South Street Seaport

The last time I’ve been to South Street Seaport was when I was 16. I still remember the sickly sweet stench of Abercrombie & Fitch cologne, a sea of “I Love New York” t-shirts being sold by vendors looking for a quick buck, abandoned centuries-old buildings displaying loads of graffiti tags, and broken-down streets leading to cluttered highways.

It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

So you can only imagine my surprise when I recently went down, all the way downtown, to South Street Seaport, only to see a brand-spanking new neighborhood. The historic harbor highlights cobble stone streets (great if you’re not wearing heels), quaint coffee shops overlooking towering ships, and a massive beer garden leading to streets of seaside restaurants. There’s also the Smorgasburg, a foodie paradise where ramen burgers and massive grilled cheese sandwiches overflowing with oozing fromage are readily available to one’s mouthwatering delight.

Needless to say, I was a fan.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

I re-discovered the South Street Seaport as a native New Yorker wearing a piece from one of my favorite Etsy vendors, The Braided Bandit. It’s a super comfy 1970s black maxi dress by American brand Choon California.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Finding a vintage black v-neck dress on Etsy is pretty easy, but here are my picks: There’s this 1970s/1980s gown that’s super similar for $60, a gorgeous cocktail variation available in plus sizes for $39.90, a 1970s sheer variation for $50, and, if you’re willing to splurge, a 1970s Givenchy creation for $498. Just don’t forget to keep your size and measurements in mind before ordering.

All you need is a wide leather waist belt to cinch the waist, creating instant Morticia Addams vibes.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

To jazz up a plain black dress, I added a giant vintage butterfly brooch, but any brooch of your choosing will do. A lot of beautiful pieces can also be found on Etsy.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

So excuse me while I enjoy a local espresso and shop for stuff.

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