Hurricane Sandy left her mark in Lower Manhattan and South Street Seaport. The Seaport shopping and dining area is still closed with ongoing construction and redevelopment.
Pier 16 was as crowded as I remembered from past visits. Visitors were waiting in line to board ZEPHYR, the luxurious yacht. Standing in a long line under the hot sun can be unbearable if you are not used to the heat. The air was oppressive even at 11 a.m.
Not a tree or a shade was found in the area but fortunately the view of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan would make one forget the agonizing heat.
I wandered away from the long line and some words on a makeshift wood wall caught my attention. Joseph Mitchell, 1952:
Every now and then, seeking to rid my mind of thoughts of death and doom, I get up early and go down to the Fulton Fish Market. I usually arrive around five-thirty, and take a walk through the two huge, open fronted market sheds…the smoky riverbank smell, the racket the fishmongers make, the seaweedy smell, and the sight of this plentifulness always give me a feeling of well being, and sometimes they elate me.
Joseph Mitchell was a writer for The New Yorker magazine from 1938 to 1964 and kept his office there until his death in 1996. Somehow I felt as if he was speaking to me because I was seeking ways to rid my mind of thoughts of the uncomfortable heat. Maybe I should have requested an earlier ticket to cruise up close to view Lady Liberty. Or just forget about the one- hour cruise and sit in a comfortable air-conditioned café and let the smell of coffee elate me. Sadly, Fulton Fish Market referred by Joseph Mitchell is a thing of the past.
By 11:30 a.m. ZEPHYR was ready for passengers. ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Express luxury yacht is a white 143-foot cruiser that took us under the Brooklyn Bridge with views of all three bridges in the area – BMW bridges – Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg.
It has an open deck on the third floor and two enclosed air-conditioned floors equipped with snack bars, comfortable seats and toilets. The second floor has outdoor deck areas and indoor seats. A professional tour guide gave a thorough commentary as we cruised by iconic New York City sights using the clear audio system.
Here are photos of the views and skyline of Manhattan from ZEPHYR including a Helipad, Ellis Island, other cruise lines, Brooklyn and New Jersey:
The Statue of Liberty is the highlight of the one-hour tour. Lady Liberty stands at 151 feet and symbolizes the American freedom.
To get a feel of where you will be cruising take a look at the map below:
The one-hour cruise is definitely a brief, comfortable and an unhurried way to view Lower Manhattan and Statue of Liberty.
After the one-hour cruise, if you are looking for a place to have lunch, head over to Roast Kitchen on 199 Water Street, a 5-minute walk from Pier 16. Roast Kitchen serves hot or cold build your own roast bowl and chef’s roast bowls.
Build your own (BYO) roast bowls allow you to first choose your greens either a house mix (bok choy, kale, spinach), kale mix or spinach. Your second step is to choose 4 mix-ins – almonds, avocado, broccoli, green lentils, grilled tofu, smoked mozzarella, wasabi peas and more and third step is to choose a sauce- either Moroccan sauce, Ginger scallion sauce, Red curry sauce, Salsa verde sauce, Sicilian Marinara sauce or Herb Jus.
Your fourth step is to add one scoop of grain (optional) like herbed couscous, jasmine rice or organic quinoa. Last step (optional) is to add your bowl with roasted vegetables or meat.
If it is too much work to build your own, just order the Chef’s roast bowls. Here are our Moroccan bowl without meat ($8.85) and Ginger bowl ($8.75) with shio koji marinated pork (extra $2.85). Roast Kitchen is definitely a great place for healthy, fresh and organic food.
Summer cruising time: 10 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm and 5 pm
For more information: ZEPHYR
Price: $30 per adult and $19 per child (3-12 years)
Roast Kitchen menu.
Note: The quote above did not tell the whole story of Joseph Mitchell’s experience at the Fulton Fresh Market. Here is a more complete quote taken from The American Scholar by William Zinsser.
Every now and then, seeking to rid my thoughts of death and doom, I get up early and go down to Fulton Fish Market. I usually arrive around five-thirty, and take a walk through the two huge open-fronted market sheds, the Old Market and the New Market, whose fronts rest on South Street and whose backs rest on piles in the East River. At that time, a little while before the trading begins, the stands to the sheds are heaped high and spilling over with forty to sixty kinds of finfish and shellfish from the East Coast, the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and half a dozen foreign countries. The smoky riverbank dawn, the racket the fishmongers make, the seaweedy smell, and the sight of this plentifulness always give me a feeling of well-being, and sometimes they elate me. I wander among the stands for an hour or so. Then I go into a cheerful market restaurant named Sloppy Louie’s and eat a big, inexpensive, invigorating breakfast—a kippered herring and scrambled eggs, or a shad-roe omelet, or spilt sea scallops and bacon, or some other breakfast specialty of the place.
Disclaimer: My son and I were guests of NY Water Taxi and NYCGO. Opinions are my own. For more information about ZEPHYR, please visit NYWaterTaxi.