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Lower Manhattan is an area of New York City that is made up of many different neighborhoods. It is the southern most part of the island of Manhattan and is a main location for business in New York. Besides businesses and other government buildings in Lower Manhattan, there are also some various neighborhoods in the area that have their own distinct culture and feel.
Soho and the East Village
The area of Lower Manhattan that is known to be the location of many artists and galleries is Soho and the East Village. Nearly the entire area was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973 on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also declared a National Landmark site in 1978. The neighborhood goes from Houston Street on the north to Canal Street on the south to West Broadway on the west and Lafayette Street and Center Street on the east.
This neighborhood has many different shops and other outlet stores. It continues to have a "hip" reputation with many boutiques and restaurants also scattered throughout. The southern part of the neighborhood features a shopping district with imitation clothing and other electronics.
Located on the west side of Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village was once filled with local artists, but because of the rise in housing costs, it is now home to many younger families with a good portion of the work force being stock brokers or executives. The area has been around since before the turn of the 19th century and is currently home to about 72,000 residents, including many famous celebrities.
It has long been an area with cultural diversity and has many various attractions, none bigger than Washington Square Park. With the exception of Central Park, no other park in New York City is more known than Washington Square Park. It is surrounded by New York University on both sides and has statues, monuments, fountains, flowers and more on the inside.
Chelsea and the Meatpacking District
Chelsea and the Meatpacking District came about during the middle of the 19th century. It eventually became home to over 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. That number began to decline during the 20th century and as recently as 2003, only 35 remained. The decline began in the 1960's with the change in the distribution pattern of meat and dairy.
During the 1980's, the area became known as a place for drug dealing and prostitution. Having recently cleaned up their act, the Meatpacking District is now home to many different shops and other stores as well as residential areas.
This public square is located directly in the center of Manhattan. Union Square links together many neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, including Gramercy, Chelsea, the Flatiron District and Greenwich Village. The square contains some dorms from New York University as well as many buildings from The New School.
The area was built in 1882 and also has a statue of George Washington riding a horse. It is a popular meeting place for all different types of people because of its central location. It is also the site of many protests and public gatherings.
Lower East Side and Financial District
Also located in the southernmost portion of Manhattan, the Lower East Side and Financial District is a working class immigrant neighborhood that has undergone changes in recent years. In 2005, the area was placed on watch as one of America's Most Endangered Places.
It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and is not only an ethnically diverse area, but poor as well. Among the immigrants who come to the Lower East Side are Irish, Polish, Germans, and Ukranians. More recently however, it has turned into mostly a Dominican and Puerto Rican neighborhood. The area is best known for at one time being the center of Jewish culture.