New York City is made up of five main boroughs (areas or districts) which include:
Manhattan is an island which is composed on solid granite. It is flanked by three water bodies namely the Hudson River on the West Side and the Harlem River and the East River on the East side. Manhattan which is commonly referred to as ‘the city’ by people in the outer boroughs is efficiently laid out in a grid system which is composed of streets and avenues. Avenues run north to south and start from East End Avenue on the eastern most side of the island and continue on till 12th Avenue on the West Side. The streets in Manhattan run east to west from 1st Street in Greenwich Village up to 220th Street which is located on the northern end of the island.
• The area below 1st Street is largely considered to be the ‘Downtown’ area of Manhattan this is the area which is home to Wall Street and the World Trade Center site.
• Immediately above this area, is the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown and the fast evolving area of the Lower East Side which has traditionally been associated with immigrants. Chinatown gives way to the extremely trendy area which is known as Soho.
• The area which extends from 1st onwards to 14th Street is classified as the general “Village” area. The area west of Broadway is Greenwich Village, and to the east is East Village.
• 14th to 34th Street west of Broadway is known as the area of Chelsea which has historically been associated with artists, musicians, art galleries, large loft apartments and trendy restaurants.
• 34th to 59th Street is generally regarded as “Midtown”
• Midtown West stretches from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River from 34th street to 59th street and encompasses several distinct districts with the fashion and garment district located on 7th avenue; the theater district located around neon illuminated Times Square on Broadway; the diamond district along 47th Street and Sixth Avenue; from 8th Avenue onwards is Hell’s kitchen (Clinton) originally a working class area, now filled with trendy boutiques and ethnic restaurants.
• Midtown East stretches from 30th Street east to 59th Street and it encompasses neighborhoods such as Murray Hill, Sutton Place and Beekman Place and Tudor City.
• The area that extends from 59th to 110th Street encompasses the mainly residential areas of the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, respectively. Between the two lies New York City’s iconic patch of green- Central Park.
• The Village of Harlem extends from 110th to 145th Street on both the east and west sides.
• The area from 145th to 220th Street has no special designation, but it does contain the neighborhoods of Inwood and Washington Heights,
Brooklyn was essentially a marsh land before it was settled by the Dutch settlers in the 16th century. The Dutch culture remained dominant in Brooklyn until the late 19th century when Brooklyn became a borough of New York City. Today this borough is characterized by many diverse ethnic neighborhoods each of which have its own distinct character. Brooklyn in connected to Manhattan via the historic Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge.
Main areas of Brooklyn include
• DUMBO – The area known as DUMBO (which is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge over pass) is today an extremely fashionable neighborhood in Brooklyn as it is home to several art galleries and restaurants as well as residential buildings.
• Brooklyn Heights is often likened to the Upper East Side of Manhattan with its Greek revival and Italianate style red brick and brownstone row houses most of which cost millions. The neighborhood rivals Upper Manhattan not only in prices but in also beauty and grandeur of its edifices.
• North Brooklyn contains the hipster neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
• Institute Park
• Park Slope and Prospect Park – another extremely fashionable area of Brooklyn. Park Slope is home to several ‘brownstones’ and is a area which is a favorite with families with young children as it has good schools. Park Slope also has several exciting dining and shopping options which are located along its 5th and 7th Avenues.
• South Brooklyn and Coney Island – Coney Island is a summer time favorite of New Yorkers as it is home to an old world amusement park which has several wildly popular attractions like the annual Mermaid parade.
The borough of Queens which is home to two main New York City airports, the John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) and the LaGuardia Airport and many industries was named after Queen Catherine Braganza who was the wife of Charles II of England. The area became a borough of New York in 1898 and it transformed from a farming area into a manufacturing hub. This borough historically has been extremely popular with the various immigrants of New York City and it continues to be organized into different ethnic enclaves until today. Queens is connected to Manhattan via the Queensboro and Triborough (Robert F Kennedy) Bridges.
The Main areas of the borough of Queens are:
• Corona Park
• Astoria – the traditional Greek neighborhood of New York City is today home to areas other ethnic areas like Little Egypt which is located around Steinway street.
• Long Island City – is one of the new and upcoming neighborhoods of New York City which is witnessing much construction activity.
• Hunter’s Point
• Southern Queens
The Bronx was named after its founder, the Dutch settler Jonas Bronck who claimed this marshy land for his farm in 1636. The Bronx was home initially to Irish and Italian immigrants but today it is largely home to the city’s Russian and Hispanic communities. The Triborough Bridge which has been renamed the Robert F Kennedy Bridge connects the Bronx to Manhattan and Queens. The Bronx Zoo, the Yankees Stadium and the New York Botanical Gardens are some of the city’s major landmarks that are located in the Bronx.
Some of the main areas of the Bronx include:
• Van Cortlandt Park
• Pelham Bay Park
• South Bronx
Staten Island was discovered by Florentine explorer Giovanni Da Verrazano. This island was won by a sailing team from Manhattan when it was offered as a prize in a sailing competition by the Duke of York in 1687. Staten Island is connected by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to Brooklyn while the Staten Island ferry which is a free public access ferry connects Staten Island to Manhattan.