Manhattan -


Manhattan from the ocean,
New York City

  New York City  
  Midtown Manhattan
  Financial District
  Theatre District
  TriBeCa
  Upper East Side
  Upper West Side
  Gramercy Flatiron
  Parks & Gardens
  Shopping

The Avenues (e.g., Fifth Avenue, Seventh Avenue) run north-south and are the long, wide streets. The Streets (e.g., 4th Street, 8th Street) run east-west and start at 1st Street (just above Houston Street), running up to 220th Street at the northern end of the island. (Incidentally, the numbering pattern of streets continues northward into the Bronx, but does not continue into Brooklyn or Queens.) 20 city blocks, or the numbered streets, equals one mile, if you need to figure out how long of a walk it is between two places.

(Warning: There is one exception to this. Numbered streets are not all parallel to one another in Greenwich Village, which is on the West Side below West 14th St. West 4th St. slants to the northwest, crossing higher-numbered streets up to 13th St.)

Get in

Manhattan being an island, access (whether by car, taxi, bus or by foot) has generally to be made by means of either a bridge or a tunnel. Probably the most famous of these is the Brooklyn Bridge. If you're coming from LGA airport by cab, consider asking the driver to take the Queensboro or Williamsburg Bridges into Manhattan if you're going to Midtown or Downtown, respectively, and save yourself the bridge toll.

Get around

The best ways to get around Manhattan are on foot, by cab, or by taking the subway or bus. Driving in town can be quite an adventure, and is best left to the locals.

When traveling by cab, it is best to ensure that you are using a licensed cab; the easiest way is to ask at the concierge at your hotel or flag down one of the ubiquitous yellow cabs or do so yourself. Note that it is customary and expected to tip at least 15% for normal taxi service.

Maps of the New York subway system and Manhattan buses, schedules of subway and bus lines, and information about temporary service changes due to construction can be found at The Metropolitan Transportation Authority website. Bus schedules and route maps are also usually posted on poles at bus stops.

Internet

Throughout Manhattan, open WiFi access points appear to be abundant. Some stores, such as Apple SoHo, and Tekserv, offer free wireless Internet to customers, and T-Mobile pay Internet access is available in Starbucks and other select locations. Find more free wireless hotspots across the city at NYC Wireless .

Get out

Too many travelers probably spend all (too much) of their time in New York solely on Manhattan - the island actually makes a great base from which to travel to one or more of the other, Outer Boroughs as well.

Manhattan is one of New York's five boroughs and is what people most often think of when they picture New York. Manhattan is actually an elongated island and includes most of the best known and most popularly visited neighborhoods, including the Financial District downtown.

Districts

Downtown Manhattan
The districts located south of 14th Street are considered part of "Downtown" (note: to go "Downtown" in Manhattan means to "go south"):

  Lower Manhattan - the Financial District (CBD) of New York, Wall Street, World Trade Center site, the Seaport and Battery Park, a departure point for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
  TriBeCa - the "Triangle Below Canal Street". Home to trendy restaurants and Robert DeNiro's annual film festival, it is popular with the affluent trendy crowd.
  Soho - "South of Houston Street" flows north from Spring Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway and has largely completed its journey from 1980s urban artist colony to a fashionable, high-end shopping and entertainment district.
  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, low-rise but high art and literary connections, located between Houston and 14th Streets. The bohemian center of yore, today's Village is strongly up market (especially west of 7th Avenue) but retains its diverse flavor, with its historic community around Christopher Street 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.

Chinatown retains its scruffy, exotic atmosphere, especially around Mott and Canal Streets. The diminishing Little Italy still exists on Mulberry Street (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.

Midtown Manhattan
As the name suggests, Midtown Manhattan occupies the approximate middle reach of Manhattan Island, sandwiched between Lower Manhattan (below 14th Street) and Upper Manhattan (above 59th Street / Central Park). Midtown is divided into a number of neighborhoods, often indistinct (considerable overlap exists between them!):

  Chelsea Garment District - now the center of New York's "village", this district will appeal to all with its 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 Streets, roughly west of 6th Avenue - the name says it all: Broadway, Times Square, 42nd Street, Hell's Kitchen, Columbus Circle; often overlapping in the area between Fifth and Sixth Avenues with Midtown East. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is down on the Hudson River.
  Midtown - also termed "Midtown East", this extensive area east of Sixth Avenue includes a number of New York icons: the Empire State Building, the United Nations, Grand Central Station and more.

Uptown / Upper Manhattan
  Central Park - with its lawns, trees and lakes 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 most desired address. Luxury apartment homes line Fifth Avenue opposite Central Park as well as Park Avenue. The section of Fifth Avenue by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum is one of New York's classic streets. The fringes of the neighborhood, including 59th Street and above 96th Street, are quickly being redeveloped as the Upper East Side expands outwards.
  Upper West Side - often called the city's quintessential neighborhood and made famous by TV's Seinfeld, it includes delightful residential streets, the twin-towered facades of the old apartment hotels on Central Park West and Riverside Drive, two of the city's best-known markets (Zabar's and Fairway) and one of its major museums - the American Museum of Natural History
  Morningside Heights - home to Columbia University and some large churches
  Harlem - America's most famous black community, now home to an increasingly diverse range of cultures. While old standbys like Sylvia's soul food restaurant and the Apollo Theater are still going strong, Harlem and particularly 125th Street are amidst a renaissance as new homeowners renovate historic brownstones and new development surges. Further north from Harlem are Washington Heights and Inwood, unlikely to be on most tourists' radar screen but also fast improving from their days as by-words for urban blight. There are famous churches in the area, such as the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and some of these have famous gospel choirs.
  Roosevelt Island - an elongated strip of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens on Long Island

Attractions

Manhattan is home to many of New York's premier tourist attractions. Following is a selection of the highlights / "must sees" - the remainder will be found within the articles for the various Manhattan districts and neighborhoods.

Landmarks
  Empire State Building
  Chrysler Building
  Rockefeller Center
  Grand Central Terminal
  United Nations

Museums and galleries
  Metropolitan Museum of Art
  Guggenheim Museum
  Museum of Modern Art
  American Museum of Natural History
  Frick Collection
  Museums of Lower Manhattan

Activities

  Take the Staten Island Ferry for a great view of New York Harbor
  Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  Take a walking tour with Big Apple Greeters or a self-guided tour
  See a concert at Carnegie Hall, an opera at the Metropolitan Opera, or go to one of the famous or less famous clubs for some jazz, rock, salsa, etc.
  Go to a Broadway, off-Broadway, or off-off Broadway play

Dining

Recommended places to eat can be found under the various districts of Manhattan, located in the Districts section above.

Stay safe

Manhattan and New York generally have experienced a major falloff in crime during the past decade, so there is no need to be afraid to walk the streets day and night and take the subways and buses, but precautions should still be taken. Especially during the holiday season, pickpockets like to target shoppers near tourist attractions such as Times Square, 42nd Street, and Macy's, and anywhere where there is a crush of crowds. In order to foil them, never put your wallet or anything of value in your back pockets, but only in your front pockets. If you use a purse, make sure it is tightly closed and hold on to it. And when you sit down, such as in a restaurant, be careful to keep your valuables in places where an opportunistic thief would be hard pressed to snatch them and run.

Manhattan is in certain ways a pedestrian's paradise, but beware that traffic regulations are not always obeyed to the letter. Watch for aggressively turning cars and bicyclists riding the wrong way on one-way streets or on sidewalks. The problem is not constant, but these things happen often enough for them to be worth keeping in the back of your mind while walking on the streets and sidewalks. Jaywalking is commonplace among New Yorkers, but can be hazardous to those not experienced in judging the speed of oncoming cars, so be careful.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License


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