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.
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.
At least 43 buildings in NYC actually have their own zip code. Due to size, or amount of people who work there, or money they generate.
Back when the NY subways used tokens, criminals would jam the slot and then suck out the token with their mouths. To discourage this, subway workers would put hot chili powder in the slots.
In August 1962, New York City cops began patrolling the streets at night while dressed as women. The idea was to trap would-be muggers.
The New York City owns an abandoned 22-acre island less than one mile from Manhattan. It has been abandoned since 1963 with no current plans of development.
Drivers in NYC spend an average of 107 hours per year searching for parking at a cost of $2,243/driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions.
There are an estimated 550 wild parrots living in NYC that were accidentally released from a shipment at JFK airport in the late 60s.