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Downtown Manhattan

The patchwork of neighbourhoods below 14th Street, DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN, runs the gamut from high finance and cutting-edge cool to Old World charm; it’s one of the most vibrant, exciting parts of the city. Downtown’s interest actually begins in New York Harbor, which holds the compulsory attractions of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The southernmost neighbourhood on the mainland is the Financial District, with Wall Street at its centre; less than half a mile north, the buildings of the Civic Center transition into the jangling streetlife of Chinatown, which has encroached upon touristy Little Italy. East of Chinatown and Little Italy, the Lower East Side marks the traditional point of entry into the city for many different immigrant groups. These days, it’s a trendy spot full of chic bars and restaurants.

West of Chinatown and Little Italy, respectively, the one-time industrial area of Soho is now an expensive residential and shopping district. The smallish area known as Nolita takes in numerous boutiques and hip restaurants in its few well-manicured blocks. North of Houston Street, the activity picks up even more in the West Village (also known as Greenwich Village) and East Village, two former bohemian enclaves that remain great fun despite ongoing gentrification, the former for its charming backstreets and brownstones, the latter for its energetic nightlife.

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