New York City
Five distinct boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx) make up New York City, but Manhattan remains the Big Apple’s vibrant core, with its scores of museums and performing arts venues; one-of-a-kind shopping, restaurant, and nightlife scenes; and that classic steel cityscape unlike any other on the planet.
New York City Neighborhoods
MidtownThe epicenter of Manhattan’s bustle and buzz is the setting for many attractions, restaurants, hotels, and retail businesses of interest to visitors. Steer clear of nexuses like Herald and Times Square during workday rush hours, lest you be trampled by the crush of natives battling their way home through the area’s tourist belts.
Chelsea / Meatpacking DistrictLong known for gay culture and nightlife, Chelsea also encompasses the city's highest concentration of art galleries. The adjacent Meatpacking District is a trés trendy enclave of big-name designer boutiques, hip hotels, and hot nightspots.
Union Square / FlatironThe Union Square serves as a convenient hub for New Yorkers’ rendezvous and as the site of two famous markets: the year-round Greenmarket and the seasonal Holiday Market. To the northeast fo the bustling square is Gramercy Park, known for fashionable residential blocks filled with mid-19th-century brownstones.
Greenwich Village / West VillageDefying Manhattan's grid with its zigzag of historic streets and buildings, Greenwich Village and the West Village offer stellar shopping and dining establishments. Spend an afternoon lounging under the arch in the recently renovated Washington Square Park (home to New York University), then catch a comedy show or some live jazz on MacDougal Street.
East VillageEdgy and funky, the East Village has great music clubs and quirky bars and shops extending from Alphabet City to the trendy, much-gentrified Bowery, and from Houston Street to bustling Union Square. Gritty St. Mark’s Place, a punk mecca laden with tattoo parlors, is where most of the action lies.
SoHo / TriBeCaWhen SoHo – a downtown quarter of cast-iron 19th-century buildings bursting with art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques – became too expensive for starving artists, they claimed now-trendy TriBeCa, known since for its namesake film festival, multimillion-dollar lofts, and ripe celeb-spotting.
Chinatown / Little Italy / Lower East SideColorfully diverse, these traditionally ethnic enclaves combine international sights, tastes, and sounds. Funky bars and nightclubs define the Lower East Side on hip drags like Ludlow Street.
Financial DistrictCheck out Wall Street (New York’s financial headquarters), visit the Federal Hall National Memorial, pay your respects at Ground Zero, and ferry over to the Statue of Liberty.
Upper East SideThe highlight here is Museum Mile, home to nine major cultural institutions including the Met and Guggenheim museums. Otherwise, the elegant town house-lined neighborhood is mostly residential.
Upper West SideBordering Central Park’s western edge, this largely residential neighborhood is sprinkled with attractions like the American Museum of Natural History and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Harlem / Spanish HarlemSaunter by historic brownstones, sample savory soul food, or experience legendary music venues and spirited Sunday gospel in the place that inspired novelists like Langston Hughes.
BrooklynBrooklyn is New York City’s new “it” borough, not to mention the biggest (with more than 2.5 million residents, it’s a city in its own right). Recently, a mass migration of Manhattan’s cool young creative types lured by lower rents has unleashed a steady stream of urban renewal and spawned a host of unique hotspots. See our Brooklyn Travel Guide.
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