Second to the subway for most of us (save messengers and Olympians), bicycling affords the quickest transit around Manhattan. We have seen people leaving black tie affairs at the Plaza and the Waldorf on bike, and we dodge (and sometimes join) masses of bikers in Central Park. We have also seen plenty of bike accidents. With caution we recommend bicycling in and around Manhattan to the visitor. For the die-hard, a helmet and a horn, bell, or whistle are a must. Plan your route in advance, and be alert for opening car doors and swerving cars. Heed my grandfather's three favorite adages: "easy does it", "better safe than sorry", and "not all the nuts are in the nuthouse."
Geographically, "Lower Manhattan" encompasses everything south of Midtown. We use this term, for simplicity's sake, to include the southern tip of the island from Battery Park City, the Financial District, and the South Street Seaport. Coming north on the west side are Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, and the Garment District. On the east side are Chinatown, Noho or NoLita, Union Square, the Flatiron, Gramercy, and Murray Hill. Each neighborhood is a world unto itself--so explore them further here and on foot.