LaTi’k’s Lower Manhattan


By LaTi’k Cook

The Lower Manhattan experience is one-of-a-kind. Being an intern at the Downtown Alliance has allowed me to experience more about Manhattan than I ever expected. And, I realized that there are so many things offered in Lower Manhattan.

As I was completing my studies at George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn, I learned about the internship program at the Downtown Alliance through Futures & Options. FAO is a non-profit that helps students like me explore careers and become active in our communities.

FAO is in Lower Manhattan as well, and worked with my school to find students to participate in internships. I was lucky enough to be selected to work with FAO, and then to be picked to work with the Downtown Alliance.

Working with this organization has helped me learn much more about the Lower Manhattan area. Every day, people request information and brochures (apparently, we distribute more than a million maps, guides, and material every year!).

As I fill in orders, I reach out to people that live in the area – and many from outside of Lower Manhattan – and get to talk with them. As I deliver packages to residents and companies down here, I get to explore the neighborhood and learn about all of its history and geography. Something I’ve learned is that there are 200 black granite strips, along Broadway, that tell the story of each ticker tape parade that has been held in the city in chronological order.

The Downtown Alliance plays a huge part in what goes on in Lower Manhattan, and being a part of this organization also makes me feel a part of Lower Manhattan, too.

There are so many places to eat, more than I realized! And, you can pretty much find any type of food here. My favorite spot to order food from is not a restaurant, and it’s not a store. There’s a vendor, “Ms. Shirley,” who cooks Trinidadian food on Whitehall Street. I drop by there often and (most of the time) order curry chicken, cabbage, and rice and beans. Ms. Shirley is extremely nice.

Lower Manhattan overall has been a great place to work. I’d recommend it as a place for friends and family to visit and explore, especially when the weather gets better!