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Friend of a Farmer getting rid of sidewalk anchor

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

The Brooklyn Paper
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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.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

PopPop Spiro from Manhattan says:
Couldn't be prouder of my grandson. Love you Devan. Poppop
Feb. 3, 2015, 11:15 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Now, I don't want to play the advocate of the devil right now, but it has always disturbed me to see children playing on such a treacherous object. Do you know how many children and "others" were hospitalized as a result of this anchor-play last year alone? This has become what can only be described as NAUTICAL HELL.
Perhaps if they add some foam, weatherproof "barnacle" to this object of discussion, I would feel more at ease. And if you don't my saying so, it would certainly add much more authenticity.
You know that I hate to interrupt like this, but I just felt that someone had to speak up.
-John Wasserman
Fair Weather Fisherman/Patriot
2015
Feb. 3, 2015, 5:17 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Greed has no shame, not even for the kids SMH.
Feb. 3, 2015, 7:09 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Upscale vs the kids. Brooklyn in a nutshell these days.
Feb. 3, 2015, 8:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Mom -- What was that comment supposed to mean? A business doesn't want a decorative item placed by a *previous* business, but is very happy to let the community take it and do with it what they please.... What is wrong what that? Oh, please tell us!

But OMG, this anchor dates back to NINETEEN EIGHTY THREE!! It's basically the equivalent of the Liberty Bell.
Feb. 4, 2015, 12:01 pm
raj from Brooklyn Heights says:
It BELONGS in a MUSEUM.
Feb. 5, 2015, 3 pm
Bonnie j rosenberg from Florida says:
my grandson and their friends love the anchor as a landmark of their neighborhood and their childhood. To disregard their feelings is what makes children think nobody listens. I am proud of DEVAN Spiro and his friends speaking up for what is important to them. They will one day be the advocates you want in Brooklyn Heights. Go for it DEVAN and speak your mind. Hopefully, the anchor will find a home that you can still see and enjoy. Love your grandma Bonnie
Feb. 8, 2015, 12:24 am
Alan Von Rapacki from Florida says:
Devan, your Grandmother and I respect you for fighting for your rights in such a mature manner. We expect you will be the adult one day who makes us even prouder. God Bless you. Alan
Feb. 8, 2015, 12:27 am

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