As mentioned in our newsletter, today is the last day to see the Seaport Santa Claus (he'll be at Pier 17 until around 4 p.m.). The NY Times just did a profile piece on the man in red, who has been playing the role of Kris Kringle for 21 years. They say this makes Roger Franklin one of the city’s longest-running Santas at any one location — the other has been at Macy's for 25 years.
When Franklin is not performing his seasonal duties, he lives in a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side — he's also gotten himself a doctorate from NYU; speaks German, French, Spanish, and Russian (albeit not fluently); and hosts a film series at Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street! He's also a good role model for children, and says when he's suited up he won't jaywalk, as it would set a bad example.
And being a New Yorker, the 83-year-old Franklin keeps his Santa-isms city-centric. The paper quotes him as saying, “I have to tell you that I’m so glad not to be going down chimneys anymore. Most people live in apartments around here. I got so dirty coming down the chimneys.”