Seaport Report

By Janel Bladow

Summer in the city

Many New Yorkers find August to be the most insufferable month of the year. Not Seaport Report. We think Lower Manhattan is where to be. There are plenty of ways to keep your cool in the dog days of summer from the Seaport on south. We recommend: a morning walk along the East River, a late afternoon bike ride around Battery Park or the free water taxi to Ikea! Not to overlook a pop into any one of the many really fun pubs and sidewalk cafes.


Feeling chained to your desk? S.R. found the perfect way to stay connected while hanging out around the hood. We scour the net and at the same time escape to the outdoors or another public spot to people watch, thanks to the Downtown Alliance and Sony. They’ve opened yet another free Wifi spot recently in a public space. Now you can surf the net, check e-mail or even play games while sitting in the park at the British Memorial Garden, Hanover Square and Pearl St. Other free and secure wired hotspots include the Pier 17 food court, Stone St. between Hanover Square and Coenties Slip (best signals are at the outdoor restaurant tables), the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza on Water St. and the 60 Wall St. atrium. All you need is an 802.11b. wireless adaptor and any Web browser. The Alliance Web site carefully explains how to log on and even has a support service for troubleshooting. Go to: https://www.downtownny.com/discover/wifi/. Now when friends ask where did you get that gorgeous tan, you can tell them, “Oh, at work!”


“We just thought it would be a great idea to have a glass of wine while out on the water and wanted a way to help the South Street Seaport Museum at the same time,” says Marco Pasanella, of Pasanella & Son Vitners of South St. Earlier this summer they partnered up for “Sip & Sail, ” a wine tasting sunset cruise aboard the museum’s schooner, Pioneer. The 40-person tasting sails cost $65 per person and have been so successful that the next two (this weekend and next) are totally sold out. S.R. suggests you book a reservation now for one of the three sails left this season. Pasanella & Son Events Coordinator Whitney Fuller hasn’t decided what wines will be tasted yet but count on the grapes being special. Wine themes on previous sails have been reds, whites and blushes from France then Italy and even an all-red evening. “All sorts of people sign up,” she says, “including our regular customers from the neighborhood. We had a young couple from Brooklyn celebrating their six month anniversary to a group of 10 women who have been getting together once a month for the last 10 years.” Sippers learn a little — or a lot, depending on just how much they want to know about each wine poured. They can even hoist the sails if so inclined. “It’s usually the view that steals the show,” adds Marco. Go to www.pasanellaandson.com to sign up.


Seaport Report’s favorite big top is back on Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport this week. Spiegelworld returns for its third season on the East River, bigger and more dazzling than ever. Joining the colorful Spiegeltent, the heart of the party, is another handmade historic Belgian traveling tent “The Deluxe.” What a show! “Désir”, theatrical circus for adults inspired by the sexual and artistic salons of 20th century Paris, makes its world debut. The creative minds behind this show describe the production not only as daring but taking you from one sensual escapade to another. If that isn’t enticing enough, the designers have collaborated with Paris jewelers Boucheron for added sparkle and overindulgence. Ohhh la la!!! Returning is “Absinthe,” featuring talent from the “seediest and sexiest cabaret dens of the world.” Concerts will also rock the pier, including performances by Ute Lemper, Martha Wainwright, The Yard Dogs Road Show and more. S.R. is looking forward to Meow Meow & Justin Bond with “Heavy Petting” sessions led by Emmy award-winner Lance Horne. Weekends feature the Gazillionaire’s Late Night Lounge with “fabulous freaks, vile characters and raunchy dancing girls.” For details, visit: www.Spiegelworld.com.


All hell broke out this week in Georgia with the Russians while riots broke out on the streets of Montreal. And it doesn’t seem as if anything is ending anytime soon in Iraq or Afghanistan either. While it can be rather painful to listen to the news, you can skip the current events and commemorate the war that took place in Lower Manhattan with “Battle Week” here at home. Yes, 225 years ago (Aug. 27, 1776, to be exact), the young American army lost the Battle of Brooklyn to those Red Coats. While the British Army left New York victoriously, General George Washington said goodbye to his troops at a small establishment in today’s Financial District. It was at Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl St., that our first president raised his wine glass and toasted his officers farewell at the end of the Revolutionary War. Fraunces Tavern Museum hosts two discussions that should be enlightening for anyone interested in Downtown and American history. National Park Service Ranger Michael Callahan talks Tues., Aug. 19, 12:30p ($4) about the Battle of Brooklyn in his presentation “The King’s Men” and the reason for the British victory. Then on Thurs., Aug. 21, 6:30p ($6), historian William J. Parry discusses “The Strange Case of ‘Baron’ Herman Zedwitz: Genius, Traitor or Madman.” You probably don’t know this, S.R. sure didn’t, but 13 top American Revolutionary commanders were serving on the jury at the sensational treason trial of Zedwitz and, absent from their posts, so they totally missed the Battle of Brooklyn. A big Congressional cover-up followed. Juicy stuff. Reservations call: 212 968-1776.