New York and Manhattan neighborhood guide: trendy ones and those to avoid

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Manhattan

Manhattan is of course New York's most famous borough. We will therefore first focus on the different neighborhoods that make it up. But first, here is a map of Manhattan neighborhoods, which will allow you to easily locate them.



 

If this is your first trip to New York, this is where I recommend you stay. You will also find a large number of hotels at attractive prices in our article Where to stay cheap in New York? 9 hotels at an unbeatable price.

Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Midtown, the classic New York

Being two of the most expensive neighborhoods in America, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side offer beautiful residential streets often depicted in movies set in New York City.

Shopping and culture

So after strolling the streets of the Upper West Side, meet in the famous Fifth Avenue. Is it known worldwide for its many luxury brands such as Tiffany, Dior, or Victoria's Secret. Then, to recover from your emotions, go and sip your coffee to go in Central Park, THE must-see park in the city.

Then the Upper East Side neighborhood rthroat of museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Guggenheim Museum, so do not hesitate to take a cultural tour! End your tour with a stop at one of its fine dining restaurants for dinner and a taste of luxurious New York evenings.



Typical tourist attractions

Finally, to the south of these two neighborhoods is Midtown, a business district where you can find Rockefeller Center as well as Times Squares, two typical New York places. Shopping center including theaters, the Rockefeller Center, built by the Rockefeller family and completed at the end of the 30s, is particularly famous for the "Top of the Rock", an observation room offering a 360 ° view of the city, as well as the ice rink which is set up in ground in winter.

Also note that there is a pass for all these attractions and museums mentioned (and many others). This pass will save you a lot of time (skip the line) but also save a lot of money. To benefit from it, you can access it by clicking here.

As for Times Square, no need to introduce you to the more than known and unmissable place where a multitude of department stores and giant screens overlooking the streets are gathered, making the district very touristy and commercial.

Chelsea, artistic district

Travel the Highline

A bustling neighborhood located between 14th Street South and 34th Street North, Chelsea offers many local and varied attractions. Too, the best way to see the area is to walk along the High Line. High rails located between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street and abandoned since 1980, they were recently restored and now allow you to visit the district in an original way.


Do you like contemporary art? This New York neighborhood is for you!

Don't miss the Chelsea Gallery district, the art gallery district that offers around 200 small contemporary art galleries housed in former warehouses, including the famous Gagosian Gallery. The good plan: stroll there on a Thursday evening in summer, where many galleries remain open, for your greatest pleasure.


In addition, if you are interested in contemporary architecture, I highly recommend visiting the IAC Building and 100 Eleventh Avenue, respectively the premises of architects Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel, both located between West 27th Street and West 28th Street. .

The market of delicacies

Then, formerly the place of production of the famous Oreo cookies and located between 75 9th Avenue and West 16th Street, the Chelsea Market now offers a multitude of options to eat, like the famous Lobster Place, and to buy fresh products or original gifts. My favorite : cookies from Eleni's, and the legendary brownies from Fat Witch!

The Chelsea Piers

Finally, if you are sporty, the sports village of Chelsea Piers, located on the banks of the Hudson River between West 17th and West 23rd Street, should have fun: climbing, baseball, yoga, fitness, beach volleyball and many others, there is plenty to choose from! Note that the place also has a variety of restaurants and shopping, to satisfy all your desires.


Greenwich Village, bohemian life

Often compared to Montmartre, Greenwich Village is the district of New York known as the district of artists of all kinds. Having hosted in particular John Lennon, Jimmy Hendricks, Marcel Duchamp, Nina Simone, Jack Kerouac, Simon & Garfunkel, it also has the first art galleries in New York such as the Whitney Museum, now the Metropolitan Museum located in Central Park .

Listen to jazz

An anti-militarist rallying point in 1968 and the birthplace of New York's gay and lesbian culture (this is where the city's first gay pride took place, in 1970), Greenwich Village is known to be alternative and tolerant. This is the district of New York where we go to walk, shop, or listen to jazz. To do this, go to the Village Gate or Blue Note (whose Sunday morning brunch-show package I recommend). There you can also see an alternative play at Cherry Lane Playhouse or Astor Place.


Relive the scenes of "Friends"

Also, its old buildings give it a real identity and make it a district apart. Make your way to 77 Bedford Street to admire the Isaacs-Hendricks house, the oldest in the area, dating from 1799. And if you are a fan of "Friends", be sure to stop by the corner of Grove Street. and Bedford Street, where you can spot Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey's legendary apartment!

Finally, be sure to stop by The Magnolia Bakery and taste its delicious cupcakes, which you have certainly heard about in Sex and the City.

Soho and Tribeca, New York's neighborhoods for strolling and shopping

Located in the southwest of Manhattan, these two adjoining neighborhoods offer a multitude of small cafes and luxury boutiques or avant-garde designers.

Stroll through the streets

Close to Greenwich Village, Little Italy and Chinatown, SoHo is the New York district known for its “cast-iron buildings”. These cast iron frame buildings once inhabited by various factories and warehouses spring to mind when New York City is mentioned. Today classified as a historic district, SoHo is a district where you will undoubtedly like to stroll. These streets include many small cafes, art galleries and luxury boutiques.

As for TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal), located between Canal Street and Park Place, it is a small residential area. It was renovated after being an unattractive industrial area for a long time, and now attracts many New Yorkers and tourists. A film festival is even dedicated to him, the “Tribeca Film Festival”, created in 2002.

Devour a Cronut

When you're around, grab a Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery at 189 Spring Street. This pastry has become a real phenomenon is a unique creation of the house! Mixture between the croissant and the donut, thus representing the perfect Franco-American marriage and that I had the pleasure to test and approve! You will find it available in countless flavors such as rose-vanilla, fig-mascarpone, chocolate-Champagne, and many other mouth-watering names. Good tasting !

Chinatown, the exotic touch

Take a culinary journey

Comprising nearly 150000 residents, Chinatown is a must-see neighborhood for anyone visiting New York. Indeed, although poor in monuments or cultural places to visit, Chinatown nevertheless offers a touch of exoticism in the heart of the city. Take the opportunity to walk around and get lost in the streets, while discovering another culture. Walk into the shops and restaurants, and don't hesitate to try Chinese food. It will probably be the best you can find in New York. Don't forget to visit the Grand Street Market, famous for its fish.

Immerse yourself in another culture

After admiring the Confucius Statue, located in Confucius Plaza, make your way to the MoCa (Museum of the Chinese of America) at 70 Mulberry Street, as well as the Mahayana Buddhist Temple, located between Canal Street and Bowery Street, whose Golden Buddha statue will take you to Asia.

If the weather is nice, don't hesitate to go to Colombus Park, where you can take part in outdoor tai chi lessons, and admire the filming location of "Gangs of New York", directed by Martin Scorsese.

Finally, don't skip Canal Street, a low-cost shopping paradise. Since its specialty is counterfeiting, be very careful, I remind you that it is prohibited by law and that the latter could get you into trouble, especially when you pass through the airport!

Little Italy, the romantic New York district

Stopover in the Mediterranean

Full of delicious Italian restaurants, Little Italy will amaze your taste buds! Fresh pasta, real espresso, Italian pastries and ice cream, all the ingredients will be there for a Mediterranean culinary journey. Also, I advise you to go to the Ferrara cafe, located at 195 Grand Street. It is one of the oldest espresso bars in the country and offers many typical sweets including Italian ice cream.

Note that a trip in September will allow you to enjoy San Gennaro, a religious Italian festival lasting ten days and offering many fun activities.

Enter Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral

Finally, visit Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral in NoLIta (North of Little Italy), a small neighborhood located east and south of Soho, before going to lunch at Tacombi, a Mexican restaurant located in a garage. Nothing to do with the Italian spirit, but its industrial, warm and colorful decoration will seduce you for sure! Once you've had your fill, head back to the many designer boutiques that the neighborhood has to offer.

Wall Street, the financial district

This district of New York located in Manhattan does not offer much tourist attraction. It is indeed the famous financial district of New York. However, you can see the famous “Charging Bull”, a bronze statue weighing more than 3 tons. It was created by artist Arturo di Modica, and is located in Bownling Green Park. It is probably the only attraction in the area, representing the New York “bulls”. The latter are the investors betting on a rise in the stock market, unlike the “bears”, those betting on a fall.

Believed to represent the strength, power and hope of the American people, this bull is now present in many tourist photographs; do not hesitate to have your portrait taken next door!

Brooklyn, le coin hipster

Formerly known as a nefarious district, Brooklyn is a district of New York that has become very popular since the 90s. This was done in particular thanks to the influx of artists of all kinds. Indeed, being very close to Manhattan while offering an atmosphere of its own. This is essentially the case thanks to its “brownstones” (red sandstone) houses. Also, with prices much lower than in the center, Brooklyn is now the most populous district of New York with 2,6 million inhabitants. It is also one of the most popular.

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Much quieter than Manhattan, however, the area is worth a detour. First of all, anyone going to New York must cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Alone or as part of a free tour, admire the view! However, I advise you to cross it on a sunny and hot day, or to bring a small jacket, since the wind blows there stronger.

Discover the botanical garden

Then, be sure to take a stroll or even have a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Located next to the bridge, it offers a real breath of fresh air and calm just minutes from Manhattan. If you're a plant and flower lover, head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden instead. Founded in 1910, you will find more than 200 cherry trees and 1.400 species of roses. Enough to organize a romantic break!

Finally, for an unusual moment, visit the iconic Brooklyn Brewery! The latter offers free spins on Saturdays, and sample some of their local beers!

Staten Island

Take advantage of the free ferry

With only 500.000 residents and located 8 miles from the tip of Manhattan, Staten Island offers a natural stopover. It has many green spaces as well as a lot of calm. So take advantage of a beautiful day to board the famous free orange ferry. The latter will take you there and allow you to observe the famous Statue of Liberty as well as the skyline. Allow about twenty minutes for a trip.

Note that boarding is near Battery Park. Also, there is no need to hurry: during the day, a ferry leaves every 15 minutes or so, and every half hour at night. My advice: sit in the back, so you can observe the skyline once the ferry is underway! And on the way back, why not wait until night falls, in order to admire the illuminated skyline?

Enjoy the calm and the greenery

Once on the island, go to the zoo or the Staten Island Museum, located on the water's edge and offering a "fine art" section as well as a library and a space devoted to natural sciences.

If you prefer the natural aspect of the island, however, take a stroll on the Greenbelt. And more precisely in the park of Clove Lakes, or in the botanical garden of the island. These last ones will know how to disorient you thanks to its twenty diverse and varied gardens, including a Chinese garden and a Tuscan one.

Finally, do not hesitate to visit the 11/XNUMX memorial, located on the waterfront near the Staten Island Yankees stadium and featuring postcards. The profile of each victim is represented inside, making it a real place of contemplation.

The Bronx, holding the "real" Italian quarter

Somewhat neglected since the 70s because of its reputation as a disreputable neighborhood, the Bronx has changed a lot. This is the New York neighborhood where the iconic Yankees stadium is located. The New York City Botanical Garden and an Italian neighborhood, Arthur Avenue, are also located here. The latter, considered to be the real Italian quarter of the city, has a market, the Arthur Avenue retail market. You can find all the Italian delicacies there and even have lunch there. If you are a pizza lover, you will certainly find the best in the area!

New York Neighborhood: Queens

Last but not least, Queens! This district of New York is known for its sportsmanship, especially thanks to its famous Mets stadium, Citi Field. Very cosmopolitan, with almost half of its inhabitants being foreigners, this district offers several interesting attractions.

Avant-garde art and cinema

Indeed, if you are an art lover, the district includes a branch of the MoMa museum, the MoMa PS1. The latter is mainly oriented towards experimental and avant-garde art. Don't forget the Museum of Moving Image either, if you want to know a little more about the 7th art and its tricks! Designed for everyone, this museum exhibits different tools used in some well-known films. It also details the different techniques used in cinema while retracing the history of the latter.

Beach getaway

In summer, do not hesitate to stop at the beach for the day! To do this, take Line A to Rockaway Beach. Very popular with the inhabitants of the Big Apple! The latter is appreciated for its relaxed atmosphere. I advise you to stop at the Blue Bottle Coffee and have a coffee to go there. You will be able to lounge on the beach for a few hours!

Outdoor activities

Also meet at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It is famous for the US Open of tennis which takes place there every year as well as for its Unisphere. The latter is a representation of the planet Earth in steel and measuring 40 meters in height. Take advantage of this (almost) tourist-free place, and pretend to be a local!

Finally, don't miss out on a kayak trip on the East River! Visit the LIC Community Boathouse website and be informed of the various excursions offered, some of which are free. The view of the skyline and the unusual side will ensure you an unforgettable moment!

You are now ready for great visits and experiences! Now go find out for yourself which New York neighborhood you like best! However, this list is of course not exhaustive. New York City has so much to offer! You will undoubtedly discover a multitude of other secrets once there. Open your eyes, your ears, taste and enjoy as much as possible!

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