Tribeca Banks of Hudson River and Freedom Tower
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A Neighborhood Guide to Living Like a Local in Tribeca, New York City

Once an industrial part of the city, Tribeca transformed into something of an artists’ colony in the 1970s, and today it has developed into a vibrant community with the dazzling One World Trade Center at its heart

Originally written out as TriBeCa—a syllabic abbreviation of Triangle Below Canal Street—Tribeca forms a trapezoid shape on the New York City map, typically bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and Chambers Street, although the southern border is gradually expanding to include more streets. Famed for the Tribeca Film Festival, which launched in 2002 and showcases a diverse selection of independent films, this pocket neighborhood draws in visitors and locals alike, with its trendy bars, restaurants, and boundary-pushing museums.

Memorial Plaza Tribeca
Memorial Plaza, Tribeca, features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Image: Joe Woolhead. Banner image of Tribeca waterside: Getty Images

At the close of Q1 2019, the neighborhood once again emerged as New York City’s most expensive district. Calculated by PropertyShark to have a median sale price of $4.43 million, the one-time industrial area is now defined by its thriving arts scene and loft-style apartments.

Herbert Chou, Real Estate Broker at Christie’s International Real Estate, comments that, “Home of the ginormous loft apartments, Tribeca still lures the artistic class but, unlike the 1970s, most of the artists now are rich and famous. One can bump into multiple A-list celebrities strolling down the streets any time of the day from Ribert De Niro to Taylor Swift. Cobblestone streets line many parts of the neighborhood along with industrial buildings from centuries past. Tribeca is one of the historical neighborhoods on Manhattan still able to maintain its purity.”

Tribeca’s rise can be attributed in part to the increased availability of property, since a number of major financial institutions chose to relocate uptown after 9/11, resulting in a three-fold increase in Lower Manhattan’s residential population, and paving the way for creative industries and start-ups, including Condé Nast, Time Inc., HarperCollins, and Spotify, all of whom made the outskirts of Tribeca their new home.

New Horizons
Despite being one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, Tribeca contains some of its newest and tallest buildings, One World Trade Center being one of the latter. Designed by architectural studio SOM, the skyscraper appears to change shape—from one angle reminiscent of the twin towers structure it replaced, and the other an obelisk recalling the Washington Monument. Fitting seamlessly into the northwest corner of the World Trade Center site, which has been built on reclaimed land from the Hudson River, One World Trade Center forms part of more than 10 million square feet (929,030 sq m) of commercial development that includes a performing arts center, luxury shopping center, transportation hub, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Tribeca New York City
Local residents stroll in the upscale, downtown neighborhood of Tribeca, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City. Image: Alamy

Westfield World Trade Center, known for its magnificent Oculus by acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava, has a massive 365,000 square feet (33,910 sq m) of retail space. Completed in February 2016, the structure’s organic form serves both as a physical connector for underground trains and, according to Calatrava, functions as “a symbol of the camaraderie of the American people.”

Gastronomic Delights
Testament to the property boom is 30 Park Place, in which Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown occupies the lower 22 floors out of 82. At 926 foot (282 m), this landmark establishment is one of the tallest buildings in New York City, and a beacon of culinary delights. Executive chef Shaun Acosta’s novel approach sees a new experiential form of room service dining that pioneers restaurant-quality service in-room for hotel guests. “Dining in should be a choice not a necessity,” says Acosta. “It should be an experience you look forward to that touches all your senses, just as it does when you dine in a restaurant.”

Also within Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is Cut by Wolfgang Puck—a celebrated outpost of his original high-end steakhouse and Puck’s first Manhattan restaurant, with views over the bustling streets below.

CUT bar Tribeca
Accessed via its own entrance at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Cut’s New York steakhouse restaurant is acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck's first Manhattan outing. Image: Christian Horan

The Odeon, once a 1980s retro haven frequented by the likes of artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and actors such as Robert De Niro and John Belushi, is today a lively French-American bistro located in the heart of Tribeca. In the warmer months, however, head to Grand Banks on the Hudson River waterfront, an oyster bar situated on a historic wooden schooner anchored at Pier 25.

Grand Banks Tribeca
Tribeca's Grand Banks is a celebrated oyster bar aboard a historic wooden schooner named Sherman Zwicker. Image: Alan Silverman

Located along one of the few alleys left in Downtown Manhattan, the revered Chicago burger destination Au Cheval opened a speakeasy-style restaurant in March 2019. If you’re not prepared to wait, however, then hot step it over to Little Park housed within AKA Tribeca, the group’s first pure hotel offering. A seasonally inspired restaurant by award-winning chef and owner Andrew Carmellini makes good use of seasonal, sustainably sourced ingredients, while high-end cocktails are served at the lounge by mixologist Anne Robinson.

Au Cheval Tribeca
Located on Cortlandt Alley, the atmospheric Au Cheval restaurant serves a high-end take on burgers and traditional diner food.

Fitness Fans
New Yorkers love to keep fit, and there’s plenty to keep you active in Tribeca. Take a detour to Pier 26 on the Hudson River to partake in some seasonal kayaking or a scenic run, and for those who prefer to sweat it out on the mat, Y7 Yoga, a hip-hop hot yoga studio with a cult following (Meghan Markle was reportedly a fan before royal life took over), opened at 57 Leonard Street last year. The studio’s signature sweat-dripping, beat-bumping candlelit yoga has become an instant hit with locals.

When looking for a place to take a break from the hustle and bustle, Thomas Paine Park is a landmark urban space encompassing Foley Square, several historical monuments, and a year-round farmers’ market. Back in the 19th century it formed part of the most notorious slums in the country: Five Points, a community of predominantly Irish immigrants made famous by Martin Scorsese’s film Gangs of New York.

Tribeca Thomas Paine Park
A view of Thomas Paine Park and the United States Courthouse in the Tribeca neighborhood. Image: Getty Images

On the opposite side of the neighborhood sits Washington Market Park, next to the Tribeca Greenmarket, while a few blocks north is Albert Capsouto Park. This triangular-shaped pocket of green was established in memory of its namesake, a pioneer in the post-9/11 revitalization of the Tribeca community. Today, it forms part of the city’s efforts to create and refurbish green spaces.

Retail Therapy and the Arts
Tribeca boasts no less than 80 spaces dedicated to the arts. Just a stone’s throw from the National September 11 Memorial lie a plethora of large-scale sculpture and public art, including works by Jean Dubuffet, Jeff Koons, and Isamu Noguchi. For a more immersive experience, the Tribeca Art+Culture Night is a downtown arts festival that takes place in more than 25 diverse Lower Manhattan venues. Founded and curated by Jennifer Famery-Mariani, the event has featured more than 1,000 artists, 180 exhibitions, and 80 special events since its inception in 2016.

One World Trade Centre Tribeca
A view of the cityscape of Lower Manhattan, Tribeca, and skyline featuring One World Trade Centre. Image: Getty Images

The Drawing Center, just a block north from Canal Street, is, as the name suggests, dedicated to drawing. Founded by the late Martha Beck, former assistant curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, it offers world-class exhibitions showcasing both emerging and historical artists. The Bortolami Gallery (recently relocated from Chelsea) exhibits European and American contemporary artists, while Dream House provides an experimental space combining sound and light installation by composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela.

Drawing Center Tribeca
The Drawing Center is a museum dedicated to the medium of drawing, which holds exhibitions as well as a diverse program of events and workshops.

Tribeca’s chic, boutique-lined streets are perfect for a spot of retail therapy. The latest newcomer to the Tribeca tribe of independents is LoLa TriBeCa, purveyor of international jewelry, while The Mysterious Bookshop on Warren Street is the place to go for rare and collectible crime and suspense titles. The Shinola flagship at 177 Franklin Street hosts an avant-garde interior that perfectly complements its collection of watches, bicycles, leather goods, and carefully curated gift items.

From gastronomic highs to subversive arts, Tribeca is a neighborhood that connects New York heritage with new horizons—and everything else in between.