FiDiaries: Confessions of a Marketing Tech Maven

My work at Vesey and West Street lands me right on the FiDi frontier, so I can pretty much fall out of bed in my Battery Park apartment, roll over my toothbrush face first, and crawl to work like an early-evolution vertebrate. Turns out FiDi is strewn with hidden party gems that leave you hitting snooze that one extra time the morning after. More on that later.

Whether I got a responsible night’s sleep or painted the town red, I always stop on my way to work to caffeinate at Inatteso Cafe or Le District. Then I head to my job, which is conveniently nestled a stone’s throw away in Brookfield Place, a shopping center and office building complex boasting an enticing vista of the Hudson River, not to mention the best smorgasbord of upmarket eateries ever, so you can stuff yourself while admiring this urban polestar’s surprising greenery.

Working at a tech company amounts to a pretty traditional 9-to-5 situation in that I eat lunch around lunchtime, by which time I’m fired up over the plethora of local food options at my fingertips. When I’m under a time crunch but demand no less than culinary excellence, Brookfield Place’s upscale food court features restaurants like Blue Ribbon, Chop’t, PJ Clarke’s, Dos Toros, Dig Inn, and Hudson Eats. Given favorable weather or lowkey workload, a stroll over to Sweetgreen, Whole Foods, or Westville is my jam.

In terms of leaving the area once the workday wraps up, a tangle of useful subway lines connect around the FiDi area (N & R, 1 2 3, A C E, 4 and 5). You can even make your way from point A to point B on the Downtown Connection bus, which stops all throughout FiDi and the downtown area, or grab a Citibike if you’re not in the mood to hoof it. Walking through the enclosed World Trade Center transportation hub, the Oculus, simplifies winter commuting, too.

Newcomers may fall under the impression that FiDi is all banks, suits, corporate jets, and golden parachutes. FiDi is so much more than that, guys. We also have really good pizza. Those in the know can be found relishing happy hour at Sauce & Barrel with 2-for-1 drinks until 7 p.m, seven days a week, with stellar Caesar salads and mouthwatering slices on offer. Harry’s Pizza makes group dining easy with its heaping portions, and their old-fashioned pie leaves me weak at the knees. Everyone freaks out over Keste’s FiDi location for authentic brick oven pizza, too.

Family and friends from out of town have hinted that FiDi has a reputation for emptying out at night. So, I get a kick out of surprising visitors with the influx of new restaurants, stores, and bars driving people and businesses to the area. Just a decade ago, it was a bit of a ghost town after hours but nowadays you can find everything from Physique 57 or SoulCycle, packed with good-looking, sweaty people, to the ultra-happening outdoor space at Pier A, which attracts the masses year-round with its legendary happy hour, much like Le District. For a midweek nightcap, speakeasies Black Tail and The Dead Rabbit (voted World’s Best bar in 2016) are both worth a trip down the bunny trail (or rabbit hole, if I may), signature cocktail in hand.

On weekends, FiDi trades in its sleek business attire for comfy activewear and street fashion. You might also opt for dancing shoes in the name of live music and drinks at Ulysses on ever-bustling Stone Street. With so many enticements in the neighborhood, there’s no shortage of folks around here who treat fun and free time like the serious business they are.