I always think of Manhattan as mammoth and overwhelming, but if you look at the numbers, it’s not so big at all. The whole city is only 4 kilometers long, bounded by the Hudson River in the west, the East River in the east, the Harlem River in the north and New York Harbor in the south. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern designed almost 200 years ago.
The avenues (1st Avenue – 12th Avenue) run across the city from north to south (uptown and downtown), and the streets bisect them from east to west (crosstown). Fifth Avenue slices Manhattan in half. So addresses west of Fifth Avenue will say “west” (“W”), and addresses east of Fifth Avenue will say “east” (“E”).
The streets are numbered from 1 to 200, and get higher from south to north. So 1st Street is in the south of the city, and 200th Street is in the north. Street numbers from 1-100 will be located between 5th and 6th Avenues, and street numbers from 100-200 will be located between 6th and 7th Avenues.
South of 4th Street (in Greenwich Village), the pattern becomes irregular, and the streets have names instead of numbers. The reason for this is that when the grid pattern was introduced in 1811, Greenwich Village had been isolated from the rest of the city by a yellow fever and cholera epidemic.
Actually, “uptown” and “downtown” are relative terms. Traveling south means to travel downtown, and traveling north means to travel uptown. In general, downtown is anything below 14th Street.
M a n h a t t a n
the wellknown Manhattan is the Financial District, The Civic Center, South Street Seaport, Chinatown, Little Italy, Lower East Side, Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village, East Village and Alphabet City, Gramercy Park, Union Square, and Murray Hill, Chelsea, Herald Square and the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen (or Clinton), Midtown, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Harlem as well as Washington Heights.
Above 14th St., Manhattan is an organized grid of avenues running north-south and streets east-west, the result of an expansion scheme adopted in 1811. Street numbers increase as one travels north. Avenues are slightly less predictable: some are numbered while others are named. The numbers of the avenues increase as one goes west. Broadway, which follows an old Algonquin trail, bravely defies the rectangular pattern and cuts diagonally across the island, veering east of Fifth Ave. at 23rd St.; Central Park and Fifth Ave. (south of 59th St. and north of 110th St.) separate the city into the East Side and West Side.
Below 14th St., the city dissolves into a charming but complicated tangle of old, narrow streets. The confusion intensifies south of Houston St., where streets are not numbered. The Financial District/Wall St. area, set over the original Dutch layout, is full of narrow, winding, one-way streets. Greenwich Village, only slightly less Byzantine in design, is especially complicated west of Sixth Ave. The East Village and Alphabet City are grid-like, with alphabetized avenues from Ave. A to Ave. D east of First Ave.
By the way, THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING is located at Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.
Tel: (212) 736 3100 or toll free (877) NYC VIEW.
Open Daily at 9 am. Last ticket sold at 11.25 pm. Closes at midnight.
Official Site: ESBNYC.com.
Fondest memory: NYC is quite a city, nowhere in the world will one see so many skyscrapers with such dynamism. It feels like I'm within the pulse & heart of America. It's exciting, yet dangerous. What a feeling!!!
was called "A walk up Fifth Avenue" by Bernard Levin, an English columnist and writer.
The book does exactly what it says on the cover, and although quite celebral in nature it is also witty and vividly descriptive.
It was written in 1989, and so some of the references will be a little out of date, and some of the places he mentions may well have gone. Even so, if you can get hold of a copy (it is now out of print) it will provide a fascinating insight into one persons take on not just a road, but through it's pages on America itself.
To give you a flavour of his writing, this is Levin talking about modern architecture :
"What has happened to architecture since the second world war that the only passers-by who can contemplate it without pain are those equipped with a white stick and a dog?"
Generally speaking, It's pretty simple to get about Manhattan.
If you can count from 1 to 225 and learn 12 avenues with 5th Avenue being the East/West Divider . . . you've got it made.
Uptown and Downtown are just directions from whatever street you're on to whatever street you want to go.
The numbered streets are North to South
The Avenues are East to West. Voila!
Now the village and parts of lower Manhattan can be a bit of a puzzle in certain areas because the streets are named and not numbered. Just make the Avenues your point of reference and you'll find your way. Or hey, just ask someone. Most everyone loves to give directions to others.
Transportation is great all over, especially the Westside! Cabs, Subways and Buses are plentiful.
Walking is fun too. 20 or 30 blocks seems long, but in New York you'll be able to walk it in no time without noticing the distance. There's so many things to see you'll be at your destination quicker than you'd expect.
There are ATM banks all over the place and ATMs in a lot of Deli's and stores too.
Everything is at your fingertips in N.Y.C.
Only in New York can you do almost anything, anywhere at anytime.
Fondest memory: My favorite memory of New York is the energy you get from walking down either Fifth Avenue or Avenue of The America's on a awesome summer day.
Visit FAO Schwartz!!!! Its the most amazing toy store in the world and you never know what celebrety you may run into. I've seen Wynona Ryder, Teley Savalis, Donald Trump, Michael j. fox.... But the most amazing part is you can play with anything you like. This store also has the biggest barbi store - great gift ideas. Its located on the corner of Maddison and 5th - in the Ford building directly across from the Plaza Hotel and adjacent to Central Park. Its a must see!!!
Fondest memory: My very first big screen movie - at the Met... back in the 70's was Tom Sawyer. The size of the Met and the look of this theatre was awe-inspiring to a child from a small town.
Visit the Frick Museum (70th Street and Fifth Avenue) and see how the super-rich lived in the early 20th century. [$10] Enjoy the art, furniture and tranquil reflecting pool. Go to the Cooper-Hewitt,(Fifth Avenue at 91st Street), which was the home of Andrew Carnegie. Stunning building filled with interesting applied design exhibits. [$8; free Tuesdays 5PM-9PM]
Fondest memory: Great building lobbies. The Woolworth Building is a prime example. At 233 Broadway, near City Hall, this gothic temple to finance has dark wood carvings of F.W. Woolworth, the architect, and several others associated with this now-bankrupt American institution, the five-and-dime store. Built in 1913, it was then the world's tallest building, now the tallest in lower Manhattan.
The Chrysler Building (42nd Street on Lexington Avenue) has an Art deco lobby to match its famous stainless steel top. Lobby, recently refurbished, is a real treat.
Favorite thing: It is fantastic to go to the 'NBA-cathedral'. You can get everything there and this shoppinghall is very impressiv it is a show itself. You can use a 'Basketball-machine' for free, which is direktly behind the window, so that everybody can see you from 5th Ave. ;-))
Go shopping in NYC is a must.
We were so lucky to be invited for lunch with the international manager at Saks Fith Avenue!
Favorite thing: Elegant 5th Avenue! Compliments to Benetton for such great finesse in the restoration of its store. While preserving the old, the new store is just beautiful and has great class.
Favorite thing: walk up and down 5th avenue and broadway avenue,around times square,there is no day or night,the area is never closed,you are in the center of the world
Favorite thing: Just enjoy yourself and watch out for the traffic! This was taken on Fifth Avenue...love that huge flag.