Manhattan, founded in 1898 is the oldest and most populated borough in New York City (contrast that with Queens, which is the largest borough geographically.) It is often regarded as the birthplace of New York City. It is mostly an island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers.
Manhattan is a cultural, financial, media, and entertainment hub. It plays host to the United Nations’ headquarters, Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ. As expected in a city with such economic relevance, real estate in Manhattan is very expensive. In 2018, the average price of real estate per square foot was $1,600.
The area that became Manhattan used to be inhabited by Native Americans. It was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609. However, it wasn’t until 1624 that Dutch colonists built a fur-trading outpost in the area. They then constructed a fort in 1625, marking the birth of New York City.
The Dutch colonists bought the area from Native Americans on May 24, 1626, for 60 Guilders which is now said to be equivalent to between $2,600 and $15,600. They named it New Amsterdam and it was formally incorporated as a city in 1653.
However, in 1664, the English fought and defeated the Dutch for it. King Charles then renamed it “New York” in honor of his brother, the Duke of York, and the future King James II. The Dutch won back the city again in 1673 and named it “New Orange”. They eventually ceded it to the English in 1674.
Manhattan was the capital of the United States between 1785 and 1790. It finally became a borough in 1898.
Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated borough in New York City. It has an estimated population of 1.6 Million. Its total land area is 59 square kilometers. Its population has remained predominantly white. Although the percentage of its Caucasian residents has dropped from 80% in 1950 to 65% in 2018.
It has the highest GDP per capita in the United States at $368,500. Also, the cost of living in Manhattan is the highest in the united states.
Manhattan hosts the United Nations Headquarters. The financial district of lower manhattan hosts either offices or headquarters of the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Wall Street, the New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.
It also hosts several prestigious tertiary education institutions including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University.
For its long, rich history, Manhattan has accumulated a long list of notable landmarks. Some of which are;
The Statue of Liberty
The statue of liberty is a huge 93-meter tall copper statue standing on Liberty harbor. It was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, and was gifted to the United States by France. It welcomed migrants who arrived in the late 19th century and later years. It has gone on to become a symbol of freedom for all Americans.
The Empire State building
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. Construction started in 1930 and took 13 months. At 381 meters tall, it was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970. It is currently the 49th tallest building in the world.
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan formed by the intersection of Seventh Avenue, 42nd Street, and Broadway. It is a huge entertainment center with 55 brightly lit LED screens to keep tourists dazzled. It draws approximately 50 million visitors every year.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge over the East River connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. With a length of 486.3 meters, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened. It takes tourists approximately 60 minutes to walk across it. It affords a generous view of the manhattan skyline.
The Rockefeller Center
It is a huge complex of 19 commercial buildings spread over a 22-acre area between 48th Street and 51st Street in Manhattan. A tour of the Rockefeller center will include skating at the Rockefeller ice skating rink and an elevator ride to the top of the rock.
The High Line
The High Line is a public park built by the community’s residents on a 1.45mile-long elevated rail track stretching from Gansevoort St. to 34th St. on Manhattan’s West Side. The residents converted it in 1999 to prevent it from getting demolished. It is a green, serene island rooted in the city. It receives 8 million visitors annually.
Popular Neighborhoods in Manhattan
Marble Hill, Manhattan
Marble Hill, located in the northernmost part of Manhattan was founded in the year 1891. Its name is derived from the large deposits of dolomite marble found beneath the earth. Even though the neighborhood is officially a part of the borough of Manhattan, it is geographically located in the borough of Bronx. It is also the only neighborhood in manhattan that is not situated on an island.
Marble Hill is served by the Marble Hill–225th Street local train station. However, besides the train station, other popular modes of transportation include several bus stations, while a sizable number of its residents also travel in their private cars.
Notable landmarks include the Broadway Bridge, the Marble Hill playground, New York City Housing Authority, promenade apartments, The River Plaza Shopping Center, and more. Then, of course, there is also the fact that the popular road Broadway passes through Marble Hill.
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side of the borough of Manhattan is one of the more affluent and wealthier neighborhoods in New York City. It is often referred to as the intellectual and cultural hub of the City for several reasons. But perhaps chiefly because of several world-renowned educational and cultural institutions such as The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, Barnard College and many more.
Nestled between 110th street, 59th street, Central Park, and the Hudson River on the north, south, east, and west respectively, the neighborhood is served by two different subway lines: The IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and the IND Eighth Avenue Line. Additionally, there are up to five different bus routes that serve the neighborhood.
Situated in the northern portion of Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights played a significant role in the defense of the area during the American civil war. The neighborhood is bordered by Inwood to the north, Harlem to the south, Harlem River, and Coogan’s Bluff to the east and the Hudson River to its west.
One of its most iconic landmarks is the George Washington Bridge, which is the busiest motor vehicle bridge found anywhere in the world. Besides and quite close to this world-renowned bridge also stands the Little Red Lighthouse (housed in Fort Washington Park) which is the only lighthouse on the entire island of Manhattan.
It also has a rather rich sports history, having served as home for five different professional sports teams, namely: New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and the New York Giants and New York Jets football teams.
Battery Park City
Battery Park is located on the west side of the southernmost tip of the island of Manhattan. It is a 92 acre planned community, which is quite different from other communities in the city which have evolved in a more ad-hoc manner.
The area is served by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which provides bus services to residents of the neighborhood. Specifically, the M22, M9, and M20 bus lines serve parts of Battery Park City. While the M15 and M15 SBS serve nearby Battery Park.
While there is no direct subway access in Battery Park City, there are pedestrian bridges and crosswalks that connect the neighborhood to the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) station in the nearby Financial District.
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