New York City (officially the City of New York) is a city in the state of New York and is the most populous city in the United States of America. Its business, finance, trading, law, and media organizations are influential around the globe. The city is one of the world's most important cultural centers, with hundreds of world-class museums, galleries, and performance venues. Home of the United Nations, the city is also one of the world's major venues for international diplomacy.
The city is comprised of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. With 8 million residents and a land area of 322 square miles (830 km²), New York City has the highest population density of any major city in North America. The city's metropolitan area, with a population of 18.8 million, ranks among the largest urban areas in the world.
Much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. New York City has the most post-graduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, 40,000 licensed physicians, and 127 Nobel laureates with roots in local institutions. The city receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities. Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Though it is not often thought of as a "College Town", there are about 594,000 university students in New York City, the highest number of any city in the United States. In 2005, three out of five Manhattan residents were college graduates and one out of four had advanced degrees, forming one of the highest concentrations of highly educated people in any American city. Public postsecondary education is provided by the City University of New York, the nation's third-largest public university system. New York City is also home to such notable private universities as Columbia University, New York University, Polytechnic University, St. John's University and Fordham University. The city has dozens of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.
About 40 million foreign and American tourists visit New York City each year. Major destinations include the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Broadway theatre productions, scores of museums such as the El Museo del Barrio, Washington Square Park, the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden, luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues, and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, the Tribeca Film Festival, and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage. Many of the city's ethnic enclaves, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, and Brighton Beach are major shopping destinations for first and second generation Americans up and down the East Coast.
New York City has 28,000 acres (113 km²) of parkland and 14 miles (22 km) of public beaches. Manhattan's Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, is the most visited city park in the United States. Prospect Park in Brooklyn, also designed by Olmsted and Vaux, has a 90 acre (36 Hectare) meadow. Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, the city's third largest, was the setting for the 1939 World's Fair and 1964 World's Fair.
New York's food culture, influenced by the city's immigrants and large number of dining patrons, is diverse. Jewish and Italian immigrants made the city famous for bagels and New York style pizza. Some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city, many immigrant-owned, have made Middle Eastern foods such as falafels and kebabs standbys of contemporary New York street food. The city is also home to many of the finest haute cuisine restaurants in the United States.
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