1. Getting around the city 5. The city of skyscrapers
2. Always in a hurry 6. For the holiday and more
3. Unknown side of the city 7. Saving the variety
4. Winning and losing 8. Nickname for a building
A. New York is really the melting pot of the world. Over 30 percent of its
residents have come from abroad. It is believed that the city has the greatest
linguistic diversity on the planet. There are over 800 different languages
spoken by its people. As some of these languages are nearly extinct, the City
University of New York has begun a project called the Endangered Language
Alliance. Its aim is to preserve rare languages like Bukhari, Vhlaski, and Ormuri.
B. New Yorkers love to think they know everything about their city: where to find
the best fruit, how to avoid paying full price at museums, what route to take to
avoid traffic. But New York City can reveal new treasures even to its veterans.
Beyond the city where New-Yorkers work, eat, play and commute every day
lies a hidden New York: mysterious, forgotten, abandoned or just overlooked.
There are places about which you’re not likely to read in any guidebook.
C. The Chrysler Building was in a race with the Bank of Manhattan for getting the
title of the tallest skyscraper in the world. The Bank was likely to triumph, with
its height of 282 meters. But the spire of the Chrysler Building was constructed
in secret inside the tower. Just one week after the Bank of Manhattan was
finished, it was put in place, making it 318 meters tall and beating the Bank. It
wouldn’t keep this title for long: one year later the Empire State Building was erected.
D. The Flatiron Building was constructed between 1901 and 1903 at the
intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. It was designed by Chicago’s
Daniel Burnham as a steel-frame skyscraper covered with white terra-cotta.
Built as the headquarters of the Fuller Construction company, the skyscraper
was meant to be named Fuller Building. But locals soon started calling it
“Flatiron” because of its unusual shape. The name stuck and soon became official.
E. How does Rockefeller Center manage to find the perfect fur-tree each
Christmas season? They do aerial searches by helicopter, of course, and bring it
to the city during the night when there isn’t much traffic on the streets. After
the tree is taken down for the year, it continues to be useful. For example, in
2005 Habitat for Humanity used the wood to make doorframes for houses for
the poor and in 2012 the paper was used to publish a book.
F. In New York life never stands still. People have to call cabs, ride subway cars,
do business of all kinds, eat pizzas and sandwiches for lunch. When you
multiply that by more than eight million people in less than 500 square miles,
you get the idea: everyone goes everywhere as fast as it is humanly possible.
Whatever you do, don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk or you’ll make
everyone around you incredibly angry.
G. New York is extremely easy to navigate. Manhattan is divided into numbered
streets from north to south and avenues from east to west. It’s almost
impossible to get lost there. Buses are useful to travel around Manhattan, and
the subway is the best means of transport to the other parts of the city. At some
stage you’ll definitely use a yellow taxi. Try to get one on an avenue that’s
going in the same direction you are – you’ll save time and money. And don’t
forget to leave a tip for the driver.