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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 50  April 9, 2014

Quote of the day:
"We want to make sure that every New Yorker feels personally invited." - Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island, on the plans for this summer.

* Coming attractions at Governors Island
* Letter to the editor: Landmarks preservation plus Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer calls for an end to 'Ambushes on our history'
* Bits & Bytes: Gardening volunteers; Bagels coming to Hudson Eats; Pier A update
* Friends of DeLury Square Park seek volunteers
* Community Board 1 meetings
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

A Fabergé egg on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. April 5, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Nolan Park on Governors Island. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
This summer, Governors Island is opening its arms as never before to serve as a backyard and playground for New Yorkers. "We want to make sure that every New Yorker feels personally invited," said Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island, the not-for-profit corporation created by New York City to redevelop and operate 150 of the island's 172 acres.

The remainder of the island is under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Service and is designated as a National Monument.

Governors Island is just 800 yards from Manhattan and even closer to Brooklyn.  This year, for the first time, it will be open daily, with 30 acres of new parkland created on some of the terrain formerly used by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army, previous occupants of the island.

On Liggett Terrace, visitors will find mobile seating, water features and a play area. The Hammock Grove will have 50 hammocks and 1,500 new trees. The Play Lawn will have 10 acres of open lawn and two natural turf ball fields.

The ball fields will be open this summer for use by permit. The Trust for Governors Island received numerous requests for all 19 weekends of public access from youth and adult leagues but there is still some time available on weekdays.  


For groups whose interests veer toward the arts, the Trust makes almost two dozen historic homes on the island available for programming. In addition, there are 20 acres of outdoor space for use by arts, cultural and recreational groups to present programs that are free and open to the public. The Trust received twice as many permit applications as at this time last year.  


There will be a record number of dance groups performing on Governors Island this season, said Koch.  


With so much to see and do, transportation around the island becomes important. There are more than five miles of biking roads available on the island in the Historic District and in the new park.

In previous years, bicycles had been free on Fridays. This year, bicycles will be free every weekday morning from 10 a.m. to noon and there will be more free bikes available than ever before. Blazing Saddles, the concessionaire, offers bicycles for kids as well as for adults plus tandems and quadracycles. In addition, many people bring their own bicycles on the ferries that connect Governors Island with Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

There will be ferries from Manhattan seven days a week, and from Brooklyn on weekends. To pay for increased access and operational costs, the ferry ride, previously free, will cost $2 round trip for adults on weekdays and weekend afternoons, and $1 round trip for seniors. Children under the age of 12 will ride free. Weekend mornings will remain free for all.  


Although pipelines are being installed that will connect Governors Island with a water supply in Brooklyn, there is still no potable water on the island. But there will be a lot of food choices, seven  days a week.


The island will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day.


When the island opens for the summer, the Trust for Governors Island website will have up-to-date information about programming and ferry schedules. For a preview, click here.


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


Ferries to and from Governors Island will make one round trip every hour.

Fort Jay on Governors Island was built in 1794. 

The Commander's House. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Letter to the editor

45-51 Park Place.
(Photo: Courtesy of Tribeca Trust) 
The background: SoHo Properties filed papers with the Department of Buildings on April 7 to demolish the buildings at 45-51 Park Place. They date from the mid-19th century and most recently housed a community center and Muslim prayer space known as Park51. In 2010, the buildings were the center of an intense controversy over a proposal to tear them down and build a 13-story building on the site that would also have been a community center and prayer space but on a much larger scale. The plan had its defenders and its detractors, who said that what they called the "Ground Zero mosque" was too close to the "sacred ground" where the Twin Towers once stood. That plan fizzled as its backers, Sharif el-Gamal and Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, parted ways, but at the time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission declined to landmark the properties - paving the way for the current demolition plans. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

To the editor:
Here we go again, destroying useful and beautiful masonry structures that embody a rich commercial history in favor of over-scaled glass curtain walls. We are letting others rob of us our light, air, beauty, and our past. 
Woolworth building. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
This is not just happening on Park Place. Not far from 45-51 Park Place we are getting an immense tower behind the Woolworth building - one that nobody wants or needs except for Larry Silverstein [the developer of the tower]. Down the block another horrible tower arises on Park Place as well.

This is so wrong-headed as to boggle the brain. It is obvious that this stretch of Park Place belongs  in the Tribeca South Historic District. Yet the Landmarks Preservation Commission drags its feet on our request to expand Tribeca's historic districts. Instead, through deliberate neglect, it is handing over Park Place to real estate developers. This is tragic, especially when the Commission is supposed to be the steward, on our collective behalf, of the historic assets that make our city unique. Yet Park Place, and the whole area around the Woolworth building, are rapidly being eviscerated by excessive, unnecessary and inappropriate development.

The destruction of 45-51 Park Place represents the triumph of irresponsible real estate developers and the failure of government to act for the public good.  But let's be easy on the developers. Did we actually expect better from them? Current rules allow them to trample on the long-term public good for their own immediate gain. But we can expect more from the political system and from ourselves. Unless we ask our politicians to change the rules, the destruction will just keep happening. The rules now ignore the inter-generational value of the light, air, views, beauty, history, and impact on the surrounding historic districts. Shouldn't we have rules and procedures that allow consideration of these?  For example, why not require environmental impact statements before this kind of demolition can happen?

If the rules of the game are not changed, we are all worse off, as are generations to come. We create an unnecessary, pointless, and alienating disconnect from our past. We turn our city into a glass Dubai-on-the-Hudson and here, we let Park Place be turned into a dark canyon.

The only agency with the power to intervene is the Landmarks Preservation Commission and it will not act.  

Lynn Ellsworth, Chair
Tribeca Trust

From the editor:
In January, the Landmarks Preservation Commission turned down landmarking for Rizzoli Bookstore, located in a 109-year-old townhouse at 31 W. 57th St. Now the bookstore and two neighboring townhouses of similar vintage are slated for demolition. (For an article from International Business Times about the decision, click here.) This elicited an outcry from preservationists. On April 4, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and representatives from the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Historic Districts Council called for reforms to the landmarking process.

Brewer was quoted as saying, "The landmarks process requires reform; we must avoid more Rizzoli-like ambushes on our history." She and her colleagues asked that the LPC immediately study the remaining buildings on West 57th Street to identify and landmark those that represent the best of their era.

"I will introduce legislation that will require the LPC to follow transparent and consistent time frames in responding to future designation requests," Brewer said.

Peg Breen, executive director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, said, "The loss of Rizzoli should be a wake-up call."

"New York City's history belongs to everyone and we are in the process of losing it," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. He said that the community had repeatedly requested landmark protection for the Rizzoli bookstore, to no avail. A petition attempting to protect the store as an exterior and interior landmark garnered more than 15,000 signatures and was ignored.

Bankoff asked the de Blasio Administration and the Landmarks Preservation Commission to "take a strong stand to protect New York City's existing history."


Bits & Bytes  

Winter aconite and miniature irises blooming in Battery Park City. Volunteers are wanted to help tend BPC's spectacular gardens. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Gardening volunteers wanted: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy is renowned for its organic gardening methods and for the diversity and beauty of the 32 acres of parks and gardens that it tends in Battery Park City. Volunteers are wanted to work alongside the Conservancy's horticulturists on Wednesday mornings from May 7 to Oct. 29, 7:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, call (212) 267-9700, ext. 364.

"Hudson Eats Opens Next Month, Now With Bagels,", 4/8/14. "Black Seed, the wood-fired bagel shop currently in the works from Mile End's Noah Bernamoff and Matt Kliegman of The Smile, has just landed a second location in Brookfield Place," says "The duo will join the ranks of Umami Burger, Mighty Quinn's, Num Pang, Blue Ribbon Sushi, and others at the highly-anticipated Hudson Eats food hall, which Grub Street now learns is slated to open May 6." For the complete article, click here.

Pier A Update: Danny McDonald and Peter Poulakakos had hoped to open their restaurants on Pier A by Memorial Day, but now the opening has been pushed back to sometime in June.  A Downtown Post NYC request to take photographs inside Pier A was denied. "We have heard that they need to halt all tours as to not delay the progress on the plaza and interior construction any further," said Elizabeth Janis, a spokesperson for the project. "It's a construction zone at this stage and anyone outside the team (including us!) is not permitted to go in the building."

"Waterproofing program teaches New York City students how to swim,", 4/8/14. "Nearly 70% of African American children and nearly 60% of Hispanic children have little or no ability to swim," says ABC's Eyewitness News. "But come summer time, if they're by a pool or the ocean, the know-how could save their lives. And even before they get in the pool, there's a learning curve because many of these kids have never been in the water." Since 1994, Asphalt Green has been running a "Waterproofing" program to teach kids how to swim. So far, 30,000 children have gone through the free program. This year, Asphalt Green Battery Park City is participating, which will enable 300 more children to get swimming lessons. For the ABC local news report, click here. For Asphalt Green's description of the program, click here.


DeLury Square Park is a small park on Fulton Street between Ryders Alley and Gold Street. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

DeLury Square Park on Fulton Street is a postage stamp compared with some of Lower Manhattan's other parks, but in an area notable for its lack of green space of any kind, it is an oasis.

A mere 8,850 square feet, it has a water feature, boulders, winding paths and benches. Daffodils, hellebore, and squill are already blooming in its diminutive gardens, with more spring flowers about to blossom any day.

Financed with nearly $2.3 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the park opened in 2010. It was named for John DeLury Sr., who founded Local 831 of the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association in 1956 and was its president until 1978.

A volunteer group, the Friends of DeLury Square Park, was formed two years later to help care for the park. Now it is seeking additional volunteers to help with spring planting, scheduled for May 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and with an Arts & Crafts fundraising event on May 16 and 17.

"This small park gets a lot of hard use," said Veronica Ryan-Silverberg, the group's coordinator. She said that the park is used extensively by tourists and by the many new residents in the area. Several high-rise apartment buildings will soon be built on the Fulton Street corridor, which will only add to the wear and tear on the park.

Friends of DeLury Square Park meet once a month. For more information or to volunteer, email

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Hellebore and daffodils blooming in DeLury Square Park. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee will discuss safety in Hudson River Park and how it can be improved. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Community Board 1 meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

April 9:        Tribeca Committee

* SoHo Rep Theater - Update by Cynthia Flowers, Executive Director
* Heritage of Pride June 2014 events on Pier 26, Hudson River Park - Update by Chris Frederick, Managing Director
* Hudson River Park safety - Update by Bob Townley and resolution
* 145 West Broadway, renewal application for a sidewalk café license for The Odeon Inc, d/b/a The Odeon - Resolution
* 22 Warren St., application for transfer of restaurant liquor license for LLC to be formed d/b/a TBD - Resolution
* Friends of Duane Park, street activity permit application for Duane Street between Hudson Street and Staple Street, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., curb lane only - Resolution
* 50 Varick St., Spring Studios, request for a waiver of further notice - Vote
* 92 Laight St., application for Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit for a physical culture establishment - Resolution
* 97 Reade St., application for Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit for a physical culture establishment - Resolution
* 225 North Moore St. (boat docked at Pier 25), application for liquor license for Grand Banks LLC - Resolution
* 205 Hudson St., application for alteration of restaurant liquor license for AFNYC LLC d/b/a American Flatbread NYC - Resolution

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 139 Duane St., application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for Strongfive LLC d/b/a Blaue Gans
* 135 Reade St., renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for The Reade Street Pub

CALENDAR: Week of April 7
Reserve now for the block printing workshop on April 19 at Bowne Printers, part of the South Street Seaport Museum. The workshop will be led by Ali Osborn. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
April 10
: On the eve of what would have been Seamus Heaney's 75th birthday, poet Tom Sleigh presents a discussion of the use of description in the beloved Irish poet's masterful poems, exploring and celebrating Heaney's humane marveling at the life of the senses and the natural surfaces of the world. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Time: 7 p.m. Fee: $10; $7 (students and seniors);  free to Poets House members. For more information, click here.

April 10: Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights in Jazz presents "Cabaret Jazz" with Barbara Carroll, Jay Leonhart and Andy Bey at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Place: 199 Chambers St. Time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $45. To buy tickets, click here.

April 12: 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 13:  In a series of six Sunday concerts called "Lamentatio," Trinity Wall Street presents  early Renaissance music juxtaposed with contemporary music. The sixth concert features the North American premiere of "The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" by Gabriel Jackson performed by NOVUS NY with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the Choir of Merton College Oxford,  Benjamin Nicholas conducting. Place: Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 5 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Reserve now: Bowne Printers, part of the South Street Seaport Museum, is offering a "Block Party Workshop" on Saturday, April 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Printer Ali Osborn will teach the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks. Arrive with a few ideas for images and Osborn will teach how to transfer them from block to paper. At the end of the workshop, he will pull prints of everyone's blocks locked up on the museum's vintage Vandercook press. All materials are supplied. Place: 211 Water St. Fee: $50; $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). $15 non-refundable deposit for materials due by April 12. Email or call (646) 628-2707 for reservations.

Reserve now: Celebrate Easter on April 20 with brunch and a festive, two-hour cruise around New York harbor aboard Hornblower Infinity. The cruise includes bottomless cocktails, a full breakfast buffet and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. In addition, there will be a live jazz band on board. The ample menu features breakfast selections (eggs, sausages, bacon, home fries, French toast, fruit, muffins, Danish and bagels) a carving station, roast chicken, fish, salads, desserts, coffee and tea. The cruise leaves from Pier 40 at Houston Street. Boarding begins at noon and the ship sails from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets:  Adults, $78.25 with tax and fees;  seniors/military rate, starting at $70.43; children, starting at $46.95. Children, 3 and under, free. This week only, Hornblower New York is offering a 25% discount on the Easter brunch cruise. Use promo code EGG25 at checkout for the discount. To book the cruise, click here.

Ongoing: An exhibit called "Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII" is 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.
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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