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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 22  Feb. 3, 2014

Quote of the day:
"I grew up watching 'Leave it to Beaver' and 'The Donna Reed Show', and I looked at those shows and thought, 'I don't quite fit in here.'" - Clarinetist David Krakauer on his effort to find and understand his Jewish identity. (2/2/14)
* Jessica Lappin named president of the Downtown Alliance
* Clarinetist David Krakauer in 'The Big Picture'
* Winter Carnival at PS/IS 276
* Downtown Weather: Snowstorm No. 3
* Downtown Post NYC makes news
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Snowdrops blooming in Battery Park City's South Cove, Feb. 1, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Jessica Lappin, (second from left) at City of Water Day last June when she was running for Manhattan borough president. Lappin has just been named the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


The Alliance for Downtown New York, the city's largest business improvement district, announced today that Jessica Lappin will serve as its next president. She will also be the president of the Alliance's sister organization, the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association.


Lappin was formerly a member of New York City Council representing Manhattan's Fifth District on the Upper East Side, including Roosevelt Island. She played a key role in bringing the Cornell-Technion Applied Science and Engineering Campus to Roosevelt Island and worked with a variety of stakeholders to mitigate the negative impact of 2nd Avenue subway construction.


"I am thrilled to be joining the Downtown Alliance and eager to lead such an accomplished team," Lappin said in a statement. She said that she found the transformation unfolding in lower Manhattan to be "inspiring."


"Few places anywhere can boast of the constellation of game-changing projects under way and nearing fruition," she said.


She begins her new position Feb. 10. Lappin was selected after an extensive search process that was initiated following the death of the Alliance's previous president, Elizabeth H. Berger.


Lower Manhattan residents got to know Lappin last year when she ran for Manhattan borough president, losing to Gale Brewer. 


At that time, Lappin introduced herself as a lifelong New Yorker, raised by a single mom.

She is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School - another downtown connection - and of Georgetown University.


Downtown Entertainment
David Kraukauer and his group performing "People" from "Funny Girl," with images of Barbra Streisand in the background. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
David Krakauer, 57, a renowned clarinetist who has played in some of the world's great concert halls and with some of its finest musicians, is center stage at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sundays and Wednesdays through Feb. 23 in a multimedia production called "The Big Picture."

Krakauer and his talented back-up group of five musicians plus a guest vocalist (his daughter, Alicia) are riffing on music from Jewish-themed films such as "Funny Girl," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Sophie's Choice" and others. Behind them is an animated backdrop of images suggested by the music.

Krakauer is not only the star but the executive producer of the program.

He grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the son of a physician and a concert violinist and teacher.

"I grew up watching 'Leave It to Beaver' and 'The Donna Reed Show' and I looked at those shows and thought 'I don't quite fit in here,'" he said. "I had this grandmother who spoke with a heavy Yiddish accent, but I grew up very assimilated. This show is part of my quest to find my Jewish identity."

"The Big Picture" begins with a rousing rendition of "Willkommen" from "Cabaret" - limning the decadent world of Berlin just before World War II, a time when Jews were anything but welcome. Krakauer's 90-minute meditation on "Jewish identity" ends with a boisterous riff on "Tradition" from "Fiddler on the Roof."

In between are some numbers that are wickedly funny such as the March from "Love for Three Oranges" that Woody Allen incorporated into his movie, "Love and Death," or "Keep It Gay" from "The Producers."

But the Holocaust suggested by the opening piece is at the core of "The Big Picture." How much was lost because of all those who were lost, Krakauer wonders in his monologue that introduces the music segments in this part of the program.

He has often performed in Europe and hopes to bring "The Big Picture" to Europe in the fall of 2015. He says that he feels "a responsibility in doing my art as a representative of my culture and also as a world citizen, standing for values of humanism.

"'The Big Picture' reflects the place I came from but also has a universal message," he says.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

David Krakauer acknowledging applause. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


PS/IS 276's Winter Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 1, raised money to support the school's arts, music and Spanish classes. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

PS/IS 276 at 55 Battery Place teemed with joyful kids on Feb. 1, who shouted and boogied their way through the annual Winter Carnival. "I'm exhausted," said parent Tammy Meltzer, as she led her little ones away from the fray. The kids weren't.

Though it was almost 4 p.m., - time for the Carnival to shut down - in the gym, one little boy was turning cartwheels while a girl practiced stilt walking. Other kids clamored to get into the carousel bouncy house for one last jump. In the auditorium, aka a "dance party," the hula hoop contingent was still going strong. In the game room, several fierce bouts of knock hockey were in progress.

The Winter Carnival, sponsored and run by the school's PTA, raised money for art, music and Spanish classes. Spanish is new to the school this year, said Matt Schneider, co-president of the PTA. "The Winter Carnival is one fundraiser that contributes to these programs. Just as important is the opportunity to bring our school community together."

The school, which opened in 2009 on a temporary basis at the Tweed Courthouse and in its present building in 2010, houses almost 900 students.

"That is about the capacity the school was intended to hold," said Schneider, "but Terri [Ruyter, the principal] had to cut a pre-K section and a 6th grade section this year to recover from the extra kindergarten classes that were added in years past."

He said the school was supposed to have three classes in each grade, but it currently has four classes in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.

"In 2015, the four kindergarten classes will be consolidated to three very full first-grade classes, and we'll no longer have pre-K," said Schneider. "We will have three 6th grade sections again, though."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The carousel bouncy house in the gym.

Fifth grader Darshan Singh, 10, raised money for the school by drawing caricatures. He is taking a cartooning class at the Parsons School of Design.

The "dance party" in the auditorium.

Downtown Weather

Along the Battery Park City esplanade. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Rector Park in Battery Park City. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Playground. (Photo: Jay Fine)


Part of lower Manhattan's financial district. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Kelly Rush of the Alliance for Downtown New York wrote about Downtown Post NYC in the most recent issue of the Alliance's blog. To read what she had to say, click here.

CALENDAR: Week of Feb. 3
Julie Grolia, public historian for the Brooklyn Historical Society, will talk about the history of the Brooklyn Bridge on Feb. 4 at noon as part of Asphalt Green Battery Park City's lecture series, "Tuesday Talks." (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Feb. 3: "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.

Feb. 3: "Bikeman: The 9/11 Theatrical Experience" is a new play by journalist Thomas F. Flynn based on his book describing the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Flynn, an award-winning writer and producer for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, was outside his Greenwich Village home when the first plane flew directly over his head. He immediately called into the news desk to tell them he was headed downtown. He jumped on his bicycle and began his ride to the towers. His harrowing story recounts his transition from reporter to participant. Now in preview at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. Opening night is Feb. 18. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $39-$79. For more information and tickets, click here.
Feb. 4: Tuesday Talks at Asphalt Green Battery Park City continue with "Building an Icon: The History of the Brooklyn Bridge." Julie Golia, Ph.D., the public historian for the Brooklyn Historical Society, will talk about the engineers and laborers who built the bridge, the political climate in which it was erected, and the cultural meanings of one of the country's most stunning structures. Place: 212 North End Ave. Time: Noon to 1 p.m. Tickets: $22; $18 (members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Feb. 4: "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage," opens today at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community of Iraq in a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives' ongoing work in support of U.S. government efforts to preserve these materials. Through May 18, 2014. Place: 36 Battery Place. Varying hours. Museum admission fees: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors) and $7 (students). Members and children 12 and under, free. Free admission on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

Feb. 5: "Confronting Mortality: Faith and Meaning Across Cultures," at the New York Academy of Sciences, explores how people cope with the inevitability of death. Psychologist Lani Leary, professor of philosophy and religion Jeff Kripal, and sociologist Allan Kellehear share a multicultural perspective on death, dying, and what lies beyond. Place: 7 World Trade Center, 40th floor. Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tickets: $15; $7 (students); $5 (New York Academy of Sciences members). For more information, click here.

Feb. 5: Willerm Delisfort (piano) and Jason Marshall (baritone saxophone) play a lunchtime jazz concert as part of "Voices of Freedom," a series honoring Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March. Each performance in February will showcase a pianist paired with celebrated musicians from New York City's jazz scene. Place: Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, 220 Vesey St. Time: 12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Feb. 5: "The Big Picture" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Joined by other musicians, master clarinetist David Krakauer explores the intersection of music and Jewish identity in iconic movies of the last 50 years. They will play songs from films ranging from "Funny Girl" and "Fiddler on the Roof" to "Sophie's Choice" and "The Pianist." This is the third in a series of eight concerts on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Time: 2 p.m. Tickets: $35; $30 (students/seniors); $25 (members). For tickets and more information, click here.

Feb. 6: Juliet's Disgrace at Front Row/Stage, The Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street. For fans of Richard Thompson, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Celtic, Swing Jazz, Blues and Country. Time: 7 p.m.-10 p.m. For ages 21+. Tickets: Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 6: Jack Kleinsinger's "Highlights in Jazz 2014" brings Lew Tabackin, Randy Brecker, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Boris Kozlov, Kenny Barron, Harvie S. to the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. Time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $45. For more information, click here.

Feb. 7: Popa Chubby with special guest French Cookin' Blues Band at Front Row/Stage in the South Street Seaport. Ages, 21+. Time: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.. Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 8: Bubble do the Beatles at Front Row/Stage, The Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street. A Hard Day's Night To Rubber Soul 50th Anniversary Beatles In The USA Shows. Family/kids concert event. Times: 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For all ages. Tickets: Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 8: Hollis Brown at Front Row/Stage in the South Street Seaport. Ages, 21+. Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 8: The Tribeca Performing Arts Center presents Melissa Aldana, a tenor saxophonist and the winner of the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. She is originally from Santiago, Chile and has been a working bandleader in New York since 2009. She is the first woman ever to win an instrumental Monk competition. Place: 199 Chambers St. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Feb. 8: "Love the Air," is for "artists and romantics of all ages who are 4 years old and older." Make your own aromatic valentines with dried lavender, rose petals, anise and other garden fragrances, as well as salvaged paper, lace and ribbon. If you wish, bring something to personalize your valentine card. All other materials are provided. Organized by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Fee: $10 a person. Place: 6 River Terrace. Time: 10 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration recommended. Call (212) 267-9700, ext 342.

Feb. 8: Valentine Block Party takes place at Bowne Printers in the South Street Seaport. Participants will make valentines on wood blocks that will be printed at the end of the workshop on Bowne's vintage Vandercook press. Each student will go home with their block, individual prints, and one poster of everyone's prints together. All materials supplied. Suitable for apprentices 12 & up. Fee: $50 (non-members); $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members).
$15 non-refundable deposit for materials due by Feb. 5. Place: 211 Water St. Time: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Registration required. 10 person limit. E-mail Bowne Printers to reserve your spot. For more information, call (646) 628-2707.

Feb. 9: 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.

Through March 28: Exhibit of artwork done in classes sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. 75 Battery Place, 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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