Some Odds and Ends and a Few Factoids of New York
The James A. Farley Post Office Building is the main
post office building in New York City. Its ZIP code designation is 10001. Built
in 1912, the building is famous for bearing the inscription: Neither snow nor
rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds. In
1982, the post office was officially designated The James A. Farley Building,
as a monument and testament to the political career of the nation's 53rd Postmaster
General. The Farley Post Office is
home to "Operation
Santa," made famous in the classic 1947 film Miracle on 34th
Street, although we love the Richard Attenborough
remake and watch it every Christmas. The post office is open three hundred and
sixty five days a year, twenty four hours a day. Apparently there is a fashion
(and queue) to send a postcard at midnight on New Year’s Eve to get the postmark
01 / 01 / ---- sent from 10001.
Parking New York
style, with a close up of the front and back
Over 10,000 books have been written
about the city.
44,000,000 annual visitors to NYC,
7,000,000 are international.
Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island
were served ice cream, baffled many tried to spread it on their
Only about 45% of the population
bother to own a car in New York City. Parking is a real issue
The taxi drivers speak over sixty
languages between them. They are eighty five nationalities amongst
No one really knows who invented
the first bra, but Manhattan socialite Mary Phelps Jacobs, who improvised an
undergarment out of two handkerchiefs and pink ribbon, was the first to patent
one. Unfortunately the brassiere company Jacobs created could not make a
profit, so she sold the design, quite happy with the $1,500 she received.
Years later that very design was sold for $15,000,000.
In the late 1920's there were more
than 150 mini golf courses on New York roof tops - as stress relievers to the
bankers and brokers.
500 feet is the distance required
by zoning between a strip club and a school.
In 1961, the
Matisse painting the Boat, hung upside-down for two months at the
Museum of Modern Art. None of the 116,000 visitors noticed. What have I always said...
penguins at the Central Park Zoo were engaged in a stable relationship.
When they had been together six years the zookeepers noticed them trying to
hatch a rock, they entrusted them with an extra egg from another pair of
penguins and the boys did a good job: Tango, a female, was born approximately
five weeks later.
$528,783,552,000 is the estimated
value of the 843 acres of Central Park. It is home to 51 sculptures and 29 is
the maximum number of model boats allowed on Conservatory Water (the sailboat
While the United Nations sits
squarely on the east side of Manhattan, the land it occupies is an
international zone with its own postal service, fire department and security
Central Park comprises its own US
Census tract (number 143, to be exact), and according to the last report, the
park’s population was 12 males and 6 females with an average age of 38.5
The black spots
visible on sidewalks all over the city are discarded pieces of chewing
gum that have hardened and over time have become imbedded in the concrete. On
a really busy sidewalk there may be as many as one hundred and twenty per
square. We found a ‘clean place’ tucked away and a main walkway to show the
Since 2001 more people have sent
postcards of the World Trade Centre than any other building in the
When telephone area codes were
first assigned, New York, the largest city in the country (and hence the one
most frequently called), was given 212 because it took the least amount of
time to dial on a rotary telephone.
The most common surname in the NYC
telephone book is Rodriguez – followed by Williams, Smith, Brown and
Of the five boroughs in NYC,
Brooklyn has the most people (2.5 million); Queens is the largest in terms of
Author Washington Irving gave New
York City the nickname “Gotham,” in an issue of Salmagundi, a satirical
periodical. He didn’t coin it, however: Gotham is the name of an English city
where all the residents once faked insanity to discourage the king from
settling there, knowing that his taking up residence would have raised their
There are sixty
horses in the NYPD on active duty
Former Secretary of State Colin
Powell grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood in the Bronx, where he
learned to speak Yiddish.
There are more Irish people in New
York City than in any other city in the world; the same goes for Jews, Puerto
Ricans and Dominicans. Also more Brazilians in NYC than in any area outside
South America, more Greeks than in any city outside Greece, and more Chinese
than in any city outside Asia.
The first roller coaster in the
world was built at Coney Island in 1884.
60 ashtrays a day were stolen from
the Stork Club on east 53rd street during its heyday in the
The kitchen at the Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel in midtown has a meat locker with its own security
An unbelievably rude waiter at
Oscar’s Tavern so amused Muppet creator Jim Henson and Sesame Street director
Jon Stone that he inspired the creation of Oscar the
The all-boys Collegiate School was founded in 1628, making it the
oldest school in the United States.
There are roughly twenty blocks
going north / south to a mile.
The angel on top of the Cathedral
of St Divine was the creation of sculptor John Gutzon Borglum, best known as
the designer of Mt. Rushmore
One explanation for New York's
nickname "The Big Apple" goes like this: In the 1920's, there were four
important racetracks in and around the city and one in upstate Saratoga. To
the stable boys who worked with the horses, New York City was seen as working
"the big time" and took to calling it the "Big Apple". Credit for making the
nickname stick with a wider audience was when racing newspaperman John
Fitzgerald (also in the 1920's), for the Morning Telegraph in a column he
dubbed "Around the Big Apple".
Half of all the world's skyscrapers
of fifty stories or more are in new York City.
The restaurant exterior featured in
Seinfeld belongs to Tom’s Restaurant at West 112th Street and Broadway, the
same restaurant immortalised in the Suzanne Vega song “Tom’s
The East River isn’t actually a
river, but a tidal estuary – an arm of the sea where salt water meets fresh
water running off the land.
A little unusual, we found
ourselves looking at three gorgeous and rather big fish tanks whilst waiting
for the ferry on Staten Island, this handsome angel
fish just one of many.
Once a common type of residence,
the “walk-up” is slowly vanishing from the New York City landscape and
lexicon, due to the fact that, since 1987, any new residential building of
more than two stories is required by law to have an elevator.
530,000 dogs call NYC
1,787 residents one hundred years
of age or older.
11,000 tons of garbage per day are
generated in NYC
The cockroach most common in New
York City apartments is the German cockroach; the most prevalent rat is the
As of April 2010 there are 23,499
restaurants in New York City. Bear’s favourite just up the road from the
marina served this turkey dinner – complete with
gherkin and salad garnish for the princely sum of three pounds and sixty
All the boroughs except Manhattan
have a "Main Street".
On the 16th of April 1912, the
Titanic was supposed to dock at Chelsea Pier, its final
Between 5’6” and 5’10” to be a
Rockette. Thirty six Rockettes to the dance line doing two hundred “eye-high”
kicks per show with nine costume changes.
The most frequently stolen car is
the Honda Accord – ten to fifteen years old to be stripped for
$160,000 was the amount paid to the
Beatles for their Shea Stadium concert on the 15th of August
When the Monkees played several
concerts in 1967 at the West Side Tennis Club in Queens, their unbilled
opening act was a young Jimi Hendrix.
There are 6,000,000 manhole covers in New York City, weighing in at
three hundred pounds.
New York City zip code 10021,
Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has generated more money for presidential
candidates than any other zip code in the country.
The original American Express card
was introduced in New York City in 1958. For the first year, it was made of
paper, not plastic – and for the first eleven years, it was purple, not
Donald Trump’s first major real
estate deal was converting the Commodore Hotel, next to Grand Central Station,
into the Grand Hyatt in 1980.
Between 1980 and 2000, NYC had more
than 2,000 inoperative fire hydrants (from 34th Street south to Battery Park)
whose only purpose was to generate revenue in parking fines.
In the late 1970’s, graphic sex
scenes for the porno classic Debbie Does Dallas were secretly filmed in the
library stacks at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, one of the most highly regarded
art colleges in the country.
cleaners lose their lives each year cleaning the ‘between one and
infinity’ windows. 65,000 alone in the Empire State Building.
The black Givenchy dress worn by
Audrey Hepburn in the opening scenes of Breakfast in Tiffany’s sold in 2006
The famous shot of Marilyn Monroe’s
dress blowing up as she stands over the subway grate was originally filmed on
location at 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Crowd noise made Billy Wilder
re-stage the entire scene on the 20th Century Fox movie studio lot. It took
forty takes before Marilyn got her lines right.
14 per cent of NYC is parks and
It takes an average of 7 hours and
15 minutes to swim around the island of Manhattan.
674 places in NYC are on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Yankees great Lou Gehrig was the
first to appear on a box of Wheaties, “The Breakfast of
Charles Dow, the financial reporter
who founded the Wall Street Journal and created the Dow Jones Industrial
Average, never graduated from high school.
The largest Sunday edition of the
New York Times was delivered on the 14th of September 1987; it was 1,612 pages
and weighed twelve pounds – pity the paper boys who had to fight with
ALL IN ALL QUITE A