Monday, June 21, 2010

New York - Manhattan(Downtown )

24/5/2010(Monday) New York- Manhattan Downtown(South of 14th ST) - Elmhurst

We arrived very early in New York after a night of bus drive. The bus from MEGABUS.COM arrived at the MTA bus shelter on the west side of 7th Avenue, just south of 28th Street, New York. The morning in New York is still chilly and cold. Still not summer as expected, it is the time for changing of the season from Spring to Summer. As it is still early, there are few shops open for business, some early New Yorkers are going for work. Some street vendors are opening their stalls, especially fruits and food sellers. We just hang around the doughnut chain outlet for a light breakfast, before planning our city tour in New York.

Manhattan (New York County)

The first feel and visit of New York must be Manhattan, which is divided into:
1. Downtown Manhattan(below 14th Street),
2. Midtown Manhattan(14th to 59th St), and
3. Upper Manhattan(north of 59th street).

The famous island between the Hudson and East Rivers, with many diverse and unique neighborhoods. Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, Wall Street, Harlem, and the trendy neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo.
Manhattan is one of New York's five boroughs and is what people most often think of when they talk about New York. Manhattan is actually an elongated island and includes most of the best known and most popularly visited neighborhoods.

Manhattan is loosely divided into downtown, midtown, and uptown, 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 from The Bronx and the mainland United States. Several small islands are also part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randall's Island, Ward's Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.[54] Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (58.8 km²) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).[55] New York County as a whole covers a total area of 33.77 square miles (87.46 km²), of which 22.96 square miles (59.47 km²) are land and 10.81 square miles (28.00 km²) are water.

Manhattan, it name can means Manhattan borough or Manhattan financial district, which is part of Manhattan Borough.

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 in most places.[80] South of Waverly Place in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Though the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (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 a few exceptions (14th, 34th and 42nd to name a few). The rule of thumb is odd numbered streets run west while evens run east.

Downtown Manhattan(below 14th Street)

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The districts located south of 14th Street are considered as "Downtown". It is also called South Manhattan or Lower Manhattan. If you said go to Downtown, in Manhattan, it means going to the south. Downtown consist of Manhattan(financial district), TriBeCa, Soho, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Greenwich village, East Village. Downtown or Lower Manhattan is home to some of New York's most famous and evocative landmarks: Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and Ellis Island in the harbor, both accessed by ferry boat from the financial district.

Manhattan or Lower Manhattan, the financial district(from Chambers Street to New York Harbor)

Manhattan is the home of the financial district of Manhattan, located at the southern tip of the island with the Hudson River on the west, the East River on the east, New York Harbor to the south, and Chambers Street on the north. It is one of the two largest business districts in New York City - the other being Midtown Manhattan - and is the historical core of the modern city; a fact reflected in the convoluted street pattern compared to the regular streets and avenues found uptown.

(ii) TriBeCa is short for "Triangle Below Canal Street". TriBeCa is the area south of SoHo in Manhattan bounded by Canal St on the north, Broadway on the east, Barclay St on the south and the Hudson River on the west.

(iii) SoHo is a diverse neighborhood in Manhattan in New York bounded roughly by Houston Street to the north, Lafayette St. to the east, Canal Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. The name for the area derives from its supposed similarities to the London Soho and the fact that it is "South of Houston". SoHo used to be a bohemian quarter of artists subsisting in lofts which weren't at first recognized as legal housing, and teeming art galleries. By now, the neighborhood has become so expensive that the art galleries have been generally priced out and have moved to the far west of Chelsea, while the struggling artists have had to move further and further into the "Outer Boroughs" to find affordable places to rent. Now, this is a neighborhood of expensive boutiques, but its narrow cobblestoned side streets retain their charm, and even if the crowding on Broadway between Houston and Spring Sts. can be draining, this is still a good neighborhood to walk through.

(iv) Chinatown is a lively neighborhood, full of good values in restaurants and food shopping. Also on sale are cheap knockoffs of designer labels made in China, and all sorts of trinkets and toys. Chinatown is a much larger neighborhood in population and area than it used to be a few decades ago, and for all practical purposes encompasses most of "Little Italy" and a large portion of the Lower East Side, north of Canal Street and on the north side of the Manhattan Bridge overpass. Indeed, in a real sense, it can be said that the center of Chinatown is no longer on Mott St. between Canal St. and Chatham Square (though that stretch is well worth visiting), but has moved further north and east to East Broadway between Chatham Square and Pike Street and Grand St. between the Bowery and Chrystie St., where locals shop for foodstuffs - and you can, too, for good values. Chinatown has also been growing more diverse, becoming a bit less of a Chinatown and more of a China and Southeast Asia town, with a growing presence of immigrants from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.
(v) The Lower East Side of Manhattan is bounded by Houston Street, the Bowery, the Manhattan Bridge, and the East River, with the neighborhood's center being Orchard Street. Once a Jewish wholesale enclave, this street is a true multicultural blend, with trendy boutiques, French cafés, and velvet-roped nightspots sprinkled among dry-goods discounters, Spanish bodegas, and mom-and-pop shops selling everything from T-shirts to designer fashions to menorahs. The East Village was also traditionally considered part of the Lower East Side, but that neighborhood has developed its own identity.
It was here that the New York garment industry began. The area has been known as one of New York's favorite bargain beats, where serious shoppers find fantastic bargains (especially along Orchard Street on a Sunday afternoon), but this is increasingly becoming a thing of the past as rents skyrocket and cutting-edge new designers and boutiques formerly seen in SoHo flock to the area. But in its mix of old and new, bohemian and upscale, you can find trendy bars and music venues, a venerable old no-nonsense place that just might serve up the best pastrami sandwich in the world, a restaurant called WD-50 which serves up new-style "molecular gastronomy," Gus's Pickles out of a barrel, and great bialys. South of Delancey Street, much of this neighborhood is now part of Chinatown.
(vi) Greenwich Village (often simply referred to as "the Village") is a well-known, largely residential district in Manhattan, one of the boroughs of New York. The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north.
Note that the "East Village" was not historically part of Greenwich Village and is still considered by many New Yorkers to be part of the Lower East Side, but the term "West Village" is synonymous with Greenwich Village, or at least that part of the neighborhood that is west of 6th Av. or so. In the 19th century, the Greenwich Village district was better known as Washington Square. Washington Square Park remains a neighborhood landmark, but the terms "The Village," "Greenwich Village," and "West Village" are practically interchangeable.
(v) The East Village, east of the Village on Manhattan, was traditionally considered part of the Lower East Side, and constitutes the portion north of Houston St., south of 14th St., and east of Broadway. Although increasingly gentrified, with former crack dens that are now modern apartments so hip you can't afford them, it remains an ethnically diverse area of students, young professionals, and older longtime residents. This colorful neighborhood is full of good values in food as diverse as its population, and there's always something happening on St. Marks Place.

East of 1st Av., encompassing the area from Av. A to the East River, is a sub-neighborhood often called Alphabet City or Loisaida (Spanglish for "Lower East Side"); Av. C's alternate name is "Loisaida Avenue." Parts of Alphabet City still have a Hispano-Caribbean feel, especially on Avs. D and C, but since most of Alphabet City is similar to the rest of the East Village now (diverse, somewhat gentrified, stylish), the separate designations are less used than was the case a 2-3 decades ago. The area between Broadway and 3rd Av./Bowery, on the other hand, is sometimes called NoHo, for "North of Houston St." by analogy to SoHo to its south.

1. World Trade Centre

Our first visit is to the World Trade Center. This is the Ground Zero site of 911 attack. On September 11, 2001, planes were hijacked and flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people. The two towers were destroyed, along with World Trade Center 7, which was evacuated before it collapsed, due to fire damage. There have been plans of reconstructing the towers with WTC1 ⅓ finished on the 10th anniversary of 9/11

(i) World Trade Center Site - Ground Zero

For a moment of introspection, travel downtown to Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. The site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has become popular with visitors (and it was popular with visitors even before the attacks, as a couple of landmark buildings stood there)

The World Trade Center site when it was completed in 1987 had more office space than the entire city of San Francisco with its own zip code, the two tallest buildings in the world at the time. It was the victim of terrorist attacks in 2001, but it is on its way to becoming a new memorial, museum, and office center that will open starting in 2011. Please note that, at this time, there is no official memorial for Sept 11, 2001. The actual site is currently under construction.

One World Trade Center, also known by its nickname and former name Freedom Tower, is the main building of the new World Trade Center under construction, expected to be completed in 2013, in Lower Manhattan in New York City, USA. The tower will be located in the northwest corner of the 16-acre (65,000 m²) World Trade Center site bounded by Vesey, West, Washington and Fulton streets.

Construction on below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the 1,776 feet (541.32 m)building began on April 27, 2006. On December 19, 2006, the first steel columns were installed in the building's foundation. On March 30, 2009, the Port Authority said that the building will be known as 'One World Trade Center,' replacing its former name 'Freedom Tower.' When completed, One World Trade Center will be among the tallest buildings in the world and the tallest in the United States.

Three other high-rise office buildings are planned for the site along Greenwich Street, and they will surround the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which is under construction. The area will also be home to a museum of the site's history.

The latest progress is that the steel has now raised above 26th floor, which is 276 ft above street level( ref: World Trade Center Progress, May 2010)

When we visited the site, there were many police petrol cars around the area, the security of the site was very tight.

(ii) The Tribute Center on Liberty Street for tours

The Tribute Center offers 6,000 square feet of exhibit and educational meeting space for visitors in one of downtown’s historic buildings at 120 Liberty Street. The Tribute WTC Center is located next to FDNY firehouse 10/10 and across from the World Trade Center site. Visitors learn factual information about the events on September 11th, the identity of 2,973 people killed in the attacks, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operations and the tremendous spirit of support and generosity that arose after the attacks.

The Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers "Person to Person History," linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate these historic events with those who experienced them.

There are 5 Galleries:

Gallery 1 - World Trade Center: Community Remembered
The majesty of the Towers and their prominence in Lower Manhattan is illustrated by a floor map and surrounding panoramic images. A lively film composed of shared memories, personal photos and authentic sounds illuminates a model.
Gallery 2 - Passage Through Time: September 11th
Travel through moments in time during February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. Experience the events as they unfolded. Hear the voices and see the artifacts and images that reveal how a bright blue morning sky transformed into an evening veiled in the dust of destruction
Gallery 3 - Aftermath: Rescue and Recovery
Meet the individuals who rushed to the site and worked tirelessly for months. Sweeping panoramic images, artifacts and a poignant film portray the heart-wrenching recovery period and the heroic efforts of thousands who responded with courage and determination to face an unprecedented catastrophe.
Gallery 4 - Tribute
Visitors view over 1,200 photographs and memorabilia lovingly shared by family members. A perpetual scrolling of names pays constant tribute to those loved and lost during the attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
Gallery 5 - Voices of Promise
Discover the inspiring stories of people who turned grief into action and committed themselves to volunteer, teach and reach out at home and around the globe. A selection of audio stories and changing exhibits support our tribute to those that helped others. Visitors are invited to add their own thoughts and to read each others' reflections in this international dialogue.

This is the place where you see the exhibits and personal experience of people who are connected with 911. You try to hold your tears and emotion feeling for the event and the people. Why must this ugly chapter of human history worst than wars and disasters that human race have ever faced. This is the intentional malice to kill a fellow human being. No religion and man of right mind will allow this to happen. This event has provide a provocative lesson for mankind to relook at politic and religion. On the day, I was shocked, but I also hear the cheering voices from some people, I feel so sad and uncertain, have human race come to the state where human senses no more prevail, and human life have not been respected by a fellow human.

(iii)St. Paul's Chapel for memorials and history of the events

St Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway (between Fulton and Vesey Streets). Built in 1776, the chapel is an active part of the Parish of Trinity Church and is Manhattan's oldest public building in continuous use. It is the only remaining colonial church in New York City and was George Washington's place of worship after he was inaugurated as president, but more recently the chapel became known for surviving the events of 9/11 without even a broken window - despite being located across the street from the World Trade Center - and its role as a place of refuge for the WTC recovery workers in the days that followed

Standing on the site of the World Trade Center and looking at the exhibition, hearing the voices of the people connected with the sad event. I have to take the greater strength of my life to hold my emotion. I wonder the person who was responsible, if he or they are still alive today, have they no repentant of the act they have done. Whatever the reason, it is senseless, and the person will be regret for whole life..... it is my prayer that no more incident like this nature happen again.

Subway: A, C, E to Chambers Street-World Trade Center, 2 or 3 to Park Place, or R, or W (northbound only) to Cortlandt Street.

The Future World Trade Center

2. The Financial District - Wall Street

Wall Street

The second visit is to the financial district, including the Wall Street and NYSE. Wall Street is actually a narrow street running downhill from Broadway to the East River, Wall Street was named for the wall that was built here in 1652 to keep Manhattan's indigenous peoples out of the growing Dutch settlement. The wall was demolished by the British in 1699. By the late 18th century, traders and speculators would gather under a buttonwood tree at the foot of Wall Street to trade informally - this was the origin of the New York Stock Exchange that was established in 1817.

Wall Street and downtown New York is the center of American history, and it is here that you can find the statue of liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, and Federal Hall, where George Washington was sworn in and the bill of rights was written.

No 1, Wall Street - Home to The Bank of New York, the oldest banking institution in the New York city

No 14, Wall Street - once JP Morgan's apartment

No 20, Wall Street - Was built to house City Bank Farmers Trust Company

No 40, Wall Street - once world tallest building, but lost out by the height of a flagpole to the Chrysler Building

No 48, Wall Street - The only building in Wall Street that incorporate elements of Colonial architecture in focade and tower.

No 55, Wall Street - Originally the Merchant Exchange, one of the Wall Street's oldest buildings.

Wall Street Experience Tour
The Wall Street Experience offers an insider's perspective on Wall Street on its walking tours. Explore world-famous financial landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, and Wall Street guided by real Wall Street insiders. While meandering the narrow, winding streets of Lower Manhattan, you will hear exclusive stories from “inside the trenches” that will entertain, inform and shock you.

Tours have appeared in news and on television globally including CNN, BBC, Reuters, and FoxNews. In addition, these tours was filmed for Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2 movie DVD Feature. The Wall Street Experience aims to demystify and personify Wall Street through personal interaction and storytelling of firsthand experiences. Bring your camera and your questions!

Subway: 4, 5 to Wall Street; J, M, Z to Broad Street (weekdays only) Internet: New York Stock Exchange Address: 11 Wall Street New York , NY

New York Stock Exchange

NYSE or New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10005 (at 18, Broad Street, corner of Broad and Wall Street). The most important stock exchange in the world, the NYSE is the most watched indicator of economic performance in the global economy. The activity on the trading floor is astonishing. Visitors should beware, however, that security is tight, and sudden closures are a possibility. Visitor admittance to the interior has been suspended indefinitely.

Federal Hall

Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America, and was the site of George Washington's 1789 inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of Rights was ratified. The building was demolished in 1812. Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street was built in 1842 as the New York Customs House, on the site of the old Federal Hall. Located at 26 Wall Street.

The building was designated as Federal Hall Memorial National Historic Site on May 26, 1939, and redesignated a national memorial on August 11, 1955. It is operated by the National Park Service as a museum commemorating the historic events that happened there. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Federal Hall was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on 01965-12-21 December 21, 1965.

The National Park Services operates Federal Hall as a museum. The museum closed on December 3, 2004 for extensive renovations and reopened in the fall of 2006. Normally its exhibit galleries are open free to the public daily, except national holidays, and guided tours of the site are offered throughout the day. Exhibits include:

This Bible on which Washington took his inaugural oath in 1789 is preserved at Federal Hall.George Washington’s Inauguration Gallery - Including the Bible used to swear his oath of office.
Freedom of the Press - The imprisonment and trial of John Peter Zenger.
Journey to Federal Hall - An 8-minute video about the history of Federal Hall.
New York: An American Capital - Preview exhibit created by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The current building is well-known for the 1882 J.Q.A. Ward's bronze statue of George Washington on its front steps, marking the site where he was inaugurated as US President in the former structure.

Trinity Church

Trinity Church(79, Broadway),located at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan. An Episcopalian (Anglican) church and parish was first established on this site in 1697 under charter by King William III. The present Neo-Gothic Revival church building (the third incarnation) dates from 1846 and remains a significant landmark within Downtown. The original burial ground at Trinity Church includes the graves and memorials of many historic figures, including Alexander Hamilton, William Bradford, Robert Fulton, and Albert Gallatin.

On September 11, 2001, as the 1st Tower collapsed people took refuge from the massive debris cloud, inside the church. Debris from the tower collapsing knocked over a giant sycamore tree that had stood for nearly a century in the churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel, which is part of Trinity Church's parish and is located several blocks north of Trinity Church. Sculptor Steve Tobin used its roots as the base for a bronze sculpture that stands next to the Trinity Church.

Our lunch is at Mac Donald outlet at Broadway nearby.

3. Bowling Green, (at Broadway and Morris)- the site of Charging Bull.

Bowling Green Park is a small park located at a triangular land between Whitehall, Broadway and Battery Place. A small park at the foot of Broadway which is the oldest public park in the city and is the site of the 7,000 pound bronze Charging Bull sculpture created after the 1987 stock market crash. The Charging Bull sculpture is one of the most iconic representations of the market prosperity, it was done by Arturo Di Modica. Representing the bull market economy, the sculpture was originally placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange, and subsequently moved to its current location in Bowling Green.

Bowling Green is New York's oldest park, it is the place where Dutch settler Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the native Americans with variety of goods with value of only $24. The fence around the park is the original one, erected in 1771.

Bowling Green is also the origin point for the Broadway ticker-tape parades; if you walk up Broadway, you can view plaques in the sidewalk honoring the people or events celebrated in these parades

4. Battery Park

At the southern tip of Manhattan, Battery Park is a waterfront green space, named for the artillery batteries which were installed here to protect the settlement of New York when it was under Dutch, then British rule. In the lead-up to the War of 1812, Castle Clinton was constructed as a fort to protect the city, and is now operated as a small museum. There are several memorials in the park, including The Sphere, a public art piece originally housed on the World Trade Center site which survived the events of September 11 and was moved to Battery Park. Ferries departing to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island depart from here

Castle Clinton National Monument(Battery Park)
Irish Hunger Memorial

5. Ferry Trip to Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall Terminal Manhattan (also known as South Ferry) to St. George Terminal Staten Island, Note: 6.40 am to 8.45 am is rush hour, avoid it. The best time is 5.30 am or 6am; Travel time is 25 min, the service is free.
Staten Island Ferry , running from the tip of Manhattan at Battery Park to Staten Island. The ferry carries passengers and bicycles only, runs every 15 minutes during rush hours, and is free.
As it gives a really good view of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor on its way, this is a very popular trip for visitors. Ride on the starboard (right facing forward) side of the ferry from Manhattan and the port side from Staten Island for the best views (to the west). If you want to take good photographs, try to get on the ferry as soon as the gates open and walk briskly to an open window (few windows are open to the air and will populate quickly), and also note that the Manhattan to Staten Island route passes slightly closer to the monument than on the return route.
Bus Service M1, M9,M6, & M15
Subway Service N* R, W Whitehall Street 1,9 South Ferry 4,5 Bowling Green J,M,Z Broad Street


Manhattan's Chinatown (纽约华埠/紐約華埠) — a neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City — is an ethnic Chinese enclave with a large population of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans as well as a long-standing Chinese cultural influence. Manhattan's Chinatown is one of the largest ethnic Chinese communities outside of Asia.

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The borders of Chinatown Manhattan, is traditionally recognized as between Canal Street to the North (bordering Little Italy), The Bowery to the East (bordering the Lower East Side), Worth Street to the South and Baxter Street to the West.

5. South Street Seaport

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The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, distinct from the neighboring Financial District. The Seaport itself now operates primarily as a mall and tourism center, built on Pier 17 on the East River. Visitors may choose from among many shops and a food court. Decks outside allow views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights.

It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan seafront, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city. This includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and modern tourist malls featuring food, shopping and nightlife, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. At the entrance to the Seaport is the Titanic Memorial lighthouse.

(i) By bus
To go to South Street Seaport,which is currently served by the M9 and M15 New York City Bus routes. Take a bus to Pearl Street, just in front of Titanic Memorial Park, at the junction of Pearl Street and Fulton Street. After getting down from the bus, walk along Fulton Street, you will see row of shops selling tourist items and flowers. South Street Seaport Museum(NO 12, Fulton St) is on the left before crossing Front Street. After Front Street, there are food outlets. Crossing South Street is the Pier 17 and South Street Seaport.
The Downtown Connection bus route connects South Street Seaport with Battery Park City.
(ii)By Subway
2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street
A or C trains to Broadway-Nassau;
or E train towards Fulton Street.
Walk East on Fulton Street to Water Street.

It more look like Navy Pier of Chicago.

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