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Mando's series of photos present a view of Manhattan that most people do not associate with it. In our collective imagigination, "Manhattan" is "New York City" with its towering skyscrapers, the Wall Street financial center, the cultural center of the United States. But it is also an urban living center. Manhattan, which is physically the same as New York County, is the most densely populated county in the US, with nearly 72,000 inhabitants per sq. m. (almost 28,000 per sq. km). The name comes from "Mann-hata," the Lenape word for "island of many hills." In 1626 Dutch colonists bought the island from the Canarsee chief Seyseys for 60 guilders worth of trade gods (the equivalent of $1050), though most of the island was actually controlled by the rival Weckquaesgeeks. It was named Niew Amsterdam by the Dutch, who transferred it to the English in 1673 in exchange for Run, one of the smallest of the Banda Islands in modern Indonesia, the final link in the Dutch nutmeg monopoly. At that time it was renamed New York in honor of the king's brother the duke of York (who became James II). Though not the capital of the state of New York, it served briefly as the national capital from 1785 to 1790, the year in which it became the country's largest city. In 1898 the local county governments, along with all municipal governments within the counties, were dissolved to create the consolidated city of New York, consisting of five boroughs (Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, the most populous). [The state of New York defines "borough" as a municipal corporation created when a county merges with populated areas within it.) For much of the 20th century New York was the world's largest city.
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