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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 18  Jan. 24, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE  
* Manhattan Borough President Brewer visits Community Board 1
* Downtown Weather: Ice on the Hudson River
* Wavertree, now at Pier 15, going to shipyard for repairs
* Downtown Real Estate: Jumbo towers to rise on Fulton Street and in the Seaport
* Bits & Bytes: 9/11 Museum to charge $24 admission fee
* Letter to the Editor: Kudos for Downtown Post NYC
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Morning in the Battery Place Market. Jan. 24, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

MANHATTAN BOROUGH PREZ BREWER VISITS COMMUNITY BOARD 1
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer came to Community Board 1's Executive Committee meeting on Jan. 22. Flanking Brewer were Peter Braus, chair of the Tribeca Committee, and Ro Sheffe, chair of the Financial District Committee. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The staff and executive committee of Community Board 1 were excited. Newly elected Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer was going to pay them a visit. They worked for days to create a presentation to fill her in on what the Community Board had done in the previous year and its goals for 2014.

As Financial District Committee chair, Ro Sheffe, waited for CB 1's executive committee meeting to start on the evening of Jan. 22, he remarked that he had served on the community board for a decade and no Manhattan borough president had ever visited before.

A place was left for Brewer at the head of the table. When she walked in, she took off her coat and seated herself among the committee members.

Gale Brewer on the South St Seaport
Video: Gale Brewer on the South Street Seaport
"It's very exciting to be here," she said. Quickly, she reviewed some of the issues that she knew the community board was working on, but added that she was mainly there to listen.

Gale Brewer on Emergency Preparedness
Video: Gale Brewer on Emergency Preparedness
Among the things on her list were the future of the South Street Seaport, emergency preparedness, issues associated with the large number of construction projects in Community Board 1, the lack of sufficient school seats, insufficient affordable housing and the need for more open space.

Then CB1's chair, Catherine McVay Hughes, outlined for Brewer the parameters of Community Board 1, which encompasses one-and-a-half square miles and has a residential population that has tripled since 2000 and is now roughly 65,000 people. It is also the site of more than 90 major public and private construction projects (defined as projects of $25 million and more.) 

"That's more than any other community board," Brewer remarked.

Next, the committee chairmen had a turn to speak. They outlined the problems confronting them and their committees.

Roger Byrom, chair of the Landmarks Committee, led off by telling Brewer that the Howard Hughes Corporation would be coming before his committee in March with its plan to move the Tin Building in the South Street Seaport. "If that happens, then it triggers the whole thing along. That then goes to the Landmarks Preservation Commission," he said. He wanted to know how to abort this process.  

 

"We're meeting with EDC [the Economic Development Corporation]," Brewer replied, "and I think we need a united front on planning. This is something I feel very strongly about and I think we will all stick together. Nobody wants that size building [a 50-story hotel and apartment building on the Seaport waterfront] - I'm sorry Howard Hughes - but we need to figure out how we're going to pay for all of this but not what has been suggested."

 

Brewer went on to say that, "There are a lot of folks who are on your planning/pausing side and we're going to make that very clear to EDC."

 

Ro Sheffe, the next to speak, talked about the situation at 66 John St., where the Department of Probation has already installed its staff and where it intends to see adult probationers, and the problem at 2 Washington St., where a private organization called Exponents has moved in with plans to treat former drug abusers. He told Brewer that his committee was trying to get the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) to intervene and not grant a license for that facility on Washington Street "because it's just totally inappropriate for a residential neighborhood."

 

Tricia Joyce, who heads the Youth and Education Committee, spoke passionately about the lack of sufficient school seats. Marco Pasanella, co-chair of the Seaport/Civic Center Committee, told Brewer about the many empty storefronts in the South Street Seaport. And so it went. 

  

The meeting only lasted around an hour but it was itself a landmark. Someone had taken the time to show up and listen - someone who could actually help.  

 

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

 

Marco Pasanella, co-chair of CB1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee, telling Manhattan Borough President Brewer that there was a 63 percent vacancy rate in the small stores in the Seaport, which has still not recovered from the ravages of Superstorm Sandy. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


 

Downtown Weather
ICE ON THE HUDSON RIVER
The Edge of Manhattan, Jan. 23, 2014. (Photo: Jay Fine)
South Cove in Battery Park City. Jan. 24, 2014 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Ferries on the Hudson River. Jan. 24, 2014 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Snowman on Rector Place. Jan. 24, 2014 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

South Street Seaport Museum
WAVERTREE NOW AT PIER 15, GOING TO SHIPYARD FOR REPAIRS
The South Street Seaport Museum's ship, Wavertree, moored at Pier 15.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The South Street Seaport Museum's sailing ship Wavertree, built in 1885, is currently moored on the north side of Pier 15 in the South Street Seaport. Though most of that pier has been leased to Hornblower Cruises & Events, Wavertree can stay there for the foreseeable future, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the landlord for most of the South Street Seaport.

"We have exclusive docking rights on the entire south side, the entire east side (the face) and currently 160 feet of the north side," said Cameron Clark, Hornblower's general manager in New York City.  "Additionally, if and when the Wavertree is moved, we will have rights and access to the space the vessel is currently in. We are not planning on moving the Wavertree ourselves or pushing to have it moved. However, if or when it moves we will make use of the space that the Wavertree currently docks at."

Clark added that, "While we do have exclusive rights to the pier, we are open and willing to support other boat operators who'd like to use the pier for pick up and drop offs."

 

In the late spring, Wavertree will go to a shipyard for an estimated $5 million worth of cosmetic and structural repairs. "This is a city-funded stabilization project," said Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum. He said that the money came from the Department of Cultural Affairs in the form of several grants, some of which dated back to 2009.  

 

 "She's a huge ship," said Boulware. He said that it will take at least six months to do the necessary work.  

 

Wavertree is one of the last large sailing ships made of wrought iron. She was built in Southampton, England for R.W. Leyland & Co. of Liverpool. She first carried jute, used in making rope and burlap bags, between eastern India (now Bangladesh) and Scotland. After less than two years, she entered the tramp trades, taking orders to transport cargo anywhere in the world. After sailing for a quarter century, she was dismasted off Cape Horn and limped back to the Falkland Islands, where her owners sold her for use as a floating warehouse at Punta Arenas, Chile. She was converted into a sand barge at Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1947, and was acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968.

 

She is typical of the kind of cargo ships that would have called at the South Street Seaport in the 19th century.

  

Though Wavertree will be out for repairs, some of the South Street Seaport Museum's other ships will be open to the public. The Ambrose lightship and the barque Peking will be open to visitors this spring, and the schooner Pioneer will resume taking students on harbor trips in April and the general public in May.

 

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

 

The Peking moored at Pier 16 and the Wavertree, at Pier 15 in the South Street Seaport. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Downtown Real Estate
JUMBO TOWERS TO RISE ON FULTON STREET AND IN THE SEAPORT
 
The New York Post is mad for the South Street Seaport. In an article called "5 reasons the South Street Seaport is the city's next hot spot," it salivates over what it calls "the beginning stages of a huge transformation."

"Residential real estate is being planned, retail is taking root, schools are opening and even a movie theater is on the way," says the article.

56 Fulton St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
The Walton, a new 26-unit condo at 264 Water St. gets a plug as do two towers that will soon break ground on Fulton Street. One, a 23-story rental at 56 Fulton St., is now a parking garage (yes, THAT parking garage with the automobiles stacked on top of each other. According to local residents, it's almost as popular a photo op with tourists as the Statue of Liberty.) That structure should be finished early in 2016.

Up the block at 92 Fulton, between Gold and William Streets, the Mavrix Group is planning a 51-story condo also to be finished in 2016. (See The Real Deal article, referenced below, for pictures.) In addition, it has a second condo "on the drawing board." This would be a condo in the Seaport, closer to the water.

And then there are The Howard Hughes Corporation's building activities. The Post quotes Chris Curry, executive vice president of Howard Hughes., as describing an "influx of shops and restaurants" and "a 60 story tower which will be combination of hotel rooms and residential space."

The Post also quotes Curry as to what retail will be installed at the Seaport. He said, "'We're looking for unique offerings - we want to give people a reason to come back again and again.' What about the city's great restaurateurs? Has he met with any of them? 'All of them - well, most of them.'"

For the complete article, click here.

"Mavrix eyes expanding Fulton Street condo plans," The Real Deal, 1/23/14. Frank Gehry only managed to design a 76-story apartment building at 8 Spruce St. with straight sides. Now the Mavrix Group based in San Diego, Calif., wants to up the ante. It plans a 51-story, spiraling building at 92 Fulton St. and is looking for "additional parcels" with which to expand the development site. Some reports say that the tower could be 75 stories tall when completed. For the complete article, click here.  

Bits & Bytes
9/11 MUSEUM TO CHARGE $24 ADMISSION FEE

A photo from October 2011 showing the 9/11 Museum under construction. At that time, the announced opening date was September 2012.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
The National September 11 Memorial Museum will charge a $24 admission fee when it opens this spring, The New York Times reports. The grounds of the memorial will continue to be free, and the museum will be free to families of victims. Three hours a week, the museum will be free to all. There will be discounted admission for students, seniors and certain groups of people.

The underground museum does not receive government funding for its operating costs, so the admission fee was deemed necessary. The annual operating budget for the 9/11 memorial and museum is $63 million.

Some of the families of 9/11 victims are vehemently opposed to the admission fee. A group calling itself "9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims" said in a statement that, "Many 9/11 families - as well as the public at large - do not feel the federal government should pay for an enormously expensive memorial and museum in which the federal government - as well as the families of the victims -  had virtually no role in the nearly $1 billion design and planning."

This group wants to see the National Park Service "assume the full management and operation of the 9/11 memorial and museum as they do with nearly ever other memorial in Washington, D.C. and across the USA." 
 
Joe Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum said in a statement, "A general admission ticket of $24 will help fulfill our obligation to commemorate and preserve the history of 9/11. It will also enable educational programming that will teach the nature of and responsibility for the special freedoms we have.  Importantly, a Museum admissions will also ensure the Memorial, which has had more than 11.5 million visitors since opening two years ago, will be free and open to everyone."

This afternoon, Crain's New York Business reported that the museum will open in May and that tickets will go on sale in March.

For the complete New York Times article, click here.  For the Crain's New York Business article, click here.  

 


Letters to the Editor
KUDOS FOR DOWNTOWN POST NYC

Exclusive Home Bath. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the Editor:
I just want to say I much I look forward to each issue of the new Downtown Post NYC. The articles are informative and the photos are the best. It's wonderful to have the pulse of downtown activities from the Upper West Side. Makes Manhattan a Gestalt experience.

Marian Hailey-Moss

To the Editor:
Great issue. Thanks.

Dolores D'Agostino

To the Editor:
Your photo "Exclusive home bath" in today's edition of the Downtown Post NYC was hilarious. It put a smile on the face of an otherwise brutal winter blizzard.

Ro Sheffe

To the Editor:
Downtown Post is an extremely valuable publication in our Downtown Community. There is much to be learned here that is not available anywhere else.

Bob Schneck

From the Editor:
Thank you one and all.

We welcome letters to the editor. Send them to editor@downtownpostnyc.com/ Also, please forward Downtown Post NYC, tell people about it, ask them to subscribe. (They can click the "Join Our Mailing List" icon at the top of this email or go to www.DowntownPostNYC.com/)

 


CALENDAR: Week of Jan. 20


Katherine Folk-Sullivan and Layla Khoshnoudi in "My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer" at The Flea Theater. (Photo: Hunter Canning)
  
Jan. 24: "My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer," a play by Brian Watkins, is 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. 25: "Passwords: Naomi Shihab Nye and Kim Stafford on William Stafford." Poets House in Battery Park City celebrates the work of poet William Stafford (1914-1993), author of more than 50 books. With his deceptively simple style and reverence for the natural world, he is considered the Robert Frost of the American West. Nye is the author of many books of poetry and prose. Kim Stafford, William Stafford's son, is a poet and writing teacher. Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Time: 2 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 for students and seniors; free to Poets House members. For more information, click here. This event is preceded at 11 a.m. by a free writing workshop for teens, aged 12 to 18. Registration is required. Click here for information on the writing workshop.

Jan. 25: Godwin Louis, second runner-up in the annual Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition, plays his saxophone with his combo (trumpet, piano, bass and drums) at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information, click here.

Jan. 25: Families are invited to go on a scavenger hunt at the Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, in search of fun facts about skyscrapers. They can examine photographs, videos and text for clues. Kids will create postcards with illustrations of their favorite discoveries. All ages. Register by Friday at 5 p.m. Email education@skyscraper.org or call (212) 945-6324. Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Tickets: $5 per child; members, free.

Jan. 25: Bubble Do the Beatles at Front Row/Stage, The Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street just south of Water Street in the South Street Seaport. A concert of the Beatles' early years for families and kids at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets: Free, but reservations are necessary. For reservations, click here.

Jan. 25: The Prince & MJDJ Experience at Front Row/Stage in the South Street Seaport. A DJ and Dance Party tribute to Prince and Michael Jackson. Ages, 21+. Time: 6 p.m. to midnight. Free, but reservations are necessary. For reservations, click here.
 
Jan. 26: The New York Audubon Society in partnership with New York Water Taxi offers a  cruise of New York harbor to see birds and seals that are only here in the winter. The two-hour cruise, "Winter Seals and Waterbirds of New York Harbor," takes place on Sundays through March 9, leaving from Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. Time: Noon to 2 p.m. Tickets: $35, adults; $25, children, 3 to 12 years old. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Jan. 26: "From Ghetto to Palazzo: The Worlds of Salamone Rossi" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Rossi, a violinist, singer, musical director and composer, was an important figure in both the Jewish community and the royal court of Mantua, Italy during the Renaissance. An afternoon of a capella singing, music, film and discussion will shed light on his life and work. Time: 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Place: 36 Battery Place. Tickets: $35; $30 (students and seniors); $25 (members). For more information, click here.

Jan. 26: Opening reception for an exhibit of artwork done in classes sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Reception: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 75 Battery Place. Exhibit on view, weekdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
  
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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2014