Secret Supper: High Seas
By Fran Tirado
It was Moby Dick’s Ishmael who said, “Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration?”
In May of 2017, we embarked upon an unprecedented evening of mystical vibrations aboard the Wavertree, a large iron-hulled cargo ship docked at the South Street Seaport. The evening began in a raw warehouse space nearby, where guests gathered to sip on refreshing spring cocktails by Claire Sprouse of Lo-Fi Aperitifs. Think herby and bright, sweet vermouths, and floral aromas ideal for al fresco experiences.
Our Spring Street staff guided guests in groups down the cobblestones of South Street Seaport to commence their voyage with a crew of salty sailors, all decked out in classic blue stripes. (Amy even wore an eye patch.) The Wavertree of the Seaport Museum holds 130 years of history, but the vibe of the evening was nothing but modern — featuring a crisp and refreshing rosé by LOVE & HOPE, nautical rope and seashell-accented floral arrangements by Nikki Pettus, and a fresh, seasonal menu by Chef Danny Newberg of Joint Venture NYC (who brought a garden-harvested mahi-mahi to the festivities).
As guests started the night out with some cocktail-guzzling and hearty hey-hos, the photo ops were truly infinite. Picturesque moments featured flowing fairy lights, colorful naval flags, and of course, the classic Jack-and-Rose-at-the-edge-of-the-Titanic scene upon the sterm. Patrick and Amy commenced the evening from the crow’s nest with an original Moby-Dick-inspired duet written by Amy and performed alongside Danny Townsend.
The Chef Danny’s mahi-mahi turned into ceviche served with greens and roasted mushrooms — a first course so delicate, it would make you feel like you were floating if you weren’t literally already floating. After a local bean-and-grain stew that helped warm up an otherwise brisk evening, Jim Ford performed original monologues written by James Harrison Monaco about seafaring tales of love and disaster (natch).
For a finale, we served up a pea panna cotta with chocolate min) while guests sipped nettle tea and watched a burly sailor dance take place all across the deck. Our dancers Alexa Andreas, Kelly Bartnik, Eva Juanzemis, and Donte Reid enacted a death-defying routine, suspending from ropes and bows and buoys and twirling gracefully in a piece directed by choreographer Dan Safer. Oh, and did we mention there was a vogueing shark?