Guest post: Grace A. Capobianco

grace

Today’s guest post is by Grace A. Capobianco, Publisher and Founder of DOWNTOWN Magazine. A Lower Manahttan resident, Grace has worked in magazine publishing for several decades. The spring issue of DOWNTOWN came out this week and includes an interview with Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger. Check out the issue here.

How long have you lived in Lower Manhattan?
Since November 2001.

Why did you move here?
The water and peace this area brings to me. I remember how relaxing, clean and free the air felt during a previous visit. The beauty of Lower Manhattan stayed with me for quite some time. I decided this area suited me well because I had always lived on the water.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Lower Manhattan?
I love to ride my bike on the esplanade. I also enjoy walking around the neighborhood and experiencing something new every day.

What led you to start a magazine focused on Downtown?
The idea for DOWNTOWN was hatched in 2002. I explored every angle of bringing this magazine to life then. But it was too soon; not enough time had passed after September 11th for the healing and the rebuilding to begin to close our wounds sufficiently.

In other areas, most people have to pay large sums of money for what we have right here in our own backyard. I was tired of people coming to this area to visit Ground Zero, shop at Century 21 and then leave. Or the 60,000 workers who commute to work everyday from the tri-state area and only leave their offices to either grab lunch or go home. We’ve come through the ashes with great success; this area has quadrupled in residents, new businesses are opening everyday and large companies are choosing Lower Manhattan as a new home…we have something to brag about! Someone had to take a chance.

What’s your experience in publishing?
I started my first company when I was 27, and quickly realized this was my passion. I helped launch many successful titles, such as South Florida Business Journal, Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty.

Who is your role model?
My father, an Italian immigrant who became a successful businessman.

Who are your readers?
Residents, employees and tourists. Even though the magazine covers a niche area, our readership is diverse. We tap into young singles, growing families and seasoned professionals who work and live here, plus those just visiting.

What’s a hidden secret about Lower Manhattan?
It’s no secret that Downtown is rich in history–after all it’s the Battery! What’s less known is how passionate Lower Manhattanites are about the community in which they live; they love it. It’s a whole bustling world separate from the rest of Manhattan.

What’s the biggest misperception about Lower Manhattan?
The biggest misconception is that the area shuts down come 6 PM and the streets roll up. On the contrary, the area becomes alive after hours. People hit the streets and flood the restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. Be it winter/holiday time or summer in the city, Lower Manhattan is “the” place to be.

Your issues will be thematic–so what’s the next issue going to be about?
The summer issue focuses on going green. Being eco-conscious is a must, and what better time to celebrate our environment than during the summertime when everyone is out and about enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. Between our newly re-launched website and print magazine, we are going to cover companies with sustainable initiatives in a variety of industries including fashion and beauty, restaurants and real estate. One of our feature stories we are working on is about super moms in the Lower Manhattan area–below Canal Street–celebrity Mom’s likeTracy Stewart (wife of Jon Stewart), Christy Turnlington and several other accomplished women.

In each issue we also do a “Downtown On” section where we focus on a specific area. We are working to cover each of the Downtown neighborhoods and then branch out beyond our borders. This upcoming issue we spotlight Battery Park and Battery Park City. We urge readers to explore New York during the summer, take advantage of the Lower Manhattan parks and live it up Downtown!

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