6. New York City ranks as the nation’s safest big city. Violent crime has come down by 40% in the previous decade.
The 1980s and 1990s saw the crime rate spiking in New York due to the crack epidemic. New York city accounted for 63% the crime reported in New York State. The crime wave began to ebb after 2000. 2009 saw the percentage dropping to 43%. Violent crimes have seen a sharp fall of 40% in the previous decade. The city now boasts 1/10th the murder rate of New Orleans and 1/6th the murder rate of Detroit and Baltimore.
New York ranks as the county’s safest city but New York is not entirely crime free. There are boroughs that keep the police on their toes and there are some neighborhoods considered to be the most dangerous neighborhood in the country.(source)
7. New York City helps the homeless by giving them a one-way ticket to anywhere, provided they have a guaranteed place to stay.
The Bloomberg administration long struggling with the issue of homeless people has hit upon a novel solution. The administration willingly pays for a one-way ticket to the family to send them on their way out of New York thus reducing the financial burden on the city. The city administration has paid for more than 500 families as a last resort of keeping them out of the expensive shelter system. The maintenance of a homeless family drains the exchequer of 36,000 USD per year.
A one-way ticket is given to those homeless family that has a willing relative living elsewhere and one who is willing to take them in. People who have fallen upon hard times, immigrants disenchanted by the city life, people who are finding it harder to find a job are availing of this facility. The city employs a local travel agency for domestic travel and the Department of Homeless Services employees take care of the international travel. New York spends $500,000 a year on this program.(source)
8. New York uses 1.3 billion gallons of fresh water a day. The water comes from 125 miles away in Upstate New York through underground tunnels and aqueducts.
New York delivers more than 1.3 billion gallons of water every day through its system of pipes, tunnels, aqueducts, and streams. Widely regarded as an engineering marvel, the New York Water System collects water from streams like Birch Creek, Esopus creek for its daily consumption. The water from the Catskills flows into Birch Creek, Esopus Creek, and Ashokan reservoir. The Ashokan reservoir collect melted snow and rain water as well. The reservoir is one of the 19 reservoirs that supplies water to New York city.
The water from the reservoir flows through the sluices and valves into the aqueduct. The water is treated with fluoride and disinfected with ultraviolet rays that remove harmful microbes. The treated water flows to Hillview reservoirs in Yonker. The water undergoes further treatment here. The Hillview serves two other critical functions, first, the reservoir balances the daily requirements and second, the reservoir elevates the water so that the force of gravity propels it into people’s home. If your building is less than six stories, gravity does the work of pushing the water up otherwise a pump is installed to push the water to the topmost floor.(source 1, 2)
9. Central park was never a natural place. It’s totally engineered. It was once filled with buildings, farms, and houses. It was all plowed under to become the park.
The Central park is the first landscaped urban park for the public in the United States. The idea for the park germinated in the salons of rich and wealthy who admired the public grounds of London and Paris and wished to have the same facility in New York City. The Project spanned a decade. The park was constructed at the cost of 10 million USD. In 1853, the state legislature authorized the City of New York to use the eminent power of domain to acquire more than 700 acres of land.
The construction began in 1857 based on the winner of the park design contest. The “Greensward plan” of Frederick Law Olmstead was the winning design. An unfriendly terrain full of swamps, bluffs and punctuated by rocky outcroppings between Fifth and Eighth avenues and 59th and 106th streets were chosen. About 1,600 people who had made the swamp their home were evicted. Some of them were Irish pig farmers, some were squatters. Included in the group was a convent and a school, bone boiling plant and a Seneca village comprising of 270 individuals and boasting of a school and a church. The community of Seneca was destroyed irrevocably. The city paid inadequate compensation to the people whose land fell within the boundaries of the upcoming park area.(source 1, 2)
10. The Federal Reserve Bank holds largest deposits of Gold. The vault contains about 25% of the world’s gold and about 5% of the American gold.
The Federal Reserve Bank opened for business on 16th November 1914. The Federal Reserve Bank has a gold vault containing world’s largest depository of gold. The stockpile of gold weighs around 6,700 tons. The vault is buried 80 feet under the ground. The weight of the gold is so heavy that the bank had to build the vault on top of a bedrock otherwise the floor would break.
Gold custody is one of the services offered by the bank to governments, international organizations and central banks. Several countries and organizations have availed of these services, the bank guards the gold on behalf of various governments and banks. The vault contains about 25 percent of the world’s gold reserves and 5 percent of America’s gold. Fed stores the gold for free but depositors have to pay $1.75 for each bar that’s moved.(source 1, 2)