New York attracts people from all over. Get on a subway in New York and look
at the newspapers that people around you are reading. One person is reading a
newspaper in Spanish, another in Chinese, yet others in Arabic, Russian,
Italian, Yiddish, and French. New York was always a city of immigrants. It
The are 5 boroughs in New York - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and
Staten Island. Brooklyn alone has so many people that if it were a separate
city, it would be the fourth largest in the United States.
Manhattan is an island just 13 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is the center
of American finance, advertising, art theatre, publishing, fashion - and much
more. The borough of Manhattan is what most people think of New York, one of
the most exciting cities in the world.
Manhattan is divided into the East Side and the West Side. The dividing line
is Fifth Avenue. So, for example, East 47th Street begins at Fifth Avenue, as
does West 47th Street.
Manhattan is also divided, with less exactnes, into Lower (Downtown), Midtown
and Upper (Up-town) Manhattan. As you go North, or uptown, the street numbers
get higher. Lower Manhatta refers to street numbers below 14th Street and
Central Park, and Upper Manhattan to the renaming, northern, part of the
The Financial District.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Manhattan. To protect themselves
from attacs, they built a sturdy wooden wall. Although it`s now long gone,
this wall gave it`s name to a street in Lower Manhattan and the street, in
turn, became synonymous with American capitalism. The street, of course, is
Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange and the American Stokc Exchange are
both in the Wall Street area. So are many stokc brokers, investment blanks
and others bank, and headquarters of many large corporations.
To escape the commotion of Wall Street you can visit the nearby South Street
Seaport, an open area of low buildings on the East River. In addition to many
shops and restaraunts, the seaport has a museum.
Two good ways to get the larger picture of New York are to circle it in a
bout and to hover over it in helicopter. In the financial district, thogh,
there`s anouther way to see New York. The twin towers of the World Trade
Centre rise 1,350 feet above the city. There`s an observation deck on the
107th floor of one of the towers.
Appropriately, the very first business deal in Manhattan was made in what
became the financial district. As every American schoolchild knows, the Dutch
bought Manhattan from the Indians, for the rediculously low price of 24
dollars worth of beads and trinkets. There is, however, another, less known
side of this: evidently, the Indians who had sold Manhattan don’t themselves
live there or in any sense own it. The Dutch and the Indians alike walked
The Lower East Side.
The Lower East Side was originali an ellegant neighborhood. When New York was
the capital of the United States, Presedent George Washington lived on the
Lower East Side.
By the mid-1880s the Lower East Side had changed greatly. It was chracterized
by crime and the poverty and hopes of it`s residents. By the mid-1800s the
Lower East Side had become an area in which immigrants settled. First there
were many Irish, then came many Jews from Easten Europe.
Near the Lower East Side there are two other neighborhoods that also attracted
immigrants and that are famous for their food. The Italian restaurants of
Little Italy remain popular to tourists and Italians alike. Today
Chinatown is the only immigrant community that`s still growing. Chinatown
has seven newspaper of it`s own. It also nearly 200 restaurants.
Greenwich Village and the East Village.
Greenwich Village and the East Village have always been at the centre of New
York`s excitement. Both have been places for people with different and
creative ideas. Both have an active nightlife with plenty of bars,
restaraurants and clubs.
In the early 1900s the charm Greenwich Village attracted bohemians - writers
and artists. By the 1920s, the streets of the Village were filled with other
peole, curious to see how these odd Villagers lived. The artists and writers
began moving out, some to the East Village. Today, the Village has many
elements: students attending New York University; an active jazz scene; and
in Washington Square - it`s centre - street performers, police. Drug dealers,
joggers, roller skates, and just about everyone else.
When bohemiams moved to the East Village 1920s, they found an area similar to
the Lower East Side. There were many immigrants, much dirt and grime. The
East Village has changed very little. Over the years it has been a centre for
many movements - for the beat poets of the 1950s, the hippies of the 1960s,
and, more recently, for New York`s punk scene.