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The Financial District has a reputation for being a retail wasteland, but a boom is on the brink: efforts to revitalize the area after Hurricane Sandy are making the most out of one of the city's most picturesque waterfront areas, and plans are in the works to have the hood be a new shopping destination in 2015.
Until then, cozy pubs, riverside bars, cobblestone streets, new stores at the Seaport, and innovative pop-up shops are already making FiDi a Saturday well spent. Check out a few suggestions on where to go after the jump.
Tucked on one of the narrow streets near the seaport, Growler (55 Stone Street) is a casual, neighborhood spot with the quirky Victorian dog-themed décor. Standard brunch fare makes up the menu—corned beef hash, pancakes, shrimp and grits—and the $12 unlimited DIY Bloody Mary bar steals the show.
Lee Lee’s Forest (14 Fulton Street) is one of downtown's best kept secrets for wardrobe staples with clever twists. You'll find flattering, feminine dresses with cute graphic prints, lacy blouses sit next to cassette tape-patterned tees, and whimsical silver charm necklaces are on hand to complete the look. Their affordable price points are the icing on the cake.
A new addition to the Seaport retail scene is the temporary Dossier Outpost (Fulton Street between Front Street and South Street). All summer long, the block will be lined with pop-ups in shipping containers, an art gallery, and food trucks. Some of Dossier's vendors offer workshops, and events also include concerts and outdoor film screenings, making the outpost a hub for food, shopping, entertainment, and creativity.
Everything you need to catch some serious waves (or at least look like you're going to) is at Summer House Urban Surf Collective (Fulton Street between Front Street and South Street). The pop-up sells everything from boards to swim from brands like Smith + Holland, AllSwell and Folklore, and 10% of proceeds benefit educational and environmental programs at Rockaway Beach.
Another of Dossier's shops is Selima Optique (Fulton Street between Front Street and South Street), one of fashion's favorite brands for sunglasses and opticals. Handmade in France, the frames have subtly artful shapes, and some are punctuated with vibrant colors and hints of print.
With a focus on craftsmanship and classic denim created using old-fashioned methods for a vintage effect, Gilded Age (224 Front Street) is a constant, quiet favorite on the jean scene. Their new FiDi location captures their off-the-beaten-track cool factor. Shop for a guy in your life or pick yourself up some staples for a borrowed-from-the-boys look, and keep an eye out for the brand's womenswear offerings to hit the store soon. [Photo: Gilded Age]
You'll have to get a guest pass online before hitting Complete Body (10 Hanover Square), but once inside, it's like a one-stop fitness-fun extravaganza. Pick up a yoga or indoor cycling class, do your own workout in the gym, or challenge yourself on the rock climbing wall. When you're done, you can wind down in the sauna and re-energize at the juice bar.
The serene peace and quiet of The Setai Club & Spa (40 Broad Street) is a necessary indulgence, especially after a workout. Standard massages, aromatherapy, manicures, pedicures, and facials are complemented by signature treatments like the Moroccan Hamman Experience, an exfoliation and thermal body soak with Mediterranean resources, and the Setai Herbal Hibernation, an herbal soak, facial, exfoliation and scalp and neck massage.