Broadway is one of the most important streets in Manhattan. One of the few major arteries to break the borough's street grid, it runs diagonally from the southern tip of the island at Battery Park to the northern tip near Columbia's athletic center at Baker Field. Along the way, it passes through SoHo and creates several awkward intersections with Manhattan's rectilinear grid of streets and avenues, resulting in Union Square, Herald Square, Times Square, and Columbus Circle.
It also serves as the primary commercial thoroughfare in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, near Columbia's main campus, borders the eastern edge of Columbia's future Manhattanville campus, and passes the Columbia University Medical Center in Washington Heights as well.
In Morningside Heights, Broadway is a wide street of over six lanes. A leafy median between the north and southbound sections of the street is filled with trees and benches. Many stores and restaurants frequented by Columbia students line this street. North of the commercial section of the street, Broadway serves as a physical and symbolic dividing line between Columbia and Barnard College, and referencing one or the other as "across" or "on that side of" the street is common.
The name Broadway is an English translation of the original Dutch name, Breede weg.
The Hallelujah Man patrols Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.