Neighborhood: Battery Park City
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Financial District, Tribeca
Population Density: Not extremely dense; about twice that of the city as a whole. Expect especially high numbers of people outside when the weather is nice, though, particularly on weekends.
Public Transit: A/C to Chambers, 1/2/3 to Chambers St.
What’s Here?: Battery Park City may be the most picturesque waterfront location in all of New York City. Home to mostly upper- and middle-class families and individuals looking for a bit of quiet amid the city’s hustle and bustle, Battery Park City has a great combination of outdoor activities, history and good eating. The West Side Highway is rife with bikers and joggers enjoying the long, uninterrupted stretch of street with eye-catching views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. On the weekends, people can picnic on the waterfront, play pool on the outdoor tables or take a class with the Manhattan Sailing School. During the week Wall Street lunchers amble over to grab a bite from the popular food truck court located outside 4 World Financial Center (N End Ave at Vesey St.), where a rotating roster of 21 food trucks adds some variety (and sunshine) to their office-bound lives.
When Goldman Sachs opened up shop in the middle of the neighborhood in 2009, the company decided to spice up the area for its employees. Thanks to Goldman’s efforts, the gourmet Battery Park Market and Vintry’s Fine Wines have brought classy groceries and a fine collection of wine to the area. The company also brought in Danny Meyer, who opened three of the neighborhood’s best eats Shake Shack, Blue Smoke BPC and North End Grill.
Flat or Tall?: Battery Park City’s rental housing stock is almost entirely made up of luxury high-rises built after 1980. Good luck finding a walk-up or historic residential building here.
History: Post 9/11, Battery Park is more known for its place in recent history, but the area has played key roles in New York City’s (and America’s) history. Battery Park’s historic Castle Clinton served as part of the defenses for New York harbor and was one of the focal points of the young country’s defenses against British invaders. The name “Battery Park” derives from the artillery batteries located here. Castle Clinton also served as New York’s primary entry point for new immigrants from 1855 until 1890, when Ellis Island became the first federal immigration station. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries the area adjoining what is now Battery Park City was known as Little Syria, with Lebanese, Greek, Armenians and other ethnic groups well-represented. As shipping moved away from New York harbor and to Port Elizabeth, New Jersey (a result of increasing use of container shipping), the area’s port facilities fell into disuse. In 1966 the city and state come to an agreement to develop a new planned community (which would become Battery Park City) using landfill primarily taken from the excavation from the rock and soil that built the original World Trade Center. In 2005, while working on the new South Ferry Station, a 200-year-old stone wall was uncovered, part of which is assumed to be part of the original artillery batteries from the city’s early years.
Activities: Food truck hopping, biking, jogging, sailing, listening to the blues
Check it out: In July and August, check out the popular River & Blues concert series, which takes place in Wagner Park.