Manhattan is one of the five boroughs (counties) that make up the city of New York. Manhattan is an island in New York City surrounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers. 13½ miles (22 km) long; 2½ miles (4 km) greatest width; totaling 22¼ sq. mi. (58 sq. km).
The first Europeans to reach the island were Italians. Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France “discovered” the area in 1524. There is a bridge named in his honor. At the time of its completion in 1964 the Verrazzano – Narrows Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world and named after this sea captain. It is a double deck platform with a central span of 4,260 feet (1,298 m) connecting Staten Island with Brooklyn.
The Dutch explorer Henry Hudson was the first to map the region. Peter Minuit and Dutch colonists acquired Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed Native American people, which are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape, in exchange for trade goods worth approximately 60 guilders. In today’s dollars this is roughly valued at a little over $1,000 … not a bad deal!
If you follow this link you can download a free transit map to help you navigate your way around the city.
The other boroughs; Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island (or King’s County) make up the remainder of the city. While all the boroughs of NYC are thriving with business enterprises, the other boroughs are comprised mainly of residential type neighborhoods. Manhattan is the most populated area of the city and is the primary commercial center as well as the seat of the city’s administrative authority.
I consider Manhattan to be the heart and soul New York City. It’s the part of New York that most people see when they visit. Manhattan is where many of the arts and entertainment venues are located and the home of the financial markets known as Wall Street. It is an international hub of culture and fashion. Recognized the world over as the cutting edge (check out the meaning of that idiomatic expression) of creativity and innovation.
Frank Sinatra sang about “the city that never sleeps” and that is certainly a truism. Whatever you want you can find it in New York City and likely at any time of day or night.
This maps shows the many neighborhoods (or districts) in Manhattan, from the Civic Center and Chinatown, Little Italy and the Bowery to Wall Street (the financial district) and Tribeca through SoHo (short for South of Houston Street), Greenwich Village (way back in the 1950s and 1960s my aunt and uncle had a blossoming retail flower shop in the Village), Chelsea, Hells Kitchen, the Garment District, Midtown, Murry Hill, up into Lincoln Center (home of NY Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Jazz and the Metropolitan Opera) Central Park (near some of the great museums like the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)), Upper East Side (UES) and Upper West Side (UWS), all the way up to Morning side Heights, Harlem, Washington Heights, Fort Washington (near the Cloisters), just to name some of them.
The city is fiercely competitive, dynamically innovative and always thriving. “The city that never sleeps” is a hustle and bustle of commerce, art, design, international trade and negotiations, fashion and attitude. Many people believe that if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere and I suspect there is much truth in that.