NYC Dictionary

New York Dictionary

An anthology of the places I visit and things I see during my summer in the city. I will update it each week as necessary.


All 5 boroughs of New York City.


A map of Manhattan neighborhoods. I live in Chelsea and work in Hamilton Heights.


The New York subway map. If you are confused, don’t worry. So am I, most days. I am learning each different colored line at a time.

Manhattan: One of five of the boroughs of New York City. It is the most famous, and wealthy, borough of Manhattan. Home to one of the most eclectic collection of people in the world.




View of Manhattan from midtown, looking south.


My picture: Manhattan as seen from the World Trade Center, looking north.

Brooklyn: The “second-most-popular” borough in New York City. Located across East River from Manhattan, connected by the Brooklyn Bridge, ferry routes, and various subway lines. The most westwardly neighborhoods, as well as those along the water and next to major parks have been increasingly more popular in the last decade with young families and self-proclaimed hipsters. Rent in the most populated neighborhoods is now often higher than in Manhattan. Has many fantastic shops, restaurants, and farmer’s markets.



The Brooklyn skyline from eastern Manhattan.

The Bronx: The most northerly borough, which has thus far suffered the least gentrification of any. Many low-income families have been pushed to this borough as rent in Manhattan becomes unaffordable. Despite its reputation as unsafe, is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in terms of residents, and contains many neighborhoods gems, such as a more authentic Little Italy than Manhattan.

winter morning in the North Bronx


Queens: The eastern most borough in New York City, located north and east of Brooklyn on Long Island. Has a wide range of neighborhoods, spanning the spectrum from high rises along main thoroughfares to single family homes in suburban-type areas. Contains a diverse range of residents from all over the world, and is home to the New York Mets, JFK Airport, and LaGuardia Airport.



The Manhattan skyline in the distance, from Queens.



My picture: A Queens street near a freeway overpass.

Staten Island: The southern most borough in New York City. It is, as the name suggests, an island. It is the least populated of all the boroughs, and because it is much closer to New Jersey than the rest of New York City, it is often forgotten about. Requires a ferry to get to from Manhattan. A bridge connects it to Brooklyn. Is mostly comprised of suburbs, but also has a fantastic boardwalk, an industrial district, and a few beautiful wildlife preserves with walking trails. Home of the only Republicans in New York City.


The Staten Island boardwalk, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline in the distance.


My picture: The southern tip of Brooklyn and the northern half of Staten Island, connected by the Verranzo-Narrows Bridge.


My picture: A Queens street near Flushing.

FIT – Fashion Institute of Technology: A prominent fashion school in New York, as well as throughout the United States. Where I am staying, in student housing, for the summer. It is located in Chelsea, a trendy (notably fashionable) neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan. Home to many creative, and occasionally vapid, minds.

FIT Campus

The ugly main entrance to the FIT campus.

Chelsea: One of the most well known neighborhoods in Manhattan for shopping and retail business. Hip, expensive, and increasingly filled with tourists. Located adjacent to Midtown, the Theater District, and Hell’s Kitchen. Home to many unique new buildings made out of glass and other reflective materials, as well as many buildings which have not been recently renovated.


Midtown: An area located in the borough of Manhattan precisely where its name would indicate- midtown. It is between downtown and uptown. Many corporate offices and major New York attractions are located here. Examples include: the New York Times HQ, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, and Carnegie Hall.


Midtown is the large, yellow block in the middle. Ignore the labeling of the blue section on the left as “Midtown West”- everyone calls it “Hell’s Kitchen”.


Midtown Manhattan as seen by air.

Hudson River: The large river that runs along the west side of Manhattan. Green, murky, cold. Definitely not for swimming. Originates in the Adirondack mountains, and serves as the boundary between New York City and New Jersey.

The Hudson River and city building of New York


My picture: The Hudson River from the World Trade Center.

Hamilton Heights: A neighborhood uptown located in between 135th Street and 155th Street. Originally home to its founder, Alexander Hamilton, and now home to the City College of New York, many beautiful 19th century brownstones, and a rapidly changing population. Currently recognized for its emerging gentrification, which is increasingly being acknowledged as not providing economic assistance to the underserved communities in the area. My office is in the middle of the neighborhood, on West 141st.



Nice brownstones in the Hamilton Heights Historic District.


A row of historic townhouses in Hamilton Heights,


Alexander Hamilton’s old house. Called “the Grange”.

Murray Hill: A fussy neighborhood, up-scale neighborhood full of diplomats and rich, old people. It is adjacent to the United Nations and overlooks the East River. Although as with all neighborhoods in Manhattan, people have been flocking to it for whatever affordable living spaces they can find, it is significantly less popular than what is nearby- Midtown and Kips Bay.



The skyline of Murray Hill in Manhattan, immediately south of UN Plaza.



My picture: The UN Secretariat building from a nearby street in Murray Hill.

Lincoln Square: The revered, traditional home of classical music and dance in New York City. Hosts the New York Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theater, and Juilliard. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Columbus Avenue between 62nd Street and 65th Street.


The star is Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side.





My picture: Lincoln Center.

Washington Square Park: A famous park located in SoHo adjacent to NYU. Very popular with both college students and local, it is known for its large archway and fountain. Hosts a wide variety of recreational activities, including cooling off by the fountain, exercising dogs in a pet park, playing chess at picnic benches, listening to street musicians and reading on the grass in the shade.




My picture: Mom in Washington Square Park.

Central Park: Founded in 1853, Central Park was the first major landscaped public park in the country. It is almost 850 acres and is managed by the Central Park Conservancy, which was founded 35 years ago to repair the park after the disarray which occurred in the 60s and 70s. It is the most visited urban park in the country, with upwards of 40 million visitors annually. It is home to many water features (uniquely named: The Lake, The Pond, The Reservoir, the Meer, the Ravine, etc), as well as a zoo, an ice skating rink, a public pool, a castle, many sculptures, miles of walking paths, multiple gardens, and a couple of restaurants. Many of the water features have some form of boating, whether it be tin boats for paddling in, or electronic sailboats controlled by joysticks.


My picture: The Central Park Sailboat Pond.


My picture: Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park.


My picture: The Central Park Great Lawn.


My picture: a path in Central Park.

The Reservoir: A man-made water feature in the center of Central Park, originally commissioned as a spare water supply for the city. There is a 1.5 mile trail wrapping around the edge which is popular amongst New Yorkers for jogging and afternoon strolls. One of the best places to view the various directional skylines from the interior of the city.


My picture: The Central Park Reservoir.


My picture: The Central Park Reservoir.

Chelsea Piers: A conjoined collection of piers along the Hudson River waterfront in Chelsea home to a bowling alley, ice skating rink, soccer field, golf and gymnastics centers, as well as docks for private boats and public cruise lines. A great place to spend a rainy time.



My picture: View of the midtown Manhattan skyline from the Chelsea Piers.


My picture: A boat docked at Chelsea Piers.

Chelsea Market: An collection of expensive, organic (mostly food) stores in a revamped warehouse in the Meatpacking District selling everything from customized pickled-vegetable sushi to hand-knitted Tibetan scarves to spices and dried fruits from South America. Very popular from the yuppie, affluent hipster crowd. Only worth visiting to smell the scents of fancy food and splurge on a singly item or two of your choice.


The inside of the Chelsea Market.


My picture: All the shops in Chelsea Market.


My picture: Inside the Chelsea Market.

Gansevoort Market: A slightly more affordable version of the Chelsea Market, on a smaller scale. An open-air market with similar fare to the Chelsea Market, only slightly more affordable (for a reason undiscernable to me- perhaps because you are buying your food from stalls, not stores). I actually much prefer this market to Chelsea. There is significantly more light streaming into Gansevoort Market (as opposed to the Chelsea Market, which is enclosed and dark), and the people seem slightly friendlier. (I also discovered the Gansevoort first, so there’s also that).


The Meatpacking District: Formerly, as its name would indicate, a grungy part of New York City composed mostly of meat warehouses. Now, a wildly popular neighborhood in Manhattan filled with expensive, “urban-chic” restaurants and shops peddling over-priced locally-sourced food and work-out clothes to tourists and locals alike (as long as they have enough money to blow).


A view of the southern part of the Meatpacking District from the High Line.


A street in the Meatpacking District.


My picture: A cobbled street in the Meatpacking District.


My picture: A restaurant on the back patio through an alley between old buildings in the Meatpacking District.

Arthur Avenue: The Bronx’s Little Italy. Significantly more authentic than Manhattan’s Little Italy, and full of many amazing carb forms. I am incredibly fond of the bread and pastries found in the bakeries there. Many Hispanic residents have recently begun moving into this neighborhood as the original Italian residents move out.


My picture: The Italian market along Arthur Avenue.


My picture: A man rolling cigars in the Italian market along Arthur Avenue.


My picture: Pastries in a bakery along Arthur Avenue.

Riverbank State Park: A beautiful park overlooking the Hudson River in Hamilton Heights off of 145th Street. It has a cultural center with a pool, recreation fields, and a lovely shaded picnic area. Frequently used by local organizations to host community gatherings. Also very popular with families who have young children on hot days. A quality public pool for the underserved masses in Harlem.


An aerial view of Riverbank State Park along the Hudson River.


My picture: George Washington Bridge as seen from Riverbank State Park.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park: One of the largest parks in New York City. Home to the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum of Art, and Citi Field (where the Mets play). It also hosts the Queens International Night Festival every summer, and has been the host to two World Fairs (’39/’40, ’64/’65). It has a large fountain surrounding the Unisphere, a globe statue build to celebrate the Space Age for the second World Fair hosted at the park. At the southern end of the park, there are two lakes which you can picnic around, and boat rental shops which rent kayaks and paddleboats. Like the Hudson River, these lakes are not for swimming.


A map of the entire park. It’s very large.


My picture: The Unisphere at Corona Park.


My picture: The lake at Corona Park.

Battery Park: A park and historical site at the southern tip of Manhattan which looks out over the intersection of the Hudson and East Rivers. It has been used as a defense fort (when NYC was New Amsterdam), an immigration center (before Ellis Island), a concert hall, and an aquarium (America’s first public aquarium!). Today Castle Clinton, the old fort, is used to shepard tourists onto ferries to Liberty and Ellis Islands. A beautiful place to have dinner or go for a sunset stroll. Has great views of the Statue of Liberty and the Hoboken skyline.


An aerial view of Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan.


My picture: Battery Park at sunset.


My picture: Battery Park at sunset.


My picture: Battery Park at sunset.

Wall Street: Located in Manhattan’s Financial District, Wall Street is the home of the famous New York Stock Exchange, as well as many of the city’s finance companies. Known for being the center of wealth in the world.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 in New York. A stunning reshaping of the Wall Street landscape sent stocks down sharply Monday, but the pullback appeared relatively orderly _ perhaps because investors were unsurprised by the demise of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and relieved by a takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. (AP Photo/Jin Lee)

The interior of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.


Wall Street.


My picture: the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange.

Brooklyn Bridge: A suspension bridge built in 1883 to connect the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn . The oldest steel-wire suspension bridge ever built. According to the New York Transit Museum, almost 200,000 cars cross the bridge every day. A major tourist attraction in the city, offering a path for pedestrians and bikers, as well as a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.


The grand old Brooklyn Bridge.


DUMBO: A neighborhood in Brooklyn located under and adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge. The acronym stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. Historically, the district was primarily industrial, but became largely residential in the late twentieth century, playing hosts to artists and other homeowners seeking large or inexpensive lofts and studios. It has increasingly gentrified since the turn of the century, and is now very popular among Manhattan transplants, with expensive, organic eateries and boutique shops lining its cobblestone streets.


Where DUMBO is located in Brooklyn. Across the East River is the southern tip of Manhattan.


The most classic DUMBO picture.


The Brooklyn Bridge Park.


The “Clock-Tower Building” in DUMBO. You can actually live in the apartment behind that clock. The 6,900 sq. foot apartment with outstanding views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline sold for 18,000,000 dollars.

Statue of Liberty: A large statue of a woman holding a tablet and a torch standing on Liberty Island, in the intersection of the Hudson and East Rivers at the southern tip of Manhattan. Originally a gift from France meant to symbolize the freedom of the western world, as well as the relationship between France and the United States, it arrived in New York City in 1985 in hundreds of pieces and was assembled over the next year. The designer intended for it to be even larger than it currently is.


My picture: The State of Liberty on a beautiful day.


My picture: Liberty Island from the ferry.


My picture: The Statue of Liberty and the southern Manhattan skyline.

Levain Bakery: One of the best bakeries in the country New York City. Make a variety of baked goods, but is known world-wide for their amazing, gigantic cookies. Lightly crispy on the outside, gooey and decadent in the middle, these expensive threats are well worth the splurge every so often. Many people are fond of their classic, chocolate chip walnut cookie, but I personally like their double dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie. They have two locations- one on the Upper West Side on the corner of 74th St. and 10th Ave., and another in Morningside Heights, on 117th Street. Expect a wait of at least half an hour on the Upper West Side, and perhaps 10 minutes in Harlem.


Levain’s famous cookies.


My picture: a dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery.

Magnolia Bakery: A well known bakery in the West Village, featured in many a New York tv show. Traditionally respected for its classic cupcakes, these have faded from popularity as newer bakeries have popped over the last few years during the cupcake craze that swept the country. Now the locals come here for their pint-size personal tubs of ooey-gooey banana cream pudding.


The exterior of Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street in the West Village.


Gorgeous baked good at Magnolia’s Bakery.

Murray’s Bagels: A bagel shop known for its vast selection of smoked fish and schmears, located in Chelsea. Widely renowned as having the best bagels in New York City.


The exterior of the Murray’s Bagels in Chelsea.



The assortment of schmears at Murray’s Bagels.


My picture: I tried to capture the line wrapped around the tiny shop. It didn’t work very well. Though there were at least 30 people in line, it took less than 20 minutes for me to get my food.


My picture: My favorite order at Murray’s Bagels. Sausage, egg, and cheese on pumpernickel. (It tastes better with egg whites and pepper jack cheese, but that doesn’t photograph as well).

The High Line: Once dilapidated rail road tracks running above/through the Meatpacking District and up into Chelsea, have been recently (in the last five years) transformed into an innovative raised park overflowing with both flora and tourists. Now is an extremely popular Manhattan tour location, as well as being a great place for locals with children to stroll on a nice afternoon and look out over the Hudson River.


A map of The High Line weaving through West Chelsea.


An aerial view of the skyline.



The High Line looking out over the Hudson River.


My picture: People lounging on the grass on The High Line.


My picture: An afternoon strolling along the shady paths of The High Line.

The Cloisters: A collection of old European abbeys reassembled in Fort Tyron Park, a historical landmark at the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and used to house a collection of their ancient European art and artifacts. Popular for engagement photo shoots and an afternoon of strolling through the park.

the-cloisters-canterbury-cathedral-donald-davis The_Cloisters_from_Garden


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: