FiDiaries: A Savvy Ad Seller Has Lunch Down to a Science

Weekday mornings find me on the 5 train hurtling beneath Manhattan’s bustling Financial District. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a madhouse during rush hour, but it beats the cost and agita of parking in lower Manhattan. Plus, when I get out at Fulton Station, the hidden historical details on the southbound Lexington Avenue platform make me so happy. I secretly swoon over the preserved 110-year-old tile-work trim and the original steamboat mosaic by Robert Fulton himself. It’s no wonder the station is a registered NYC landmark; just check out the entrance at 195 Broadway with its fancy railings, ornate columns and hand-engraved metal signs. History nerd alert!

From 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM I pitch digital ads to clients at my job, located at Broadway and Dey. This feat requires high-quality rocket fuel, which I pick up in a steaming cup at La Colombe before setting up camp at my desk. Their peppermint mocha draft latte makes me feel like holiday elves are dancing in my mouth. Yeah, I said that.

I love my job, but by midday, lunch is at the forefront of my team’s thoughts and we treat eating like a side hustle. I used to bring food to work but once I caught on to the feast that is FiDi, I caved and started buying lunch daily. From a fancy gym membership to Sephora’s latest miracle serum, everyone has their “thing” that they spend money on but probably could do without. Well, mine is gourmet cuisine, and I regret nothing. My go-to is hybrid food market City Acres, and I’m not too proud to tell you that I read their weekly circular during my commute to mentally prep which feature products I’ll score on sale that week. Westville Wall Street offers a range of simple, delicious eats as well but, I must confess, it’s their smokey mac and cheese and breaded chicken cutlet that I gravitate towards.

If we’re angling for “clubby atmosphere lunch,” and, yes, that needs to happen sometimes, my colleagues and I head to Hanover Greek for elevated seafood entrees and occasional craft cocktails. If you feel like living it up before smashing the rest of the afternoon, $31.95 will get you the three-course lunch special, and their Monday-Friday meze menu includes $1 aphrodisiac bivalves (that’s “oysters” to the uninitiated). What’s not to love?

Sometimes after work we hit Stone Street, named for the fact that it was the first ever paved street in Manhattan. But watch your step after happy hour, those charming cobblestones call for fancy footwork when you’re staring up at the cluster of Dutch Revival style buildings lining this FiDi pearl. Its half-dozen or so restaurants and cafes provide outdoor seating in clement weather, but winter months lend Stone Street’s interiors a memorable old-timey coziness.

Lastly, if it’s live music you’re craving (and I usually am), sceney Pier 17 has quickly built traction as the Seaport’s District’s darling. Maybe you’ve got plans to woo that dreamy Bumble conquest, or just want to treat yourself before a night on the town because, damn, you’re looking good. In both cases, I recommend watching the sunset at Pier A Harbor House while you beast through a lobster roll or two. Don’t worry, you’ll burn it all off walking the ever-evolving stretch along the East River, in good company or on your fabulous lonesome. Either way, the Financial District is your bivalve.