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Giant Snowman Astounds Washington Heights

By Carla Zanoni | December 30, 2010 12:52pm

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The East Village may have the mother of all slush puddles, but Upper Manhattan is home to the lord of all snowmen.

Towering over residents, neighborhood visitors have been walking by all week in amazement at the spectacle of their very own giant Frosty on the block.

"This is amazing, the talent is inspiring," Washington Heights resident Maria Cuenta, 52, said as she took a photo of the snowman, which sits on the corner of 169th Street and Audubon Avenue.

Two visitors from the Netherlands who have a family member staying at nearby New York-Presbyterian Hospital said the snowman put a much-needed smile on their faces.

"You can’t help but laugh when you see something like this," said Jan Alani, 33.

Jackman Suarez, a Dominican Republic-born 31-year-old who has lived in Washington Heights for 12 years, said he built the snowman on Monday after the blizzard dumped 20 inches of snow in the neighborhood.

The gigantic snowman — with Oreo cookie buttons, a pail for a hat, a curtain as a scarf, a corn cob smile and two eyes made out of apples — wasn’t Suarez's first attempt at a snowman.

Neighbors said he built one every year, and Suarez said he actually began making "snowmen" out of mud and sand when he was a child in Santo Domingo.

"I do it for the kids, for the spirit of Christmas, to make me happy," he said in Spanish. "Every year it gets bigger. Next year, 20 feet."

Not to be outdone, at least two copy snowmen sit a few blocks from Suarez’s creation, but at a mere eight to nine feet tall, they are dwarfed by the original.

When Washington Heights resident and freelance graphics designer Johanna Disla, 26, passed the snowman on Wednesday, she said she marveled at the creativity and level of dedication it took to make the snowman as she photographed the 15-foot-spectacle and posted it on her Twitter feed.

"I thought 'forget the Rockefeller tree,'" she wrote in an email, "the kids are going to love this!"