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Location of the state of New York in the United States
Location of the state of New York in the United States

New York, officially the State of New York, is a state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it from its largest city, New York City. With a total area of 54,556 square miles (141,300 km2), New York is the 27th-largest U.S. state by area. With 20.2 million people, it is the fourth-most-populous state in the United States , with approximately 44% living in New York City, including 25% of the state's population within Brooklyn and Queens, and another 15% on the remainder of Long Island, the most populous island in the United States. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont to the east; it has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest.

New York City (NYC) is the most populous city in the United States, and around two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, the world's most sprawling urban landmass. NYC is home to the headquarters of the United Nations, and has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city, and is sometimes described as the capital of the world. The next five most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Yonkers, Rochester, Syracuse, and the state capital of Albany. Throughout its history, New York has maintained an overall progressive social stance and has been a pioneer in immigration policy, women's suffrage, and the LGBTQ+ rights movement, although the New York metropolitan area has generally been more politically liberal than regions northward in the state.

New York has a varied geography. The southeastern part of the state, the area known as Downstate, includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley. The much larger Upstate New York area spreads from the Great Lakes to Lake Champlain, while its Southern Tier region extends to the border of Pennsylvania. Upstate includes a diverse topography and range of regions including the Adirondack Mountains in the northeastern lobe of the state and the Catskill Mountains in the southeastern part of the state. New York also includes several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains. The east–west Mohawk River Valley is the primary river valley bisecting more mountainous regions, and connects to the north–south Hudson River valley in the Capital Region of New York. Western New York is part of the Great Lakes region and borders the Great Lakes of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, as well as Niagara Falls. Between the central and western parts of the state, New York is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. (Full article...)

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The Free School is the oldest independent, inner-city alternative school in the United States. Founded by Mary Leue in 1969 based on the English Summerhill School philosophy, the free school lets students learn at their own pace. It has no grades, tests, or firm schedule: students design their own daily plans for learning. The school is self-governed through a weekly, democratic all-school meeting run by students in Robert's Rules. Students and staff alike receive one equal vote apiece. Unlike Summerhill-style schools, the Free School is a day school that serves predominantly working-class children. Nearly 80 percent of the school is eligible for reduced-price meals in the public schools. About 60 students between the ages of three and fourteen attend, and are staffed by six full-time teachers and a number of volunteers.

The school runs on a shoestring budget as a tradeoff for its financial independence and accessibility to low-income students. Tuition is billed on a sliding scale based on what parents can afford. Revenue from rental properties and fundraising supplements tuition income. The Free School started a high school program in 2006 that later spun off as the Harriet Tubman Democratic High School before closing in 2017. Journalists have likened the school's approach to unschooling and homeschooling, and its work to that of prefigurative politics. The Albany Free School is one of the few schools remaining from the 1960s and 1970s free school movement. It inspired the program of the Brooklyn Free School. (Full article...)

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James A. Farley Building (51878872365).jpg

The James A. Farley Building is a mixed-use structure in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, which formerly served as the city's main United States Postal Service (USPS) branch. Designed by McKim, Mead & White in the Beaux-Arts style, the structure was built between 1911 and 1914, with an annex constructed between 1932 and 1935. The Farley Building, at 421 Eighth Avenue between 31st Street and 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, faces Pennsylvania Station and Madison Square Garden to the east.

The main facade of the Farley Building (over 8th Avenue) features a Corinthian colonnade—the largest of its style in the world—finishing at a pavilion on each end. The imposing design was meant to match that of the original Pennsylvania Station across the street. An entablature above the colonnade bears the United States Postal Service creed: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." The colonnade’s inner ceiling is decorated with the crests or emblems of ten major nations that existed at the building's completion. The remaining three facades have a similar but simpler design. (Full article...)

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I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street - just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket. — Madonna

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Rail Road Suspension Bridge Near Niagara Falls v2.jpg
Hand-colored lithograph of the Suspension Bridge as seen from the American side; the bridge's architecture, the distant Niagara Falls, and the Maid of the Mist below the bridge are visible.

The Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge stood from 1855 to 1897 across the Niagara River and was the world's first working railway suspension bridge. It spanned 825 feet (251 m) and stood 2.5 miles (4.0 km) downstream of Niagara Falls, where it connected Niagara Falls, Ontario to Niagara Falls, New York. Trains used the upper of its two decks, while pedestrians and carriages used the lower. The bridge was the idea of Canadian politicians, and it was built by an American company and a Canadian company. It was most commonly called the Suspension Bridge, although other names included Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, Niagara Suspension Bridge, and its official American name of the International Suspension Bridge.

The bridge was part of Canadian politician William Hamilton Merritt's vision to promote trade within his country and with its neighbor the United States. Many argued that a suspension bridge could not support the safe passage of trains, including bridge builders. Nonetheless, the bridge companies hired Charles Ellet, Jr., who laid a line by a kite across the 800-foot (240 m) chasm and built a temporary suspension bridge in 1848. Ellet left the project after a financial dispute with the bridge companies, who hired John Augustus Roebling to complete the project. By 1854, his bridge was nearly complete, and the lower deck was opened for pedestrian and carriage travel. On March 18, 1855, a fully laden passenger train officially opened the completed bridge. (Full article...)

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Dairy farm in Brunswick
Credit: UpstateNYer

Agriculture is a driving force in the economy of upstate New York and New York in general. 35,600 farms occupy 7.55 million acres (31,000 km²), which makes up about 25 percent of the land in the state. Farms in New York produced $3.4 billion in agricultural products in 2001 and New York is the largest producer of cabbage in the United States. New York is an agricultural leader and is one of the top five states in the production of such agricultural products as dairy, apples, cherries, cabbages, potatoes, onions, and maple syrup. This example is a dairy farm in Brunswick, Rensselaer County.

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Coney Island, as seen in the middle left of the image

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John T. Wilder between 1861 and 1865

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An inside view of Ellis Island, next to New York City
Credit: Nico.bzh

Ellis Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor, is the location of what was at one time the main entry facility for immigrants entering the United States; the facility operated from January 1, 1892 until November 12, 1954. It is owned by the Federal government and is now part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, under the jurisdiction of the US National Park Service. It is situated in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey.

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State facts

  • Total area: 54,555 mi2
    • Land: 47,190 mi2
    • Water: 7,365 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 5,344 ft (Mount Marcy)
  • Population 19,745,289 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: July 26, 1788 (11th)

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