Friday, August 2, 2013

See Change and Free Summer Events at the South Street Seaport NYC

SEE/CHANGE brings outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment to the Seaport
South Street Seaport may be one of New York City’s many historic landmarks, but it’s barely anyone’s “top pick” for a good time.  As a New Yorker for four years, I can still count the number of times I’ve made the journey on one hand.  Sure, the old Fulton Fish Market may have some infamy, and it may be a stop on those Big Apple tourist buses, but there’s little incentive for myself, or my local friends, to visit.

However, after visiting SEE/CHANGE at South Street, I think us locals will have to make several trips back to this happening outdoor entertainment hub.

Changing for the better, the SEE/CHANGE initiative at South Street Seaport encourages visitors to experience this historic district with an impressive calendar of outdoor events.  These events bring visitors to the Seaport, who are key to revitalizing the community as well as small business.  Last year, Superstorm Sandy hit the Seaport hard, with small businesses taking the brunt of Sandy’s devastating property damage. But, with efforts such as the increasingly popular SEE/CHANGE program, more and more visitors are returning to check out an overlooked New York City landmark that will thrive with increased tourism.

To keep visitors coming back the Seaport has set up a delightful selection of exclusive—and free—programs that have transformed the space into something definitely worth a visit. Visitors not only experience plenty of free fun but a unique atmosphere. So if you’re a foodie, or a shopper, or looking for a place to chat, the Seaport has the perfect space for your next outdoor excursion.

At the Seaport's new FRONT/ROW outdoor theater visitors find seats for an outdoor screening 
On my visit, I was impressed by SEE/CHANGE's outdoor movie-screen, accompanied by a pre-screening DJ who kept the sizeable crowd entertained with a slew of pop hits.  Visitors made use of the complimentary lounge chairs, claimed nearby benches with perfect vantage points, and even spread out blankets and pillows around the screen. The scent of fresh popcorn wafted in the air, as well as the excited din from the nearby SmorgasBar were a constant reminder that there were plenty of new things at the Seaport to taste, too.  And towering over the theater stood the Pop-up Retail store: repurposed shipping crates transformed into upscale mini-boutiques.

With so many sights and sounds to choose from, we decided to give everything a shot. I prowled the Pop-up Retail stores, getting a peek at some delicious Magnolia cupcakes and other treats.  Then it was off to SmorgasBar’s food vendors for a tasty treat. I recommend the lobster roll at Red Hook Lobster Pond for a classic summer indulgence or for those with a heartier appetite, the Bulgogi Burger at Asia Dog. And if you happen to still have room (somewhere), definitely pick up a shake from Milk Truck Grill for a cool treat during your free movie screening.

At the South Street Seaport get a taste for some of Brooklyn's best food trucks
I got to watch Finding Nemo on the Seaport’s outdoor screen, and was again, not only impressed with the venue, but the turn-out. Families camped out on every conceivable space: the complimentary seating, benches, tables and chairs set up around the main road. And there was still space to chat for the non-movie goers, making the Seaport simply a lovely space to enjoy the evening.

So how does a usually skeptical New Yorker feel about SEE/CHANGE at the Seaport? Honestly, I’m quite impressed and am planning another trip back for a movie night; it’s a great opportunity to attend an outdoor event that also benefits the community at large. And while I may not be at the Seaport every weekend, with its combination of new changes and some classic New York charm, it definitely makes a visit to the Seaport an exciting summer trip.

To keep up with the latest events at SEE/CHANGE visit their official website for more information.

-- Posted by Angeli Rafer 

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