Simone de Beauvoir, the famous French intellectual, once said, “there is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” No city in the world has the same wealth and breadth of life like New York City. It is undoubtedly one of those iconic places that every Middle Eastern man should visit, at least once in his lifetime, thanks to its world-class museums, must-see attractions, and amazing events all year round.
Whether you are a tourist looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience or a family seeking a city adventure, New York City will never disappoint you! Here are some key facts about “The Big Apple” or “the city that never sleeps,” and ideas for some places to visit in New York.
New York City is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island
Things to know
New York City is the largest city in the United States of America. It received its most common nickname “The Big Apple,” due to a number of horse-racing articles written by John J. Fitz Gerald for the New York Morning Telegraph in the 1920s. Fitz Gerald mentioned the “big apple” in his newspaper columns, referring to the prizes to be won, and symbolizing the biggest and best one can achieve. In the 1930s, jazz musicians used the term; referring to New York City as the big apple in their songs and the home to big-league music clubs.
Located on the northeastern coast of the United States, New York City is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. You will find the most tourist attractions in Manhattan—an island that is around 22 km long and just over 3 km wide at its broadest point. NYC has a population of 8.3 million, with an area of 831 sq. km, making it the most densely populated city in the country.
There are an estimated 600,000 Muslims in NYC, around 200,000 of whom are of Arab ancestry
New York City has more than 12,800 iconic yellow taxis, 6,000 buses, 10,300 km of streets, and 930 km of waterfront, along with more than 18,000 restaurants, and 76,000 hotel rooms. As for the NYC subway, it is the largest in the world.
Arabs in NYC are part of a large Muslim community from every part of the world—there are an estimated 600,000 Muslims in the city, around 200,000 of whom are of Arab ancestry.
Nestled between Seventh Avenue and Broadway Junction, Times Square is the pulsing heart of The Big Apple
6 places to visit in NYC
1- Times Square
Nestled between Seventh Avenue and Broadway Junction, Times Square is the pulsing heart of The Big Apple. Its festive-like atmosphere and amazing neon advertisements make it one of the most visited tourist attractions in NYC, and a place where the city's world-famous New Year's Eve celebration is held every year.
2- Empire State Building
Completed in 1931, the steel-framed Empire State Building is the seventh-tallest building in New York City and the 49th tallest building in the world. The 102-story Art Deco skyscraper offers some of the best open-air views in Manhattan.
3- Central Park
Located between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan, the 840-acre (340 hectare) Central Park is one of the largest parks in New York City and draws more than 40 million visitors annually. Not only is it the most visited urban park in the United States, but Central Park is also one of the most filmed locations in the world.
4- Theatre District
Another great place to visit in New York City. The Theatre District is where most of
New York’s Broadway theaters are located. Here you will enjoy the world’s top live performances and awesome productions. If you are lucky enough, your favorite performer will sign an autograph or snap a photo with you.
5- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States and ranked ninth on the list of most-visited art museums in the world. Its collection includes more than two million works of art, including the ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters.
6- Statue of Liberty
This colossal statue is one of the largest and most visited statues in the world. Being a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States, the Statue of Liberty is a must-visit destination for visitors to NYC.
This food destination—Tanooren—proves that Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines can mix
5 best halal restaurants in The Big Apple
1) Tanooren—Mediterranean (Bay Ridge)
Tanooren is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Bay Ridge owned by the Palestinian-born Rawia Bishara and her daughter. This food destination proves that Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines can mix.
2) Yemen Cafe—Middle Eastern (Downtown Brooklyn & Bay Ridge)
Since 1986, the Yemen Café has provided hearty, homemade-style food for Brooklynites. This classic Yemeni restaurant offers complimentary homemade bread, salad, and marag (soup/broth) with each meal.
3) Miraj Healthy Grill—Persian (Manhattan)
Located on the East side of 34th Street and 171 Hillside Avenue, the Miraj Healthy Grill serves up an exceptional Persian menu, with the delicious flavors of basmati rice, tomatoes, and grilled kebabs.
4) Farida Restaurant—Uzbek (Manhattan)
You won’t regret spending an evening in this lovely Uzbek restaurant. Farida Restaurant serves Uzbek cuisine in a cozy, intimate setting. You can enjoy some tasty dishes, such as traditional noodles, “plov” (with a mix of lamb and beef meat, rice, carrots, and chickpeas), and “samsa” (steamed meat dumplings).
5) Farine Baking Company—American (Queens)
Farine Baking Company is a halal spot that serves great burgers, sandwiches, and wings. Aside from their delicious spicy chicken burger, there is a bunch of yummy desserts, including Oreo cake, lovely croissants, and passionfruit mousse.