Down is What's Up! Downtown NYC

DOWNTOWN NYC is what's up! (At least it is now, that's for sure.)

I moved to Manhattan in 2002 right after 9/11.  I settled into the dorms at Pace University (where I was going to school for Musical Theatre) and spent 4 years downtown.  Back then, Downtown NYC was almost a ghost-town.  I remember moving in, just a couple blocks away from the remains of the World Trade Center.  I remember thinking 'where in the world am I and what happened to the city I was SO obsessed with'.  Back then, when I would walk home from class, I would rarely even see someone on the street, and forget about finding a bar or restaurant to chill in. It just didn't exist.  Today, Downtown Manhattan is home to over 61.000 residents which is TRIPLE the population from when I lived there!  

Fast forward to now - it's 2018, my family and I moved to Los Angeles (after living in midtown manhattan for many years) and I have to admit, I rarely thought back to those times living downtown.  This month, we headed back to NYC for a little trip and decided to stay Downtown, because embarrassingly enough, all those years of living in Midtown, I made it back downtown only once or twice.  I was curious to see what it would be like to re-visit my old stomping grounds.

We checked into the Millenium Hilton New York Downtown , right across from One World Trade.  OMG. THE  FEELS.  Walking up to the door, I could see the reflection of the freedom tower behind me and I instantly felt so much excitement to explore.  The room was H U G E. Admittedly, bigger than some of my NYC apartments, and the view was breathtaking. Out of the bedroom window, the Freedom Tower and the beautiful memorial were RIGHT there.  I could also see each reflection pool - the reflection pools have the names of all of the victims of the 9/11 and 1993 attacks.  Little known fact - the names are in relational order to how they knew each other.  Brothers near brothers. Fathers by their sons. Co-workers together.  Isn't that amazing?

Each window had a new view of the amazing downtown skyline.  Poppy was mesmerized! She loved sitting by the windows and looking at all the lights.  Although she was born in NYC, she had never been Downtown. (Subways with a newborn baby?! no way!)

Our three days in Downtown NYC was NOWHERE near enough, but we jam packed it with some awesome eats, sights and memories.  There are about 525 restaurants and bars in Downtown NYC so quite a variety to choose from.  From Michelin-starred restaurants to bars like the Dead Rabbit and Blacktail (that win cocktail awards left and right) to some faves of mine - Eataly (Grabbed lunch almost everyday here I'm addicted, what can I say?), Le District, PARM (We got the most EPIC chicken parm heros from here OMG!) - Had DELICIOUS pizza - because NYC - and of course the options are just SO GOOD.  

Downtown NYC has definitely changed SO much since I lived here.  There is such a creative & visual vibe down here now.  The Oculus is an architecturally and visually amazing sight. Fulton street station looks like a futuristic hub.  The BEST views in all of NYC can be seen from the Observatory at One World Trade.  And Shopping? UM AMAZING STORES EVERYWHERE YOU TURN! Some of my fave spots to shop at were RIGHT outside the hotel - ZARA, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and then of course Century 21.  

There is SO much heart in the resurgence of the neighborhood.  I am so glad that my little family and I could explore a bit and take in some of the many beautiful things Downtown NYC has to offer.  We are already planning our next trip back! Until next time, NYC! xxxxx

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