Seaport Report

By Janel Bladow

President’s Day Monday and the Seaport looked as if it took a cue from old Punxsutawney Phil. Six more weeks of winter seemed a given. Brrrr! The ice rink was packed with skaters…and the sales were abundant. Everyone from Ann Taylor to Firefly had discount posters in their windows. Brookstone, especially, seemed geared up for hibernation. Sleep and stress-relief products were the items du jour. Foot massagers, massaging chair pads, special mattresses and pillows, cuddle blankets and fuzzy socks were all price-slashed. Seaport Report asked around and most will keep sales going through the end of the month.

Beauty Bash…Tupperware parties and lingerie happy hours are a thing of the past. The new must go-to is the glamour gala! The “Love Yourself for Valentine’s Event” at Dr. Barry Golman’s recently renovated Broadway suite was definitely a hot ticket. Patients, friends and family all joined the “Dermatologist to Wall Street” and his staff for champagne, crudite, cheeses and cookies. But the real hit of the evening for the nearly 80 guests were the complimentary mini-treatments. Yes, Dr. Goldman and staff gave all who wanted free chemical peels and seaweed facials.

District rep Jill Vollmer described to S.R. the cutting-edge science behind her high-end Obagi skin products, which are only available in doctor’s offices. “Everyone can do well by his or her skin by using some sort of antioxidant,” she said, stressing the products’ extra doses of Vitamin C to combat free radicals and redness.

Medical Assistant Monica Wright applied chemical peel liquid to freshly cleaned faces while explaining that the worst thing anyone can do is allow dead skin to build up. “You want to glow,” she said, rubbing the tingling liquid over cheeks, foreheads and chins.

Meanwhile, Repechage’s director of education, Seda Azarian, had clients lined up for the brand’s soothing facial made of 12 seaweeds from the coast of France. “Seaweed is similar to the body’s makeup,” she said. “Your skin takes in its nutrients leaving you with vibrant, baby soft skin.”

Dr. Goldman was also aglow by evening’s end. “I thought let’s just have a little fun and guilty pleasure,” he told Seaport Report. “Even in these hard economic times, it’s important to keep up your self-esteem and appearance, not just for work but for your own well-being. It’s important to feel confident.”

Fresh Food Fest…The first public markets of New Amsterdam were built along the East River on beds of oyster shells and thus began a tradition of farmers, fishermen and cheesemongers coming together to sell their wares along the shore near the South Street Seaport. In the winter of 2007, director Robert LaValva launched the New Amsterdam Market to bring back this custom so that Downtown residents had an indoor place to shop for fresh foods. The initial market was a huge success and now LaValva has bigger dreams. He hopes to establish a monthly “permanent, civic institution dedicated to regional agriculture and food production.”

He told S.R.: “It’s like taking Union Square Market and Essex Street Markets and combining the two. A lot of farmers in the area don’t have the time or resources to come to the city to sell their foods but we’ll have experts on foods of this region and someone to sell it for them.” This Saturday, Feb. 21 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.), the New Amsterdam Market hosts their first benefit “Founded on Oyster Shells.”

Joining LaValva is Mike Osinski, of Widow’s Hole Oyster Company on Long Island’s East End. Partygoers can feast on a variety of the delectable mollusks from several local oyster farms, including famed Blue Points from Blue Island Oyster Farm near Fire Island. The Beer Table in Brooklyn is providing a special brew and Rhonda Crosson (formerly of AQ Kafe) is baking up hearty bread while Ross Gill of Home Restaurant is creating fabulous fish chowder. An on-site and online auction will also benefit the Market with area foods-oriented experiences such as a cheese tasting with Essex Markets’ Anne Saxelby and a kayak excursion around an oyster bed followed by a clambake on the beach. To attend, visit www.newamsterdampublic.org.

LaValva hopes the success of the benefit will get the market up and running by June. “We’re working out details with the city for a public space. We don’t know if there’s a future for it at the Seaport though,” referring to the current economic problems of General Growth Properties.

Hot Topics…Famed architect Daniel Libeskind, designer of the winning redesign of the World Trade Center, speaks Thursday night at the certified green office building, 7 World Trade Center, 45th floor. Topic: Counterpoint. His presentation is part of Downtown Alliance’s Third Thursdays talk series. Next up is Pulitzer Prize historian Mike Wallace on “Downtown New York in the Second World War” on March 19. Hear him at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. All lectures are free and begin at 7 p.m. Pre-registration required: www.downtownny.com/thirdthursdays.

Meanwhile, keep warm, cuddle and contact us at Seaportreport@downtownexpress.com.