Test your knowledge: NYC <=> Europe and Egypt

As I return home from my travels across Europe and Egypt, I can’t help but think of the many connections I noticed to New York.  Below are ten such connections, in order of easiest to hardest.

1)  Pizza Time – Perhaps the only place more famous than New York for its pizza is Italy.  Specifically, what city takes credit for inventing the pizza over 100 years ago?

My friend John prepares to demolish this pizza at Da Michele: the most famous pizzeria in the most famous pizza city in the world.

2)  Egyptian Temples and Obelisks – New York can lay claim to exactly one Egyptian Obelisk and one Egyptian Temple.  Both of which were gifts from the Egyptian Government (we didn’t steal them!)  Where can you find and visit these antiquities?

An obelisk at Karnack Temple, in Luxor, Egypt.

3)  Peace Sculptures – Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd is famous for his peace imagery, specifically Non-Violence, the sculpture of a revolver tied into a knot.  This sculpture can be found in various places around Europe, including Luxembourg, where I stumbled across it.  At what peace-promoting institution in New York can you find an original version of Reuterswärd’s Non-Violence?

Non-violence at the Jean Monnet Building, European Union headquarters, Luxembourg.

4)  Frank Gehry – This Canadian celebrity architect has work scattered all across the globe, from Barcelona, to Hong Kong to Toronto.  Name a building he designed in New York (hint: there are 3, plus two interiors).

Taking a bike ride along Barcelona’s redesigned coastline. Gehry’s Olympic Fish is in the background.

5)  Neapolitan Mosaics – In addition to its Pizza, Naples (and specifically the ill-fated Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum) is famous for its intricate mosaics.  Arguably the most famous mosaic in New York was a gift of the people of Naples—where is this mosaic and what does it commemorate?

A Roman mosaic on display in the National Archeological Museum. Beautiful mosaics like these were preserved after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79.

6)  Venetian Gondola –  Not far from the famous mosaic, one spots an authentic Venetian Gondola complete with gondolier for hire ($30/half hour).  On what popular waterway can you find this little slice of Italy?

Gondola’s are a blast (even in the winter!) But the ones in Venice will cost you almost twice as much as their New York counterpart.

7)  Florentine Palazzos – Florence is famous for its Renaissance art and architecture including its Palazzos, imposing fortresses designed as displays of security and political muscle.  What Manhattan federal building draws on Florentine Palazzo architecture for the same effect?

Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, begun over 500 years ago.

8)  Bronze Doors – Still in Florence, among the most famous set of doors in the world are the bronze doors at the entrance to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, completed 1336.  Over half a century later, 4 sets of similar bronze doors were designed by Statue of Liberty pedestal architect Richard Morris Hunt.  In what NYC landmark were they installed?

Florence’s bronze Baptistery Doors…Ray for scale.

9)  Don Quixote – While in Madrid, I visited the house of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes.  In the 1980s, the City of Madrid gave New York a statue of their most famous writer.  In the Spanish department of what university does this statue stand? (Hint: You have to go down a back alley…this neighborhood is full of back alleys.)

Don Quixote painting at the Cervantes House

10)  Close to home – New York was founded by the Dutch, as were many of the original neighborhoods that went on to become Brooklyn.  Many Dutch words have worked their way into the New York vernacular–from Coney Island, to “stoop,” to Yankee.  In Amsterdam, one of the prominent landmarks is the New Church, or Nieuwe Kerk.  Where in New York can you find a Nieuwe Kerk reference to our Dutch heritage?  (Hint: This is the name of MY subway stop!)

Amsterdam’s Neiuew Kerk

Scroll down for answers…













  1. Naples
  2. In Central Park and inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  3. United Nations
  4. 8 Spruce St (AKA New York By Gehry, the giant, twisting silver building right next to the Brooklyn Bridge), IAC Building (the frosted, iceberg-esque building near the High Line at Chelsea Piers), and the Signature Theature on 42nd St and 10th Ave.
  5. Strawberry Fields, John Lennon
  6. The Lake at Central Park
  7. Federal Reserve
  8. Trinity Church
  9. NYU
  10. Newkirk Avenue and Newkirk Plaza in Ditmas Park/Flatbush, Brooklyn!


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12 Responses to Test your knowledge: NYC <=> Europe and Egypt

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  2. First, your writing on this is just gorgeous. Welcome back from bar exam studying, my little creative writer. Next, as a Texan who grew up surrounded by hunting, it’s hard for me to be anti-gun. But I do think that these cases indicate a) a need for better health care for the mentally ill; b) a need for mental illness background checks to obtain gun licenses; and c) more regulation for assault weapons (i.e. differentiating between hunting equipment and murdering equipment). But I realize the NRA is a near-impossible force to fight. You threaten one “right,” and the opposition comes out in full force….

  3. Falsa dicotomia é falsa.Ela não funciona para bananaman ray conforto (que apóia a supremacia branca e pedofilia btw) e ele não funciona para você.

  4. Bahasanya bagus, euy. Puitik. Hehehe.Sudah bicara dengan ehm… sapa tu namanya.. Lembaga Dakwah Kampret… mengenai masalah ini?Ada tanggapan dari mereka, Jo?Saya sebenarnya amat berharap temen-temen sekampusnya Joe dari LDK mau menjawab postingan ini. Sebab pertanyaan Jo mengenai ‘pertikaian’ muslim Indonesia level grass-root adalah realita yang hingga kini tak berkesudahan, adalah pertanyaan yang bagus sekali.*berharap ada komen/posting balasan dari LDK (atau minimal pendukung idenya)*

  5. Wir haben letztens auch einen Schreck bekommen, als unsere 5 Monate alte Tochter von der Couch gefallen ist. Das war für uns ein Warnschuss, um besser aufzupassen. Einmal für 2 Sekunden weggeschaut und schon ist´s passiert.Herzliche Grüße aus Berlin,Michaela

  6. I remember watching Devo on Saturday night live that night and I must say it really made an impression on my 7 year old mind. I especially remember the Jocko Homo performance where they stripped out of their jumpsuits and were wearing the black shirts with “DEVO” on them. I think all the other kids at school thought I lost my mind when I went around saying “We are DEVO!” I never became a huge Devo fan but that performance on SNL is something I’ll never forget.

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  8. i was happy to see your update, saved me a thought out comment  ;)getting lice is hell for the parent. i had it once and my mom joked that if i got it again we were just going to burn all the clothes and sheets and start over (not that should could've afforded that).

  9. Here is an idea – if muslims demand special privileges, give them theseprivileges BUT make them pay forthese privileges via a special muslim-only tax. So if they want tohave special canteens which are Islamcompliant, give them these canteens -but only after them have paid for them via a special tax that would be imposedon muslims only, and collected along with the regular taxes. This proposal could should be appliedto all the minorities that come up withany special requests (assuming theserequests are within the limits of thelaw). Regards,Andy

  10. Hi there. I just got back from egypt last night so my mind is fresh with answers! haha. Yes there is many difeerfnt markets, especially if you go to sharm el sheikh, with naama bay, they have many beautiful cloths from cashmere, silk and cotton and you have to barter for a best price although this puts some people of going. You have to joke along with the people and not take them too seriously; yuop’ll be fine. Also yes, the main currency you use is egyptian pound or american dollers.

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  12. Ibrahima

    Well Done ! Nice counter research on your side it shows how knowledgable you are about NYC.

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