New York City is a bustling metropolis renowned for its vibrant and energetic atmosphere. From the renowned Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue to the lesser-known The Neighborhood Museum, there are plenty of places to explore and discover. East Village and Lower East Side, Greenwich Village and West Village, Chelsea, Chinatown, Harlem, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Hell's Kitchen are some of the most vibrant areas of New York City's urban landscapes. East Village and Lower East Side are shaped by immigrants and their fascinating history can be best experienced at the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street.
The New Museum and the Museum of the International Center of Photography are also nearby. Spanning blocks from 14th to 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue to the Hudson River, Chelsea is home to gay-owned and operated stores, galleries, restaurants, as well as numerous gay bars. In Barracuda, you'll find transvestite shows and 2-for-1 drinks; Rebar is the ideal place to dance and have fun, while the Eagle hosts a leather scene like no other. Surrounded by Little Italy and the Lower East Side, Chinatown is unlike anywhere else in the city, with busy streets and sidewalks full of fruit and vegetable stalls, vendors selling imitations of designers and crowds of people in every direction.
Accommodation options are limited: the 50 Bowery Hotel is a boutique hotel with an excellent rooftop bar, the Leon Hotel overlooks the Manhattan Bridge, while there's a Best Western and a Wyndham Garden nearby, as well as a handful of Airbnbs. Otherwise, you'll have no problem staying on a tight budget thanks to the affordable souvenir shops and dining options. Harlem has been the epicenter of black culture in the United States since the early 20th century. The Harlem Renaissance kicked off a decade of unparalleled artistic expression which can be experienced at Minton's Playhouse or Apollo Theater. Sylvia's restaurant is famous for its traditional food while Red Rooster Harlem puts a modern twist on classic comfort food.
Roosevelt Ave offers Tibetan, North Indian and Colombian food while 37th Ave is family-oriented with dosos and arepas. Williamsburg is home to indie music favorites at Williamsburg Music Hall while National Sawdust performance space offers an intimate setting for a wide range of talent. On Bedford Ave is the Williamsburg Music Center which has existed since 1981. Bushwick is packed with elegant places to drink, dance, see a show or just mingle with the alluring crowd. Jupiter Disco, Lot 45, Mood Ring or Bossa Nova Civic Club are some of the places to dance on the dance floor while Elsewhere, Alphaville or Market Hotel are great for seeing your favorite band. One of my favorite little known places is Brooklyn Grange at 37-18 Northern Boulevard in Queens. Not only can Manhattan be seen in the distance but its use of 2.5-acre roof as an organic garden is important both ecologically and architecturally. The West Village is located amidst a relaxed New York neighborhood with bars, cafes and boutiques.
Lonely Planet's Experience New York City is your guide to unforgettable experiences and local surprises. Explore the rich literary history of Harlem, delight your senses in Chinatown or explore bohemian places in the villages all guided by local experts with new perspectives. Downtown Harlem is primarily residential area with a community environment that is lacking in many places in New York City. It's located right on the southern tip of Manhattan and is home to Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve Bank. New York City's art institutions celebrate future of African Americans through Afrofuturism exhibitions. Green-Wood President Richard Moylan urges New Yorkers to stroll through gardens and enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan, New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty and New Jersey hills. Don't be intimidated by its name: Hell's Kitchen is actually one of coolest neighborhoods in New York City.