The symbol of the city, manhattan

The Symbol of the City, Manhattan

The magnet for tourists, the symbol of the city, Manhattan is probably the most deceptive of the boroughs to outsiders, who generally limit themselves to quick looks at the Theater District around Times Square (moving gingerly past the seediness of 42nd Street west of Broadway) ,’the shopping promenade of Fifth Avenue, the munificence of the temples of finance on and near Wall Street, the eccentricities of bohemian life in the East Village and Shoo, the exotica of Chinatown, or the special flavors of Little Italy and Harlem. At first glance, Manhattan is only the city of skyscrapers, glaring lights, and frenzied pace, an island of the strange, the neurotic^ and the avant-garde. Crammed into its 23 square miles (57 square kilometers) are more than, 1,400,000 residents. Its waterfront, formed by the Harlem, East, and Hudson rivers, is 43 miles (69 kilometers) in length, but only scattered groups of slum children swim in the pollution; and the few fishermen find only scanty catches.

To the residents of the island, each section is a hometown. Those who live in the West 70s, 80s, and 90s — the Upper West Side, though streets run above 200 at the northern tip — know their neighborhoods as a cosmopolitan mixture of languages, occupations, and income levels. It is the caldron in which much of the liberal experimentation in the Democratic Party is prepared, and some say it is the origin of much of the chaos of the party. On the Upper East Side, east of Central Park, is a different mixture, generally more affluent.

The Chelsea area of the West 20s, with its tenements, renovated brownstones, and huge cooperatives built by labor unions, has a more sedate pace than the East Village and Shoo (derived from “south of Houston Street”), comprising much of the old Lower East Side and containing the city’s major concentration of struggling writers and artists. Greenwich Village, the old centre of bohemian life, has become a favorite dwelling place for affluent professionals and successful authors and artists. Harlem means more than just tenements, housing projects, and black politics. It means a vibrant street life ranging from sports to stoop seminars, and it is spiced with luxury apartment houses with doormen, inhabited almost entirely by blacks. Yorkville, in the East 80s, retains pockets of Czech, Hungarian, and German cultures in a clash of old tenements and towering luxury apartment houses. The neighborhood taverns of the Irish proliferate through In wood at the northernmost part of the island, where the borough of Manhattan spills over the Harlem River to encompass an enclave of a few square blocks within mainland Bronx. In alive their national sports of hurling and Gaelic football — much as courts are maintained for bocciball games in Little Italy many miles to the south. On Morning-side Heights around Columbia University, the civilities of the academic world overlook the bleak stretches of Harlem below and to the east and north.

Even fantastic Lower Manhattan, from the Battery, with its ferry ships at the island’s tip, to City Hall, has begun taking on the atmosphere of a neighborhood. Apartment houses have gone up in the vicinity of City Hall, and the overwhelming skyscraper jungle around Wall Street, which is home to hundreds of financial and insurance institutions and some of the nations’ largest banks, exerts international power.

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