Tribeca or TriBeCa is an area of Lower Manhattan, New York City. The name Tribeca is a portmanteau (French for “suitcase”) of Triangle Below Canal Street. The triangle is the shape of the neighborhood, surrounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway and Vesey or Chambers Streets.
Tribeca Development & Demographics
Tribeca was one of the earliest residential neighborhoods develop
ed in New York. Residential development started in the late 18th century. In the mid-19th century, the neighborhood took shape to become a commercial center, complete with stores and loft buildings that were built along Broadway in the 1850s and 1860s.
The twentieth century brought new changes to the area, in the 1960s specifically, when the industrial base dwindled. Empty commercial spaces started to attract numerous artists in the 1970s. From the 1980s onwards, much of the area has since been converted into an upscale residential area. So upscale and coveted is this section of town that now celebrities like Taylor Swift, Jay Z and Beyoncé call Tribeca home.
Tribeca is far less diverse than Manhattan as a whole. In Tribeca, 82.34% of residents are White, 7.96% are Asian, 4.89% are Black, 0.03% are Pacific Islander and 1.66% are from other races. Cosmopolitan as Tribeca may be, with about 18.2% of the population being foreign born, its residents aren’t representative of the borough. Manhattan-wide, about 48% of residents are White, with 13% being Black and 11.2% being Asian. While only 6.43% of Tribeca’s residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, more than 25% of Manhattan’s total population do.
Tribeca Film Festival
When 9/11 happened, this neighborhood was affected physically and financially. However, the area received government grants and other incentives that enabled it to recover a bit quicker. The Tribeca Film Festival was founded to be a part of the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan.
Since its inception, the festival has grown into a venue showcasing both big budget and independent movies. Each spring, narratives, documentaries, shorts and features are screened around Lower Manhattan. For the remainder of the year, the screening rooms show other movies and double as private event spaces. This year the festival starts April 13th to 24th. There will be a new feature called Tribeca Talks: Storytellers, a series of in-depth talks with leading creators in their respective fields.
Museums & Galleries Around
With the founding of the Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour in 1996, a nonprofit artist-run organization with the goal of empowering working artists and providing opportunities for educating the public, the area became a creative enclave. Here are some museums and galleries that are must-visit meccas in Tribeca.
1. Philip Williams Posters
It’s a poster museum! Philip Williams Posters is a museum that has been buying and selling vintage posters for over 40 years. This gallery, a New York City institution, has one of the largest private vintage poster collections in the world, and it’s the only one of its kind in America. The types of artifacts that you can see there include poster books, collections of original paintings and sculptures.
2. Let There Be Neon
Let There Be Neon is a gallery that has been one of the most renowned suppliers and creators of custom neon signage. This gallery has also produced neon wings for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, as well as the halo-lit stainless steel signs of Kiehl’s stores. When you visit this neon spectacular you will see vintage and stock items, as well as recent projects on display. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind gallery.
Apexart was established in 1994 as a not-for-profit art space. Over 1,500 artists have been hosted here since the space opened. Every year there are seven gallery shows, including eight international residency programs for overseas artists. This space exists to give opportunities to independent curators, as well as to artists who are starting out and to those who have already made a name for themselves. You can check out their latest exhibitions here.
Attention Literary Lovers
In Tribeca, your aesthetic senses will definitely be on high alert, but it’s not all visual art on display. Book lovers can find a number of unique museums and shops to satisfy their craving for word-play.
1. Fountain Pen Hospital
It’s not that kind of medical hospital. Fountain Pen Hospital has been around since 1946 and was established as a place that simply promotes pens. When you visit you can switch off from modern day technology and sit yourself at a desk and write, not type on a qwerty keyboard.
2. The Mysterious Bookshop
The Mysterious Bookshop is perhaps the neighborhood’s most infamous meeting place for bibliophiles, and one of the world’s most well-known shops devoted to the genre. You’ll find hardcover books, paperbacks and even periodicals. The bookshop has been around for more than 34 years and includes a remarkable collection of rare items. You can also be a part of the bookshop’s Crime Clubs, where readers and collectors have access to signed first editions from leading authors.
If you are taking the subway to Tribeca the following lines will get you there:
1 to Canal St, A,C,E to Canal St., 1 to Franklin St., N,Q,R,W to Canal St., 1,2 to Chambers St., A,C to Chambers St., R,W to City Hall, 2,3 to Park Pl., and E to World Trade Center.
Getting Medical & Police Help
The closest hospitals and police station in the area are:
170 Williams Street
New York, NY 10038
NYPD 1st Precinct
16 Ericsson Place,
New York, NY, 10013-2411