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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 29  Feb. 19, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE

Quote of the day:
""The hurricane did less damage to us than the [Peck Slip] construction and the change in New York. This city has become an Epcot Center for the wealthy." - Lee Holin, co-owner of Meade's, a neighborhood bar and restaurant in the South Street Seaport that will close on Sunday after almost eight years in business.

* Meade's going out of business on Sunday
*Good food and drink, good vibes and history at The Paris Café
* Bits & Bytes: West Street closed because of falling ice; Capoccia named BPCA vice chairman
* Downtown weather: Snow people
* Community Board 1 meetings, week of Feb. 17
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Ranunculus from Emily Thompson Flowers at 142 Beekman St., Feb. 18, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


South Street Seaport
MEADE'S GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ON SUNDAY

Meade's, a beloved neighborhood bar and restaurant at 22 Peck Slip, announced Monday on its Facebook page that it would close at the end of business on Sunday, Feb. 23. "Manhattan progress has reached the Seaport," the announcement said.

"OMG, I am in tears at my desk," wrote Bridget Schuy, a Seaport resident and one of the regulars, in response to the announcement. "I don't like this kind of progress," said Tracy Spinney, another of the Meade's faithful. "Kathleen, Izzy and Chano are all such dear people - and such good friends - that this is not good news," said Beth Childs, referring to the people who work at Meade's.

Meade's is closing because the landlord has greatly increased the rent, but Lee Holin, one of the owners, said, "In no way am I making any kind of indictment of the landlord. The landlord is a friend of mine and they did what was best for them. What really destroyed us was the construction [on Peck Slip]. In all honesty, we couldn't pay the rent during the years the construction was going on. The landlord was more than accommodating to us. We just owed too much back rent and they got a better offer from a Tribeca restaurant. It's really not the landlord's fault."

Meade's opened on July 1, 2006 and suffered through Peck Slip construction and six feet of water and mud left behind by Superstorm Sandy.

"The hurricane did less damage to us than the construction and the change in New York," said Holin. "This city has become an Epcot Center for the wealthy. I'm from Queens. The thing I wanted to do my entire life was to move into Manhattan. That meant something. That meant something more than 'I can afford to live there.' That's what it means now."

 

Holin's father, Jeremy, owns Jeremy's Ale House at 228 Front Street, around the corner from Meade's. Jeremy's Ale House has been in the Seaport since the early 1970's.   

 

"I grew up in that neighborhood," Lee said. "I was four years old walking through the Jeremy's Ale House that is now Cowgirl's Seahorse. Back in the day, it was cool to go to dive bars. All the Wall Street guys thought it was hilarious - this kid being walked through a bar at 8 o'clock at night. And one of them said, 'Hey, kid! Are you going to come here when you grow up?' And I said, 'When I grow up, I'm going to own it.'"

 

Lee will go to work at the Ale House along with two of the eight Meade's employees. The others are looking for jobs. "They were my family," he said.

 

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
 

 

Downtown Dining   
GOOD FOOD AND DRINK, GOOD VIBES AND HISTORY AT THE PARIS CAFE

The bar at The Paris Café dates from 1873, when the restaurant in Meyer's Hotel first opened. (Photos: Courtesy of The Paris Café.)

In the Old Seaport, The Paris Café on the ground floor of a building at 119 South St. that dates from 1863, is one of the landmarks.

Its cheery yellow and white exterior is visible from afar. Inside, a handsome, carved and mirrored Victorian bar is a marvel. It dates from 1873, when a restaurant first opened on this site on the ground floor of what was then Meyer's Hotel. Miraculously, the bar survived Superstorm Sandy, though the water reached a height of 11 feet and destroyed almost everything else.

Diurmuid Hackett has spent a lot of time behind that bar. He was a bartender at The Paris Café for years before becoming a co-owner of the restaurant in 2013. A native of Tipperary, Ireland, he has great respect and affection for the place and for its history. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid dined there. So did Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody and Teddy Roosevelt when he headed the New York City Police Department.

"We are stewards," Hackett said.

His partner is Peter O'Connell, who bought The Paris Café in 2000. O'Connell also owns Molly's Pub and The Bluebell Café, both on Third Avenue.

After Superstorm Sandy, The Paris Café closed for 51 weeks. When it finally reopened, it was better than ever. Scott Hawley, the chef at the Bluebell Café, revamped the menu. Hackett came up with an assortment of cocktails.

The food is excellent, the portions are large, the prices are moderate, the hours are long. The Paris Café is open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily, with food served daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Those who wish to sit at the bar and punctuate their drinks with some food can choose from an ample bar menu that includes a lobster "mac" and cheese ($13), beef sliders that are enhanced with cheese, bacon and a pickle and served with fries or a salad ($12) and spicy chipotle nachos ($12).

Main courses at lunch or dinner might include lamb shank braised in red wine ($18), mussels and chips ($15), three bean chili ($9) or a hearty salad. The fish comes from the Fulton Fish Market, as it always did, even though that market is now in the Bronx.

A newly added "thirty minute working lunch" promises to sate hunger and get people back to their desks before anyone notices they're missing.

Eggs Benedict. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Paris Café offers a terrific brunch menu with eggs, French toast, pancakes, oatmeal and more. The price of $14 or $15 includes the choice of a Mimosa, Bellini, Bloody Mary or Screwdriver.

The service is friendly, the place is comfortable and unpretentious.

"People don't know we've reopened!" lamented Annette Jackman, who has been a waitress at The Paris Café for 12 years, minus the 51 weeks that were lost to Superstorm Sandy.

They should know. The Paris Café is a delightful find.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For more information about The Paris Café, click here.
Bar food at The Paris Cafe: Chipotle nachos and beef sliders with fries, $12 each. Hanky Panky cocktail, Beefeater gin, sweet vermouth and fernet branca, also $12.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Dinner at The Paris Cafe: lamb shank braised in red wine with whipped potatos and sautéed greens ($18), a roasted beet salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts ($10) and wine ($8 to $10 a glass). 


Bits & Bytes  
WEST STREET CLOSED BECAUSE OF FALLING ICE; CAPOCCIA NAMED VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BPCA; UPDATE ON 66 JOHN ST. LAWSUIT

1 World Trade Center towers over West Street and adjoining buildings.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The New York Police Department closed West Street between Albany and Murray Streets around 8:30 a.m. this morning (Feb. 19) because of falling ice, an NYPD spokesman confirmed. He said that the ice was falling from 1 World Trade Center.

"There were no disruptions to the World Trade Center PATH station," said Anthony Hayes, a Port Authority spokesman. He would not confirm that the ice had fallen from 1 World Trade Center, either today or on previous days. "There's ice falling from buildings throughout Manhattan," he said, "so I'm sure there have been small instances of ice coming off of 1 World Trade Center, but we built a temporary work shed so that it would protect the public."

Hayes said that an underground connection between the PATH station and the Fulton Street Transit Hub that will eventually protect pedestrians in inclement weather is "part of the entire World Trade Center transportation hub complex, and right now we have a completion date on that in 2015. If we can open things early, we will."

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said, "Our piece - the Fulton Center - will be done in June 2014."

Battery Park City Authority names Donald Capoccia as vice chairman
At yesterday's meeting of the Battery Park City Authority board of directors, chairman Dennis Mehiel nominated real estate developer Donald Capoccia to serve as the BPCA's vice chairman. Capoccia was not present at the meeting, at which his nomination was unanimously approved by the board.

"If you make the mistake of not being present, this is what happens," Mehiel quipped.

Mehiel has come to increasingly rely on Capoccia's expertise in construction. Capoccia has reviewed many of the BPCA's recent contracts and has made recommendations as to whether there were potential issues and whether the fees were appropriate.

As managing principal and founder of BFC Partners, he has developed thousands of housing units throughout the New York area.

At yesterday's meeting, the restrooms in Wagner Park were discussed. They are supposed to be refurbished but the amount of time proposed to complete the project and the amount of money it would cost seemed excessive to the board. Capoccia and another board member, Lester Petracca, are reviewing the project, which has been awarded to Deborah Bradley Construction & Management Services. It was approved provisionally for a sum just over $1 million pending Petracca and Capoccia's final report.

66 John St. lawsuit falters
An attempt by Pace University, Century 21 and several residents of John Street to get a temporary restraining order that would have kept the New York City Department of Probation from seeing adult probationers at 66 John St. was denied on Feb. 11, 2014 by Justice Helen E. Freedman, Associate Justice of the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division.

"Now we wait for Justice [Carol] Huff, our assigned judge in the Supreme Court, to issue a decision on our entire case," said Patrick Kennell, a resident of 80 John St. and one of the plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Probation has already moved in to 66 John St. and is starting to see probationers there.

"There's additional security at that building that didn't exist there before," said Kennell. "They have a wand metal detector that wasn't there before."

He and the other plaintiffs feared that the presence of the Department of Probation on John Street would bring a criminal element to the community, where around 24,000 people currently live. The 66 John St. building is directly across from a pre-school and from a Pace University dormitory. More than 800 children go to pre-school within a three block radius of the building.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer



Downtown Weather
SNOW PEOPLE
 
Snow people in Battery Park City's South Cove. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Before rain and warmer weather melt them away, there's still time to admire the creativity that 14 snowfalls, one after the other, elicited. Snow people dotted the landscape. There was even one snow dog. Expect rain for the next few days, temperatures in the 40s and 50s, a partly cloudy weekend and maybe a few flowers. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer


 

 COMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETING: WEEK OF FEB. 17

Regulations regarding bus parking and idling will be discussed at Thursday's Community Board 1 Quality of Life meeting. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

All meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, at 6 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. All meetings are open to the public. Highlighted in red are some topics that may prove to be particularly interesting or contentious.

Feb. 20: Quality of Life Committee
* NYC DOT - Update on LMCCC transition
* Bus parking and idling policy enforcement - Presentation by Luis Sanchez, NYCDOT, Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner
* RoadRunners Half Marathon - Discussion with RoadRunners
* Community District 1 subway station survey by Pace University students - presentation
*  Police misconduct and citizen rights - Presentation by Carlmais Johnson, Manager, Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)
* Rodent Academy - preparations
* Fire Safety Forum - discussion
* Concerns regarding radon levels in gas delivered to NYC home - discussion
 

CALENDAR: Week of Feb. 17

Elizabeth Alexander, who read a poem at Obama's inauguration, lecturing at Yale University, where she teaches African-American studies. On Saturday, she will talk at Poets House in Battery Park City about poet Lucille Clifton.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Feb. 19: "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. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $39-$79. For more information and tickets, click here.

Feb. 19: Aruán Ortiz (piano), John Beasley (piano) and Adam Rudolph (hand percussion) play a lunchtime jazz concert in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, 220 Vesey St., as part of the "Voices of Freedom" series, which honors Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March. Free. Time: 12:30 p.m.

Feb. 19: "Dub is a Weapon" plays at Front/Row Stage, the Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street east of Water Street. Time: 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. For ages 21+. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 19: "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 seventh 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. 20: "Gent Treadly" with Charles Neville plays at Front/Row Stage, the Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street east of Water Street. Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free. For ages 21+. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 21: "Woodstock Revisited: Santana + Jimi Hendrix, featuring tribute bands Santanaria + Voodoo Child" plays at Front/Row Stage, the Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street east of Water Street. Time: 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Free. For ages 21+. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 22: Yale professor Elizabeth Alexander will talk about poet Lucille Clifton at Poets House. Her lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "come celebrate with me: The Work of Lucille Clifton," featuring rare photos, letters, manuscripts and more, from Emory University's Danowski Poetry Library at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library, on view at Poets House through March 14. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 3 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 for students and seniors; free to Poets House members.

Feb. 23: 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: "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.
  
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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