Manhattan, New York, renowned as the national center of commerce, culture and finance, remains the borough most closely associated with New York City. Manhattan encompasses Manhattan Island, several other small island communities and a portion of the US mainland. The compact borough covers 33 square miles, ranking it as one of the smallest counties in the country; however, with a Census 2000 population of more than 1.5 million, Manhattan is the nation’s most densely populated region.
The majority of Manhattan nestles between the East River and the Hudson River, with a massive system of bridges and tunnels linking the borough to New Jersey and the remainder of New York City. Access to Staten Island, NYC’s southernmost borough, is via ferryboat service. The downtown (south), midtown and uptown (north) regions loosely divide Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue splitting the boundary between east and west sides. In addition, six distinct districts encompass the Manhattan region.
Chinatown hosts the nation’s most concentrated Asian community. Its boundaries also extend throughout the borough’s Lower East Side and into Little Italy. Greenwich Village features a cosmopolitan atmosphere that reflects the bohemian styles of Paris, while Harlem remains steeped in African-American history and the roots of jazz music. The Upper East Side contains luxurious estates and well-known sites such as Central Park, the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Inwood and the Financial District comprise the remainder of Manhattan. The Financial District is the site of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York Stock Exchange, South Street Seaport, Wall Street and the World Financial Center, located in the center of Battery Park. This massive industrial center lies across West Street from the site of NY’s World Trade Center, where the majestic Twin Towers stood until September 11, 2001. Manhattan is also home to the stunning Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where so many of America’s citizens first laid eyes on their new homeland.
Midtown serves as a key commercial contributor to the NYC economy and ranks among the most vital financial districts in the US. Apartment buildings, hotels and commercial businesses lie within the boundaries of Midtown, while a spectacular skyline includes the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and the United Nations Headquarters. Midtown lures tourists with attractions such as Broadway, Times Square and upscale shopping facilities found on Fifth Avenue, Madison and Park avenues.
Manhattan abounds with public and private educational facilities for students of all ages. The massive public school system, operated by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest public school system in the nation. Institutions for higher learning include Columbia University, Fordham University, the New York Institute of Technology, NYU and several campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY) municipal college system. According to 2003 statistical information, more than 52% of Manhattan residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree.
Manhattan, New York, the economic engine of NYC, offers a well-balanced lifestyle for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Visitors to Manhattan have so many options that they could spend weeks here and still not see all there is to see. Known as the safest big city in America, Manhattan provides an ideal setting in which to live, work and raise a family.
Additional Manhattan, New York Resources
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