Lower Manhattan Meanderings: Jeremy Goes North!

north

My Lower Manhattan Meanderings is a way for me—and you—to get to know Lower Manhattan a little better as I pick a direction and write about what was interesting along the way.

Today, I decided I was going to start walking north. Our building, 120 Broadway, is cool because it has four exits, one for each direction, because it took up the entire city block (and caused some issues as well). Another cool thing about our building is because of its H-like design, I can look out a window to see outside into another window in the same building and even see out their window on the other side of the building. This is fun when it is snowing (as has happened once or twice this year), because out our window it looks like it is snowing up (like Lucy told Charlie Brown) because of the wind tunnel, but through the building on the other side it is clearly coming down.

Fortunately, today it isn’t snowing, but it is cold. Again. After I left the building, I headed north, up Broadway. I walked past commercial and residential buildings (I wonder what it must be like to live in a building that used to be commercial, but is now residential? Did you know that the two other locations I worked at in Lower Manhattan have converted to residential. They were 99 John Street and 20 Exchange Place. But we can talk about residential conversions another meandering)…

Instead of continuing north, I made a right onto Maiden Lane because I used to come here all of the time and hadn’t walked down the street in a while (I used to have a favorite pizza place on Maiden). I walked past what for many years was a vacant lot, but is now a Holiday Inn with the Federal Café actually located on the spot where the lot used to be. It is amazing how old this area is and yet they are still able to build new buildings while maintaining the historical significance and uniqueness of the area.

Of course, right before that hotel is that tiny, slightly scary alley off Maiden Lane called Liberty Place. I’ve walked up that many times, but that day I didn’t and instead crossed Nassau Street and passed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

For a long moment, I imagined what it would be like to get my hands on some of the 7,000 metric tons of gold bullion supposedly stored in their building (that equals about $270 billion with a B).

Somehow I kept moving and despite how cold it was, the sun was blinding and I could barely see where I was going and actually started walking up the handicap ramp entrance to the building on the opposite side of the Fed because I really couldn’t see. It was only the slope of the ramp that told me something was not right and I had to turn around and get back on the sidewalk.

It wasn’t too embarrassing.

When I found my way again I noticed the fountain in front of 59 Maiden Lane, which was completely frozen and interestingly beautiful. I continued walking through the plaza at 59 Maiden Lane with its wide space, brick flooring and benches, covered in snow. Another really nice place if—I mean, when—the weather gets warmer.

I came out at the middle of William Street and walked across to Platt Street. Down the street I saw the Libertine’s chalkboard sign standing outside with the following words “Warm up in the Libertine.”

If you believe it strong enough, maybe the warmer weather will really happen sooner rather than later.

That would be nice.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll see you walking down the street meandering along. If you see anything I should check it out, just e-mail me at jschneider@downtownny.com.