Exploring Manhattan, New York City – 1

By Timothy Tye

When people talk of visiting New York City, more likely than not, they are referring to visiting Manhattan. Manhattan, an elongated island, is actually one of the five boroughs of New York City, albeit the most famous. It is the home of the skyscraper skyline that is so synonymous with New York City. Most of the tourist attractions are located in Manhattan. This article takes you on an online tour of the tourist attractions of Manhattan, allowing you to explore the sights from the comfort of your desktop. We shall start our journey from the south and work our way northwards.

Manhattan is bound by the Hudson River to the west, and the East River to the east. The island can be split into three main sections namely Lower Manhattan, Midtown and Upper Manhattan. The southernmost section is Lower Manhattan, and at the southernmost part of Lower Manhattan is the Financial District. This is where you find one of the densest concentration of skyscrapers. Facing the sea is Battery Park, a 21-acre park that got its name from the artillery battery placed there by the Dutch and later the British. The Dutch built a fort here called Fort Amsterdam. It is no longer standing. The Americans demolished it when they took over Manhattan from the British. In its place today is the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, a National Historic Landmark.

Lower Manhattan, New York City, photo by William Piccard

When the American realized they needed a fort to defend Manhattan, they built one which is today called Castle Clinton. It was named after, not Bill Clinton, but Dewitt Clinton, the Mayor of New York City in 1815.

Going north from Battery Park, you pass another smaller park, called Bowling Green. The most famous item here is the Charging Bull Statue, an icon representative of New York City’s role as America’s financial capital. The statue was not commissioned: the artist created it using his own money, and had it placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, just a stone’s throw away, as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. The authorities seized
it, but the ensuing outcry from the public led to the Parks and Recreation department putting it in Bowling Green, “on loan” from the artist.

A short distance north of here is Wall Street, home to NYSE. The site of Ground Zero, where the famous World Trade Center towers used to be, is slightly to the west, and further on, are the towers of World Financial Center, built on reclaimed land using landfill from the World Trade Center site. Closed to Ground Zero is St Paul’s Chapel, which amazingly escaped damage during the September 11 attack, thanks to a sycamore tree on its northwest corner. Some of the oldest skyscrapers of New York City dot this part of Manhattan. Among them is the Woolworth Building, a 57-storey skyscraper completed in 1913, at that time the tallest building in New York City.

About the Author

Timothy Tye is a travel enthusiast who has documented many of the major cities and sights in the world for his websites, EarthDocumentary, http://www.earthdocumentary.com, AsiaExplorers http://www.asiaexplorers.com, and WorldGreatestSites http://www.worldgreatestsites.com

He is passionate in sharing the beauty and wonders of the world with fellow travel enthusiasts.

— see part 2 of this article

Written by J. Lee

A seasoned world traveller, J. Lee writes about his weekend trips away, travel for work, and his many Europe vacations.

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