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Post-9/11 New York
The Statue of Liberty
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Statue of Liberty - Credit: Ian Colstom

Few cities have inspired such an outpouring of art, writing, music and documentation as New York. Also known as 'The Big Apple', a term coined by musicians meaning 'to play the big time', it is at once a city of high finance, cut-throat lawyers, ad-men, artists and poets.

 

       

 

The island now known as Manhattan was inhabitated by Lenape Native Americans when Dutch colonialists arrived in the 1600s and founded 'New Amsterdam'. From its inception, the city was a political and economic hub. Its name was changed after it was captured by the English in honour of the Duke of York and Albany (later King James II). 

 

                   

 

Map of the five boroughs of New York City
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMap of the five boroughs of New York City - Credit: Julius Schorzman

The origins of modern New York City lie in the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898, after which the city rapidly industrialised.  The five boroughs are Manhattan (1), Brooklyn (2), Queens (3), the Bronx (4) and Staten Island (5). 

New York Street
Creative Commons AttributionNew York Street - Credit: Mo Riza

A big and gritty melting pot of all the immigrant cultures of the world, the city underwent a transformative collective shock on September 11, 2001 with the Al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center. The event that changed history has also changed the city. A softer side to New York has emerged: it is a city united by an outrage, and softened and humbled by tragedy. Following in Jonathan Safran Foer's footsteps, writers will be striving to understand and express the complex transformation wrought by 9/11 for decades to come.

 

 

I heart New York
Creative Commons AttributionI heart New York - Credit: klaireebearr