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By Jake Lederer

N is for Niagara Falls

A New York Alphabet

Camping or fishing,

hikes and birding too,

watch out for bears!

Paddle your canoe!

A is for Adirondack Park

Adirondack Park has a great deal of 

history and is very vast with an 

abundance of nature. The New York 

State Legislature officially opened the 

park in 1892. All the wilderness is 

protected by the federal government. 

The Adirondack Mountains were 

separated from the Appalachian 

mountains shortly after opening. Forty-

six mountains exist in this park, 

including Dix, Giant, High Peaks, Jay, 

McKenzie, and the Sentinel Range. It is 

still expanding and is bigger than some 

states in England. 

This crowded borough

has the longest bridge.

Where there's a ton of traffic

from Flatbush to Bay Ridge. 

Brooklyn, NY, is a famous place. During the American

 Revolution, Brooklyn was the site of the Battle of 

Long Island. Walt Whitman was a resident of 

Brooklyn for 28 years. Leonard Bernstein and Mae West were 

born in this trendy borough. The longest expansion 

bridge in the US, the Brooklyn Bridge, was built here 

in 1883. It connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. 

Brooklyn is the 3rd largest borough in NYC, behind 

Manhattan and Queens. Brooklyn is often featured in 

many TV shows and movies, including Do the Right 

Thing and Saturday Night Fever.

B is for Brooklyn

This park is really great

for riding your bike.

Not into that?

Try taking a hike.

Central Park has dazzling history. The lush 778 acres of natural

 beauty officially opened in 1857. It was modified during the Civil War and was renovated several times. During the economic

 decline of the early 1900s, Robert Moses created a program to 

clean up Central Park and beautify it. In the late 20th century,

 park conditions started to decline, and so the Central Park

 Conservancy was created in 1980. Central Park is the most

 visited park in the USA, and it has the special distinction of

 being a national historic landmark, officiated in 1962. 

C is for Central Park

Cow herds give their milk,

Farmers sell the dairy.

Fill their buckets so up so high,

they’re very hard to carry!

Dairying is a dominating and essential part of New 

York’s agricultural industry. There are over 5 thousand

 family farms milking more than 600 thousand cows

 (according to the 2013 census). Each cow produces

 at least 20 thousand pounds annually. Do the math,

 and that’s almost 13 million pounds of milk

 are produced each year. The leading production

 counties in the state are Wyoming, Cayuga and St.

 Lawrence. New York ranks 4th in milk supply in the

 US, with about $2.5 billion worth of income.

D is for Dairy Farming

With 10 million bricks,

A landmark scrapes the sky.

It lights up the night,

102 feet high.

E is for Empire State Building

The construction history of this symbolic building is very

intriguing. It was planned to be a Waldorf Astoria hotel, but it

 was sold to Empire State Incorporations. The architects were

 Louis Kaufman, Ellis Earle, John Raskob, Coleman du Pont, and

 Pierre du Pont. Since the 1916 Zoning Act was in effect,

 architects couldn't create a walled building that ascended

 straight from the street. In 1929, construction finally started and

 lasted for two years. This booming skyscraper is the third tallest

 building in New York City, 5th in the country, and 37th in the


This tower is stunning,

over 1000 feet!

The view is amazing,

take a pic and tweet!

The Freedom Tower is a very important symbol of the healing we

 had after September 11, 2001. We definitely needed that

 healing because 9/11 was the worst terrorist attack on the USA.

 2,606 people died in the Twin Towers, with 6000 wounded, and

 lots of survivors were traumatized. But our country was resilient

 and stood back up by building the Freedom Tower. The height of

 the skyscraper is 1776 feet, which is the year our country is

 born, and now reborn after 9/11. During construction, the

 workers left graffiti behind to show signs of revival and


F is for Freedom Tower

From Harlem to New Haven,

take time to grab a bite,

with great shops and dining,

A full commuting delight!

When reviewing Grand Central, the New York Times  not only

 called it, ™ the greatest station in the USA”, but they ranked it

 “best in the world”! Grand Central Station opened February 2nd,

 1913. The facility cost close to $1 billion. The entire building has

 30 platforms and 44 tracks. The station was modeled after

 ancient Roman kingdoms and palaces.The innovations of Grand

 Central has greatly influenced today’s architecture and society.

 Located at 89 East 42nd Street (stretching from 42nd to 51st

 Streets between Madison and Lexington Avenues) in NYC.

G is for Grand Central

Starts in the mountains,

flows through the valley,

has millions of fish,

and a Clean-Water-Rally!

The course of this river is sweeping and wild! Over 300 miles, it zips from the Adirondacks down to Jersey City, NJ. The river serves as a state “wall” between New York and New Jersey. Henry Hudson first founded the river in 1609, along with the Hudson Bay in Canada. One of the prime sources for the channel is Lake Tear of the Clouds in Adirondack Park. These federally protected waters are still being polluted, so the Clean Water Act was created to stop people from littering, and maintain water quality levels that are fishable and swimmable.

H is for Hudson River

I love New York,

with a big red heart,

for liberty and freedom,

I’ll do my part.

I Love New York is the state song, slogan and logo for New York.

 It was produced in 1977, and it was created to attract more

 tourism to New York. Milton Glaser designed it in 1976. In the

 back of a cab. With a red crayon. On SCRAP PAPER! Currently,

 the drawing is held in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 Glaser expected the campaign to last only a couple months and

 did the work free of charge! The innovative “pop-style” icon

 became a major success and has continued to be sold for years.

 On July 15, 2018 the jingle will be 41 years old. 

I is for I Love NY

From swimming to fishing

this place has it all,

concerts and picnics,

just bring your beach ball!

J is for Jones Beach State Park

Robert Moses created Jones Beach State Park in 1929, during his presidency of the Long Island State Park Commission. The island was originally completely submerged and swampy after going through many storms and erosion. It took thousands of workers to restore it so it could be safe for recreation. Rosebud Yellow Robe was hired to be head of the “Indian Village” at the park. Yellow Robe taught thousands of children about Native American history and culture. Today, there is a huge theater that has been built over a dock, where popular bands play. 

The Knicks were first established in 1946 by Ned Irish. It cost about $3.3 billion to create the team. “Knick¨ is short for knickerbocker, which is the slang name for a citizen of New York. In the first ever NBA draft lottery in 1985, the Knicks had the first pick and took the future best Knick of all time, (center) Patrick Ewing. In the 21st century, the Knicks traded Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, and Timofey Mozgov for Carmelo Anthony, their star player. They were close to a championship in 2013, but lost to the Miami Heat in the conference finals. 

K is for Knicks

From Ewing to Ntilly,

the Knicks have come far,

with Porzee and Kanter,

the Knicks are all stars!

Vast mountains and lakes

with winters so cold,

Olympic athletes

won medals of gold.

How this place turned around is pretty cool. It started in the early 1800s for mining iron, gold, and my favorite, diamonds. Almost a century later, Lake Placid turned into a resort for rich celebrities. The creator of the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey, invented an all-day “Placid Park Club” ONLY for the SUPER rich people. It became open to everyone and also mostly a winter resort in 1921. The winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid twice, the first in 1932 and then 48 years later in 1980.

L is for Lake Placid

The 13th President

lived here for years,

Lost his second election,

with boos and no cheers.

M is for Millard Fillmore House

The house itself has been “magical” from the beginning to now. First of all, he built it himself on 24 Shearer Avenue, East Aurora, Erie County, New York. He lived there from 1826-30. He built it for his wife, Abigail. During that span, his son was born, Millard Fillmore II. It was an officially designated landmark in 1974. Currently, it is open for tours June-October on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 1-4 P.M. But it has moved its location twice. When Fillmore lived there, he was the small town’s only lawyer.

For romance and beauty

there’s no better place,

bring raincoats and hats,

but no barrel to race!

These grand falls have been open since 1678 by Louis Hennepin. On the year of the first moon launching (1969), the falls were dammed by the US army engineers. The years of 1885, 1902, 1906, 1911, 1932, 1936, and 2014 were the lucky years for visitors because the falls became frozen! The Horseshoe Falls were eliminated in the 1980s, so a lot of it is now in Toronto and Ontario. Niagara Falls connects Ontario to New York. It’s a year-round attraction for tourists and honeymooners currently!

N is for Niagara Falls

Orient Point is the eastern-most town on Long Island's North Fork. It used to be called Oyster Bay because of the nearby oyster beds and lots of shellfish in the area. The city is very old and “new houses” are considered anything that was built after World War II. Plum Island, the U.S. Government’s Department of Agriculture lab is only 5 minutes away by boat. During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold's headquarters was here, set up in a local tavern! 

This place is full of history

like Benedict Arnold’s base,

American Revolution raids,

Connecticut Yanks, they chased!


O is for Orient Point

Originally purchased in 1664 by Adrian Vander Donck. The Philipse Family, a family of Anglo-Dutch merchants, then bought it in 1672. It’s located in Pocantico Hills, NY. Philipsburg Manor was once a farming, milling, and trading center. The Philipse family rented land to tenant farmers and relied on a community of 23 African slaves to run the complex. There is still a working gristmill and you can tour the 300 year old manor house. There are many activities you can try when you visit, such as turning flax into linen or making “ship biscuits”. Philipsburg Manor has the oldest standing structure in Westchester County!

Twenty acres of land

and three hundred years old.

Learn about Colonial times,

and the tales the slaves told.

P is for Philipsburg Manor

Began in the 1939 World’s Fair. Soon after, the gardens expanded to be part of Flushing Meadows Park. During the 1964 World’s Fair, it was moved across the street from Flushing Meadows Park. It features 39 acres of rose, bee, herb, and perennial gardens, and an art gallery. There are many different programs throughout the seasons, such as Harvest Fest, Arbor Fest, and a special event, “Taiwan: A World of Orchids.”

Q is for Queens Botanical Gardens

Flowers may bore you

on a regular basis,

but an urban garden

Is nature’s oasis.

This Flower City

was home to some greats;

Frederick Douglas

stood up to hate.

Tech Valley is  a technologically recognized area in Rochester. Rochester’s high advances in technology seem to bring more and more people in each year. The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has high ratings and sophisticated programs for students interested in tech. In 2009, RIT became Rochester’s biggest employer-- even bigger than the Eastman Kodak Company (which gave Rochester their “claim to fame” for many years). Rochester is the 3rd most populous city in New York State. A fun fact that I found was that marshmallows were first produced in Rochester. Around the same time, Graham crackers were developed by a local businessman, creating one of the most awesome inventions of the 20th century: the S’more!

R is for Rochester

This place is so spooky

on Halloween night

the headless horseman

will give you a fright!

Sleepy Hollow is a village of about 10,000 residents. It’s located 25 miles north of New York City along the eastern shore of the Hudson River. This town is named after Washington Irving’s famous short story. Irving’s home still remains here today, and it welcomes visitors. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written in 1820. It tells the story of a character known as the “Headless Horseman”, believed to be a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannonball in battle. What’s especially cool about Sleepy Hollow is that it’s the best place to go trick or treating. Every Halloween, the Headless Horseman still rides through the town!

S is for Sleepy Hollow

Located in the Armory Foundation in upper Manhattan (Washington Heights). The museum is split into three levels. Level 1 is the lobby, featuring a theater, and a gallery of historic plaques. The second floor holds the atrium, champion gallery, and the Fred Lebow Marathon Hall. The third floor has the athletic gallery, featuring a giant 40 ft long plaque with all the names of the inductees. If that weren’t enough, this place has something truly awesome: A 65,000 sq ft arena! It’s the largest indoor college or high school arena in the world!

T is for Track and Field Hall of Fame

Washington Heights

has a beautiful place,

with three floors of greatness,

you’ll see what awaits…

Becoming a leader

is what cadets strive for

structure and rigor

prepare you for War.

U is for U.S. Military Academy

The U.S. Military Academy is also called West Point. George Washington considered West Point the best military training facility in the U.S. It has super famous graduates like Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Thomas Jefferson established a “Corps of Engineers” at West Point in 1802. Admission is extremely tough. You need a nomination, usually from a member of Congress or even the President and Vice President of the United States! All students (called cadets) have to stick to something called the “Cadet Honor Code”, which says that "a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

Programs for all ages,

come enjoy the fun.

There’s lots of attractions;

see moons, stars, and suns!

William K. Vanderbilt II, one of the richest men ever, traveled around the world in the 1920s and 1930s. On his trips, he collected marine, invertebrate and bird specimens, and cultural artifacts. When he died in 1944, he left his estate to Suffolk County, Long Island. There is now a museum, mansion, and planetarium on over 40 acres of his estate. The Planetarium recently had a major renovation (over 4 million dollars) in 2013. The complimentary seats and shows are fully updated and are the most advanced in Long Island. What inspires me the most is that there is a Konica Minolta Geministar III Projector ( top of the line)!

V is for Vanderbilt Museum

First held in France in 1851, Founded by Prince Albert of Monaco. Held in NY in both 1939 and 1964, the fair was a cultural, peaceful exhibition to show the achievements of different nations. The World’s Fair started “nation branding” beginning in 1988 to the present. It only occurs every 5 years, most recently, in 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. 

Great art and design;

Works of industry

from across the globe,

see new technology!

W is for World's Fair

The primary North-South route through Harlem in uptown Manhattan. This two-way street runs from 110 - 147 Streets. Apparently there is crazy traffic in this area, and i t’s known as “Harlem’s heartbeat”.  The IRT Lenox Avenue line runs under the entire length of the street. The street is named after the famous civil rights leader, Malcolm X. It’s also called Lenox Avenue.

X is for Malcolm X Boulevard 

In Harlem, New York,

an X Marks the Spot

Where a great pioneer

rose up and fought.

George Steinbrenner campaigned for a new stadium in the 1980’s. In 1988, Mayor Ed Koch had taxpayers spend $90 million on another renovation on the stadium. He added luxury boxes and indoor restaurants. Many highways and roads that lead up to the stadium were added in the early 1990’s. Yankee Stadium III and CitiField cost about $4 Billion all together in the early 2000’s and 2010’s. Something that makes Yankee Stadium stand out is that it’s the first three-tiered sports facility in the U.S. Also, the song, “New York, New York” is played over the stadium’s loud speakers at the end of every game!

Y is for Yankee Stadium (II and III)

Thousands of fans

cheer for their teams.

Hear the crack of the bat

in this field of dreams.

Zadock Pratt was a crazy busy man. Born on October 10, 1790. Pratt was a tanner, banker, soldier, and U.S. Rep! He also founded Prattsville, NY and served in the NY Militia from 1819- 1826. During his service as a U.S. Rep, he proposed the Transcontinental Railroad. He also established the Prattsville Bank. Pratt failed to receive the Democratic/Hunker nomination for the national election in 1848. He married 5 times, but unfortunately, each of his wives died young. Pratt died on April 5th, 1871.

Zadock Pratt was a

jack of all trades;

A tanner, a banker,

and wealthy in spades!

Z is for Zadock Pratt

Expansion Bridge- a long sturdy bridge connecting two major islands


Intriguing- interesting; grabbing your attention


Revival- to come back from a terrible version of something

Submerged- gone under water


Lush- providing of great pleasure


Renovated- to restore a building to its prime version

Essential- most important

Designated- appointed to a specific position


Campaign- A series of operations to achieve a job

Resort- a popular exotic destination for a vacation

Dewey Decimal System- the first numbered library system

Abundance- a large quantity of something

American Revolution- war in 1700s of America vs Great Britain

Erosion- gradual destruction of something

Channel- a passageway (usually of water)


Traumatized- mentally harmed from an event


Gallery- a building displaying something in a case, usually art

Tourist- a person from a different place traveling around to other places

Oasis- a spot anywhere, usually in a desert, that is a relaxation place with water

Tenant Farmers- renters of land used to farm crops

Tanner- a person that tans animal hides for a living

Headquarters- premises occupied by a leader

Artifacts- an old item with lots of cultural and historical value

Nomination- the action of being appointed for something

Civil Rights- the right of freedom and equality between all humans

Luxury- the state of great comfort and exotic living


Map of New York