The Brooklyn Dodgers name stems from a nickname given in the 1890s to people who, in a matter of life and death, had to evade railcars speeding down the streets. They were known as trolley dodgers. Trolleys were new inventions, which led to two issues. First, cities lacked the safety infrastructure which protects pedestrians today (e.g. well-delineated pedestrian paths which minimize intersection with traffic to deliberately designed, high-visibility crossings). Second, trolleys were much faster than the alternatives with which people were accustomed (horse carriages), and so folks were much less prepared to deal with them safely.
Most of the native speakers of the critically endangered Germanic language, Gottscheerish, now live in Queens, New York City.
There is a neighborhood called “The Hole” in NYC. It has no streetlights, sidewalks, or sewers, and it sits 12 feet below the surrounding area (hence the name). It was once home to a farming town, black cowboys, the mob, until finally earning the reputation of the worst neighborhood in NYC.
The famous “I ❤ NY” logo was drawn in the back of a taxi cab, given to New York for free, and makes New York State close to $30 million per year.
Despite how TV shows and movies depict it, New York only has a few alleys. Almost every alley scene is shot at the same location: Cortlandt Alley.
In 1896, New York passed a law that alcohol could only be served on Sunday if it was with a meal. New York taverns then started “selling” inedible sandwiches (served with a drink). The waiter would collect the sandwich at the end of the meal, and serve it the next customer.
The steam iconically shooting out of the streets of New York City comes from the underground new york steam system. The 105 mile system of pipes began providing services in 1882, it uses clean water and still delivers steam to over 2,000 city buildings today.
Thanks to skyrocketing real estate prices, Manhattan gas stations are worth much more than the money the owner can make selling gas.
A dark patch was left intentionally on the ceiling of Grand Central Station’s main concourse to show how dirty it was before and after it’s first cleaning. The patch was swabbed and tested revealing the dirty ceiling was about 100 years of built up nicotine from cigarette smoke.
Nearly half the states in the US allow village and town judges to hold office without a law degree. In NY, these judges aren’t even required to have a degree of any kind and can preside over criminal cases.