South Street Seaport: From Fish To Fish Art

By the time we reached South Street Seaport, by way of a long subway ride through the now-gentrified Fulton Street station, it’d turned stormy. The bad weather didn’t allow us the leisure to explore the area, but time enough to take in its essence. It had, I felt, the aura of a seaside piazza.

Standing there, on the southern tip of Manhattan—an island shaped like the nib of a vintage fountain pen—surrounded by an Abercrombie & Fitch; a food booth selling ramen burgers; an art gallery, I had a hard time picturing it as the location of a bustling 17th century fishing village called New Amsterdam.

This was also where stood the Fulton Fish Market, an open-air, wholesale bazaar that opened in 1822, and was the port of entry for nearly every piece of seafood East Coasters once ate.

Today, this place—located along the East River, next to Wall Street—has an impressive collection of restored 19th century commercial buildings that were the hub of New York City’s past maritime industry.



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