Enjoy the Renaissance of Lower Manhattan
Move over, Midtown! Lower Manhattan is the new neighborhood that tourists — and even locals — are flocking to see and experience. The neighborhood, defined as the area below Chambers Street from near the Hudson River to the Brooklyn Bridge, has experienced a rebirth in the years since the devastations from September 11th and Superstorm Sandy.
The opening of the Oculus transit hub in August 2016 and the opening of One World Trade Center and One World Observatory in May 2015 are just a few of the rejuvenated parts of town. New, upscale retail complexes (including Westfield/Brookfield Place), a renovated seaport, revitalized parks, shops, restaurants and bars have also made Lower Manhattan, the city’s oldest neighborhood, new again!
To make the most out of your visit to this newly dynamic neighborhood, be sure to check out my favorite spots off-the-beaten-path:
Church & Dey Streets
Kids and adults alike will delight in the SeaGlass Carousel located in Battery Park. Visitors ride on fish that appear to be made of sea glass. At night the fish seem to glow in the dark! Music adds to the magical mood the ride provides. Tickets are $5 and can be bought on site.
The neighborhood near Battery Park is also home to 13 public art statues. Stand under Jean Dubuffet’s “Group of Four Trees” in Chase Plaza; these enormous, abstract black-and-white trees will have you feeling like you’re standing in a child’s coloring book. In the summer, the plaza offers free movie nights – and yes – there’s popcorn! Then head around the corner to Zuccotti Park to up your Instagram game with a photo of Joie de Vivre by Mark di Suvero. Across the street you will see The Red Cube by Noguchi.
The Hamilton Graves
Fans of Broadway’s Hamilton will be interested in visiting Alexander and Eliza Hamilton’s graves at Trinity Church. Five of Hamilton’s children were baptized at Trinity Church at this site. The original church, first constructed in 1697, was burned down in 1776 and rebuilt in 1790, then demolished in 1839. The current church is the third constructed and is now a National Historic Landmark.
The Seaport District
In other parts of Manhattan, it’s easy to forget you’re on an island! But in this neighborhood, being so close to the water’s edge is part of its charm! The Seaport District (formerly known as the South Street Seaport) is home to the Titanic Memorial and to the South Street Seaport Museum (and ships!). This is also where you’ll find the popular street-vendor market, Smorgasburg, unique clothing shops and — opening in October 2016 — an iPic movie theater where guests can dine while watching a film.
Do you have other favorite spots in Lower Manhattan, or need more ideas for an upcoming trip? Tweet me @HiltonSuggests!