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By Janel Bladow
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! All you need to do to get into the spirit is stroll around the Seaport.
DECKED OUT… Fulton St. is full of holiday glory. On Tuesday night, the neighborhood celebrated the 33rd-annual tree lighting in a spectacular display of seasonal festiveness. Hundreds of locals and tourists turned out despite the rain to mark our biggest holiday night ever. Thanks to TV’s Hallmark Channel, the Seaport mimicked one of the network’s Christmas classics, from the dazzling lights down to its cobbled streets. This year’s 60-foot Norway spruce hailed from Hinsdale, PA. Its “Constellation” theme décor — from compasses to stars — cover the branches in stellar style, representing our nautical past. Headlining the fun was 12-year-old sensation Grace VanderWaal, the adorable ukulele-playing singer/songwriter who won the 11th season of America’s Got Talent.
Seems like every day leading up to Dec. 25 has a marketing twist and Tuesday was no different. The tree-lighting took place on Giving Tuesday, “a global day of giving,” and the Howard Hughes Corporation made a $25,000 donation to the Peck Slip School music program to help fund a full-time music teacher and buy needed musical instruments.
SHOP ’TILL YOU DROP… Keeping in the holiday buy, buy, buy spirit, the HHC has lined up some of the city’s top indie artists, designers and moguls for a unique shopping experience: The Hester Street Fair Holiday Market. From clever children’s reads (Home Grown Books) to silly socks (Jimmy Lion), to fash-forward sneakers (Triesti), to chocolate to die for (Eat Chic Chocolates), you’re sure to find something for someone to wrap up for everyone. The street shops stay open daily, 11 a.m.–8 p.m., through Christmas Eve.
PAWS UP… And speaking of shopping locally, our own Salty Paw maven Amanda Zink went national on The Today Show for Small Business Saturday. Appearing with a pup and Al Roker, she touted the importance of supporting mom and pop shops. Nice job, and she looked great, too!
COMING SOON, WE HOPE… Update on the Bridge Café: neighbors have been excitedly stopping by the neighborhood haunt since the sign lit up again a few months ago. Now the paper is off the front window on Water Street showing off its new wrought iron grids. So we had to ring up proprietor Adam Weprin. When will the Bridge finally reopen after it was shuttered by Hurricane Sandy? “Soon,” is all he’ll divulge beyond the “two months” he’s been optimistically telling us for the past two years. He’s still waiting on Verizon. But hopefully, he says within the month he’ll have “the rest of the paper removed from the windows,” the dining room cleaned, and everything set to look as if “it was just closed for the night.”
It’s been a long slog. He still needs to inventory furniture, dishes and cookware saved from the flood, search for a chef, and find a new staff. “Maybe by March,” Weprin says. “We’ll start with the softest of soft openings. Then comes the party.” We long-time neighbors can’t wait.
ALL HANDS ON DECK… Lend your support to the community on Monday, Dec. 5, 7:15–8:15 p.m. The Old Seaport Alliance is looking for volunteers meet one another and begin planning fun events for 2017, including the group’s 2nd-annual fund-raising gala aboard the newly refurbished Wavertree, and plans for a Peck Slip redesign. Location TBA, so RSVP to email@example.com.
CUDDLE UP AND KEEP WARM… Bring a blanket and settle in for some fun and thoughtful mini-movies from around the world. Animation Nights New York (ANNY) has DEC Bijou happening on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m., in their space at 180 Maiden Lane. Delight in such shorts as “First Snow” by Czech filmmaker Lenka Ivancikoa. Great way to spend a night, meet new folks and break out of the holiday madness.
PRINTING PARTY… So the South Street Seaport Museum held its fourth annual Wayzgoose recently. In case you haven’t a clue… it’s an old-time printer’s party to celebrate the change of the seasons. To continue the stamping fun, Bowne Printers (209 & 211 Water St.) has scheduled a few more events to mark holidays. The three-hour classes include making your own Christmas cards, designing custom stationery, and binding personal books. Great gifts and a fun way to spend the afternoon. For details: https://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/education/bowne-printers-workshops/.
Happy holidays everyone, and looking forward to a wonderful new year!