I’ve been so eager to explore the different neighborhoods of New York, and blog about them, that I’ve neglected the beautiful downtown area in which I live, historically the first part of New York City and still one of the most interesting.
From our window, I can see One World Trade Center, and sometimes it feels surreal after the horrible terror that happened 15 years ago that has changed the world in so many ways.
Since we moved here in 2012, there has been construction going on at the new World Trade Center and the area surrounding it. The work is ongoing, but 9/11 Memorial, the Museum and One World Trade Center are up and running, companies have moved in and the area is busy again. I’m told it is even busier than it was before 9/11.
Across the highway from One World Trade Center you find the World Financial Center, an office center housing various companies including American Express, Merrill Lynch and Time Inc. There is a mall on the first two floors called Brookfield Place, which houses many high-end stores, like Gucci, Burberry and Hermès. We rely on J. Crew for our family and the store within Brookfield Place is a showcase store for them, receiving items before the other stores and even unique items that the other stores don’t receive.
The centerpiece of Brookfield Place is the Winter Garden Atrium, a 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion that was almost destroyed on 9/11 but was ceremoniously reopened on September 11, 2002.
In 2014, an upscale food court, Hudson Eats, opened, as well as Le District, which is much like a French version of Eataly. A huge variety of food is on offer and for lunch the food court is packed with people. I often go there for a salad or soup at Olives for lunch, but it’s also very convenient taking the whole family in the evening when you need an easy dinner, as all wishes can be fulfilled — you can choose between the different food places and bring it to the tables and enjoy it together.
Tartinery on the south side is a great place to sit. In the morning the sun comes in from the big windows and it’s a good spot for meetings and in the evenings it’s nice to hang out and have a glass of wine during their 5–7 happy hours. They also make a very nice smashed avocado toast.
Overlooking the Hudson River, Brookfield Place is also a perfect spot to pick up food in the warmer months and enjoy the marina outside at the terrace.
Beneath the highway there is an underground passageway linking Brookfield Place to One WTC and the WTC Transportation Hub. This was designed by Santiago Calatrava, the same Spanish architect that designed the station itself with its amazing Oculus. This tunnel is very beautiful in its own right and I believe it will eventually be considered an attraction of its own.
Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey St., New York, NY 10281
Le District, 225 Brookfield Place, New York, NY 10281
Hudson Eats, Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey St., New York, NY 10080
World Trade Center, Liberty St. & Church St., New York, NY 10006