New York City has something for everyone. It is North America's most cosmopolitan destination, and boasts of an artistic and cultural history that reigns supreme among American cities. It is fast paced, loud, and certainly never boring. Its sights and sounds are a glorious combination of everything imaginable. From Bohemian Greenwich Village to the elegant Upper East Side, the diversity here is sure to astound you. Historic Battery Park is an educational mecca. Little Italy and Chinatown have marvelously maintained their immigrant population and heritage. Today they offer a cultural richness that is truly a gift to the city.
Soho (South of Houston St.) and Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal St.) exist on the cutting edge of fashion and style, and are proof of an industrial area's potential for chic. Gramercy Park will make you feel as if you have somehow made your way to London. The Flatiron District has become famous for its technology boom, or Silicon Alley. Chelsea is a hip, European-feeling area that is home to many of New York's photography studios and galleries. These are just some of the city's gems, each offering a unique flavor and pace. Visitors could spend days in any one of them, but for the ultimate New York experience, make your trip a m'lange of them all. To truly see the city could take a lifetime, but sampling from the bits and pieces of New York's variety is a treat for any tourist. Orientation is key to navigating this city. Terms like uptown and downtown are literal descriptions referring to north and south. If you are south of your destination, locals will tell you to go uptown, and vice versa. The terms also refer vaguely to areas of the city. Uptown describes anywhere above lower Manhattan (north of about 34th St.), and downtown usually means lower Manhattan (34th St. and below) through Chelsea, which begins near 22nd St. You will also hear east side and west side, referring to the areas above 59th St. that are on either side of Central Park.
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