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Things To Do

New York City

CHINATOWN. The area between Canal and Worth streets to the north and south and between the Bowery and Lafayette Street to the east and west. Highlights include shopping along Canal Street and a meal at one of the neighborhood's more than 200 restaurants.

CHELSEA. Within Chelsea's boundaries (29th Street to the north, 14th Street to the south, Sixth Avenue to the east and the Hudson River to the west), you'll find the Joyce Theater, a mecca for dance; the Hotel Chelsea (222 W. 23rd St.), former home of O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Arthur Miller, Sarah Bernhardt and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols; the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex (at the Hudson River between 17th and 23rd streets) with a driving range, indoor ice-skating and outdoor Rollerblading rinks, and a gymnasium; and the Empire Diner (210 10th Ave. between 22nd and 23rd streets), a fun 24-hour Art Deco eatery.

EAST VILLAGE. East of Broadway, turns funky and hard-edged in the East Village. An unknown rock-star wannabe named Madonna once lived in the East Village, and singers such as Iggy Pop and Lou Reed still frequent the neighborhood. Tompkins Square Park is its hub and St. Mark's Place its main street. Experimental theatres, far-out clubs and quirky, even kitschy shops help make this area one of the most electric in town. The East Village is also a stomping ground for NYU students.

GREENWICH VILLAGE. The western sector of Greenwich Village, which is bounded by 14th Street to the north, Houston Street to the south, the Hudson River to the west and Broadway to the east, is homey and intimate, a small town that is loved by artists, writers, actors, and a sizable gay and lesbian population. Coffeehouses and jazz clubs are staples of the easy-going West Village lifestyle. Along Bleecker Street between Christopher and Bank streets, you will find antiques and book shops, clothing boutiques and small cafes where locals gather to schmooze.

LITTLE ITALY. The first foreign explorer to set eyes on the island of Manhattan was an Italian-Giovanni da Verrazano. Since that day in 1545, Italians have made their mark here in everything from the construction industry to politics. The heart of the Italian presence in New York is Little Italy, which is located along and around Mulberry Street from Spring Street to just north of Canal Street. This is a neighborhood of tenements, familiar to moviegoers from "The Godfather" films, and restaurants by the score featuring the food of every Italian region.

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ROCKEFELLER CENTER. Rockefeller Center is a midtown complex of 18 buildings including Radio City Music Hall; the street-level NBC News Window on the World studio, where the "Today" show is broadcast live seven days a week; the Rink at Rockefeller Center, an outdoor restaurant in summer and an ice-skating rink from October through April; the Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of the GE Building, a restaurant with a view; and as many as 35 shops. Across the street from Rockefeller Center is St. Patrick's Cathedral (Fifth Avenue at 50th Street), the 11th largest church in the world, while nearby is the Museum of Modern Art. Rockefeller Center is located in the heart of the fashionable Fifth Avenue shopping district.

SOHO. A downtown neighborhood with a vibrant artistic life is SoHo. Within only a quarter of a square mile, there are an estimated 250 art galleries and five museums in addition to approximately 188 restaurants, 30 antiques shops, 17 furniture emporiums and 100 retail stores. The neighborhood's name, by the way, comes from its location SOuth of HOuston Street. Note: the neighborhood is not an early-morning port of call; arrive after noon.

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT. The South Street Seaport, which lies between Fulton Street and the East River and Fletcher and Dover streets in Lower Manhattan. Within its 11 cobblestone-paved blocks, the atmospheric district contains a maritime museum, the Fulton Fish Market and more than 100 cafes, restaurants and shops.

THEATRE DISTRICT. The Broadway Theatre District stretches from Times Square to 57th Street and from Sixth to Eighth avenues. Known as the Great White Way, the district houses more than 30 playhouses.

TIMES SQUARE. Known as "the crossroads of the world," Times Square includes the area bounded by Broadway and Seventh Avenue and 42nd and 47th streets. The Virgin Megastore, the world's largest music and entertainment emporium, is in Times Square; so, too, the Official All Star Cafe, a theme-park restaurant owned by Andre Agassi, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana and a host of other sports luminaries

TRIBECA. TriBeCa is an industrial district that has lately been populated by artists and kindred spirits who prize its vast lofts and easygoing ambience. The neighborhood's name is an acronym derived from its location: the TRIangle BElow CAnal Street south of Chambers Street and between the Hudson River and Broadway. There's no shortage of famous restaurants in TriBeCa including Bouley (165 Duane St.), New York's No. 1 restaurant according to the 1996 Zagat Survey; TriBeCa Grill (375 Greenwich St.); and Nobu (105 Hudson St.). TriBeCa is also a shopping and antiques mecca.

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