New York’s uniqueness lies in its extraordinary amalgam of different cultures: it is a city quite literally built by immigrants as much as built by tycoons and high rollers. It is therefore difficult to pinpoint one overarching culture shared by all of its citizens. While New Yorkers are famous for their distinctive accent, a walk amongst the city’s multilingual population will expose you to a wide variety of accents and speech patterns. 

Sub-cultures abound in virtually every part of the city. Ethnic cultures still flourish in neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, Little India, and in Astoria (Queens), the largest indigenously Greek population outside of Athens.  Gay and lesbian life is prevalent in Greenwich Village and Chelsea, and is growing in what was once a working class, crime-ridden area, Hell's Kitchen. Though not often considered a college town, thousands of students proliferate all over the city, attracted by the vast stores of knowledge kept here and the generous attitudes of some of the best research centers America has to offer : New York University in Greenwich Village,  The School of Visual Arts in the Flatiron District,  the New School near Union Square, Columbia University in Morningside Heights, and Fordham University in the Bronx: all of the above have ample endowments and extensive access to special collections in art, science, history, law, and medicine.

You either love it or hate it: New York City will not, can never leave you indifferent. The city overwhelms you by its giant scope: by population, it is larger than either London or Paris. There are hundreds of theatres, thousands of restaurants, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and a lot more of cultural peaks. It is the city that never sleeps, because the economy keeps turning 24 hours a day. This metropolis with 10 millions inhabitants is the place where it all happens. Each neighborhood has its own identity. New York or "The Big Apple,” is more than a city. It's an experience.

Despite the diversity, several characteristics do come to mind that could be considered common to most New Yorkers as a whole. With everything literally at their fingertips, New Yorkers are by definition savvy and worldly, and very little surprises or shocks them. A visitor may encounter some service industry rudeness endemic to that of any major American city, but most people on the street or in the subway are friendly and helpful after you get past an initial wariness. On the other hand, New Yorkers are unfailingly proud of their great city, and this pride can, at times, come off as arrogance and an inability to see the positive beyond the Big Apple’s city limits.

New York offers the visitor as many cultural activities as there are existing cultures – in other words, an overwhelming choice that couldn’t possibly be experienced in only one visit. Numerous offerings in sports, the arts, food, and university life are available for the taking!


Central Park under a blanket of snow!