NYC TOP SPOTS - http://www.nyc.gov

Attraction

New York, NY ... As the saying goes "a city so nice they had to name it twice." and "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere..."

NYC has to be one of the world's coolest cities. The city that never sleeps. It includes five boroughs. And before the 1898 consolidation - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island were each independent municipalities.

Manhattan island dominates popular perception of New York City. With its most notable areas listed below:

Chelsea was once a working class community, Chelsea has also become a posh address. As rents in Greenwich Village rose, the vibrant gay community moved upwards to occupy many brownstones and loft spaces. Others followed, and today it reflects all of New York's ethnic and cultural diversity. West Chelsea is home to many art galleries, and there are a number of great restaurants. Chelsea still retains some reminders of its more conservative past, as evident by the General Theological Seminary and the Church of the Guardian Angel .

Chinatown restaurants, grocery stores and local shops line the ever-crowded neighborhood. Dim Sum and other favorites attract diners on practically every corner, especially on famous Mott Street .

East Village artists, students and young professionals have gone a long way towards gentrifying these poor and ethnic neighborhood. Even today, the artistic spirit that initially brought about change remains, evident in such vibrant cultural establishments as St. Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church . Urban gardens, like Tompkins Square Park and art exhibits sit beside cafes, craft shops and vegetarian restaurants.

Gramercy & Flatiron Building lords over this beautiful, eclectic district marked by loft spaces to the west and prewar residences to the east. More than a century after their construction, the apartment buildings and townhouses around Gramercy Park remain coveted residences.

Greenwich Village at the turn of the 20th Century drew beatniks, hippies and all sorts of free spirits from around the nation, including poets, actors, musicians and playwrights. As the years went on, rents inevitably rose until townhouses became some of the most expensive in the city. New York University students gather in Washington Square Park. Shops, bars and music clubs exist along Bleecker Street.

Harlem - Long the national epicenter of African-American culture, it was home to the renaissance, arguably this country's most influential artistic, literary and cultural movement. This area is known for its jazz clubs and Southern restaurants.

Lower East Side this area once housed some of the city's worst slums, well-chronicled by their Conservancy. Today's higher rents mean that the only people who can afford to live here, and want to, are young professionals. The Orchard Street Shopping District is home to several hip bars and nightclubs.

Little Italy Frank Sinatra, restaurants and kitsch draw tourists to the lively neighborhood surrounding Mulberry Street. The Feast of San Gennaro still welcomes its throngs, but the neighborhood is fast becoming surrounded by nearby Chinatown.

Midtown is smack in the middle of everything. Nobody is really sure where Midtown begins and ends, but most agree its between 30 street and Central Park. Publishing houses, financial firms, import and export companies, fashion houses all do business here. Trump Tower entices shoppers, along with all those glorious stores along Fifth Avenue. Ice skaters in Rockefeller Center and the spectacular St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation offers serenity and spirituality.

Soho & Tribeca was once home to massive factories, artists moved in and transformed this area into a bustling urban mecca. Galleries, designer shops, sophisticated restaurants and trendy bars followed. Today, tourists flock to the area and rents have risen sky high.

Times Square & Hell's Kitchen was a seedy place, but has replaced adult bookstores and entertainment venues. Most would admit that it is better this way. Visitors adore everything from souvenir shops to enormous billboards and Broadway musicals. A few blocks west lies Hell's Kitchen, a community filled with eclectic restaurants, bars, shops, and Actors' Temple. A place where spirituality meets creativity.

The Upper East Side Park, Fifth and Madison have always been the elite strps. Whether in the gilded manors of yesterday, like Gracie Mansion in Schurz Park , or the area's high-rise modern apartments, old money and high society have long made their home here. Consequently, shops to serve them line Madison Avenue . There are art galleries and antique shops. Further east, new money has overtaken the Yorkville slums.

The Upper West Side when the co-ops of the East Side were freer to restrict residents, the Upper West Side became home to new money. Then, as "modernist" Eastsiders tore down their prewar palaces, Upper West Side residents kept their old buildings, such as the famous Ansonia and the Dakota, where John Lenno once lived abd was gunned down; renters now value the neighborhood's attractive real estate. Meanwhile, bars and restaurants catering to Long Island and New Jersey folk continue to sprout up along Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, where many celebrities live.

Wall Street and the city's Financial District- New York's first district remains its most historic. Here, investment banks coexist with landmarks like Trinity Church . Battery Park draws people for its panoramic views. The twin towers of World Trade Center was one of the area's most popular destinations, until the tragic destruction on 9/11/01, which took the lives of many New Yorkers and affected the entire nation. New World Trade Center buildings are under construction.

Brooklyn stretches from Coney Island beach to elegant Brooklyn Heights. But wherever Brooklyn residents are from, they can boast of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the gorgeous bridge that bears the borough's name, the Brooklyn Museum and a growing restaurant scene.

Queens from Chinatown in Flushing to Astoria, it is experiencing a quiet renaissance, as refugees from Manhattan's high rents continue to discover what this working-class borough offers its residents. Inexpensive ethnic restaurants pepper the borough. Its also home to the Museum of the Moving Image and Flushing Meadows Corona Park .

And last, but certainly not least.... The Bronx. This borough is the only one attached to the US mainland and boasts the Yankees, Bronx Zoo , NY Botanical Garden. Fordham University, Orchard Beach.... And may we have a drum roll, please? CITY ISLAND.

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