Chinatown - Little Italy - Tribecca - SOHO

NYC Five Boro Tours

Explore some of the historic areas of Manhattan that have transformed from an industrial ‘rust belt’ to the city’s trendiest areas and walk through historic Little Italy and Chinatown ...



TriBeCa - “Triangle Below Canal St”

  • Industrial past and the ‘Butter and Egg’ district
  • Decline and resurgence - artists lofts
  • Hook & Ladder Company No.8 from Ghostbusters (North Moore St.)
  • American Thread Building
  • Holland Tunnel - first river crossing to New Jersey
  • Art Deco AT&T Building
  • First NY Mercantile Exchange - 6 Harrison St.
  • Annual Tribecca Film Festival


Legend of the ‘Five Points’ District and “Gangs of New York”



  • Evolution and settlement 1840s
  • “Tongs” and the Chinese Exclusion Act
  • Secret tunnel
  • New immigration and rapid expansion into Little Italy and outer boroughs


Little Italy

  • Industrial past and the ‘Butter and Egg’ district
  • Immigrant population early 20th century
  • Organized crime urban lore
  • Decline of Italian population and transformation into a tourist destination; migration into Brooklyn and suburbs
  • Annual San Gennaro festival
  • Famous places - Lombardi’s Pizza, Ferrara’s Pastry, DiPalo’s cheese and specialty foods
  • Mention other ‘Litty Italies’ in NYC - Arthur Avenue (Belmont, Bronx) and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn


SoHo’s Cast Iron District

  • Similarities to Tribeca - industrial past rediscovered by artists
  • Why ‘cast iron’ ?
  • Haughwout Building and the world's first elevator
  • Subway map sculpture on sidewalk (110 Greene St.)
  • Greene, Mercer, Grand and Broome Streets.
  • Attempts to destroy 1960s - Lower Manhattan Expressway and the legacy of Robert Moses

(If time permits) ... Bowery

  • Industrial past and the ‘Butter and Egg’ district
  • "Slide from respectability" for nearly a century
  • Expansion of Chinatown and other gentrification
  • Bowery Savings Bank Building

TIP: At the end of the walk, eat in one of the many restaurants in Little Italy on Mulberry Street, or in Chinatown on Mott or Bayard Streets (on your own).








Google maps - approximate route ...








Patrick Kwan from New York City, USA [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Tomás Fano [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons