When freelance travel writer Dan F. Stapleton (pictured) first visited New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, he stayed at The Greenwich Hotel. So it seems especially appropriate that when he met up recently with the area’s unofficial mayor, Robert De Niro, it was at that same hotel, one of a number of area businesses owned by the actor.
Stapleton’s piece for the London Telegraph is a breezy and delightful summer holiday weekend read. Be you at a cafe table nearby, or a beach further flung. Here’s De Niro recalling how it all started:
“I was down there looking for a space to set up a training gym for Raging Bull,” he said. “I found this great loft space, but I liked it so much that I wound up living there. I did my training at a regular gym on 14th Street instead.”
De Niro told me that the appeal of Tribeca in the eighties was simple. “It was basically the idea of having a big loft with very few broken-up rooms,” he said. “There was a feeling of open space in Tribeca, and plenty of light. That suited artists especially.”
Towards the end of their conversation, Stapleton asked if there was a less well-known part of Tribeca that embodied for the actor the neighborhood. Read De Niro’s answer here.