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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 47  April 2, 2014

Quote of the day:
"We'll be going to a nursery tomorrow to pick out the trees!" - Eric T Fleisher, horticultural director for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, on the replanting of trees lost to Superstorm Sandy

* A time to plant trees in Battery Park City
* Bits & Bytes: Silverstein seeks more subsidies; Port Authority in crisis; Brookfield Place shopping
* The Big Egg Hunt in Battery Park City
* Downtown Little League: Play Ball!
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of March 31
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Iris Reticulata 'Harmony' blooming on Rector Place in Battery Park City. April 1, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Battery Park City esplanade near Rector Place, showing the gaps left by trees that were weakened by Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012 and destroyed by a violent storm on May 11, 2013. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Clipboards in hand, arborists walked along the Battery Park City esplanade on April 1, taking notes on where the trees should go. Eric T Fleisher, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy's horticultural director, accompanied them. "We'll be going to a nursery tomorrow to pick out the trees!" he said.

The Battery Park City Authority is buying 34 trees to replace those destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and by a violent storm on May 11, 2013.

For almost a year, there have been massive gaps in the handsome allée of lindens along the esplanade between Liberty Street and Third Place. Many of the 35-year-old trees were weakened when Superstorm Sandy drowned their roots in salt water.

The second storm finished them off, toppling some of the lindens like toothpicks. They had to be cut up and carted away.

In addition, one of the most grievous losses was the Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood) on the esplanade at Third Place. A deciduous evergreen with a straight, tall trunk, it belonged to a species that dates back millions of years. For a long time, it was thought to be extinct, known only from fossils. Then a grove of Metasequoias was found in China in the early 1940s. All of the Metasequoias now extant descended from those Chinese trees.

The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy horticulturists waited patiently to see if the damaged trees would come back to life. Eventually, they had to acknowledge that there was no hope.

The replacement trees have been carefully selected for their tolerance to salt water and for rapid growth. Most of them will be Quercus rubra (northern red oak), a native of northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Tolerant of many growing conditions, Quercus rubra grows fast and can live hundreds of years.

Between Gateway Plaza and Rector Place, the Conservancy will plant Quercus acutissima (sawtooth oak), a native of China, Korea and Japan but widely planted in North America. This oak is of medium size and grows very fast. Though its acorns are bitter, pigeons and jays will eat them. Squirrels ignore them unless no other food is available.

A third kind of oak, Quercus robur (English oak), will go into some of the planting beds in South Cove. This tree is native to most of Europe. There are already a number of specimens in Battery Park City, and they did well when flooded by Sandy. Like some other oaks, these trees are long lived. There are examples of Quercus robur in Lithuania and Bulgaria that are thought to be more than 1,500 years old.

At the end of the esplanade, where the Metasequoia once provided a focal point, a Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) will be planted. Both are deciduous conifers with an ancient lineage. A specimen in North Carolina is known to be more than 1,620 years old. In 2012, scuba divers near Mobile, Ala., discovered some Taxodiums submerged under 60 feet of water. These trees are around 52,000 years old.  


Taxodiums are naturally swamp dwellers, and didn't mind Sandy's ravages. A nice stand of them lines the path on the north side of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. 


When the new Taxodium arrives, chances are that it will be around for a while.


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


The Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood) on the esplanade at Third Place as it looked on June 29, 2013. It was already dead and had to be cut down. It will be replaced by a Taxodium distichum (bald cypress). (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Bits & Bytes  

Real estate developer Larry Silverstein at the ribbon cutting for 4 World Trade Center on Nov. 13, 2013. Silverstein has a 99-year lease on Towers 2, 3 and 4 World Trade Center. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


"For a Ground Zero Developer Seeking Subsidies, More Is Never Enough," New York Times, 3/31/14. In a scathing article, The New York Times lambastes Larry Silverstein for repeatedly seeking (and getting) public subsidies for his World Trade Center towers. "The developer and philanthropist Larry A. Silverstein has cut a striking figure in New York City. He owns the H.M.S. Bounty-size yacht favored by his peers and has dominated the rebuilding of ground zero for a decade," says The Times. "Along the way, he has internalized a developer's rule of thumb in New York: Only a rube puts much of his own money at risk. Billions of dollars in Liberty bonds, insurance money, developer fees: Year after year, Mr. Silverstein has shaken the public tree and benefits have fallen to the ground. Construction of 4 World Trade Center is completed and it stands about half empty, with commitments from just two tenants: New York City and State. Now Mr. Silverstein wants to complete his 70-something-story 3 World Trade Center. He has found just one prospective tenant for it. City and state officials, ever helpful, agreed to give that company, GroupM, a $15 million cash subsidy and tax breaks worth about $75 million. Now Mr. Silverstein wants to shake the tree again." For the complete article, click here.

"Report Traces Port Authority's Flaws to a Crumbling Business Model," New York Times, 4/1/14. "As the furor over the [George Washington Bridge] lane closings has grown, engulfing Mr. Christie and several of his top aides, a review of [the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey] operations suggests that its familiar flaws - mismanagement, patronage, rivalries between the two states - are secondary to a decaying business model, done in by a relentless desire to expand beyond the agency's core transportation functions," says The New York Times. "In recent decades, according to a new report, the agency has increasingly yielded to governors on fiscally dubious projects, contributing to a need in recent years to seek new revenue from bridge and tunnel toll increases. The report, released on Tuesday from the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, says the agency spent more than $800 million from 2002 to 2012 on "regional projects" chosen by the governors' offices. In the coming years, the pace of spending on zero-return state projects is expected to accelerate." For the complete article, click here.

"Brookfield Place's Luxe Shopping And Chic Eats, Decoded," Fashion Week Daily, 3/31/14. Hot on the trail of "Condé's chicettes," who are slated to move into 1 World Trade Center in November, Fashion Week Daily took a behind-the-scenes look at the retailers who will open up shop at Brookfield Place (formerly called the "World Financial Center"), right across West Street in early 2015. "We rang up Ed Hogan, Brookfield Place's national director of retail leasing, to discuss the exceedingly upscale shopping, featuring the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo, Diane von Furstenberg, and Michael Kors, as well as the smorgasbord of eateries heading to the tip of Manhattan this May," says Fashion Week Daily. Hogan revealed that Brookfield is "developing a concierge program with a number of luxury brands. You can do valet parking. You can also have your luxury items sent to your home country, hotel, or home when you're done shopping." For the complete article, click here.

"Bethany Lyons on Opening Manhattan's First Baptiste Yoga Studio,", 3/24/14. Yoga with Bethany Lyons is hot. She "swept our 2014 Best New Yoga Studio Poll with Lyons Den-a Tribeca space offering Baptiste-style classes (the first of their kind in Manhattan)," says Yoga with Ms. Lyons takes place in a room heated to between 90º and 95º F. "You'll definitely sweat," she says. Baptiste yoga "can be a bit intense," says Racked, but "Bethany herself is not. She bans mirrors in her studio, lets her pooch Josie have the run of Lyons Den, occasionally plays music during class, and starts her day with coffee-not green juice." For the complete article, click here.


Eggs for charity 
A Fabergé egg by Garry Grant with Sol Studio, on the plaza at Brookfield Place. Jersey City and a crescent moon are in the background. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Since yesterday, five eggs, each of them two-and-a-half feet tall, have been sitting in plain sight on Brookfield Plaza overlooking North Cove Marina in Battery Park City. But many of the more than 250 Fabergé eggs that have been deposited
An egg by Joyce J. Scott.
in various parts of the city will be trickier to find. Some of them are indoors, in fact.

All were decorated by artists and designers - Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Ralph Lauren, and Carolina Herrera among them. The public is invited to go on a five-borough Egg Hunt, using an app uploaded to their smartphones as a guide. When they find an egg, they can "check in" on their cellphone. When an egg has been discovered by 10 people, it will appear on the map. The egg hunt ends on April 17.

All participants are eligible to win a prize - one of three fabulous Fabergé egg-shaped pendants. One of them is encrusted with diamonds and rubies, another, with diamonds and emeralds, and a third, with diamonds and amethysts. They are valued at $30,000 to $50,000.

An egg by Antonio Murado.

At the end of the hunt, from April 18 to April 25, the decorated eggs will be displayed at Rockefeller Center and sold to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to charity. Bidding has already started at

The beneficiaries are Studio in a School, which brings visual arts and professional artists to more than 150 New York public schools each year, and Elephant Family, which is working to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction.

For more about The Big Egg Hunt, click here.  
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

As part of The Big Egg Hunt, people are invited to use their smartphones to photograph the eggs and to submit their photos to Instagram and Twitter.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Opening day of the 2012 Downtown Little League season.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

There will be 76 teams playing in the Downtown Little League this year, and 1,073 players - a record number.

DLL kicks off its 22nd season on Saturday, April 5, with a parade starting at City Hall Park at 8:30 a.m.. It will be led by DLL's new president Andrew Zelter, DLL secretary Dr. Marijo Russell O'Grady, Scooter from the Staten Island Yankees and the TriBattery Pops, conducted by Tom Goodkind.

Players, coaches and their families will follow the traditional parade route, escorted by officers from NYPD's First Precinct. They will arrive at the Battery Park City ball fields around 9 a.m., where they will be greeted by DLL Seniors and Juniors and escorted to the infield.

As always, there will be a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner and speeches from elected officials. The guest of honor this year is a four-time World Series champion and former Yankee great, Bernie Williams, who will address the crowd and be on hand to sign autographs for uniformed players. 

A street fair on Warren Street will begin around 9:30 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m., with baseball-themed carnival games, inflatable obstacle courses, a dunk tank, popcorn, cotton candy and hot dogs. There will also be a table in the PS 89 playground for "Pitch In for Baseball."  Volunteers will be on hand to accept donations of gently used and new baseball uniforms and equipment.

Opening Day festivities are once again being coordinated by lower Manhattan resident (and DLL parent) Diane Rohan of The Main Event.


Lunch at the Trading Post, 170 John St. The Trading Post is coming to CB1's Financial District Committee, seeking a change in its liquor license. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Community Board 1 committee meetings are held at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, unless otherwise indicated, and start at 6 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

April 2: Financial District Committee

* Fulton Center - Presentation on retail by George Giaquinto, Vice President, Westfield, and construction update by Uday Durg, Senior Vice President, MTA
* South Ferry Project - Update by Zachary Campbell, Assistant Director, MTA NYC Transit
* 24 John St. - Presentation by Mike Maisano, DUC Construction Corp
* Slip 1 Battery Wharf, application for a tavern (vessel) liquor license for Nautical Gourmet Inc. d/b/a Clipper City - Resolution
* 170 John St. alteration application for a liquor license for 170 John Street NYC Corp, d/b/a Trading Post - Resolution

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* Castle Clinton at Battery Park, renewal application for a motorized vessel liquor license for Statue Cruises LLC, d/b/a Lady Liberty
* Castle Clinton at Battery Park, renewal application for a motorized vessel liquor license for Statue Cruises LLC, d/b/a Miss Freedom
* Castle Clinton at Battery Park, renewal application for a motorized vessel liquor license for Statue Cruises LLC, d/b/a Statue of Liberty V
* 83 Maiden Lane, Store A, renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for Satellite Restaurant INC, d/b/a Toloache Taqueria
* 88 Fulton St., renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for, d/b/a Café 88
* The Bosque Area, Fountain and Carousel Kiosk renewal applications for wine and beer license for The Cleaver Company Inc., d/b/a Table Green
* 47 Broadway, renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for 47 RealOpp Corp., d/b/a TGI Friday's

CALENDAR: Week of March 31
Brunch cruise aboard Classic Harbor Line's yacht, Manhattan.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

April 4: Opening day for an exhibit called "Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII" in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The exhibit of 84 photographs by award-winning photojournalists was drawn from work produced over a period of 30 years in 30 different countries. Place: 220 Vesey St. Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Free. Through May 1. The public is invited to add smile photos to the exhibit by following @ArtsBrookfield on Instagram and Twitter and submitting your photo via Instagram and/or Twitter using hashtap #ShareMySmile. Also, answer in a few words, "What makes you smile?" Arts Brookfield will screen and add submissions on a rolling basis.

April 5: Opening day and street fair for the Downtown Little League. As always, the festivities will begin with a parade from City Hall to the Battery Park City ball fields. It will be followed by speeches, an opening day pitch and a carnival on Warren Street. Parade time: 8:30 a.m.

April 5: Leaving from Chelsea Piers, Classic Harbor Line offers Saturday and Sunday morning brunch cruises aboard its luxury yacht, Manhattan, from now through Oct. 12. The cruise of just under three hours, usually circumnavigates Manhattan. Passengers can sit in a cozy, glass-enclosed lounge or position themselves on the outdoor decks. A buffet includes bagels and pastries, fresh fruit, glazed ham, spring mix salad, stuffed quiche, a Belgian waffle station, smoked salmon, and turkey sausages.  One beverage in included (soda, juice, coffee, tea, beer, wine, champagne, Bloody Mary or Mimosa) with additional beverages available for purchase. Cost: $88/person. To buy tickets, click here.  
April 6: "America's Jews & America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Join author Larry Ruttman, longtime New York Times baseball writer Murray Chass, retired major league pitcher Bob Tufts and others to discuss the ever-evolving love affairs between Jews and the national pastime.  Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 2:30 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); $5 (members). To buy tickets, click here
April 6:  In a series of six Sunday concerts called "Lamentatio," Trinity Wall Street presents  early Renaissance music juxtaposed with contemporary music. The fifth concert features work by Bo Holten, Pawel Lukaszewski, Johannes Brahms, Thomas Jennefelt, David Lang and Joby Talbot Santiago performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street with Michael Zaugg conducting. 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.
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: "Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s" at the Fraunces Tavern
Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation's place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Place: 54 Pearl St. Time: Noon to 5 p.m., daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old. Children, 5 and under, free. Active military with ID, free. 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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