5 Quirky New York City Facts That'll Make You Go 'Hmmm'


New York City is full of history. It goes by many names and is the unofficial character in TV shows, movies, and books. There is a lot of things that happen here that we are just discovering from secret train station platforms to hidden wind tunnels by the Flatiron Building that give women that Marilyn Monroe white-dress-effect. Here are five other quirky facts about New York City, interesting enough to make you go hmmm.

It's Totally Legal For Women to Go Topless

This was a fact that many NYPD officers needed to be reminded of when topless feathered ladies took over Time Square in August 2015 covered in body paint. While tourists were understandably uncomfortable, those ladies were exercising their rights. Turns out New York City is one place in the U.S. where women walking around topless isn't against the law.

The Homeless Can Get A Free One-Way Plane Ticket Anywhere

Definitely something you need to read to understand. New York is home to one of the largest homeless populations in the world. Many homeless individuals are people who found themselves down on their luck due to unemployment or an eviction from their home. If a homeless person has a housing option and an employment opportunity anywhere in the world, the state of New York will pay for their one-way ticket via train, bus, or airplane to said place. It's called project connect, and the program is voluntary.

Washington Square Park, Bryant Park, and Union Square Used to Be Cemeteries

This may raise the hairs on your arms and send a chill down your back. They don't call it old New York for nothing. if you thought you heard footsteps behind you at 3 a.m. when you were walking in one of these parks and turned to see no one was behind you, you weren't paranoid when you suspected it was a ghost. Apparently, Washington Square Park was once a graveyard and Union Square Park and Bryant Park were once potter fields. In fact, New York historians say there are 20,000 people still buried in Washington Square Park.

Sections of The Berlin Wall Are Around New York City

Maybe you've seen it when you were eating your lunch in Paley Park? Yes, there are five sections of the actual Berlin Wall in New York that have acted like a canvas for artists around the city to paint and add graffiti to. They're located in Paley Park, Kowsky Plaza, The United Nations, Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Times Square, and the Intrepid Museum. The actual wall was completely torn down in 1991. While some pieces were used in the construction of German buildings, other pieces were preserved, sold, gifted or auctioned off.

The Mystic Pizza Principle

This is for New Yorkers who respect the power of pizza. New Yorkers remember a time when a bag of chips and gum cost a quarter, when pizza used to be $1 (even cheaper way back when), and when one-trip on the subway was...the same price as pizza. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, the cost of one subway ride has been a direct reflection of the cost of a slice of pizza for over 50 years. It's called the Pizza Principle (or Pizza Connection) and while pizza isn't the same price everywhere, since the early 1960s if pizza prices went up, it was a sign that the cost of a token would too. So the next time the price of a slice of pizza goes up, don't be surprised when there's an MTA fare hike.

Samantha Greaves is a freelance writer who's lived in New York City since birth. You can say she knows this concrete jungle of dreams pretty well. When not writing for work, she's blogging about life and writing via her website SamanthaGWrites.com.

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