Photo by myself, somewhere downtown.
'Downtown' has long been associated with the cooler, hipper types.
For piercings, tattoos, hookahs and other transgressive items, one usually goes 'downtown'. Poetry slams are located downtown. So are social protests.
'Uptown' has traditionally been associated with the prim and proper. The older museums are located uptown. Park Avenue is located uptown (the street becomes Union Square East at 14th Street). These are generalities, of course.
Related posts: Neon Storefronts, Midtown, Outside Radio City Music Hall, on Sixth Avenue, and Twinkly Lights, at the Breslin.