I recently went with a friend to explore Lower Manhattan. Like most neighborhoods in the city, if you don’t visit often, you will be amazed by the amount of new construction and gentrification.
Since September 11, 2001, the tip of Manhattan has evolved from a business district into a bustling neighborhood filled with residential buildings, retail stores, parks, schools and restaurants.
Our first stop, South Street Seaport, is a case in point. The area is filled with charming stores, and pop of restaurant kiosks that are a food-lover’s paradise. I learned that further development plans for the area are to create lush open spaces, a rooftop venue and a retail environment with premier fashion brands and restaurants. The now closed Fulton Market will be reopened as a world-class market.
South Street Seaport
The Brooklyn Bridge from the Seaport
View of the Freedom Tower
We then strolled over toward the World Trade Center site. As we approached this sacred place, we were greeted by Daniel Libeskind’s Freedom Tower and Santiago Calavatra’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The Hub was designed to evoke a bird taking flight. It has been controversial mostly because of its very high price. I think it is beautiful and very respectful of the September 11 Memorial.
World Trade Center Freedom Tower and Transportation Hub
The marble walk way of Calavatra’s Transportation hub
Sunk beneath the structure that bursts from the ground at Church and Fulton Streets is a sunlit marble hall. It is larger and taller than Grand Central’s main concourse. “I was trying to do something very light and atmospheric,” Calavatra said, “where the sky and the firmament is real.”
A view to Ellis Island from Battery Park
The walkway in Battery Park with fabulous views of the Hudson
Beautiful green spaces in Battery Park, perfect to sit and read a book
Battery Park lawn
If you have not been to the tip of Manhattan recently, it is well-worth a visit. Not only is it filled with the early history of New York City, but in the 14 years since the tragic and unforgettable events of September 11, it has been transformed into a bustling and vibrant neighborhood, full of life and promise.