Manhattan - view from the Ellis Island

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Manhattan is one of five boroughs in New York City (actually, the smallest one). It is coterminous with New York County. It lies between the East River and the Hudson River. This is the largest section (20 square miles (51.8 square kilometres)) of land, but there are also numerous smaller islands (including Randall's Island, Ward's Island, and Roosevelt Island to the east and Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and Governors Island to the south in New York Harbor) and a small section of America’s mainland belonging to Manhattan. The borough has an area of 33.8 square miles (87.5 square kilometres), of which 32.01% is water.

It is the most densely populated county in the United States, although the number of inhabitants is not the biggest of all New York boroughs (more people live in Brooklyn and Queens). The number of inhabitants was 1,593,200 in 2005. The population density was 66,940.1 inhabitants per square mile (25,849.9 inhabitants per square kilometre). The majority of people living in Manhattan are White (56.4%), then there are Hispanics (27.18%), Blacks (17.39%), and the rest belong to other races (14.14%).

Manhattan is a financial, commercial and cultural centre of the world. There are many landmarks, tourist attractions, museum and universities. It has the largest central business district in the United States and is the site of most of the city's corporate headquarters, as well as both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. It is also the seat of the city’s government and the headquarters of United Nations has its seat here too.

The name Manhattan is derived from Lenape word Manna-hata, which can be translated as "island of many hills". It was written so in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer of the Dutch East India Company yacht Halve Maen or Half Moon.

As far as economy of Manhattan is concerned, its most important sector is the finance industry.

Culture is another phenomenon that is tremendously developed in Manhattan. From the future one of the most influential cultural movements born here is pop art, with its main representative Andy Warhol. A popular haven for art, the downtown neighborhood of Chelsea is widely known for its galleries and cultural events. Well-known, not just in the United States, is Broadway theatre that is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in USA. Plays and musicals are staged in one of the thirty-nine larger professional theatres located in Manhattan, with 500 seats or more, that appeal to the mass audience. Most of them are located in Midtown around Time Square. Not far away is one of the world’s most famous opera houses located – the Metropolitan Opera. Manhattan is also home to some of the most extensive art collections, both contemporary and historical.

To the most famous Manhattan’s landmarks belong the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the theater district around Broadway, New York University, Columbia University, Baruch College, the financial center around Wall Street, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Harlem, the American Museum of Natural History, Chinatown, and Central Park that is located in the centre of Manhattan’s island.
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