Area Info & Neighborhoods
York is a city made up of small neighborhoods. Each New York
neighborhood has distinctive characteristic, but what they all
have in common is a gay friendly atmosphere. Chelsea and
Greenwich Village have the greatest concentration of gay life
and The Upper West side is not far behind.
- The Village is home to the largest gay and lesbian
population in New York City. This part of town has been home to artists and writers, nonconformists, entertainers, intellectuals, and bohemians since the turn of the 20th century. The Village is made up of quaint brownstones bordered by lovely gardens. The Village is also home to the country's largest Halloween parade.
In Washington Square Park, one will find skate boarders,
jugglers, stand-up comics, sitters, strollers, sweethearts,
chess players, fortune tellers, and daydreamers converge and
commune. In the commercial areas, one will find hip-boutiques
and cafes and restaurants of all kinds. At night, Greenwich
Village comes alive with sounds from late-night coffeehouses,
cafés, experimental theaters, and music clubs.
Chelsea stretches from 15th Street to 34th Street (give or take) between the Hudson River and Sixth Ave. Chelsea has it all – nightlife, art, shopping, and recreation at the Piers. And, of course, a happening gay scene.
& TriBeCa - The streets south of Houston (pronounced HOW-ston) and north of Canal streets are home to the city's largest concentration of the cast-iron fronted buildings, built as warehouses and manufacturing spaces, but converted to living spaces, called "lofts," for artists and sculptors who appreciated the larger spaces. These huge, 19th-century architectural gems (Victorian Gothic, Italianiate, and neo-Grecian among them) are prized by preservationists and the well-heeled bohemians of SoHo who call the neighborhood home. When SoHo became too upscale for starving artists, many moved further downtown to another, then-half-abandoned industrial district, TriBeCa (the Triangle Below Canal). TriBeCa also became a hot destination, most notably for dining.
- A Mecca for African-American culture and life for more than a
century, Harlem started out as Nieuw Haarlem, a prosperous Dutch
farming settlement. By the turn of the 20th century, black New
Yorkers started moving uptown into Harlem's apartment buildings
and town houses. The neighborhood prospered and by the 1920s,
Harlem had become the most famous black community in the United
States, perhaps in the whole world. The Harlem Renaissance,
generally regarded as occurring between 1919 and 1929, was
Harlem's golden era, when local writers such as Zora Neale
Hurston, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Ralph Ellison
achieved literary recognition. The Depression hit hard here, but
happily, today the neighborhood is well on the way to new glory
days: Young people and families are moving into the newly
restored brownstone and limestone buildings, and the combination
of architectural treasures, crackling vitality (even Bill
Clinton chose Harlem for his post-presidential office!), great
music and culture, and honest-to-goodness, lip-smacking soul
food make Harlem a must-see destination.
- South of Canal Street lies bustling Chinatown, which has over the years expanded into the Lower East Side and Little Italy. The largest Asian community in North America can be found among the narrow streets between Worth and Hester and East Broadway and West Broadway; its main street is Canal Street.
Within these boundaries, you'll find traditional Chinese herbal-medicine shops, acupuncturists, food markets filled with amazing varieties of fish and exotic vegetables, funky pagoda-style buildings, stores selling all manner of items from beautiful jewelry and silk robes to hair accessories and plumbing parts, and hundreds of restaurants serving every imaginable type of Chinese cuisine, from dim sum to fried noodles to extravagant Cantonese, Hunan, Mandarin, or Szechuan banquets.
Village - Since then, the area has been home to the Beat generation of the 1950s, hippies in the 1960s, and punks in the late 1970s and 1980s. Today it's still a young person's neighborhood, with its experimental music clubs and theaters and cutting-edge fashion. New York University is in the area, so there's no shortage of clientele here. Foodies take note: this neighborhood reputedly contains the most varied assortment of ethnic restaurants in New York City. For more trend-setting street life, head east toward Alphabet City (named for avenues A, B, C, and D)- still a little rough around the edges but with many reasonably priced, fun, and gamut-running places to eat, drink, and shop…and, if you're really getting into the scene, some very cool tattoo parlors.
Italy, NoLIa - The heart of Little Italy is Mulberry Street. In
the second half of the 19th century, NYC's Italian immigration reached its peak, with several Italian parishes and an Italian-language newspaper. Today, there are fewer than 5,000 Italians living in Little Italy, but the heavenly aromas of the Italian bakeries and restaurants still waft around Mulberry and Grand Streets.
The neighborhood known as NoLIta, or North of Little Italy, offers gorgeous one-of-a kind, designer goodies - bejeweled and embroidered purses, rainbow colored shawls, hand-tooled boots, and custom-designed jewelry
East Side - This is New York's landmark historic Jewish neighborhood, which was once the world's largest Jewish community. It was here that the New York garment industry began. Today it is one of New York's favorite bargain beats, where serious shoppers find fantastic bargains (especially along Orchard Street on a Sunday afternoon), cutting-edge new designers, and hot bars and music venues - and possibly the best place to get a great pastrami sandwich, pickles out of a barrel, and the world's best bialys.
- Midtown is the center of many visitors' trips to New York City. The beautifully restored Grand Central Terminal is paces away from the Chrysler Building, the United Nations complex, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Trump Tower. There's the fascinating Morgan Library and the awesome New York Public Library, both of which have changing exhibitions. Behind the public library is the lovely Bryant Park, which hosts free movies and music events in summer. And what says New York better than Fifth Avenue stores? Midtown also includes the new, revitalized Times Square and the Theater District, where world-famous Broadway productions wow audiences nightly.
Square - As Broadway marches north and west across Manhattan it forms a series of squares beginning with Union Square at 14th Street. The Union Square neighborhood is a thriving cultural, business, educational and health care hub. Throughout Manhattan and beyond, the vibrant community is known as the Heart of Off-Broadway and is celebrated for its top-notch restaurants, diverse retailers, excellent universities and hospitals, and one of the city’s most popular parks.
East Side - From the edge of Central Park at 59th Street to the top of Museum Mile at El Museo del Barrio at 105th Street, this is the city's Gold Coast. The neighborhood air is perfumed with the scent of old money, conservative values, and glamorous sophistication, with Champagne corks popping and high society puttin' on the Ritz.
Between Lexington and Madison Avenues, Park Avenue is an oasis of calm with wide streets meant for strolling, lovely architecture, and a median strip that sprouts tulips in season and sculptures at other times of the year. Railroad tracks ran in this median before World War I. This grand street stretching down to midtown is one of our city's most coveted residential addresses.
Once Manhattan's Millionaire's Row, the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 72nd and 104th Streets has been renamed Museum Mile because of its astonishing number of world-class cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. This stretch is lined with the former mansions of the Upper East Side's more illustrious industrialists and philanthropists.
West Side - Broadway, brownstones, books, and some of the city's best bagels... the Upper West Side extends north from Columbus Circle at 59th Street up to 110th Street, and is bordered by Central Park West and Riverside Park. The Upper West Side is separated from the Upper East Side by Central Park. This is the traditional stronghold of the city's intellectual, creative, and moneyed community, but the atmosphere is not as upper crust as the Upper East Side. Elegant, pre-war buildings along the boulevards of Broadway, West End Avenue, Riverside Drive, and Central Park West meet shady, quiet streets lined with brownstones. Much of the area is protected by landmark status, and the neighborhood's restored townhouses and high-priced co-op apartments are coveted by actors, young professionals, and young families.
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