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47th Street (Manhattan)

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47th Street (Manhattan)

Former design of all-caps street sign of 47th Street with New York City logo; newer signs retain the logo but are lowercase.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, the east end of 47th

47th Street is an east-west running street between First Avenue and the West Side Highway in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs one way along the street, from east to west, starting at the United Nations Headquarters. The street features the Diamond District in a single block and also courses through Times Square.

Notable locations

47th Street and 7th Avenue at Times Square
Sidewalk Diamond District dealers

Diamond District

View of the Diamond District at 47th Street and 5th Avenue.

The Diamond District is between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The district was created when dealers moved north from an earlier district near Canal Street and the Bowery that was created in the 1920s, and from a second district located in the Financial District, near the intersection of Fulton and Nassau Streets, which started in 1931, and also at Maiden Lane, which had existed since the 18th century. The move uptown started in 1941. The district grew in importance when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, forcing thousands of Orthodox Jews in the diamond business to flee Antwerp and Amsterdam and settle in New York City. Most of them remained after World War II, and remain a dominant influence in the Diamond District.[2] A notable, long-time anomaly of the district was the famous Gotham Book Mart, a bookstore, which was located at 41 West 47th Street from 1946 to 2004.

The area is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry (along with London — rough stones; the Antwerp diamond district in Belgium — historical but waning; Mumbai, India — increasing in significance; Diamond Exchange District, Ramat Gan, Israel — also growing; and Johannesburg, South Africa — the major historical source), as well as the premier center for jewelry shopping in the city. Total receipts for the value of a single day's trade on the block average $400 million.[3] An estimated 90% of diamonds in the United States enter through New York. There are 2,600 independent businesses located in the district, nearly all of them dealing in diamonds or jewelry. Most are located in booths at one of the 25 "exchanges" in the district, and in a public corridor to 46th Street.

Many deals are finalized by a simple, traditional blessing (mazel und brucha[2]) and handshake. The Diamond Dealers Club is an exclusive club that acts as a de facto diamond exchange and has its own synagogue. Retailers with shops line the streets outside. Above the bazaar is the Gemological Institute of America which trains gem dealers.

Transportation

The New York City Subway's 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center station on the IND Sixth Avenue Line offers service on the B D F M services. An underground concourse connects the station with the buildings of Rockefeller Center. The 49th Street station on the BMT Broadway Line offers service on the N Q R trains, and is accessible via a part-time booth at Seventh Avenue and 47th Street at the south end of the station.

Additionally, several New York City Bus routes running along north-south avenues stop near the street.

In popular culture

References

  1. ^ http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26423
  2. ^ a b Jackson, Kenneth T. The Encyclopedia of New York City, New York Historical Society; Yale University Press; 1995. p. 332.
  3. ^ WNBC-TV's Jane Hanson on her Jane's New York special on the Diamond District.
  4. ^ – About the FilmWest 47th Street, accessed December 12, 2006

External links

  • Diamond District
  • 47th Street: A New York Songline, virtual walking tour

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