A Hotspot of Hope: The NEW New York

The New New York

[trip style = urban]

{Editor's Note: Scroll to see 50+ photos below.}

To me, traveling to New York is like seeing your coolest and oldest friend. Your time together is always filled with all the feels, and in NYC's newest hood—one of the city's current hotspots—the feels run really deep. 

NYC Hotspot
Enter my recent trip to the Big Apple. I caught a ride to Manhattan on Cathay Pacific's chic and nonstop flight {Vancouverites and New Yorkers: This is the BEST way to fly between the two hubs given the carrier's international-level service on the route}. During this visit, rather than my usual repertoire of hopping between it shops and stops throughout New York's endless neighborhoods, I focused on one NYC grid: The completely revitalized Lower Manhattan, coined the new New York. 

The New New York
Rebuilt after the 9/11 attacks and stronger than ever, Lower Manhattan has become an ode to all the things that make New York a sought-after place to live and visit. In the new New York, there's grit and glam, fortitude and fearlessness, history and ingenuity, energy and esteem. Counting still-standing relics telling visual tales of the city's oldest 'hood, memorials that give a clear voice to past events, eateries so delicious you'd hop on a plane just for one dish, and addresses so stunning they double as art, there's an overwhelming sense of hope oozing from every new building, sidewalk, and storefront.    

Beyond the must-eats, -stays, and -dos popping up all over the revitalized locale, you'll find you're not just visiting a place, but participating in the day-by-day restoration of the human spirit. Here are the addresses that took my breath away in New York's hotspot...of hope.

<Scroll down for details about what to do, where to eat, and my gorgeous stay below>

---> DO <---
Oculus & WestField World Trade Center
You've probably seen its gorgeous wingspan gracing every instagrammers' feed, but there's more to the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus than meets the eye. Commissioned as a memorial to 9/11, this monument to life's glass skylight opens up every September 11th. In a powerful display of light overcoming darkness at 10:28am the sun shines most intensely into the dove-like building—timed to the moment when the second building of the World Trade Center fell. I was there for about four hours, but I could have stayed for the day. The structure is that stunning {and the dove's wings ignite a creative fire in your soul—at least they did for me!}

The Oculus is built over one of the city's major transportation hubs and retail escapes that includes NYC staples such as Eataly and Kiehl's, and transplants like San Fran-based Blue Bottle Coffee, Stockholm-based COS, and London-based Reiss, in addition to other TS faves like Aesop and Claudalie.      

One World Observatory
Perched at the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is a place of perspective: One World Observatory. I don't always flock to bird's-eye-view tourist magnets, but this attraction is in a category of its own. It gave me goosebumps, it made me cry, and it made me smile all in one visit. In short: You have to go to see the bedrock upon which the engineering marvel is built, hear the stories of those who rebuilt the iconic structure, witness the panoramic views, and climb from floor 1 to 102 in 47 ear-popping seconds. And, I won't spoil it, but there's one part of the journey that literally takes your breath away...

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Grand in scale but contemplative in nature, the National September 11 Memorial spans eight of the 16-acre World Trade Center plot. Including a forest, pools, and a subterranean museum telling the stories of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks, this place of tribute is a powerful ode to past events, present awareness, and future change. 

Don't just walk past this memorial. Linger. Sit in the forest and reflect. Read the names of those who never got to tell the tale of that day on the bronze plates circling the one-acre pools. Listen to waterfalls—intended create a sanctuary in the midst of the city's bustle—cascading into the bodies of water. Visit the subterranean museum, a place to learn, feel, reflect, understand, and pay respect to the fallen.       

---> EAT <---
Le District
If I could give a petit bisou to one food address in NYC it would be the French food emporium: Le District {and not just because of the Rosé crèam glacée}. Sandwiched between the Hudson River and the World Trade Center in the chic shopping and dining address, Brookfield Place, the French market feels like you're hovering in an epicurean eden somewhere between New York and Paris.

Think of it like a walkabout of the 11th arrondissement with all the accoutrements you'd expect from the culinary district: Fromagerie, boucherie, poissonerie, boulangerie, patisserie, chocolaterie, bar au vin, brasserie(s)—except here, all the fixings are huddled together in a 30,000-square-foot market. 

Whether you pop in for an éclair {made with imported butter from France, bien sur}, a glass of bold Bordeaux, or a croque-madame at Beaubourg, one of three sit-down eateries, don't plan anything after your visit, because you could sit, browse, nosh, and sip the day away in this chic concrete- and tile-clad francophile land of milk, honey, and every other provision under the French sun. 

CUT by Wolfgang Puck
You'd think celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck would have a dozen of his namesake eateries sprinkled all over Manhattan, but the longtime culinary VIP is choosy. While Puck has been sizzling fixture in the fine dining space since the '80s, he did not choose to enter the upscale Manhattan market until 2016 when the stars aligned to open his steakhouse, CUT, in Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Here, join the Financial District's powerbrokers in the sultry, velvet-draped, and wood-ensconced space to nosh on the city's most highfalutin steaks {read: Grilled over hard wood and charcoal, and finished under a 1,200-degree broiler} and chichi comfort food like creamed spinach with a fried organic egg.

---> STAY <---
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
As part of a neighborhood that is being reshaped by vision and soul, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is a quiet yet confident addition to Lower Manhattan's skyline. Polished yet understated, it's the kind of address a celeb could slip into unnoticed {ahem, and they do}. Occupying the first 24 floors of one of the city's most sough-after towers, the newly-opened luxury hotel has all the fixtures you'd expect from a posh hotel—picture-perfect rooms with marble bathrooms and soaking tubs, a 23-meter pool {so huge it has its own lifeguard}, a spa stocked with rare Swiss brands and lavish treatments such as a Chardonnay skin rejuvenation ritual, a celebrity-chef-helmed restaurant—and then some. And if you ever exit the chic urban retreat, you're steps from culture, cuisine, art, and shops that will make the Big Apple even more delectable than it already is. 

Other Dispatches in this Series
3 Days in NYC {What I Packed}
Cathay Pacific's Iconic YVR to JFK Nonstop Route
Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
Next Up :: NYC

[Lead photo taken by @NomnomYVR, all other photos taken by @TripStyler (unless otherwise stated) while exploring NYC in partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways and NYC & Co.]