Tribeca Visitor’s Guide
Why come here?
1. Because Tribeca is gorgeous, an amazing mix of old New York and industrial America. 2. Because it’s just north of the World Trade Center site, which you’re probably visiting anyway (and Century 21, too). 3. Because you keep hearing the name—thanks to Robert De Niro, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Subaru Tribeca, and/or Jay-Z—and you want to know what the actual place is like. One of the great joys of Tribeca is just wandering and admiring the streetscapes—wooden water towers, cobblestones, street art, loading docks, metal awnings, all of it.
Everyone agrees that the northern border of the Triangle Below Canal—the phrase from which Tribeca gets its name—is Canal Street. But the neighborhood is a fairly recent phenomenon, and its borders have spread. This site tends to consider it bordered by the Hudson River to the west, Broadway to the east, and Ground Zero to the south.
Before we get to recommendations:
••• I didn’t overdo the directions because I figured you could use Google to search for whatever you’re interested in.
••• West Broadway is a totally different street than Broadway. (And there’s also an East Broadway over in Chinatown.)
1. Staple Street. Possibly the coolest street in Manhattan, thanks to the bridge (see photo above). Also, the south end leads to….
2. Duane Park. Twenty-five years ago it was a dump, now it’s a gem.
3. The Ghostbusters firehouse (Ladder 8) at Varick and N. Moore Sts.
4. Hudson River Park between Laight and Canal Sts. The entire park is a treat, but the Tribeca section has a hilly boardwalk that, on a pretty day, is unsurpassable. Plus, you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. On Pier 25 (at N. Moore), there’s a mini golf course, a big playground, and a historical ship.
5. New York by Gehry. Frank Gehry’s rippled skyscraper (at 8 Spruce St.) isn’t in Tribeca, but you can see great views of it from Broadway and City Hall Park.
I encourage you to check out the Tribeca Citizen Restaurant Guide—the neighborhood has a lot of wonderful restaurants, but they’re scattered all over. You can search by cuisine, level of formality, and newness, as well as see them plotted on a map.
Tribeca is full of worthy shops (with relatively few chain stores), but here are ones that (a) sell stuff you might buy while on a trip, and/or (b) you can’t find everywhere….
••• Korin for Japanese knifes (they’ll ship).
••• There are many great kids’-clothing stores: Babesta, Torly Kid, Bit’z Kids, Shoofly, Koh’s Kids, Polarn O. Pyret…. Most sell toys, too.
••• Boomerang Toys for regular toys; Balloon Saloon for kitsch.
••• J. Crew Liquor Store, J. Crew’s Ludlow Shop, and Grown & Sewn for cool men’s clothes.
••• Steven Alan Annex for cool men’s and women’s clothes; Patron of the New for high fashion for women and men.
••• Nili Lotan, Otte, A Uno Tribeca, Christina Lehr, Petticoat Lane, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Haus Alkire, and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada for women’s clothes; Edon Manor for highest-end shoes.
••• Nirvana International for jewelry; Ted Muehling for jewelry and objets d’art.
••• Shinola for bikes, watches, leather goods, journals, and other American-made stuff.
••• Adeline Adeline for chic bike accessories.
••• Philip Williams Posters for every kind of vintage poster.
••• Home decor: Espasso (Brazilian), Abhaya (Asian antiques), Cristina Dos Santos, Oly, Steven Alan Home Shop, several shops on Duane Park for antiques, Stella for bedding and the like, Urban Archaeology for cool architectural detritus, Let There Be Neon for neon signs.
••• The Greenwich Hotel
••• Conrad New York (in Battery Park City)
••• Tribeca Grand
••• Duane Street Hotel
••• Sheraton Tribeca
••• Tribeca Blu Hotel
••• Cosmopolitan Hotel
••• Hilton Garden Inn
••• Canal Park Inn
••• There are also a few worthy hotels just north of Canal: The James, 60 Thompson, and Soho Grand.
If you do visit, send a note about what you thought to firstname.lastname@example.org.