>> You know Robert DeNiro as an entertaining, Academy Award winning actor. New Yorkers know him as a patriotic American; one who invests in his own community, provides educational resources, attracts investment capital, and generates jobs.
Robert DeNiro supported the preservation and development of the TriBeCa area of Downtown Manhattan since the 1980s. After 9/11 (2001), he was instrumental in founding the TriBeCa Film Institute, a non-profit organization that provides training and support for creative teams related to the film industry.
That said, I recommend that you see for yourself why DeNiro finds TriBeCa a good place to live, work, and enjoy the metropolitan life. Let this article be your guide.
DeNiro and partners own property around the area of Greenwich and Hudson, bounded by Franklin and North Moore.
With Jane Rosenthal (film producer), he founded TriBeCa Productions in 1988. Six months after 9/11 in 2001, they, along with sponsor American Express, founded the TriBeCa Film Institute, which hosts the annual TriBeCa Film Festival.
DeNiro is also a principle in the TriBeCa Grill and Nobu restaurants, founded in 1990 and 1995, respectively.
If possible, arrive in the TriBeCa area via the A, C, or E subway line, and get off at the Canal Street Station.
Once in the station's main concourse, glance at the surrounding grillwork. There you'll see dozens of life-sized, realistic, bronze Blackbirds. And, being realistic, they are easy to miss! Standing stone still, however, they're perfect for photos and unique reminders of your ride.
To find DeNiro's TriBeCa area, walk to the corner of West Broadway and Canal, then look way up to pinpoint the ornate, Woolworth Building skyscraper. Walk toward it on West Broadway to North Moore Street. (Visitor's Note: When you walk in the opposite direction on West Broadway, you'll find fabulous SOHO shops, and on weekends, sidewalk entertainers.)
Turn right on North Moore. There you'll see grand, old, New York manufacturing buildings. Take time to appreciate their brickwork; a tribute to the highly creative bricklayers of the early 1900s.
As you walk through the neighborhood, relax and browse! The stores and galleries in this area are highly unique. You'll appreciate them whether or not they have goods in your price-range.
Once you reach Hudson Street, turn left. On the east side of Hudson is a five-story building (116 Hudson Street) currently adjacent to an empty lot. (MAP ITEM 1) DeNiro and associates are renovating that building, plus will be erecting a seven-story residential building on the lot. They are also renovating the lower portion of the building adjacent to the lot. (PICTURE 3)
Across the street and down the block is the upscale Nobu restaurant (modern Japanese cuisine), which DeNiro also co-owns.
Nobu, on the corner of Hudson and Franklin Street, is housed in a stunning, ornate brick building. (MAP ITEM 2) The restaurant itself is roomy (unusual for New York), showcasing birch-tree columns and a copper ceiling. Although reservations are required here, a smaller walk-in version of the restaurant is just next door.
Currently, the street level is shrouded in New York's ever-present scaffolding; something I hope is removed soon. Nobu's grand entrance is on a corner, with huge windows running along Franklin. (PICTURES 4 AND 5)
Walking west on Franklin toward Greenwich Street, you'll come to TriBakery (MAP ITEM 3), which I wrote about in March 2002. At that time, TriBakery was under scaffolding. Now, thank god, it's clear.
TriBakery, which is housed in a DeNiro-owned building, supplies restaurants owned and/or run by the internationally famous restaurateur, Drew Nieporent. Mr. Nieporent is partner and operations manager of DeNiro's restaurants.
Next to TriBakery is the TriBeCa Grill and around the corner, TriBeCa Productions, all housed in the same building. (MAP ITEMS 3, 4 AND 5) To get a sense of the building's eastern boundary, look straight up TriBakery's wall. (PICTURES 6 AND 7)
TriBakery, by the way, is famous for its stunning cake decorations. Bakery artists turn chocolate into decorative cabbage-flower replicas as well as into an amazing array of flowers and patterns. Food served there costs significantly less than when served in fine restaurants, even though it is the same product. If you can't afford Nobu or the TriBeCa Grill, make a point of eating at TriBakery.
TriBakery's neighbor, the TriBeCa Grill, (MAP ITEM 4), was decorated to look like an old, preserved building, although the original interior was not all that grand. Its interior walls are now rough brick, trimmed with dark mahogany. Every room is inviting, from its mahogany bar to the dining areas. You'll love each one.
On the sidewalk, the scenery changes radically when you reach Greenwich. The west side of Greenwich was gutted and rebuilt in the mid-1900s, making it look clean, but common. The east side of Greenwich, however, features old TriBeCa, with beautiful brick buildings, many fronted by cast-iron panels that were meant to convey hand-crafted stone.
The understated entrance of TriBeCa Productions is near Greenwich and North Moore. Next to it is a lot which is slated to house a boutique (small) hotel. (MAP ITEMS 5 AND 6)
Picture 9 shows DeNiro's building as seen from across Greenwich Street. TriBeCa Grill is on the corner to the right, and TriBeCa Productions, the left.
Note that walking north along Greenwich after dark is a delight. The old TriBeCa side is loaded with brightly-lit bars, cafes and restaurants, each one more fascinating than the last. And, yes! It is safe to walk in the area after dark.
During the day, take the time to stroll around the entire area. It is close to the World Trade Center as well as Manhattan's stunning City Hall, the municipal district, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
And while you are walking around, think about all the people who've contributed in big and small ways to America via New York. If so moved, say a little prayer of thanks. I do often . . .
Questions or comments?
TAKE SUBWAY TO TRIBECA AND MAKE SURE
YOU SEE THE BRONZE BLACKBIRDS
IN THE CANAL STREET STATION
THAT SERVICES THE A, C, AND E LINES.
DeNIRO AND ASSOCIATES ARE HEAVILY INVESTED
IN THE AREAS MARKED AS PINK ITEMS ABOVE.
NOTE THAT ITEMS 3, 4 AND 5 ARE HOUSED
IN A BUILDING THAT WAS ONCE
A COFFEE PROCESSING FACTORY.
ITEM 1: 116, 114 and 112 HUDSON
ARE UNDER RENOVATION. THE EMPTY
LOT (114) WILL HOUSE A
7-STORY RESIDENTIAL BUILDING.
ITEM 2: THE BUILDING HOUSING
CORNER OF HUDSON AND FRANKLIN,
THE GRAND ENTRANCE TO NOBU
IS CURRENTLY UNDER SCAFFOLDING.
THE SIDES OF THE RESTAURANT
FEATURE BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS
SIMILAR TO THE DOORS SEEN ABOVE.
ITEM 3: TRIBAKERY IS IN THE MIDDLE
OF FRANKLIN, ON THE SOUTH-EAST EDGE
OF DeNIRO'S BUILDING
LOOK UP THE EXTERIOR WALL OF TRIBAKERY
TO SEE BEAUTIFUL BRICK
AND THE EDGE OF DeNIRO'S BUILDING.
ITEM 4: TRIBECA GRILL IS
ON THE CORNER OF
FRANKLIN AND GREENWICH.
ITEM 5: LOOKING EAST TOWARD DeNIRO'S
BUILDING FROM GREENWICH STREET.
ON THE LEFT EDGE ISTRIBECA PRODUCTIONS.
NOTE THE LOADING DOCK DOORS.
ITEM 6: AN EMPTY LOT (NOT SHOWN)
NORTH OF TRIBECA PRODUCTIONS
WILL BE TURNED
INTO A BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
IS HELD ON GREENICH STREET
AROUND THIS AREA.