Hidden in Plain Sight: Melville’s Seaport

(Click here to see my view of South Street Seaport from underneath an umbrella this afternoon!)

FullSizeRender 4.jpgAfter enjoying the calm sunrise over Brooklyn Bridge on Pier 15, take a 3 minute walk North to discover a gem of history embedded in the architecture of the late 1800’s. Herman Melville spent a significant amount of time here in New York City. It is appropriate then that a quote from Moby Dick, one of his most influential (and very, very long) works is a permanent part of the historical architecture of South Street Seaport.

If you walk along Front Street make sure to look up. If you do,  you will see a concrete plaque embedded in the second story of an apartment building. The plaque has a quote from the first chapter of Moby Dick:

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“Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?- Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.”

After contemplating his quote, be sure to turn around and step into Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee for delicious caffeination and yummy, organic treats.FullSizeRender 2.jpg

(If you want a Melville-inspired tour of the South Street Seaport and on through Battery Park, check out this website for walking directions.)

Finally, I will leave you with one more Melville quote. Perhaps it might inspire you to rise early to see the sunrise, stroll down the perimeter of the Seaport area and experience the magic that is both light and water.

“Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries- stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region…Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.”

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Keep your eyes looking up and around because there is beauty to be found everywhere!

Artfully yours,

{Kelsey Leigh}


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