the level of security, service offerings, and cultural events that the city offers.

Fun Fact: The Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) for New York City in 2012 was over $1.3 trillion!!! To put things in perspective, the GMP is a measurement of total goods and services within a given metro. This means that New York City’s GMP was roughly the same as the entire country of Spain!!!

Culture

On a cultural note, New York City is home to the famous Times Square, where thousands of tourists come to visit all year round. In the city you’ll find other attractions like Broadway and the theater district, New York’s Fashion Week where top designers from all over the world show off their wares, countless concerts by top artists at Central Park especially during summer months, the Statue of Liberty, The New York International Auto Show, The New York Comic Con (one of my favorites), The New York Marathon, New Year’s celebrations/the ball dropping, various parades by all the major ethnic and social groups represented in the city (there’s even a Halloween parade)…I could go on and on. It’s no surprise then, that this sprawling metropolis is widely regarded as the cultural capital of the United States. See below for some shots of events in the city:

New York Comic Con
Fashion Week
New York Auto Show

New York City has also maintained a reputation for being frequently and consistently featured and referenced in mainstream media. Thousands of films across various budgets have been shot in the city, and it’s very common to see film crews at work in Manhattan at any given time.

Fun Fact: Gotham is one of many nicknames for New York City. It’s a name that existed long before Batman made it his home (Gotham City in the DC comic book universe is loosely based on New York City).

Fun Fact: Metropolis is another fictional city in the DC comic book universe that is home to Superman’s alter ego (Clark Kent). The city is also loosely based on New York City.

Fun Fact: In the Marvel universe, New York City is also home to Peter Parker and his alter ego, Spiderman. In fact, Peter Parker was born and raised in Queens.

Gotham City
Metropolis

Below is some extra trivia for you regarding New York City:

*It is legal in New York for women to walk around topless.

*Hip Hop music is widely believed to have found its origins in the Bronx.

*New York City, while regarded as one of the most diverse cities in the world, also has one of the most segregated school systems in America.

  • Albert Einstein’s eyeballs are rumored to be held in a safe box somewhere in New York City.

So how does New York City factor into my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba?

Without giving too much away, perhaps one of the most exciting and climactic scenes in my novel happens at this location. I recommend you order the novel and get into the action!

I’ll leave you with the below video featuring one of the most underrated rap groups of all time, one of my favorites, the legendary Beastie Boys. Enjoy the homage they pay to NYC.