A Digital Meandering

04/19/2011 in


My Lower Manhattan Meanderings are a way for me–and you–to get to know Lower Manhattan a little better as I pick a direction and write about what was interesting along the way.

The last time you heard from me I was meandering in Florida and, man, it was absolutely gorgeous. In the 80s every single day with very low humidity. I walked to the pool every day with my family and had a wonderful time.

Then I came back and despite the theoretical understanding that spring has arrived, I have noticed no discernable difference between February and March. To make matters worse, every single day I have scheduled a meandering the weather turned lousy–including today.

Instead, I’m going to cheat a bit and give you a digital meandering…of our new website. It’s something we have worked hard on and something, I believe, that will make all of our meanderings much easier because of the incredible Interactive Map we have created.

When you go to DowntownNY.com, you’ll first see four images on the home page enticing you to check out events and activities around our district. You also will have immediate access to all of our social media feeds and even check out one example of the enormous array of facts and figures we collect regularly.

The navigation menu is also new. What To Do, Getting Around and Working & Living all link you directly to where you need to go faster than before, along with links to a few of the things the Downtown Alliance does.

Right in the middle of our home page, however, is possibly the most exciting change to our site. Our Search Bar gives you immediate access to almost anything you want to find in Lower Manhattan: restaurants, shopping, neighborhood services, events and much more. The Downtown Alliance tracks every single retail space and attraction/museum south of Chambers Street. And for the first time, this information is fully available in map format.

In fact, let’s start our meandering right there. I’m going to indicate that I’m looking for “Dining” and “Mexican” and see what I find. I see a map with 10 markers on it, all Mexican restaurants and a list of them below the map. I immediately expand the map and zoom in to get a better view.


In the list I see Mad Dog and Beans (don’t tell anyone, but I am quite partial to their margaritas) and click on the Highlight on the map marker on the right, which pops up a little window with more information on the restaurant (and makes it easy to find them on the map).

My goal was to maybe grab lunch there after stopping at the post office. But where is the closest post office? In the pop-up window is a feature called Search Nearby and I use it to then look for post offices and I find four (we have four in the area?) and two quite close by. How convenient.

But it is yucky outside and I’ll save that for a day if–I mean, when it’s nice out. Instead, I start my search over by clicking on the Events icon on the Search Bar to find something happening this weekend. I end up with a Storybook Reading and Workshop at the Museum of the American Indian, which looks like something my kids might like. I click on it and see a whole page devoted to the event including a What Else Is Nearby? box on the right-hand side where I see Federal Hall (and Chipotle, my wife’s favorite) is right nearby.

Underneath where it is pinpointed on the map, I click on View Larger Map, which takes me to, shockingly, the larger map where I can once again Search Nearby to find whatever I want. This time I choose Parks-Recreation and get that list displayed on the map.

Now I have the Museum and Parks in the area on my map, but also know my kids are going to be hungry after doing those two things and use Add/Remove Locations to add Pizza places. What an array of choices!

Why don’t you take a turn with your own digital meandering? Test out the Search Bar, find a new place to have lunch or a museum you’ve never been to, or a new place to get your dry cleaning done. Let me know how it goes in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Tags: LM Meandering, LM Meanderings

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