It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us. If you’re like many New Yorkers, the most festive attractions are in areas that you try to avoid at all costs (sorry, Times Square). So instead of dodging tourists all season, we propose reacquainting yourself with all the new happenings downtown.
First up: The Financial District. As a neighborhood, Wall Street is one of the oldest areas in the city, dating back to the early 18th century. Fast forward a few hundred years, and the district still retains its roots of finance and trade, but it’s undergoing somewhat of a transformation. With the renovation of the South Street Seaport along the East River in the past few years, real estate developers, retail giants and restaurants alike are flocking downtown to stake their territories.
Just last year, Westfield opened its newest shopping center at One World Trade. Not only does the mall boast top luxury retailers like Breitling, Dior and Roberto Coin & London Jewelers, but the architecture alone is something to revere. Designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, the impressive white steel and glass structure symbolizes a dove in flight. Beneath the looming “bones”, rests a shopper and foodie paradise, as well as one of New York City’s largest ground transportation hubs.
While the temperatures outside fall, we suggest spending an afternoon at the Oculus for some good old-fashioned retail therapy. If that tires you out, stop for a snack at Mario Batali’s legendary Eataly (the second location in Manhattan), and don’t forget to visit Roberto Coin’s boutique on the main floor to discover the newest collections for fall.
For a casual evening, get yourself back to ground level and head west towards the Hudson. Just outside of Brookfield place, find France’s answer to Eataly: Le District. If it isn’t too cold out, pick yourself up some saucisson, fromage, a fresh baguette and a bottle of Bordeaux and head outside onto the quay. Enjoy a leisurely meal al fresco under the twinkling sky.
If you want a taste of classic New York instead, just head a minute south across the plaza to P.J. Clarke’s. They arguably make one of the best burgers in the city. We suggest you start with some oysters on the half shell and a dirty martini. It makes the burgers and fries taste unexplainably better.
Other attractions to sample while downtown? For lovers of whimsy, saunter down to Battery Park and visit the Seaglass Carousel at The Battery Conservancy. For children and adults who are kids at heart, a ride on this aquatic ride feels like a scene from The Little Mermaid.
Don’t forget to take a ride to the top of One World Trade and take in 360-degree views of New York City. Located on the 100-102nd floors, the observatory will put this concrete jungle into perspective, and you will leave with a greater appreciation of this magnificent city.