South Street Seaport: There Was History

8:27 am  |  12.05.2021

The South Street Seaport neighborhood is located in Lower Manhattan, not far from the Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District. This is where Fulton Street meets the East River. The area is home to some of Manhattan’s oldest buildings from the 19th century. 

In the red brick buildings from the 19th century, you can browse through numerous shops and boutiques and then relax in restaurants and cafes. There are cobblestones in the streets. South Street Seaport has a special old-time charm. Strolling is really fun here!

In 2015, the popular Pier 17 was hit so badly by Hurricane Sandy that it had to be renovated. The building was completely demolished and is being rebuilt. The reopening is expected in summer 2017.

The South Street Seaport Museum shows the development of the New York harbor. Several ships are anchored at Pier 16, such as the Wavertree, which is more than 130 years old, or the Ambrose lightship.

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During the year there are also some festivals at the Seaport that you should check out, such as the Seaport Music Festival in September with live music, comedy, and films or the River to River Festival in June.

Shopping at South Streat Seaport

South Street Seaport is full of shops and small boutiques such as B. GUESS, Abercrombie & Fitch, or Defend Brooklyn. Fulton Stall Market offers handmade produce and fresh groceries. Broher Vellies sells handmade shoes, boots, and sandals from South Africa, Kenya, and Namibia. The Rialto Jeans project has hand-decorated vintage jeans. You can browse around Fulton Street as you please and there is always something new to discover.

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Eat out at South Street Seaport

If you’ve ever been shopping in the South Street Seaport neighborhood, that’s where you can go to eat too. 

The selection ranges from steak houses to fish and seafood, Italian, classic American cuisine, and nice cafés. When the weather is good, people like to sit outside in restaurants and bars.

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Anyone who has strolled across the South Street Seaport will be able to confirm one thing: you feel transported back into another time, everything looks more like a film set and doesn’t fit in with Lower Manhattan at all, because at South Street Seaport in New York City one old rustic commercial building shines next to the other and the cobblestones show clear traces of the many years that this area has already passed.

Today you will mainly find shops here, really great shopping opportunities (you can find a list of all stores here), such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, and many small individual local stores. Really worthwhile events (like the Seaport Music Festival), concerts, and markets take place at South Street Seaport in New York City.

But it is precisely the well-stocked restaurants and bars that make the South Street Seaport so popular with the locals (you can find a list of all restaurants here) and if you walk around three minutes towards the water you will discover beautiful views of the old ones Sailing ships, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline.

Pier 17 in New York

Before Hurricane Sandy, Pier 17 was considered one of the most popular nightlife spots in Lower Manhattan. One restaurant was adjacent to the next, and the wooden piers offered great views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. Sandy completely destroyed Pier 17 and they are still busy today in what is now a New York-style steel complex to restore what was once Pier 17.

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In 2018 the time had finally come and Pier 17 was completed. The result is a modern building with restaurants, a food market, bars, and a rooftop on which concerts take place regularly. 

In winter you can even go ice skating on the rooftop of the building. Grandiose views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan’s skyline are also available free of charge.

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The outdoor bar with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge is particularly beautiful. Be sure to stop by here and enjoy the view. There is still a lot of work going on at Pier 17 at the moment. New shops and restaurants are still in the development phase.

The South Street Seaport Museum

For fans of sailing ships and shipping, this museum is a must: The South Street Seaport Museum is located in a historic district of 12 blocks, the original New York City harbor. At 2,800 square meters, it has a working 19th-century printing press, archeology museum, library, artisan center, Marine Life Conservation Lab, and the largest fleet of privately owned historic ships in the United States.

Conclusion: A Must-See in New York City

The South Street Seaport in New York City is definitely a must-see, because this quaint, traditional, yet modern charm is really only found here in this form. I hardly know any other place in the city where you can experience so many different things in such a small space. Even if it’s just for dinner in one of the many restaurants in the evening, the South Street Seaport in New York City should definitely be on your list.

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