The Style Resurgence of Manhattan's Seaport District

Courtesy Mr. C Seaport

A surge of boutique openings has turned an out-of-the-way area of Manhattan into style central.

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).

Scotch snails at Manhatta restaurant. Daniel Krieger

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.

10 Corso Como, a new branch of the concept shop in the Seaport District. Collins Nai/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

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.

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