The name is short for “triangle below Canal Street,” but for New Yorkers who have visited the distinctive, diverse and aesthetically dazzling neighborhood between Broadway and the Hudson and Vesey and Canal Streets, Tribeca’s name has a host of other meanings. Tribeca means sprawling loft apartments and sophisticated boutiques. Tribeca means cobblestone streets and some of the oldest blocks in all of Manhattan, as well as some of the newest of new construction luxury condominiums. Tribeca means fine dining and high-end art and film, and it means hip speakeasies and beloved dives. Tribeca, in short, is short for everything that New Yorkers associate with living well in downtown Manhattan.
That it’s one of Manhattan’s most expensive residential neighborhoods, then, comes as no surprise. Perhaps more surprising is that, despite the fact that the pioneering artists who first thought to convert Tribeca’s cast-iron buildings into lofts in the 1970s and ‘80s have long ago been priced out, Tribeca has retained its distinctive cool. The pre-war buildings looming over the narrow streets offer some of the most jaw-dropping architectural vistas and distinctly New York contrasts of any Manhattan neighborhood, and for all the celebrity residents and high-end people-watching at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, iconic sushi restaurant Nobu and the neighborhood’s other hotspots, Tribeca never feels quite as commercial or self-consciously cool as its peers at the top of the downtown Manhattan real estate food chain. For all its luxuriousness -- and the apartments for sale in Tribeca are among the highest of Manhattan’s high-end apartment listings -- Tribeca remains very much a neighborhood. In Washington Market Park or the newly refurbished Hudson River Park, on those distinctive narrow blocks, and in places high-end and human-scale, Tribeca remains very much a neighborhood, as opposed to a high-end playground. And that means a lot.