Broadway - This is not only the main street of New York, but possibly the whole of the United States, it is also a record holder among the streets along the length. The road passes through the whole city and goes further north, bypassing small towns, it stretches all the way to Albany. But directly in New York, Broadway is striking in its length, there are few people who in one day will pass at least half of the street.
Broadway has little resemblance to the main street arteries of other megacities, such as Nevsky Prospect or Champs Elysees. There are no super luxury hotels, major city museums or government offices on Broadway. Broadway is primarily associated with neon lights, flickering advertisements and show shows, and the street as a whole justifies such expectations.
Video: On Broadway by car
Broadway got its original appearance even before the discovery of America by Columbus. The outline of the “wide road” fully repeats the path of the Indians, which connected the northern and southern half of the island, when it was still covered in dense forest. When the Dutch came here in the 20s of the 17th century, the importance of the Native American trail greatly increased. The first two European settlements on the island, Harlem and New Amsterdam, connected with each other, just the future Broadway. After New Amsterdam became New York, and the British took power from the Dutch from this place, the street got its present, proud name - Broadway.
At the end of the 18th century, after the War of Independence and the formation of a new state, New York began to develop rapidly. Having been for a short time the capital of the United States, or rather one year, the city becomes the economic center of the state. In 1792, the world-famous Exchange was opened in New York, and a little later, the city became the most densely populated center of America, more than 60 thousand people permanently reside in it, and on the meager territory. Naturally, this could not last long, and at the beginning of the 19th century a town-planning plan was developed, and it was very extensive and impressive. According to this plan, the natural landscape of the island was subject to almost complete destruction, and its place should have been taken by a clear, thought-out city grid.
In general, the idea of architects was put into practice, and only Broadway stands out from a number of straight and right streets. Broadway reserved the right to twists and turns only. The southern beginning of Broadway, located on the outskirts of Manhattan, is very reminiscent of old European streets. Perhaps this place makes you remember the colonial past of Broadway most of all. It also houses Manhattan's oldest green square, Bowling Green. In the old days, a statue of George the Third stood in the center of the square, and people venerable in the area liked to gather in the square to play skittles, which actually gave the square its name. More recently, a sign on the fence of the park said that the island of Manhattan was bought from an Indian tribe, for a consignment of goods equivalent to the sum of 60 guilders, and this happened at this place. By the way, the most significant architectural monument of this part of Broadway, the National Museum of the American Indians, is located in the former customs building, built at the very beginning of the 20th century, about Indians.
The second symbol of South Broadway, on the contrary, reminds us of current values. This is a bronze bull that moved to this area from the Exchange building. The bull symbolizes an active broker playing bullishness when the stock market is stable, therefore this sculpture represents business success and prosperity. In the Broadway area near the Exchange, it is always very crowded, because tourists are interested to see how the US financial pendulum works. In addition, the world famous twin towers rose quite recently here. On the other side of Broadway is the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was once the largest building in the city and is a guide for ships arriving in the city.
Broadway's intersection with 81st Street marks New York's main grocery store. The assortment of food products presented in it is so huge that the eyes run wide. On the second floor of the store, a variety of kitchen utensils of the best world brands are for sale.
Broadway Theater Life
Since the end of the 19th century, the theatrical life of the city has been registered on Broadway. Every evening on Broadway there are several dozens of theatrical performances, mostly musicals. To play in the numerous theaters of Broadway, the dream of any artist. There Chaliapin sang, conducted by Tchaikovsky, played Rachmaninoff and many other cult personalities.
In every theater, almost any day sold out. Although the price of tickets is not at all small, you should definitely visit one of the musicals. You can talk about Broadway and its attractions for hours, although it is not for nothing they say, it is better to see once than hear a hundred times. When visiting New York, not to visit Broadway, this is a kind of crime.
Meaning of the word broadway
The structure of the street is unique. It is not a straight line, unlike classical roads, but a curving line across, starting in the south of Eastwood from Bowling Green Park and crossing the island diagonally. In the literal sense, translated from English, the word broadway means "wide road". The path was laid by the Indians from south to north of the island before Columbus discovered America itself.
Since then, even the clearly planned architectural development of the most prestigious area of the most beautiful city in the world, New York, has not been able to change the outlines of the street. The traffic on Broadway is one-way, in some places the road bends and has a wavy relief. On both sides of the street are shopping and business centers, entertainment venues, amusement parks and, of course, theaters, in which famous Broadway musicals are staged.
Musical World Center
For the world of theater and music, Broadway is the axis of cultural coordinates, and not just a place of permanent residence. Musicals staged here enjoy worldwide fame; almost all theaters in America are Broadway. Every evening on Broadway there are more than 30 performances simultaneously. Amazing colorful shows and a huge selection of musicals for every taste, the famous Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King.
The Metropolitan Opera and the Theater District are also located on the street of the same name, and this section of the street is particularly focused on the cultural population of New York.
Depending on the popularity, the show can go on for several years (“The Phantom of the Opera”) or quickly disappear (“Evita” with Ricky Martin). The most prestigious vernissages are held here, and the exhibitions that didn’t fall into this space are called “off-Broadway”.
What is Broadway?
This word has a lot of meanings, and almost all of them are associated with New York, Manhattan and America. For each person, this street - Broadway - the definition may have its own:
- The main street of American musicals.
- Great Star Trek.
- Musical Mecca in New York.
- Street entertainment.
- The wide white path.
- The great diagonal of Manhattan.
In Russian jargon, there is a concept that Broadway is a gathering place for offenders. You can spend hours talking about Manhattan and its famous street, but there is a saying in vain: it is better to see once than hear a hundred times.
One act can be considered an offense: to be in New York and not to visit Broadway. New York is fully revealed here. By the way, often in Russian cities the so-called central street.
You should not set yourself the main goal - as soon as possible to go all the way to find out what Broadway is. There is a lot of interesting things here, and you need to move with pleasure, getting to such iconic sights as Times Square - the square on which the head office of the legendary New York Times newspaper is located.
Here is Columbus Square and Central Park. In the world, no city could not afford something like Central Park. This is a huge green rectangular territory in the very center of the island, which is pride and luxury unprecedented for a modern metropolis, which New York has thanks to the active position of the townspeople who opposed the development of the center.
In the jargon understanding, there is a different meaning of the word "Broadway" - "straight from the ace." For example, playing cards, participants say: "Yesterday, Sanka had a broadway three times in a row." In Russian, the word has also taken root as a synonym for the term "promenade".
Broadway is a symbol of the entertainment industry
New York Broadway is included in the list of must-see places for tourists to visit and enjoys great love among native people and guests. The street is especially admired in the dark, when it sparkles in neon light of signboards and highlights, billboards are given a solemn appearance. Most tourists believe that the American spirit of culture can be felt only by visiting the island of Manhattan skyscrapers.
In 1880, Manhattan Broadway became one of America's first streets lit by electricity. Today it is a bright, sparkling 24 hours a day and noisy street that never sleeps. This is a huge number of stores in which all the world’s and little-known brands, restaurants, cafes and much more are represented.
The name "wide road" (Dutch: Breede weg) the street received from the Governor of the New Netherlands, Peter Minojt. After the transfer of the New Netherlands to England in 1667, it was literally translated into English and turned into Broadway.
In fact, there are four Broadway streets in New York: streets of the same name are located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. However, it was Manhattan Broadway that gained the greatest fame.