Downtown is Manhattan’s playground, a fashion-forward, youthful patchwork of thrillingly colourful neighbourhoods that include some of the city’s own favourite draws. In stylish Soho, clever boutiques mingle with glossy, high-end designer showrooms, and pleasantly quiet side streets vie with bustling boulevards for the attention of well-heeled shoppers. Next door is the West Village, one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the whole of the city, and one that takes an audacious and famously disorienting turn off-grid. (And it’s worth it: losing oneself in its leafy, brownstone-hemmed streets and sweet shops and cafes is a day unto itself.)
A little ways south, Tribeca’s the spot to rub shoulders with friendly, well-to-do families and a surprising roster of rich and famous residents. More southerly still, the city’s financial nerve center thrums busily at Wall Street; here, the freshly unpacked Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center memorial site – plus the spectacular waterfront views out to the Statue of Liberty – crown lower Manhattan with some of the city’s most recognizable skyline silhouettes.
Evenings in the area are made for dining, drinks, and dancing in good company. For grit and glitter, there’s the artsy and boisterous East Village, or the romantic High Line park lit up by the shop fronts and restaurants of the fashionable Meatpacking District below.