Seaport Report, May 1, 2013

Photo by Brook Altman  Assembly Speaker Silver presenting a proclamation to Spruce Street students and P.T.A. president Ashley Duncan.
Photo by Brook Altman
Assembly Speaker Silver presenting a proclamation to Spruce Street students and P.T.A. president Ashley Duncan.

Six months since Sandy…Summer can’t come soon enough for most of us. The construction and clatter continue but we do see some progress. Still, most New Yorkers and outsiders have no idea how difficult it remains for many businesses down here. Dare we say “May Day”?

¡Vamos a celebrarlo!
Cinco de Mayo celebrations begin this week, and the weekend will rock throughout the hood. Look for party action at Cowgirl Sea-Horse, fun times at Meade’s and wild revelry at Jeremy’s Ale House. The Ale House kicks off the festivities Friday at 2 p.m. with an honest to goodness Mariachi band, plus food and drink specials. Whoo who!

Welcome bambinos… Baby news for Seaport regulars. We have a new sprout at the Ale House/Meade’s family. Jason Holin, son of Jeremy and Cheryl and brother of Lee, and his lovely wife Erin had a baby boy two weeks ago. Little Sawyer Holin is enjoying all the attention from his doting grandparents, uncle and older brother Caleb. And, over at Acqua, chef Ivan Beacco beams with joy. His new little pink bundle arrived on April 3. Olivia is bouncing and beautiful. Congratulations all!

Mantenere mangiare…Speaking of Acqua, at 21 Peck Slip, not even Sandy could stop the epicurean regional tour of Italy at the cozy ristorante, which quickly reopened in early December. Through this Sunday, May 5, Acqua is celebrating Abruzzo, the eastern coast of Italy. Their “Flavor of Italy” menu where Chef Beacco creates four delectable dishes from a county of Italy has been a success since it started last fall. In fact, since the Sardinia sampling, about a dozen or more customers have come every two weeks to take part in the gastronomic adventure.

Management describes it as a history of Italy through its food. As “the land of the conquered,” Italy has distinct food styles from north to south, from island to island, depending on who ruled and whose recipes stuck. From Austro-Hungarians and Germans in the north to Moors and Egyptians in the south, the distinct ingredients and herbs still flavor the dishes.

On the menu through Sunday are mussel, clam and veal tripe dishes spiced with strong complements: tomato, garlic and chili peppers. A chocolate covered almond cake — “Parrozzo di Pescara” — rounds out the menu which is paired with the perfect wine from the region.

The next region, Umbria, — the only land-locked area of Italy — from May 27 to June 2, features heartier fare. The menu ranges from chicken liver and black truffle pate to stewed pork shoulder with sweetbreads and cannellini and fava beans and finishes with a cake of apples, pine nuts and raisins.

Rockin’ in the streets…
Gray skies didn’t dampen spirits in the Seaport on the night of Thursday, April 18, as kids, parents, neighbors and friends came out to Front St. to party in support of the South Street Seaport community and businesses hurt by Superstorm Sandy.

The Spirit Project, an outdoor concert fundraiser put together by the P.T.A. of Spruce Street School, drew more than 500 people throughout the evening, including Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and various Community Board 1 members.

Several food trucks parked along Fulton Street sold a variety of fun foods while the donated beer and wine flowed. Three bands performed during the evening: New York rock musician Jeff Touhey, the five-piece indie rockabilly band The Hollows, and local bluegrass group, The Crusty Gentlemen who regularly play the Cowgirl Sea-Horse.

“I was thrilled to see life back in our neighborhood,” said the Cowgirl Sea-Horse’s Sherry Delamarter. “It’s been six months now. It was great to just relax and have fun.”

“By the end of the night, people were saying we should do this once a month, just have time to hang-out together, which is exactly what we wanted to do,” said co-chair of the event Learan Kahanov, father of two Spruce School students. The school’s P.T.A. president Ashley Duncan also co-chaired.

They came up with the idea for The Spirit Project while talking about the annual school fundraiser, The Taste of the Seaport. Kahanov told Seaport Report that the community and its businesses have been so supportive during the four annual street fairs.

“We wanted to do something to give back to the businesses in the community,” he said. “The businesses need more than we could raise in three hours.”

The money raised will go into a fund to promote future events, advertising to increase awareness of the community and its shops through The Seaport Neighborhood Merchants’ Association, a group of local small businesses based north of Fulton Street which organized following the hurricane.

The association’s acting director Marco Pasanella of Pasanella & Son said in an email: “All I can really express is how genuinely we were touched by the turn-out. So encouraging to see our neighborhood teeming with life again! We are all so looking forward to the day when every day is like last night — except maybe with softer music.

“And on behalf of all our Seaport merchants, I really want to express how grateful we are to Learan, Ashley and the Spruce Street School P.T.A. who put this event together.”   —   BY JANEL BLADOW