NYC Sister Cities around the world
NYC has always had a reputation as a international city, but its worldwide reach probably extends farther than you had imagined. Like many other cities, New York has relationships with metropolises around the world, but some of its partners are official “Sister Cities,” per Sister Cities International. Here are some fun facts about NYC and its global partners.
Johannesburg, South Africa
As one of New York City’s oldest Sister Cities, Johannesburg signed a corporate agreement approving sisterhood with NYC in 1994. Interestingly, the contract focused mostly on trade and business opportunities, supporting industries such as banking, investment, international trading, and bar associations. The official government document was signed by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and current South African Parliament member Ian Davidson.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo’s full name is Santo Domingo de Guzmán, and it’s actually not linked to only NYC. While most cities have one Sister City per country, Santo Domingo has four Sister Cities within the United States – St. Augustine, Miami, and Miami-Dade County in Florida, and New York City. This isn’t a big surprise, as there is a strong Dominican community in all four of those American cities. NYC’s Dominican population is currently the largest Latino population in New York City and has its hub in the South Bronx.
When you think of traveling “across the pond,” you think of going from America to England, but next time you should give Spain a try. This Sister City is located in the center of the country and has been linked to NYC since 1982. Madrid has been an active part of many programs has held with its partner cities, including the Public Art Summit – a two-day summit that concentrated on the municipal challenges of public art across the globe – and the Tourism Summit in 2003 – which focused on international tourism and was attended by Madrid’s mayor himself.
New York City and Tokyo have been Sister Cities for over 50 years. Of all the relationships that NYC has, the one with Tokyo is the oldest and its focuses are the most varied. Our two governments have established myriad joint programs together, including “Global Partners Junior,” New York City’s student internet exchange program, which has led to in-person visits from both countries. Both governments have also worked together to host cultural events about each other’s country, and have even held joint baseball tournaments. So the next time you’re taking a direct flight from JFK to Tokyo, thank the Sister City relationship. (Seriously – our governments worked together to make it happen.)
While not a sister to New York City, Gdynia, Poland is a sister to Brooklyn, New York. Yes – the New York boroughs don’t all have the same global sisters, which makes sense, given the different populations and cultures of each borough. Brooklyn is incredibly diverse, but the biggest connection to Gdynia is Greenpoint – the North Brooklyn neighborhood nicknamed “Little Poland” due to its thousands of inhabitants that claim Polish ancestry. If you’re looking for the cuisine to prove it, check out Krolewski Jadlo, a restaurant that specializes in Polish comfort food.