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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 23  Feb. 5, 2014

Quote of the day:
"There will be a party at the top plus great views" - Lorraine Egan, president and CEO of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation on the organization's fundraising climb up the 72 flights of stairs at 4 World Trade Center. (2/5/14)
* Ferries in the storm
* Downtown Weather: Snowstorm No. 3 and aftermath
* Charity 'stair run' at 4 World Trade Center
* Speaker Silver urges Schools Chancellor Fariña to reconsider capital budget
* Downtown Wildlife: Red-breasted merganser
* Howard Hughes Corp.'s music tent on Fulton Street has its ups and downs
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Snow and ice in Battery Park City's South Cove, Feb. 3, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Transportation
A New York Waterway ferry crossing the Hudson River on Feb. 3.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Exactly 200 years ago, in 1814, Robert Fulton yoked Brooklyn and Manhattan with ferry service across the East River. Ferry service between lower Manhattan and Staten Island has been around for at least that long. Ever since, ferries have been a presence in New York City - more so now than in many years. Now, there's regular ferry service across the East River and on the Hudson between lower Manhattan and New Jersey.

Snow and ice can cause havoc for land-based transportation, but the ferries that dart through New York City's waterways also have to contend with fog.

In lower Manhattan, bad weather has caused intermittent delays in ferry service, but so far, no cancellations.

Eleven vessels operate in and out of the ferry terminal in Battery Park City and 12 vessels operate out of Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street on the east side of the island. The boats are run by NY Waterway and are owned by the Port Imperial Ferry Company and by the Billybey Ferry Company.

The fleet consists of both jet-powered and propeller-driven boats.
"We operate both types of vessels on the route between Battery Park City and Hoboken," said a spokesperson for NY Waterway.  "Ice is not a hazard to hulls, but it can clog water jets and ding propellers. Our passengers, however, are never in danger when we deem the boats safe to operate."

Though ice has been thick on the Hudson River at times in the last few weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard does not normally clear ice in waterways as wide and fast-flowing as the Hudson and East Rivers. The Coast Guard does clear ice further north on the Hudson and in narrow channels around New York harbor.
If necessary, tugboat companies can be called in to help break up ice packs in the rivers. According to the NY Waterway spokesperson, the tugs would get involved on a "case by case basis."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Early morning on Feb. 4. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Downtown Weather
SNOWSTORM NO. 3 and aftermath

There have been four snowstorms so far this year, including one today that was weensy compared with two of those that preceded it. More snow is predicted for Sunday.

Storm No. 3 on Feb. 3 deposited around half a foot of snow on lower Manhattan. In Battery Park City, it clung to tree branches and froze in place. People marveled at it, stopping in their tracks to photograph it with their cellphones. Much of that stunning beauty remained the next day. The sun rose on Feb. 4 to a landscape still cloaked in white and a river and sky tinted in pastel blues and pinks.

That day never really got warm, but despite the snow, witch hazel bloomed in Teardrop Park. The park is planted with many varieties that will flower from now until late spring.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Battery Park City's South Cove after the storm. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Sunrise, Feb. 4. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Witch hazel blooming in Teardrop Park. (Photo: Carolyn Louise Newhouse)


The lobby of 4 World Trade Center. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Everyone is invited to run (or walk) up the 72 flights of stairs at 4 World Trade Center on April 3 in support of cancer research. Those who are sedentary but want to support the cause can even take the elevator.

The event will raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. "Every major research center in New York has Damon Runyon scientists," said Lorraine W. Egan, president and CEO of the foundation.

Scientists supported by the foundation were the first to scientifically link lung cancer and cigarette smoking and cure a solid tumor with chemotherapy. "
One of our scientists named Jedd Wolchok at Memorial Sloan Kettering ran the clinical trials for the first drug that works against advanced melanoma," said Egan.

Silverstein Properties, developer and owner of 4 World Trade Center, is donating the use of the facility for the stair race. Larry Silverstein has previously been a supporter of the organization.

"This is one of the tallest buildings in New York City, so we think it will be an exciting race," she said. "There are other stair climbs in New York as well, but this is the only one downtown."


Registration for individuals and teams opened online today at Participants pay a $40 entry fee and must raise at least $72 in support of cancer research. Each participant will have his or her own online donation page to facilitate fundraising.

The first heat of elite climbers will launch at 6:30 p.m,. followed by heats of recreational climbers.

"There will be a party at the top," said Egan, "plus great views."

- 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)

In Monday's Downtown Post NYC, we reported on Saturday's joyful Winter Carnival at PS/IS 276 in Battery Park City, and also on the fact that the school is seriously overcrowded. This year, a pre-K section and a 6th grade class had to be cut to make room for a flood of kindergarten students.

Today, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who represents lower Manhattan, wrote a letter to New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña about the city's upcoming five-year capital plan and the need for more school seats in lower Manhattan.

"As you may know," he wrote, "I chair a School Overcrowding Task Force, which has over the past few years successfully advocated for several new schools in our community."

Silver said that the excellence of these schools had prompted downtown families to enroll their children in record numbers. "In addition," he said, "more and more families are moving to the area, drawn by the outstanding schools.

"As a result, we continue to face an acute overcrowding problem in Lower Manhattan, particularly
in the Financial District and Battery Park City areas. Each year, we see Kindergarten waitlists of dozens of children per school. My task force worked with the Department of Education (DOE) in developing the new capital plan and we were told by the School Construction Authority that 1,000 seats were needed for our community. Unfortunately, when the preliminary plan was released, only half of those seats were targeted for the Community Board One area, where most of the population growth has occurred. This has not changed in the revised plan released last week."

Silver said that he was strongly urging the Department of Education to amend its capital plan so that there would be 1,000 school seats in the lower Manhattan community.

"One of the persistent problems we have in lower Manhattan is the practice of adding extra
Kindergarten classes to accommodate waitlists, while taking away rooms reserved for upper grades,
enrichment classes and pre-Kindergarten classes," he said.

He asked Chancellor Fariña to call his office to arrange a meeting "to discuss these matters further."


A female red-breasted merganser in Battery Park City's South Cove.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Red-breasted mergansers, like the female spotted on Feb. 4 in Battery Park City's South Cove, spend their summers in the Arctic but migrate south for the winter. This bird would have traveled thousands of miles to reach New York City.

Mergansers are around two feet long. Their bills are serrated, which equips them well to catch and eat fish. They live in large lakes and rivers and in the ocean.

"They're pretty common around Buttermilk Channel [between Governors Island and Brooklyn], so I'm not too surprised they'd turn up at Battery Park City, too," said Gabriel Willow, a guide for the New York City Audubon Society. "Anywhere there's fish!"

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


The Howard Hughes Corporation's music tent on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport came down on Monday.

"The Cube was deflated as a precaution to avoid storm damage," said Phillip St. Pierre, Howard Hughes' general manager for the Seaport, in an email on Tuesday.  "We will re-inflate after the next storm passes, likely Thursday morning."

St. Pierre reported that the tent was re-inflated on Tuesday afternoon. "But this latest storm with its heavy snow had the potential to cause damage," he said, "so we deflated it again this morning.  We will re-inflate tomorrow morning.  The programs will go on as scheduled."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

CALENDAR: Week of Feb. 3
Katie Raarup, 7, with a painting she made of a ladybug in an art class sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Feb. 5: "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. 5: "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. 5: "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage," is 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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