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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 8  Jan. 1, 2014
* New Year's Eve in pictures
* Shivering at Gateway Plaza
* Downtown Real Estate: More apartments coming to FiDi
* Downtown Kids: Music and play programs for babies and toddlers start now
* Inauguration street closures
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Aboard Hornblower Hybrid, a woman welcomes 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



Fireworks at the Statue of Liberty welcomed the new year.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
New York harbor with fireworks. (Photo: Jay Fine)
Dancing aboard Hornblower Hybrid as it cruised New York harbor on New Year's Eve. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
A New Year's Eve kiss. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Downtown Real Estate

Gateway Plaza has 1712 apartments. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Though the new year has begun, some old problems remain. At Gateway Plaza, the largest residential complex in Battery Park City, leaky windows and inefficient heating and air conditioning systems continue to drive up electric bills to hundreds of dollars a month for many tenants.  


"In some apartments, ice forms in the windows and water comes in," said Glenn Plaskin, head of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association. "It's very upsetting to some tenants," he added drily.


With snow predicted for this week and with temperatures hovering in the teens and 20's, many Gateway tenants are shivering even though the six structures in the complex are rented as "luxury" buildings, commanding rents that start at $2,350 a month for a studio, $3,150 a month for a one bedroom, $4,500 for two bedrooms and $5,295 for three bedrooms. Some two-bedroom apartments rent for as much as $6,000 a month.   


Gateway Plaza opened in 1982. In August 2012, Bright Power Energy, a consulting firm hired by Gateway's management, Marina Towers Associate, released an energy audit that stated that the complex's heating and air conditioning units (PTACs) needed to be upgraded to high efficiency units equipped with individual thermostats and that all of the windows in Gateway needed to be replaced. 


To date, approximately 300 of Gateway's 3,860 PTAC units have been upgraded. No work has been done on the windows.


On Nov. 19, New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron sent a letter to Gateway's management asking about the progress on the energy efficiency upgrades. "They're not adhering to the timetable that they had laid out for us earlier this year," said Mary Cooley, Squadron's district manager, at a Community Board 1 meeting on Dec. 19.


Squadron again wrote to Gateway management on Dec. 4, expressing concern about Gateway's preparedness for another storm.


Neither of Squadron's letters was answered.


"Gateway, in the opinion of the tenants' association is not fully ready for another weather emergency," said Plaskin. "In the case of another weather emergency, we want to be absolutely sure that the management is ready to handle it. We need a generator system that will power at least one elevator, emergency lighting and domestic water pumps. We would also like the utility equipment relocated from the basement above the flood plain."


On Jan. 7, Plaskin will be making a presentation to Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee, asking for its support to address the problems. The meeting takes place at the Battery Park City library, 175 North End Ave., at 6 p.m. All are welcome to attend.


"We're very optimistic that Gateway management will make all necessary improvements to the infrastructure," Plaskin said. However, to many tenants, progress must seem glacially slow. 

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


Downtown Real Estate

A parking garage at 54 Fulton St. will be replaced by an apartment building.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Downtown's Financial District is the fastest growing residential area in Manhattan. But community planners worry that there are already not enough school seats or recreation facilities for the influx of residents. Most of the streets in this historic area of the city are narrow and are  clogged with traffic.  


Nevertheless the lure for both developers and potential residents is great. Public transportation facilities are excellent and are about to get better with the completion of the Fulton Street Transit Center. Shops of all kinds abound and there are numerous restaurants. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


"Brauser Group plans 23-story mixed-use building in FiDi," The Real Deal, 12/30/13. The Brauser Group, one of the top garage owners in Manhattan, plans to replace its garage at 54 Fulton St. near Cliff Street with a 23-story apartment building. For more information, click here.  

Mayoral Inauguration
New York City's City Hall opened in 1812. It is a National Historic Landmark.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Bill de Blasio's inauguration on Jan. 1, 2014 as the 109th mayor of New York City will entail street closures and will also affect traffic, parking and pedestrians.

Only ticket holders can attend the inauguration, which will take place at City Hall Plaza between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. De Blasio will take the oath of office at a private ceremony at midnight on New Year's Eve and at noon on New Year's Day, with former President Bill Clinton administering the oath. Hillary Clinton will be in the audience.

De Blasio served as a regional director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Clinton's administration. Subsequently, de Blasio ran Hillary Clinton's successful campaign for U.S. senator from New York State.

Vehicle and pedestrian access near City Hall will be affected by the inauguration. Chambers Street between Broadway and Centre Street will be closed to traffic and parking from 4 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2013 until 3 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2014.

On Jan. 1, 2014, there will be no parking on Park Place, Murray and Warren Streets between Broadway and Church Street; on Chambers Street between Broadway and Centre Street; on Broadway between Reade and Vesey Streets; on Park Row/Centre Street between Broadway and Reade Street and on Spruce Street between Nassau and Williams Streets.

To cross Broadway, pedestrians will be directed north of Chambers Street and south of Vesey Street.

 The following streets will be closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 1: Broadway between Reade and Vesey Streets; Park Row between Broadway and Spruce Street/Brooklyn Bridge.

No vehicles will be allowed on closed streets, including official permit parking, and all cars parked illegally will be towed.

For more information, call 311 or go to

Downtown Kids

Modular, wooden blocks as used at the City and Country School in Greenwich Village. The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy offers a block play program
for 3- and 4-year-olds. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, a subsidiary of the Battery Park City Authority, sponsors several programs for young children during the winter. They are open to anyone - not just to residents of Battery Park City. All programs meet at 6 River Terrace in Battery Park City.

Block Play is for 3- and 4-year-olds. Using modular, wooden blocks, they learn about spatial relationships and balance, begin their understanding of mathematics and interact with other children as they engage in imaginative play. Blocks of this kind were invented by Caroline Pratt, the founder in 1914 of the City and Country School in Greenwich Village. Doug van Horn, who leads the Block Play sessions for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, once taught at City and Country.

When: Tuesdays, Jan. 14-Feb. 25 (except Jan. 28) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost: $150 for six sessions. Information and registration: (212)  267-9700, ext. 348

Stories & Songs is for infants from 6 months old, toddlers and preschoolers. Led by a musician, the children learn songs and dance.

When: Mondays, Jan. 6-April 21 (except 1/20 and 2/17) and Wednesdays, Jan. 8-April 9 at varying times depending on the child's age. Cost: $315; siblings $250. Information and registration: (212) 267-9700, ext. 363 or email [email protected]

Pre-school play and art is for walking toddlers through preschool age children with an accompanying adult. This program is so popular that the first three scheduled sessions sold out and an additional session was added.

When: Tuesdays, Jan. 14-March 18 (except 1/28) from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $215; siblings, $172. Information and registration: (212) 267--9700, ext. 363 or email [email protected]

Parent & Baby Yoga is for new parents and babies (newborn until crawling). Participants gain strength and flexibility, relax and meet other parents. The instructor Mary Barnes, is a registered yoga teacher and the creator of Yoga for Two

When: Mondays, Jan. 6-March 10 (except 1/20 and 2/17) from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. or from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Cost: $180 for eight sessions. For information and registration: (212) 267-9700, ext. 366 or email [email protected]

Museum of Jewish Heritage
This winter, the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust at 36 Battery Place, continues its free programs for Downtown Jewish and interfaith families with children up to three years of age.

The musical group Yellow Sneaker uses puppets to stage programs that nurture family bonds and strengthen connections to Jewish life and traditions. Each concert focuses on a different Jewish holiday or value. Children learn about caring for the environment, friendship, love and kindness.

Yellow Sneaker features the Brooklyn-based performers and teaching artists Ora and Yoshie Fruchter.

Where: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. When: One Sunday a month starting on Jan. 12 and continuing on Feb. 2, March 2, April 13 and May 4 at 10:30 a.m. Cost: Free. Reservations are not needed.

For more information, email [email protected] or call (646) 437-4202. Go to for the most up-to-date information.

CALENDAR: Week of Dec. 30

Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller at a Poets House symposium on Dec. 14, 2013 marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Muriel Rukeyser. Poets House in Battery Park City frequently sponsors readings, lectures and symposia relating to poets and poetry. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Jan. 1: Charpentier's "La Descente d'Orphée" performed by the Gotham Chamber Opera. St. Paul's Chapel, Broadway at Fulton Street. 7 p.m. Tickets, $15 to $125. For tickets, click here.
(Also on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 5 at 5 p.m.)

Jan. 2: Readings from "The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry." With works by over 100 poets, the anthology celebrates writers born after World War II  who write about Jewish themes. Poets House, 10 River Terrace. 6 p.m. Free. For more information, click here

Jan. 2: "Wondrous Birth, O Wondrous Child," performed by New York Polyphony. Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street. 7 p.m. Tickets, $25 at

Jan. 2: Bach at One. Music of Johann Sebastian Bach performed by the Trinity Wall Street choir and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. St. Paul's Chapel, Broadway at Fulton Street. 1 p.m. Free. (Also on Friday, Jan. 3 and Saturday, Jan. 4)

Jan. 4: "Violini a Due: An Italian Journey" performed by Quicksilver. A concert devoted to the "rich and strange world of 17th-century Italy" when composers began to explore the sonata, a new genre of instrumental composition." Tickets, $25 at

Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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