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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 39  March 14, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE

Quote of the day:
"We mostly get by on small, public donations (but we are never pushy) and dumpster diving. We could continue to do the same, but we want to expand the program." - Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, on why the free, public kayaking program that he heads is seeking contributions. 
 
* Downtown Boathouse wins bid for Pier 26
* Brunch in the South Street Seaport
* Seaport Working Group holds third meeting
* Bits & Bytes: Moms return to Wall St.; Tribeca Crunch unlikely; Pace nails down dorm deal
* New York Road Runners take lower Manhattan on Sunday
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Sunrise in Battery Park City's Wagner Park. March 14, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

DOWNTOWN BOATHOUSE WINS BID FOR PIER 26;
FREE KAYAKING WILL RESUME THERE THIS SPRING

Kayakers from the Downtown Boathouse assisting at a swimming race.
(Photo courtesy of the Downtown Boathouse)

 

Joyfully, on March 26, Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, sent an email to its members. "At 6 p.m. tonight, the Hudson River Park Trust officially announced at the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee meeting that the Downtown Boathouse has won the bid to run the Pier 26 boathouse," he wrote.  "We anticipate returning to our original Downtown home sometime in late April 2014."

 

It only took 10 years to pull this off.  

 

The Downtown Boathouse runs what is reputedly the world's largest free kayaking program. It is staffed by volunteers and provides free equipment and instruction. It was incorporated in 1994 and moved to Pier 26 at North Moore Street in Hudson River Park in 1995. But in 2004, the Downtown Boathouse had to vacate the pier and suspend its operations there. The pier was in bad shape and needed to be rebuilt. At the time, it was thought that it would take three years or so to finish. 

 

After Pier 26 closed, the Downtown Boathouse opened a smaller facility on Pier 40 in addition to other kayaking locations at Pier 96 in midtown, in Riverside Park at 72nd Street and on Governors Island. But the members always hoped that it could return to Pier 26.

 

Before it can reopen on Pier 26, the Hudson River Park Trust will have to get a certificate of occupancy for the building. Birchall said that, "We don't really know much about the boathouse design. We only got to have one tour, and that was at night."   

  

In addition to the boathouse, it will have a restaurant, but that will not open until next summer.   

 

"A key part of our bid to get the Pier 26 boathouse was that it should serve the needs of the local community," said Birchall. "One major need is for increased recreational space, which we hope to address in our own small way with our free kayaking program."

 

In 2012, more than 37,500 people kayaked with the Downtown Boathouse. That represented approximately 60 percent of all the people who went kayaking in New York City.    

 

Although the Downtown Boathouse is free, it could use some money to buy kayaks and docks. "We never charge for anything," said Birchall. "We also do not get any government grants or corporate funding for ongoing operations. We mostly get by on small, public donations (but we are never pushy) and dumpster diving. We could continue to do the same, but we want to expand the program, hence the need for funds."   

 

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer  

 

 For more information about the Downtown Boathouse, click here.  

 

Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, making a presentation to Community Board 1's Waterfront Committee about where kayaks can be launched around New York City. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


 

South Street Seaport
SEAPORT BRUNCH: ACQUA, BARBALU, COWGIRL SEAHORSE,
FRESH SALT, JEREMY'S ALE HOUSE, PARIS CAFE


Brunch at Fresh Salt, 146 Beekman St. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

 

When Meade's at 22 Peck Slip closed a few weeks ago, some of the staff went to work at Jeremy's Ale House right around the corner at 228 Front St., taking Meade's brunch menu with them. Now Jeremy's has joined the group of South Street Seaport restaurants that open their doors on Saturdays and Sundays to people who want a break from the week. Brunch in the Seaport is both relaxing and a good deal.  

 

At Jeremy's, with its he-man, frat house ambiance, drinking and eating are equally important.  $25 buys one entrée plus "bottomless" Bloody Marys, Mimosas or Genesse/Lager Cream Ales. For the non-drinkers, one entrée plus coffee, tea and/or juice costs $12. The entrées include spinach and goat cheese omelets, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and eggs Benedict, plus several other choices. Brunch is served on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. www.jeremysalehouse.com  

 

Eggs Benedict at Barbalu.

Two Seaport restaurants serve brunch with an Italian accent. The brunch menu at Barbalu, 227 Front St., changes weekly but typically will include eggs Benedict made with pancetta, a ham and provolone omelet or pesto scrambled eggs with tomato salad. The $15 price includes coffee or cappuccino. The skylit back room would be a nice place to sit. Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.barbalu.com 

    

Acqua at 21 Peck Slip is another Italian outpost in the Seaport. Its version of eggs Benedict places two poached eggs on top of homemade focaccia with roasted porchetta and tomato hollandaise sauce.  Asparagus is served with truffled scrambled eggs over bruschetta. There are other choices, all accompanied by organic mixed greens and a choice of a Bellini, Mimosa, Prosecco, Bloody Mary, soda or juice. Prices range from $16 to $18. Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.  www.acquarestaurantnyc.com 

 

Neighbors catch up with each other when they meet for brunch at Fresh Salt, 146 Beekman St. They cluster around the bar inside or linger at the sidewalk tables with their baby carriages and dogs. The brunch menu includes omelets, pancakes, quiche, French toast with fresh fruit,  homemade mac and cheese and several other choices, all served with coffee, tea, juice or soda for $13. Bellinis, Mimosas and Bloody Marys are available for an extra $8 or $9. Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. freshsalt.com  

 

The Paris Café at 119 South St. is delightful, with its excellent food, its friendly staff and its historic ambiance. The handsome Victorian bar dates from 1873 when a restaurant first opened on this site. For some quiet conversation, take a table in the back room and select from a menu of omelets, eggs Benedict, French toast, pancakes, salmon Benedict or steak and eggs accompanied by several tasty side dishes. The prices range from $12 to $18 and include a choice of Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Mimosa or Bellini. Coffee and tea are extra. A Kids' Menu offers grilled cheese with fries and chicken fingers in addition to most of the things on the adult menu but in smaller portions and at reduced prices. Brunch hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.thepariscafenyc.com   

 

Cowgirl Seahorse at 259 Front St. is definitely kid friendly. There are children there of all ages most of the time, from infants on up. The Southwest-inflected brunch menu includes such items as the "Texas Two Step," two eggs any style, a biscuit and avocado-tomatillo salsa and adobe sauce with choice of meat ($10.95) or the "Seahorse Cyclone," three scrambled eggs, green chiles, pepper jack, tomatoes, bacon and onions ($10.95) - but the menu goes on for several pages. All entrées come with a choice of breakfast potatoes or cheese grits. There are lots of dessert choices. Kids should like that. Maybe grown-ups will like that, too. Brunch hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  www.cowgirlseahorse.com 

 

 

Brunch at The Paris Café, 119 South St. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
Brunch at Jeremy's Ale House, 228 Front St.


 

South Street Seaport  
SEAPORT WORKING GROUP HOLDS THIRD MEETING

Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport with shipping containers erected by The Howard Hughes Corporation in place in front of the Fulton Market building.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

 

The Seaport Working Group, a committee assembled to advise on development plans for the South Street Seaport, held its third meeting yesterday at the office of City Councilmember Margaret Chin. The committee is made up of elected officials, community stakeholders and representatives of The Howard Hughes Corporation and the New York City Economic Development Corp., the landlord for much of the Seaport. 

 

No reporters were present and committee members are not allowed to reveal what happens at the meetings. Councilmember Chin's office issued the following statement:  

 

"Today, members reached a consensus for the geographic scope of the Group's work, and began an initial discussion of long- and short-term planning priorities for development in the Seaport area, including resiliency, transit, preservation, and public access. The Group also took a deep dive into existing land use frameworks that will play an important role in the public review of any plans moving forward, such as zoning and landmarks processes."

The next meeting of the Seaport Working Group will take place on March 20 at 5 p.m. in the office of New York State Senator Daniel Squadron. 

 


Bits & Bytes  
MOMS RETURN TO WALL ST.; TRIBECA CRUNCH UNLIKELY; PACE NAILS DOWN DORM DEAL; SANDY-DAMAGED TUNNEL UNDERPASS STILL DARK

The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel during Superstorm Sandy. (Photo: Jay Fine)

 

"Moms get back to business on Wall Street," Crain's New York Business, 3/13/14. A growing number of women are being "targeted by Wall Street, which is focusing on beefing up its diversity as the economy recovers," says Crain's New York Business. Many of these women dropped out of the financial services workforce to raise children. "In a search for new talent and an effort to stem a decline in female executives, Wall Street firms are rolling out programs ... to try to snag the best and brightest high achievers who are ready to opt back in. The past several years have been brutal for women in finance. In the decade between 2002 and 2012, 200,000 women left the finance and insurance industries, even as 237,000 men came in, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And between 2007 and 2011, the number of female executives among top management at financial firms dropped to 28.4% from 30%." For the complete article, click here.  

 

"Judge Warns Against Crunch Lease at 140 Franklin," Commercial Observer, 3/13/14. "A judge yesterday denied a preliminary injunction against the owner of the lone commercial condominium unit at 140 Franklin Street, Lily Realty, and its proposed lessee, Crunch," says Commercial Observer. "But he found that the condo board has shown a likelihood of success in prevailing in its lawsuit that the proposed use by the gym is incompatible with the building's condo documents." Commercial Observer quotes an attorney for the condo board as saying, "Our lawsuit is pending but nothing will happen unless Lily signs a lease with Crunch which I don't see them doing based on the court's ruling that the condo has shown a likelihood of success." The attorney, David Pfeffer of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, said that he believed that Lily "will likely go on to find an acceptable tenant and we will ultimately discontinue the lawsuit." For the complete article, click here.

"Pace finalizes $42M deal for Downtown dorm space,"
The Real Deal, 3/13/14. "SL Green Realty, Jeff Sutton and a large Israeli insurance firm conveyed an unusual type of condominium interest for the dormitory portion of the newly-constructed, Lower Manhattan tower at 182 Broadway valued at $42.1 million to Pace University, according to sources and city records," says The Real Deal. "SL Green and partners constructed the 23-story building at the corner of Broadway and John Street, which was completed in 2013, and divided it into one retail and one dormitory condominium unit. In this transaction, Pace effectively acquired a form of lease on the dorm condo unit, which covers floors four through 23, while SL Green, Harel and Sutton remain in control of the lower level through the third floor, insiders said." For the complete article, click here.

"Underpass to Battery Tunnel Still Without Working Lights 16 Months After Sandy," NY1, 3/12/14. Ever since Superstorm Sandy flooded the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on Oct. 29, 2012, drivers heading into the tunnel from the West Side Highway face a wall of darkness in the underpass, says NY1. "Even during the daytime, it's dark inside this access roadway to the tunnel, formally known as the Hugh L. Carey." In addition to the overhead lights, traffic signals and the electronic sign aren't working. "Besides the lighting issue, the underpass has space for two lanes of traffic, but only one is open. Drivers who are familiar with the darkness say they turn on the headlights to prepare," according to NY1. "The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is the responsibility of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but the underpass is actually under the jurisdiction of the city's Department of Transportation." For the complete article, click here.


 



Race finish
NY ROAD RUNNERS TAKE LOWER MANHATTAN ON SUNDAY

 

The annual 13.1-mile New York City Half Marathon ends in Lower Manhattan. The race starts in Central Park at 7:30 a.m. (wheelchairs start at 7:10 a.m.) and finishes at Water Street (just south of Maiden Lane) up to three hours later.

  

There will be heavy pedestrian traffic in Battery Park and particularly around the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Access to Battery Park City will be limited between Liberty and Vesey Streets. There will also be limited access to Water and South Streets between John and Whitehall Streets. Additional street closures in Lower Manhattan will cause traffic delays.  For course updates and entertainment information, click here.

 

This race awards a total of $100,000 in prizes, with $20,000 awarded to the first place men's and women's winners in the "open" division. But everyone who watches the race can take away something special. Shops and restaurants along the route are offering discounts to "Run the City" passholders. To download a pass, click here.  

 

Some of the participating restaurants are for "runners only" and their guests, but some have no restrictions. Among the restaurants in lower Manhattan with special offers for everyone are:

 

Crêpes Du Nord, Dates Available: Sat., March 15-Sun., March 16; Address: 17 South William St.;
Offer: 15 percent off lunch or dinner bill; $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys; 10 percent off brunch bill; Website: www.crepesdunord.com

Financier Patisserie, Dates Available: Mon., March 10-Sun.; Address: 10 Manhattan locations (including Stone Street);  Offer: Complimentary upgrade on any coffee purchase (Example: a medium size is upgraded to a large); Website: www.nycpastry.com

Giardino D'Oro Ristorante Italiana, Dates Available: Fri., March 14-Sun., March 16; Address: 5 Gold St.; Offer: 10 percent off the bill with purchase of an entrée (Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.); Website: www.giardinodoro.com

Iron Horse NYC, Dates Available: Sun., March 16, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Address: 32 Cliff St.; Offer: Free burger or hotdog with any drink purchase of $3 and up; Website: www.facebook.com/IHNYC

Liam's Pub and Restaurant, Dates available: Mon., March 10-Sun., March 16; Address: 90 Fulton St.; Offer: 10 percent off bill; Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liams-Pub-and-Restaurant/466733203390524

MarkJoseph Steakhouse, Dates Available: Mon., March 10-Sun., March 16; Address: 261 Water St.; Offer: 10 percent off the bill (not to be used with any other promotions, offers, or discounts); Website: www.MarkJosephSteakhouse.com 

Open Kitchen, Dates Available: Sun., March 16; Address: 15 William St.; Offer: For breakfast, with any breakfast sandwich or platter over $5, get a free 12-ounce coffee; for lunch or dinner, with any sandwich or platter over $8, get a free 16-ounce Poland Spring water

Smorgas Chef, Dates Available: Sat., March 15-Sun., March 16; Address: 53 Stone St.; Offer: 15 percent off lunch or dinner bill; $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys; 10 percent off brunch bill; Website: www.smorgas.com

Stone Street Tavern, Dates Available: Sunday, March 16; Address: 52 Stone St.; Offer: Special prix-fixe brunch for $20 per person. Includes: Market Greens Salad with house-made vinaigrette and choice of one of the following: Hangover Burger, Huevos Quesadilla, or Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich; Website: www.stonestreettavernnyc.com

T.J. Byrnes Bar & Restaurant, Dates Available: Mon., March 10-Sun., March 16; Address: 77 Fulton St.; Offer: 10 percent off food bill, plus $4 domestic beer and $5.50 imports; Website: tjbyrnes.com

Ulysses' Folk House, Dates Available: Sun., March 16; Address: 95 Pearl St.; Offer: Unlimited brunch buffet with complimentary Guinness, Bloody Mary, or mimosa for $25 per person; Website: www.ulyssesnyc.com    


CALENDAR: Week of March 10
Ali Osborn, printer at Bowne Printers, watches Jenny Hayward pull a print from the Vandercook press during a Block Party workshop at Bowne Printers.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
March 15: Block Party Workshop at Bowne Printers, 211 Water St., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Resident printer Ali Osborn will teach the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks. Come to the workshop with a couple of ideas for images and learn how to transfer your design from block to paper. At the end of the workshop, everyone's designs will be locked up together (you'll find out exactly what that means) and printed on the South Street Seaport Museum'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. 10 person limit. Fee: $50; $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). Email [email protected] or call (646) 628-2707 for reservations. 

March 15:  Walking tour: Seaport Series: Repairing the Rift. When the FDR elevated highway cut through the South Street Seaport in 1954, it had a profound impact on the feel and flow of the area. The tour will be led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design's Adam Lubinsky and artist and designer Yeju Choi. It will explore the proposed site of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach, part of the East River Blueway Plan, and the pop-up participatory installation Catch - & - Release, part of the Design/Relief initiative by AIGA New York, to understand how social and infrastructural strategies for addressing the void created by the FDR can work hand-in-hand to reconnect the neighborhood with its waterfront. Tickets,  $25; $15 OHNY (members). For more information and reservations, click here

 

March 16:  In a series of Sunday concerts called "Lamentatio," Trinity Wall Street presents six performances of early Renaissance music juxtaposed with contemporary music. The second concert features Golijov's Tenebrae for string quartet, clarinet and soprano; Barber's Adagio;  Nathan Shields' Tenebrae for harp and string quartet and Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, Decoda and the Choir of Merton College, Oxford. Place: Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 5 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information or to buy tickets, click here. Concerts every Sunday through April 13.
 
Through March 14: 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. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Free. For more information, including hours, 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.

Register Now:  The Seaport: A Place in the Making, Talks and Charrette at Pace University.  The South Street Seaport is a place with a rich history and meaning to New York. Its federal-style brick buildings and historic boats, rich culinary and waterfront culture, and the long presence of an arts community are among its assets. This talk and charrette will consider how we can use design to make these cultural gems more visible and create a more vibrant place in Lower Manhattan.

The talk: Susan Silberberg, the critically acclaimed expert on placemaking and founding director of CivicMoxie, author of Place in the Making (MIT), will discuss the interactions between placemaking, arts and culture, inclusive participation, and the expanding ways communities are collaborating to make great public spaces. Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The charrette: Participate in an interactive, fun workshop to help the Seaport community collectively identify the hidden cultural gems and untold stories in the Seaport and raise their visibility. Introduction by Seaport's Fresh Salt Sara Willams and Design/Relief's Catch*Release team will precede the workshop. Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Aniello Bianco Room, ground floor, Pace University, One Pace Plaza (use the side entrance of the Schimmel Theater on Spruce Street). Free. To register, click here.



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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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