The name Broadway immediately evokes images of theatres and musicals, but the theatre district is only a small part of this 24-kilometre-long street. Broadway runs at an angle through Manhattan from north to south, slicing through the chessboard-like street map of the city. Follow this iconic street and you will certainly learn more about this fascinating city.
Battery Park, a city park of approximately 8.5 hectares, lies on the southern tip of Manhattan on the banks of the Hudson River. During the Dutch colonization period, a battery of cannons stood here, hence the name. The 19th-century Castle Clinton is another landmark. But most people come to Battery Park to board the boat to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, or to ride the Staten Island Ferry. The latter is free and offers great views of the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty.
Adjacent to Battery Park we find the world’s most famous financial district: Wall Street. In 1871, the New York Stock Exchange opened its offices here. Since then, the name Wall Street has become synonymous for financial district. From Wall Street it is only a short walk to Ground Zero and Trinity Church. This church dating from 1846 was once the tallest building in the city. During the attacks of September 11, it remained virtually undamaged and firemen were able to take a break here while searching through the rubble.
Located at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, Madison Square Park is a green space with a great view of the famous Flatiron Building. Originally it was called the Fuller Building, but because of its iron-like form it soon became known as the Flatiron Building. This building dates back to 1903 and was one of the first skyscrapers in the world. It was so popular and unique that the entire surrounding district has been named after it. Although New York has seen many new skyscrapers since then, this classic structure is still a beloved subject for photographers.
Around Times Square lies the theatre district that has made Broadway famous. Theatres are on every side of the street, especially at 42nd Street. Discounted tickets for shows are sold under the red stairs on Times Square at the TKTS Discount Booth. Even back in the 18th century, the Square hosted large advertising signs that promoted the shows on Broadway. Today, the dozens of billboards and light panels on Times Square have become an attraction in their own right and nearby companies are obligated to put neon signs on their façades.
After the hectic flashing lights and heavy traffic of Times Square, Central Park offers a haven of peace. The park measures 341 hectares and is an ideal place to relax, enjoy nature and watch performances by street artists. Go for a walk, take a bike ride or just sit back on a park bench. There is also great food. The lakeside restaurant The Loeb Boathouse in the middle of the park is open year round.