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14 Fun Facts About New York, NY: How Well Do You Know Your City?

New York City, the vibrant metropolis known as the “Big Apple,” is a melting pot of culture, innovation, and endless surprises. Beyond its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets lies a treasure trove of fun and fascinating facts that make the city truly unique. From hidden underground parks to quirky traditions like the annual pillow fight, New York City is a playground of discovery where every corner holds a story waiting to be uncovered. Whether you’re settling into your apartment in NYC or searching for homes for sale, this Redfin article will take you through fun facts about New York City.

aerial view of Lower Manhattan. New York

Quick Facts about New York City

Median home sale price $800,000
Average monthly rent $4,225
Walk Score 88/100
Transit Score 89/100
Bike Score 69/100

1. Hidden waterfalls in Central Park

Central Park has five hidden man-made waterfalls, offering serene sanctuaries away from the city’s hustle. Three of them are found within the Loch which extends from 102nd to 16th Street while the others can be found in the Ramble woodland and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary.

2. The city’s rat control squad

In New York City, there’s a unique squad of specially trained dogs dedicated to controlling the city’s rat population. These rat-catching canines patrol subway platforms, parks, and other public spaces, utilizing their keen sense of smell to locate and deter rodents. It’s a quirky yet effective solution that adds an unexpected charm to the city’s efforts in pest control.

3. NYC’s Underground park

New York City is home to the Lowline, an innovative underground park located in an abandoned trolley terminal beneath the Lower East Side. Using innovative solar technology, the park harnesses sunlight and channels it underground to support plant life, creating a lush green space beneath the bustling streets.

4. Manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge is a captivating phenomenon in New York City where the setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west streets of Manhattan, casting a stunning glow across the city’s iconic skyline. Twice a year, typically around late May and mid-July, crowds gather to witness this spectacle, capturing breathtaking photos of the sun framed by skyscrapers.

5. The High Line

The High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side, features a unique garden with over 500 species of plants. It’s a green oasis in the midst of the urban jungle, offering stunning views of the city skyline.

6. Statue of Liberty’s shoe size

A fun fact about The Statue of Liberty in New York City, a towering symbol of freedom and hope, wears a remarkably large shoe size of 879. This whimsical detail not only adds a touch of humor to the majestic monument but also serves as a welcoming gesture to immigrants arriving in the United States.

Times Square crowd in New York

7. Times Square’s bright lights

The dazzling lights of Times Square in New York City illuminate the urban landscape so brightly that they are visible from outer space. This iconic hub of entertainment, advertising, and bustling activity boasts an array of neon signs and electronic billboards that contribute to its radiant glow.

8. NYC’s cuisine is among the most diverse in the world

A fun fact about New York City’s culinary scene is that it boasts one of the most diverse arrays of cuisines in the world, with over 24,000 restaurants representing virtually every culture on the planet. From Michelin-starred fine dining establishments to humble food carts serving up authentic international flavors, NYC offers a culinary adventure for every palate and budget.

Restaurant recommendation from a NYC local: Jay Batra from Batra Group Property Management says “Gramercy Bagels is an amazing place for brunch, bagels etc. But hands down, the best thing on the menu is the Pesto Chicken Panini. This is a hole in the wall local bagel shop, very easy to miss, but the Pesto Panini will absolutely rock your world.”

9. Secret train station

Beneath the bustling streets of New York City lies a hidden gem: the secret train station known as the City Hall Station. Built in 1904 as part of the city’s first subway line, this ornate station features elegant tile work, graceful arches, and chandeliers, reminiscent of a bygone era. Although it ceased regular service in 1945 due to low ridership, the station’s beauty continues to captivate urban explorers.

10. Brooklyn Bridge’s hidden wine cellar

The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States, has a hidden wine cellar inside one of its support towers. It was built during the Prohibition era and served as a secret speakeasy, adding a touch of mystery to the city’s history.

11. Grand Central Terminal’s Whispering Gallery

Grand Central Terminal features a unique architectural feature known as the Whispering Gallery, where sound is carried across the domed ceiling. Visitors can whisper into one corner and be heard by someone standing in the opposite corner, creating a fascinating acoustic experience.

12. Coney Island’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Coney Island’s hot dog eating contest is a legendary annual event that draws competitors and spectators from around the world. Held on Independence Day, contestants vie to consume the most hot dogs and buns within a designated time frame, pushing the limits of gastronomic prowess. This iconic contest has become a beloved tradition.

13. The Bronx is the birthplace of hip hop

The Bronx holds the distinction of being the birthplace of hip hop, a cultural movement that emerged in the 1970s. Born out of block parties and neighborhood gatherings, hip hop originated in the South Bronx as a form of artistic expression.

Street lined with trees and condos

14. Homeowners can request a tree

Homeowners in NYC have the unique opportunity to request a tree through the city’s tree planting program. By simply submitting a request online or contacting the Department of Parks and Recreation, residents can have a tree planted on the sidewalk outside their property, contributing to the city’s urban forest and enhancing the local environment. This is a useful fact about New York City especially if you’re a resident or thinking about buying a home in the area.

15. NYC’s annual pillow fight

The annual NYC pillow fight brings a playful and whimsical atmosphere to the heart of the city as participants gather in iconic locations like Washington Square Park. Armed with fluffy pillows, people of all ages come together to engage in friendly combat, releasing stress and spreading joy amidst the urban landscape.


MethodologyThe median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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