We call it the Greatest City in the World, or a Big Apple or Gotham City. It's energetic, fast, and very exciting.
Here are a few things to orient yourself in New York City.
New York is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. It's flanked by the Hudson River on the west, separating it from the state of New Jersey. On the south is New York harbor, on the east - Atlantic Ocean. Manhattan and Staten Island are islands surrounded by water, Brooklyn and Queens are a part of Long Island, and only the Bronx is attached to the mainland.
The Manhattan is the smallest boroughs, but it's central to the city's culture, finance, architecture and tourism. Manhattan is laid on the grid of streets running east and west and avenues going north and south. Fifth Avenue divides the island into east and west sides. As you move farther east or west from Fifth Avenue, street addresses increase, usually in increments of 100 from one block to the next. For north-south avenues, 20 blocks equals a mile, and the street numbers increase as you go uptown. Broadway crosses Manhattan roughly on a diagonal, zigzagging on its way. Unlike European cities, New York lacks traditional squares. Instead, our squares are the places where Avenues cross Broadway.