The City of New York (more commonly New York City, New York, or "the City" to residents of the American Northeast) was one of the largest cities in North America prior to the Pale Wars. It was widely recognized as the artistic, cultural, and economic capital of the United States and, to an extent, Western civilization in general.
The Pale Wars
New York City was home to the United Nations, an international diplomatic body that was the closest thing humanity had to a world government. The Votanis Collective, shortly after their arrival, was granted special status and later membership in that body. The Votan Ambassador to the United Nations was assassinated on live television by a "humans first" terrorist- the assassination presumably occurred in New York City.
New York City survived the Arkfall and the Pale Wars in some form, and today serves as the capital of the Earth Republic. The relative stability of the Earth Republic ensures that New York City is enjoying a population boom as of 2046. Amanda Rosewater lived and worked in New York City for a time as an assistant to the E-Rep parliament, before abruptly relocating to Defiance after she ended her relationship with Connor Lang, an E-Rep politician.
In 2047 New York was terraformed by the kaziri (in his objective of creating a "wulaiche") destroying the city and killing the majority of its inhabitants, the result was a perfectly recreated Irath environment with plants, animals and geological formations. This event, called "The Great Terraformation" by the survivors, led to the fall of the Earth Republic.