Much of Lower Manhattan consists of narrow, haphazard streets, dating back to the city’s earliest days as a Dutch colony.
With the exception of older areas, such as Greenwich Village, the rest of the city follows an orderly grid pattern of avenues and streets laid out in 1811.
It is the fourth largest in the world behind Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
They have large industrial areas with a predominant blue-collar feel containing manufacturing and freight distribution centers for the area.(Broadway, another exception, moves at a gentle diagonal across the city.) Filling out the island are distinct districts. Midtown is the commercial center, with corporate headquarters, various media businesses, and world-class shopping along Fifth Avenue.Large skyscrapers dominate Lower Manhattan, then retreat as does hard bedrock to build on in those areas, then reemerges in Midtown.Brooklyn shares the western end of Long Island with Queens, with excellent transportation service into the city by rail and subway and numerous beaches, parks and residential neighborhoods south and east towards the large JFK airport.Brooklyn is socioeconomically very diverse, with a mix of upscale, middle class and poorer areas, while Queens is more clearly identifiable as middle class.