Otázka: American Cities
- Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United States, named after the first president, George Washington. It is home to the federal government and the residence of the President. The capital is located in a special district called the District of Columbia which is not a state because it is the seat of the federal government.
- Situated on the Potomac River, Washington has four sections: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. In the centre, on Capitol Hill, is the Capitol where Congress meets. Nearby, on Pennsylvania Ave, is the White House, the traditional residence of the President. Also of importance in Washington is the Library of Congress, the US national library.
- Washington is home to several important international organizations, including the World Bank and the Organization of American States.
- There are many interesting sites in Washington, attracting 18 million tourists each year. Throughout the city, there are memorials honouring famous figures from American history, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and many American soldiers.
- Washington is also famous for its museums. The Smithsonian Institute is one of the largest museums and research complexes in the world. There is also the National Space and Air museum, the Museum of African Art, the National Gallery of Art, and many others.
- In addition, Washington is world renowned for its parks and green spaces. The most beautiful parks are the West and East Potomac Parks and Constitutions Gardens.
- The capital city is inhabited by 623 000 people, while the entire metropolitan area has a population of 3 750 000. Approximately 70% of the people are African American and 30% white.
- The economy of Washington revolves around the federal government. Most people work for the government or in government related business. Only 5% of the workforce is involved in manufacturing.
- New York, or ,,The Big Apple” as it is fondly called, is the largest city in the US. It is also one of the most important financial, commercial, and cultural centres in the world. Many people call New York ,,The city that never sleeps” because it is alive with action all day and night.
- Eight million people live in the five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, and Brooklyn. During the working day, the population of the city grows to twenty million when people from surrounding metropolitan area come to work in New York.
- New York has long been a gateway for immigrants and many have settled in the city forming distinct ethnic neighbourhoods, such as Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Lower East side which is home for many Eastern European Jews. White population creates 43%, African American 25% and 24% Hispanic. More than 80 languages are spoken in New York.
- New York lies on the east coast at the mouth of the Hudson and East Rivers. New York is an important industrial port. However, it is primarily a business centre. Wall Street is the symbol of the financial world, home to two of the nation´s stock markets and several banks.
- New York is famous for its skyscrapers. The Manhattan skyline includes the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and others. New York also has many bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
- There are many interesting places to visit in New York. The most famous site in the city is the Statue of Liberty. It is a symbol of freedom and of the United States itself. The Statue of Liberty is the first sight one sees when approaching New York from the ocean. Visitors to New York are usually drawn
- to see Wall Street, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Central Park, the United Nations Headquarters, the Rockefeller Centre, Museum Mile (a group of world-famous museums on 5th Avenue), and many other sites.
- Many people come to New York for its culture and entertainment. New York has world famous theatres which are particularly centred around Times Square. The best acting and directing talent in the US can be found on Broadway. Some of the most well-known theatres are Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera House.
- New York is also home to several professional sport teams, including the Knicks (baseball) and the Rangers (ice hockey). Two famous stadiums are in New York: Yankee and Shea.
- Finally, in New York, there are many important newspapers and magazines, for example The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Vogue, and Time.
- Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, located on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. Its name comes from the Spanish for ,,the City of Angels”, because it originally belonged to the Spanish territory of Mexico. The city is inhabited by 3.8 million people.
- Los Angeles is famous for its semi tropical climate, palm trees, and beaches. It is situated along the desert and must have all its water pumped from northern California and other states. LA is home to more cars than people. There are four million cars in the city alone and most people drive to work along the complicated network of freeways. Because of the high number of private cars, Los Angeles is known for its traffic jams and pollution.
- The movie industry of Los Angeles makes it an important tourist attraction. Suburbs such as Hollywood and Beverly Hills are famous for celebrities and interesting sites related to the movies. And nearby is the original Disneyland.
- A suburb of Los Angeles, Hollywood is a destination in itself, with its own unique history and iconic sites. The attractions in Hollywood are strongly associated with the film industry and the glamour of the silver screen. The hillside Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theatre can easily fill day or two of sightseeing and you might even spot a celebrity.
- Chicago is the third largest city in the US, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. Two important rivers run through the city, the Chicago and the Calumet. These rivers link Chicago to the Mississippi River and then down to the Gulf of Mexico, and through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Chicago is called the Windy City because of the strong winds that blow through it.
- Like New York, Chicago has a famous skyline crowded with skyscrapers. The tallest skyscraper in the world is located in Chicago – The Sears Tower (443 meters).
- Chicago is an industrial centre. It has important steel mills. It is a railroad and trucking hub and cattle from all over the IS are transported to Chicago. The city has always attracted immigrants and ethnically diverse people to come to work in industries. There is a large Czech and Slovak community in Chicago.
- Chicago is home to the busiest airport in the world, O´Hare International.
- If you decide to visit Chicago you must see the Millennium Park. Millennium Park is the part of the larger Grant Park, located in downtown Chicago bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the north, and Monroe Street to the south. Its centrepiece is a 110 ton sculpture named Cloud Gate, which has polished, mirror-like surface.
- San Francisco is located in the state of California, where it is the second largest city. San Francisco is an important traffic crossing. It also has got several nicknames – ,,The City by the Bay”, ,,Fog City”, ,,San Fran” and ,,Frisco”.
- It is a popular tourist destination, known for cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, electric mix of architecture, and landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Prison, and Chinatown district.
- San Francisco is a modern city with skyscrapers and its financial centre, includes 30 international institutions. That makes it eighteenth most important financial centre in the world.
- San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss, Gap, Dropbox, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest and much more.
- Golden Gate Bridge is a sign of San Francisco and the best-known bridge in the world. It connects San Francisco with district Marin. It is the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world. Golden Gate Bridge is three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
- Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 2,4 km offshore from San Francisco. Alcatraz is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and seabird colony (mostly western gulls, cormorants, and egrets). Place where Al Capone and other dangerous criminals were imprisoned (just nine men managed to escape from the rock, but they probably drowned in the sea).
- Situated on a bend of the Mississippi River 100 miles from its mouth, New Orleans has been the chief city of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico´s busiest northern port since the early 1700s. Founded by the French, ruled for 40 years by the Spanish and bought by the United States in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans in known for its distinct Creole culture and vibrant history. Significant battles of the War of 1812 and the Civil War were fought over the city. In its last hundred years the key struggles of New Orleans have been social (poverty, racial strife) and natural (hurricanes, floods and slowly sinking land).
- The cultural life of New Orleans is a synthesis of contributions by both whites and Blacks. The white American heritage – with roots in French-speaking Cajun society – is reflected in the business and commercial life of the city, while the immigrant heritage – Irish societies, German Oktoberfests, Italian St. Joseph´s Day altras – adds ethnic colour to urban conformity. The African American heritage is particularly rich. In antebellum days, free persons of colour were musicians, poets, journalists, business entrepreneurs, and landlords. Both Black freemen and slaves were renowned for their craftmanship in such trades as bricklaying, iron grillwork, and carpentry. The contribution of African American musicians to the birth of jazz out of Black blues and ,,field hollers” and white dance tunes and hymns is well known.
- It I the chief city of the state of Washington, seat of King country, the largest metropolis of the Pacific Northwest, and one of the largest and most affluent urban centres in the United States. A major port of entry and an air and sea gateway to Asia and Alaska, Seattle lies alongside Puget Sound, a deep inland arm of the northern Pacific Ocean, and is at the centre of a conurbation that is defined roughly by Everett to the north, Bellevue to the east, and Tacoma to the south.
- Seattle is a city of distinct neighbourhoods and urban districts that, though close to one another, change from one street to the next. Some neighbourhoods, notably those near the Duwamish Waterway to southwest of the city centre, are industrial in character, marked by rail yards, wharves, cranes, and low-income housing projects. Others, largely outside the city centre, are showcases for the opulence wrought by Seattle´s booming high-technology sector.
- Seattle enjoys a lively blend of cultural activities that draws on the city´s ethnic diversity, its tradition of municipal support for the arts, and its status as a regional and national educational and economic centre. A distinctive component of Seattle´s daily life and popular culture is its relationship with coffee and coffeehouses. Seattle has the highest per capita coffee consumption in the United States, and Settleites´ love of speciality coffee has enabled hundreds of independent shops to thrive in the city that also produced the retail chains Starbucks and Tully´s.
- Boston is the capital of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and seat of Suffolk country, in the north-eastern United States. It lies on Massachusetts Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. The city proper has an unusually small area for a major city, and more than one-fourth of the total-including part of the Charles River, Boston Harbour, and a portion of the Atlantic-is water.
- Its nickname ,,Beantown” has its origin in colonial times, when Boston, as a stop on a major trade route with the West Indies, had a steady supply of molasses from the Caribbean, thus leading to the creation of a popular dish that became known as Boston baked beans (beans baked in molasses). As a city and as a name, Boston is a symbol of much that has gone into the development of the American consciousness, and its presence reaches far beyond its immediate environs.
- Boston has a rich and varied cultural life, and the love of music attracts many Bostonians throughout the year. The Boston Symphony Orchestra founded in 1881, is one of the foremost orchestras in the world.
- Boston´s reputation as a cultural centre is built in large part on the prominent museums that are its patrimony. The Museum of Fine Arts, a major world institution, preserves and exhibits East Asian, Egyptian, and Classical collections as well as other important examples of paintings, prints, textiles, and the decorative arts.
- Detroit is a seat of Wayne country, south-eastern Michigan. It is located on the Detroit River (connecting lakes Erie and St. Clair) opposite Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1701 by a French trader, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who built a fort on the river and named it Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit in honour of his patron, later the British called it simply Detroit. In the 20th century the city´s name became synonymous with the American automotive industry.
- Detroit is situated on a broad, generally flat plain. The downtown area retains vestiges of a hexagonal street pattern laid out early in the 19th century that largely disappeared as the city expanded. Most of the city´s commercial and civic buildings are concentrated in the downtown area near the river and include the City-County Building; Cobo Hall, a convention and exhibit building; Cobo Arena; and the Renaissance Centre, which includes a 73-story hotel. Many of the city´s museums and the public library, however, are located about 3 kilometres to the northwest in the Detroit Cultural Centre.
- Among the colleges and universities in the city are Wayne State University and the University of Detroit Mercy. Important cultural institutions include Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills and the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Motown Historical Museum preserves the house where Berry Gordy, Jr., founded the Motown Record Corporation and tells the story of the creation of the classic soul music produced there.