The differences quickly become noticeable with each New York City neighborhood. The differences between Murray Hill and TriBeCa are quite apparent simply by the people who call each area home. If these neighborhoods could be simplified into a single representative, they would probably look something like this:
The East Village: The East Village is a young, college educated (most likely NYU but not limited to) professional. They enjoy long strolls through Washington Square Park and have an explainable distaste for anything above 14th Street. Their parents have money and they are not afraid to spend it on overpriced drinks in Meatpacking, the latest Rag and Bone ensemble, or possibly an Uber when they are running late to class/work. They live in a shared, walk-up apartment that is too expensive for both the quality of said apartment, and for their own budget, but daddy is helping foot the bill for another few years so who cares.
Murray Hill: Murray Hill is also a young college educated professional, however there the age increases in this neighborhood by about five years or so. For a tourist, it would appear difficult to distinguish a Murray Hill "bro" from an East Village "bro," but "we" can tell. If Murray Hill were a person, they would most likely work in finance and/or have a degree from one of the following schools: Michigan, Indiana, Miami (in Ohio or Florida), Penn State, or possibly Cornell. They love endless drunk brunches with their girlfriends, wearing sweats, college football jerseys and find immense amounts of joy participating in events such as Santa-Con and of course St. Patrick's Day.
West Village: The West Village is a beautiful older (compared to the rest of downtown) couple who lives in a small, but unbelievably charming brownstone. They have lived in the city for many years and can still remember the days when Washington Square was a drug riddled playground rather than the tourist trap and college campus it has become today. They are a well traveled couple, who opted for a French bulldog rather than a child. Their hobbies include dinner parties, Barry's Bootcamp/SoulCycle and remodeling their kitchen.
Lower East Side: This resident is young, probably still attending NYU and dresses in ten different shades of black. They are creative, hate the thought of even thinking about midtown and are bitter about the $13.75 pack of cigarettes they bought last night outside of Fat Baby. They make sure to let everyone know how much they love living downtown almost as much as they clear up the fact that they live on the Lower East Side and not in Chinatown. There is a difference. They do not get along with the Murray Hill crowd, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when their neighborhood transforms into "Lower East Packing." They consider rich to mean having an apartment with a dishwasher.
TriBeCa: This Lululemon wearing, stroller pushing, prominent young woman enjoys having "made it" in New York City. Her husband works in finance while she balances her growing organic coffee company and her growing family. She LOVES Soul-Cycle, just like her West Village friends. She's on day twelve of her juice cleanse, leaving her irritable and very thin. Her children go to a great private school and are her pride and joy. She is a great mother. The parents are debating about moving to Connecticut and buying a house, or staying in the city and buying a dog. The thought of leaving New York is utterly terrifying, but slowly becoming a reality. They settle for a country house upstate.
Financial District: This New Yorker loves the views and amenities of their high-rise apartment, but hates the lack of nightlife, the rising price of rent and the overall lack of New York-ness their slowly developing neighborhood fails to provide. They are new to the city (less than two years) and have parents who insisted on them living in a building with a doorman. They are planning on moving uptown to Chelsea, Gramercy or Flatiron. Transportation is very important to them and they do brag about how accessible their neighborhood is while hating everything else.
Meatpacking: The only known resident of Meatpacking is Diane Von Furstenberg.
Chelsea: This upper 20-something is proud to call the hottest neighborhood in all of Manhattan their home. They either come from a wealthy family who is subsidizing their apartment, or work in finance/consulting because those are pretty much the only two industries that can actually afford a lifestyle here. They also travel extensively for work and are rarely home. They need a full service building to care for everything from dog-walking to dry cleaning. Their hobbies include online shopping, brunching and people watching at their local coffee shop.