The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – May 2021: New York

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – May 2021: New York

1bhabeck
Edited: May 1, 2021, 3:05pm

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we head to the east coast – NEW YORK.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – May 2021: New York


History

New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It was one of the original thirteen colonies forming the United States. With a total area of 54,556 square miles (141,300 km2), New York is the 27th largest state; its population of more than 20 million people in 2020 makes it the fourth most populous state in the U.S. It is sometimes referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City, which is its largest city.

Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area. With an estimated population of 8.36 million in 2019, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for immigration to the United States. The New York City metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. A global city, New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters, and has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.

New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany later developed. The Dutch soon also settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and eventually succeeded in establishing independence.

About a third of the battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in New York; the first major one (and largest of the entire war) was the Battle of Long Island, a.k.a. Battle of Brooklyn, in August 1776. After their victory, the British occupied New York City, making it their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the focus of General George Washington's intelligence network. On the notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay, more American combatants died of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war combined. Both sides of combatants lost more soldiers to disease than to outright wounds. The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, a success that influenced France to ally with the revolutionaries. The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony; New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, South Carolina. Slavery was extensive in New York City and some agricultural areas. The state passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery soon after the Revolutionary War, but the last slave in New York was not freed until 1827.

In the 19th century, New York's development of the interior, beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the east coast and built its political and cultural ascendancy. The Erie Canal opened in 1825. Packet boats pulled by horses on tow paths traveled slowly over the canal carrying passengers and freight. Farm products came in from the Midwest, and finished manufactured goods moved west. It was an engineering marvel which opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. After 1850, railroads largely replaced the canal.

Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for legal immigration into the United States. The first permanent immigration depot in New York was established in 1855 at Castle Garden, a converted War of 1812 era fort located within what is now Battery Park, at the tip of Lower Manhattan. The first immigrants to arrive at the new depot were aboard three ships that had just been released from quarantine. Castle Garden served as New York's immigrant depot until it closed on April 18, 1890, when the federal government assumed control over immigration. During that period, more than eight million immigrants passed through its doors (two of every three U.S. immigrants). Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892 and operated as a central immigration center until the National Origins Act was passed in 1924, reducing immigration. After that date, the only immigrants to pass through were displaced persons or war refugees. The island ceased all immigration processing on November 12, 1954. More than twelve million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, and the towers collapsed. 7 World Trade Center also collapsed due to damage from fires. The other buildings of the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and demolished soon thereafter. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 2,753 victims, including 147 aboard the two planes. Since September 11, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored. A memorial at the site, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was opened to the public on September 11, 2011. A permanent museum later opened at the site on March 21, 2014. Upon its completion in 2014, the new One World Trade Center became the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet (541 m), meant to symbolize the year America gained its independence, 1776.

Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, and Grand Central Terminal. New York is also home to the Statue of Liberty. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, and environmental sustainability. New York has approximately 200 colleges and universities, including the State University of New York. Several have been ranked among the top 100 in the nation and world.


Geography



New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont to the east; it has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. New York is the only state that includes within its borders parts of the Great Lake and the Atlantic Ocean.

New York has a diverse geography. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley. The large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains in the northeastern lobe of the state. The north–south Hudson River Valley and the east–west Mohawk River Valley bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Niagara Falls. The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination.

In contrast with New York City's urban landscape, the vast majority of the state's geographic area is dominated by meadows, forests, rivers, farms, mountains, and lakes. Most of the southern part of the state rests on the Allegheny Plateau, which extends from the southeastern United States to the Catskill Mountains; the section in New York State is known as the Southern Tier. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the Lake Champlain Valley. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York and contains Lake Champlain Valley as its northern half and the Hudson Valley as its southern half within the state. The Tug Hill region arises as a cuesta east of Lake Ontario. The state of New York contains a part of the Marcellus shale, which extends into Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Upstate and Downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York State. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention. Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canada–U.S. border to everything north of the Mohawk River.

Fun Facts

The Empire State Building measuring 1,454 feet from the base to the antenna is a concrete example of human potential and engineering marvel. From the two Observation Decks on its 86th and 102nd floors, you can see New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The building took only 1 year and 45 days to build. The final rivet shot in the building was made of solid gold.


New York City leads the world in the number of millionaires. Nine percent (approximately 1 in 9 people) of New York City residents are millionaires. New York City is the world’s only city with more than 100 billionaires.

Approximately half of the population of New York City speaks a language other than English at home. At least 800 different languages are spoken in the New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

In the 1600’s, European settlers landed on the shores of what is now known as New York State. They brought with them numerous seed varieties in the hopes of planting them in their new home across the Atlantic. It is from this that the first apple orchard was started in New York State. It’s hard to believe that such a common fruit was actually introduced to North America.


Originally marketed as ‘Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water closet’, the important invention of toilet paper by Joseph C Gayetty of New York City in 1857 was originally made from pure Manila Hemp Paper. With aloe vera used for lubrication (the original was not as soft as today’s variety) it was originally marketed as an anti-hemorrhoid remedy. Interestingly it wasn’t until 1935 that a splinter-free version of toilet paper was invented (in Wisconsin as noted in the November 2020 challenge).

People from New York City drink almost seven times more coffee than other cities in the United States.

The Bronx Zoo in New York is the largest city zoo in the United States with over 500 species and 4,000 animals.

Chittenago is the home of L. Frank Baum, author of the “Wizard of Oz”. It features a yellow brick inlaid sidewalks leading to Aunti Em’s and other Oz-themed businesses. Chittenago is the location of an annual Munchkins parade.

Due to struggles with the potato famine and political issues, by 1850 more native-born Irish lived in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland. New York City is still home to more people of Irish ancestry than Ireland’s capital city.

Adirondack Park in northeast New York has 6 million acres, making it the largest national park in the United States. It is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic Parks combined. (The image below shows the size of New York's 2 major state parks – the Adirondack Park (north) and the Catskill Park (south)).


The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City were the worst single foreign assault on American soil. The attack was the nation’s deadliest tragedy for U.S. firefighters, and 2,753 people in total lost their lives. One World Trade Center was built at the location of the World Trade Center and is now the tallest building in the western hemisphere. The building has 104 floors and its top reaches a staggering 1776 feet, which is also the year of the U.S. independence. The building was recently completed in 2014. During its planning stages, the building was also referred to as Freedom Tower.


France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1886 as a celebration of 100 years of U.S. independence and continued allegiance between the two countries. The statue was shipped as 350 pieces in 214 crates and took 4 months to assemble at its current home on New York’s Ellis Island. The seven spikes on the crown of the Statue of Liberty represent the seven oceans and the seven continents of the world, indicating the universal concept of liberty. In 1886, it was the tallest iron structure ever built.


New York State was the principal battleground of many battles of the Revolutionary War. British troops were driven out of New York City on November 25, 1783. On December 4, 1783, at Fraunces Tavern in New York City, General George Washington bade farewell to his officers, officially ending the Revolutionary War.

The New York Public Library has over 50 million books and is the second largest library system in the nation after the Library of Congress. It is also the third largest library in the world.

Notable Residents

Five United States presidents were born in New York: Martin Van Buren (8th), Millard Fillmore (13th), Theodore Roosevelt (26th), Franklin D Roosevelt (32nd), and Donald Trump (45th).

Boris Johnson, current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born in New York in June 1964. Johnson's parents were in the US where his father was studying economics at Columbia University in New York. The family returned to England in September 1964.


Authors from New York include: Emma Lazarus, JD Salinger, Walt Whitman, Edith Warton, Hermann Melville, Henry James, Joseph Heller, and Truman Capote. Well-known athletes include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball), Jennifer Capriati (tennis), Julius Erving (basketball), Lou Ferrigno (body builder), Lou Gehrig (baseball), Michael Jordan (basketball), Shirley "Cha-Cha" Muldowney (drag racer), Ray Rice (football), Sarah Hughes (figure skating) and Mike Tyson (boxing).

Actors from New York include Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Tony Curtis, Lauren Bacall, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Bancroft, Jane Fonda and many, many more film and television actors. Many film actors can also be seen on Broadway.

In honor of NEW YORK, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Apple," "Freedom," "Library," "Rich," or "Terror" in the title OR has a picture of a skyscraper, a coffee cup or a wild animal that you might see in a zoo;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New York State OR has a character that is a corrupt politician OR the story includes a terrorist attack; and

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW YORK.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: May 18, 2021, 9:53am

Brenda's May 2021 Americana Challenge - New York
3 of 3 Complete


In honor of NEW YORK, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Apple," "Freedom," "Library," "Rich," or "Terror" in the title OR has a picture of a skyscraper, a coffee cup or a wild animal that you might see in a zoo;
Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan; has a coffee cup on the cover; 5/18/21; 3 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New York State OR has a character that is a corrupt politician OR the story includes a terrorist attack; and
Terminal List by Jack Carr; terrorist attackers and several corrupt politicians; 5/7/21; 3 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW YORK.
At Risk by Kit Ehrman; 5/9/21; 3.5 stars

3Carol420
Edited: May 20, 2021, 7:13am


📌 - ★
Carol Visits With Boris and Gives Him Advice About Hair Styles
3/3 - DONE - 5/20

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Apple," "Freedom," "Library," "Rich," or "Terror" in the title OR has a picture of a skyscraper, a coffee cup or a wild animal that you might see in a zoo;
The Midnight Library - Matt Haig- 5★ (Library)

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New York State OR has a character that is a corrupt politician OR the story includes a terrorist attack; and
Every Vow You Break - Peter Swanson- 5★

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW YORK.
Come The Shadows - Wendy Young - 4★ (W & Y)

4Olivermagnus
Edited: May 30, 2021, 1:11pm



May 2021 Americana Challenge - New York
2
of 3 Complete

In honor of NEW YORK, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Apple," "Freedom," "Library," "Rich," or "Terror" in the title OR has a picture of a skyscraper, a coffee cup or a wild animal that you might see in a zoo;

🎡 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New York State.
Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith - 5 Stars - 5/13/21 - large portions are set in New York City

🎡 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW YORK.
Memory Box - Eva Natiello - 4 Stars - 5/9/21 - EN

5gaylebutz
May 1, 2021, 3:50pm

>3 Carol420: LOL! Boris's serious face just doesn't go with the goofy hair.

6Carol420
May 1, 2021, 4:01pm

>5 gaylebutz: I desperately want to send the man a comb...with printed instructions for it's use:)

7Sergeirocks
Edited: May 15, 2021, 6:04pm

Saving a place in the queue...

Two One Three - Denzil Meyrick 4★s (Skyscrapers (the Scottish equivalent, at least!) on front cover)
First Daughter - Eric Van Lustbader 4★s (Features a corrupt politician)

8gaylebutz
May 3, 2021, 10:17pm

I’m going to read The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. It takes place in New York state.

9gaylebutz
May 14, 2021, 9:45pm

Done - The Escape Room by Megan Goldin - 3.5 *
It takes place in New York State.

10Carol420
May 15, 2021, 6:13am

>9 gaylebutz:


Way to go,Gayle. Congrats!

11bhabeck
May 18, 2021, 9:53am

12Carol420
Edited: May 18, 2021, 10:28am

>11 bhabeck:


Well done. Congratulations!!!

13Carol420
May 20, 2021, 7:15am

<b.Done. Enjoyed my visit with Boris even if he didn't take any of my hair styling advise. Thanks Brenda for taking your time to give us this challenge.

14bhabeck
May 20, 2021, 10:27am

>9 gaylebutz: >13 Carol420: Congrats Carol and Gayle! Well done!

15Olivermagnus
Edited: May 30, 2021, 1:13pm

I could only get two of the three this month.

🎡 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New York State.
Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith - 5 Stars - 5/13/21 - large portions are set in New York City

🎡 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW YORK.
Memory Box - Eva Natiello - 4 Stars - 5/9/21 - EN

16Carol420
May 30, 2021, 1:52pm

17bhabeck
May 31, 2021, 8:56pm

I will post the June challenge late tonight. I’m in WI visiting family and I’m just “out of sorts” with the set-up I have here and it’s taken longer than I expected to complete the write-up.

18Carol420
Edited: Jun 1, 2021, 8:21am

>17 bhabeck: Anytime that you are short on time with family, work...or whatever...you are welcome to send me what you have done and I will be happy to finish and/or post for you. Take your time and enjoy your visit.

19bhabeck
Jun 1, 2021, 8:33am

>18 Carol420: thanks. It was just trying to get this done on the laptop vs my desktop with dual monitors, etc. made it a little more of a challenge to put this together. (couldn't use my mother's desktop as I would have had to boot her off of Facebook!) Luckily I had it started on the 26th before traveling so I had a lot of it in place.

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