Here’s part two of my NYC adventure with Kohl’s (see part 1 here). The brand asked me to write about my favorite places to visit in Manhattan and I decided today to focus on downtown. Surprising, right? You thought I was going to hone in on Central Park or maybe even the Empire State Building… I am sure. Well, I’m going to take you on a little journey downtown – one of my absolute FAVORITE spots of the city.
See this bull? What you don’t see is the 600 people surrounding the bull. And there are more people trying to take pictures with his behind than his face. Go figure that one out!! Here’s what you have to do. You have to get a little aggressive and creep your way into the circle. Have a friend ready to take the picture and as soon as someone takes their FIRST STEP AWAY from that head you make your way straight for those horns like you OWN IT. Just go for it. It’s like double dutch for a while… you keep creeping in and then back again until you see an opening. TAKE IT!!!!!
Many moons ago, I worked for two major companies before becoming a blogger – Capgemini (formerly Ernst and Young when I worked there) and Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting when I worked there). Every time I got a job, a company would go through a brand revamp. No, really. Anyway – new business cards, right?! While with Ernst and Young, I worked at 55 Broad Street in their tech building – right down the block from the New York Stock Exchange. I walked past this building on a regular basis. Nack in the late 90s, there was one amazing IPO after the other which meant a PARTY!!! Free stuff every afternoon. It was such a great time to be in the city!!
If you WANTED TO, you can actually TOUR the NYSE… but I’ve never done that. I think it’s kinda cool to take a picture outside of the building though.
Just something to notice as you go along your way, right next to the New York Stock Exchange is Federal Hall where George Washington took the oath to become President of the United States. Boom.
Walk up to Broadway and towards Trinity Church. The tombstones in this church date back hundreds and hundreds of years and are absolutely a sight to see. But I love this church for another reason. At this point, you are only a few streets away from the World Trade Center. And as old as this church is and as old as these tombstones are… they were hardly impacted by 9/11 and all the debris that settled over the neighboring streets. Whenever I walk by this church, I remember that and it makes me smile.
Ok, now onto the World Trade Center. It’s about a 5 block walk from Wall Street. Really not far at all. You immediately see the structure once you pass the church. I’ve written about this walk many times on my blog while remembering 9/11. This walk changed my life forever. Once the dust settled, I was stationed in building 3 or 4 (I can’t remember) and this walk was filled with pictures of missing people and flowers and candles. I cried every day going to work. Every single day. Obviously the Trade Center train station wasn’t working. So, I would have to get off on City Hall and walk to my office. I broke into a million pieces every morning and afternoon watching everyone working so hard and trying to do everything they could to get the city back on her feet. As I stood there, I felt it all again – the energy. This walk is one I will never forget.
If you come to Manhattan, you should come and see the new Trade Center. They did such a beautiful job…
I’m keeping your perimeter pretty small and that is very intentional. But if you feel like you need a little help getting around, you can always rent one of these bikes. Just remember to lock them up wherever you leave them. They will get stolen if you don’t. Sorry, being honest here…
And keep your eyes peeled for Farmer’s Markets because you will find them! We snagged fresh bread and cookies and brought them home for the kids to enjoy. Of course, they also had fruit and vegetable but we had a few hours ahead of us and didn’t want to chance it.
And while I’m talking food… let me break down street food for you. Pretzels and nuts smell better than they taste and aren’t worth your money. Hear what I’m telling you – you will be disappointed if you buy the pretzel so don’t! Hot dogs equal NO GO. But Halal food? Absolutely delicious! And with the new trend surrounding street food (thank you Vendy Awards), you will find a TON of AMAZING carts that look like mini restaurants. Believe me, there are a lot of great options these days. Just steer clear of any that have been featured in 80s romantic comedies.
Now onto my favorite part of the area – Stone Street!!
Stone Street is how you should end your day of touring Downtown. Before I get into all of its glory, I do also want to note that Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are RIGHT HERE as well. Looking to just relax on some green? Battery Park is a walk away. Want to hang out on a pier instead? A quick ride to the South Street Seaport will do the trick. All downtown!!
Ok – back to Stone Street. Check it out. Outdoor dining. A TON of restaurants to choose from – all flipping delicious and all ready to serve you. You want to know what Bill and I do? If we have the time, we restaurant hop! Yes, we do. Guacamole from the Mexican joint, burgers from the next and then we stop into one of the treat shops for a delectable dessert. You want delicious gelato? Stone Street has delicious gelato!
And PS – the kids can run around a bit while you eat.
Our favorite spot is actually RIGHT OFF OF STONE. It’s Luke’s Lobster. Oh my word!!! You won’t have a better lobster roll in Manhattan. Ok, that’s a bold statement that I can’t really stand behind because I haven’t had every lobster roll Manhattan has to offer, but you get my drift. It’s GOOOOOOODDD STUFF! Small tiny shop. Only a few seats at best. Don’t go during lunch time because there will be a line. Worth it if you get caught behind one.
While you walk around Stone Street, you will find so many pubs and restaurants to check out. If it’s raining, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options. This is a food lover’s DREAM!
So, take a seat. Order a serving of your favorite appetizer and enjoy!
I’m so happy Kohl’s asked me to show off my city! It gave me an excuse to be a tourist in my own town. You can’t beat an afternoon doing that!!
Up next is Suann Song from SimpleSong Design. She will be featuring Washington DC.
* this is a sponsored post.