A Sweet Downtown Experience

Do you know what I bought last Friday for my family? Chocolate. And not just any chocolate, my friends. I’m talking about the most unique and delicious chocolate I’ve ever had in my life (and I’ve had some chocolate, I’ve got to tell you). The coco beans were grown in Ecuador and then shipped to France and blended into the delectable dessert our family shared. Where did I get such exotic chocolate? La Maison du Chocolat.

Right here in Lower Manhattan!

Yes, the birthplace of New York City, one of the world’s premier business centers, the fastest growing residential community in Manhattan, also has some of the world’s best chocolates.

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.

Okay, that’s better. Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Jeremy Schneider and not only am I a noted chocoholic, but I have worked Downtown for almost 10 years, the last seven of which have been with the Alliance for Downtown New York, Lower Manhattan’s Business Improvement District. If you have been Downtown in the past 15 years, you probably know our public safety officers in the red coats. You can learn more about us and what we do by visiting our website.

Downtown Diary – our brand new blog – is going to be about what makes Lower Manhattan different, what makes it special, and where you can find those interesting things to do, see and eat. Our employees are experts on everything Downtown; we have so much to tell you about our favorite people and places. Downtown Diary will give us a chance to make sure you know as much about Lower Manhattan as we do.

For instance, did you know that every week there are new retailers opening in our district? Just last week Burritoville (36 Water Street) and Tiatris Neckwear (100 William Street) opened. We actually have a guy who walks around the entire district tracking every single retail space – whether it is vacant or not. His name is Luke “I am not your father” Mess and we call his weekly posts Mess Around Downtown (get it?). He’ll tell you about every new retailer that opens up in Lower Manhattan.

As I’ve mentioned, I have been down here for quite some time now. Do you know one of the things I see that still makes me chuckle almost every single day? Walking down Broadway and seeing packs of people in business suits rushing to a meeting each holding a BlackBerry, while packs of tourists circle around one of their own studying their map, while couples are walking their dogs and parents are pushing strollers right through all of them. To me, this is the vitality of Downtown in action, where it all – literally – comes together.

There is so much more we notice and learn about Lower Manhattan every day and we’ll share it all with you right here. We’ll talk about new green initiatives by businesses and buildings, about art projects, about concerts and events happening here, about the latest news, and anything else we think you might want to know about Downtown. We’ll even have a regular post about My Downtown, a chance for our employees (and even you) to write about some of our favorite places down here. And as I’ve touched on, it is also your chance to share your Lower Manhattan experiences with us.

This is not only our diary, but yours as well.

This is the new gateway to Lower Manhattan.

Welcome.

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