Monday, April 11, 2011

Tribeca Signs

Today I spent a lot of time looking up.  That must be because I was in Tribeca and could actually see a lot of sky, along with some great signs and architecture in that neighborhood of old warehouses converted now into loft housing and retail.  (I do love the Upper West Side, as I expounded upon in my previous post, but its primary downside is the density and height of buildings.)  To be able to not only see the sky, but have the blue of the sky and the bright sun highlight and contrast the buildings and street scene is wonderful to me; perhaps that accounts for much of my love of Paris.  I can count clouds there, while by contrast (pun intended) I can barely see any from my own neighborhood unless I'm in one of my grand parks nearby.

That said, not only could I see sky today in Tribeca, but it was 75 degrees and sun - sun - sunny!  I'm obsessed by temperature lately, as we inch our way slowly, oh so slowly it seems, into spring.  Well, today was full-on spring and I took full advantage!!

In my looking up, I noticed terrific signs, and building names and dates, and other interesting titles and business names and slogans all around me.  Some were new, others quite old.  All lend a flavor to this neighborhood, which is now such a blend of age and youth, residence and enterprise, local and tourist, wealth and even greater wealth.  (Tribeca, I believe, is now the most expensive part of town in which to reside; and I was practically tripping over the strollers and nannies.)

Seriously, though, it's wonderful and, in fact, quite life-affirming to me to see how lively and diverse this neighborhood is, ten years after September 11, 2001.  I recall vividly how, soon after 9/11, we were encouraged to go spend some money in Tribeca; the first time I did so, I, too, still had young children at home and wanted to buy something in a small, charming toy store.  The shop had electricity and was open for business, but had no telephone service and couldn't clear credit card transactions, and so the shop owner wrote down the credit card number by hand in order to later record the charge when she could.  Everyone was so nice, strong, positive, and expressed gratitude for so much.  It was a time I will not forget, and I am sure that anyone who lived at that time in the "shadow" of the World Trade Center will remember forever those days.  And that makes the contrast today all the greater.

Just for fun, here are a few signs, buildings, etc., I spotted while taking the time to look around (and above) me today. 

A bit disturbing, if perhaps tongue-in-cheek.
Why don't we call them cordials anyore? 
I couldn't help myself - ah, youth, where have you gone to?

The Tribeca Grand, one of the neighborhood's chic hotels.

So many kid stores.
Wonderful old architecture, preserved beautifully.

...and more.

No problem finding a good patisserie in Tribeca, or ten.

 Trivia - anyone know where Staples Street is?

My future home in Tribeca?  That'd be OK.

Push what, I wonder?

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