Manhattan & the outer boroughs

The city proper of New York, New York is divided into 5 boroughs. Manhattan is the business center, and contains most of the city’s skyscrapers. The other four boroughs are known as the outer boroughs: Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

The Bronx is the birthplace of hip-hop, and the home of the New York Yankees. Brooklyn is the most ethnically diverse area, not only in New York, New York, but the entire United States. Its long beachfront sports one of the oldest amusement parks in the country, Coney Island and Astroland Park. Queens is home to Shea Stadium and the New York Mets. Staten Island is the smallest borough of New York and the most sparsely populated. It features a popular tourist destination, the “Staten Island Ferry” ride.

Manhattan is the best-known tourist destination in New York City. It is famous for its skyline- including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and at one time the twin towers of The World Trade Center, which were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001. The area is now referred to as Ground Zero, and is still visited by devastated tourists and family members of those lost.

Manhattan is also the center of Wall Street; the financial district, Broadway; the theater district, and a center of education including New York University, Columbia University, Yeshiva University and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the American Museum of Natural History. Ethnic neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Harlem are also popular destinations for tourists, as well as the famous Central Park.

Finding your way around Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York, New York may be confusing at first. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan and acts as a demarcation line for east/west locations. Uptown usually means north, and downtown usually means south. Nearly all east-west streets use numeric designations, which increase form south to north. Avenues run from north to south.

Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan. It is bordered on the north by Chambers Street, the west by the North River, and on the south by Battery Park and New York Harbor. Wall Street, City Hall, The Municipal Building and Ground Zero are located in Lower Manhattan. Other destinations include the South Street Seaport, Fulton Fish Market, the Brooklyn Bridge, and embarkation points for the Staten Island Ferry, and ferries to Ellis Island.

Upper Manhattan is described as the non-tourist section of Manhattan. Its southern boundary is recognized as anything between 59th Street and 155th Street. In between lies the portion of the borough in which the numbered streets are three-digit numbers. The neighborhoods include Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights, Harlem and part of the Upper West Side including Morningside Heights and Manhattan Valley.

Harlem is one of the only neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan that might appeal to tourist when visiting New York, New York. Harlem is a major center for African-American culture and business. The area is defined on the east by being north of 96th Street, on the North of Central Park at 110th Street and 5th Avenue, and by 125th Street west of Morningside Heights. The Hudson River provides the western boundary to Harlem, as well as being a city, county and state line.

Harlem has produced many great artist, athletes and activists. Some of these include Alexander Hamilton, John James Audubon, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall and Harry Belafonte. Harlem has also been a popular location for producers to film movies and television shows, like the 1971 series Shaft.

Midtown extends from 40th Street up to the southern edge of Central Park on 59th Street, and from 3rd Avenue in the east to 9th Avenue in the west. Midtown is generally broken down into neighborhoods such as Turtle Bay, Murray Hill-Kips Bay, Hell’s Kitchen-Clinton, and others. Shopping is a popular draw for the Midtown area, especially with stores like F.A.O Schwarz. It is also the location of Time Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Grand Central Terminal.

This is just a small taste of The Big Apple. Good, isn’t it?

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