Theme Week New York City – Manhattan on Hudson River

Saturday, 17 January 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City

Midtown and Lower Manhattan © flickr.com - Eneas De Troya/cc-by-2.0

Midtown and Lower Manhattan © flickr.com – Eneas De Troya/cc-by-2.0

Manhattan is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is coterminous with New York County. The borough mostly consists of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson and Harlem Rivers, but also includes several small adjacent islands and a small area on the mainland. Manhattan has been described as the economic and cultural center of the United States, and is home to the United Nations Headquarters. Wall Street in Lower Manhattan has been called the financial capital of the world, has an estimated GDP of over $1.2 trillion, and is home of both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Manhattan’s real estate market is among the most expensive in the world, and many multinational media conglomerates are based in the borough.

Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan have become well known to New York City’s approximately 50 million annual visitors. Times Square, iconified as “The Crossroads of the World” and “The Center of the Universe“, is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theatre district, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. The borough hosts many world-renowned bridges, skyscrapers, and parks. Manhattan’s Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere. The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village served as the catalyst for the modern gay rights movement. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 50 in the world. The city of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of city government.

Midtown Manhattan © Dschwen/cc-by-sa-3.0 Central Park, seen from Rockefeller Center © flickr.com - wharman/cc-by-2.0 Manhattan, seen from New Jersey © FF23-fr/cc-by-sa-3.0 Manhattan neighborhoods © Beyond M _Ken/cc-by-sa-3.0 Midtown and Lower Manhattan © flickr.com - Eneas De Troya/cc-by-2.0
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Central Park, seen from Rockefeller Center © flickr.com - wharman/cc-by-2.0
The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan’s distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City’s identity since the end of the 19th century. From 1890–1973, the world’s tallest building was in Manhattan, with nine different buildings holding the title. The New York World Building on Park Row, was the first to take the title in 1890, standing 309 feet (91 m) until 1955, when it was demolished to construct a new ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge. The nearby Park Row Building, with its 29 stories standing 391 feet (119 m) high took the title in 1899. The 41-story Singer Building, constructed in 1908 as the headquarters of the eponymous sewing machine manufacturer, stood 612 feet (187 m) high until 1967, when it became the tallest building ever demolished. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, standing 700 feet (213 m) at the foot of Madison Avenue, wrested the title in 1909, with a tower reminiscent of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice. The Woolworth Building, and its distinctive Gothic architecture, took the title in 1913, topping off at 792 feet (241 m).

Manhattan’s many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for “TRIangle BElow CAnal Street”) or SoHo (“SOuth of HOuston”), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta (“NOrth of Little ITAly”) and NoMad (“NOrth of MADison Square Park”). Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands. Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C and D, to which its name refers. Some have simple folkloric names like Hell’s Kitchen alongside their more official but lesser used title Clinton. Some neighborhoods, such as SoHo, are commercial and known for upscale shopping. Others, such as Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, have long been associated with the Bohemian subculture. Chelsea is a neighborhood with a large gay population, and recently a center of New York’s art industry and nightlife. Washington Heights is a vibrant neighborhood of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Chinatown has a dense population of people of Chinese descent. Koreatown is roughly bounded by 5th and 6th Avenues, between 31st and 36th Streets. Rose Hill features a growing number of Indian restaurants and spice shops along a stretch of Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th Streets which has become known as Curry Hill.

In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system is oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest). This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street, with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation. Central Park divide Midtown into Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Fifth Avenue roughly bisects Manhattan Island and acts as the demarcation line for east/west designations (e.g., East 27th Street, West 42nd Street); street addresses start at Fifth Avenue and increase heading away from Fifth Avenue, at a rate of 100 per block in most places. South of Waverly Place in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Though the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east-west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one way with a few exceptions (14th, 34th and 42nd to name a few). The rule of thumb is odd numbered streets run west while evens run east.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on NYCgo.com – Manhattan, Wikivoyage Manhattan and Wikipedia Manhattan (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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