Yonkers is situated just outside of New York City, approximately 2 miles north of the city of Manhattan. It is considered to be the most populated city in Westchester County and the fourth most inhabited city in New York State with a population of around 195,976. The most populated cities within the state are New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester.
Situated in Yonkers are several attractions, such as the Hudson River Museum, the Sherwood House, the Science Barge, Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers raceway and Ridge Hill Shopping Center. The raceway recently renovated in 2006, adding video slot machine gambling that is legalized and revitalizing its' grounds and clubhouse. There are numerous shopping areas located throughout Central Park Avenue, which is commonly known as "Central Ave" by residents.
In the latter part of the 1640's, the city's history begins when Adriaen Van der Donck received a land grant form the Dutch East India Company. On the location where the Hudson River intersects the Nepperhan Creek, Van der Donck built one of the areas very first saw mills. Van der Donck was lovingly referred to as Jonk Herr, that translates to young nobleman. Eventually, his land became called "Jonk Heer's land." The phrase developed into "the Younckers" and then lastly into Yonkers. Due to it's centralized location, the city of Yonkers quickly established itself as a main trading hub. Throughout the early history of Yonkers it was predominantly an agricultural community, but it's waterfront location rapidly led to innovations in travel, which in turn accelerated the establishment of various industries all around the city of Yonkers. There are quite a few times during history where the city of Yonkers played a major role in carpet and hat manufacturing. Furthermore, it was the place of the world's first elevated mass transit system. The city of Yonkers was first incorporated in 1872 with a population of roughly 20,000.
With over $3 billion dollars in changes, Yonkers has recently put forth a proposal to revitalize the locality. The proposal includes a lot of luxury housing, waterfront development, and lots of retail and commercial space. The aim is to increase tourism as well as the economic importance of the city to the county and state.
The city hosts a lot of annual events which can attract thousands of tourists. With average crowds of over 15,000 people, the Yonkers Hudson Riverfest offers a diverse selection of ethic foods. The Untermyer Performing Arts Festival holds performances each and every Saturday evening throughout the summer. The events, which comprise dance, opera, music and street theatre, are free of charge and are held on the Hudson River. What's more, the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra plays five times each year.