Celebrating My Birthday In New York City: Visiting The Seaport District


Last Wednesday (October 2nd) was my birthday. So as a treat to myself, I planned a trip to New York. I mean really, as much as I love that city, where else do you think I would rather be to celebrate the day I was born? Because in all actuality, that's the city in which I truly felt I was born on my very first visit as a 14-year boy, who went on a school trip to see the Rockettes Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall.

It was on that day I felt my soul come alive, as it never had before.

Whenever I go to New York, I never plan an exact itinerary. I give myself a basic outline of things I might want to do. However, New York City is one of those places that when you get there, the city has a way of choosing where to take you. It always feels like an adventure.

And it's funny because in the 5 years that I lived there, and in all the times I've visited over these past 18 years, every time I go, I always discover things I've never seen before.

The only thing I really wanted to do on my recent trip was to visit The Seaport District because I had heard from so many people how it's changed and how amazing it is. And they were absolutely right.

Now, when I lived in New York City (mid to late 70's), that area was extremely run-down and quite scary. It was a place that most people avoided; especially after dark. It was very seedy.

But then again, back in the 70's, a great deal of NYC was rundown and scary. And broke. New York was an incredible concoction of both decay and tremendous wealth because of the abundant creativity that was birthed from the decay. The best way I can describe it would be to say that it was very bohemian. People didn't have much money, but it didn't seem to matter. You somehow felt prosperous because of all the creative energy that fed your soul.

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The Seaport District Location Map:

The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, centered where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, and is distinct from the neighboring Financial District....


This is how the seaport looked in 1901..


Here are some photographs I took during my visit to the seaport last week (that little pigeon sat there and stared at me the whole time I took pictures)...


What I love about this area is that it feels as though you're experiencing both the past and present simultaneously. The architecture is A-MAZING!...



I chuckled when I walked past this ice cream shop. I mean, who knew there was such a thing as BIG GAY ICE CREAM? I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing. I'm such a bad gay. LOL!

And I wish I liked ice cream because I would have walked in and tried some. But alas, I've never been a fan.

Notice the Popsicle stick bench. Very clever...


The following photographs are some really cool-looking restaurants I happened to walk by.
I LOVE the distressed exposed brick walls...



These two photographs (above and below) are of the same restaurant at different angles.
Isn't it fabulous? It looks like it should be in France...


An old seafood warehouse.
I love how they preserved the vintage signage...


I spotted this couple sharing a smooch on the sidewalk and quickly snapped a picture.

Ahhhhh, romance...


This building was located down by the pier...


A view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the pier...



Brooklyn...


I spotted this adorable doggie on the street. I took out my camera and then waved. He/she looked directly at me, and then I snapped the picture...


Hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Seaport District. Stay tuned for future posts with more photographs I took that day of different areas of the city.

Have a superb week, y'all!
X

28 comments

  1. Happy Belated Birthday, Ron! It looks like you had a GREAT day! Even though I've been to all the surrounding areas, I've never made it to Seaport. It looks absolutely charming! I would love to take a stroll down those streets and have lunch at any of those spots. That Popsicle bench is too cute! What a fun place. Looking forward to more pictures from your day. Birthday hugs! XO

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  2. Rob LenihanOctober 08, 2019

    First of all, Happy Birthday, Brother! I wish you nothing but happiness, joy, and abundant good health!

    Secondly, I love this post! Your photos are incredible and your observations are brilliant! I especially love this line: "New York was an incredible concoction of both decay and tremendous wealth because of the abundant creativity that was birthed from the decay."

    Yes, exactly!

    I remember those dismal days and while I think the city is losing a lot to high rents, I don't want to return to that period either. Can't we have a middle ground?!?!

    I love the South Street area and there used to be restaurant on the outskirts of the tourist area called Carmine's. It was nearly 100 years old and I always said I'd have dinner there, but I never did and now it's gone!

    Wish we could have shared the day together, buddy, but we'll do it yet. Meanwhile, all the best and do take care!

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  3. I hope you had a great birthday, Ron! Sorry I missed it. I got word that the singing telegram I had sent to you was accidentally delivered to your neighbor two apartments down. Hey, I tried!!

    I love distressed, exposed brick. I think it's such a chic look—very warm and inviting. Kinda wish my house was made out of distressed, exposed brick.

    I remember NYC in the 1970s. We have pics riding the subway and strolling through Times Square. It was definitely 1,000x seedier than today, that's for sure.

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  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Ron! My birthday is this month too. October 12th! Looks and sounds like you had such great time. Your photos, as always, are awesome! Isn't the Seaport District fantastic? Such a charming area. Most people who have never been to New York, only think of it as being this huge city with massive buildings of concrete, steel and glass, and overly crowded They don't realize that there are some really charming areas tucked away that are actually quieter.

    I feel the same as you about NYC, I love it. It makes me feel so live when I'm there.

    That doggie is so cute!

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  5. Outstanding selection of photographs, Ron! What a cool looking place. I love all the brick buildings and cobblestone streets. You're right, it feels like you're stepping back in time experiencing two different realities. I love the Vespa parked in front of the seafood warehouse. What a great image!

    Happy Belated B-day, dude! And thanks for sharing your day.

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  6. Thank you, my friend :) Yes, I had SUCH A GREAT day! I covered so much ground that day, I started in Lower Manhattan West; then walked to the East River; up through Tribecca; SoHo, West Village; then back up to the Upper West Side via the Highline.

    "I've never made it to Seaport. It looks absolutely charming! I would love to take a stroll down those streets and have lunch at any of those spots."

    I was in awe of how much it's change since I'd been there in the 70's. It's been completely transformed into an area that is now so inviting, charming, and shabby-chic.

    Isn't the Popsicle bench a hoot?

    I'm editing more of my photographs, which I'll be sharing over the next two posts.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a fantastic week!
    X

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  7. Aw...thank you, Rob! Thank you VERY MUCH for your well wishes.

    "I remember those dismal days and while I think the city is losing a lot to high rents, I don't want to return to that period either. Can't we have a middle ground?!?!"

    Yes! And you, being a native New Yorker know exactly how that city was THEN, compared to NOW. And I agree with you. Many people say that NYC was better THEN, however, it was so run-down, poor, and falling apart. Yet NOW, it's so over priced that no one can afford to live there unless you're wealthy.

    Can't we have a middle ground, is right!

    I've been to Carmine's, but the one in the theater district. I didn't know there was one in the South Street area.

    One of these times when I come to NYC on a weekend, I'll let you know so we can meet up. I usually come up during the weekdays because of my retail work schedule. However, sometimes I DO get a complete weekend off.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an awesome week!
    X

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  8. Thank you, Mark! And yes, I had a faaaaaaaaaaabulous birthday because I was in NEW YORK. Yahoooooooooooooo!

    " I got word that the singing telegram I had sent to you was accidentally delivered to your neighbor two apartments down. Hey, I tried!!"

    Bwhahahahahaha! Oh Mark, that cracked me the hell up! That was brilliant, man!

    "I love distressed, exposed brick. I think it's such a chic look—very warm and inviting. Kinda wish my house was made out of distressed, exposed brick."

    Isn't it fantastic? It's like you're looking at something that's LIVED before. That's been aged. That's one of the things I hated about Florida. Everything is so new and homogenized. BOR-ING!

    " It was definitely 1,000x seedier than today, that's for sure."

    Yes, like day and night. I look at that city now and think, "WOW...what a transformation!" And yet, it still has (and always will) that magical energy that is like no other city in the world.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an excellent week!

    X to you and Tara

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  9. Aw, thank you, Candice! :) OMG...your birthday is this month too?!?! You're a LIBRA!!!! And don't you love being a Libra? My mother and father were Libra's as well.

    Yes, it was a perfect day to celebrate my birthday because I was in the city I love the most!

    "Most people who have never been to New York, only think of it as being this huge city with massive buildings of concrete, steel and glass, and overly crowded They don't realize that there are some really charming areas tucked away that are actually quieter."

    A-MEN! And when you live there, or get to really know the city, you find those quieter areas where you can just chill and relax. New York has such diversity, such a variety of flavors.

    Isn't the dog adorable? I was so happy to get that shot!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrrrrrrrrreat week!

    X

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  10. Hiya Matt!

    Thank you, buddy! I had such a great birthday. And it flew by so fast. I was in NYC for 8 hours, but it felt like 10 minutes. And man, did I walk. I covered so much ground that day. I'll be sharing more photographs my upcoming posts.

    " I love the Vespa parked in front of the seafood warehouse."

    YES! And it's so funny you mentioned that because I thought the same thing. I actually didn't notice the Vespa until I uploaded the photo. It looks like a scene from European movie, doesn't it?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  11. Ron, I so enjoyed our little trip into NYC for your birthday! It surprises me, you know, that you don't like ice cream -- I don't know as I've ever met anybody who doesn't!!


    You're right -- that's one cute doggie, and I love how it posed for you. That building with all the fire escapes? Honey, you'd have to PUSH me down those things! Open steps from that high up give me the creeps!


    Glad you got to celebrate your special day in the city you love -- well done! Enjoy the rest of your week! xo

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  12. Hellooooooooo there Debbie!

    "It surprises me, you know, that you don't like ice cream -- I don't know as I've ever met anybody who doesn't!!"

    I know because most people LOVE ice cream. Even as a kid, I would never have ice cream with my cake if I were at a birthday party. That used to surprise my mother because she loved ice cream. And so did my father. I think the reason I don't like ice cream is because I'm not a fan of milk, or dairy products (other than cheeses). However, I do love things, like water ice in the summer on a hot day.

    Isn't he dog a cutie? I was so happy to capture that picture because I took it so fast.

    "That building with all the fire escapes? Honey, you'd have to PUSH me down those things! Open steps from that high up give me the creeps!"

    HA! I don't like heights as well. But I'll tell you, those outside fire escapes were the best escapes if there was ever a fire because all you'd have to do is climb out your window and walk down the stairs. Much safer than the current internal fire stairwells.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a awesome rest of your week!
    X

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  13. Wow! I soaked up every photo in your post! You combined two of my loves....photography and history. I love the popsicle bench and distressed brick. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your collection. And, happy, happy birthday...because we all need to celebrate birthday MONTHS!! :-)

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  14. So glad you enjoyed the photos, Lisa! I had so much fun that day and took so many pictures. I'll be sharing more in future posts of various areas that I visited.

    Isn't the Popsicle bench cute? I've always loved exposed brick walls; especially those that are distressed. They hold such history!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for you birthday wishes, my friend! Hope you're week is going well and that you're enjoying some cooler Autumn weather. It's been awesome here lately. It FINALLY feels like Autumn and I LOVE it.

    X

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  15. Ron, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY to you! Knowing how much you love New York, I'm happy to see that you spent the day enjoying it. Your photos are wonderful! I swear, you should be a spokesperson/tour guide for NYC because your passion and understanding the city shines in every post. Many years ago when I flew back to New York to see my family, we went down to the south street seaport and had a drink. You're right, that area has changed dramatically. It's been completely transformed. I love the vibe there.

    " I mean, who knew there was such a thing as BIG GAY ICE CREAM? I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing. I'm such a bad gay." You are hilarious! I didn't see that place when I was there visiting. It must have opened afterwards. I love the Popsicle stick bench!

    Thank you for sharing your day with, Ron. I can't wait to see more photos! xo

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  16. Hola Denise!

    Aw...thank you! :)

    Isn't the seaport faaaaaaaabulous? You're right, it's got such a great "vibe." This year I decided that for my birthday, I wanted to spend it in my favorite city. I had such a great day too! I not only went to south street seaport, but I walked all over the place. Downtown, Uptown, East Side, and West Side. And I took so many pictures with my camera AND phone.

    "I didn't see that place when I was there visiting. It must have opened afterwards. I love the Popsicle stick bench!"

    I'm not sure when that ice cream place opened because it's been ages since I've been there, but it's so dang cute. That bench is so clever, isn't it?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a wonderful rest of your week! I'll be posting more photos in the next couple of weeks.

    X

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  17. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comOctober 11, 2019

    What a great way to enjoy a birthday! Looks like it was a good one - hope so! Fabulous finds - this part hardly looks like NYC. I love the popsicle bench - very clever indeed! And oh, that brickwork - fabulous!

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  18. Fiona, I was so glad I decided to spend the day in NYC on my birthday because not only is it my favorite city, but the day ended up being one big adventure.

    I know, this area hardly looks like NYC, doesn't it? It looks more like a quaint little town along the coast of Boston.

    Isn't the brickwork faaaaaabulous? You don't see architecture like that anymore. I love being surrounded by buildings that are rich in history.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!

    X

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  19. Happy belated birthday, Ron!!!! Once again your photos and narratives about New York makes me miss my native home. I haven't visited that part of the city in eons, but I do remember what it looked like back in the 1970's and it looked completely different than now. But I love how they restored much of the old architecture because that's what made that area so unique.

    ".. I always discover things I've never seen before." You're right. Even I haven't seen everything in New York. And that's what makes that city so special.

    I love your photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn. Do you remember when no one wanted to live in Brooklyn because they all wanted to live in Manhattan? Now, it's next to impossible to find anything in Brooklyn because everyone from Manhattan wants to live there? LOL!

    Thank you for sharing, Ron! I'm looking forward to more of your pics. xo

    Are you enjoying this cooler weather? Bet you are!

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  20. Hello there Elaine!

    Thank you, my friend :)

    Isn't this area fabulous? Yes, I think it's awesome how it's been restored rather than knocked down and rebuilt because as you said, that's what makes the Seaport so unique! It's like stepping back in time, in the present.

    "Do you remember when no one wanted to live in Brooklyn because they all wanted to live in Manhattan? Now, it's next to impossible to find anything in Brooklyn because everyone from Manhattan wants to live there now? LOL!"

    OMG, you are soooooooooo right! Back in the 70's everyone was trying to leave Brooklyn and move to Manhattan because it was "the" place to be. But now, Brooklyn and Queens are "the" places to be.

    I'll be sharing more pictures in future posts. Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a superb weekend!
    X

    P.S. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sooooooooooo enjoying this weather. It finally feels like Autumn! For the past several days I've been wearing a light jacket when outside.

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  21. Ron, I visited the Seaport District about a year and a half ago when I was in New York for a business conference. My hotel was not far from there. I was so impressed by the whole feel of that area, unlike any other area of the city. It's so rustic and raw. Your photos capture it so beautifully! I feel as you do about New York City. I love it!

    Happy belated birthday!

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  22. "rustic and raw" That's a perfect way to describe the Seaport District, Daniel! Isn't it such a faaaaaaabulous area of the city?

    I adore NYC! Always have. Always will. Glad to hear you feel the same. People either seem to love it, or find it too much to handle.

    Thank you, my friend! Have a grrrrrrreat weekend!

    X

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  23. Happy Birthday, Libra friend!!! Your birthday is just three days after mine!

    I laughed out loud at "I mean, who knew there was such a thing as BIG GAY ICE CREAM? I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing. I'm such a bad gay." And wow, what a beautiful part of the city. I've never been to that area. But my sister is moving to NYC so I'm planning on going.

    "However, New York City is one of those places that when you get there, the city has a way of choosing where to take you. It always feels like an adventure." I feel that way about travel in general - I like to not schedule too tightly and leaving myself open for whatever adventure presents itself.

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  24. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, my Libra friend!!! Thank you for letting me know when your birthday is because I'll remember next year. My mother (who was also a Libra) was a September Libra as well. Her birthday was Sept 26th.

    " And wow, what a beautiful part of the city. I've never been to that area. But my sister is moving to NYC so I'm planning on going."

    Isn't it a faaaaaaabulous part of the city? You're going to LOVE it! And that's so exciting that your sister is moving to NYC!!!!

    "I feel that way about travel in general - I like to not schedule too tightly and leaving myself open for whatever adventure presents itself."

    Yup...and I think that's the "Libra" in us because I feel exactly the same way. I like to leave myself open to spontaneous moments when I travel because they often end up being the most memorable.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fantastic week!

    X

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  25. Hey, Ron! I don't know how I keep missing your blog posts. Just wanted you to know I'm here - - a late arrival for the party.
    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!
    A visit to NYC is a perfect present for yourself. I know next to nothing about the Seaport District, so I really enjoyed this. Your spectacular photos made me feel like I was there.








    And I want a Big Gay Ice Cream!








    I'll keep this brief. Be assured that I haven't forgotten you. Big birthday hugs!

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  26. No worries, Jon. For some reason, I too missed your last post. When I looked at the title on my reader, I somehow thought it was a post that I already read so I didn't even click over to your blog.

    And thank you for you happy birthday wishes. I had such nice day. It was relaxed, yet also very invigorating because I was in my favorite city. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birthday.

    The Seaport District has been completely transformer (or rather, refurbished) from the days I remember. Back in the 70's it was very unsafe and extremely seedy. I can't BELIEVE what it looks like now. Bellissima!

    HA! Don't you love the Big Gay Ice Cream? Isn't it a hoot?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  27. Since you should celebrate the entire month .... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RON!!! Looks and sounds like a cool birthday gift to yourself.
    OH.EM.GEE aged brick! I swear I've told Ron 10 times how much I'd like to have a wall of that somewhere. Should we just cut a bunch in half lengthwise and then start cementing them on... ooh, let me channel my inner Martha awhile on that first.
    It was neat to see how the seaport looked soooo long ago. And the kiss, how sweet.
    Thanks for sharing all these photos of your time in NY!

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  28. Aw...thank you, Mary :) Yup...I'm celebrating the ENTIRE month!!!!

    Yes, I had such wonderful day in my favorite city. The perfect way to spend a birthday.

    "OH.EM.GEE aged brick! I swear I've told Ron 10 times how much I'd like to have a wall of that somewhere. Should we just cut a bunch in half lengthwise and then start cementing them on... ooh, let me channel my inner Martha awhile on that first."

    HA! OMG...that made me laugh out loud--your inner Martha!!! But I agree, isn't aged brick the best? And I love how in some apartments they will have one wall with exposed brick and I think that looks so incredible!

    I haven't been back to the seaport in eons. So, it was so fascinating to see how they spruced it up, but retained it's charm and uniqueness.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Have a great week!
    X

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