Week of April 18, 2012

BY JANEL BLADOW  |  The early spring weather has brought out the crowds to our ‘hood. That’s a good thing. With all the noisy, ugly construction, it’s surprising anyone would want to wander our pock-marked cobblestone streets, let alone hang outside drinking beer or dining al fresca. But we love our nabe.

Bone-afide good deed… The love spread around the Seaport last month, offering hope for a little boy from a fatal disease and a 25-percent discount to the “Bodies” exhibit for do-gooders.

Friends, family and Gift of Life volunteers encamped at Fulton and Front Sts. with swab kits, hoping to find a bone-marrow match for little Ezra Fineman. The toddler has a rare tissue type and identifying the right donor from a simple saliva sample could save his life. Without a transplant, Ezra is at risk of developing liver disease, lymphoma and tumors. He was diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic disorder called Hyper IgM syndrome when he was just four-months old. His mom Robin says his tiny body is unable to produce antibodies. “He can’t fight infections.” Miraculously he celebrated his third birthday at home in New Jersey on March 11, the same day as the Seaport drive. Because of his condition, having the boy at a public place with big crowds puts him at risk.

More than 70 people took part in the drive and visited the show. The connection, Robin told SR, was “a great way for people to give back.”

And both the Gift of Life organization and the “Bodies” team agreed. With a swab of the inside cheek, adults aged 18 to 60 are entered into a national donor registry. Processing each swab kit costs $54. So both donors and donations are needed. To date, Erza’s team has raised more than $215,000 and made 28 matches (the latest on April 3, when a donor matched a five-year old boy with an immune system disorder). For more on how you can help, visit www.giftoflife.org/help4ezra.

Another year… Happy Birthday to SouthBridge Towers’ Diana K. who turned a whopping 23! And also to Jeff Pickett who was the long-time manager of Radio Mexico. Both were born on April 4 and touched the life of Meade’s main barmaiden, Kathleen Joyce and waitstaff Chano and Izzy. “I saw Jeff almost every day for years,” says Katie, adding that she bonded with Diana who as a child would come to Radio with her dad. “Now she’s an adult. I adore her and she’s a fixture in the neighborhood.”

Baby news… There’s more good news to celebrate.  Long-time SouthBridge Towers residents Bob and Cathy Gelber became grandparents for the first time.  Cody DeCoons was born Dec. 6, 2011 to their daughter and son-in-law, Cari and Keith DeCoons. Baby Cody has blue eyes and reddish, blond hair and as the proud grandfather boasts “just adorable. What’s best is that Cari and Keith live in Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City and are so close, we can see Cody all the time!” Congrats to the new parents and happy grand ones!

Also new to our Seaport family is little Ethan Lim, born March 26 to parents Adam and Fay. Adam, his brothers Jeff and Jackson and grandmother Lyn are well known and loved Seaporters, from their restaurant Fish Market where Lyn makes a really delicious Drunkin’ Fish soup, to the newly reopened Cigar Landing (see next item). As the family’s first grandchild, Ethan is getting all of grandma’s attention! Congrats to everyone.

Smokin’ good… On Friday, Cigar Landing reopened at 150 Beekman St. The cigar store, long a fixture on Pier 17, closed last year, reopened for a month or so on Peck Slip until it found its new home. Looks as if it’s here to stay. The grand opening party attracted more than 100 cigar smokers and friends who enjoyed such lip-smacking treats as fish fingers, chicken wings and drinks from champagne to Glenlivet.

Hiram Ramirez worked the counter, getting customers their best cigars, including the house grand opening sampler of two house blend cigars, one Rocky Patel and one Romeo & Julieta ($30). “I’m so glad our followers and Seaport neighbors came out, enjoying not only a lovely night but a great cigar,” he told SR. Andy Oh, a lawyer and partner with Jeff and Adam Lim, said the new location is “the perfect spot.”

Fiesta time… You can tell that summer is soon upon us. The partying has begun. Starting with a huge food truck eat-a-thon! To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, more than 15 of the city’s favorite food trucks will park around the Seaport for a roaring chow down.

From Luke’s Lobster and Frites’n’Meats to Schnitzel & Things and Eddie’s Pizza, the grub-to-go-mobiles will all feature their best fare with one twist. For this Mex Fest, each will showcase their talents by infusing one of their bestsellers with a Mexican flavor flair. SR can’t wait to taste the Mexican waffles from Wafels & Dinges. Or how about a tangy cool drink from Kelvin Slush? Besides grub, there’ll be lots to drink and live DJ music. The partying starts May 5, 11 am through 9 pm. For food and drink vouchers or more info, go to www.mexfestnyc.com.

Beach party… Or if your tastes run more to sand, sun and fun, check out the action at the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club on the north side of Pier 17. The beach club opened this weekend with great weather and a hot party. Sit on their super fun outdoor white couches and sip a summery cocktail or take over a picnic table for such hot weather eats as burgers, pulled pork sandwiches or fish and chips. The music is great and they plan a concert or two over the summer. Memorial Day weekend features an authentic New Orleans-style crawfish boil and concert with three jazz bands. Who needs the Hamptons when you can dig your toes into the sand, savor the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy an East River breeze?

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