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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 10  Jan. 6, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE  
* Community Board 1 gets a call from Gale Brewer
* Downtown Real Estate: Dormitory living in lower Manhattan; Technology companies flocking to lower Manhattan
* Downtown Dining: Five Downtown restaurants on Eater's January list of top 20 in Manhattan
* Alexander Hamilton's birthday celebration
* Letters to the Editor
* Calendar
* Community Board 1 meetings

Masthead photo: Flowers blooming in Battery Park City, Jan. 6, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A CALL FROM GALE BREWER

Gale Brewer, the newly elected Manhattan Borough President, at a forum this past spring for the candidates. Left to right: Julie Menin, Gale Brewer, Jessica Lappin.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Tamar Gasparian Hovsepian had only been on the Community Board 1 staff for five days when she answered C.B. 1's phone on Jan. 3, the morning of the blizzard. Gale Brewer was on the other end of the line.

Brewer, Manhattan's newly elected borough president, wanted to know whether any constituents had contacted the office because of problems caused by the snowstorm.

When Hovsepian, the new community liaison, said no, Brewer wished Community Board 1 all the best and welcomed the new employee.

"It was the first time that a Manhattan Borough President has ever personally called the C.B. 1 office to check up on lower Manhattan constituents," said Catherine McVay Hughes, chair of Community Board 1. "This is a good sign since we have lots of issues impacting lower Manhattan that we look forward to working on with her."

Hughes mentioned the relocation of the Department of Probation from 346 Broadway to 66 John St., the need to continue the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center in order to minimize construction impact and the need for another elementary school in the district to accommodate the growing child population. The future of the South Street Seaport and the South Street Seaport Museum were also on her list.

As it turned out, later in the day C.B. 1 did receive a few complaints about unplowed streets and avenues in the Financial District. "They were dangerous," said Hughes, "and there was not a plow in sight." C.B. 1 forwarded this information to the Department of Sanitation.

Though Gale Brewer was already on the job, she has not yet been formally inaugurated as Manhattan borough president. That will happen on Jan. 12 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St. All are welcome. An RSVP is preferred but not required. To RSVP, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

 

Downtown Real Estate
DORMITORY LIVING IN LOWER MANHATTAN

A Pace University dormitory at 55 John St. is one of several in the Financial District. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

 

When information surfaced about the Dept. of Probation's plans to move its adult division to 66 John St., Marijo Russell-O'Grady, dean of students at Pace University, stood up at a Community Board 1 meeting to speak against it. "I have 500 freshmen across the street," she said. "I have 600 upper classmen two blocks west. I have another 225 students on Fulton St. I am concerned about this decision and the transparency that the city has shown with it."

 

It turns out that Pace is not the only college or university with extensive dormitory facilities in lower Manhattan, and according to The New York Times, more dorms are on the way. Thousands of students living south of Canal Street will have a noticeable affect on this area. For one thing, inexpensive, 24-hour-a-day restaurants will probably be popular with this crowd. The condo owners at 150 Nassau St., for instance, may not think highly of having a Denny's in their building, but the students will probably think that's just fine.

In case you missed the Denny's flap, the fast food chain plans to open its first store in New York City after recently winning a court case brought by the residents of 150 Nassau St. to prevent this from happening. In March, Gothamist pilloried the plaintiffs with an article entitled "Denny's is coming to New York, lives will be ruined." Here's the URL for that one. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

 

"Where 600 College Students Live Above the Store," New York Times, 12/31/13. Several colleges and universities that were once primarily commuter schools now have large residential populations and a need for dormitories. Pace University now enrolls 5,500 students in Manhattan, for instance, with 72 percent of this year's freshmen living in dorms. The New School and the School of Visual Arts also have dormitories that are newly built or are under construction. N.Y.U.'s dorms are sprawled across Greenwich Village and are now spreading to other neighborhoods and even into Brooklyn.

"Clustered mostly downtown, and occasionally many blocks from main campuses, these dorms have been the targets of critics who contend they add an unruly element to neighborhoods," says The New York Times. "Others argue that developers are merely interested in dorms as a bait-and-switch ploy to get around zoning rules, as they are usually permitted to be larger than apartment buildings." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown Real Estate
TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES FLOCKING TO LOWER MANHATTAN

Who is going to occupy those gleaming towers rising on the World Trade Center site? Or the thousands of square feet of space at neighboring Brookfield Place? Or the buildings along Water Street in lower Manhattan? Technology companies, that's who.

 

They will move in next to so-called "creative companies" such as Condé Nast, HarperCollins and GroupM, whose businesses increasingly rely on digital media.

 

Today, Crain's New York Business reports that, "Leasing of office space by tech companies relocating to lower Manhattan more than doubled in 2013, according to data provided by the brokerage company Jones Lang LaSalle. Relocating tech companies accounted for about 234,000 square feet of leasing downtown during the year, up from roughly 93,000 square feet in 2012."  

 

Crain's says that these companies are attracted by discounted rents, good public transportation and a growing residential community. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

 

"Downtown draws a tech crowd," Crain's New York Business, 1/6/14. For the complete story, click here

 


Downtown Dining
'HOT' RESTAURANTS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
Stefano Barbagallo, owner of Barbalu, and chef Giuseppe Panucci in the restaurant at 225-227 Front St. Barbalu is on Eater.com's January list of "hot" restaurants in Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Eater.com has just released its January "heat map" of Manhattan, which "highlights where the foodie crowd is flocking to at the moment." Five of the 20 restaurants on the list are in lower Manhattan. They are Telepan Local, 329 Greenwich St.; China Blue, 451 Washington St.; Barbalu, 225-227 Front St.; Skal, 37 Canal St.; and American Cut, 363 Greenwich St. For the complete Eater.com article on "Where to Eat in Manhattan: January 2014," click here.

 


January birthday
ALEXANDER HAMILTON'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Alexander Hamilton's tomb in Trinity Churchyard, Broadway and Rector Street, was recently refurbished. His wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, is buried beside him.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Alexander Hamilton was born on Jan. 11 on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. That much is sure. The year of his birth may have been 1755 or 1757. His grave in Trinity Churchyard at Broadway and Rector Street says Jan. 11, 1757. He died on July 12, 1804 after a duel with Aaron Burr, then the vice president of the United States.

Hamilton, who was born to unmarried parents, whose father, James, deserted the family when the boy was young, whose mother, Rachel Fawcett, died when Alexander was at most 13 years old, was a towering genius whose legacy is still with us in so many ways. In lower Manhattan, we are surrounded by his handiwork. The list of his accomplishments would go on for pages.

He was chief of staff to Gen. George Washington during the American Revolution, an interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, the first Secretary of the Treasury, the architect of the nation's financial system, the founder of the New York Post, the founder of the predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard, and more.

His grave is on the southern edge of Trinity Churchyard, where thousands of people pass it every day and often leave tributes.

On Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, a series of events, talks and walks in lower Manhattan will commemorate his birthday. On Jan. 10 at noon, there will be a service in his honor at Trinity Church, where he was a parishioner, followed by a rededication of his grave and a talk by Capt. Gordon Loebl, U.S. Coast Guard Commander of sector New York entitled "Birth of Alexander Hamilton, Birth of the Coast Guard."

From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 10, lawyer Pooja Nair will talk at Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., about Hamilton's courtroom contributions to freedom of the press. This will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by birthday cake at the Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall St., which is located in a building formerly owned by the Bank of New York, a bank that Hamilton founded. At 5 p.m. there will be a candlelight procession back to Trinity Church to Hamilton's grave.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, there will be several events at Hamilton's country home, Hamilton Grange, 414 W. 141st St. and a party at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace. (Aaron Burr married  Jumel's wealthy widow, Eliza, but the marriage didn't go well.)

Between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Wall Street Walks will conduct a downtown tour of "Alexander Hamilton's New York," leaving from the Museum of American Finance. Between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., the walkers will arrive at Hamilton's grave, where they will be welcomed by members of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society.

Finally, on Hamilton's birthday, there will be an opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., to see the famed 1792 Trumbull portrait of Hamilton.

Most of these events are free with no reservations required. The Wall Street Walks tour costs $15. For reservations, click here. For more information about the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Letters to the Editor
THAT BLIZZARD
Battery Park City playground. (Photo: Jay Fine)

To the Editor:
(Re: "The Blizzard in Pictures," 1/3/14): Fabulous shots of the snow storm!  I especially love the one of the spider web in the kids playground!

Tammy Meltzer

From the Editor:
Thank you! For those of you who missed the playground photo, here it is again.

We welcome letters to the editor. Send them with your contact information to [email protected]/

CALENDAR: Week of Jan. 6


One57, the 90-story residential building under construction on West 57th Street, exemplifies the slender, luxury towers that are now being built in Manhattan. They are the subject of an exhibit, "SKY HIGH and the logic of luxury," currently at the Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
Jan. 6: Bach's BWV 65, "Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen," Epiphany service at Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street, performed by the Trinity Choir. Time: 6 p.m. Free.

Jan. 7: "Dinner: A Love Story: Eight Steps to Better Family Dinners," a talk by Jenny Rosenstrach, author of "Dinner: A Love Story," the website devoted to family dinner, and author of a book of the same name. She and her husband, Andy Ward, write "The Providers" column for Bon Appétit. This is the first of a series of Tuesday Talks at Asphalt Green Battery Park City, 212 North End Ave. Time: Noon to 1 p.m. Cost, $22 (non-members), $18 (members). For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Jan. 8: "Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939." Author Thomas Doherty discusses his book (Columbia University Press, 2013) with David Denby, film critic for The New Yorker. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $15 (non-members); $12 (members). The talk is preceded by a tour of the exhibit, "Against the Odds: American Jews and the Rescue of Europe's Refugees, 1933-1941" at 6 p.m. Pre-registration for the tour, suggested. For more information, click here.

Jan. 8: "SKY HIGH and the logic of luxury: Curator's tour." Carol Willis, founder and director of the Skyscraper Museum will lead a tour of its current exhibit about slender, luxury, residential towers that are proliferating in Manhattan. 39 Battery Place at 3 p.m. Admission, $5; $2.50 for students and seniors. For more information, click here.

Jan. 10: Pepe Romero plays J.S. Bach. The opening night of the New York Guitar Festival. Romero is touring the world in celebration of his 70th birthday. Romero's distinguished career, both as a solo performer and charter member of the "Royal Family of the Guitar," encompasses some 60 albums, multiple White House invitations, Carnegie Hall concerts, and world premieres by Rodrigo and Moreno Torroba, in addition to receiving a knighthood by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Brookfield Place, Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St. at 8 p.m. Free.

Jan. 12: "Winter Magic with Naomi Less" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a concert for kids, ages 3 to 10, where everyone is encouraged to sing along and move to the music. Concert time: 2 p.m. Also, crafts for children from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and a family "mini-tour" at 1:30 p.m. Where: 36 Battery Place. Cost: $10, $7 for children 10 and under; $7, $5 for children 10 and under (museum members). For more information, click here.
                    
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.

COMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Jan. 6 and Jan. 7


Exponents, a treatment program for former drug addicts, many of whom are ex-prisoners with chronic health problems, plans to move to 2 Washington St. on Jan. 17. Community Board 1's Financial District Committee will hear from an Exponents representative and discuss this move on Jan. 7. A college is directly next door, and a child care facility is just up the block. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

All meetings take place in the Community Board 1 office at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, at 6 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.    

Jan. 6:
 Planning Committee
* World Trade Center Quarterly Progress Report - Update by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 
* World Trade Center Performing Arts Center - Update by Maggie Boepple, president and director, Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center 
* Greening of Greenwich Street - Presentation by the Downtown Alliance 
* Chinatown Working Group - Presentation by Pratt Center Consultants 
* Formulation of committee accomplishments for 2013 and goals for 2014   

Jan. 7:
Battery Park City Committee
Meets at the Battery Park City library, 175 North End Ave.
* Greening of Gateway - Glenn Plaskin, president, Gateway Plaza Tenants Association. Discussion.
* Brookfield Place construction - Report by Brookfield leadership and construction team
* Mission of the Battery Park City Authority - discussion
* 22 Battery Place, application for liquor license for Pier A Battery Park Associates LLC - resolution
* 225 Liberty St., application for a wine and beer license for Tartinery Liberty LLC - Resolution
* 225 Liberty St., Store 242, application for a beer license for Downtown Tacos LLC - Resolution
* Road Runners Half Marathon - discussion
* Formulation of committee accomplishments for 2013 and goals for 2014

Jan. 7: Financial District Committee
* Construction of Hilton Garden Inn at 6 Water St. - Presentation by Malek Nait Daoud, architect, Gwamthy Siegel Kaufman, Greg Marshall, Director of Construction and Patrick Jones, special counsel to SC Waterview
*  Relocation of Department of Probation from 346 Broadway to 66 John St. - Update
* Relocation of Exponents Program to 2 Washington St. - Presentation and possible resolution
* 17 Trinity Place, application for restaurant beer license for 18 Pizza, LLC - Resolution
* 25 Broadway, application for catering facility liquor license for 25 Broadway Ballroom - Resolution
* 27 Park Place, request for reconsideration of application for cabaret license for MXK Restaurant Corp. d/b/a Remix - Possible resolution
* Formulation of Committee Accomplishments for 2013 and Goals for 2014 for CB1 - Discussion

Financial District and Seaport/Civic Center Committees
* Street Activity Permit Application by Deepavali Festival (Association of Indians in America, promoter), Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, Water, Fulton, Fletcher, John, Front Streets and Maiden Lane - Resolution

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* Battery Maritime Building, application for renewal of vessel liquor license for Eat-a-Bagel Ferry LLC, d/b/a various names
*15 Coenties Slip, application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for JPK Restaurant Corp. d/b/a Zigolini
* Peter Minuit Plaza, application for seasonal restaurant liquor license for Jean's Café Corp d/b/a New York Film Academy Café (change of operator)
* 70 Pine Street, application for renewal of liquor license for Captain's Ketch

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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