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Don’t judge by the chapter you walked into.
It’s a new year, so I want you to change one thing. I would say “we,” but I’ve already been working on it the last two years (not that I’ve mastered it yet). Don’...

Why Some Women Don’t Want to Have Kids (And Why the Reason Is Not What You Think It Is)
Yes, I want to write about it (again), because it bothers me. I recently realized I don’t want to have kids (now and maybe ever). And I realized how difficult it is for a woman not only to adm...

You’re Fine
2018 has been a very successful year for me, because I finally understand that I’m completely fine. I just look at myself and I finally see myself. It took me half my life to understand it, bu...

It’s Profound to Be Understood
As Whoopi Goldberg said in her book „If He Says: ‚You complete me’ — Run!”, which I’ve already written about on JLNY some time ago, people tend to mistake love fo...

You’re Always Becoming
Michelle Obama released her book memoir, „Becoming”, and I keep seeing it everywhere in NYC. I haven’t read it yet and now I really want to. Not because I consider Barack Obam...

Drop This Attitude
I just had my best friend Gosia visited me from Chicago a few weeks ago. We spent the whole weekend together excited about each other. We did a few activities, but what was the most important was th...

Is Your Partner’s Skin Color or Country of Origin Relevant At All?
I will answer the titular question right away: „I don’t think so”. And I’m pretty sure I am right. I honestly don’t understand this whole theory about having a partner ...

How To Get the Body You Want
Have you ever said to yourself: “I’m so fat”…? Or “I can’t even look at myself”…?. Or “I will never lose all this weight”…? Or &l...

Accept the challenge
Until now, my favorite sentence was always: “Hope he’ll change after we get married.” (Yeah,  sure, into a pumpkin…) But there is a new contender that I find equally ...

NY Love Story A.D. 2019
I don’t like romantic comedies. And I can tell you why. Once, it used to be my favorite genre, but I grew up since then (a bit). Also — I moved to NY. Romantic comedies just don’t ...

When Was the Last Time Your Journal Embarrassed You?
When was the last time you said to yourself: “This is embarrassing”, and you actually meant yourself…? Well, it just happened to me. I sat down to write about something else and I...

Why It’s Important To Not Look Like Shit
Here is my question: Why do you think it’s a good idea to look like shit at home? Some people put on their worst clothes at home - clothes with holes, stretched out, worn out, old and ugly. (B...

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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