New York: City of Opportunity

A Big Apple Reader for Intermediate and Advanced Students of ESOL

Second edition, 2022

"A rich source of information about the city, combined with a set of carefully-designed lessons. The wonderful photographs enhance this unique travel guide and ESL reader."

-Judith L. Aissen, Professor of Linguistics; University of California, Santa Cruz.



Now in its second edition, New York: City of Opportunity offers 45 reading selections about New York City: its history and culture, local customs, getting around, where to go, what to see and what to do.

Most of the topics are common knowledge to people who have grown up in New York City, but are new and interesting to visitors and immigrants.

This book was written mostly for intermediate and advanced students of ESOL, but it can also be useful to ABE-HSE and EL-Civics students. It provides vocabulary practice, comprehension exercises, grammar points and follow-up discussion suggestions.

Written by an ESOL teacher who is also a native New Yorker, City of Opportunity is part cultural reader, part guidebook and part vocabulary and conversation textbook. Along with its companion volume, New York: City of Dreams (written for beginner students), it is the first ESOL reader about the Big Apple.


Table of Contents

Part I. City of Opportunity    
1. Welcome to New York!   
2. New York’s First People    
3. Old New York: 1524-1898              
4. Manhattan                    
5. Brooklyn    
6. Queens     
7. The Bronx    
8. Staten Island    
9. Some New York City Neighborhoods    
10. Why We Call New York “The Big Apple”    

Part II. Getting Around    
11 .The New York City Subway System    
12. Riding the Subway    
13. Riding the Bus    
14. How to Find a Manhattan Address     

Part III. Things about NYC    
15. New York City Says “Hi” to You!    
16. How to Be a Real New Yorker    
17. NYC Idioms and Slang    
18. Tipping    
19. No Smoking    
20. Finding a Public Restroom in Manhattan    
21. How to Find a Good Restaurant    
22. A Good Cup of Coffee    
23. Thrift Stores    
24. Where Does NYC’s Water Come From?    
25. Safety First    
26. Emergency 911 and Non-Emergency 311    
27. Public Libraries in NYC    
28. Things About NYC that Will Surprise You    

Part IV. Where to Go, What to See, What to Do   
29. Times Square:  Crossroads of the World     
30. Broadway Shows and More!    
31. Central Park      
32. The Metropolitan Museum of Art    
33. A Walk Down Fifth Avenue      
34. A Walk Along 42nd Street    
35. The High Line    
36. The National Museum of the American Indian    
37. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum    
38. Four Quiet Places in Manhattan    
39. A Visit to Roosevelt Island    
40. The Staten Island Ferry      
41. The Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge    
42. The Brooklyn Museum    
43. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden    
44. Minor League Baseball    
45. Study English in New York City    

Talking Together
Answer Key    


New York: City of Opportunity

ISBN: 978-1-7261959-0-4. Gaupo Publishing ESOL/Createspace. 169 pages, 8.5 inches x 11 inches, 78 b&w illustrations. Second edition. June 2022. $7.95 (paperback).

To order the paperback edition of New York; City of Opportunity, click here.

To learn about the companion volume, New York: City of Dreams, click here.


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