Manhattan

Last updated on 27 June 2017

Manhattan (/mænˈhætən/, /mən-/) is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and the city's historical birthplace.[3] The borough is coextensive with New York County, founded on November 1, 1683, as one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood on the U.S. mainland physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River.

Manhattan is often described as the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world,[4][5][6][7][8] and hosts the United Nations Headquarters.[9] Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world,[10][11][12][13][14] and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.[15][16] Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, and the borough has been the setting for numerous books, films, and television shows. Manhattan is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders, which equals US$1050 today.[17][18] Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013;[3][19] median residential property sale prices in Manhattan approximated US$1,500 per square foot ($16,000/m2) as of 2017,[20] and Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017.[21]

New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area (larger only than Kalawao County, Hawaii), and is also the most densely populated U.S. county.[22] It is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 1,643,734[1] living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2),[23] or 71,999 residents per square mile (27,799/km2), higher than the density of any individual U.S. city.[24] On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million,[25] or more than 170,000 people per square mile (65,600/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.[26]

Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan have become well known, as New York City received a record of nearly 60 million tourists in 2015,[27] and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal.[28] The borough hosts many world-renowned bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge; skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world;[29] and parks, such as Central Park. There are many historically significant places in Manhattan: Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[30] and the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.[31][32] The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan,[3] and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government.[33] Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan,[34] including Columbia University, New York University, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world.[35][36]

New York City's five boroughs
Jurisdiction Population Land area Density
Borough County Estimate
(2016)[37]
square
miles
square
km
persons /
sq. mi
persons /
sq. km
Manhattan
New York
1,643,734 22.83 59.1 72,033 27,826
Bronx
1,455,720 42 110 34,653 13,231
Kings
2,629,150 71 180 37,137 14,649
Queens
2,333,054 109 280 21,460 8,354
Richmond
476,015 58.5 152 8,112 3,132
8,537,673 303.33 781.1 28,188 10,947
19,745,289 47,214 122,284 416.4 159
Sources: see individual borough articles
Above Gotham.jpg
View from Midtown Manhattan, facing south toward Lower Manhattan
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Flag of Manhattan
New York City location Manhattan.svg
Location of Manhattan, shown in red, in New York City

Etymology

The name "Manhattan" derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).[38] A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). The word "Manhattan" has been translated as "island of many hills" from the Lenape language.[39] The United States Postal Service prefers that mail addressed to Manhattan use "New York, NY" rather than "Manhattan, NY".[40]

History

Colonial era

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Peter Minuit, early 1600s.
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The Castello Plan showing the Dutch colonial city of New Amsterdam in 1660 – then confined to the southern tip of Manhattan Island.

The area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – was the first European to visit the area that would become New York City. He entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows aboard his ship La Dauphine and named the land around Upper New York Harbor "New Angoulême", in reference to the family name of King Francis I that was derived from Angoulême in France; he sailed far enough into the harbor to sight the Hudson River, which he referred to in his report to the French king as a "very big river"; and he named the Bay of Santa Margarita – what is now Upper New York Bay – after Marguerite de Navarre, the elder sister of the king.[41][42]

It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped.[43] Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there in 1609, and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present-day Albany.[44]

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J.Q.A. Ward's statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall (on Wall Street) where he was inaugurated as the first U.S. President in 1789.[45]

A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), in what is now Lower Manhattan.[46][47] The 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.[48]

According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Dutch colonists acquired Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed Native American people, which are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape,[49] in exchange for trade goods worth 60 guilders,[18] often said to be worth US$24, although accounting for inflation, it actually amounts to around US$1,050 in 2014.[50] The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a representative of the Dutch Estates General and member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the Estates General in November 1626.[51] In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$23.[52] "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York.[53] Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam.[54] Based on the price of silver, Straight Dope author Cecil Adams calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992.[55] Historians James and Michelle Nevius revisited the issue in 2014, suggesting that using the prices of beer and brandy as equivalencies, the price Minuit paid would have the purchasing power of somewhere between $2,600 and $15,600 in current dollars.[56] According to the writer Nathaniel Benchley, Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsees, who were willing to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for the island that was actually mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks.[57]

In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony.[58] New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653.[59] In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II.[60] The Dutch, under Director General Stuyvesant, successfully negotiated with the English to produce 24 articles of provisional transfer, which sought to retain for the extant citizens of New Netherland their previously attained liberties (including freedom of religion) under new colonial English rulers.[61][47]

The Dutch Republic regained the city in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming it "New Orange". New Netherland was ceded permanently to the English in November 1674 through the Treaty of Westminster,[62] in exchange for Run Island, which was the long-coveted last link in the Dutch nutmeg trading monopoly in Indonesia.[63]

American Revolution and the early United States

Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of major battles in the early American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British political and military center of operations in North America for the remainder of the war.[64] British occupation lasted until November 25, 1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city.[65]

From January 11, 1785, to the fall of 1788, New York City was the fifth of five capitals of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, with the Continental Congress meeting at New York City Hall (then at Fraunces Tavern). New York was the first capital under the newly enacted Constitution of the United States, from March 4, 1789, to August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall.[66] Federal Hall was also the site of where the United States Supreme Court met for the first time,[67] the United States Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified,[68] and where the Northwest Ordinance was adopted, establishing measures for adding new states to the Union.[69]

19th century

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Manhattan in 1873. The Brooklyn Bridge was under construction from 1870 until 1883.

New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury and, later, with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.[70][71] By 1810 New York City, then confined to Manhattan, had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.[72]

Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party political machine, began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminating in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854. Tammany Hall dominated local politics for decades. Central Park, which opened to the public in 1858, became the first landscaped public park in an American city.[73][74]

New York City played a complex role in the American Civil War. The city's strong commercial ties to the southern United States, which existed for many reasons, including the industrial power of the Hudson River harbor, which allowed trade with stops such as the West Point Foundry one of the great manufacturing hubs of the early United States, and the city's Atlantic Ocean ports, rendering New York City the American powerhouse in terms of industrial trade between the northern and southern United States. New York's growing immigrant population, which had originated largely from Germany and Ireland, began in the late 1850s to include waves of Italians and Central and Eastern European Jews flowing in en-masse. Anger arose about conscription, with resentment at those who could afford to pay $300 to avoid service leading to resentment against Lincoln's war policies and fomenting paranoia about free Blacks taking the poor immigrants' jobs,[75] culminating in the three-day-long New York Draft Riots of July 1863. These intense war-time riots are counted among the worst incidents of civil disorder in American history, with an estimated 119 participants and passersby massacred.[76]

The rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply after the Civil War, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, a gift from the people of France.[77][78] The new European immigration brought further social upheaval. In a city of tenements packed with poorly paid laborers from dozens of nations, the city was a hotbed of revolution (including anarchists and communists among others), syndicalism, racketeering, and unionization.

In 1883 the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge established a road connection to Brooklyn, across the East River. In 1874 the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County from Westchester County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was annexed.[79] In 1898, when New York City consolidated with three neighboring counties to form "the City of Greater New York", Manhattan and the Bronx, though still one county, were established as two separate boroughs. On January 1, 1914, the New York state legislature created Bronx County, and New York County was reduced to its present boundaries.[80]

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The "Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York", commonly known as the Viele Map, was created by Egbert Ludovicus Viele in 1865

20th century

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Manhattan's Little Italy, Lower East Side, circa 1900

The construction of the New York City Subway, which opened in 1904, helped bind the new city together, as did additional bridges to Brooklyn. In the 1920s Manhattan experienced large arrivals of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the southern United States, and the Harlem Renaissance, part of a larger boom time in the Prohibition era that included new skyscrapers competing for the skyline. New York City became the most populous city in the world in 1925, overtaking London, which had reigned for a century.[81] Manhattan's majority white ethnic group declined from 98.7% in 1900 to 58.3% by 1990.[82]

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village killed 146 garment workers. The disaster eventually led to overhauls of the city's fire department, building codes, and workplace regulations.[83]

The period between the World Wars saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the fall of Tammany Hall after 80 years of political dominance.[84] As the city's demographics stabilized, labor unionization brought new protections and affluence to the working class, the city's government and infrastructure underwent a dramatic overhaul under La Guardia. Despite the Great Depression, some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline today, most notably the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the GE Building.

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Victory over Japan Day in Times Square, 1945

Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom, which led to the development of huge housing developments targeted at returning veterans, the largest being Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947.[85] In 1952, the UN relocated from its first headquarters near Queens, to the East Side of Manhattan.[86]

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[87][88]

In the 1970s job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City, including Manhattan, to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[89] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[90]

The 1980s saw a rebirth of Wall Street, and Manhattan reclaimed its role at the center of the worldwide financial industry. The 1980s also saw Manhattan at the heart of the AIDS crisis, with Greenwich Village at its epicenter. The organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) were founded to advocate on behalf of those stricken with the disease.

By the 1990s crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Murder rates that had reached 2,245 in 1990 plummeted to 537 by 2008, and the crack epidemic and its associated drug-related violence came under greater control.[91] The outflow of population turned around, as the city once again became the destination of immigrants from around the world, joining with low interest rates and Wall Street bonuses to fuel the growth of the real estate market.[92] Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in Manhattan's economy.

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The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909
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A construction worker on top of the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930. To the right, is the Chrysler Building.
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The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
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United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the first World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

21st century

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Flooding on Avenue C caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012[94]

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center, and the towers subsequently collapsed. 7 World Trade Center collapsed due to fires and structural damage caused by heavy debris falling from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The other buildings within the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage to other surrounding buildings and skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the planes. Since 2001, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored, although there has been controversy surrounding the rebuilding. Many rescue workers and residents of the area developed several life-threatening illnesses that have led to some of their subsequent deaths.[95] A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in 2014. In 2014, the new One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (541 m) and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,[96] while other skyscrapers were under construction at the site.

The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and spawning the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[97]

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction in the borough, ravaging portions of Lower Manhattan with record-high storm surge from New York Harbor,[98] severe flooding, and high winds, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of city residents[99] and leading to gasoline shortages[100] and disruption of mass transit systems.[101][102][103][104] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the borough and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[105]

Geography

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Modern redrawing of 1807 version of Commissioner's Grid plan for Manhattan, a few years before 1811 adoption. Central Park is absent. Dark color denotes existing blocks, light gray were planned.
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Central Park in the center of satellite image. Manhattan is bound by Hudson River to the west, Harlem River to the north, and East River.

Components

The borough consists of Manhattan Island, Marble Hill, and several small islands, including Randalls Island and Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.[106]

According to the United States Census Bureau, New York County has a total area of 33.6 square miles (87 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 10.8 square miles (28 km2) (32%) is water.[2] The northern segment of Upper Manhattan represents a geographic panhandle. Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (59 km2) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).[107]

Manhattan Island

Manhattan Island is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan's east and west sides. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. To the north, the Harlem River divides Manhattan Island from the Bronx and the mainland United States.

Early in the 19th century, landfill was used to expand Lower Manhattan from the natural Hudson shoreline at Greenwich Street to West Street.[108] When building the World Trade Center in 1968, 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 m³) of material was excavated from the site.[109] Rather than dumping the spoil at sea or in landfills, the fill material was used to expand the Manhattan shoreline across West Street, creating Battery Park City.[110] The result was a 700-foot (210-m) extension into the river, running six blocks or 1,484 feet (452 m), covering 92 acres (37 ha), providing a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) riverfront esplanade and over 30 acres (12 ha) of parks.[111]

Marble Hill

One neighborhood of New York County is contiguous with the mainland. Marble Hill at one time was part of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895 to improve navigation on the Harlem River, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan as an island between the Bronx and the remainder of Manhattan.[112] Before World War I, the section of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from The Bronx was filled in, and Marble Hill became part of the mainland.[113]

Marble Hill is one example of how Manhattan's land has been considerably altered by human intervention. The borough has seen substantial land reclamation along its waterfronts since Dutch colonial times, and much of the natural variation in its topography has been evened out.[39]

Smaller islands

In New York Harbor, there are three smaller islands:

Other smaller islands, in the East River, include (from north to south):

Geology

Bedrock

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Manhattan schist outcropping in Central Park

The bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan schist.[114] It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings. In Central Park, outcrops of Manhattan Schist occur and Rat Rock is one rather large example.[115][116][117]

Geologically, a predominant feature of the substrata of Manhattan is that the underlying bedrock base of the island rises considerably closer to the surface near Midtown Manhattan, dips down lower between 29th Street and Canal Street, then rises toward the surface again in Lower Manhattan. It has been widely believed that the depth to bedrock was the primary underlying reason for the clustering of skyscrapers in the Midtown and Financial District areas, and their absence over the intervening territory between these two areas.[118][119] However, research has shown that economic factors played a bigger part in the locations of these skyscrapers.[120][121][122]

Updated seismic analysis

According to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a "slightly lower hazard for tall buildings" in Manhattan than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near New York City, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[123]

Locations

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Liberty Island is an exclave of Manhattan, of New York City, and of New York State, surrounded by New Jersey waters.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Neighborhoods

Manhattan's many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street") or SoHo ("SOuth of HOuston"), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta ("NOrth of Little ITAly").[124][125] and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park").[126][127][128] Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands.[129] Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C, and D, to which its name refers. Some have simple folkloric names, such as Hell's Kitchen, alongside their more official but lesser used title (in this case, Clinton).

Some neighborhoods, such as SoHo, which is mixed use, are known for upscale shopping as well as residential use. Others, such as Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, have long been associated with the Bohemian subculture.[130] Chelsea is one of several Manhattan neighborhoods with large gay populations and has become a center of both the international art industry and New York's nightlife.[131] Washington Heights is a primary destination for immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Chinatown has the highest concentration of people of Chinese descent outside of Asia.[132][133] Koreatown is roughly bounded by 6th and Madison Avenues,[134][135][136] between 31st and 33rd Streets, where Hangul (한글) signage is ubiquitous. Rose Hill features a growing number of Indian restaurants and spice shops along a stretch of Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th Streets which has become known as Curry Hill.[137]

In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system are oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest).[138] This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street,[139] with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.

Fifth Avenue roughly bisects Manhattan Island and acts as the demarcation line for east/west designations (e.g., East 27th Street, West 42nd Street); street addresses start at Fifth Avenue and increase heading away from Fifth Avenue, at a rate of 100 per block on most streets.[139] South of Waverly Place, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Though the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (the southernmost street divided in west and east portions; pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east-west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one-way, with the few exceptions generally being the busiest cross-town thoroughfares (14th, 23rd, 34th, and 42nd Streets, for example), which are bidirectional across the width of Manhattan Island. The rule of thumb is that odd-numbered streets run west, while even-numbered streets run east.[107]

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Public housing in the foreground on the Lower East Side
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MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village
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"Korea Way" on 32nd Street in Manhattan's Koreatown (맨해튼 코리아타운)
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Chinatown, Manhattan (紐約華埠)
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The Upper West Side
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The Upper East Side Historic District

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization.[140][141] The suburbs to the immediate north and west lie in the transitional zone between humid subtropical and humid continental climates (Dfa).[140][141] The city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually,[142] accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum.[142] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[143]

Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimize the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C);[144] temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[144][145] and reach 60 °F (16 °C) several days in the coldest winter month.[144] Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically warm to hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C) in July.[144] Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, while daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer[146] and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.[146]

Summer evening temperatures are elevated by the urban heat island effect, which causes heat absorbed during the day to be radiated back at night, raising temperatures by as much as 7 °F (4 °C) when winds are slow.[147]

Climate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1981–2010 normals,[b] extremes 1869–present[c]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72
(22)
75
(24)
86
(30)
96
(36)
99
(37)
101
(38)
106
(41)
104
(40)
102
(39)
94
(34)
84
(29)
75
(24)
106
(41)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 59.6
(15.3)
60.7
(15.9)
71.5
(21.9)
83.0
(28.3)
88.0
(31.1)
92.3
(33.5)
95.4
(35.2)
93.7
(34.3)
88.5
(31.4)
78.8
(26)
71.3
(21.8)
62.2
(16.8)
97.0
(36.1)
Average high °F (°C) 38.3
(3.5)
41.6
(5.3)
49.7
(9.8)
61.2
(16.2)
70.8
(21.6)
79.3
(26.3)
84.1
(28.9)
82.6
(28.1)
75.2
(24)
63.8
(17.7)
53.8
(12.1)
43.0
(6.1)
62.0
(16.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 32.6
(0.3)
35.3
(1.8)
42.5
(5.8)
53.0
(11.7)
62.4
(16.9)
71.4
(21.9)
76.5
(24.7)
75.2
(24)
68.0
(20)
56.9
(13.8)
47.7
(8.7)
37.5
(3.1)
55.0
(12.8)
Average low °F (°C) 26.9
(−2.8)
28.9
(−1.7)
35.2
(1.8)
44.8
(7.1)
54.0
(12.2)
63.6
(17.6)
68.8
(20.4)
67.8
(19.9)
60.8
(16)
50.0
(10)
41.6
(5.3)
32.0
(0)
47.9
(8.8)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 9.2
(−12.7)
12.8
(−10.7)
18.5
(−7.5)
32.3
(0.2)
43.5
(6.4)
52.9
(11.6)
60.3
(15.7)
58.8
(14.9)
48.6
(9.2)
38.0
(3.3)
27.7
(−2.4)
15.6
(−9.1)
7.0
(−13.9)
Record low °F (°C) −6
(−21)
−15
(−26)
3
(−16)
12
(−11)
32
(0)
44
(7)
52
(11)
50
(10)
39
(4)
28
(−2)
7
(−14)
−13
(−25)
−15
(−26)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.65
(92.7)
3.09
(78.5)
4.36
(110.7)
4.50
(114.3)
4.19
(106.4)
4.41
(112)
4.60
(116.8)
4.44
(112.8)
4.28
(108.7)
4.40
(111.8)
4.02
(102.1)
4.00
(101.6)
49.94
(1,268.5)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.0
(17.8)
9.2
(23.4)
3.9
(9.9)
0.6
(1.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
4.8
(12.2)
25.8
(65.5)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.4 9.2 10.9 11.5 11.1 11.2 10.4 9.5 8.7 8.9 9.6 10.6 122.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.0 2.8 1.8 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 2.3 11.4
Average relative humidity (%) 61.5 60.2 58.5 55.3 62.7 65.2 64.2 66.0 67.8 65.6 64.6 64.1 63.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 162.7 163.1 212.5 225.6 256.6 257.3 268.2 268.2 219.3 211.2 151.0 139.0 2,534.7
Percent possible sunshine 54 55 57 57 57 57 59 63 59 61 51 48 57
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[146][144][142]

See Geography of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.

Boroughscapes

Upper and Middle Manhattan.jpg
Upper Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey. (January 2010)
Lower Manhattan from Jersey City November 2014 panorama 3.jpg
View of Lower Manhattan at sunset, from Jersey City, New Jersey. One World Trade Center, at center, is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. (November 2014)

Landmarks and architecture

A. T. Stewart 1870.jpg
A. T. Stewart in 1870, 9th Street, Manhattan
Park and 57th street Manhattan New York photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Numerous buildings have a jagged façade, exemplified at Park Avenue and 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan
OneWorldTradeCenter.jpg
One World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere as of 2016
ChryslerBuilding.JPG
The Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the city and the world from 1930–1931.
Empire State Building by David Shankbone.jpg
The Empire State Building was the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1972, and the city's tallest from 2001 to 2014.
Wtcmay01.jpg
The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were the city's tallest from their opening in 1972 to their destruction in 2001.
The United Nations Secretariat Building.jpg
Manhattan has served as home to the headquarters of the United Nations since 1952.

Economy

1 times square night 2013.jpg
Times Square is the hub of the Broadway theater district and a major cultural venue in Manhattan. It also has one of the highest annual attendance rates of any tourist attraction in the world, estimated at 50 million.[28]

Education

Stuyvesant HS.jpg
Stuyvesant High School, on the Lower West Side[230]
New York Public Library May 2011.JPG
New York Public Library Main Branch at 42nd St. and Fifth Ave.; built (1897–1911) and replaced the Croton Reservoir; Carrère and Hastings, architects.

Culture and contemporary life

Guggenheim museum exterior.jpg
Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Sports

NSAPINY9 EXTR.jpg
The Skating Pond in Central Park, 1862

Government

NYPD boat99pct.jpg
An NYPD boat patrols New York Harbor
Leslie five points new york 1885 3c22660v.jpg
A slum tour through the Five Points in an 1885 sketch

Housing

17-23 West 16th St.jpg
Row of townhouses on 17–23 West 16th Street
Tribeca hudson st.jpg
Loft buildings (now apartments) in TriBeCa

Infrastructure

Staten Island Ferry-Battery Park-2012.jpg
The Staten Island Ferry, seen from Battery Park crosses Upper New York Bay providing free public transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan.
LOC Brooklyn Bridge and East River 2 cropped.jpg
The Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground and the Manhattan Bridge beyond it, are two of the three bridges that connect Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn over the East River
Storm at Manhattan.jpg
8th Avenue, looking northward ("Uptown"), in the rain. Most streets and avenues in Manhattan's grid plan incorporate a one-way traffic configuration.
Manhattanhenge in june 2005.jpg
Manhattanhenge, as seen looking westward at sunset in June 2005

References

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  2. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  3. ^ Official weather observations for Central Park were conducted at the Arsenal at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street from 1869 to 1919, and at Belvedere Castle since 1919.[148]
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  • Ellis, Edward Robb. The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History (2004) 640pp; Excerpt and text search; Popular history concentrating on violent events & scandals
  • Homberger, Eric. The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of New York City's History (2005)
  • Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010), The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2
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  • McCully, Betsy. City At The Water's Edge: A Natural History of New York (2005), environmental history excerpt and text search
  • Reitano, Joanne. The Restless City: A Short History of New York from Colonial Times to the Present (2010), Popular history with focus on politics and riots excerpt and text search
  • Filler, Martin (April 2015). New York: Conspicuous Construction. Analysis of architectural and social aspects of "ultra-luxury towers ... the smokestack-like protuberances that now disrupt the skyline of midtown Manhattan." The New York Review of Books
  • Story, Louise and Saul, Stephanie (February 2015). Towers of Secrecy. A series of 6 articles "examining people behind shell companies buying high-end real estate" in midtown Manhattan. Part 1: Time Warner Center: Symbol of the Boom,   Part 2: The Mysterious Malaysian Financier,   Part 3: The Besieged Indian Builder,   Part 4: The Mexican Power Brokers,   Part 5: The Russian Minister and Friends,   Summary: The Hidden Money Buying Up New York Real Estate. The New York Times
  • Burke, Katie. ed. Manhattan Memories: A Book of Postcards of Old New York (2000); Postcards lacking the (c) symbol are not copyright and are in the public domain.
  • Jackson, Kenneth T. and David S. Dunbar, eds. Empire City: New York Through the Centuries (2005), 1015 pages of excerpts
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