I was just listening to the song “Downtown” which was a huge Billboard hit for singer Petula Clark in 1964. It’s a great song, listing to a plethora of advantageous reasons to go downtown, to make life better. Most major metropolitan areas in North America have a section designated as Downtown. This would be the hub of the city, where one would find most of the businesses, entertainment, and at least one railroad station. Petula Clark and the composer of the song, Anthony Hatch are from England. In the U.K. the term city center is used rather than downtown. The term is primarily used in North America. My introduction to Downtown had a more literal meaning. I grew up in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City in my early years, before moving to Long Island As far as I know, although I may be wrong, Manhattan is the only cosmopolis area where you literally go downtown or uptown in reference to where you are. Most of the streets are numbered, going from 1st street to 220th street, or 228th street if you include Marble Hill. This was very simple for a young lad such as myself. If I wanted to go downtown, I boarded a subway going in the direction of descending numbers. When the numbers ended, and street names began, I knew I was still going downtown. The low-numbered streets 14th and below, and named streets below 1st street, are considered lower Manhattan. That makes perfect sense. Those streets are in lower Manhattan. It has been posited by some people that the term "downtown" was coined on the island of Manhattan. It has been suggested that when people settled in lower Manhatten during the 1800s, there was no place to go but up. Hence, people started saying "uptown".
NEXT STOP BROOKLYN
If you stay on the subway at the end of Manhattan you wind up in Brooklyn. I worked at the site of Macy’s Department store in Brooklyn, way back in the day. The location was Fulton and Hoyt or 422 Fulton St, Brooklyn N.Y to be exact. It was Abraham & Strauss then or A&S. I was a salesman on the top floor in the toy department. Wow! What a madhouse it was during the Christmas Holidays. I digress. I traveled by train on the Long Island Railroad from my home in Long last to the Atlantic Terminal Railroad Station a few blocks from A&S. This area is called downtown Brooklyn. In contrast to Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn fellows the concept of being a designated area.
BACK TO MANHATTAN
When looking up" downtown" for the major cities in the United States, Downtown Brooklyn is named for New York City. A downtown area is not named. for Manhattan, in New York City. Midtown Manhattan and Financial District are named. The Financial District is in lower MANHATTAN. Midtown Manhattan is a very large section of the borough, where one would find The Broadway Way theater district, The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, Grand Central and Pennsylvania [Penn] Railroad Stations, The U.N., and what was known as The R.C.A building. in Rockefeller Center, at the time. I actually left A&S in Brooklyn and took a job with a major Oil company in the R.C.A. Building. The location was beyond excellent. It was a 35-hour workweek, as opposed to the usual 40-hour workweek. I got off work at 4:45 PM. If I wanted to see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, on the ground level, I had fifteen minutes to get the elevator down, just before the prices changed at 5:00 PM. Broadway was one block to the west. If I wanted to see a play, I just had dinner, and killed time before the 8:00 curtain. If I was taking a Date to a play. I always chose Sardi's as our place to dine, before curtain rise. That was my last job anywhere in the state of New York. I left that job to move to Los Angeles, where I still reside. Downtown LA. is complicated. It seems to be all over the city. I'll save that for next time.