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460 New York City Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about New York City? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to New York City (Geography). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
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1 Many New York City street names are derived from Dutch words or phrases. Which street, described a path along the stream where young ladies strolled, was originally called "Maadgde Paatje"?
Answer: Maiden Lane

Maiden Lane is two blocks north of Wall Street in New York's Financial District. The name comes from Dutch for "Maiden Path" because of the popularity of the nearby brook among mothers and daughters as a place to do the family laundry on sunny days.

Maiden Lane is the location of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Continental Center, the Cushman Building, and the Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Building, as well as other office buildings.
    Your options: [ Elizabeth Street ] [ Marriage Lane ] [ Maiden Lane ] [ Catherine Street ]
  From Quiz: The Streets of New York City
2 Most people know that New York was originally called New Amsterdam, but what was the official transitional name in between the two?
Answer: New Orange

In 1624, the Dutch occupied what they then called "Nieuw Amsterdam", after Holland's biggest city. In 1664, the city fell into the hands of the British when Peter Stuyvesant signed it over and it was renamed New York, after the Duke of York. But in 1673 the Dutch, with their fleet of ships, regained control of New York harbor and their leader renamed the colony New Orange. This was officially its name for a year until it was "permanently ceded" to the British under the Treaty of Westminster.
  From Quiz: NYC Renamed
3 In which Upper West Side landmark theater do the Tony Awards take place?
Answer: Beacon Theater

The Tony awards moved to the Beacon Theater from Radio City Music Hall in 2011. While the Beacon Theater is located on Broadway and W. 74th Street, it is far removed from the theater district in and around W. 42nd Street.
    Your options: [ Theater at Lincoln Center ] [ Radio City Music Hall ] [ Carnegie Hall ] [ Beacon Theater ]
  From Quiz: New York City's Upper West Side
4 In New York City, 1940 to 1959, I grew up in an apartment at the corner of 110th St. and Riverside Drive, generally called the Upper West Side or UWS. I thought of this park as my backyard - although it was in front. What was it called?
Answer: Riverside Park

Riverside Park lies along the Hudson River and has several levels that have squash courts, skating ovals, hills, trees, bike paths--anything a city kid could need. There were great hills for sledding and many statues around the park, such as the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (dedicated to the 'Defenders of The Union 1861 to 1865'), and the Louis Kossuth (19th century Hungarian freedom fighter) statue, on whose lap we used to sit. Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church were not far.

Morningside Park was east of Broadway and built on the site of the Battle of Harlem that occurred during the Revolutionary War. This lovely park is almost thirty acres of gardens, grass, walking trails, playing fields, family oriented activities and a waterfall. It runs from 110th to 123rd St, through Morningside Heights and Harlem.

Central Park is in the center of Manhattan, running from 59th St. north to 110th St., and west from 5th Avenue to Central Park West. It defines north, south, east and west for New Yorkers. The park features a zoo, lakes, footpaths, statues, bike riding, concerts and plays amidst the greenest spot in Manhattan.
  From Quiz: Places I Remember - NYC
5 In which New York City borough would someone be able to visit Flushing Meadows-Corona Park?
Answer: Queens

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a 1,225 acre park that expands across the Flushing and Corona sections of the borough of Queens. Flushing Meadows is the home to Citi Field, the New York Hall of Science, and the Queens Museum of Art.
    Your options: [ Queens ] [ Brooklyn ] [ Manhattan ] [ Staten Island ]
  From Quiz: Which New York City Borough?
6 On her first visit to New York, bubbatom1 decides to go and watch the US Open tennis tournament. Which park does she need to go to watch this great event?
Answer: Flushing Meadows

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in Queens, is one of the largest public parks in New York City. It has been the home of the US Open since 1978. The tournament is played at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center. It is the fourth and final tennis major that comprises the Grand Slam.

Question submitted by bubbatom1.
    Your options: [ Flushing Paddocks ] [ Flushing Meadows ] [ Flushing Forests ] [ Flushing Woods ]
  From Quiz: A Devious Demon NYC Tourist Itinerary
7 The bridge that connects Upper Manhattan to New Jersey is named for which American President?
Answer: George Washington

The G.W. Bridge which connects Washington Heights in Manhattan to Fort Lee in New Jesey was opened in 1931. On holidays in 2009, it sported the largest free-flying American flag in the world weighing in at 450 lbs. In the late 1980s two trucks had an accident and their contents spilled out. One carried frozen chicken and the other b-b-q sauce. There were innumerable jokes about this great mix.
    Your options: [ John Kennedy ] [ Abraham Lincoln ] [ George Washington ] [ Thomas Jefferson ]
  From Quiz: Manhattan Crossings
8 In which part of Manhattan is Chinatown located?
Answer: Lower East Side

Chinatown is situated on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Chinatown covers approximately two square miles of territory and is quite densely populated. The northern edge of Chinatown is Delancey Street, and the southern border is Worth Street, more or less. The western border is Broadway, and the eastern edge is considered to be East Broadway. These "borders" are sometimes open to debate, even among native New Yorkers. Some New Yorkers claim, for example, that Chinatown stretches as far north as the eastern part of Houston Street.
    Your options: [ Upper East Side ] [ Midtown ] [ Upper West Side ] [ Lower East Side ]
  From Quiz: Chinatown, Manhattan
9 Which New York City island in the East River is home to approximately 13,000 inmates in the NYC penal system?
Answer: Riker's Island

Riker's Island is a 413 acre island in the East River, between Queens and the Bronx. It normally has a staff of over 10,000 correction officers and 1,500 civilians, and houses up to 14,000 prison inmates in ten jails. Most offenders are either awaiting trial, serving terms of one year or less, or are placed there temporarily pending transfer to another facility. Riker's Island is one of the largest penal facilities in the United States.
    Your options: [ Governor's Island ] [ Liberty Island ] [ Riker's Island ] [ Bedloe's Island ]
  From Quiz: The Lesser Known Islands of New York City
10 Fictional character Hannibal Lecter cynically referred to this actual place as Anthrax Island in "Silence of the Lambs" (1991). To what real island off the tip of Long Island's north fork was he referring?
Answer: Plum Island

Plum Island is home to a secretive US government animal disease laboratory. Dr. Lecter was offered a prison cell there as part of a bargain for his help with a case. The New London - Orient Point Ferry passes by Plum Island while on its journey.
  From Quiz: New York City Area Islands
11 When traveling south on Broadway, which famous New York City landmark would you encounter at the crossroads of Central Park West and Central Park South?
Answer: Columbus Circle

The monument at the center of Columbus Circle was erected in 1892 for the 400th Anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World. The seventy foot high column has a statue of Columbus at the very top. The monument serves as the official starting point for measuring distances of how far places are from New York City.
    Your options: [ The United Nations ] [ Columbus Circle ] [ The Museum of Modern Art ] [ The Chrysler Building ]
  From Quiz: New York City Landmarks
12 What bay do you pass on your right just before you cross the Marine Parkway Bridge heading to the Rockaways?
Answer: Dead Horse Bay

Dead Horse Bay connects into the larger Raritan Bay, which turns into the Atlantic Ocean. Floyd Bennett Field is parallel to it on the opposite side of Flatbush Avenue.
  From Quiz: You Think You Know Brooklyn?
13 What nickname is often used to describe Staten Island?
Answer: The Forgotten Borough

Because it is the smallest borough, residents sometimes feel it's the last to receive city services. After being snowed in for days without seeing a snowplow, I often feel forgotten myself.
  From Quiz: The Isle of Staten
14 Tom's Restaurant (of television's 'Seinfeld' fame), Columbia University, and many of the exterior shots seen in television's 'Law and Order' can all be found in what Manhattan neighborhood?
Answer: Morningside Heights

Morningside Heights is located in the extreme Upper West Side of Manhattan, bordering Harlem to the east.
  From Quiz: New York City Geography
15 Given the exorbitant price of Manhattan real estate, it's amazing that The City would continue to devote so much land to park space. How big is Central Park?
Answer: Over 800 acres

Central Park is exactly 843 acres. But when you think of it in relation to the total square acreage of the island of Manhattan, Central Park takes up 6% of it.
  From Quiz: New York's Central Park
16 When was the first steam system with a central steam boiler plant built in Manhattan?
Answer: 1881

The first plant was built in 1881 and had 48 boilers and a huge chimney. It was between Cortlandt, Dey, Greenwich, and Washington Streets.
  From Quiz: Steamy Manhattan
17 Located on a bluff overlooking Lower Manhattan, this is the original Brooklyn neighborhood and is known for its quiet tree-lined streets and beautiful 19th Century architecture.
Answer: Brooklyn Heights

Check out the Promenade, a bench-lined walk situated over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for amazing views of Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the East River Bridges.
    Your options: [ Brooklyn Heights ] [ Dyker Heights ] [ Prospect Heights ] [ Crown Heights ]
  From Quiz: Brooklyn Neighborhoods
18 The most common nickname for New York City is:
Answer: the Big Apple

    Your options: [ the Busy Beehive ] [ the Big Apple ] [ the City of Crazy Crowds ] [ the City of Angry Cabs ]
  From Quiz: Walking Tour of NYC
19 What powered the original Central Park Carousel when it opened in 1871?
Answer: Horses

Today the Carousel is powered by electricity. Central Park begins (ends) on 110th street and ends (begins) on 59th street. Many cultural events take place in Central Park including free concerts and opera all summer long.
  From Quiz: So Much Fun in Manhattan!
20 Relationship with this European sister city was formalized after it publicly elected a Mayor for the first time in 1999:
Answer: London, England

With over seven million inhabitants on over 600 square miles, London is the largest city in Europe. Established as a Roman colony in 50 A.D., it has the largest Protestant cathedral in the world (St. Paul's) and is a city comprised of many immigrants, much like NYC.

Sister city ties were started in 1999, when London first elected a Mayor, and were finalized in January 2001, following London Mayor Livingstone's visit to the 'Big Apple'. As a part of the sister city program, NY Mayor Giuliani was made a Knight following the 9/11 incident.
    Your options: [ Marseille, France ] [ Zurich, Switzerland ] [ Oporto, Portugal ] [ London, England ]
  From Quiz: Sister Cities of New York City
21 What year was Brooklyn incorporated into NYC?
Answer: 1898

Brooklyn was the only borough that had doubts about joining NYC, and had several conditions that had to be met, if Brooklyn was to become a willing part of NYC.
  From Quiz: Brooklyn
22 In 1890, "How The Other Half Lives", a book written by a former police reporter, opened the eyes of many who had no idea how horrific slum conditions were. Its author's name?
Answer: Jacob Riis

Riis also took some of the first flash photographs ever used. He crept up on his subjects, took the photos, and ran away, just as suddenly. His book resulted in new laws governing the construction of tenements.
  From Quiz: Nearly Ultimate New York 3
23 This world-famous hotel occupied the site of the Empire State Building until 1931.
Answer: Waldorf-Astoria

The Waldorf-Astoria site was chosen because the entire block could be purchased more easily and at a lower expense than acquiring individual lots within a Midtown block.
    Your options: [ Waldorf-Astoria ] [ Hotel Pierre ] [ Hotel Astor ] [ The Plaza ]
  From Quiz: Lost in New York
24 When did the New York Subway system begin operation?
Answer: 1904

On October 27, 1904, to be exact. The first train ran from City Hall to 145th St.
  From Quiz: Nearly Ultimate New York 2
25 How many commuter bridges cross the East River?
Answer: Seven

And here they are: the Triborough, the Queensborough (also known as the 59th St.), the Manhattan, the Williamsburgh, the Throg's Neck, the Whitestone, and the most beautiful engineering feat ever, the Brooklyn.
  From Quiz: Nearly Ultimate New York 1
26 The Empire State Building is one of New York's best loved landmarks. Built in 1930, and completed in just over a year, it cost $24,000,000 to build. How many floors does it have?
Answer: 102

When the ESB was first opened, it was planned that airships would use it for docking. This turned out to be rather too difficult, however, and the idea was abandoned. There is a public observatory on the 86th floor. The building has 73 elevators, and the journey from street level to the 86th floor takes less than a minute. The Empire State Building is frequently lit up with appropriate coloured lights. For example, during the run up to 4th July, and following the September 11th tragedy, the top of the building was red, white and blue.
  From Quiz: The City That Never Sleeps
27 The city of New York is made up of ______ boroughs?
Answer: five

The boroughs are: Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  From Quiz: The Big Apple
28 Named for the founder of a piano manufacturing empire, what is the main boulevard in Astoria, Queens?
Answer: Steinway Street

Steinway Street is major north-south boulevard in Astoria, Queens. William Steinway's factory played a huge part in the development of the neighborhood starting in 1870 when he purchased 400 acres of rural land in northern Astoria.

He established factory operations and expanded to include a sawmill to prepare its own lumber, and a foundry to make the cast iron plates that sit inside the heart of the piano. Victorian row houses were built for Steinway employees so they could live near the new production headquarters. Steinway Village spanned from what is now Ditmars Boulevard up to the East River/Bowery Bay, and from 31st Street to Hazen Street.

The Steinway family owned a palatial home on 41st Street, north of 19th Avenue, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and referred to as the Steinway Mansion.

Steinway Street has become a major commercial district and is the primary section of a business improvement district called Steinway Astoria Partnership.
  From Quiz: The Streets of New York City
29 Which two New York City boroughs are part of Long Island?
Answer: Brooklyn and Queens

Geographically, Long Island is comprised of four counties. Two of these counties - Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County (Queens) - are counties of New York City. The remaining two counties - Nassau and Suffolk Counties - are suburban counties east of Queens and Brooklyn, and are not under New York City jurisdiction. Whenever New Yorkers refer to "Long Island", they are referring to Nassau and Suffolk, but never Queens and Brooklyn.
    Your options: [ Manhattan and Brooklyn ] [ Brooklyn and Queens ] [ Queens and the Bronx ] [ Brooklyn and Staten Island ]
  From Quiz: Which New York City Borough II?
30 What was the name of JFK International Airport just prior to 1963?
Answer: Idlewild Airport

After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Idlewild Airport was renamed JFK International Airport in memory of the slain President. To help relieve the overcrowding at LaGuardia Airport, the original construction began in 1943 on what was first called Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in Queens, NY (1943), and in 1948, the name was again changed to New York International Airport, Anderson Field. Since it was built on the site of the old Idlewild golf course, however, it became known as Idlewild. ("There's a scout troop short a child, Khrushchev's due at Idlewild" from "Car 54, Where Are You?")
  From Quiz: NYC Renamed
31 Over a quarter of New York City's total land area consists of urban open spaces, such as parks and play areas. What is the city's largest park?
Answer: Pelham Bay Park

Despite covering 51 blocks and 843 acres, Central Park is not the city's largest park. It is dwarfed by The Bronx's Pelham Bay Park at 2,765 acres.
  From Quiz: In a New York Minute
32 What famous Upper West Side building was home to Lauren Bacall, John Lennon, Gilda Radner, Judy Garland?
Answer: The Dakota

The Dakota has been the home to many celebrities, but is infamously remembered as the location of John Lennon's murder. Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at the entrance of the building.
  From Quiz: New York City's Upper West Side
33 About a block east of Broadway, on 110th St., was arguably the largest cathedral in the world, and the reason for 110th St. to change its name to Cathedral Parkway. Which Episcopal cathedral was this?
Answer: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

St. John the Divine is quite impressive with very large stained glass 'rose' windows and high Gothic style. There was also a 'Poet's Corner'. St. Patrick's is in downtown Manhattan. There are several cathedrals around the world named Notre Dame, the most famous probably the one on the Ile de la Cite, in the heart of Paris. New York abounds in all styles of architecture, from high Gothic to ultra modern, Buddhist temples and statues galore. St. Paul's Chapel is the oldest church building in the city.
    Your options: [ St. Paul's Chapel ] [ St. Patrick's Cathedral ] [ The Cathedral of St. John the Divine ] [ Notre Dame Cathedral ]
  From Quiz: Places I Remember - NYC
34 Which borough would one travel to in order to visit Yankee Stadium?
Answer: The Bronx

Just like its predecessor, the new Yankee Stadium, which was opened in 2009, is located on East 161st Street and River Avenue in the south Bronx. The stadium is easily accessible from three New York City train lines - the underground B and D from the west side of Manhattan, and the elevated 4 from the east side of Manhattan.
    Your options: [ The Bronx ] [ Queens ] [ Brooklyn ] [ Manhattan ]
  From Quiz: Which New York City Borough?
35 AdamM7 decides to visit the Empire State Building. He wonders where the name was derived from, so he asks the tour guide. She replies:
Answer: "It came from a nickname".

The nickname of New York is "the Empire State". The Empire State building was the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1973. It is 102 stories tall, and one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

Question created by AdamM7.
    Your options: [ "It came from the name of a street". ] [ "It came from a nickname". ] [ "It came from the link to the British Empire". ] [ "It came from the name of the company that built it". ]
  From Quiz: A Devious Demon NYC Tourist Itinerary
36 The Triborough Bridge connects Manhattan with which two boroughs?
Answer: Queens and The Bronx

This toll bridge was renamed for Robert Kennedy in 2008. Building started on Black Friday in 1929. Construction was slowed because of the Great Depression and was eventually finished in 1936.
    Your options: [ Staten Island and Queens ] [ The Bronx and Brooklyn ] [ Queens and The Bronx ] [ Queens and Brooklyn ]
  From Quiz: Manhattan Crossings
37 Which bridge is located on the eastern end of Canal Street in Manhattan's Chinatown?
Answer: Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge is located atop a hill in the eastern section of Canal Street. This bridge was opened to traffic in 1909 and connects Chinatown with Brooklyn. The Manhattan Bridge contains two levels and is an important structure for motor vehicles, subway trains, bicycles, and even pedestrians. Canal Street, which runs east-west, is the commercial center of Chinatown. This street is usually clogged with both motor vehicles and pedestrians throughout the day. The Williamsburg Bridge is located on Delancey Street, the Brooklyn Bridge is situated just south of Chinatown, and the George Washington Bridge is located in upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
    Your options: [ George Washington Bridge ] [ Brooklyn Bridge ] [ Wiiliamsburg Bridge ] [ Manhattan Bridge ]
  From Quiz: Chinatown, Manhattan
38 Fort Jay and Castle Williams are two fortifications on this island off the southern tip of Manhattan. Name it.
Answer: Governor's Island

Now part of the National Park Service, Governor's Island was the command headquarters for the US Army from 1794 until 1966. After that it became the Coast Guard's largest base. Accessible only by boat and government-run ferry, Governor's Island is open to the public. Visitors can enjoy unparalleled views of New York Harbor and the skyline, as well as take tours led by the National Park Rangers.
    Your options: [ Senator's Island ] [ Mayor's Island ] [ Governor's Island ] [ President's Island ]
  From Quiz: The Lesser Known Islands of New York City
39 Back on our ferry now, we take a short sail to another part of the harbor, where many of the immigrants that came to the United States from Europe in the late 1800's and early 1900s first touched American soil. What historic place is this?
Answer: Ellis Island

Ellis Island saw more than 12 million immigrants pass through its gates between 1892 and 1954, when it was finally closed. The majority of these people came between its opening in 1892 and 1924. After that time the island was not widely used, with only displaced persons or war refugees passing through. On the island was a full array of processing facilities, along with immigration inspectors and a medical staff where immigrants were interviewed about their intentions in coming to the U.S. They were also examined to make sure that they were free of disease before they were allowed final passage into America to fulfill their dreams. Ellis Island was established as a National Monument in 1965. It went under a significant restoration project in the late 1980s after years of decay, and was opened to the public as a museum in 1990, being restored to how it looked at the turn of the 20th century. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans can trace their roots to someone who passed through Ellis Island.
  From Quiz: Let's Tour New York City
40 Manhattan's East and West Sides are primarily divided by which street?
Answer: Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is situated at the approximate midpoint of Manhattan between the East and Hudson Rivers. Addresses at "One East" or "One West" would be on opposite sides of Fifth, with address numbers rising as one travels away from Fifth.
    Your options: [ The F.D.R. Drive ] [ 42nd Street ] [ Fifth Avenue ] [ Park Avenue ]
  From Quiz: New York Streets
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