"Nothing's fishy here..."
Best known for its traditional fish market, Fulton Street today leads into the South Street Seaport, a bizarre cross between a charming tourist attraction and a decidedly charmless mall. The new developments at South Street Seaport have turned this once-historic port area into a shopping centre, with mixed results. On the one hand, the ships still in the harbor, the smell of appetizingly fresh fish, and the wooden gangways all provide a sense of history unparalleled by much of Manhattan, with the exception of Fraunces Tavern and parts of New Amsterdam. On the other hand, the shopping complex itself is relatively uniform and uninteresting, with bland retail chains dotting the admittedly picturesque glass building. Yet South Street Seaport does offer contemporary delights. There's a wealth on here in the summers, including the alternative Spiegeltent, a 19th-century-style circus tent that has in the past played home to singer-songwriter Vienna Teng and rock impresario Duncan Sheik, lately of Spring Awakening fame. The dining here is good and, as you might imagine, rather pescatarian in its leanings. Try old-school Bridge Cafe or straightforwardly named Fish Market.