Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on Manhattan Island at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York. The borough and county consist of Manhattan Island and several small adjacent islands: Roosevelt Island, Randall’s Island, Wards Island, Governors Island, Liberty Island, part of Ellis Island, Mill Rock, andU Thant Island; as well as Marble Hill, a very small area on the mainland bordering the Bronx. The original city of New York began at the southern end of Manhattan, expanded northwards, and then between 1874 and 1898, annexed land from surrounding counties.
The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson’s yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon). A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). The word “Manhattan” has been translated as “island of many hills” from the Lenape language. New York County is one of seven US counties to bear the same name as the state in which it lies (the others are Arkansas County, Hawaii County, Idaho County, Iowa County, Oklahoma County, and Utah County).
Museum Mile is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in the city of New York, in the United States, running from 82nd to 104th streets on the Upper East Side in a neighborhood known as Carnegie Hill. The “mile”, which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world, is actually two blocks longer than one mile. Nine museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue. A tenth museum, the Museum for African Art, joined the ensemble in 2009. In addition to other programming, the museums collaborate for the annual Museum Mile Festival, held each year in June, to promote the museums and increase visitation.
Manhattan is loosely divided into Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown, with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan’s east and west sides. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. To the north, the Harlem Riverdivides Manhattan from The Bronx and the mainland United States. Several small islands are also part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randall’s Island, Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Islandto the south in New York Harbor.
One Manhattan neighborhood is contiguous with The Bronx. Marble Hill at one time was part of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895 to improve navigation on the Harlem River, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan as an island between the Bronx and the remainder of Manhattan. Before World War I, the section of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from The Bronx was filled in, and Marble Hill became part of the mainland. Marble Hill is one example of how Manhattan’s land has been considerably altered by human intervention. The borough has seen substantial land reclamation along its waterfronts since Dutch colonial times, and much of the natural variation in topography has been evened out. Early in the 19th century, landfill was used to expand Lower Manhattan from the natural Hudson shoreline at Greenwich Street to West Street. When building the World Trade Center, 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 m³) of material was excavated from the site. Rather than dumping the spoil at sea or in landfills, the fill material was used to expand the Manhattan shoreline across West Street, creating Battery Park City. The result was a 700-foot (210-m) extension into the river, running six blocks or 1,484 feet (450 m), covering 92 acres (37 ha), providing a 1.2-mile (1.9-km) riverfront esplanade and over 30 acres (12 ha) of parks. Geologically, a predominate feature of the sub-strata of Manhattan is that the underlying bedrock base of the island rises considerably closer to the surface near the midtown district, dips down lower between 29th street and Canal street, then rises towards the surface again under the Financial district; this feature is the underlying reason for the clustering of skyscrapers in the Midtown and Financial district areas, and their absence over the intervening territory between these two areas, as their foundations can be sunk more securely into solid bedrock.
Manhattan has fixed vehicular connections with New Jersey to the west by way of the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel and Lincoln Tunnel, and to three of the four other New York City boroughs—the Bronx to the northeast and Brooklyn and Queens on Long Island to the east and south. Its only direct connection with the fifth New York City borough is the Staten Island Ferry across New York Harbor, which is free of charge. The ferry terminal is located near Battery Park at its southern tip. It is possible to travel to Staten Island by way of Brooklyn, using the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. Plays and musicals are staged in one of the 39 larger professional theatres with at least 500 seats, almost all in and around Times Square. Off-Broadway theatres feature productions in venues with 100–500 seats. A little more than a mile from Times Square is the Lincoln Center, home to one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, that of the Metropolitan Opera.
- Empire State Building
- The Chrysler Building
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower
- Woolworth Building
- 40 Wall Street
- Madison Square Garden
- Flatiron Building
- World Trade Centre Site
- St Patrick`s Cathedral
- New York Public Library
- Bank of America Tower
- James Farley Post Office
- Plaza Hotel
- Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
- Statue of Liberty
- Federal Hall
- Temple Emanu-El
- The Dakota Building
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 neighbourhoods, 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 neighbourhood 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. TheUpper West Side is often characterized as more intellectual and creative, in contrast to the old money and conservative values of the Upper East Side, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States.
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 59th 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. 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.
New York City is the place to see and do everything—including some of the world’s most famous recurring events. Whether you’re planning a visit next week or next year, the list below will help you find what’s happening during your stay—along with more information on what each major event is all about. Within each month, events are listed in the rough chronological order in which they occur (though the dates for certain events vary from year to year).