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Seaport Report: The boys of winter build an igloo

DSC_4310By Janel Bladow |March roared in dropping a cold flurry on our neighborhood. But four boys from Southbridge Towers found a way to turn the last blast of winter (we hope) into a fun, creative adventure. They built an igloo in the snow pile at the end of Water and Beekman Sts. to the delight of everyone who passed by over the weekend.

Self-designated ringleader J.J. Derogatis, 13, who the others agreed was the shovel master, headed up the dig. After nearly 13 hours of carving and excavating on Saturday, they had an icehouse to be proud of. But they didn’t stop there. They picked up their shovels again on Sunday to make a snow fort that wowed everyone.

“All four of us fit inside, but I’m the only one who can stand up,” bragged 7-year old Tal Kahanov who also noted that he’s been in one movie — “Malfunctions.”

Also on the snow squad were brothers of the other two — Anthony Derogatis, 9, and Ilan Kahanov, 11 — who both helped with the design. Besides hollowing out a massive interior, the four boys dug a stairway in the packed snow to the top of their fort. It was awesome.

A space to create… The boys aren’t the only ones who are tapping into their inner artist. The South Street Seaport Museum has offered several of its Schermerhorn Row galleries to be used as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s artist in residency program this spring. from March through June, artists will be painting, drawing and otherwise creating their arts — no welding or pottery I hear — in these lovely, rustic spaces. The selected artists are already involved with L.M.C.C.’s artist spaces on Governors Island. No names or start date has been announced yet.

“We’re excited to work with L.M.C.C. in this,” said Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum’s interim president. “Sharing our historic spaces with artists is an appropriate and respectful use of the spaces and we’re pleased to have good partners in L.M.C.C.”

Added Sam Miller, president of L.M.C.C., “Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is grateful for the space provided by the [museum] for an artist residency this year.”

Happy hour with a heart… Last week, March 5 to be precise, Claudio and Linda Marini embraced an issue they support and gave a party to spread the word. “Open bar with a cause” raised money for “Every Mother Counts.”

More than 289,000 women die annually from childbirth complications. And 98 percent of these deaths are preventable. The 2-hour open bar featured crafted cocktails and traditional cicchetti. Of the $50 cover charge, $20 was sent to the cause. The happy crowd had a great time, tasty snacks, delish drinks and did a good deed. How great is that?

Good read… Neighbor Pat Ryan has another book — her fifth. This one’s a mystery. “War in a Beautiful Country” confronts the random dangers to ordinary people that define our times. Protagonist Regina suddenly finds herself the subject of unimaginable threats. The novel is free on Barnes & Noble Nook, Amazon Kindle and at PoemshareandMore.blogspot.com. Give her some support.

Howard Hughes reach expands… The Howard Hughes Corporation bought up another building last week, according to the Real Deal. The developer paid $24 million for at 10-story building at 163 Front St., at Fletcher St. American International Realty has owned the 58,500-square foot building with 98,280 buildable square feet since 1996. It’s been used for storage.

H.H.C. also paid $30.8-million earlier last month to buy the remaining 333,000-square feet of unused air rights in the South Street Seaport Historic District which can be used on a handful of sites just outside the district — though the New Makert Building where Hughes hopes to build a 500-foot tower is not a receiving site for the air rights.

That’s not all, as many of you know, in October, Centurion Realty sold an eight-story rental building at 85 South St. to HHC for $20-million.

I’m just putting it into perspective.

Print support… I don’t know how many of you saw the Daily News editorial, “At sea at the Seaport” (Feb. 28). It said that “a hostage crisis unfolds at City Hall… In jeopardy is the future of the faded South Street Seaport, a site owned by the city and bursting with untapped potential.”

The piece went on to condemn “a reign of local sentiment gone amok,” and thoroughly supported H.H.C.’s plans for a school on a pier and tower in a low-laying area, and not to overlook “affordable housing in half-used historic buildings.”

A mouthpiece? A puppet paper? Many of their readers thought so when on March 4 the “voice of the people” letters were decidedly against the editorial.

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