The Districts of Manhattan Without a doubt, Manhattan is the best known New York borough as well as the most important one. Manhattan is the most densely populated borough in the country – there are more than 27,000 people per mÂ². In Manhattan you will not only find the world famous attractions, but also the economic heart of one of the most important cities in the world. Nearly 1,6 Million people live in Manhatten, which only covers an area of 87kmÂ². Many of the 1,6 million people were born outside the USA and have put their own cultural stamp in many of the districts. Often it is these neighborhoods that are worth visiting and most tourists to New York tend to visit only Manhattan anyway!
The artists have meanwhile moved away from this district to make room for anyone who can afford to pay the high rents. Greenwich Village lies on the western side of Downtown between 14th Street and Broadway, where also Christopher Street lies, namesake for the famous gay parades. The level of promincence of Greenwich village, however stems from its past as the home to writers and artist of the Beatnik-generation. Authors like Truman Capote, Maya Angelou and Jack Kerouac used to live here, just to name a few. But Greenwich Village is just as important for the music. Black musicians like Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole performed here long before overcoming racial boundaries. Later the music bar of this district were springboards for the likes of Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. Even today, many celebrities live in the Village and its liberal atomosphere is maintained by the residents.
The arts district gets its name from its location, South of Houston Street. SoHo was the new venue for artists, after the rents skyrocketed in Greenwich Village. However, SoHo was soon heading in the same direction. In the former factory buildings and warehouses you will still find to this day many studios and galleries. In SoHo you will find a lot of buildings built in the cast- iron architecture of the second half of the 19th century, that are joined to form a National Historic Landmark. In the north of the SoHo district you will find many tourists, who are looking to buy a bargain from street vendors and boutiques.
Chinatown is considered the largest enclaveÂ ofÂ ChineseÂ people outside of China. The number of inhabitants in this district is estimated at about 100,000. The exotic goods in the shops, the foreign characters on the buildings and the Buddhist temples let you forget that you are in the United States. Chinatown has grown to such an extent that it has almost completely swallowed its neighboring Little Italy, leaving just a single street. The roots of this district date back to the late 19th Century, later waves of immigration (especially after a loosening of immigration laws in 1965) ensured influx of further immigrants. Visitors will not only find Chinese food and supermarkets in Chinatown, but also many restaurants and retailers with not always genuine branded goods.
The most impotant address of the global financial business is located in downtown Manhattan. Here you’ll find some major banks and financial institution, not forgetting the two most important Stock exchanges in the world, the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. There are many buildings and skyscrapers around Wall street and worth seeing is the Customs House, built in 1842, which now serves as the Federal Hall National Memorial. It was at this point in 1700 where New York’s first town hall was built, which temporarilyÂ servedÂ as the first capitol building of the United States – and where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the country. Also popular with tourists is the Federal Reserve Bank building on Liberty Street, where a considerable part of the U.S. gold reserves are stored.
The Central Park is 340-acres big and is the main venue of New Yorkers at the weekends. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstedt Laux and Calvert from 1858, when Manhattan only reached up to 39th Street and Central Park, which begins at the 59th street seemed far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Now the park lies in the middle of the city, but after just a few steps, it will seem you have left the noise and bustle behind. Central Park is a unique urban oasis of relaxation and you will find the most expensive residential areas of the city at its edges. The complex includes stages for concerts, several ponds and lakes, and various horticultural elements as well as the the Central Park Zoo (Madagascar anyone!?)
Times Square is probably the liveliest spot in Manhattan. This is where Broadway and Seventh Avenue meet and you will find a lot of theater and stages here, and of course the huge, colorful advertising installations. It takes something special to attract attention. Times Square has long been something of a sordid place, with sex shops and bawdy theaters, but the former Mayor Giuliani had these establishments clear out and settled family-friendly businesses here instead, including a Disney store, a Toys-R-Us and the New York version of Madame Tussaud’s. In addition, various television programs are recorded here, conveniently located in ground-level studios, to let fans gather at the windows. Times Square is often referred to as the “Crossroads of the World” and is probably the most popular backdrop for the New Year’s Eve celebration in the country. Hundreds and thousands of people flow to New York City every year to take part in this celebration, which is also broadcast nationwide on television. Since February 2011, Times Square is a Non smoking area – if you get caught with a cigarette, expect to pay a $50 penalty.Tags: Greenwich Village, New York City, SoHo, Times Square