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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

South Street Seaport

I'd been urged to visit South Street Seaport with nodding encouragement from well-meaning New York relatives saying "You should go; all the tourists go there".

The terrible T word should have been warning enough but I was in the area so I meandered on down.

There's not that much to see really. A couple of historic tall ships, old warehouses and yes, preserved (but non-edible!) 18th and 19th century buildings. It reminded me a little of what Sydney's Darling Harbour used to be like ten years ago, barren and lifeless amidst the gaudy tourist shops in bright shiny decor.

It was winter though and I'm sure the place is swarming with monied tourist folk during the summer, but I had more fun watching the seagulls:

Seagulls on Pier 17 at South Street Seaport

As I walked past the silent and sorrowful Fulton Fish Market, I deeply lamented its demise. The markets were forced to close down in 2004 after trading on the site for more than 130 years. It's opened up in spectacularly new and modern surrounds at Hunts Point in the Bronx (which alas I never got to) but markets just ain't the same unless they're grimy, grotty and echoing with voices of decades past.

Dismantled concrete pylons

And as I walked past Peck Slip, I couldn't help snapping endlessly at the majestic elegance of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge looks old and brown, but mesmerisingly so. Resilient gothic towers and a spiderweb of precise steel cables had me clicking away at this 1883 masterpiece.

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2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 12/07/2005 06:00:00 pm


  • At 1/18/2006 3:19 am, Blogger Robyn said…

    South Street Seaport...(shudders)

    The fish market actually just closed...not too long ago, at the end of last year. I never saw it during its busy hours but sometimes I could smell it on the bus ride to school. (The day after it closed, my bus driver said he was thankful he wouldn't have to smell it anymore, haha.) The road would still be closed off in the morning with dudes hauling crates around. There's a nice article about the fish market in the latest issue of Gastronomica.

    The Brooklyn Bridge is pretty. They don't make em like that anymore. :(

  • At 11/18/2006 1:00 am, Blogger Jeanne said…

    Hey, I'm sorry I only saw this series now - woudl have been fun to read before I went to NYC last month! You are right - it is precisely like stepping into a movie... We were meant to visit the South Street seaport too but in the end we ran out of time - glad now that I didn't! I should have taken more photos of the dismantled piers - and the classic shot of the bridge from the ground, not just from on the bridge itself - got plenty of those ;-) Love your photos...


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