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Old 09-19-2019, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,341 posts, read 6,776,105 times
Reputation: 5703

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In New York, Manhattan is "The City" and that distinguishes it from the other four boroughs. However, Manhattan is no monolith. If you go to its northern end, north of Central Park, you enter an era that could easily fit into one of the so called "outer boroughs". Far uptown Manhattan is "outer", more so than certain areas of the other boroughs, most particularly downtown Brooklyn and its surrounds. That location is far more central than the tip of Manhattan will ever be.

There is nothing traditional about New York. All other cities have but one CBD; only New York has two....the two largest in the nation (as a Chicagoan, I might throw greater DT Chicago into that mix; I realize you very well may not accept it. )...and strangely the "second downtown" is the largest business center on the planet in Midtown.

Manhattan doesn't operate on the basis of a downtown, a central point. A central point is exactly what Manhattan would not want. It is a long, narrow island where a short number of north/south connections ties the whole place together. Manhattan found a way to make everything from the tip of the Bowery to 111th Street "central". And its democratic grid of numbered streets and avenues added to the equality.

The essence of Manhattan, what people think of as Manhattan across the nation and the world, is not a whole island. It is basically the lower two thirds of it. Any map for tourists and other visitors will display this area and not the areas to the north. Ironically both Downtown and Midtown stand out to the world, but they don't stand out in Manhattan (other than height, of course). I mean that each is just a part of the fabric. You can "arrive in downtown Chicago or downtown San Francisco from the parts of those two cities that are outside the CBD's. You basically can't "arrive" to Downtown or Midtown if you are already in Manhattan.

Forgive the long build up here; I needed to get across the concept I am thinking of for it to make sense. My question, simply put, is this:

Is there a name for the 'Lower Two Thirds" of Manhattan....and, if not, should there be one?

Let me illustrate with Chicago as an example. Throughout the city's history, certainly up to and a bit beyond the middle of the 20th century, "Downtown" and "The Loop" were synonymous. In the way that Center City was and still is synonymous with downtown in Philly.

Downtown exploded with growth after WWII. The river, by way of two of its branches, kept the tightness in place (somewhat parallel to what the Hudson and East rivers do for New York). Chicago burst those borders to both the north and the west. By the 1960s, people referred to the spreading downtown as the "Super Loop"...no, not some commonly used term, but a term used to get across the concept of how things grew.

Today, the Loop is by no means "downtown Chicago", although it remains its core (and Chicago is built on centrality more than any other city...while Manhattan (as a city....not as a part of New York) is least built on its centrality. The CTA awhile back proposed a "Circle Line", a subway/elevated circuit using existing lines' trackage and filling in the gaps with new construction. It is a plan that is pretty much dead now, but at the time, I was thinking that Chicago could use a name for its "new, expanded downtown", something to express that growth and size. My thoughts were: the Loop is the inner circle and the outer circle could be called "The Circuit". I have no idea if that was a good idea or not, but it was one that I felt was helpful because it could give central Chicago a name and would reflect today's reality that downtown here is a whole chunk of real estate

The question remains: does the similar area of Manhattan, its lower 2/3's have a name and if not, should it? (fully realizing that it may not and should not ever have one since it would lessen or dilute the name and meaning of "Manhattan"....which is a magical brand name you don't want to touch.)
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
8,530 posts, read 20,578,508 times
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Oy.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:58 AM
 
289 posts, read 73,499 times
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Ah yes, Chicago, that miniature city by the lake. If Inwood and Washington Heights (the northern 1/8th of Manhattan) were in Chicago they'd be the densest urban environs in the entire midwest and raise your population by damn near 20%.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: New York City
8,494 posts, read 6,482,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Is there a name for the 'Lower Two Thirds" of Manhattan....and, if not, should there be one?
But for what purpose? I can't think of any reason to. NYC works by neighborhoods & districts, there's not really any grouping of those except for the 5 boroughs
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:52 AM
 
386 posts, read 134,172 times
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Did you know the song Downtown made famous by Petula Clark is about Times Square?


The writer Tony Hatch, on his first visit to NY, was staying at a hotel uptown and believed Times Square was downtown.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:35 AM
 
710 posts, read 250,024 times
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As said before Manhattan is called Manhattan. there is no other name for it other than neighborhoods and districts.

Focus on the districts names to know where you want to go if downtown such as Meat Packing, Financial, Garment, ETC...
Once you get to Midtown its neighborhoods.

Cant really compare to Chicago. their whole Loop can fit into Central park lol.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,358 posts, read 8,651,359 times
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Re Chicago, while it does not have boroughs, it does have neighborhoods that people use to give an idea what part of town they are in. In addition, North Side, West Side, South Side were used.

See https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9013....6938048,12.5z

Mine was Rogers Park on the North Side
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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to me below 59th is downtown

then theres uws or ues

then harlem

thats it
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:17 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
1,960 posts, read 1,340,110 times
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Too long didn’t read.

Manhattan is Manhattan. Most of us use neighborhood names to distinguish where we are talking about. Soho, Tribeca, Columbus Circle, UWS, Harlem, etc.

Sometimes we may say downtown, meaning below Canal, midtown in the 40s, uptown above 96th.

None of it really matters.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,341 posts, read 6,776,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog2 View Post
Oy.
and vey back at you.
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