Manhattan is one of the five 'boroughs that form the City of New York, coterminous with New York County. It consists mainly of a small island between the Hudson River to the west, the East River to the east, and the Harlem River to the northeast, connected by bridges and tunnels to New Jersey (west), the Bronx (northeast) and Brooklyn and Queens on Long Island (east and south). In addition to the island of Manhattan, the borough includes a few much smaller islands, notably Roosevelt Island, and a small piece of the mainland (Marble Hill), which is geographically part of the Bronx but legally belongs to Manhattan.
This area was originally part of Manhattan Island; a canal was dug in the late 19th century separating it from the remainder of Manhattan, to improve navigation on the Harlem River, and eventually the part of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from the Bronx was filled in.
The Empire State Building, the theater district around Broadway, Columbia University, the financial center around Wall Street, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Harlem, the American Museum of Natural History, Chinatown, and Central Park are all located on this densely populated island. Manhattan is 21.5 km long and has an area of 59 km².
The name of the island is from the Algonquian languages of the earliest known inhabitants of the area. The island was settled by the Dutch in 1624 (see New Amsterdam). Also see New York, New York.
As with all large cities, Manhattan consists of many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character.
The following is a partial list (in alphabetical order):
Battery Park City
Harlem (includes East Harlem, Harlem, Spanish Harlem)
Lower East Side
Upper East Side and Upper West Side