Le District

The French are behind schedule. Le District, a grand marketplace on the scale of Eataly but with a french accent, was due to open this week in Brookfield Place on the lower west side of Manhattan. Fromagerie, charcuterie, boulangerie and all the things things we can’t pronounce but love to eat will soon be part of this stylish Gallic marketplace. Confectionerie was the only department open yesterday, and New Yorkers, with their enthusiastic ability to immediately patronize anything new, were buzzing around, tasting the nougats and caramel filled cookies. Unfortunately for me, the salad bar that turns into a chocolate mousse bar at 4pm every day was still under wraps. But there was other magic in store.

Brookfield Place, at a stretch, could be imagined as a Left Bank of Manhattan. Apart from Le District, luxury stores are vying for best position inside and out, the view is across the river to the historical Ellis Island, and art fits rather beautifully into the heart of the complex. Currently the atrium is filled with giant hibiscus shaped flowers that swirl around the open space, catching Spring sunshine with bold color and rippling to reveal gorgeous pods inside. While Sean and I rode along the bordering waterfront bike path for ages before realizing this was not just another massive office tower, the building’s proximity to the World Trade Center adds an interesting dimension. You can approach Brookfield Place through a futuristic underground tunnel that was constructed by circumventing the foundations of the World Trade Center. Brilliant white design takes you to the new PATH train system and then emerges above ground near Trinity Church. The contrast in walking from this historical church through the still boarded side of Ground Zero into the white space-age tunnel and then up the escalator to Brookfield Plaza, shows yet once again that while we dream about the destination, the surprise is usually in the journey…


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8 Responses to Le District

  1. David ord says:

    Great report Gabrielle lovely descriptive writing and what a wonderful looking tunnel.

  2. ck1957 says:

    I am salivating just reading this Gabrielle. I love how you find these treasures and then tease us with them! I can see a return trip to New York is going to be a necessity. Happy Easter 🙂

    • Thank you Chris! And a very Happy Easter to you both. Speaking of a tease – imagine how it was for me expecting to see a magical chocolate mousse bar and they tell me to come back next week…?!?

  3. Geoff says:

    I am finishing a cruise in New York on the 21/09/2015, staying for a few days so you blog is giving me ideas for places to visit. Happy Easter

  4. Richard G says:

    Thanks for all your writing, I’m starting to think that a planned 2 week stay in NYC in June might not be long enough to check out all your gems.

    • Thank you Richard. Two weeks sounds like a reasonable time to explore, but of course you come with a list and leave with another. But that’s OK, you can always come back… The trick is to find a spot like the Union Square markets and just pause with a coffee and watch the life of the city happen around you. You can’t lose!

  5. lynda clarke says:

    that was really in teresting, when can afford to will be over. the cakes seem so cheap compared to Melbourne. enjoy Easter!

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