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Seaport Report, Week of Jan. 15, 2015

Downtown Express photo by Janel Bladow Longtime Seaport residents and artists, Robert Younger and his son Mackenzie, now have a show crosstown at Tribeca’s A+E Studios.
Downtown Express photo by Janel Bladow
Longtime Seaport residents and artists, Robert Younger and his son Mackenzie, now have a show crosstown at Tribeca’s A+E Studios.

BY JANEL BLADOW  |  It may be a dreary cold January but that doesn’t stop the Seaport from buzzing. Our little community may be in development brouhaha, but we still blossom with the local energy that makes us special — at least to us long-time residents.

Ties that bind… Some supporters of the new Seaport plans lament that the area is not family-friendly. But those who live here for years might beg to differ. Case in point – the Youngers of Water St.

Kathleen and Robert moved to the neighborhood when it was still the rough and rugged fish market, filled with trucks, hooks, crates, characters and all kinds of icky smells. Their son Mackenzie grew up with only one other kid on the block.

“We used the neighborhood as a playground,” he told us. When he got older he played basketball on the courts at the houses north of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Mackenzie credits our Dover St. community garden and cobbled streets as inspiring.

“Playing on the streets, surrounded by the fish market, we had to be creative. It’s this urban thing for someone like me and a source of my identity,” he said. “I felt more New York than most New Yorkers with a deep sense of history.”

For this Rhode Island School of Design grad, creativity and character are forever linked with the grittiness of a hard labor past.

Father and son are two of seven artists in a new exhibition and it’s a first for the pair.

“Losing Oneself Without Getting Lost” at A+E Studios in Tribeca is described as a multi-generational show of artists who “use pedestrian objects,” while “others use every day events or their surroundings as subject matter.”

Mackenzie has several paintings, including an oversized black/white/gray painting of the Brooklyn Bridge, in the show in contrast to his dad’s displays of nearly neon bright colored rectangle collages, some supported by construction plastic pails.

“It’s great being in a show with my dad,” Mackenzie said. “It’s a family affair.”

The show runs through Jan. 28 at A+E Studios, 160 West Broadway.

Hoist happening… The parents of Peck Slip School students (P.S. 343) are no slouches when it comes to supporting the hood and having fun. The Second annual Community Crawl commences on Saturday, Jan. 24, 7:30 pm, with a sign in at The Paris Café (119 South St.). After a quick drink, head to The Salty Paw (38 Peck Slip) to sip some wine until 8:30 p.m. then head up the street to the next joint.

The goal is to pop round as many local spots as possible and support the local establishments during the slower winter season. Parents book a sitter and everyone grab a mate, some pals, a slew of co-workers even, for some fun and neighborly support.

New to us… Warrior Bridge, a school and community center that “trains mind, body and spirit through martial arts, yoga and meditation,” opens in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge this week. The Zen-styled space has white and brick walls, blond wood floors and gray cushy mats.

Gary Snyder, a seventh degree black belt in Aikido with more than 35 years of martial arts training, had been looking throughout the city for a ground floor space and knew Water St. was right the moment he saw the spot.

“Manhattan is so expensive,” he told us while sitting on the floor in his new space at 275 Water St. “Then I met yoga instructor Sean Langhaus who lives down the street and he mentioned this spot. The feeling of calm I was looking for was here, decent rent, cobblestone streets…I said ‘Yes, let’s do it.’”

Warrior Bridge (www.warriorbridge.com) will offer 30 classes a week to start in Aikido with Tai Chi, Jiu Jitsu, yoga and meditation.

“Aikido is not as much about punching and kicking as it is defense,” he said. “We teach you to respond to others punching and take their balance, submission with wrist locks.”

He describes it as a relaxed and flowing art. “We focus on finding our strongest state, our center, which helps correct posture, among other things.”

Synder says he’s felt so welcomed in the neighborhood.

“It’s a special area. Especially down at this end of Water St., near the Brooklyn Bridge, there’s a sense of calm,” he said.

Born in Trenton and part of a family of art dealers in Princeton, Snyder opened an art gallery in N.Y.C. in 1990. “I work as a private art dealer now which gives me more time for my passion,” he said.  His goal with Warrior Bridge is to introduce these arts to everyone.

“I encourage women to come,” he said, “I want them to know this is not a fight club.  And we welcome beginners. We want this to be a place where you can come, relax, meditate.”

A free open house is set for Saturday, Jan. 17. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Pricing ranges from $20 a single class to cards of 20 classes for $300.

A delicious deal… Feed your soul but don’t forget your stomach. Barbalu Italian restaurant (225-227 Front Street) has a great new offer – a three course prix fixe dinner menu Sunday through Thursday, 4 – 10p.m., for $19.95.

Choose your appetizer from these three: yam potato soup with shiitake mushrooms; braised kale salad with red onions, walnuts and parmigiano cheese; or roasted red beets with pistachio and goat cheese.

Your entrée selections include: homemade trofie (twisted pasta from Genoa) with pesto, string beans and potatoes; homemade fettuccine alla Bolognese; penne with gorgonzola walnuts and arugula; beef stew with potatoes and carrots; and roasted salmon with lemon and capers.  Finish off with a chocolate cannoli. My mouth is watering writing this!

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