|New Ticketing Office at 12 Fulton (they've moved from 207 Front Street)|
So I was surprised and a little chagrined when I recently discovered that the South Street Seaport was more than a Disney-esque shopping mall, and that it was in fact a museum that allowed visitors to board old ships. Could I have really lived all these years in NYC and not realized that this was available? I had mistakenly assumed that those old ships docked at Pier 16 were only for rent for weddings or corporate parties (for which they are also available).
Unfortunately, when I went to the South Street Seaport Museum Friday evening (it's supposed to be open and free to the public from 6-8:45 pm every third Friday), it was closed.
|Peking (Built in 1911 in Hamburg, Germany) Docked at Pier 16|
|Ambrose, Built for NY Harbor in 1908|
I was, however, able to learn some interesting facts about these old ships from the well-drafted descriptions posted along the pier. For example, I learned how the Peking was one of the last sailing ships used for shipping fuel and goods to South America and returning around Cape Horn with nitrates mined from Chile. After more reliable steamship engined ships were invented, sailing ships like the Peking were defunct. I also learned about how the Ambrose was a kind of floating lighthouse that was used when technological deficiencies prevented the establishment of lighthouses in waters that were too deep and where the ocean floor was too soft.
Noteworthy Aside: I would say that if you haven't already done so, the Bodies Exhibit at the South Street Seaport is definitely worth a visit. What they were able to do in plasticizing human bodies and coloring blood vessels is truly amazing.