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About Manhattan

History: a brief look

In 1626 Peter Jansen Schagen, a Dutch merchant, reported in a letter to Amsterdam that for the value of sixty guilders they had bought the island from the wildmen. In fact, the Dutch had paid far more than the twenty-four dollars myth would have us believe. The real number is still staggering: between $500-$600 for all fourteen thousand acres of Manhattan real estate.

Manhattan's many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street") or SoHo ("SOuth of HOuston"), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta ("NOrth of Little ITAly"). and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park "). Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands. Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C and D, to which its name refers.

Manhattan is a major commercial, financial, and cultural center of both the United States and the world. Anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City vies with the City of London as the financial capital of the world and is home of both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Many major radio, television, and telecommunications companies in the United States are based here, as well as many news, magazine, book, and other media publishers.

This is the city where dreams come true. As long as you're in the center of the universe any neighborhood you choose to call home will make you a 'New Yorker' -- a much coveted title.

NYC Places of Interest

New York City offers a wealth of cultural and educational institutions, financial and international headquarters, and historic landmarks. These are just a few of the many places you can explore.

The Big Attractions

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West (79th Street)
Not only one of the world's largest natural-history museums, but also a major research institution. Its president, Ellen Futter, is a former President of Barnard College, BC '71.

Central Park
59th to 110th Street, Fifth Avenue to Central Park West
Probably the most well-known urban park in the nation, this oasis in the city has lakes, meadows, nature trails, and roads for runners, bicyclists, walkers, and rollerskaters.

Guggenheim Museum
Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
Modern art in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
This sprawling plaza, between 62nd and 66th Streets on the West Side, includes Avery Fisher Hall, Metropolitan Opera House, New York State Theater, Vivian Beaumont Theater, and Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
Two million works of art spanning 5,000 years.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
Contemporary visual arts in all its forms--from sculpture to film to industrial design.

New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue (between West 40th and West 42nd Streets)
One of the largest research collections in the world, housed in a beautiful Beaux Arts building.

South Street Seaport
Lower Manhattan
This revitalized fish market is now an indoor-outdoor museum offering an assortment of free concerts and street entertainment, along with plenty of places to eat.

Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island
South Ferry at Battery Park
A ferry takes you to Liberty Island, home of the statue, and Ellis Island, home of the American Museum of Immigration.

United Nations
1st Avenue at 45th Street
The UN includes the General Assembly, the Secretariat, the Council Buildings, and the Dag Hammerskjold Library.

Neighborhoods to Explore

Chinatown
These 40 square blocks on the Lower East Side are home to the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Take your pick of restaurants featuring Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Szechuan, and dim sum.

Greenwich Village
"Eclectic and eccentric" says it all about the Village. Shop at the city's largest used clothing store (Antique Boutique) and a bevy of other stores, including McNulty's (250 varieties of tea) and Aphrodisia (800 herbs and spices). Go to Washington Square Park for great people watching.

Soho and TriBeCa
Soho (short for "south of Houston Street") and TriBeCa (short for "triangle below Canal Street") are artsy, funky areas featuring lots of art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Off the Beaten Path

The Cloisters
Margaret Corbin Road (within Fort Tryon Park)
A lovely ensemble of medieval architectural fragments and charming gardens.

Map of Manhattan

to help you get your bearings

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