New York’s Financial District is an Unlikely Weekend Getaway
Article by Globe & Mail June 26th 2017
Devoid of jacked-up Wall Street traders on the weekends, New York’s financial district morphs into a surprising oasis of calm, its slender streets mercifully quiet.
Except for the children. They’ve congregated on the Bowling Green, a narrow strip of park, to snap selfies with Fearless Girl, the defiant bronze sculpture installed here in stockbroker-land ahead of International Women’s Day last March. Well, the girls pose with Fearless Girl. The boys have wandered over to Charging Bull, that other sculpture a few feet away, and are mugging for photos under its sizable package. A bit of an impasse.
Fearless Girl is but one new draw to the financial district, which has been warming up to becoming a true neighbourhood in recent years. People are moving here to live, not just work. Marquee restaurants, cocktail bars, gourmet markets and boutiques are multiplying. The soaring Oculus structure draws in shoppers under the shadow of One World Trade Center. Nearby, the cobblestoned South Street Seaport district has transformed itself from tourist kitsch to a vibrant local neighbourhood. And a complete redevelopment of adjacent Pier 17 will see Momofuku and Jean-Georges restaurants arriving next year.
The revival has come slowly. After the horrors of 9/11 and the long, painful rebuild, Hurricane Sandy landed another blow in 2012: Some business owners mark the 11-foot-high flood lines on their walls as a cautious reminder. But as one New Yorker put it to me as he sidled up to the bar at a swank new Battery Park restaurant, “It feels like a utopia again.” A utopia you can almost have to yourself – at least by NYC standards.
Eat & Drink
Since most young Americans haven’t (yet) set foot on Cuban soil, BlackTail offers a simulacrum: a sultry bar inspired by 1950s Havana.
Deep mahogany walls are lined with framed photos, including the requisite shot of Ernest Hemingway looking blotto, as well as old waybills from Bacardi. Copper fans buzz and whir like hummingbirds above bartenders outfitted in stiff fedoras.
Have the sloppy joe empanadas and crispy rabbit fritters with pickled figs, plus a heady “Handmade Woman”: That’s gin, mezcal, vermouth, sherry, apricot, dandelion and chamomile. Oh, and since it’s still illegal to import Cuban rum into the U.S. of A., BlackTail approximates with its own five-rum blend.