As luck would have it, B and I were both off on Friday. So, we decided to finally use the Circle Line tour tickets I got through Living Social. They were about to expire, it was a beautiful day, the universe came together and we got to experience a great part of our city we haven't traveled to often, The South Street Seaport. If you remember correctly, this was one of the areas that got hit pretty bad by Hurricane Sandy. I had only been down there a handful of times- it was one of the stops on the all day drinking fest I partook in a few years back, also known as SantaCon. It's also where the NYCHalf finish-line has been for the past 2 years. The year I ran it was the only time B had been there and I'm sure it looks completely different without 10,000 sweaty runners. So, we were excited to see what it was all about on a regular day.
We're on a boat!
We picked the Statue of Liberty Express tour (it's kind of special to us, seeing as we got engaged in front of her ;) and boarded the Zephyr yacht. Did I mention I get seasick? An hour boat tour might not have been a good plan, as I watched the boat sway heavily with the waves. Luckily, I remembered my dramamine and we were good to go! The tour sailed around the lower part of Manhattan and then over to The Lady. Our tour guide was quite hilarious and entertaining and he educated us on a bunch of NYC history I didn't even know. I know The Staten Island Ferry is free and does sort of the same thing, but honestly, you can't get all of these views!
She's even prettier up close!
The New Freedom Towers
Oh, hey, Verrazano. I'll see you up close on November 3.
After the tour, we noticed an outdoor concert going on with lounge chairs and the SmorgasBar food booths, which is a part of the Brooklyn Flea's SmorgasBorg effort to revive the area. The food vendors all looked amazing, but we settled on a Lobster Roll BLT, had a seat and enjoyed the area for awhile. The atmosphere reminded me very much of my hometown, New Orleans. We also walked around to see more of the area (which also had a very French Quarter feel to it). There were stores still closed, but the ones that were opened seemed to be booming. We tried to find a cute bar/ grill to eat at, but they were all bursting with people! We settled on one of the restaurants on the pier.
It was perfect. The weather was gorgeous, I even needed my sweater! In August! We ate outside and watched the sunset by all the boats and for a brief moment, I thought I was in Florida. The smell of the water mixed with the buttery seafood restaurant definitely made me think we would be going back to a hotel on vacation, not our own apartment in Brooklyn. It's funny how all these things can co-exist in the same city.
view from one of the balconies in the shopping center
view from our dinner table
If you've never spent the day at The South Street seaport, I highly recommend going! The SmorgasBar looks like it'll be there until October and I'm sure you can look online for other things going on in the area. It's a hidden gem that can make living in the city feel almost relaxing- even with the tourists.
What's your favorite touristy thing to do in your own city?