FROM THE DESK OF: Deo
What I’m most impressed about from the completion of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub isn’t that it’s this awe-inspiring architectural wonder with a price tag of $4-billion, but that it essentially links the Financial District (FiDi) from one end to another, allowing pedestrians to walk through the width of Downtown Manhattan entirely indoors. That means that when it’s too cold, too hot, too wet, too frozen, too whatever outside—you can still sightsee (or in my case, just get to work) through Downtown without ever stepping outside.
In the summer, during the insane heat-waves, I used this to my advantage—taking long walks during my lunch in a complete air-conditioning environment. This week with the temperature dropping to winter level cold, I’ve been all over this hub exploring things to do in order to escape the harsh winds and rain outside. Here, I will share an itinerary for those wishing to sightsee downtown Manhattan without ever stepping outside the comforts of a climate controlled environment.
Where to Start:
Get off on Fulton Street Transit Hub. All the major train-lines run through this stop so it it’s the perfect place to start.
Shake Shack with a view! On the top floor of Fulton Center Transit Hub is Shake Shack. It is a circular space allowing you to see the center of the hub as well as a view of the Fulton Street and Broadway. Shake Shack is still the best burger I’ve ever had and I’ve tried hard to find better.
Designed by world famous architect Santiago Calatrava, this place feels like you’re inside the skeleton of a mega-giant whale. It took ten years to complete, and some say it’s a waste a waste of money, but I’ll be damned if you don’t come away feeling some kind of awe.
This place and the whole site also serves as a mall, complete with stores like the Apple Store, Gucci, Kiehls, and all those clothing shops that I can’t afford. It also links to the PATH, which is the transit to New Jersey (you know, if you’re into that).
Enter the left hall in the Oculus and travel through more shops. Keep walking and you’ll eventually get to the 4 World Trade Center (also the building I work at). Two escalators up is Eataly—an enormous Italian market.
Eataly comprises of a variety of Italian restaurants, bakeries, gelato, food and beverage counters, groceries and goods, various retail items, and a cooking school. In the back are restaurants and wine bars with a spectacular view of the 9/11 Memorial Fountains, the Hudson River, and the One World Trade Center.
One World Trade Observatory
Walk back down to the Oculus and continue heading west. Through that passage way are more shops and whale skeleton architecture. Keep walking until you reach the One World Trade Center.
One World Trade is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere with 104 stories and home to various tenants including Conde Naste. One the top is the Observatory. From there you’ll the have most unobstructed view to see all of New York City. See forever!
Head back down and walk to those really high escalators that will take you to Brookfield Plaza.
Brookfield Plaza is a shopping center overlooking the Hudson River. It is also a ten story glass atrium containing palm trees and on occasion art exhibits. To the left are is a food court that include Dos Torros, Num Pang Sandwich, Pizza, etc.
Le District is the French version of Eataly.
Fancy restaurants that overlook the Hudson River as well as a grocery shop and coffee shops and a place to order crepes.
That should be enough activities for the day. You’ve now just walked roughly the width of downtown Manhattan without ever stepping outside.