SEAPORT REPORT: Rally, Sandy reopenings & Halloween

DSC_0153By JANEL BLADOW  | [Originally posted, Oct. 8, 2013] It’s beginning to feel like autumn even though August felt more like fall than summer but I digress…just happy the ‘hood is shaping up and shaking off the hurricane horror of last year. So much is happening this month…

Rally around the lighthouse… A number of politicians, community leaders and historians joined neighbors, fans and friends of our historic neighborhood for a Save Our Seaport rally on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Some 200 supporters gathered at the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse on Fulton St. to hear speakers including the Democratic nominee for Manhattan borough president, Councilmember Gale Brewer, Peter Stanford, founding president of the South Street Seaport Museum, and Roland Lewis, president and C.E.O. Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.

The S.O.S. group believes the Seaport is a “priceless public asset” and that “its buildings, streets, piers, and market sheds must be preserved and rehabilitated.”

Organizers want to keep the unique character of the areas public spaces while developing the area economically with small businesses and local jobs.

“The vibe was positive,” New Amsterdam Market president Robert LaValva told Seaport Report. “It should be recognized as an area of huge potential.”

He said what is needed is a real plan for the future, with community involvement.

“What we want is an area, not frozen in amber” but asset for the future.”

Author Paul Greenberg pointed out that the waterways are cleaner and fishable while LaValva added that we should embrace the building we have and create a viable, sustainable marketplace.

Gaiety, galore and more… Many local merchants have finally returned as the Durst Corporation building on Front St. finally got repaired and shops could get ship-shape. Others are also closing in on the finish line of picking up the piecesTo celebrate the merchant group, Old Seaport Alliance, founded after Hurricane Sandy, will close Front St. and Peck Slip to vehicles for a big block party on Saturday, Oct. 19, 4 – 9 p.m.

Look for some familiar names long missing: Il Brigante, Nelson Blue, Suteishi, and the always loved Paris Café to be back in biz.

The comeback celebrations feature old-fashioned carnival games, sea shanties sing-alongs and at least a half-dozen bands and DJs, including DJ Cloak Dagger and The High & Mighty Brass Band.

Family, fare and fun… And then, The Taste of The Seaport returns with its annual outdoor fall festival of food, beverages, music and family-friendly activities. With support of local merchants and restaurants – including Acqua, Fresh Salt and Mark Joseph Steakhouse to name a few – little plates with tasty samples will be available all along Front Street between Beekman and Peck Slip. The fest is Sun., Oct. 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 for 5 tastes or a family pack of 20 tastes for $120. Advance tickets at a reduced price are available at BrownPaperTickets.com. All proceeds benefit enrichment programs for Spruce Street School (P.S. 397).

Sticking it to Sandy…. Head over to Meade’s (Peck Slip and Water St.) to celebrate (?) commiserate the one-year anniversary of the Superstorm with their “Nice Try Sandy” party, Oct. 29.

“We’re going back to basics,” says Kathleen Joyce from behind the bar. “We’ll show her!” That night the pub is going to recreate the days following the flood – no lights, no electricity, free snacks, grilling outdoors, limited bar, beer, no music, cash only. “No power.” Just as it was, she laughs.

Joyce remembers the camaraderie after the storm and the staff hopes to recapture that friendly, fun spirit for the night. “It’s a moment for us to remember. We want to make it a fun experience, no lights, no TV.” The theme: “What doesn’t kill you makes your drink stronger.”

Spooktacular… Our favorite neighborhood party is back. The neighborhood Halloween Trick or Treating evening promises to be spooky and kooky, as always. That big blowhard Sandy blew into town and surged on our fun last year. No way we’re going to let a little hurricane huff and puff and rain on our parade!

Our historic Seaport Neighborhood tradition of decorating FishBridge Park (Water & Dover Sts.) for the children to gather in on all spook’s night celebrates its 24th year of fun, Thurs., Oct. 31.

Everyone (or thing?) from astronauts to zombies – with toddler firefighters and baby ballerinas in between – will meet up at the park at 6 p.m. to begin the traditional costume parade through the neighborhood. The group winds around buildings and shops along Water and Front Sts. between Dover and Beekman Sts.

It’s a great way to see neighbors, meet new friends and share a community spirit…with spirits, ghosts, ghouls and goblins, natch. Little ones pick up treats while adults in the crowd can take pit stops at favorite watering holes for a sip of some spirited witches brew.

Before and after the fun, your help is needed. To pitch in with distributing and posting fliers, contacting treat givers, decorating the park on Halloween day and cleaning up the park the day after, send an email to Master Halloween Trickster Gary Fagin at [email protected]. You’ll have a ghoulishly good time!

Big dreams, high waters… It was announced this week that a Dutch company is heading up the Seaport City project for Hizzonor. The Amsterdam-based engineering firm is looking into the feasibility of a steel and glass city of skyscrapers built on levees in the East River from Brooklyn Bridge south to the Battery (see Thursday, Oct. 3 Daily News “Shelter in the storm”). Loved their quote from Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Director Phillip Musegaas: “This seems like a development wolf in a sheep’s storm boots.” Hee….

Shhhhh… Well at least some people can get service at Pier 17! Recently a super-secret, exclusive, members-only dining club, Dinner Lab, hosted one of their very private last minute pricey dinners in the former food court (funny, when it was open to the public, it could barely attract people).

Now those-in-know (or think they are) flooded the joint. The underground supper club offers members who pay $175 a year a fete with up-and-coming chefs for $75 a head. Diners at the pier ate at folding tables while sitting on folding chairs with paper plate service.