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Step 44 - How Do You See Yourself?
photo by http://www.wdkproductions.com/ I wonder what kind of picture of yourself do you have in your own mind? I’m not asking about the one you present to the world, but about the real ...

Walk with me, Part 4 – Nolita
Nolita is right next to Soho and I was thinking of putting these two walks together – and you could do that of course – but there are just too many things to explore in each neighborhood s...

Step 43: Have the Courage to Stand Alone
Photo by wdkproductions.com I heard this sentence: “Have the courage to stand alone”, spoken by Brene Brown in a conversation with Marie Forleo a few weeks ago, and it keeps ringing in ...

Walk with Me, Part 3 – Soho
  Soho is one of my favorite places in NY. And it’s not because of the fancy stores (I don’t have the desire to buy a Chanel bag, I want someone to give me that bag for free.) It's...

Step 42 – How do we not go crazy?
It’s very easy to go crazy in NY. It’s way too easy. That’s why at some point, you have to slow down and ask yourself how your mind is doing. There are a few different ways I ...

Step 41 – Close the Open Tabs
I recently noticed that everyone, including myself, says, “OMG, this month passed by so fast! Where did the time go?” And I feel that every year we say it more often. Have you noticed th...

The Bridges of Madison County - A Cautionary Tale
I’ve been coming back to old movies recently and watched one of my favorite movies of all time – “The Bridges of Madison County” with my favorite actress, Meryl Str...

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan
It’s funny how Manhattan and Brooklyn are different, even though they are only a river away. They are actually just one subway stop away (which is a few minutes’ distance). A lot of peop...

Women’s Surf Film Festival
I finally attended Women’s Surf Film Festival that took place at Rockaway Beach Surf Club on the last Friday and Saturday of July. I didn’t see all the movies (they’re mostly short...

Birthday
35 years ago, a miracle happened and I came into this world. And everything changed. I’m kidding. Nothing changed, except for the fact that the world got a bit confused. When I was a little ...

Yelp & Health
If you are running a restaurant business in NYC, you always fear of two things: Health Department and Yelp reviews. Health Department comes to a restaurant once a year and checks everything &ndash...

Racism Is Still Alive
I just had a chance to watch a new movie called “Crown Heights” and I must say it was a really painful screening for me. Had I watched it back in Poland, I would probably look at it as j...

Manhattan - The Island of Hope

added: 2013-06-27 , category: Discover NY

The weirdest task you can possibly pose to a New Yorker is to ask her or him to describe Manhattan to you. It’s just about impossible to do that. 

Manhattan is one of New York City’s five boroughs and trying to describe it is about as easy as describing the whole palette of colors available in PhotoShop. Manhattan is, first and foremost, huge. Every time I’m here I’m impressed by its enormity. What’s more, every part of it is different than all the others.

The West side of Manhattan is a bit livelier than the East side, but this division is slowly dissolving. One neighborhood can be as small as two streets or as large as a dozen blocks. The sizes differ (see the map below). 

To make long story short (since I plan to devote separate posts to the various neighborhoods of Manhattan): Upper East Side is inhabited by so-called “old money”: people who grew up in circumstances much different than most of us did. 

Hell’s Kitchen has been a teeming neighborhood in the past couple of years, rich in restaurants and gay clubs, catering to numerous gay residents. Gay populace also took over Chelsea, one of the most fashionable neighborhoods, where rents are high and beautiful people roam the streets. Greenwich Village, on the other hand, is a neighborhood of mostly rich, artistically-inclined people (many stars live here) and of picturesque streets. Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho and Tribeca are all very expensive neighborhoods, with rents amounting to small fortunes. Currently the city administration is working to develop Midtown. East Village is definitely bohemian – it’s here that you meet the less-than-wealthy artists and the vibe of “old Manhattan” – both shabby and special – is definitely felt. Litle Italy and Nolita are becoming more and more expensive, with a proliferation of boutiques and fashionable places. In Lower Manhattan, at the Financial District, there’s Wall Street and what used to be the World Trade Center. That’s where you can get the best view of Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of hope for many generations of people reaching the New World over the decades. Along Manhattan, there’s Hudson River, the banks of which is one of the favorite places for New Yorkers to jog. 

The basic Manhattan division is between Uptown (anything above 72nd Street) and Downtown (anything below 14th). 14th Street is an important spot, crossing Union Square: the ultimate meeting point easily comparable to the cracovian Empik or “Rotunda” in Warsaw.

My signature walk starts at the tip of Lower Manhattan, at Battery Park, and ends all the way up at 100th street. It takes about five hours and sticks to the longest of avenues: Broadway. Don’t forget: there are twelve avenues and more than 100 streets, not counting all the ones that don’t have numbers in their names. Once you walked through all the streets of Manhattan, you can safely say you got to know the city. Get yourself a pair of comfy walking shoes and start your adventure!

How to find your way in Manhattan and why is it impossible to get lost here? See here.



Your comments

Love it Dagmara. But I don't agree that the West Side is livelier (That is what us New Yorkers do - disagree with everything). I think the only "real" (hip, cool) parts of New York left are the Lower East Side and the East village. I think it's more uptown boring, down town lively, but I am an old, bitter, angry New Yorker (been here 14 years) so I know too much. For someone new to the city you have got it figured pretty well. And the thing is, its always changing so lots to write about. Congrats on the blog and knock 'em dead Dagmara!!!

JC Davies (Racy JC), 2013-08-15 17:08:38

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