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Lower Manhattan

City Explore

Around Lower Manhattan

The Lower Manhattan area is rich in history yet continually evolving. Imposing skyscrapers and Wall Street commerce juxtapose local cafes and charming attractions like South Street Seaport and beautiful Battery Park. When it came time to explore, we headed to a few nearby points of interest.

A Residential Stay at Q&A Hotel

The word “genius” is defined on the wall of Q&A’s lobby: “a person with the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions.” Clearly, the design team at Furnished Quarters took this to heart while creating the Lower Manhattan hotel that travellers have been asking for: a modern option for extended stays in downtown New York.

Who knew you’d find sleek apartment-style hotel rooms in a landmark Art Deco skyscraper near Wall Street? At 952 feet, the brick-clad Cities Services Building (built in 1932) was once the world’s third tallest, after the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Today, 70 Pine has been reimagined as a contemporary abode for those who want to live and stay downtown. With the area quickly evolving to be a hot spot for business travellers from the AirBnB generation, Q&A has arrived at just the right time.

Reflective corridors in Q&A Hotel
Q&A Hotel's sleek, modern design

“The historical lobby was fully restored. It’s a cool mix because when you get up to the rooms they’re totally modern,” says Laurie Scott of Q&A as we ascend in an ornate elevator.

Inspired by inventors throughout the ages, Q&A is focused on honouring and hosting those who ask, “what if?” The concept breaks the mould of the traditional hotel room by offering suites equipped with full-size kitchens, new appliances, dining tables and offices. Whether you’re a business traveller or a family on vacation, Q&A’s suites allow guests to feel as if they’re living like a local in New York.

“The apartments are designed to inspire innovation and creativity,” says Scott as she points to the chalkboard and décor items that pay homage to eminent inventors.

From the Edison Residence (a deluxe studio apartment) to the A.G. Bell Residence (a 1 bedroom apartment + office), every suite is named after a renowned innovator and decorated accordingly. During our stay in the 2-bedroom Franklin Residence, we were thankful for a spacious and quiet home base— an ideal option for those travelling for work.

Lower Manhattan's Q&A Hotel
Inside a Q&A Hotel room

The Oculus

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the remarkable rib cage-like structure inside the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is well worth a visit. The construction of the hub took 12 years and $4 billion to complete, making it the most expensive train station in the world. Step inside and you’ll be immersed in a white architectural masterpiece, inspired by a child releasing a dove into the air.

The Freedom Tower
Inside the Oculus
Reflective Freedom Tower

Esprezzatura Coffee and Tea

A morning in Manhattan wouldn’t feel complete without a visit to an iconic New York coffee cart. In the morning, during the hustle and bustle of Wall Street rush hour, we lined up with the suits at Esprezzatura, a coffee cart that has garnered somewhat of a cult following for its gourmet espresso.

Lower Manhattan coffee stand
Financial District, NYC

The Brooklyn Bridge

Connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most identifiable New York landmarks. Its cables and geometric details make it a work of art in itself. Stroll across at dusk to see the silhouettes of the Manhattan skyline pop against a colourful sunset glow.

The Brooklyn Bridge
Williamsburg Bridge to the Empire State Building

Words by Julia Eskins

Photos by Aleyah Solomon

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