Wall Street.  Madison Avenue  34th Street Broadway

Manhattan is so well known that even the names of its streets have become iconic and understood the world over. This long, thin island is only one of New York City's five boroughs, but it's Manhattan that has the concrete canyons and the inimitable skyline; Manhattan that has the world's brightest and most renowned theater district; Manhattan that has Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the Guggenheim Museum, and the World Trade Center site; and Manhattan that comprises iconic neighborhoods like Harlem, the Upper East Side, Times Square, and Greenwich Village.

The rest of New York City has much to see and do, but it's Manhattan that represents the city—and sometimes the entire United States—to the world. You could spend a week on this tiny island and still not see all there is to see. Grab a yellow taxi, hop on the subway, or just start walking, and you're sure to begin to understand just what it is that makes Manhattan, Manhattan.

Manhattan is divided broadly into three sections: Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown. In common parlance locally, to go "Downtown" in Manhattan means to "go south", while going "Uptown" means to "go north".

The districts located south of 14th St are considered part of Downtown. Midtown, as the name suggests, occupies the approximate middle reach of Manhattan Island, sandwiched between 14th St and 59th St / Central Park. Midtown is divided into a number of neighborhoods, often indistinct with considerable overlap between them. The districts located north of 59th St are considered part of Uptown.

The "Triangle Below Canal Street". Home to trendy restaurants and Robert DeNiro's annual film festival, it is popular with the affluent trendy crowd and replete with trendy restaurants. Unlike SoHo to the north, Tribeca is not over-filled with shoppers on weekends, and Greenwich Street could be mistaken for the main street of a beautifully preserved small town.

"South of Houston Street" flows north from Canal St between the Hudson River and Lafayette St. The ultimate urban gentrification story, SoHo was a rundown industrial area until the 1960s, when artists began inhabiting its spacious and then-cheap lofts. After the artists came the galleries, then the celebrities, then the shoppers, and now the visitors. Filled with gorgeous cast-iron architecture (Greene St, especially), SoHo is a great shopping and dining destination, even if many of the artists have moved on.

Chinatown retains its ancient, exotic atmosphere, especially around Mott and Canal Sts. The diminishing Little Italy still exists on Mulberry St (and comes out in full force for Italian festivals such as the Feast of San Gennaro in September), but the surrounding blocks are morphing into fashionable Nolita ("North of Little Italy") or have been annexed by Chinatown.

Lower East Side
Famous as the Jewish immigrant ghetto of the early 20th century, the neighborhood today is enjoying a renaissance, with dozens of bars and restaurants.

Greenwich Village
Coffee houses, wine bars, lowrise but high art and literary connections, located between Houston and 14th Sts. The bohemian center of yore, today's Village is strongly upmarket but retains its diverse flavor, with its historic community around Christopher St and thousands of students who attend NYU.

East Village
Gritty and diverse but redeveloping, this area lies east of Broadway. Pockets of Ukrainians, Japanese, Indians and young professionals make it one of the most vibrant Manhattan areas. The once-shabby area formerly known as Alphabet City, centered on Avenues A through D, is now considered part of the East Village.

Chelsea Garment District
Having superseded Greenwich Village as the primary center of New York's gay community, this appealing district has a great mix of fashion, design, art, culture, bars and restaurants.

Gramercy Flatiron
A chic, stylish district of stately residential areas, gardens and squares, trendy restaurants and bars.

Theater District
34th-59th Sts, roughly west of 6th Ave - the name says it all: Broadway, Times Square, 42nd St, Hell's Kitchen, Columbus Circle; often overlapping in the area between Fifth and Sixth Aves with Midtown East. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is down on the Hudson River.

Also termed "Midtown East", this extensive area east of Sixth Ave includes a number of New York icons: the Empire State Building, the United Nations, Grand Central Terminal and more.

Central Park
With its lawns, trees and lakes, it is popular for recreation and concerts and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.

Upper East Side
Primarily a residential neighborhood, it remains New York City's wealthiest. Museums and restaurants abound.

Harlem and Upper Manhattan
Harlem, America's most famous black community, is home to an increasingly diverse mix of cultures. East Harlem (aka Spanish Harlem), the traditional center of Latino culture in Manhattan, has been joined by the lively, predominantly Dominican neighborhood of West Harlem, and Washington Heights to the north. Washington Heights is notable for Fort Tryon Park, the home of The Cloisters (the Medieval annex of the Metropolitan Museum). At the northern tip of Manhattan, Inwood's claim to fame is Inwood Park, the last remaining virgin forest on the island.


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