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Things are looking up for Lower Manhattan

Downtown Pride

I’ll take the good with the bad.
I was dealt insomnia and ADD but I was also blessed with green eyes, a fast metabolism and a memory that allows me to vividly recall most of my life.

Reflections across from the pools of hope

Reflections across from the pools of hope

I can hardly comprehend that ten years have past since the day New York was forever changed on September 11th 2001.

At the time, I was working at a public relations and consulting firm for restaurants and top chefs, and our offices were located in the flatiron building.

We were going about our morning routine. Reading our assigned publications over coffee in the mustard-yellow conference room as the first plane hit.

Simultaneously numb while unable to stand still, my co-workers and I huddled around one TV grasping for any information we could consume.

Besides the sky’s baby blue hues illuminating that morning the city was buzzing from fashion week, the US Open, and September’s influx of restaurant launches.

Instantly the city’s electric energy transformed into fear and paranoia.

But as I mentioned earlier, we must take the good with the bad…

The Rebirth

“I have never, and will never be as proud to be a New Yorker as on 9.11.2001

It is impossible to forget the comradery, teamwork, and altruistic acts on that day and the months that followed.
While schools of people fled uptown, the fumes continued to rise downtown.
Citizens opened their homes to strangers, young were helping the old, and the homeless were directing traffic. It was a completely unified society.

Rebirth of Lower Manhattan
The last month, I have spent a significant amount of time observing and exploring Battery Park and the Financial District. Like many New Yorkers I have not traveled to lower Manhattan enough and I am not referring to Tribeca or Soho.

I am enamored by the tip of our city…its unabashed beauty, rich history, and immeasurable cohesiveness.

If Central Park is the city’s lungs then Battery Park is its front yard…

The Historic Park dates back to the earliest days of the settlement of New Amsterdam.

Today it is home to and urban farm, countless monuments and installations including “The Sphere” on loan from the original World Trade Center pavilion


“Battery Labyrinth”  a walking path outlined with 1148 granite blocks that forms seven circular rings. The park’s guests are encouraged to walk, reflect, and heal.

Planted under the direction of a renowned landscape architect the parks conservancy offers a guide book “gardens of rembrance “ for those interested in learning more about the world class trees, plantings and perennials many of them native on display throughout the park.

After leaving the Battery one of the oldest open public spaces still in use in NYC, I  headed north to the youngest… Battery Park City…

Built from landfill excavated from construction of the original World Trade Centers.  Battery Park City is truly an urban oasis for those seeking respite from the noise, crowds and commotion that is Lower Manhattan during the day.

At its Southern Cove the park is landscaped to the hilt with serene coastal sections of natural trees and areas of rocks overlooking a wooden marina lining a small harbor inlet.


Heading out of the cove under large shade trees the pavered Esplanade stretches north along the Hudson. With its soothing breezes and rows of benches it is the perfect midday escape.

The Northern Corridor of BPC was the most heavily damaged neighborhood during the attacks. The rebuilding effort is a testament the city’s commitment to renewal. It is truly a man-made wonderment complete with Koi ponds and even its own Irish Hillside containing stones from all 32 counties of Ireland.

Koi Pond in Battery Park City


Irish Hunger Memorial

The W Hotel and Residences located at Albany and Washington Streets adjacent to ground zero represents a significant commitment to the future of Lower Manhattan.

The Hotels signature Living Room Bar and Terrace offers dramatic vistas of the new 1 World Trade and Memorial Pools.  An illuminated canopy umbrellas the immaculate space.  The cocktail menu was developed by Charlotte Voisey of Rose Bar.

Many of the classic Art Deco and Limestone masterpieces that formerly housed America’s great financial institutions are being converted to luxury residences.

The Collection at 20 Pine has repurposed a historic Chase Manhattan headquarters into a luxury residential building in the heart of the Financial District.

In addition, to  an Armani designed interior, the palatial 20 Pine offers its residences a plethora of first class amenities. Descending the elegant limestone staircase into the former banks  vault, complete with safe room doors.  I was able to view its magnificent indoor pool as well as the steam room, gym and billiards parlor.


Ironically, I helped orchestrate the 20 Pine launch party back in 2006 when I was working at Serena Bass Catering.


I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Debroh Demaria of Warburg Properties and a Director of Marketing at 20 Pine to discuss the building and neighborhoods future.

Deb gave me an insight of what it is like to live and work in the area during the rebirth.

“I have moved eleven times in Manhattan and down here feels like your own special secret. Everyone is essentially new to area so we all share our little finds, people are so friendly. This is a real emerging neighborhood.”

She is a superstar even adding in a grand tour of the impressive Duane Reade Up Market, where sushi chefs roll and chandelier’s hang in blow out rooms which rest between the old 40 Wall bank limestone.

Up Market

You will be seeing more of Deb in the next Tastemaker.

There are many fine eateries available in the financial district. Cipriani, Delmonico’s and Harry’s Bar to name a few. However, one of the most unique Al fresco dining options in the city is Stone Street.  The Cobblestone is lined with picnic tables and family style seating is the rule. From Seafood to Mexican there is something for everyone in this tucked away little gem.

What is so special about the “bow” of the Big Apple is its constant strength and transformation, melding old with new. Its earnest focus on rebuilding what was lost while celebrating what is to come.

I salute this unique nook of New York City and all of its angels and heroes who we lost.

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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