FORTUNE -- It takes 10 years to become a New Yorker. There's no official document that says this, and you can argue the point if you like, but among my friends, that's the going wisdom.
So, it's official: I offer my congratulations to Google (GOOG). Your world headquarters may be in Mountain View, but you're an official New Yorker.
Of course, Google's first "office" was a Starbucks on 86th Street where Tim Armstrong regularly checked in with an over-caffeinated sales team starting in 2000. But in 2003, the company made a decision that was somewhat unusual by Silicon Valley's standards: It relocated two of its most talented engineers -- Craig Nevill-Manning and Craig Silverstein -- to the Big Apple. A former Rutgers professor, Nevill-Manning asked Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start the office and, as he remembers, "They said, if I could find 15 good engineers, I could stay."
A decade later, the company has more than 1,500 engineers among its 3,200 New York employees. That's a tenth of Google's global workforce. Roughly 60% of these folks work in engineering. Many notable products have been developed in the New York office including Maps and Docs.
The building itself has gone a long way toward making Google a credible citizen of the city. Google first moved into 111 Eighth Ave. in October 2006, five years before New York's trendy elevated park, The High Line, brought attention to the far west side of Manhattan. Then in December 2010, Google paid $1.9 billion to purchase the historic former Port Authority building, which occupies an entire city block and offers 3 million square feet of office space. (That's big. The Empire State building, by comparison, offers just more than 2 million square feet of office space.)
And in turn, Google deserves a good deal of credit for helping to seed New York's growing tech community. There's no doubt it has attracted talented engineers to the city. The company's alumni have often started or joined local tech startups. And as New York endeavors to get a world-class tech school -- Cornell NYC Tech -- up and running, Google is housing the students until the new campus on Roosevelt Island is ready. Eight students began classes on the third floor of 111 Eighth Ave. in January. Said Nevill-Manning, "They just celebrated the end of their first semester, and I went downstairs to see their final presentations."
Google's New York rise holds larger significance for Nevill-Manning. "In a way, Google coming here and technology in general flourishing here mirrors the rise of cities as desirable places to live," he reflects. "Silicon Valley was formed as an urban sprawl of industry in the '50s and '60s. I think creative people (and I count engineers among them because we're making things) want to live in cities."
So the Big Apple has more creative people than the Valley? Spoken like a true New Yorker.
New York City is catching up to the Bay Area with its burgeoning population of hot companies.
By Omar Akhtar/Graphic Nicolas Rapp
FORTUNE -- When Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to end New York's overdependence on Wall Street, the city responded by becoming the country's fastest-growing digital-technology hub. Despite less-than-stellar access to a reliable broadband network, New York now hosts over 1,800 tech companies. The city overtook Boston to become the country's MOREDec 5, 2012 5:00 AM ET
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Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster flew to New York City for Apple's (AAPL) launch of the new Pad Friday morning and counted 750 people waiting in line outside the big glass cube on Fifth Avenue when doors opened at 8 a.m.
He declared it a "strong start" despite the fact that Friday's headcount was 37% lower than the 1,190 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 16, 2012 9:52 AM ET
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News Corp. (NWS), a ship that leaks from the top, reports through AllThingsD that Apple (AAPL) has scheduled "an important — but not large-scale" New York City event in late January headlined by Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president for Internet software and services.
I'm having a hard time getting as excited about this as Kara Swisher seems MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 3, 2012 6:52 AM ET
Trying to get a straight answer to one of life's simplest questions
One of the great public services Apple (AAPL) offers in its flagship stores -- besides free repairs at the Genius Bars -- is bathrooms for its customers.
So when Apple was getting ready to open an enormous new store in Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal -- its fifth retail outlet in a city notorious for its lack of public facilities -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 24, 2011 4:21 AM ET
Apple's (AAPL) official photographs of Friday's opening ceremonies -- and the crowd that gathered in Grand Central Terminal to watch them -- are now available on its website here.
One as yet unsolved mystery: How Apple plans to lock the store at night.
Below: The staff.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 10, 2011 3:09 PM ET
And hundreds more crowd the terminal's main lobby to see what the fuss is about
What if Apple (AAPL) opened a new store and nobody came? We may never know. Thousands turned out early Friday for the opening of its fifth retail store in Manhattan, this one perched on the balconies above the main lobby of Grand Central Terminal.
The company promised free T-shirts for the first 4,000 visitors. By 11:00 a.m., MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 9, 2011 9:52 AM ET
A three-minute YouTube tour, shot during Apple's (AAPL) press preview Wednesday, two days before the grand opening scheduled for Friday Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. (Free T-shirts for the first 4,000 visitors.)
The space was occupied today only by Apple staffers and representatives of the media. It may never be so empty again.
See also our report from inside the store here and Apple's press release here.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 7, 2011 1:19 PM ET
2 Genius Bars, 45 display tables, 3 walls of accessories, free Wi-Fi and no "public" toilets
Apple is reported to have paid $5 million to Metrazur Restaurant to buy out the eight years remaining on its Grand Central Terminal lease.
We suspect both sides of the deal got a bargain.
Metrazur, judging from the reviews in Yelp before it closed, was famous for strange sauces and slow service.
Apple (AAPL), judging from a tour of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 7, 2011 11:22 AM ET
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