Let me catch up those of you who aren’t familiar with TriBeCa and it’s history. TriBeCa is a relatively small neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It’s boundaries are, roughly, Canal Street on the north, Broadway to the east, and the World Trade Center to the south. Its name, invariably spelled TriBeCa or Tribeca (I prefer TriBeCa, even though it’s more work to type), is a portmanteau of Triangle Below Canal, which more-or-less accurately describes the neighborhood’s geographic shape.
I absolutely love the neighborhood, and in many ways, that’s reason enough to have made it the home for my psychotherapy practice. But there are other reasons–some practical, some aesthetic.
For one, TriBeCa is in the middle of New York City. A short walk from my office on Broadway is City Hall and its surrounding New York City, New York State, and federal buildings. To the south are the canyons of New York City’s financial district, including Wall Street. To the east is Chinatown, with Little Italy to the northeast, neighboring SoHo to my north. I’m close to almost every New York City subway line, convenient to Brooklyn and Queens, just a few stops from the Staten Island Ferry, and only a few blocks from the PATH station at the World Trade Center.
This isn’t incidental–my therapy practice includes patients from all over New York City. That diversity is something I’d never give up, and locating my psychotherapy practice in Downtown Manhattan helps make it convenient for everyone.
TriBeCa is inspiring. Everyday on my walk to work, I glance down Church Avenue or West Broadway and I can see the progress (slow as it may seem) that’s being made on the various projects at the World Trade Center. While it’s been nearly nine years, this is still a neighborhood that remembers the events of September 11th very well. Just a few blocks from Ground Zero, these were some of the buildings covered in dust, these families were the ones who couldn’t go home for weeks, these firefighters were among the first to respond to the call that Tuesday morning.
I moved to New York City just a few weeks before September 11, 2001, to begin graduate school in social work. In many ways, that experience was the beginning of my experience practicing psychotherapy. In the months that followed I volunteered at the Worth Street recover center (also in Lower Manhattan) as part of a team of mental-health professionals offering counseling and advice to those who were struggling emotionally with the direct and indirect repercussions of that tragedy.
I hadn’t originally planned on staying in New York City after graduate school. The events of September 11th, rather than adding more reasons to leave, as you might expect, compelled me to stay. I felt immediately a part of New York in ways I’d never imagined. I love how the city responded–with a passion to rebuild, come together, and thrive.
I love the creativity of this corner of Manhattan–many residential buildings in the neighborhood spent the early part of their lives as warehouses for processing and distributing goods that came in from the docks on the west side of Manhattan, or as factories. The neighborhood was in disuse and disrepair through the 1960s and 70s, finally becoming an enclave for artists, many of whom still live and work in the neighborhood, drawn by the low rents and spacious lofts that could be fashioned from the old, often abandoned warehouses.
TriBeCa offers a sense of community I haven’t experienced elsewhere in New York City–a sense of community that’s important to me in my practice of psychotherapy. And having picked the name TriBeCa Therapy for my psychotherapy practice, I think it’s highly likely that I’ll be here for a while.