How Much do you Know about NYC? Fun Trivia on New York

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  • March 16, 2021
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By Jon Davis

Did you know that Manhattan was purchased for only $24 or that roughly 25,000 bodies are buried beneath Washington Square Park? Here is a little New York trivia for the New Yorker who seems to know everything.

This article might help your next dinner conversation.

Dutch explorer Peter Minuit of the Dutch West Indies Company purchased the island of Manhattan from the Algonquin tribe for merchandise for roughly $24.

The first known name for Manhattan was New Amsterdam. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in Manhattan and named it New Amsterdam after the Dutch city. The name was later changed in 1664 when the British took over control. New Amsterdam was renamed New York after the Duke of York who received the land as a gift from the King of England.

New York City was the first US Capital

In 1789 George Washington took his oath as president on the balcony at Federal Hall on Wall Street and he went to St. Paul’s Chapel and prayed after his inauguration.New York City remained the capital of the United States until 1790.

The first public brewery in America was established by Peter Minuit at the Market Field in Lower Manhattan.The Dutch colonial governor Peter Minuit established America’s first public brewery on the southern tip of Manhattan just seven years after purchasing the island.

For the island’s early colonists, beer was a dietary staple and was often brewed in private homes and taverns”.

In 1633, Minuit and other members of the Dutch West India Company wanted to produce the beverage on a larger scale. They converted a log cabin in Market Field located in the Financial District into a public brewery.

McSorley’s in the East Village was the first licensed bar in the City.

New York Stock Exchange first served as a Coffee House

In the 1790s merchants and brokers held public auctions and negotiated deals in and around the landmark Tontine Coffee House at the corner of Wall and Water Street.

“In 1817, they had formed the New York Stock & Exchange Board with its own constitution and bylaws, and changed their name to the New York Stock Exchange in 1863”.

New Years Eve used to be celebrated at Trinity Church. Long before people filled the streets of Time Square to watch the ball drop, the bells of Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church rang in the New Year. When the New York Times moved from Lower Manhattan to Times Square in 1904, the New Year’s Eve celebration moved with it and has remained there ever since.

Central Park is Man-Made. Central Park is entirely man-made and was constructed from 1857 to 1873.

“The only natural feature on the Park site is the metamorphic rock called Manhattan schist, which is approximately 450 million years old”.

Chinatown has largest Chinese community in the US

Chinatown was first settled in the late 1880’s.At the time, Chinese immigrants were ineligible for citizenship, forbidden to marry Americans, forbidden to defend themselves in court and often denied bail. The only business they could own legally were dry cleaners and restaurants.

Washington Square: Washington Square  was originally used as a graveyard. Before Washington Square was built in 1826 the area was used as a burial ground where roughly 25,000 bodies are buried under Washington Square. The north side is where the Germans were buried, while the south side was a potter’s field. The area was later used as a site for public executions.