Tribeca (or the triangle below Canal Street) is easy to find because — as the name suggests — it’s located just below Canal Street. It’s bound by the Hudson River and the Westside Highway on the west, Broadway on the east and Vesey Street on the south. Nearby neighborhoods include SoHo, the West Village, Chinatown and the Civic Center.
The neighborhood is known for its artsy, industrial and posh vibe. Many celebrities have called Tribeca home, thanks to its gentrification that took place here in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The neighborhood feels like a mixture of Manhattan’s Southside Seaport and Downtown Toronto. You can just as easily get lost on a cobblestoned street as you would run into a high-heeled socialite toting a handbag dog.
Tribeca’s history is just as intriguing and complicated as the rest of Manhattan’s. Originally, it was a part of a large plot of land gifted to Trinity Church by Queen Anne of England. The church paid a peppercorn rent of 17 peppercorns per year for the land and is still one of the largest landowners in Manhattan. They own 5.5 million square feet of space in nearby Hudson Square alone.
In the early 1800s, Tribeca (though it wasn’t called that back then) was home to one of the most popular food markets in the city, the Bear Market.
By the late 1800s, the area of the neighborhood that overlooked the waterfront was used for shipping and manufacturing. Just some of the goods that were manufactured in the neighborhood included radios, fireworks and shoes.
After World War II, the highway system had taken over the US. Manufacturers no longer needed to build plants on waterfronts. Instead, they could allow their factories to sprawl as far as they needed in the Midwest. While Manhattan has excellent access to waterways, it has less than ideal access to highways, and may of the manufacturing plants left the area.
In the late 1960s, developers began clearing land to make way for the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. In the 1970s, Real estate agents invited artists to live in the old warehouses and offered them free rent. They had recently been pushed out of nearby SoHo as rents had started to rise because of gentrification.
Within less than a decade, the neighborhood had become a posh area, and the artists were once again forced to move.
Claims to Fame
The neighborhood is famous for the Tribeca Film Festival that takes place here every year in September. The festival was started as a way to stimulate the neighborhood’s economy after the devastation of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.
In 2010, Tribeca was named Manhattan’s “safest neighborhood” by the NYPD.
While Tribeca is by no means the largest neighborhood in Manhattan, it certainly boasts plenty of activities. Some of the most famous attractions in the neighborhood include the following.
World Trade Center
The World Trade Center Memorial, Museum and the One World Observatory draw millions of visitors each year.
Brookfield Place/Hudson Eats
One of the most popular shopping malls in Manhattan, Brookfield Place offers high-end shopping and restaurants. It’s also the home to Le District, a French market, and Hudson Eats, a high-end food hall.
Irish Hunger Memorial
The Irish Hunger Memorial remembers the tens of thousands of Irish immigrants who made their way across the Atlantic as the result of the Irish Potato Famine. A quaint stone cottage upheaved from Cork, Ireland, the building offers a quiet reminder of the city’s 19th Century history.
There are nearly as many hotels in Tribeca as there are luxury condos. Luckily, hotels offer accommodations at a variety of price points. Some of the most popular hotels include the Roxy, the Greenwich Hotel and the Hilton Garden Inn.
The Roxy Hotel
One of Tribeca’s many boutique hotels, the Roxy features a movie theater, two bars and a swanky lobby. The rooms and suites are decorated as an homage to the glamour of old Hollywood.
The Greenwich Hotel
If you’re looking to rub elbows with celebrities, the Greenwich Hotel is the place to be (Robert De Niro is one of the owners). Both the spa, Shibui Spa, and restaurant, Locanda Verde, are beloved by locals and visitors alike.
The Hilton Garden Inn
If you love the neighborhood but need to watch your budget, the Hilton Garden Inn is conveniently located right near many of the local bars, restaurants and subway stations.
Bars, Clubs and Nightlife
In addition to the Tribeca Festival Hub, there are plenty of nightlife options in the neighborhood. The Roxy Hotel features a jazz bar in the basement. You could head over to Haus for house music in an upscale setting.
Or, head to one of the many bars in the neighborhood. Weather Up serves up classy cocktails in a hipster setting. If you’re feeling low key, you can always head over to the Tribeca Tavern for fried food and fast drinks.
When you’ve seen all there is to see in Tribeca, you only need walk just a few short blocks to enjoy some of the other famed Manhattan neighborhoods, including SoHo, Chinatown, the Civic Center and the Financial District.