For decades, the Seaport District was one of New York City’s most perplexing neighborhoods, an area seemingly blessed with everything: waterfront access, proximity to Wall Street, a killer skyline, and some of Manhattan’s stateliest old buildings. Yet New Yorkers themselves could rarely be found walking its cobblestoned streets.
The main draws were chain-style shops and food courts that primarily attracted tourists. Hurricane Sandy, which displaced many businesses, offered a chance to reboot. This year that new chapter began, as the Seaport celebrated the opening of the Mr. C Seaport (rooms from $350).
Built by brothers Maggio and Ignazio Cipriani, the latest generation of moguls from the family behind Harry’s Bar and Cipriani venues worldwide, the Mr. C occupies a landmark building constructed when the neighborhood was a maze of waterfront markets. Though only seven stories tall, the 66-room hotel enjoys grand views of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.
Devotees of Harry’s Bar will find comfort in the honeyed glow of Bellini, located behind the hotel’s pitch-black cast-iron storefront. Looming on the horizon (and at night, glowing) is Pier 17, a onetime mall recently transformed by SHoP Architects into a live entertainment complex featuring a rooftop theater and soon-to-open restaurants by David Chang and Andrew Carmellini.
In its shadow stands Carla Sozzani’s beloved Milanese concept store 10 Corso Como, which had a glitzy September opening. The space, in the Fulton Market Building, includes a café, galleries, and no shortage of highend labels, from Comme des Garçons to Maison Margiela.
Lower Manhattan has been undergoing a renaissance generally, and at the edge of the Seaport, Manhatta, Danny Meyer’s new venture, sits atop a former bank headquarters. From the exquisite art collection and the walnut paneling to the lobster quenelle, there’s a glamorous, midcentury feel to go with the world conquering view.