Huge sand castle being built in Lower Manhattan

July 25, 2013 2:59:22 PM PDT
It's safe to say sand castles in Manhattan are a rare sight, but there's one being added to the New York City skyline.

The sand castle is massive and is being built from 70 tons of sand.

It's on display in Lower Manhattan as part of Water Street Pops, a New York City program featuring free events this summer.

This sandcastle is worth a trip, not to the beach, but the city.

"Any sand can be sculpted from one degree to another," said Matt Long, a sand sculpture artist.

But the sand Matt Long is sculpting isn't on a beach.

"I'm going to change the whole skyline of New York City. You think that Freedom Tower made a dent, you ain't seen nothing yet," Long said.

At 16 feet high, it draws quite a bit of attention at the southern tip of Manhattan.

Matt started working on it a couple of weeks ago.

"The first day we came it was a big pile of sand and we thought, what's going on," said one passerby.

"I drive a bus, and every day I pass through and see him working on it," a woman said.

"It's amazing to see," the passerby said.

Matt's main job is in wood restoration, but building sand castles, which he does on a competitive and professional level, allows the Staten Island resident to wear flip flops to work.

"You know sand is the fabric of our childhood," Long said.

It seems that Matt never has to leave the sandbox.

He even sells a sandcastle making kit.

But even with the tools, style and technique are required.

"It's like a thick soup until the water drains and then it's like a very thick wet clay," Long said.

That allows the sand to stick, so he can add dimension.

Whether or not it will disappear is something everyone wonders, but the answer is no.

Thanks to a mix of Elmer's glue and water that he sprays on the sculpture.

"Creates like a little M&M shell, like thick coat of paint on your house," Long said.

It's nothing structural, but enough to keep the structure standing and people smiling.

"Sometimes a tour bus will stop and the top deck applauds, it's thrilling, that's the best feeling," Long said.

Matt's massive sandcastle will be on display through August 12.

He's still working on it.

It's free to pop by.

If you want to follow in his footsteps, you can buy his kit online.

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