The Seaport Is Being Coined the Ultimate Summer Destination for New Yorkers
Here's the ideal way to spend a weekend
For the uninitiated, the Seaport is a vibey, good-time Downtown neighborhood that’s widely considered to be the city’s “original commercial hub.” Since solidifying its spot on the map in the 17th century, first as a port for the Dutch West India Company, the Seaport — which spans ten city blocks, including the one-acre lot at 250 Water Street — has long been a go-to spot for all manner of culinary, retail and entertainment experiences.
But, almost exactly ten years ago, Superstorm Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, causing the Hudson, New York Harbor and East River to flood Lower Manhattan. The Seaport was among the neighborhoods most badly damaged, and it’s spent the better part of the past ten years in various stages of recovery. That said, due largely to the acquisition of the former Fulton Fish Market site by The Howard Hughes Corporation — which inherited the Seaport from General Growth Properties in 2010 — it’s undergone a major facelift.
Not only is the long-anticipated Tin Building — which will cover 53,000 square feet and host an array of food and beverage concepts, not dissimilar to a food hall in design — opening this summer, but the neighborhood has also recently welcomed a number of new culinary experiences, shops and exhibits, as well as the ever-popular Summer Concert Series at Pier 17.
“The Seaport is the ultimate destination for New Yorkers,” Saul Scherl, President of the New York Tri-State Region of The Howard Hughes Corporation, says. “This summer will be unlike any other with the return of Manhattan by Sail, a new interactive art installation from Tom Fruin and free events nearly every day.”
We visited the neighborhood recently, taking stock of its many new offerings.. Below, the perfect itinerary for a one-night staycation at the Seaport for the NYC dweller.
Where to stay: Whether you’re visiting from across the river, Uptown, or even just the west side, a one-nighter in a hotel, in a neighborhood that isn’t your own, is the perfect way to pretend you’re on vacation.
Hotel Indigo NYC Downtown is a micro-hotel on Water Street that just opened in March and, despite being a part of IHG Hotels and Resorts, still manages to feel boutique-y. It’s got 127 cozy, design-forward and well-appointed rooms (11 of which feature walk-out balconies) and, more importantly, its proximity to the Seaport is unparalleled. Just a five-minute walk down Water Street and you’re on Fulton Street. Rates start at around $150.
What to do: Go for a sail with Manhattan by Sail, which is returning to Pier 17 for the first time in nine years. Later this month, the company is set to launch its newly renovated sailboat — the Clipper City Tall Ship, a 158-foot schooner capable of holding 149 passengers — which will offer private charters and specialty sails in the harbor, daily. We recommend one of the wine tasting sails (or any of the boozy options, for that matter), in conjunction with Paradise Lounge’s Austin Hartman — they’re unpretentious and not-traditionally-touristy. The drinks are good and the views are better.
After your sail, check out the Birth of Punk — one of the newest exhibitions to open at the Seaport. Using a mixture of photographs by famous photographers like Mick Rick, doodles, original artifacts and, of course, punk music, the exhibit pays homage to the genre and the bands credited with “shaping the movement.” You can take a guided tour via an audio narration on Spotify, or wander at your own pace. Open 12pm-8pm Wednesday-Sunday, they’ll also be hosting documentary screenings and performances by local bands all summer long.
Then pop around to some of the newly opened shops on and around Fulton Street. Do be sure to check out SRGN — a pop-up from LA’s Dominic “The Shoe Surgeon” Ciambrone. You can shop one-of-a-kind sneaker creations, work with someone on staff to customize your own, or sign up for one of their 4-day classes to design and develop a pair from scratch.
Later, catch a concert at the open-air concert venue, The Rooftop at Pier 17. There are more than 60 shows slated for the Summer Concert Series, with performances that include Blondie, Elvis Costello, Slightly Stoopid, Dashboard Confessional and Pusha T. What’s better than live music in the summer? Live music, on a rooftop in New York with panoramic views of the city — that’s what.
What to eat: The Fulton by Jean-Georges is the premiere destination for fresh seafood at the Seaport. It’s conveniently located right on the water, with unrivaled views of the East River, and it offers both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s nautical-themed — “a nod to the city’s maritime past” — with an opulent menu to match. Order the Peekytoe Crab Lettuce Cups and the Lightly Fried Hopper Shrimp to start, followed by the Seafood Saffron Rice. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with either the Crunchy Coconut or the Spring Pot Plant, both of which are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious.
In the morning, grab brunch at the Sunday in Brooklyn pop-up location at the Seaport, which has extended its residency through the summer. A Williamsburg favorite, it’s got exactly the sort of hearty, wholesome, Instagram-worthy menu the ambience deserves. Order the smoked salmon toast (with an egg and an avocado, obviously) and a Sunday Bloody in observance of the sacred custom that is brunch in NYC. Then have one more, and consider planning your return trip.
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