Neighbors: Bowne & Co.’s Robert Wilson

Neighbors: Bowne & Co.’s Robert Wilson

Where do Seaport locals and business owners like to go for happy hour, dinner and a spot of retail therapy? We check in with our neighbors to get the scoop on their downtown NYC go-tos.

This week: Bowne & Co. Art Director, Robert Wilson

As the art director of Bowne & Co., Stationers—part of the South Street Seaport Museum—Robert Wilson spends his days running a working print shop on Water Street. When he’s not setting type, printing orders for clients or deep in the museum’s letterpress archives, here’s where you’ll find Wilson in and around Lower Manhattan.

Best place to start the morning in the Seaport District:

If I’m being honest, it’s the newsstand on Fulton and Water Streets, because I prefer Red Bull to coffee most mornings. If I’m in a coffee mood, my go-to is Made Fresh Daily. They also have the best baked goods in the neighborhood—which they rotate out, so there is always something new to try. 

Favorite place for lunch:

During the school year I teach at Pace University, so I’m always walking up and down Beekman Street between the Seaport and City Hall. On Nassau Street, there is the most fantastic Italian sandwich shop called Pisillo. It can’t be more than 50 square feet, so it’s always crammed with people, but it’s definitely worth it.

Do you have a favorite spot in the neighborhood that you like to visit for a moment of quiet?

Titanic Memorial Park (at Fulton and Pearl Streets) is super underrated, and a great place to take a break. I love how lively Fulton street has become, but it’s nice that just around the corner there is an opportunity for pause, and to appreciate the quieter parts of the Seaport. 

Best spot for happy hour:

Hands down, Fresh Salt. It’s the perfect mix; a local spot that’s also welcoming to someone visiting for the first time. It’s big enough that there can be a crowd, but small enough that it always feels intimate, even if you’re the only person at the bar. A gem here in the Seaport.

Favorite date or dinner spot:

Barbalu! There is something special about a restaurant that knows what they do really, really well. Barbalu is one of those places, and it shows. Everything on the menu is killer. 

Best weekend activities:

Getting out on the water, whether it’s going for a boat ride on the South Street Seaport’s tugboat W.O. Decker, or just walking around on Pier 16. Fulton Stall Market on Sundays is a great opportunity to get outside, and enjoy the pier.  

Favorite place to shop:

Can I self-promote here? I almost have to say Bowne & Co., Stationers, which is cheating because part of my job is to help curate what is for sale there. One of our goals with Bowne & Co. is to showcase things that are artist-made or produced from small, independent manufacturers. We are constantly finding awesome studios making interesting work, so there is always something new coming through the shop. 

Bowne & Co. Stationers is located at 211 Water Street