Go behind the scenes with the stars of the Alliance’s Be Seen video.

Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Lower Manhattan is a place to see and be seen – and a place where LGBTQ+ New Yorkers know they can be 100% themselves. To celebrate and showcase the neighborhood’s welcoming spirit in the run-up to World Pride 2019, we teamed up with three of Downtown’s most influential changemakers for the exciting Be Seen video. So just who are these stars who spend their days downtown?

Whembley Sewell, Executive Editor, Condé Nast’s them.

Them is a next-generation digital platform produced for the queer community, by the queer community. Whembley was recently appointed Executive Editor of this Conde Nast publication, which calls One World Trade Center home. Though Whembley is new at them, she is no stranger to Lower Manhattan. She worked at Refinery29, located just south of City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge at 225 Broadway, and Teen Vogue, a sister Conde Nast publication. How has her experience in Lower Manhattan been so far? According to Whembley,“so many of the things you want to do, and you want to experience about New York, all the greatest things, are right here.”

Kelly Fitzpatrick, Owner + Founder of Blue Park Kitchen

Lower Manhattan is in the midst of a food renaissance and one of the chefs leading the way is Blue Park Kitchen’s Kelly Fitzpatrick. Kelly is the owner and founder of this sustainable restaurant grounded in the belief that food should be nourishing, honest and delicious. A graduate of Cornell and the Culinary Institute of America, Kelly decided that Lower Manhattan was the place to bring her cooking chops when looking for the perfect neighborhood to open her first restaurant. It has also been a welcoming place. “I can 100% be myself in Lower Manhattan,” Kelly explains. “My wife and I always feel comfortable holding hands, walking down the street.”

You can find Kelly and Blue Park Kitchen at 70 Pine Street.

Douglas Flores, Former Chief Operating Officer at the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network is the foremost group working to create safe schools for all students regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Doug Flores is the GLSEN’s former Chief Operating Officer, who talks about feeling incredibly seen and understood whenever he is out and about in Lower Manhattan. He has no qualms about,”walking into a restaurant with my husband, pulling out a chair,” and feeling comfortable to express his relationship here.

Toward the end of the Be Seen video, you’ll see Whembley, Kelly and Doug having drinks at The Beekman’s Alley Cat Amateur Theatre, an underground lounge where local downtown influencers, celebrities, and media mix and mingle late into the night most nights of the week.

Make sure to visit Lower Manhattan when you’re in town – and who knows, maybe you’ll see one of our video stars!

Follow @downtownnyc on Instagram for all things Lower Manhattan.