Before I spent any time there, I thought the Financial District (or FiDi as it’s referred to by locals) was only a destination for tourists or professionals.
FiDi is filled with skyscrapers and famous historical landmarks. I never would have classified it as a “neighborhood” which denotes that people actually live there and do regular daily life stuff like go out to eat in unique local restaurants, hang out in coffee shops or walk their dogs in the park.
Having now stayed in FiDi a handful of times, I’ve come to know and love it as one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. Yes, there are many touristy things to do and see in this part of the concrete jungle like visit Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Charging Bull, the 911 Museum and Memorial (all worth the trip). But there are also relaxing waterfront locations like Battery Park where you can see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance or Pier 17 where you can sit peacefully in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Just like all the other neighborhoods in New York City, FiDi is filled with unique restaurants and coffee shops. Two of my favorite coffee shops are 787 Coffee, a Puerto Rican cafe serving coffee grown in the mountains of their farm in Puerto Rico (and incredible empanadas!). The other is Black Fox Coffee Co. who partners with the best roasters from around the world to serve up your favorite coffee drink. They also offer a full range of pastries and hot breakfast options. The lox bagel sandwich is my favorite.
Nowhere is the history of New York City more evident than in the meandering cobblestone streets of the Financial District. Federal Hall, originally built in 1703, is known as The Birthplace of American Government. Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, with their surrounding burial grounds offer a sacred space in the midst of the surrounding hustle. The Fraunces Tavern, where you can now grab a bite and brew, is the oldest surviving building in Manhattan. This is where George Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War.
These are just a few of the treasures hidden among the skyscrapers and modern office buildings that characterize the Financial District. Not only do I recommend that you come and see for yourself, I encourage you to stay awhile.