Downtown

Battery Park City

Battery Park City is a planned community covering 92-acres at the southwestern tip of lower Manhattan, and is one of Manhattan’s youngest neighborhoods. There are no walk-ups, brownstones or tenement buildings here, only modern luxury towers that are either condos or rentals. The Battery Park City Green Building Guidelines were among the first of their type, making it one of the “greenest” neighborhood developments anywhere in the United States.
Due to its somewhat remote location, this is truly a neighborhood of its own—the community infrastructure caters to residents' lifestyles, with a number of gyms, restaurants, parks, indoor tennis, racquetball and golf facilities.

The neighborhood is the site of the World Financial Center and numerous housing, commercial and retail buildings. A stunning skywalk connects Battery Park City to the famed Wintergarden and the rest of the city. If the Wintergarden is the neighborhood's heart, its soul is the Esplanade, a long strip of boardwalk along the West Hudson, perfect for biking, rollerblading and jogging, with plenty of seating and impressive views.The north end of the site is occupied by Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s finest. The development has tremendous appeal for people who work downtown, but nearly all major subways are nearby. Battery Park City may have seen some awkward times, but on a summer day—with an outdoor concert at the yacht-filled North Cove Marina, sailboats in the harbor, the Statue of Liberty in the background and outdoor cafés filled with people—it seems clear that it has survived rather magnificently.

East Village

Located North of Houston and South of 14th Street, the East Village has more of a "downtown" bohemian street style than its West-side counterpart—most in evidence on St. Marks Place (Eighth Street between Second Avenue and Avenue A), and buildings here are typically older generation tenement-style apartments. Though iconic clubs like CBGB and Electric Circus have closed, the neighborhood was home to its punk, rock, and jazz musician and artist denizens for decades. The easternmost section was long known as Alphabet City (for Avenues A-D), and you can still find in it some of the old East Village flavor as longtime residents, old- and new-school bohemians, NYU students and young professionals drink and dine side by side in the area's many restaurants and bars.
Prices tend to be a bit lower toward the river, though development has been steady for some time. Tiny storefronts offering great treats compete with fine restaurants on the neighborhood's narrow, tree-lined streets, which are also lined with chic boutiques, cafes and quirky vintage shops. Tompkins Square Park, despite a past history of riots and drugs, is one of the City's loveliest, with a well-loved dog run that brings pups and their owners from the surrounding streets and beyond. As with all far-east-side neighborhoods, subways are a bit scarce: The F at First Avenue and the 4, 5, 6 subway lines are a ten-minute walk in some cases, though city buses run regularly on the avenues.

East Village

Nicknamed "FiDi," to highlight its neighborhood appeal, Lower Manhattan has historically been—and still remains—the City’s primary business district. The pall cast over Lower Manhattan by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 was surprisingly short-lived because of the City and federal government’s resolve to rebuild and entice residents and businesses to the area. Despite prolonged controversies over the design of a rebuilt Ground Zero, Lower Manhattan began to pulse with new activity as old—and bold—office buildings were converted to apartments and as TriBeCa boomed with dozens of new and architecturally innovative developments.
The South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge along the East River offer a good variety of shops, cafes, hotels and restaurants as well as regularly scheduled concerts, boat rides and other activities, which adds to its ability to attract an influx of new residents, putting Lower Manhattan well on its way to becoming a vibrant mixed-use community.

North of Wall Street and the South Street Seaport lie City Hall, the Civic Center and the courts around Foley Square, Chinatown and Little Italy—all within walking distance of the Financial District—as is the Hudson-side esplanade at Battery Park City, the major retail facilities at the World Financial Center and the many restaurants and nightlife spots of TriBeCa to the west. Though the area has obvious appeal for people who work in the district, nearly all major subways stop close by.

Flatiron District

At the crossroads of some of the City's most desirable residential neighborhoods, the park that anchors Union Square is bounded by 14th Street to the south, Union Square West, 17th Street to the north, and Union Square East.
To the north, the Flatiron District—named for the narrow, corner-defining Flatiron building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway—became one of the City's more exciting areas for technology, commerce and nightlife in the last century. The New School and New York University have a noticeable presence here as well. At the center of the square on any given day you'll find a colorful, ever-changing street scene of entertainers, eccentrics, merchants and city folk passing through or stopping to meet

Union Square Park itself is also the home of the City's best farmer's market, which offers a full bounty of specialty, artisanal and other fresh local and regional foods year-round, four times weekly. During the winter holidays, the square hosts a seemingly endless holiday gift market. Surrounding the park are blocks of stores from chain favorites to an unrivaled collection of gourmet food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The streets that surround the square are lined with restaurants that overflow each evening with an after-work crowd, but you'll find no shortage of spots to meet for a more intimate drink or coffee. The area is convenient to most of the City, served by the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, and W subway lines.

Gramercy

Surrounding a small private park (buildings and brownstones actually facing the gated park have keys), Gramercy—the entire neighborhood is an historic district—feels almost like a small village in the heart of the City. Despite its elaborate brownstones, Victorian style architecture that rivals the London originals and oversized, elegant apartments on quiet narrow streets, the neighborhood offers a diverse and vibrant nightlife in the form of city-renowned restaurants, live music and local late night bars and clubs in addition to the five-star Gramercy Park Hotel.

Add another star for central location: Bounded by 14th Street to the south, First Avenue to the east, 23rd Street to the north, and Park Avenue South to the west, Gramercy is within walking distance to the offices of Midtown, the shops of NoHo, SoHo and points south as well as the nightlife of the of East and West Village. There are at least five subway lines within a short walk of the park. The nearby Flatiron District—named for the narrow, corner-defining Flatiron building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway—became one of the City's more exciting areas in the last century. And Union Square is nearby, with its well-loved farmers' market and constant ebb and flow of colorful city life.

Greenwich Village

The West Village and Greenwich Village stretch from 14th to Houston Street between the Hudson River and Broadway, with Sixth Avenue demarcating the two neighborhoods. Known as the birthplace of the Beat movement and the folk music scene of the 1960s, Greenwich Village was once the City's counter-culture capital—the list of artists and intellectuals who have made it their home and cultural center is impressive. Today's Village is home to celebrities, fashion luminaries and Wall Streeters who want to be near work as well as families and young singles. New York University covers a significant portion of the neighborhood as well. The neighborhood still possesses a strong sense of community identity.

The heart of Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park with its impressive Arch. Several high-rises and loft buildings have arrived—but classically beautiful brick townhouse apartments on quiet, tree-lined streets still define the residential areas of the Village, and the Lower Fifth Avenue area between 13th and 9th Streets is one of the City’s most elegant stretches. Apartment prices remain high despite economic fluctuations; some say the Village is downtown's most desirable residential area. Subways are plentiful—A, B, C, D, E, F,V at West 4th Street or N, R at 8th Street—and easy to find.

Little Italy – Chinatown

Chinatown and Little Italy are two of New York’s most well-known ethnic neighborhoods. Walking through the streets beneath the fire escapes of turn-of-the-century tenements, your senses are awakened by the sights, sounds, and smells of the Italian and Chinese cuisines and cultures emerging from restaurants and shops.
Little Italy extends north of Houston Street up Sullivan and Thompson Streets; small coffee shops and family restaurants—and their 21st century counterparts—tempt passersby to sample the homemade cooking. Visitors come here for authentic cuisine and a taste of old New York.

Chinatown starts on Canal Street with storefronts spilling onto the sidewalk and the art of negotiation being finessed over everything from "designer" handbags to electronics. Manhattan's Chinatown is one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia. It is not unusual to enter a street where all signs are in Chinese and where the stores are run without any English-speaking representatives. You’ll find the majority of dining choices along the narrow, winding Mott and Mulberry Streets just below Canal Street.Little Italy hosts the San Gennaro festival and in February the Chinese New Year is celebrated with dragon dances, parades and other traditional ceremonies, and thousands of tourists, residents and visitors join in the festivities. Apartment prices vary from block to block, from some of the cheapest in the city to higher-priced dwellings drawing residents who love the desirable downtown location.

Lower East Side

The Lower East Side is located north of Houston and south of Division Street, between the East River and Bowery. Its richest legacy is the influx of immigrants that settled in the area during the first half of the 20th century and the mark these groups left on the neighborhood.
After years of neglect, the neighborhood has made a complete turnaround aided by investment and a renewed interest in the "downtown" lifestyle. Older buildings have been renovated and new ones have risen seemingly overnight. Pre-war walk-ups can now be found next to full-service luxury buildings and sleek, modern condominiums, high-end rentals and hotel towers. This cleaner, safer Lower East Side boasts a vibrant and diverse nightlife, with limitless options from hip bars to cabaret theaters and Indie rock venues, but it still retains a friendly downtown community atmosphere.

Apartment prices are somewhat cheaper here than in the neighboring East Village, but there are few subway stops—the F and J, M, Z, G lines stop along First Avenue and Delancey Street, respectively—in the area. The neighborhood's landmarks reflect its heritage: Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Louis Abrons Arts for Living Center and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum as well as the delightful Katz’s deli, Yonah Shimmel Knish and Russ and Daughters food shops bring a taste of old New York to the hip fashion boutiques and restaurants that mark the area's recent metamorphosis.

SoHo

South of Greenwich Village and west of Little Italy, SoHo (which stands for South of Houston) is a relatively small area bounded roughly by Broadway, the Hudson River, Houston and Canal Streets. Its primary residential properties are in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District along West Broadway. In the 1960s, artists began to move into this formerly industrial area in search of inexpensive and spacious studios and housing. By the early '70s, the presence of so many artists led to the area’s renaissance—the large loft spaces were dramatically restored, real estate values soared, and demand for space extended to other "undiscovered" areas nearby.
The tremendous popularity of the area took the City by surprise and soon the chic boutiques and galleries that catered to the art crowd were followed by international designers like Chanel and Prada and high-end housewares and furniture shops, a Barney's Co-op, an Apple store and apparel chains like Diesel and Camper. The neighborhood is now known for its world-class shopping—on weekends it becomes a bustling marketplace.

But there are still parts of the neighborhood where you'll find a relaxed, chic downtown atmosphere. Cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants and European-style coffee shops still delight local residents. The neighborhood's artist-anchored culture is held in place by cutting-edge galleries like Dietch Projects and the annual Art Parade which brings out the most creative SoHo pioneers as well as young newcomers.

TriBeCa

The Triangle Below Canal Street (TriBeCa) began to gain its reputation as a residential neighborhood in the 1970s, when artists arrived in search of less expensive accommodations and studio space. The area's unique industrial-age architecture of lofts, warehouses and market spaces—and the lifestyle of its residents—was a major influence on the popularity of "loft living" in the 1980s.
TriBeCa has since then become a sought-after neighborhood for anyone seeking—and willing to pay for—spacious living quarters in an urban setting. Developers have converted many of the original warehouse buildings into luxury condos—including 101 Warren, 200 Chambers, Pearline Soap Lofts and 145 Hudson—and rentals.

The neighborhood's historic, loft-lined streets are relatively quiet after business hours save the buzz and glow of fine dining establishments, neighborhood bistros and cafes that keep residents' sophisticated palates happy. Thankfully missing are the frat bars and watering holes that are unavoidable in many of the City's residential areas. The TriBeCa Film Festival brings cinephiles and industry types from around the globe, and the addition of a 92nd Street Y outpost has given residents and their families a cultural hub. Shopping is plentiful as well, with small shops run by local and international designers and enough drug stores and delis to serve residents in standard Manhattan fashion.Subway stops: The 1 or 2 line to Canal, Franklin, or Chambers Streets, or the A, C, E line to Canal or Chambers Streets.

West Village

The West Village and Greenwich Village stretch from 14th to Houston Street between the Hudson River and Broadway, with Sixth Avenue demarcating the two neighborhoods.
The West Village is home to celebrities and fashion luminaries as well as families and young singles wishing to lead a fairly low-key life behind elegant brick facades.Several high-rises and loft buildings including the rippling facade of One Jackson Square and Richard Meier's tower at 173-176 Perry Streets contrast with classically beautiful brick townhouse apartments—including a handful of notable restored carriage-houses—yet still manage to make the neighborhood feel warm and welcoming and define the residential areas of the West Village.

A distinct European flair pervades tiny cafes and shops among the jumble of winding, tree-lined streets. Some of the City's finest restaurants are here as well. Apartment prices remain high despite economic fluctuations: Some say the West Village is downtown's most desirable residential area, and its future is sure to be reinforced by the emergence of many architectural projects along the High Line just to the north in Chelsea. Subways—A, B, C, D, E, F,V at West 4th Street or N, R at 8th Street are convenient to Village residents as well.