TOP 10 THINGS QUEEN ELIZABETH II SHOULD DO WHEN SHE VISITS LOWER MANHATTAN
The visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Lower Manhattan is only days away, and the Alliance for Downtown New York has fashioned a Top 10 to-do list for the royal monarch to do whilst in town.
“Lower Manhattan is fit for a Queen,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance, the city’s largest Business Improvement District. “While Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is visiting New York for the first time in nearly three and a half decades, we’ve come up with an itinerary that will showcase the growth, vitality and diversity of one of our city’s fastest-growing communities.”
The Queen of England is set to make a first visit to view the World Trade Center site since the attacks on our city nearly nine years ago on September 11, 2001. After meeting with first responders there, Her Majesty is expected to attend the official opening of The British Garden at Hanover Square and later deliver remarks before the United Nations General Assembly.
This is the Queen’s first visit to New York since the 1976 Bicentennial. Her Majesty will be accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip. (Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles visited the World Trade Center site in 2005; Prince Harry visited the site last year and laid a wreath there.)
But, if Her Majesty has a wee bit more time during this jaunt through New York City, the Downtown Alliance has an ideal itinerary (which anyone can follow along on our Flickr site here to see all that Lower Manhattan has to offer):
1. NYC's Ticker-Tape Parade Route. Mosey up lower Broadway to marvel at the granite strips commemorating the 206 ticker tape parades that have taken place there. Pause just north of Liberty Street (on the east side of Broadway) at strip No. 136, which memorialized the Queen’s earlier visit on October 21, 1957 with Prince Philip. (The Queen might notice, too, that there were quite a few parades heralding the British heroes, such as Adm. Lord David Beatty, Commander of the British and Allied fleets during World War I (No. 10); David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War I (No. 13); and, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II (No. 58). (En route, take a gander at Trinity Church, which was designed by British-born American architect Richard Upjohn.)
2. Stone Street establishments. After the Queen finishes a visit to The British Garden at Hanover square, we recommend a stroll south along Stone Street, a narrow, cobblestone lane first developed by Dutch colonists in the 1600s. With its two neat rows of picturesque, (mostly) low-rise brick buildings dotted by zigzagging fire escapes and old-fashioned black lighting fixtures, Stone Street is centuries-old pathway that recalls the ambience of 19th century New York. The Dutch West India Company first sold what’s now called the Stone Street Historic District to European property owners in the 1640s. It was originally called Hoogh Straet, but the name changed to Duke Street under British control to honor the Duke of York. In 1794, the name was changed to Stone Street. If the temperature is still rising, the Queen should pop into the Stone Street Tavern (85 Pearl Street) and take a sip of a frosty Boddingtons, creamy ale. If hunger sets in, perhaps there’s time for some of the tavern’s fish and chips, chicken pot pie or shepherds pie.
3. Fraunces Tavern Museum. A brief, brisk walk away is Fraunces Tavern Museum, Manhattan’s only Museum of the American Revolution (54 Pearl Street). The tavern – built in 1719 – played a significant role in pre-Revolutionary War activities and later housed early U.S. government offices of the departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs (today’s State Department). It’s best known as the site where Gen. George Washington bade farewell to officers of the Continental Army on December 4, 1783. In 1904, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York purchased the tavern, saving it from the wrecking ball. A restored Fraunces Tavern was opened to the public 113 years ago as a Museum and Restaurant. Fraunces Tavern was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. (The tavern is undergoing renovations now, but the museum – with eight galleries of exhibits on two floors remains open.)
4. Castle Clinton. Then it’s off to Battery Park, where a stroll down the promenade will lead to Castle Clinton, which was originally built to stop a British invasion in 1812. It is now a national monument, and the place where the Downtown Alliance is hosting concerts throughout the summer as part of the River to River Festival. Catch a Statue Cruises ferry to Liberty Island to meet the Queen of America, the Statue of Liberty.
5. Free Ride Around Downtown. Once returning, it might be best to take a rest. So the Queen should take advantage of the Downtown Connection, the Downtown Alliance’s free (and air conditioned!) bus service that accommodates 900,000 riders each year. And, as the Queen travels around the tip of Manhattan and up Water Street, Her Majesty likely will pass by the new offices of the National Enquirer at 4 New York Plaza (but no need to worry because the tabloid hasn’t set up shop yet.)
6. Luxury Shopping on Wall Street. Exiting the Downtown Connection at Wall Street, the Queen should head west, stopping by Tiffany’s (37 Wall Street) – one of the premier retailers in Lower Manhattan – to have any jewels polished, and possibly to add to Her Majesty’s collection. Nearby is Thomas Pink (63 Wall Street), a clothing business launched in 1984 and named after an 18th century London tailor known for fashioning red (“pink”) hunting jackets. (If in a frugal mood, though, there’s always J&R or Century 21 just blocks away.)
7. High Tea in the Financial District. Just a few steps away (and yes, it’s a French establishment!), the Queen can partake in an afternoon tea at La Maison du Chocolat (63 Wall Street). The boutique shop serves Earl Grey tea paired with a complimentary rocher noir (a praline enrobed with almonds and roasted hazelnuts covered in dark chocolate). And, if in a mood for a favorite English pastry – scones –, well, Crumbs (87 Beaver Street) is just around the corner.
8. The South Street Seaport. As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is the commanderin-chief of the armed forces, so a visit to the South Street Seaport would be apropos. Enter the Seaport and see Titanic Park (which currently is under renovation) and the Titanic Memorial lighthouse, or drop by the vessel Wavertree, built in Southhampton, England in 1885 and one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron (and acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968).
9. Ale and Supper. Why not finish the day with a visit to an English-flavored pub, perhaps the Pound & Pence restaurant (55 Liberty Street) where it’s easy to imagine you’ve crossed the Pond? The menu – which marries the best of English traditional pub fare and contemporary American-influenced cuisine – includes shepherds pie, chicken pot pie, Guinness-battered shrimp and 10 brews on tap. The upstairs is modeled after an English club, with a fireplace, snooker table and leather club chairs. Or the Queen could visit the nearby Gild Hall’s Libertine (15 Gold Street), which has fish and chips and is modeled after a modern English tavern. New York Magazine said: “The leather-andmahogany-
bedecked Libertine is designed to evoke a swinging seventies-era London clubhouse.”
10. Corgi Care. Of course, before disembarking from New York, the Queen cannot leave without Her Majesty’s precious pooches (if they’re along for the trip) and should collect the beloved Corgis – Emma, Linnet, Monty, Willow and Holly – from any one of Lower Manhattan’s canine havens, where they likely can get a powder and a puff. There’s Ciao Bow Wow (16 Beaver Street), The Salty Paw (38 Peck Slip), spot (21 Murray Street), and Petropolis (91 Washington Street).
And, if Her Majesty should wander off the beaten path, there’s no need to worry. The Downtown Alliance has three visitor kiosks in Lower Manhattan, all loaded with information on what to do, where to go, and how to have fun. You can find them all at http://www.downtownny.com/discover/visitorservices/