On any given day as you wander down New York City’s bustling Pier 17, you’ll come across dozens of merchants, a sprawling selection of fine dining and street food, live arts and performances, film screenings, historical tours, and much more. A formidable cultural presence today, this neighborhood didn’t always have such a unique identity. Pier 17, known as the South Street Seaport, was one of many parts of New York that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Since then, the Seaport has slowly been coming back to life, and with great fervor. After all, this section of the city is known for being one of the most culturally and historically rich, a reputation that continues to endure as the Seaport reinvents itself in the twenty-first century.
As the South Street Seaport works to marry the old with the new, it has grown to become a cultural hub unlike any other. The Seaport’s preservation team describes how “A sense of the district’s gritty and boisterous past lingers in some of the area’s oldest commercial buildings,” of the way the historic pier merges the very old with the cutting edge. Beside, or even inside striking, timeworn architecture are new places to dine, explore, and to experience the cultural offerings of the South Street Seaport. Pier 17 is all at once a time capsule, offering New Yorkers and visitors a glimpse of the past, as well as a brilliant new lens into the future.
Earlier this month, the South Street Seaport hosted “Out to See,” a massive arts event that included an art crawl, live performances, music, gallery shows, and other events at venues sprawled across the pier. As the event’s organizers explain, “What began as a grassroots effort to energize the community after Superstorm Sandy has blossomed into a full-scale opportunity to experience the arts in one of New York City’s most distinctive neighborhoods,” of how the South Street Seaport is becoming one of the city’s most valuable cultural entities. The Seaport is frequented by thousands of visitors each day, which makes it the perfect place to cultivate artistic experiences, and to sustain the local economy, New York artisans, and small businesses.
“Out to See” is just one of many events you can expect from the South Street Seaport in the months to come. With warmer weather just around the corner, you can expect to find innovative happenings, live performances, public events, and much more on Pier 17. The best part of all is that the Seaport recognizes how art can be an invaluable tool to unite and sustain a community; it promises that New Yorkers and visitors will “see/change” very soon.
Learn more at the South Street Seaport’s official website.