TriBeCa is short for "Triangle Below Canal Street". TriBeCa is the area south of SoHo in Manhattan bounded by Canal St on the north, Broadway on the east, Chambers St on the south and the Hudson River on the west. A former industrial district, TriBeCa became a major artist community in the 1970s and has since gentrified into an upscale residential district.
Previously farmland, TriBeCa became a central transfer point for textiles and dry goods in the mid 1800s. In the 1960s, the Washington Market Urban Renewal Project transformed the area from commercial to residential by replacing the industrial buildings with apartment houses, office buildings and schools. The construction of the World Trade Center immediately to the south of TriBeCa also brought much new employment into the area. Between 1970 and 1980, the population of TriBeCa jumped from 243 to 5,101. Today, TriBeCa features numerous galleries, stores and fine restaurants and is home to the burgeoning Tribeca Film Festival organized by actor Robert DeNiro to help revitalize lower Manhattan post-9/11.
TriBeCa is one of the few neighborhoods in Manhattan that embodies a sense of community. The neighborhood has that quaint, safe, and comfortable feeling which are not typical adjectives that come to mind when thinking of NYC. Although the neighborhood is transforming into more of a place for the rich and famous, you will still find the struggling artist and average New Yorkers that were there before TriBeca became one of NYC’s most desirable residencies.
Another aspect that separates TriBeCa from the rest of the neighborhoods in the city is its general appearance. The neighborhood represents historic lower Manhattan. Unlike most areas, the Triangle Below Canal street still has the cobble stone streets and loft apartment buildings that disappeared in most areas years ago. Like much of Lower Manhattan, TriBeCa was seriously hit economically in the aftermath of 9/11 as many of its businesses relied on trade from the occupants of the destroyed WTC complex. The area has bounced back as the rebuilding efforts have gathered momentum, with numerous new restaurants and residential developments springing up.
You can get in by bus or subway. The 1 subway line stops runs through the middle of the neighborhood under Varick Street, stopping at Canal, Franklin, and Chambers Streets (the Chambers St. station is also served by the 2 and 3 lines). The A, C, and E stop at Canal Street, with the A and C also stopping at Chambers Street (be aware that this is not the same as the 2/3 station--on those lines, the station is referred to as Park Place. Another Canal Street stop, several blocks east of the heart of the neighborhood, is served by the N, Q, R, J, Z, and 6 lines.
The PATH stop at World Trade center is connected to the Park Place/Chambers St Station.
Halloween in TriBeCa is a great experience for kids. Traditionally trick-or-treating in New York City happens floor to floor in the tall apartment buildings. However, in TriBeCa, all the restaurants, stores, and galleries, participate in the Holiday. Trick or treating outside, gives kids the exciting experience that usually only happens in suburban areas. With the combination of exciting decorations, outrageous costumes work by kids and parents alike, candy, baked, treats and other fun giveaways, celebrating Halloween at least once in TriBeCa is something that should not be missed.
The TriBeCa Film Festival is another fun activity to not miss out on. Stop by to sample some delicious food from all the nearby restaurants. There are also many fun activities and games for the younger generation, as well as some dance, instrumental, and vocal performances. It's also a great opportunity to catch some celebrity sightings, and if you're lucky enough, even snagging a ticket to one of the films participating in the festival.
Washington Market Park is a great place to take your kids to play, enjoy a nice a nice picnic, or just sit back and relax. There is plenty of playing equipment for children, as well as organized games and arts and crafts. Hosting birthday parties is very popular in this park for those who are interested in renting out the gazebo. In the summer, bands will often play music in the gazebo for the older generations. The park is small and safe, and great location to escape to.
Taste of TriBeCa is a yearly food festival that everyone should attend at least once. It takes place every year on May 16th from 11:30AM to 3PM on Duane and Greenwhich St. It was developed by parents of the children in the neighborhood in 1994. During the festival the best restaurants come together and cook their best dishes, giving visitors the ability to have six tastings for a set fee. Along with the restaurants, there are visiting corporate donors, like UNICEF, live entertainment, and some designers offering items lik. T-shirts and hats. Just a few of the participating restaurants include, Acapella (Italian),Flor de Sol (Spanish), and Salaam Bombay (Indian).