Noah Wildman, winner of the angel fish naming competition posing with the fish at Seward Park Library. Photo by Andrew Fairweather/NYPL

Back in March, Untapped Cities was honored to hold the competition to name three angel fish who were en route to become the mascots of the Seward Park Library on the Lower East Side. The fish are the brainchild of librarian Andrew Fairweather, who is also the director of the library’s Lower East Side Heritage Project. Andrew thought it would be a great idea to have some live-in fish at the library to brighten up the place. “We’re holding a contest to name the fish so that people might find a sense of ownership in them — this is a public library, after all!” he told us.

We are excited to announce that the fish have arrived at the library (after a couple months work to establish the right tank environment) and the names can now be published! Please welcome Knish, Empanada, and Dumpling! They were named by Noah Wildman, a resident of the Lower East Side who has lived on Grand Street for twenty years.

Fellow Lower East Sider and Untapped Cities contributing writer, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, author of The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica was the judge. Noah won an autographed copy of Shapiro’s book, a $25 certificate to The Pickle Guys, and a $25 certificate from Kossar’s bialys, and $25 certificate to the Doughnut Plant. (All donated by friends of the library.)

Here are some close up photos of the new angel fish mascots!

Photo by Andrew Fairweather/NYPL

Photo by Andrew Fairweather/NYPL

Photo by Andrew Fairweather/NYPL

Photo by Andrew Fairweather/NYPL

Shapiro says she chose Noah’s Knish, Empanada, and Dumpling submission because it “not only had a lovely homage to the multicultural Lower East Side, with a nod to our Jewish, Spanish, and Chinese co-inhabitants, but I also felt they would be fun.” But some serious true contenders included “the simplicity of Jodi Zagoory’s entry, Sue, Ward, and Park. Randi Ramos’s Herring Lox and Sturgeon made me smile. Charlie’s Angel Fish, Hark The Herald Angelfish, and Thin Lizzy from “Eric” made me laugh out loud! I liked the entry by ‘JKCLarke’ of Walter Matthau, Estelle Getty, Tony Curtis (Seward Park High School grads). The history buff named “David” submitted James [De Lancey] Jacobus [van Corlaer], and William [Houston] – men associated with the neighborhood. A woman named Anetka came close with  Tianshi, Malach, and Angela – as she put it, ‘…it’s the word Angel in the languages of the immigrant groups who have made the LES what it is today.'”

We’d like to spotlight some of the creative submissions we received:

Bagel, Bialy and Babka, submitted by Alyce

Anthony, Orange and Little Water: The 3 streets of the 5 Points which no longer exist or go by those names, submitted by Brian

Herring, Lox and Sturgen, submitted by Randi

Sesame, Garlic and Wheat (all bagel flavors of course!), submitted by Jen

Egg roll, egg cream, and huevo ranchero, submitted by Ella

Geflite, Schmaltz and Shmear, submitted by Eli

Walter Matthau, Estelle Getty, Tony Curtis (Seward Park High School grads), submitted by JKClarke

Tianshi, Malach, and Angela – it’s the word “Angel” in the languages of the immigrant groups who have made the LES what it is today (Chinese, Hebrew, and Spanish), submitted by Anetka

Since March is Women’s History Month, in honor of all of the known and unknown badass ladies of the LES, I suggest naming the three fish Lillian (Wald), Emma (Goldman), Clara (Lemlich), submitted by Ilene.

Matzah, Ball and Soup, submitted by Dorie

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Lower East Side.

 Lower East Side, Seward Park, Seward Park Library

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