At one time, this was New York.

Originally established by the Dutch in 1625 (hence the citys original name, Nieu Amsterdam), the first settlements sprung up on the southern tip of Manhattan island, and everything uptown was farm country and wilderness.
While all thats changed, this is still the best place in the city to search for the past.
Lower Manhattan constitutes everything south of Chambers Street.

South Street, one of the oldest New York City spots in the South Street Seaport. Cobblestone streets, old brick  buildings. It is a unique neighborhood with rich history.

South Street

Battery Park is the point of departure for the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Staten Island, is on the very south tip of the island.

Battery Park

The South Street Seaport, now touristy but still a reminder of times of when shipping was the lifeblood of the city, lies a bit north on the east coast; its just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, which stands proudly as the ultimate engineering achievement of New Yorks 19th-century Industrial Age.

The rest of the area is considered the Financial District.
Its anchored by the Wall Street - now a state of mind much grander than the actual narrow street itself running crosstown a little south and to the east.

City Hall is at the northern border of the district, abutting Chambers Street.
Most of the streets of this neighborhood are narrow concrete canyons, with Broadway serving as the main uptown-downtown artery.

Just about all of the major subway lines congregate here before they either end or head to Brooklyn (the Sixth Ave. B, D, F, Q line being the chief exception--it crosses into Brooklyn from the Lower East Side, over the Manhattan Bridge).

During the week this neighborhood is the heart of city politics, and the sidewalks are crowded with the business-suit set. The neighborhood still feels rather desolate after work and on the weekends, despite the fact that some office buildings have been redeveloped into high-end apartments. This may sound like the most romantic time to explore the area, but its actually more fun to be here at the height of the hustle and bustle, between 8am and 6pm on weekdays. Still, you might consider staying down here, especially if youre visiting on the weekend or during the holidays, when your dollars can go a lot further in the luxury hotels that business travelers have abandoned for home.