ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Snowzilla may be a smash hit with many city residents, but the towering 22-foot snowman has detractors closer to its Anchorage home.
Some neighbors of the two-story high snowman say they are fed up with the hordes of gawkers clogging up Columbine Street.
"When you get 20 people out there in their cars, now the whole street comes to a stop and nobody can get through," said Anthony Bahler, who can see Snowzilla from his front window. "They just stand out there, in the middle of road, talking about a snowman."
Bahler's neighbor, Billy Powers, supervised construction of the original Snowzilla last year. Through the Internet, it became a media sensation, drawing crowds of visitors and TV crews from Japan and Russia before it melted in the spring.
This year, with the help from neighbors, Powers resurrected the snowman, with its giant hat made from tomato cages, corncob pipe and beer-bottle eyes. It is six feet taller than its predecessor.
Once again, traffic is streaming through the neighborhood.
"Everybody likes it," Powers told the Anchorage Daily News for a Friday story. "That's the reason I do it, really, I like the smiling faces."
But the crowds, including rowdy late-nighters fresh from the bars, have started grating on the nerves of some neighbors.
Mike Schmitz, whose family lives next door to Bahler, does not mind Snowzilla in theory, but cannot stand the traffic.
"I don't dare let my kids go out front," he said. "I don't want them to get hit by a car."
Even some of Snowzilla's fans understand the frustration.
Karla Beller, who lives in the Anchorage suburb of Chugiak, idled her minivan with her 3-year-old twins inside. She snapped a few photos with her cell phone.
"I think it's great," she said. "But traffic-wise, I probably wouldn't want it on my block."