Inwood is physically bounded by the Harlem River to the north and east, and the Hudson River to the west. It extends southward to Fort Tryon Park and alternatively Dyckman Street or Fairview Avenue farther south, depending on the source.
Notably, while Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on the island of Manhattan, it is not the northernmost neighborhood of the entire borough of Manhattan. That distinction is held by Marble Hill, a Manhattan neighborhood situated just north of Inwood, on what is properly the North American mainland bordering the Bronx. Because of its water boundary on three sides, the hilly geography, and the limited local street connections (only Broadway and Fort George Hill connect to the rest of the Manhattan street grid), the neighborhood can feel somewhat physically detached from the rest of the borough. The W.P.A. Guide to New York City, published in the 1930s, described Inwood with "rivers and hills insulate a suburban community that is as separate an entity as any in Manhattan."
Inwood's main local thoroughfare is Broadway, which is also designated US 9 at this point.
The northern part of Washington Heights from 181st Street to Dyckman has its own close-knit community. The quiet and quaint streets offer some respite from the conundrum commonly attributed to Manhattan. Within such an atmosphere exists the Cloisters, the Medieval collection of the Met Museum, up in the Fort Tryon park. Yeshiva University is central to this 16-block neighborhood that is always bustling with students and youngsters. The Highbridge Park adds a pretty landscape to Fort George. The A and C train runs with many local stops in and around.
While Harlem is often touted as the new uptown destination, there’s another notable neighborhood farther up the A line. Washington Heights, home to the Cloisters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has a know-your-neighbor atmosphere, delicious food finds, green parks, and gay bars. The hilly upper-Manhattan neighborhood is steeped in Latino heritage, ever-growing upscale services, and reasonable real-estate prices that attract first-time home buyers. For New York culture in the city’s northern territory, don’t cloister yourself.
Washington Heights stretch north from 155th street to Dyckman Street, east from the Hudson to Harlem River. It owes its name to the fortification that was constructed during the Revolutionary War. The Heights is connected to New Jersey via the George Washington Bridge and to the Bronx via the Cross-Bronx Expressway. Step streets deal with the hilly topography in this area. In the early 19th century, it was home to some very large estates, by early 20th century the New York Highlanders, and today the Columbia University medical campus and school. The Bennett Park, Fort Tryon Park, Fort Washington Park, Highbridge Park, Riverside Park and many more, landscape this neighborhood with pastel greens.
Harlem is a large neighborhood within the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan.
It is located in Upper Manhattan-often referred to as Uptown by locals-and stretches from the East River west to the Hudson River between 155 Street, where it meets Washington Heights, to a ragged border along the south.
Central Harlem is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park on the south, Morningside Park, Saint Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues on the west and the Harlem River on the north. A chain of three large linear parks; Morningside, St. Nicholas and Jackie Robinson are situated on steeply rising banks and form most of the district's western boundary. On the east, Fifth Avenue and Marcus Garvey Park, also known as Mount Morris Park, separate this area from East Harlem.
The West Harlem neighborhoods of Morningside Heights, Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights are bounded by Cathedral Parkway (110th Street) on the South; 155th Street on the North; Manhattan/Morningside Ave/St. Nicholas/Bradhurst/Edgecome Avenues on the East; and the Hudson River on the west. Morningside Heights is located in the southern most section of West Harlem. Manhattanville begins at roughly 123rd Street and extends northward to 135 Street. The northern most section of West Harlem is Hamilton Heights.
East Harlem, is bounded by East 96th Street on the south, East 142nd Street on the north, Fifth Avenue on the west and the Harlem River on the east.
Upper East Side
The creation of Central Park at the beginning of the 20th century made this area very fashionable. Many of the wonderful mansions from that era still stand on the streets off Fifth Avenue; several have since been turned into museums or consulates. Today, the elite of New York have not ventured far from this locale, making the many pre and post war cooperative apartment buildings of Fifth and Park Avenues their home. The Upper East Side is still considered the premier neighborhood in which to live. Exclusive boutiques and art galleries line Madison Avenue. Many of the city's exclusive private schools are located on the UES as well as a cluster of cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, and the Frick (all located on Fifth Avenue's "Museum Mile"). All of this is within walking distance of one of the greatest public parks in the world, Central Park.
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side saw an explosion of development after the completion of the Ninth Avenue El in 1870. Today, the area is rich in elegant prewar coops and striking new condos and offers a wide range of cultural institutions, restaurants and shopping. The UWS is also home to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which houses such cultural treasures as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard School.
The center is the newly revitalized Times Square, named for the New York Times Tower which opened in 1906. West of Times Square is the Theater District - the home of the Broadway stage. To the east of Times Square is Rockefeller Center, which is the home of Radio City Music Hall Theatre and The Today Show and NBC's corporate offices.
The western portion of this area (42nd Street to 59th Street) is commonly known as Hell's Kitchen or Clinton. Here you will find an eclectic mix of old style tenements, a number of newer residential high rises, and a bounty of after-theater and ethnic flavored restaurants. Below West 42nd Street is The Garment Center District with a high concentration of fashion industry offices and retail stores, anchored by Macy's department store which opened in Herald Square in 1901.
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in central Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It acquired its name in 1904 when Albert Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, moved the newspaper's headquarters to a new skyscraper on what was then known as Longacre Square. The name stuck, even after The New York Times moved across Broadway in 1913. Now known worldwide as a symbol of the American spirit, Times Square is home to many popular Manhattan attractions, including Hard Rock Cafe, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, ABC's Times Square Studios and where millions have gathered to see the Ball drop each New Year’s Eve.
Longacre Square started with a few brownstones built by a developer who saw potential for a new "uptown" neighborhood. Following the area's development, people moved to the square in droves, and with them came brothels, pickpockets, and streetwalkers. Soon, in a foreshadowing of its later fate, the area turned into a veritable red-light district. In 1895, Longacre Square had a new tenant, Oscar Hammerstein I, who developed a large entertainment complex in the hopes of rekindling an interest in opera. This complex, called the Olympia, occupied a full block on 42nd Street and featured three theaters.
Times Square is the intersection of spectators and performers, tourists and locals: all the diversity of the city, the country, and the world interacting. Times Square accommodated many activities both planned and spontaneous. Much of what constitutes modern American culture has been invented and reinvented, tested and displayed in the few blocks that make up the Times Square district. By 1928, some 264 shows were produced in 76 theatres in Times Square. Today it remains the busiest theatre district in the world.
Midtown Manhattan, just north of Murray Hill is one of the city's more bustling business centers. Many of the world's business giants are headquartered here. Skyscrapers, such as the Chrysler, Citicorp, and MetLife Buildings dot the skyline. The hub of Midtown East is the magnificent Beaux Arts structure Grand Central Terminal.
Located along the East River in the East 40's and 50's are the elegant, upscale and noticeably subdued areas of Beekman and Sutton Place. These residential neighborhoods bordered to the south by the United Nations are almost entirely devoid of the hustle and bustle of midtown.
For many years one of the more overlooked Eastside neighborhoods in Manhattan, even though it is in the middle of midtown Manhattan (30's to mid 40's). It is an interesting mix of skyscrapers, office buildings, high rise residential towers, tenement apartments and turn of the century mansions and townhouses. Its borders are Fifth Avenue to the west and the East River to the East.
The area bounded by 23rd and 34th Street on the West side with Broadway smack in the middle was once a fashionable epi-center of commercial and retail activity. Today the area's architecture is an eclectic mix of 19th century townhouses, high rise luxury residential buildings and old warehouses that have been converted into ultra-trendy lofts, and art galleries. As a result, today's Chelsea has a reputation for being young, hip and cutting edge.
Gramercy Park is the city's only private park (you need a key to enter). The architecture surrounding the Park is exceptional, and many of the townhouse and buildings were built by such famous architects as Calvert Vaux, Stanford White and Emery Roth. To the west of Gramercy Park, at the triangle created by the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 23rd Street, is the location of the unusually shaped Flatiron Building. The entire Gramercy/Flatiron area is home to some great shopping, many trendy cafes and top restaurants, and the Greenmarket at Union Square is one of the city's largest open air farmer's markets in the city.
Greenwich Village (East)
The East Village has an edgier, hipper feel than the West Village. The home of Alphabet City (named for the four avenues A, B, C and D along the neighborhood's east side) this is the part of town where the fringe, outsider artists and performers have made a name for themselves. This wide ethnic history is showcased in the highly varied selection of cuisines which can be found throughout its borders. Historically considered the cheaper version of the West Village, today the East Village is quickly catching up to its neighbor with the number of trendy cafes, bars, boutiques and high property prices.
Greenwich Village (West)
Artists, writers, intellectuals, and entertainers have given this neighborhood its hip reputation. Many have been drawn to this area because of its Old World charm. With its quiet streets, low rise townhouses, and abundance of cafes, small theaters, boutiques and music clubs, the West Village is the closest this city comes to replicating a European city. Washington Square Park, with its famous arch, is the center of The Village, a meeting ground for just about any character the city has to offer. The campus of New York University surrounds the park, and it is a great place to sit and listen to street musicians or just watch life go by. This reputation of history, charm and cool makes the West Village one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city in which to live.
SoHo & TriBeCa
Formerly industrial districts, SoHo (south of Houston) and TriBeCa (triangle below Canal) were saved from the wrecking ball in the 1960s, when the beauty of the unique cast iron fronted warehouses and manufacturing spaces that populate the area was recognized by preservationists. Today, SoHo and TriBeCa are synonymous with the trendy art scene, some of the city's most expensive real estate and boutiques, and anything that is hip and of the moment. SoHo has an estimated 250 art galleries, and four museums. On weekends the streets are crowded with New Yorkers and tourists shopping for the latest fashions. and at night eating at many of the hottest restaurants in town.
To the east of SoHo and TriBeCa are Little Italy and NoLita. The heart of Little Italy is Mulberry Street. The area north of Little Italy (called NoLita) with its narrow streets is now being recognized as an alternative to its high rent neighbor, SoHo. Home to some of the more interesting and original boutiques in the city, unique clothing, footwear, jewelry and house wares stores populate the bustling area.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side (often abbreviated as LES) is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street. The Lower East Side is bordered in the south and west by Chinatown (which extends north to roughly Grand Street), in the west by NoLita and in the north by East Village. It has become a home to upscale boutiques and trendy dining establishments along Clinton Street's restaurant row.
Battery Park City
Battery Park City is a 92-acre planned community on the southwestern tip of Manhattan. The area was developed to home the many business professionals who work in the financial district nearby. Using soil, rocks and dredging from nearby construction, Battery Park City emerged from the Hudson River in a land reclamation project. Since then, families have been tumbling in to enjoy the scenic views, fresh air and spaciousness of the neighborhood. Luxury residential, commercial and retail buildings define the carefully laid out neighborhood. Among these destinations are the World Financial Center and North Cove, a large yacht harbor. Battery Park City is a forward-looking neighborhood with numerous LEED green certified buildings and parks along the river where residents can be found jogging, playing mini golf or taking sailing lessons. Once part of the Hudson River, Battery Park City is now a residential oasis for those who can afford the lifestyle.
Battery Park, created from landfill is the southern tip of Manhattan. Battery Park City is a a beautiful example of a mini-city: half commercial and half residential bounded by Chambers Street to the north, West Street to the east, Pier A to the south and the Hudson River to the west. Battery Park City is a carefully planned development of apartment complexes, with private security, bronze sculptures, a 1.2-mile esplanade, Hudson River view and breezes and a beautiful marina. Shops and restaurants are still somewhat rudimentary compared with the rest of the City, but residents find them sufficient given the neighborhood's other benefits. Some apartments have incredible views of the harbor or of Downtown. Rollerbladers, cyclists and parents with baby strollers give this architecturally designed area a neighborhood feeling.
FiDi & Wall Street
At the south end of Manhattan Island you will find "colonial" buildings and relics of the city's earliest days in the shadows of the massive skyscrapers that now rise at the tip of Manhattan Island. Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank dominate the city's and the world's financial landscape. Battery Park, at the very bottom of Manhattan, is the perfect place to contrast the skyscrapers that ring the area with family-friendly parks and housing with exceptional views of the city's harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The western portion of Lower Manhattan is in the midst of rebuilding after the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.