New York

Exploring Downtown Manhattan

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There’s so much to see in lower Manhattan. Of my 1 week in New York, I kept going back at least 3 times! There’s a lot of hip neighborhoods where artists and designers and their galleries are to start with, then as I walked further down I get to see men and women dressed in suits, walking along skyscrapers, as well as grand historical buildings. There are many places one could visit in downtown Manhattan, but these are the places I picked to see.

Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District

Chelsea Market is an indoor marketplace, housed in formerly the National Biscuit Company factory. Not exactly at lower Manhattan but on the border. Inside is a bustling market and food joints (there’s Lobster Place, which sells fresh seafood, cooked your way! I ordered salmon burger je, boo). I was told to go here for food and the flea market that sells locally made arts and crafts, clothes, accessories and jewelries and more.

Outside the Chelsea Market is the meatpacking district, where people of New York sold and bought poultry decades ago. Today, you can still see warehouses and the cobbled streets from those days, but it’s now more of a hip place to be and it’s not crowded. On my way to another neighborhood I saw chic cafes and restaurants, boutiques and also stores we all know like Mac and Sephora.

Check out Chelsea Market.

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Soho

Further down, it’s Soho, a neighborhood famous for its art galleries and homes of artists and designers. Soho has nice buildings and exude a more cultured feel compared to the midtown. Here is also where I found high street stores like Topshop to cult brands and labels like G-Star. It’s also where Bloomingdale is.

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City Hall and Courts

The area surrounding The New York City Hall is filled with gorgeous building, built within the late 1800s and the early 1900s. All grand. Still mind-blowing to think that these building were built while KL was still a muddy confluence almost like a jungle and only had attap huts.

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Financial District

If you spend every other week watching financial crisis related movies thanks to BNM’s foundation program, of course you’d want to see the Wall St, the catalyst to it. Upon exiting the Wall St. station, I noticed people were more well-dressed and the buildings were more grand. Golden doors, signs, etc. The streets at the financial district is strangely narrow, but I suppose it’s because this area is that old.

Upon reading the info boards around the area, I learned that the first trading activities happened underneath a tree on what is now the New York Stock Exchanges (NYSE) centuries ago. Basically it evolved into the global influential exchange that it is now.

Surrounding it is the iconic House of Morgan, Fed Reserve, City Hall with the statue of George Washington, to commemorate his inauguration as the 1st President of the United States. I walked further down and saw the Charging Bull, bronze statue and symbol of aggressive financial optimism. Just in front of it was the Bowling Green, the oldest public park in New York, which still had its 18th century fence.

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Battery Park

When Mama suggested that I go to the Battery Park, I thought this park, located on the southernmost part of Manhattan, was a modern park amidst technological buildings. I was so wrong 😆 Here’s one of the oldest parks, built in the 17th century when it was part of the Dutch settlement on the land New Amsterdam (its name before the English came and renamed it New York) and at the tip of the island was artillery battery meant to protect the settlement from foreign ships entering the area.

There are a couple of historical monuments and memorials here. There’s Castle Clinton at the edge, formerly a fort and sculptures, including one as tribute to immigrants of all nations who entered New York from this area more than a century ago.

Ooh also, the place to see Lady Liberty, from a distance, from the side.

I think the place would look gorgeous if not for the season 😆

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