The pope's plane touched down at JFK Airport at around 5:07 p.m.
Streets will be blocked off around each of the pope's seven stops, including St. Patrick's in Midtown, where the pope will ride in an open motorcade before leading evening vespers Thursday night.
At 6, the motorcade will travel along Fifth Avenue, before the evening prayers begin at 6:45.
Crowds were already lining up hours in advance of the pope's arrival.
He'll celebrate Mass in Madison Square Garden Friday night.
Also among the pope's stops on Friday will be Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem.
The pope arrived in from Washington, which was the first stop on a whirlwind three-city U.S. tour that winds up in Philadelphia.
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