Volume 23, Number 15 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 18 - 24, 2010
BY Janel Bladow
The dog days of August are upon us. As if the city hasn’t been sweltering throughout July too! While most people run to the mountains or the shore, Seaport Report enjoys these quieter times to kick back in the ‘hood. Here are a few of our favorite things to do:
Take a ferry… Three choices of quick trips “out of town” are right at our doorstep. To beat the heat being on the water is an excellent alternative to sweating in the canyons of the city or fighting traffic on the L.I.E. or Thruway. Take a ferry to Ikea for a Swedish shopping excursion and inexpensive salmon salad lunch in air-conditioned comfort. Or pack a picnic and ferry over to Governors Island for a day of walking and lounging around the park-like grounds. And, there’s always a ride on the Staten Island Ferry just for a jaunt and a good look at the Statue of Liberty.
Be a lounge lizard… Grab a good book, your iPod, a bottle of water and head to the third floor landing of Pier 17. Stake out a wooden chaise and spend the afternoon watching the boats go by on the East River and the tourist flock to the deck around you. Or, if you like a quieter space, go to the Vietnam Memorial Park, Coenties Slip between Water and South Streets. Want air conditioning? Try the public space at 60 Wall Street Atrium. The last two also have free wi-fi. In case you can’t tear yourself from your computer!
Indulge yourself… Skip the diet. While most Wall Streeters are working or at their summer homes, head over to Crumbs Bake Shop, 87 Beaver Street, for mouthwatering decadence in a little paper wrapper. With the crowds away, the wait is shorter. Try fresh lemonade to quench a summer thirst or munch an Artie Lang, grasshopper or red velvet cupcake. Better yet, pack up one of their pretty black and red stripe boxes with a few for later. They are now open weekends for summer! Yum! www.crumbs.com.
Play Queen (or King) for a day… We all deserve some pampering so spoil yourself with a day pass to Setai Club and Spa, 40 Broad Street, www.setaiclubnewyork.com. The spa and restaurant Sho are open to the public and offer a great escape from the sizzle of FiDi streets.
Coming off the elevator guests are greeted with the calming aromas of Heavenly by Dana Decker. The décor by designer Bob Henry embraces you in dark, soothing wood paneling and infinity lighting. Spa rooms feature faux alligator panels that stretch up a wall and over the ceiling for a cocooning effect. The two couple spa suites include a deep oval bathtub for a soothing soak together.
Both men and women lounges include lockers with a robe, rubber slippers, towels and a cloth bag for clothing. The oversize soaking pool surrounded by flickering candles takes bathers away from their daily stresses. Steam and dry saunas face comfortable chaise lounges to rest and renew.
The Tea Room is a retreat that continues the calming vibe. A variety of refreshing or nourishing teas and champagne are available along with small bites such as macaroons and truffles prepared by Sho pastry chef Shawn Ergatt.
The state-of-the-art fitness gym is equipped with the newest workout machines. Tucked away behind the workout center, is a quiet yoga room for classes and private stretches. Personal trainers are available for a performance fitness assessment or to create a specific workout.
A well-rounded experienced spa staff provides expert spa treatments from facials to full-length massages. Setai Spa, which uses high-end products by June Jacobs, prides itself on offering custom care services – their experts analyze and suggest treatments tailored specifically to your needs, rather than a long menu of quirky treatments.
One of their newest treats is the four-handed facial massage. While the esthetician carefully cares for your face adapting treatment and products to you, another massages your hands, arms, legs and feet for a full-body treat. It’s an escape that will take you far away from your worries and Wall Street.
Rated as the best spa in the Wall Street area by New York Magazine, Setai caters to downtown A-listers and ranks their services on the level of the Peninsula and Mandarin hotels.
The day pass is $100 and half is applied to spa treatments.
They’ll be missed… SR wants to say goodbye to Anita and Armando Gomes who opened the Harbour Café ten years ago on Peck Slip. The landlord didn’t renew their lease and the only place east of Pearl Street to pick up a paper and a buttered roll sadly closed its doors at the end of July. Many neighbors and customers came in the final days to say their goodbyes.
“We knew we had regulars,” Anita told SR, “but we didn’t realize how many friends we had.”
If in the morning you didn’t have enough money for your egg on a roll, Anita would just wave and say “Next time,” in her delicious, bubbly Portuguese accent. We wish them the best.
And oops… Last month we aged Cora Hume-Fagin’s new puppy from North Shore Animal League. Daisy was only10 weeks old at the time and growing by the minute!