The Civic Center neighborhood is the beating heart of New York City government: City Hall, the NYC Department of Education, and the New York State Supreme Courthouse are just some of the institutions located here. This lower Manhattan neighborhood has traditionally been an afterthought for New Yorkers, but in recent years new development and affordable (for NYC) housing has attracted new residents.
This is not quite a vibrant neighborhood yet, but you can quickly walk to Tribeca or Chinatown, and thanks to the 15 subway lines that come through here you can easily get most anywhere else in the city.
What the neighborhood lacks in shopping, dining, and nightlife it makes up for with history. City Hall Park, now a popular spot for workers to eat lunch outdoors, once hosted important speeches and rallies during the American Revolution and protests during the Great Depression. The African Burial Ground National Monument marks what is believed to be the earliest cemetery for blacks, most of whom were slaves at the time. Scholars estimate up to 15,000 African Americans are buried here. Additionally, many of the newspaper companies that helped shape the city were originally based here.
Wall Street: 1 mile / 5-15 minutes by car / 10 minutes by transit / 15 minutes walking
Rockefeller Center: 3.5 miles / 15-40 minutes by car / 20-30 minutes by transit
Jersey City: 7 miles / 20-35 minutes by car / 25-30 minutes by transit