(CNN) -- Last week, we offered a quick tour of New York's downtown neighborhoods. Following is a peek at the rest of the city. Next week we'll supply a few different itineraries to help get your planning started.
The Empire State Building is a commanding presence on the Midtown skyline.
This is the epicenter of Manhattan skyscrapers, where the Chrysler building shines down and the Empire State Building spikes up, and many others try to grab their slice of the sky in between.
Midtown has wide, organized avenues with yellow taxis whizzing by, it has the neon lights of Broadway, Rockefeller Center, designer shops on Fifth Avenue and discount shops of the Garment District. Here Little Korea pokes into Little Brazil, the Knicks play basketball and Grand Central Station enthralls guests with its starry ceiling.
While it may not be as green in Midtown with all that concrete, visitors have the sense that this is the part of town where anything is possible. Media moguls, supermodels, hard-working New Yorkers and theater fanatics all collide here, making it the heart of the city both metaphorically and geographically.
Upper East Side
Running the span of Central Park's east side, much of the Upper East Side is the upper crust, tidy neighborhood full of mansions and Park Avenue residences associated with names such as the Kennedys, Vanderbilts, and the Whitneys.
Thanks to all those names, the area also hosts some of the best museums in the world along its Museum Mile: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum are just a few.
With easy access to Central Park, many more museums and shops, the area never disappoints those with a cultural agenda.
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is the backdrop of many films with its famous Dakota building (where John Lennon lived) and the San Remo two-towered building which dozens of celebs have called home.
Also blessed with views of Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History, many of New York's artists, journalists and well-educated live here, giving the neighborhood a more unconventional vibe compared to the Upper East Side.
The Lincoln Center is full of music, opera, ballet and culture, while further north academics mingle around Columbia University. The Upper West Side is also home to the still unfinished Cathedral of St John the Divine, one of world's largest cathedrals.
North of Central Park, Harlem has been the center of black culture for nearly 100 years. Some of the best music, art and dance have originated here. Set up originally as a rural retreat from the city, the neighborhood evolved then into a series of (now) beautiful brownstones as immigrants found their way.
Plenty of social troubles in the decades from the 1960s on have left Harlem's image tainted, but the area has been undergoing a fast gentrification over the past decade. Come here for gospel music or jazz with Sunday brunch.
Manhattan's contiguous four boroughs each have their own distinct personality.
Brooklyn has its own attitude, a flourishing art and music scene and some of the prettiest parks in the city. Though Queens is often considered the less alluring northern neighbor, it has its own ethnic communities with some fine food. Its also home to JFK and La Guardia airports.
Staten Island has a few treasures, time permitting, and the ferry which goes to Manhattan holds splendid views back and forth. To the north is the Bronx, home to the New York Yankees, and the best zoo and botanical gardens in the city. E-mail to a friend
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