In these suddenly wintry days, sunrise does not begin to lighten the gloom until just before 7 a.m., but when its rays strike the plate glass towers all over the city, they turn it into gold, with a shining brightness that dazzles the eyes.

New York is still the world's most golden city in more ways than the sun dancing on the windows of the signature skyscrapers. The last few weeks have given many New Yorkers much to celebrate, especially those in finance and property. Both the major stock market indicators, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500, the most commonly used markers of the health of the world economy, are in record territory. American economic growth is robust at 3.9 percent.

On top of this, New York and the United States have a new crowning achievement: the new One World Trade Center building opened for business in November, a landmark 1,776 feet (541.3 meters) high, a deliberate reminder of the year of America's Declaration of Independence. It stands close to the site of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the Islamic terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.