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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 13  Jan. 13, 2014
* Robin Forst to join Battery Park City Authority
* The South Street Seaport in pictures (Town Hall meeting tonight!)
* 'The Old Hotel' at Fulton and South Streets in paintings and pictures
* Bits & Bytes: Tribeca Meet & Greet
* Letter to the Editor
* Downtown Real Estate: Gibney Dance signs 20-year lease for Dance New Amsterdam space
* Downtown Dining: Tips from chef Shaun Hergatt on where to eat in lower Manhattan
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Some of the South Street Seaport Museum's historic ships.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Battery Park City

Robin Forst. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
This morning, Dennis Mehiel, chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, announced that Battery Park City resident, Robin Forst, would join the Authority as vice president, external relations. She will start her new job on Feb. 3.

Forst is currently deputy executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), a state-city agency that oversees and coordinates public, private and street construction projects south of Canal Street.

Forst joined the newly formed LMCCC in 2005 and has served as the main point of contact to the public. She has worked closely with community and business groups, elected officials and government agencies. At LMCCC, she has been responsible for press communications and all outreach efforts. Prior to joining the LMCCC, she was deputy chief of staff to Councilmember Alan Gerson where much of her work was focused on the recovery, revitalization and rebuilding of lower Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11.

Before her work in government, Forst spent many years in the private sector. In her most recent role, she served as president of Forst Associates, a human resources consulting firm, for 10 years, and for two consulting firms prior to starting her own business.

Forst and her family have lived in Battery Park City for more than 20 years.

Downtown in Pictures
Tonight at 6 p.m., Community Board 1 is holding a Town Hall meeting at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, B-level, Student Union, at which people can express their ideas and opinions about the Seaport's future. All are welcome to attend. In recognition of this important meeting, here are some photos of the South Street Seaport's recent past. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. Aug. 28, 2010 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Schermerhorn Row on Fulton Street. August 2010. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Fulton Street at 5:30 p.m., nine weeks after Superstorm Sandy. Jan. 6, 2013
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The South Street Seaport Museum's Water Street shops. April 19, 2013.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Workers for The Howard Hughes Corporation erecting shipping containers on Fulton Street. May 18, 2013 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Fulton Street at Front Street, with the shipping containers and AstroTurf in place.
May 26, 2013 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The New Amsterdam Market on South Street. June 23, 2013
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The corner of Fulton and South Streets. This was once the entrance to Sloppy Louie's, a beloved Seaport restaurant at 92 South St. Jan. 11, 2014 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


South Street Seaport


The Fulton Ferry Hotel once occupied the buildings at the corner of South and Fulton Streets and Sloppy Louie's restaurant was on the ground floor.  
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Naima Rauam, who has been painting and drawing the South Street Seaport for more than 30 years, is now working from the second floor of the building at the corner of Fulton and South Streets that Joseph Mitchell wrote about in his masterpiece, "Up in the Old Hotel." The door to Rauam's studio at 92 South St. was once the entrance to Sloppy Louie's restaurant. It no longer has a doorbell. You have to call Rauam and let her know you're coming and then she descends the steep flight of stairs that leads to the second floor and opens the door for you.  


It's worth the effort to see Rauam's paintings of the bustling Fulton Fish Market that is no more and her romantic views of the Brooklyn Bridge under a moonlit sky, but especially to see her suite of eight drawings of the old hotel itself.    


As Mitchell says, the building dates from the 1870's and once served the steamship passengers and sailors and traveling salesmen who thronged the Seaport's docks at that time, before the Brooklyn Bridge was built. Parts of the Fulton Ferry Hotel, as it was called, still exist within the South Street Seaport Museum's galleries at 12 and 14 Fulton St., but they have been shuttered since April 2013 because of Superstorm Sandy damage - still unrepaired. So, at the moment, the only way for the public to see one of the greatest historic treasures of the Seaport is to look at Rauam's drawings.  


Rauam made them in 2002, visiting the old hotel almost every day over a three-week period. This was just before the upper floors of the building were cleaned up and renovated into galleries.  


"They let me wander around by myself on the third and fourth floors," she said. "It was too dusty to stay there and work so I took photographs, made some sketches and did the rest from memory."


She touched nothing, she said, but recorded exactly what she saw, just as she found it.  


"I got really plugged into all the lives that had passed through here," she said. "The rooms were derelict. Life used them and moved on. They didn't become a theme park like so much of New York now. They were still real."


Rauam acknowledged that to present exhibits to the public, you have to have certain amenities, but, she said, "they dressed up the rooms so you didn't know what they were really about. In a perfect world, they would never have been touched."   


In Rauam's drawings, light seeps under a closed door and through dusty windows. It carves geometric shapes on the old floors. The beamed ceilings hover overhead. Plaster peels from the laths. A glass forgotten by someone rests on a window sill.


 "I think about the people who have come and gone here," she said. "Sloppy Louie is just around the corner. He'll be back in a few minutes. Joseph Mitchell just went on a jaunt."  


When the South Street Seaport Museum's Fulton Street galleries were still open, visitors could see remnants of the old hotel. The cubbyholes that served as rooms are still there, with fading wallpaper. A stairway leads to the lower floors of the building, with a hand pointing downward and the instruction to use the stairs in case of a fire. The hotel's laundry room is still there, with racks for drying linens and an old-fashioned, mangle washing machine. The elevator shaft that carried Joseph Mitchell and Louis Morino to the upper floors of the building still exists.  


The South Street Seaport Museum's building is as much a historic treasure as anything that was ever displayed inside its galleries. The old hotel haunted Mitchell and Morino. It still haunts anyone who has ever been privileged to see it.


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

The remnants of the 'old hotel' still exist in the South Street Seaport Museum's Fulton Street buildings. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Bits & Bytes

David Cleaver of the Borough of Manhattan Community College Tribeca Performing Arts Center has been organizing "Tribeca Meet & Greet" events for years. He describes these free get-togethers as an opportunity to meet neighbors over some drinks and a nosh. Each monthly event takes place at a different Tribeca business.

Tomorrow, Jan. 14, Valley, a woman's boutique at 393 Greenwich St. will host Meet & Greet. Valley opened in mid-September, carrying an array of well-known and emerging designers.  "Valley caters to the Tribeca woman, keeping its racks stocked with wearable, trendy fashions, including jewelry and handbags," Cleaver says.

Show up anytime between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Everybody's welcome (you don't have to live or work in Tribeca to attend.) Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway will provide some beverages and MaxDelivery will bring some snacks.
"We expect to have a friendly group and a terrific time with a chance to learn some useful things about our neighborhood," says Cleaver. "Please feel free to bring business cards, menus, flyers and other information about you and your business.  I am thrilled to say that these get-togethers are now in their ninth year."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Letter to the Editor

Howard Josepher (left), president and CEO of Exponents, and Donald Powell (right), Exponents' director of development, at the CB1 Financial District Committee meeting, on Jan. 7, 2014 at which Exponents' plan to move to 2 Washington St. was criticized by most of the people in the room. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the Editor:
(Re: "Program for recovering drug addicts moving to FiDi," 1/10/14) First, thanks for your excellent reporting on all the goings-ons downtown. As someone who grew up in Battery Park City, I am really happy to be able to keep up with some of the news concerning the area where both my mother and sister still live.

Second, I thought the term "drug addict" inappropriate in recent articles about the clients seen at Exponents. It labels people by their illness/affliction.

In my time as a medical student and casual browser of the Internet, I have come to believe that when referring to those undergoing treatment for addiction, it would be preferable to use terms such as "persons recovering from addiction, patients, people with histories of drug addiction, client with addiction histories." After all, we do not refer to persons with disabilities as "cripples," children with learning disabilities as "retards," or sufferers of schizophrenia as "crazies."

But then, sometimes it makes sense to refer to subsets of people by some defining property. I just wanted to express that I thought referring to clients of Exponents as former drug addicts unnecessarily stigmatizing, and carrying too much negativity, when a reader should be left to form their own opinion about the non-profit that serves clients with addiction histories/recovering from addiction moving into their neighborhood.

All the best,
Kevin Hu

Downtown Real Estate

"Lease is Fresh Step for New York Dance World," Wall Street Journal, 1/9/14. When Dance New Amsterdam filed for bankruptcy in May 2013 and ultimately was forced to close its dance studios and theater at 280 Broadway, it was a big loss for the dance community and for all who cared about the cultural life of lower Manhattan. But now Gina Gibney, founder of Gibney Dance, has signed a 20-year lease for the 36,000-square-foot space, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Her nonprofit contemporary dance company and rehearsal center currently leases a floor of 890 Broadway, a Flatiron-area building with a long history as a creative hub," says the WSJ.  "Gibney Dance has seven studios stretching over 15,000 square feet that it rents out to dance companies, Broadway shows or anyone in need of arts-related space. By adding the downtown facility, Gibney Dance will more than double its operations." Gibney expects to renovate 280 Broadway into "a resource for emerging artists." For the complete article, click here.   
"Yair Levy seeks a second chance - in real estate," Crain's New York Business, 1/12/14.
The name "Yair Levy" will not soon be forgotten in Battery Park City. He's the real estate developer who bought 225 Rector Place and siphoned off more than $7 million from its reserve fund, leaving residents without heat or hot water in the middle of the winter. The courts slapped him with fines and the New York State attorney general forbade him from selling real estate securities because of that caper - but now Levy wants back in to the real estate market. According to Crain's, "He disputed the facts surrounding the ban imposed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He even argued he could sell condos again-if he wanted-through his family trust." For the complete story, click here.

Downtown Dining

"Shaun Hergatt's Favorite Lower Manhattan Eats", 1/10/14. Shaun Hergatt has the creds for knowing a good meal when he sees one. For several years, he owned a well-regarded restaurant at 40 Broad St. Though it closed, he still lives in lower Manhattan, according to Eater asked him to recommend some of his favorite dining in the neighborhood. Here's his list: Adrienne's Pizza Bar, Inatesso, Shake Shack, Zucker's Bagel, Laughing Man Coffee, Financier, Locanda Verde, Terroir, Harry's Steak and Jungsik. For the details on why he chose these places and where they are, click here.  

CALENDAR: Week of Jan. 13

Munich's new synagogue, Ohel Jakob, opened on Nov. 9, 2006 - the anniversary of Kristallnacht when many synagogues throughout Germany were destroyed in 1938. On Wednesday, Yascha Mounk will talk at the Museum of Jewish Heritage about his experience growing up as a Jew in post-World War II Germany.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Jan. 14: "Tuesday Talks" at Asphalt Green Battery Park City continue with "Sylvia's Table: Lessons from Our Farm to Your Family." Liz Neumark, CEO and founder of Great Performances, founder of Katchkie Farm and author of "Sylvia's Table," will talk with Carole Lalli, editor-in-chief of "Food and Wine Magazine" and cookbook author about the Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in upstate New York where children go to learn firsthand about where fresh food comes from and how to grow it, harvest it and use it to prepare great-tasting meals. Asphalt Green, 212 North End Ave. Time: Noon to 1 p.m. $22; $18 (members). For more information, click here.

Jan. 14: At the Skyscraper Museum, Constance Rosenblum will talk about her book, "Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City," in which she goes beyond the front doors of New York residences to show how New Yorkers really live. Rosenblum wrote the Habitats column for the Real Estate section of The New York Times and was the longtime editor of the Times's City section and a former editor of the paper's Arts and Leisure section. Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m. The museum's galleries are open from 6 p.m. Free. RSVP to [email protected] with the name of the program you would like to attend. For information about the museum, go to

Jan. 15: "Stranger in My Own Country" is Yascha Mounk's account of growing up Jewish in post-war Germany, which is still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich. He will discuss his book at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Time: 7 p.m. $15; $12 (members). For more information, click here. For Mounk's recent Op-Ed entitled "German, Jewish, Neither," in The New York Times, click here.

Jan. 15: "Angel's Bone" follows the plight of two fallen angels whose nostalgia for earthly delights finds them far from heaven - and victims of human trafficking. The story is told through composer Du Yun's eclectic music: part chamber music, theater, pop music, opera, cabaret, and involving visual arts and noise. The presentation is a co-production of Trinity Wall Street and the Prototype Festival, the annual festival of visionary opera-theater and music-theater works by pioneering artists from New York and around the world. Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: 9 p.m.  Tickets, $15. For more information, go to or click here.

Jan. 15: Opening night of "My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer," a play by Brian Watkins at The Flea Theater. It's about two estranged sisters, their needy mother and a sheep. Through Feb. 15. The Flea, 41 White St. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets, $15 to $35. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Jan. 16: As part of the "Lunch and Learn" series at the Museum of American Finance, John F. Wasik, the author of "Keynes's Way to Wealth," talks about the economist's  investment strategies and explains how contemporary investors can learn from, and imitate, his success. 48 Wall St. Bring your lunch. Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Talk will be followed by Q&A and book signing. Tickets, $5, include Museum admission. Museum members and students, free. Click here to register or contact Tempris Small at [email protected] for more information.
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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