When I think about it, the whole point of Magic Ala Mode is showing off the whimsy that can be found anywhere in this world. And as a New Yorker with her mind on colors and happiness, seeking out the places within this concrete jungle that inspire me can be rare.
Between the usual favorite spots getting boring, or them not surviving long enough in the midst of the sleek grey tones of NYC, finding consist and new things that work to encourage and continue my aesthetic can be a challenge for sure. Yet, that is my goal with these series of posts – to find something beautiful and magical in all of the Manhattan neighborhoods. Because this is New York City – the Big Apple, and anything can happen here.
Let’s begin this series by looking at a neighborhood that means a lot to me – Tribeca.
Old school with cobblestone streets, high rise buildings with a hometown feel, there is an expensive meets cozy nature to this lower Manhattan spot. Sure, your local coffee shop will charge a minimum $4.50 for a small, but the sight of various dogs and little kids playing in the mostly calm streets of this area never loses its charm.
In fact, I think Tribeca is the kind of neighborhood that likely Martha Stewart would want to live in. There is the sleek modern look of the city, but a sense of home and community that not a lot of the other more “lux” looking Manhattan spots have. There’s also an embrace of creativity everywhere – especially since this is the home of one of the greatest film festivals in America.
Basically, if you’ve got a lot of money, but feel quirky underneath your stylish business suit, than Tribeca may indeed be the place for you.
- Tribeca is actually written out as TriBeCa, and stands for “Triangle Below Canal Street”.
- This area is the home of the famous Hook & Ladder Company No. 8 Firehouse, used in the classic film Ghostbusters. It even has a Ghostbusters logo painted on the ground (though it isn’t looking as fresh as it once did.)
- Subaru’s Tribeca car, which was made/sold in 2005, but unfortunately was discontinued in 2012, was named after this neighborhood.
- It is the neighborhood where my college (Art Institute of New York City) once stood!
75 Franklin St
Located just a quick walk from the 1 Train – Franklin Station, this precious mint decorated bakery has everything you’d want from a dessert heaven: cupcakes, cookies, buttercream, and a homemade feel. Couple that with the vintage atmosphere, and wonderful quality of their products, and you’ve got a bakery that really is hard to beat.
As someone that started working/being in Manhattan around the Cupcake boom of the late 2000’s, I always was a fan of Billy’s compared to other notable bakeries that have now taken over all of New York and much of America (one in particular has a specific floral name.) From the flavors, and rich quality for the price tag, Billy’s always seemed like the much more down-to-Earth fighter in the cupcake wars, and once I had their icebox cake, my heart was forever devoted to them.
If you’re gonna get anything, definitely go for either their Confetti Vanilla Cupcake or their Cookie Sandwich with the chocolate chip cookies/buttercream combo. Not so great for your health, but on those self-care comfy food kind of days, they hit the spot.
133 W Broadway
Located near Tiny’s and the few other notable restaurants, Balloon Saloon is a heaven for quirky individuals or those in need of unique party goods ASAP. From funny little presents, to giant unicorn structures, this place never loses its adorable factor nor its sparkle.
But my favorite aspect of Balloon Saloon is how it feels like you’re walking into a closet in Grandma’s house, filled with memories in every corner. From the carefully placed decorations, and adorable knick knack throughout the store, you can tell that this place is run with a lot of love, care, and attention.
Put that together with the origins of the store (found here ) you can tell this little Mom and Pop shop will always contain a ton of heart and happiness for years to come. Sure, the place will have balloons for your instant enjoyment, but its the memories that come from said brightly colored decor that really is the best part.
Tiny’s and The Bar Upstairs
135 W Broadway
Located right next to Balloon Saloon is just about the most quint of establishments in the neighborhood. A three story townhouse turned dining establishment, siblings Matt, Jack and Ana Abramcyk had a goal of creating a place that had a calming atmosphere – where customers could find a chill scenario to enjoy a meal or a simple chat over wine – and with their inviting pink outdoor, Tiny’s has definitely become a place the trio should be proud of.
Featuring French meets American cuisine, Tiny’s strikes that perfect balance of comfort and sophisticated food, matching much of the ambiance of Tribeca itself. Its old New York meets the new trendy aspects of Manhattan, including a wonderfully delightful brunch and equally fun dessert choices during dinner.
120 Hudson Street
Another one of my most cherished college spots, Bubby‘s never stops being the best at delivering comfort food but not skipping on quality. And did I mention this place is famous for its pies? Talk about a little “slice” of New York heaven (and yes, the pun was deliciously intended.)
From its cute quirky decor out front (love the cow), to its charming hole-in-the-wall with style interior, Bubby’s inspires thoughts of homemade BBQ dinners, a family get together, and every holiday meal that ended with a delicious slice of a homemade dessert. And if you get the chance to snag their Mac-n-Cheese, seriously, you won’t be disappointed.
At the end of the day, Tribeca is a treasure of a place. The close proximity to the Hudson River, the beautiful architecture, the whimsical shops and restaurants, it has an equally brilliant mix of history and modern flares around every corner.
Sure, it is one of the more expensive areas in Manhattan, but with all of its charms, cute parks, and extreme amounts of precious dogs walking about, it is easy to see why Tribeca has become one of the most important areas in all of the Big Apple.
So, have you ever been to Tribeca? Do you have a favorite section? And what should be my next neighborhood I cover in this series? Comment below and tell me your thoughts!