I’ve recently found myself in the triangle below canal street, also know as TriBeCa, over the last few weekends. There are certain neighborhoods that I am drawn to in any city. In London, you could find me in Notting Hill on any given day. In San Francisco, I would sip champagne in the Marina District on a Sunday afternoon. And in New York, it’s been a toss up between TriBeCa and Chelsea. Both neighborhoods contain so much hidden charm within the concrete walls of the city. Both also cost an arm and a leg. It’s obvious that I am not alone in my love for these areas of the city, as you will find locals swarming the best eateries and cafes each weekend.

If you’re in the mood to escape the typical tourist traps, I suggest venturing beyond Midtown. Sure, you should hit a few of the iconic activities that scream ‘New York City’ {for example, people watching at Grand Central Station, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting the Top of the Rock, strolling Central Park, and finding the best slice of pizza} but most of Midtown can be avoided {Times Square, Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, and Rockefeller Center}.

It only takes a day to explore all there is to see and do in TriBeCa, but I promise it will be worth your while. I decided to break down an afternoon spent in TriBeCa by the hour {okay so maybe not all twenty-four of them}, in the hopes that it will make it effortless for someone to hit all of the must-sees.

9:00 AM – Tiny’s

To start the morning, I suggest breakfast at Tiny’s, more formally known as Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs. Located at 135 West Broadway, this tiny {get it?} restaurant can be easy to miss. Placed between two tall, concrete monstrosities, Tiny’s pink exterior and quaint features make it a one of a kind in TriBeCa. You know me, I’m all about the charm. And there is no charm lacking in Tiny’s. I can recommend the New York Benedict, a true delight! I would also suggest making a reservation as this is a very popular spot amongst locals.

10:30 AM – Staple Street

After Breakfast, I suggest stretching your legs and finding out why TriBeCa has become the hotspot it is, local style. A three minute walk from Tiny’s lies the city’s shortest street. Sure, it’s a bit underwhelming in terms of activities to do in TriBeCa, but the surrounding area is absolutely gorgeous and deserves a bit of a wander. Staple Street is a great excuse to travel down back alleys and cobblestoned side streets, introducing an older, more historical version of New York City.

11:00 AM  – The Mysterious Bookshop

After walking down the shortest street in New York, make your way to to the most mysterious place in New York. Alright, so that may be an extreme form of exaggeration, but The Mysterious Bookshop is still worth a visit. Opened in 1979, The Mysterious Bookshop is the oldest bookshop in America specializing in mystery and detective novels. Nearly every book they have on the shelves is signed by the author {and we are talking about a lot of books, think Beauty and the Beast dream library}.

11:30 PM – 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The September 11 Memorial and Museum are two things that you may want to witness if you are ever visiting New York. For me personally, it connected me even closer to the city I currently call home. 9/11 occurred nearly 16 year ago, and yet it feels so recent when I think back to the devastating day in our country.

The memorial is tasteful and pays tribute to those who lost their lives in a way that makes you reflect, which is entirely the point. The museum tends to have a very strong and emotional impact on those that visit. After visiting a place like Auschwitz in Poland, I prepared myself emotionally before entering the museum, knowing that traumatic events in history can trigger many heart wrenching moments when looked back upon.

You can easily spend hours in the museum, and I suggest doing so in order to truly gain an understanding of the events that took place that day in September 16 years ago, ultimately changing our country, and the world forever.

2:30 PM – Little Park

Although you may have lost your appetite after experiencing the 9/11 museum {understandable}, it is still necessary to refuel. Very close to the museum and memorial lies Little Park. It’s a great place to sit down and regroup after an emotional afternoon. This restaurant serves decent portions for its expensive price point {we are talking $16 mimosas, people}, but the food is actually quite scrumptious. And the atmosphere makes the dining experience worth it. Hanging plants line the ceilings and white subway tile give it a vintage New York touch. Although I couldn’t enjoy them, the sandwiches looked out of this world and I highly recommend giving them a taste. Everything is organic and Little Park serves seasonal dishes for the main portion of their menu. Definitely check them out!

3:30 PM – Pier 25

By this time in the afternoon, it is time for some fresh air. For being an entire city built of concrete, you can surprisingly find your fair share of ‘nature’ and ‘open spaces’ if you are willing to be creative. For example, Central Park could basically be a field in the middle of nowhere if you turn a blind eye to the surrounding buildings. You have to get creative in the concrete jungle. After visiting Pier 25 for the first time a few weeks ago, I have since been back multiple times.

It’s the perfect escape that allows you to fully remove yourself from the city streets and step onto a floating oasis. Sure, the Hudson is not the most ideal in terms of bodies of water, but you get the salty air and cool breeze. I have taken my book and perched at the very far end of the Pier, closet to the water and the New Jersey skyline. It is a great way to wind down at the end of an afternoon, and looking back on the city never gets old. Or, if you are up for it, the Pier offers rounds of mini-golf and sandy volley ball courts.

5:00 PM – Maman

And finally, wrap up the day with a warm cup of coffee. Maman easily stole my heart when I first arrived in New York those few months ago {I know, months? whaaaat? already?}. I have visited both the SoHo and TriBeCa locations, and I have a hard time deciding which location I prefer. They are both saaaaa cute. The TriBeCa locations offer more room, and more light, as well as big blue couches to cozy into.

And there you have it, and afternoon in one of my favorite neighborhoods of New York City.

If you get the opportunity to carve out a free afternoon, I suggest dedicating it to a neighborhood like TriBeCa. There is so much more to this city than overpriced bagels, bright lights, and cheap entertainers in M&M costumes. Get off the beaten track and experience the city like a local.

In this case a very wealthy local, but a local nonetheless.



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