Staple Street is the secret street belonging to a certain Miss Frankel. According to my little friend – “everyone has a secret street and this one is mine”. The kid certainly has taste, Staple Street is a magical backstreet, and like so many in Tribeca, it is undeniably ‘Manhattan’. The antiquated elevated walkway, the uneven cobbled street, a drooping iron lamp and the facades produce an atmosphere of timelessness. Not too far away from Staple Street was once the Tribeca Bakery where a starving artist or office worker on a lunch break could lounge and while away the hours. An upscale restaurant has since replaced it. It was rumored that Robert De Niro owned the Tribeca Bakery and this was another reason for me to ‘hang’ over one coffee all afternoon.
I never saw Mr. De Niro but I have annually encountered his Tribeca Film Festival and eaten free popcorn. Started in 2002 in response to the world trade attacks the Tribeca Film Festival was the joint project of Robert De Niro and June Rosenthal. It has bought back the big film companies – one cannot move sometimes for movie sets – it has re-flocked the tourists and it has re-juiced a slammed neighborhood. I don’t have a secret street – it’s already been taken – but if I could I’d have a secret café where artists could while away the hours in peace. It would be the Tribeca Bakery and I’d get served by Robert De Niro a LARGE COFFEE.