Manhattan - description of the city:

Of the 5 boroughs of New York City, Manhattan is the most densely populated. This area consists mainly of Manhattan Island. It also consists of several smaller islands as well as a portion of the mainland. The eastern part of the island is bordered by the Harlem and Hudson rivers. The area has been described as being the cultural and economic center of America. The area also has the most profound levels of income inequality in the country. 

The United Nations Headquarters is located in Manhattan. In the lower part of Manhattan, Wall Street is located. This is often referred to as the financial capital of the world. The GDP estimate for Wall Street is more than $1.2 trillion. The New York Stock Exchange as well as NASDAQ is located in Manhattan as well. The cost of living in Manhattan is higher than anywhere else in the United States. There are also many multinational media conglomerates that have their base here. 

The county of New York is the most densely populated in the country and even in the world. The estimated population according to the 2013 census was 1,626,159. During the business week, the influx of people commuting to the city increases the amount of people in the area to over 3.9 million. This works out to be around 170,000 people for each square mile. This is also one of the wealthiest areas in the country as the per capita income for the area was over $100,000 as of 2010. 

There are many landmarks and districts that have become quite popular with visitors to the area. The Broadway Theater District is at the center of Times Square. This is one of the busiest pedestrian’s intersections in the world. It is also one of the centers for the world’s entertainment industry. Manhattan is also the home of many great skyscrapers, parks, and bridges. Chinatown has the highest concentration of Chinese individuals in the entire western hemisphere. 

There are several universities and colleges located in Manhattan including; New York University, Columbia University, Rockefeller University, and Cooper Union. Each of these has been ranked in the top 50 colleges and universities of the world.


The Lenape Native Americans occupied the area that is now referred to as Manhattan for a very long time. Giovanni da Verrazano, a Florentine Explore, in the year 1524, was sailing for the French King Francis the first. He was the first European to visit what would eventually become New York City. Verrazano entered the Narrows on his ship called La Dauphine. He named the area New Angouleme. He sailed into the area far enough to see the Hudson River, which he reported as being a “very large river.” 

This area was not mapped until Henry Hudson explored it. He visited the area and met the people who lived there in the year 1609. He traveled up the river that would eventually be named for him, until he reached the area that is now Albany, New York. 

In 1624, a permanent European residency began in the area. Construction of Fort Amsterdam was started in 1625. The island of Manhattan was chosen for the fort as a way to protect new arrivals to the area. The establishment of the citadel is considered to be the birthday of New York City. According to one document, the Dutch colonists purchased the land in 1626 from Indians for trade goods that were worth about 60 guilders, which was about $24. That is about $1050 in today’s currency.

The last Dutch general that was appointed to the colony was Peter Stuyvesant. New Amsterdam officially became a city in 1653. In the year 1664, New Amsterdam was conquered by the English and renamed New York after the Duke of York. 

In 1765, representatives from the 13 colonies met at the Stamp Act of Congress to oppose British rule. This congress resulted in a document called the Declaration of Rights and Grievances. This is the document that claimed the well-known phrase, “no taxation without representation.” This was the first time that the colonies cooperated in political aim that was unified. This laid the foundation for Continental Congresses that followed. 

Throughout history the city has seen its share of diversity. The most recent acts against the city include the September 11th attacks in 2001. This was when 2 planes were flown into the World Trade centers. Over 2600 people died in the attacks, not including the people that were on the planes. Since the attack the city has been restored. 

In the fall of 2012, the city was hit by hurricane Sandy. The hurricane caused extensive damage throughout the borough. There was severe flooding combined with high winds that caused power outages to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.


The city of Manhattan has seen many important cultural movements in the country. In the year 1912, approximately 20,000 workers marched on the Washington Square Park in order to commemorate the fire that occurred at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory that killed 136 employees. 

In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance established the literary canon for African Americans. The art scene of the 50s and 60s were a center for the pop movement in America. This gave birth to superstars such as Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns. Andy Warhol is perhaps the most notable pop artist from the 70s. 

Broadway is typically considered to be the highest professional form of theater in the country. Musicals and plays are staged in 39 large professional theaters located in the city all around Times Square. Lincoln Center is about a mile from Times Square and is home of one of the more prestigious opera houses of the world.


Madison Square Garden is one of the most iconic venues in the country. It is here where the New York Liberty from the WNBA, the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, and the New York Knicks from the National Basketball Association all play. In addition, there are concerts and other events held in the arena. There is no Major League Baseball team in the borough. It is the only borough to not have a MLB team in the city of New York.

Visiting Manhattan

When visiting Manhattan there are just certain things that you need to see. The Empire State Building, Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park should all be on your must see list.

When visiting the city you simply must take an elevator ride to the top of the Empire State Building. The top floor offers an amazing view of the city that you simply must see while you are there. The building is open late, so you can go up at almost any time that you would like.

Visiting Times Square is a trip that you will not likely soon forget. The lights, billboards, and the action are something to see. There are Broadway shows all around the square and you may even be able to find some discount tickets. There are plenty of places to shop in the area including Toys R Us that has an indoor Ferris wheel and Madame Tussaunds, where you can take pictures with iconic figures. You are not going to go hungry while in the area as there are many great restaurants from which to choose.

Perhaps one of the greatest oases from the city, Central Park is located in the heart of the city and covers 843 acres. There are walking trails, rolling hills, and bodies of water located throughout the park to provide you with a welcome break from the city sidewalks. There are several attractions in the park including a zoo, the carousel, Belvedere Castle, the great lawn, and sheep meadow. During the winter months you can enjoy ice skating.

Of course, if you are visiting the city you do not want to miss the many great museums located throughout the city. The stretch of 5th avenue running from east 82nd all the way to east 105th is called museum mile. It is here where you will find El Museo del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, National Design Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as several others.

Across from Central Park you will find the Hayden Planetarium as well as the American Museum of Natural History, which are both must see museums while you are in the area.

Overall, when planning a trip to Manhattan, it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, there are so many great places to see and so many things to do; you are not going to have a bad trip. In the city there is an immense amount of art and culture combined with excitement and entertainment. No matter what you are interested in, you will find something to do while you are visiting Manhattan. The rich history and busy pace will make you want to come back and visit again and again. 

Country United States
International title Manhattan
Population 1,487,536 people
Timezone America/New_York
State New York
Geographic coordinates Latitude: 40.78343 x Longitude: -73.96625

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