Broadway, New York

Broadway, New York (must see)

Broadway, known as the Wickquasgeck Trail in the New Amsterdam time, was snaked along the length of Manhattan Island. The trail became the main road through the island. Actual Broadway is a bit longer than the old trail it replaced. The street starts at Bowling Green in the southern tip of Manhattan and wends its way through the Bronx, and through Westchester County, all the way up to Sleepy Hollow. It is the oldest thoroughfare in the city.

When the Dutch took over Manhattan, they widened the trail to road size. They called it "Gentlemen's Way" or "Heeren Weigh" in Dutch. When the British arrived, they noticed how wide the main street was, and called it Broadway Street.

By 1907 a 30-block section of Broadway between Times Square and Sherman Square at 72nd Street was a part of Manhattan, referred to as "Automobile Row." The motorcar had arrived. Automobile dealerships, showrooms, parts stores, and garages, packed both sides of the street. In time Broadway became mostly a one-way traffic lane in Manhattan.

In the current century, Broadway has been made less accommodating to cars and more pedestrian friendly. Traffic lanes at strategic places have been turned into public plazas and mini-parks. Bicycle lanes have been established between 42nd Street and Union Square.

Since 2009, parts of Broadway in Times Square, Duffy Square, and Herald Square have been closed to automotive traffic. Broadway has been narrowed around Madison Square and Union Square, permitting pedestrian plazas to exist at the roadside.

Lower Broadway at Bowling Green and City Hall Park is the customary venue for the city's famous "ticker tape" parades, when large amounts of shredded paper are thrown from nearby office buildings into the parade route, creating a celebratory effect. It has been referred to as the "Canyon of Heroes." Paper showers still are dropped from skyscrapers lining the route, but ticker tape is long a thing of the past. Toilet rolls have been used, but the effect is not so grand.

"The Great White Way" is about the section of Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, home to the Theatre District. The district stretches between 42nd Street and 53rd Street, including Times Square. Shep Friedman, a reporter for the New York Morning Telegraph in 1901, was the first to use the phrase "Great White Way" about Broadway.

Everything and anything happens on Broadway. From Bowling Green to Sleepy Hollow, the stories, the neighborhoods, and the hits just keep on coming.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New York. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Broadway on Map

Sight Name: Broadway
Sight Location: New York, USA (See walking tours in New York)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in New York, New York

Create Your Own Walk in New York

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Creating your own self-guided walk in New York is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Columbia University Walking Tour

Columbia University Walking Tour

Established in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of New York and the fifth-oldest in the United States. A member of the prestigious Ivy League, this renowned institution boasts a diverse campus designed along Beaux-Arts planning principles. Columbia's main campus occupies more than six city blocks in Morningside Heights, New York City, and is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Brooklyn New York Walking Tour

Brooklyn New York Walking Tour

Named after the Breukelen village in the Netherlands, Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs, occupies the western tip of Long Island. Its history began in the 17th century as a small Dutch settlement on the East River shore; Brooklyn Heights, or Clover Hill, is where the village was founded, in 1646.

By the 19th century, Brooklyn had grown into a sizable town. The iconic Brooklyn...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
George Washington's New York

George Washington's New York

While not really a New York fan himself, George Washington held the city in high esteem, calling it “a post of infinite importance,” and is even credited with coining the term “New Yorker”. The scene of some of Washington’s greatest military trials and political triumphs, NYC is a home to several important sites associated with his life and career, such as Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

New York's Little Italy and Chinatown were places that attracted Italian and Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s, with densely packed ethnic communities having grown around them, as they brought their customs, food and language. In the 1960s, however, right around the time that Italians stopped coming to the city in large numbers, Chinese immigrants did the opposite, hence why Little Italy...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

Welcome to the iconic New York City that so many tourists dream about before they visit – spectacular skyscrapers, iconic public buildings, large neon flat screens above ground level and the non-stop activity on city streets.

They say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, and Times Square, Broadway, is definitely a part of that slogan. Day time or night time, it’s one of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Best of Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

Best of Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

Every part of Manhattan is terrific, but if you are looking for one that showcases the best overview of New York City’s history and architectural styles, it’s Lower Manhattan. This is where it all started, where New Amsterdam was founded, where Canal Street used to be a canal, and where Wall Street used to be a wall marking the end of town. It’s also where the city has seen the most tragedy,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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