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Towering Snowman a 'Beacon' for Chinatown

By Patrick Hedlund | January 27, 2011 2:56pm

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

CHINATOWN — The giant snowman on Canal Street just got a bit more abominable.

The massive winter wonder at the corner of Essex Street grew even bigger after Wednesday's snowstorm, topping off at nearly 10 feet and stopping passersby in their snowy tracks.

"He's got a winter coat now," said Erick Sepulveda, 46, a Lower East Side resident, who stopped to take pictures of the freshly covered figure. "That's the abominable snowman!"

The snowman's creator, Chao Dong Wang — who built the original following the Christmas blizzard, and has kept adding to it as the record snowfall blanketed the city throughout January — carved out a section of the snowman's face and packed its sides with even more white stuff Thursday.

"Everyone says it's good," said Wang, who initially put up the snowman to attract more customers into his month-old grocery store at the busy intersection.

"I think it's great that the merchants put it out here," noted Michelle Lee, 30, who took her two young children to see the snowman Thursday. "This is the first one I've seen in Chinatown, and I've been living here all my life."

The ever-growing snow sculpture — which measure nearly 9 feet wide at its base — has become a local celebrity since starting as a chest-high mound, and now even boasts its own Facebook page and legions of curious onlookers.

"I think that's the beacon of the Lower East Side," Sepulveda added. "He keeps getting bigger — he's on a snow diet. Who says you can't gain weight with just water?"