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15 Little Known Facts About The City That Never Sleeps: New York City

The fall of New Amsterdam
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Railway Track
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The freezing winters can bring all modes of transport to a grinding halt except for the train which keeps chugging through the stations. But some winters can bring the trains to a halt. When Polar vortex blows, the switch that directs the cars between tracks freezes. A frozen switch can cause accidents. To keep the switches working without a hitch, the railway companies use the ancient method of burning kerosene or natural gas to keep the train up and running. Though there are switch heaters, most use an electric heating element. The older ones, however, require kerosene or gas for it to function.(source)

13. New York is home to 800 Languages making it a linguist’s paradise. 

800 language
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New York is home to 800 languages, providing linguists an avenue to document languages threatened with extinction. Each stop of the train journey will introduce you to a new language. One can hear Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Gujarati, Vlashki or Garifuna, an Arawakan language that originated from the descendants of shipwrecked African slaves.

Experts estimate that many of these languages may turn extinct in another decade or two. New York is considered to be a linguistically rich location in the world. The Boroughs of the Big Apple is home to every major language and also to minority voices. A project ” Endangered Language Alliance” has been set up to preserve the dying languages.(source)


14. There is a skyscraper with no windows in New York. The tower formerly known as AT&T Long Lines building can withstand the effects of nuclear blasts for up to 2 weeks.

thomas street
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Long Lines Building at 33 Thomas Street, an impregnable fortress was constructed in 1974. The 55 feet building was designed by architect John Carl Warnecke. long lines building  has no windows and is built to withstand the effects of the nuclear blast for up to two weeks. Each story in the building is 18 feet high and can withstand 200 to 300 pounds of weight. The building served as an AT&T switchboard and was known as AT&T long lines building until 1999.(source)

15. A luxurious nuclear bunk was built in New York during the cold war. The bomb shelter is buried three feet under the Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NYC.

bomb shelter
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Jay Swayze, the resident of Plainview, Texas won a contract from Plainview to build small nuclear shelters for its citizens in case of nuclear war between USA and Russia. Swayze moved his family into the 2,800 square foot, 10-room underground lair to show buyers how attractive living underground would be but there were no takers. But Avon Founder, Jerry Henderson was quite impressed with the shelter and purchased two bunkers.

With Jerry Henderson’s backing, Swayze secured a prime spot at the 1964 world’s fair. He built underground homes, complete with fake trees and grass. The Underground bunker modeled on Swayze’s Plainview home had a concrete-steel shell 20 inches thick on the floor and between 10 and 13 inches thick at the walls and ceiling. Once the fair ended, Exhibits were either removed to another location or destroyed. The whereabouts of the bomb shelter is not known.(source)


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