About Manhattan

About ManhattanManhattan is an island that is one of the boroughs of New York City. Manhattan is home to most of the well-known landmarks in New York City including the large majority of the skyscrapers in the area. Most images of New York City show the Manhattan skyline. Manhattan contains more people per square mile than any other part of the city. It is currently home to over 1.5 million people although the entire island covers less than 23 square miles of land. One of the reasons that some of the tallest buildings have been constructed in Manhattan is because of the underlying geology and bedrock.

The layout of Manhattan is a simple grid above 14th Street although the streets quickly become confusing and tangled as the island narrows in the south. Most of the streets running east to west are numbered outside of the downtown area. The streets that run north to south are sometimes numbers but include more recognizable names like Broadway and Columbus Avenue. The streets in the downtown area below 14th Street and especially below Canal Street are largely unnumbered. Navigating the city is very easy except in the downtown area.

Manhattan is made up of several distinct neighborhoods. The southernmost areas are known as the Business District and Battery Part on the west. Tribeca is located just north of the Business District. The name Tribeca is short for the triangle beneath Canal Street. On the east side is the neighborhood known as the Lower East Side where many artists and bohemian stores are located. The west side is called SoHo, which is short for south of Houston Street. The areas north of SoHo and the Lower East Side become less distinct but include Chelsea to the west and Gramercy to the east.

The numbered streets in the middle of Manhattan from the 30s up are considered Midtown. Midtown stops at 59th Street where Central Park begins. Central Park divides the upper part of Manhattan into the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side until 110th Street. North of 110th Street is considered Harlem until it turns into Inwood at the very tip of Manhattan.

Most families will want to visit the large buildings in Midtown such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. This is also near Radio City Music Hall where live performances are given. Times Square is located at 42nd Street on the west side of the city. Time Square has many restaurants and large stores as well as massive monitors that play entertainment or advertisements. The Museum Mile is located on the Upper East Side. This stretch includes the Natural History Museum, the Whitney, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visitors will want to spend some time exploring Central Park in the middle of Manhattan. Central part runs for nearly 60 blocks. There are skating rinks in the winter, Shakespeare in the Park in the summer, a zoo and a carousel. Playgrounds and benches dot the park. A large manmade lake sits in the middle of the park where visitors can rent rowboats for an hour or more. Central Park also has fine dining options such as Tavern on the Green although these types of restaurants have strict dress codes and often require reservations.