NFT New York TriBeCa


Thinking of moving to TriBeCa? Well, then, congratulations--you've clearly made your first $10 million! And, if you already live there...well, you're not reading a guidebook anyway...but maybe your assistant is. As for the rest of us, we'll just have to be content with walking around the neighborhood and choosing which fabulous converted loft building we'd live in when WE make our first $10 million. Such is life in one of New York's prime neighborhoods--minutes away from downtown, the West Village, SoHo, and Chinatown, decent subway access, a few minutes' walk to either the Battery Park City promenade or Hudson River Park, excellent restaurants, a few killer bars--if you can afford it, of course.

But even if you can't, there's no question that walking around is our favorite pastime in the Triangle Below Canal Street (Canal Street being the north side of the triangle, Broadway being the east side of the triangle, and the West Side Highway being the west side of the triangle). On your walk, you'll pass one of the city's oldest parks (See more.

>Washington Market Park), some ancient row houses (the Harrison Street Row Houses) and our favorite TriBeCa landmark, the Ghostbusters Firehouse (you'll know it when you see it, trust us). A great starting point for seeing TriBeCa is its nexus, lovely little Duane Park. It's a quaint little triangle surrounded on all sides by gorgeous factory buildings converted into lofts you'd give an arm and a leg to live in.

As for the buildings themselves, there are a several worth noting, including Henry J. Hardenbergh's Textile Building, Carrère & Hastings' Powell Building, which now houses Nobu, Ralph Walker's massive New York Telephone Company Building, the rounded front of the American Thread Building, the Venetian mash-up of No. 8 Thomas Street, cast-iron gem the Cary Building, and, the "pièce de résistance," Stephen Decatur Smith's Fleming Smith Warehouse on Washington Street.

Although most of the new construction (especially along Broadway) fits into the boring/puerile category, one new building to check out is Enrique Norten's postmodern One York Street; his insertion of a glass tower in the middle of two 19th-century buildings is pretty cool. New York Law School's new building at 185 West Broadway shines brightly at night as its law students burn the candle at both ends. Meanwhile, Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard project set records for residential sales.

Unfortunately, we just don't get to TriBeCa as much at night any more, as two of its most interesting cultural hotspots--the Knitting Factory and Roulette--have long since moved to Brooklyn. However, one of the coolest long-running sound and light installations in the world is here, at 275 Church Street, just steps from the swanky TriBeCa Grand Hotel. La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela's Dream House is a special place to chill out and get in touch with your inner being in the midst of all this residential poshness.

Nightlife is quieter here than in other neighborhoods, but upscale drinks can be found at TriBeCa Grand and Bubble Lounge and Nancy Whiskey and Puffy's are classic dives. Old school hangout Walker's is a New York classic and should not be missed; otherwise, check out the Flea Theatre's calendar or wait for the TriBeCa Film Festival.

If you've got cash, Tribeca's got you covered. Nobu has top-shelf sushi, Odeon has the cool factor, Landmarc has killer steaks, Il Giglio has white-tablecloth-Italian, and Bouley is a top NYC dining experience. Otherwise, we go for the far-above-average pub grub at Walker's or cabbie favorite Pakistan Tea House.

Hit up Grandaisy Bakery and Duane Park Patisserie for baked goods and MarieBelle for chocolate. We like Selima Optique for cool specs, Steven Alan for trendy threads, Korin for cutlery, and Tent & Trails for plotting NYC escapes.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
On the Hunt for NY's Avant-Garde

By Sarah Enelow
New York is a world-class performing arts mecca, especially when it comes to experimental work, but where exactly does one find it? NFT Editor Sarah Enelow takes us on a tour of avant-garde performance venues in the city, cutting through the Broadway fluff to find the best, most affordable offbeat events.
Breaking into Non-Profit Arts

By Liz Pink
Young, talented, poor and striving. Artists are a mysterious lot. Will they make it, or will we wipe our hands of them, devilishly and unforgivingly. J/K. Liz Pink offers truckloads of making-it-in-the-big-city advice that only a very rich or successful artist could pass up. Join her.

The Grandest Street of All

By Rob Tallia
Join NFT head honcho Rob Tallia on an epic journey down the entire length of Grand Street in Manhattan. From the gritty to the sublime, Grand Street has it all.

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Andrew Savage
Photo:  Courtesy of Marian Zazeela/The Dream House

Dream House
On the third floor of an anonymous building in TriBeCa is one of New York City's greatest treasures. Dream House is a semi-permanent sound installation founded by minimalist sound artist/composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela. For a suggested donation of $5, you can experience Young's controlled sound environment that utilizes sine wave components to achieve unconventional intervals and harmonics. In other words: this place is a trip! Allow yourself a good chunk of time to fully experience Young's vision of the sound environment. Through movement, breathing, and vocalizations one may discover how to tune and harmonize with the room. Not a tourists destination by any means, Dream House is not for everybody. But if you are ever in TriBeCa and need to expand your consciousness, why not step inside?

Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Square Diner
If you're a true New Yorker, every once in awhile you need a good ol' greasy diner breakfast first thing in the morning. You can't do it every day unless you have an iron stomach or don't care if you live past 40. But when you're feeling a little down or just need a huge does of protein, the classic New York Diner is there for you. That brings us to Square Diner in Tribeca--the perfect place to start your morning. Friendly waitresses, perfectly brewed diner coffee (it's actually pretty good), and of course mounds of bacon, bagels, eggs, and homefries to clog your arteries and keep you going all day. Lean cuisine this is not and thank goodness for that.

Posted By:  Rob Tallia
Photo:  Rob Tallia

Tired of hanging out until 2 am to see mediocre bands in Williamsburg? Want something to expand your musical mind a bit more than a night at Irving Plaza? Look no further. Roulette's now on its 30th year of experimental music, and it's hanging on (as opposed to dearly departed Tonic) right smack dab in the middle of upscale Manhattan, in SoHo of all places. Saturday's gig with Lisle Ellis and 8 other musicians was a great mix of originals plus a great Cecil Taylor piece to close the first set; while the musicians joked that they'd rather have been uptown that night (Ornette Coleman was playing at Columbus Circle), we felt right at home. Upcoming: the New York Electronic Arts Festival, October 16-18. More mind-expanding music for the avant-garde among you.

Posted By:  Harris Solomon
Photo:  Harris Solomon

On a block of Greenwich Street most notable for its Whole Foods and the clanging of nearby construction cranes sits a new hideaway---Kaffe 1668. Their coffee is fair trade and pretty tasty, but what you're here for is the atmosphere. With its wooden communal table at street level, and its cozy red banquettes downstairs, Kaffe 1668 provides a welcome respite for those of us continually lost in Starbucks Ville. A mellow soundtrack and a healthy mix of laptop-toting downtowners and boisterous talkers make this a great place to grab coffee, no matter what your mood. The best part: Unlike some Manhattan coffee places where the turnover rate is steroidal, here you're free to linger as long as you please. One final note--if you're not a fan of Tribeca uber-moms and the babies they tote with them, you've been warned.

Posted By:  Sarah Moroz
Photo:  Sarah Moroz

La Colombe Torrefaction
Think Tribeca is a wasteland of empty streets and overpriced restaurants? Well, it is. But this Tribeca cafe is exceptional. Through wide windows you can get a glimpse of the warm brown tones of the place--the same color as the delish coffee they serves up! Seriously, their potent mochaccinos could knock a Dunkin Donuts drinker unconscious with headiness. Exposed brick, high ceilings, polished smooth wood floors, and a trim counter all lend a glossy, airy feel to this spacious cafe. You can enjoy your drink on site, sitting on a low stool at a funny little table the shape of a fava bean. More than just a place for tasty caffeine sipping, it's also a most welcome relief from the unbearably slow tourists clogging Canal Street and the vendors tirelessly trying to hustle you into buying a shitty faux designer bag.

Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Deitch Projects
Chris Johanson does not just create art. He creates full on artistic environments. His Totalities exhibition at the Deitch Projects through October 25 is a two-level extravaganza of painting, music, sculpture, and organic architecture. Johanson and his assistants carefully constructed everything by hand using only recycled and found materials from Brooklyn. It's a trip through four distinct worlds reminding us of our fragile existence on the planet. In the first room, several multi-colored paintings surround a rotating sculpture. Move in and out between the various spaces and submerge yourself in the musical soundtrack that envelops the room. Then enter the expansive space where you can climb the steps and look out on to the fragile world below. Before you exit, take a moment to mellow out amongst the beautiful walls of beige and brown hand painted boxes. Totality accomplished.

Posted By:  Rob Tallia
Photo:  Rob Tallia

Blaue Gans
Yes, it’s cool-looking, and yes, it’s in TriBeCa, where I would live if I made actual money instead of NFT-dollars, but is the food at Blaue Gans worth the credit card debt? Mostly, little grasshoppers, mostly—although my Suckling Pig was dry, and I can’t really imagine any fate worse than overcooked meat, including death (one of those “musts” for me, however, is Suckling Pig on Menu = Rob orders Suckling Pig). Next time, though, I’ll know what to order—because my friend’s jager schnitzel was fucking awesome. As was the Tyrolean speck, and the dessert (pictured) which was Chocolate Truffle Lollipops with Vanilla Milkshake and Double Crestor. An excellent date place, given the cool-factor, good to go on an expense account (now really, what isn’t though), but in the end—it’s still Austrian food, which is NOT either #1 or #2 on the world’s list of Great Cuisines. But hey—Thomas Bernhard was Austrian, and he was cooler than you.

Posted By:  Sho Spaeth
Photo:  Sho Spaeth

After reading the rave reviews for this place, I figured that I only had to try a bite of the chicken to confirm the hype and then write up this review. I called in an order for pick-up (the website says to allow for 15 minutes for the preparation of your chicken), and snuck out of the office while my boss was in the bathroom. I figured if I took a leisurely stroll over from our East Broadway offices, I’d be just in time to snatch my chicken fresh out of the fryer, and I’d be able to hoof it on back to the office with little to no explaining to do to the bossman. Unfortunately, I ended up waiting 30 minutes in the bare and stark interior of Bon Bon. When I got back to my desk, I got yelled at, and, in addition, I had some over-fried chicken, a piddling sweet bun, and some too-vinegary coleslaw to assuage my guilt. Verdict: if you have an hour to kill and 8 bucks to spare on some mediocre chicken, go to Popeye’s. The packaging won’t be as pretty, but at least you won’t be pissed off.

Posted By:  Ben Bray
Photo:  Ben Bray

Of the four places listed here, Pakistan Tea House is the one that would most likely be called a restaurant. In fact compared to the others, this place is downright fancy. There are several tables and chairs (even tablecloths!). The naan is baked fresh to order, and the vegetarian samosas are only $1. The combos are an ample amount of food and range from $5 to $6. Pakistan Tea House is also open until 4 am, which is a big plus for this neighborhood.

Posted By:  Diana Pizzari
Photo:  Diana Pizzari

Tucked away in the back streets of Tribeca, Ula Day Spa offers manicures, pedicures, and facials,but their best service by far is massage. Choose the one-hour treatment ($90)—it’s hardly worth the effort of traveling there for a half-hour rub. If it’s your first time, ask for Jennifer; an excellent masseuse from Belfastin Northern Ireland. Arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your appointment time and take advantage of their lovely sauna and complimentary fresh fruit. The only negative feature of the spa was the cruddy showers—don’t bother wearing expensive clothing because you’re going to have a difficult time removing the massage oil before putting them back on. Also, the spa is co-ed, so expect to share the sauna and locker room with members of the opposite sex.

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