New York City – More than just Manhattan
New York City is the epitome of the North American metropolis and has fascinated people around the world for many decades. The City That Never Sleeps is gigantic; it is the most populous city in English-speaking North America. It is an important centre for culture, media, fashion, food, finance, trade and many other fields and it is a thoroughly fascinating place to visit. New York City is actually too large a term so let’s have a look at the five boroughs of NYC.
Undoubtedly the most glamorous and well-known of New York City’s boroughs, Manhattan is what most people think of when they hear the term New York City. Dominated by historic and contemporary skyscrapers, this is vintage Gotham City and has been featured in many movies over the years. The most important landmarks in Manhattan are, of course, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and the new World Trade Centre. Eclectic and unique neighbourhoods include Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, the East Village, Midtown, the Upper East and Upper West Sides and more. Central Park is the large green oasis in the middle of it all and a huge attraction for the locals and visitors alike.
There is so much to see in Manhattan; the iconic architecture also includes Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Centre and the New York Public Library. Times Square is the popular gathering place in Manhattan. Museums abound and include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and many other special interest museums.
The Theater District is the heart of New York City’s performing arts with 40 theatres that are collectively referred to as “Broadway”. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is home to several important arts organizations, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and others. Carnegie Hall is an important concert venue in Midtown Manhattan.
Brooklyn is New York City’s most populous borrow and located across the East River from Manhattan. Brooklyn also has several interesting districts and neighbourhoods; Downtown Brooklyn boasts impressive architecture and a great view of Manhattan. Prospect Park is surrounded by attractive brownstone houses and home to the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Coney Island and Brighton Beach are home to the legendary Coney Island amusement parks. Brooklyn Heights is a residential district with many elegant buildings and historic churches while DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) was once popular with artists but is now attracting a much more well-heeled crowd. Brooklyn has many other districts that all have their unique flavours.
Queens is located straight east of Manhattan on the other side of the East River. Queens is home to both John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Important sports venues here include Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center which hosts the US Open every summer.
Queens is New York City’s most multicultural borough and has many different ethnic areas where tourists can enjoy the unique flavours of NYC’s immigrant communities. Long Island City is located on the western edge of Queens and has morphed from a formerly industrial area into one of the city’s rapidly gentrifying districts. Several museums and cultural organizations call Queens their home, such as the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the Museum of African Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Museum and others.
Long associated with urban grit, the Bronx is the birthplace of rap / hip hop music and home to one of New York City’s most popular sports teams – the New York Yankees. Arthur Avenue is the Bronx’s Little Italy while the South Bronx is the centre of Puerto Rican culture. The Bronx has a broad mix of residential neighbourhoods, from struggling highrise developments to the affluent detached homes on bluffs overlooking the Hudson River.
The Bronx is also home to several important destinations, such as the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, Woodlawn Cemetery, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and the Museum of Bronx History.
Located straight south of Manhattan, Staten Island is easily reached via free ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan. Contrary to New York City’s other boroughs, Staten Island has a much more suburban character. Staten Island is popular for its numerous parks and the Staten Island Greenbelt is one of the largest parks in New York City; it features many hiking trails and great views from some of the highest hills on the island.
The main sights in Staten Island include historic Richmond Town, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, South Beach and the Boardwalk, the Staten Island Zoo, the Staten Island Yankees Stadium, the Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the Staten Island Museum.
As you can see, New York City is much more than just Manhattan. Each borrow has its unique attractions and ambience and provides countless opportunities for exploring the less well-known but equally intriguing nooks of the Big Apple.