Holiday Season

BY JANEL BLADOW  |  The ghosts and goblins have departed but before their spirits were a wisp away, the elves were busy making the Seaport Christmas ready. What happened to Thanksgiving?

A Gala Greeting…
Bigwigs, friends, locals and fun folks all gathered at the stylish apartment of our charming neighbor Harold Reed to meet, greet and welcome Susan Henshaw Jones to the neighborhood. As you’ve probably already read in Downtown Express, Ms. Jones now wears two hats: as the Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York, and now she is also director of the South Street Seaport Museum. In only a couple months since the takeover by the Museum of the City of New York, she’s done much to revive our historic hood: taking the museum back to its original and well-known name, reopening Bowne & Co. Stationers at 211 Water St., and hiring staff. “We have big plans,” she enthusiastically told Seaport Report. “We’re going to have the museum reopened by mid-January. We plan to have the mini-mates program for kids up and running soon and we want to become known as a fashionable place for a party.” Yes, plans are to have parts of the beautiful museum available for weddings and other private functions.

As the bubbly Ms. Jones made the rounds, guests sipped champagne and nibbled delicious canapés created by neighborhood caterer, Grace Clerihew of Table Tales. SR chatted with Harold’s friends in from San Antonio, TX, and Buenos Aries, Argentina. We had an enjoyable chat with Michael Piazzola, Sr. General Manager of the South Street Seaport, who explained that his management group, the Howard Hughes Corporation, also has big, new plans in the works for the mall.

Of course a highlight for SR was a walk down memory lane to the seaport’s nautical past with king of tugboats, Capt. Brian McAllister. He had revealers enthralled with stories about the museum’s and the Seaport’s early days. Hats off to Harold for a lovely gathering and much success to Ms. Jones!

Holidays Are Here…
As anyone walking down Fulton Street can see, Christmas has landed! This year a fake (Oh, no! Perhaps because the real one blew over last year?) tree rose well before Thanksgiving and holiday shops opened.

The season festivities officially kick off with the tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 25 at 6pm. The event is hosted by NBC’s Jill Martin and features headliner Ronnie Spector. Also rocking around the Christmas tree will be the band School of Rock and the Big Apple Chorus. But our sources tell us that the new tree is the starring novelty which will “perform” an 8-minute light show every night beginning at 5pm.

Shopping-wise and the red and green gift kiosks are open, a lot of them new vendors to the hood. A couple pop-up shops also appeared for holiday shoppers. Look for local artist Naima Rauam @Seaport! Gallery, 210 Front St., for her 6th Annual Remembering Fulton Fish Market art exhibit. Open noon to 7pm, Wednesdays through Sundays until Dec. 18. And the Seaport Museum also has a shop, Tinsel Trading, next to Bowne & Co., selling handmade ornaments and holiday décor.

With the passing in January of actor Roger Franklin who was the Seaport’s perfect Santa for more than two decades, the folks behind the celebrations felt it was time to try some new things. And while his loyal elf, security guard Richie Gormley will play Santa for the tree lighting, everyone who ever experienced the  joy the white-bearded jolly man brought knows Santa Roger will be dearly missed.

Hollywood & Wall…
While the OWS protesters shivered a couple blocks away Saturday night, the cast of Gossip Girl and honchos from Warner Bros. celebrated the 100 episode of the soap about Upper East Side snotty girls at Cipriani Wall Street. Blake Lively arrived in a blue, lavender, nude and crystal cocktail dress barely there and strategically covering naughty bits. Leighton Meester raved about the bridal gown she wears in the milestone episode to marry the TV version of the Prince of Monaco while the cast boys Penn Bedgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick were gleeful talking about the great apartments they live in thanks to the five year run of the show. Fun was had by all, especially those who won at the party casino games.

Get a Doc STAT…
Cut yourself and need stitches? Fall and broke a bone? No need to hang around an overcrowded hospital emergency room (and the only one south of 14th St. is at New York Downtown Hospital) anymore. At 106 Liberty St. is a fresh alternative, a new urgent care clinic, Medhattan (www.medhattan.com or 855 STATMDS) with a rotating staff of 15 physicians who also work in top ERs around the city.

“We chose to open here because there wasn’t any real doctor urgent care place on the Westside downtown,” says founder Leslie Miller, MD, a Harvard graduate who did her Emergency Medical Residency at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and has been director of some of the city’s best emergency rooms. “Concept is to keep people out of emergency room. We wanted to give back to this area which experienced such devastation and be part of its rebirth and emergence.”

What she and her partner, co-founder Alicia Salzer, Medhattan’s Psychiatric-Wellness consultant who has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Medical College, have come up with is fresh take on medical emergencies here in New York City. This boutique-style acute care shop is a combo emergency and wellness clinic in a relaxing, spa-like environment. It’s all very modern. Make appointments and complete pre-registration paperwork online. After a visit, patients leave with a flash drive with all their X-rays, lab work and chart information to take to their follow-up docs. Basic office visit is $200 and covered by insurance. Walk-ins welcomed.