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Pulling up anchor: Youngsters vie to save beloved Montague Street marker • Brooklyn Paper

Pulling up anchor: Youngsters vie to save beloved Montague Street marker

Weighing in: From left, Anouk Peyser, Natalia Aklilu, Lily Lapiner, Warner Gephaldt, Jack Yoon, and Devan Spiro, fourth graders at PS 8, are mobilizing to save their beloved Montague Street anchor.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Brooklyn Heights kids have launched a campaign to save an anchor that has served as an unintentional piece of playground equipment on the Montague Street sidewalk for decades, and that an upscale eatery now wants gone.

Devan Spiro, a fourth grader at PS 8 on Hicks Street, is captaining the bid to find a new resting place for the nautical gear that has sat between Hicks and Pierrepont Place since before he was born. The restaurant and bar Friend of a Farmer, which has a Manhatttan location, wants to use the sidewalk space for outdoor seating. Spiro took the news hard, his dad said.

“He was super sad,” said Brendan Spiro, who has lived in Brooklyn Heights since 1995. “But we took it as an opportunity.”

Devan said the heavy metal item is a cornerstone of the neighborhood.

“It really means a lot to me and the whole community,” he said.

The youngster said he met two friends while playing on the anchor, and that he always sees kids climbing it.

The owner of Friend of a Farmer said the anchor can’t stay where it is, but he wants to drop it with someone willing to go the extra nautical mile to find it a new home.

“We don’t want it to go to waste,” said Taylor Morbito, who hopes to open up shop at the end of April.

The elder Spiro explained to his son that if he felt strongly about the anchor, other people might too, and that if they got together, they might be able to save it. Devan took this idea to school, and his classmates joined the fight. Their teacher had the students work on their writing by penning essays in support of the anchor, and some of them hit the streets with their parents on Saturday to collect signatures and tell passersby about their cause.

“It seems to have really struck a chord with people,” Brendan Spiro said.

The group hopes to get the anchor relocated to another place in the neighborhood, perhaps on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Spiro said.

The anchor has been around since the storefront housed a boat brokerage, at least as early as 1983, according to the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

Brendan Spiro said he wants to teach his son that he should stand up for things he thinks are worth saving.

“This is New York. You have to get used to change,” he said. “But certain things should be a fixture.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperl‌man@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Anchor away: Devan Spiro loves this Montague Street anchor, and is agitating to get it moved somewhere nearby.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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