Otázka: Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago
Washington DC is situated on the eastern cost, between Maryland and Virginia. It spreads out on the both banks of the river Potomac. President George Washington chose the site of the city in 1791 and Washington replaced Philadelphia as the capital in 1800 and since that it has not changed. The city was named in honour to George Washington. It is the only city that is not a part of a state. DC means District of Columbia.
The residence of the president is situated on Pennsylvania Ave. and it is the White House. There are 132 rooms, which are open to public and the famous Oval office which is the official office of the President. There is a law called The Height Building Act which says that no structures could exceed 15 stories. In other words the White House is the highest. Therefore is Washington a horizontal and spacious city.
In the centre on the Capitol Hill is situated the Capitol, where the Congress meets. The Congress has 2 chambers: The Senate and the House of Representatives. Washington is divided into 4 sections: Northwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. Each section is named for its direction from the Capitol.
I´d like to name some well-known institutions which we can find in Washington. The Library of Congress is the US national library. In The Pentagon there are the headquarters of the Department of Defence. The seat of Supreme Court is in the Supreme Court building, which resembles (=look alike) a Greek Temple. Then the World Bank, The Organisation of American States, Ford´s Theatre where the former president Lincoln was shot and so on.
The street Mall is lined by numerous museums. Some of them are eg. The Smithsonian Institute, The National Space and Air Museum, The National Galery of Art or The Museum of African Art.
In Washington there are the East and West Potomac Parks. There is a wide range of the press. The best are The Washington Post, The USA Today or International Wildlife. The most common way of transport is Subway. If we want to visit Washington, our airplane lands in Washington National Airport, which is, not very surprisingly, one of the biggest in the world. There is Georgetown University and The George Washington University.
New York is the largest city in the USA. It is situated on the eastern coast, in New York State. There live about 8 Mil inhabitants. New York is called “The city that never sleeps” and “The Big Apple”. It is either a name of a popular jazz club or a symbol of apple orchards planted by the Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant.
NY has an interesting history. In 1626, The Native Americans sold the Manhattan Island to the Dutch named Peter Minuit for a sack of beads, cloth and ironware. It was all worth about 24 $. It is said to be the most famous bargain in American history. Today, it´s worth billions of dollars. New York was originally called New Amsterdam and Colonies around New Netherlands. In the year 1664 it was taken by the British without a shot being fired.
NY is divided into 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx (criminality), Staten Island and Brooklyn. Manhattan is laid out in a regular pattern of perpendicular streets E to W and avenues N to S (the most famous one is eg Broadway).
There is the Statues of Liberty situated on the Liberty Island. It is the symbol of the USA and freedom. It was given to the USA by the French named Bartholdi in 1884. The Statue itself is a woman holding a torch and a book with the inscription of 4th July 1776. This day was signed the Declaration of Independence.
Wall Street is the centre of NY´s business world. There is NY and American stock exchange. The day when the Great Depression started is called The Black Friday. It was in 1929 and it was due to a crash.
New York is an impressive place for those who love the arts. Among the theatres we can choose from Broadway District, Metropolitan Opera House, NY State Theatre. There is also Radio City Music Hall where takes place the Grammy Awards.
The Museum of modern art has an unusual shape because it looks like a mushroom. Other ones are The American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim Museum or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Modern New York is an exciting city. The long avenues, broad and straight, lined with expensive stores and massive apartment houses, impress by their scale alone. So does central Park whose trees and rocks and lakes almost give the impression of a wilderness.
The Native Americans called Iroquois and eye-catching skyscrapers are closely linked. They gained a reputation as being extremely skilled steel-workers in the construction industry. Without them, the skyscrapers in the city would not have been built and NY would not be what it is today. The reason why the skyscrapers were built is the lack of space. For the most famous ones belong the Empire State Building and The World Trade Centre, the Chrysler Building and the former Twins, which were destroyed on the 11th September 2001 during the terrorist attack.
In New York there drive yellow taxis called Cabs and the Subway has been working since 1904.
San Francisco is one of America’s top tourist destinations. Its interesting history, steep streets, special cable cars, picturesque architecture and its position on the bay make it a great place to visit. One of the city´s most famous sights, the Golden Gate Bridge, was built in the 1930s. You get a great view of the city from the bridge. It is almost 1300m long. It´s not surprising that it has been photographed more often than any other bridge.
Another popular sight is the prison Alcatraz. It was built on a rock in the middle of the bay and it became the most feared prison in America. Gangsters like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly spent time there and escape was impossible.
In the past there was discovered gold in this area and SF attracted many diggers searching for gold. The local inhabitants made fortunes out of the gold miners. It was in the end of 19th century and it is known as the Golden rush. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA and South Africa.
San Francisco suffered a lot. The city centre had to be rebuilt several times because it was hit by major earthquakes. The experts say that another earthquake is inevitable and that it might be more disastrous than ever.
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and the largest city in New England region. It has extremely exciting history. During the late 18th century, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution.
The first was the Boston tea party which broke off on the night of December 16 in 1773, when a group of patriots, disguised as Indians, protested a British tax tea by boarding 3 ships and dumping more than 300 boxes tea into Boston harbour. The colonists jokingly called this the Boston tea party, but the British were not amused.
The other was the Boston massacre which started in March 1770 when five Massatchuses colonists were shot dead by British soldiers. The victims were part of a group protesting the British government. The protestors began throwing snowballs with rocks inside them at the soldiers who then opened fire.
Chicago is situated at the southern end of vast Lake Michigan, close to Canadian borders. There live about 3 Million inhabitants who are ethnically mixed, therefore is Chicago a cosmopolitan city. There live the largest Polish population outside Warsaw.
Its nickname is “the Windy City” because it is known for being very windy. In the winter there is about a metre of snow.
Before WWII it had the reputation of the most lawless and corrupt cities in the world. The most famous gangster is called Al Capone. He sold illegal liquor during the days of Prohibition (1919-33). In that time it was forbidden to make or sell alcohol in any form.
Among famous Chicagoans belong eg. Oprah Winfrey, Ray Kroc who started McDonalds and Animator Walt Disney.
Chicago has the 2 tallest skyscrapers in the world. In the past it used to be polluted a lot, however, nowadays is the situation much better. There is the world´s largest public library.
It is the centre of American commerce, transportation and railroad system. O´Hare airport is to be the busiest in the world. It is a great inland port. Ships, floating to Europe, go via the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. The Lake Front is a place with beautiful parks, museum and luxurious homes of Chicago´s rich.