Pier 17’s Latest Art and Grub Totally Worth An Extended Lunch Break

One of my favorite perks about working in Lower Manhattan are taking afternoon walks. Whether my daily discoveries are new to all or just to me, I appreciate the convenience of meandering through every part of my weekday home in under an hour. 

“But isn’t the Seaport District far away from where you work?” 

Surprisingly, not everyone who lives in New York realizes how close downtown NYC’s corners are to one another. Allow me to dispel one such transportation myth: Yes, the Seaport District is less than 10 minutes away by foot from the Fulton Street Subway Station, and there’s plenty of coffee along the way for added motivation.

My afternoon sojourning makes regular pit-stops at Pier 17 to keep tabs on its ever-evolving art and food scene. Enjoy my visual tour aimed to encourage you to RSVP time to see Pier 17 for yourself!

Artist/historian Kamau Ware of Black Gotham Experience collaborated with two muralists to design Others Built New York, a three-paneled mural that welcomes visitors as they cross South Street towards Pier 17. The murals celebrate equality, LGBTQIA+ rights and the resiliency of the city itself. 

Make a beeline for the main escalator entrance of Pier 17 to find your next “destination dinner spot” Bar Wayō, the newest addition to restaurateur David Chang’s tasty Momofuku empire. I heard from a reliable source (aka my colleague) that the “Kang’s Hamburg Dip” is a must-try dish alongside the happy hour offerings. I also enjoyed the neo-90s typographical murals by @jasonnaylor, @surfaceofbeauty and @fillinglobal that adorn the walls adjacent and next door to Wayō’s entrance.

Walk around the East River side of Pier 17 to discover the next set of artistic style. “Skyfish” is a nature-inspired wind installation by Chinatown native artists, Tin and Ed. The six fluttering lifeforms add whimsy to the Heineken River deck and complement the laid-back vibe at Jean-Georges’ new seafood restaurant, The Fulton

The next restaurant around Pier 17’s block is Malibu Farm, the restaurant group’s first Manhattan branch set to open this month. The menu specializes in fresh California flavors, which sound like the dishes I’d want before catching the escalators upstairs to hear an outdoor rooftop concert. 

Speaking of moving on up, the two-level “Wiggling Waves and Water Wanders” mural by Mike Perry (aka the Broad City theme animator!) pays homage to summer celebrations and encourages you to pause and admire.

We started from the bottom and now we’re here—at R17 just in time to catch the sea breeze and a savory meal. The cozy semi-hidden bar and lounge now serves brunch, and what timing: I’m going to need the energy to resume my journey back to Alliance headquarters. 

Skyfish and R17 images courtesy of the Seaport District/Howard Hughes