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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 54  April 18, 2014

YESTERDAY, Constant Contact, the email carrier for Downtown Post NYC, was "down" for more than 10 hours because of a power failure. Information about the situation was posted on Downtown Post NYC's website and on its Facebook page and Twitter. Should a problem occur in the future, consult these places for more information. 

Quote of the day:

"We're working with the Seaport Museum to support their efforts."- Cameron Clark, vice president of Hornblower Cruises, on what will happen to Wavertree's berth on Pier 15 when Wavertree goes into shipyard for repairs.

* Hornblower cruises offers multilingual harbor tours
* Seaport News: Working Group update; Seaport panel; Seaport book talk; Seaport fête
* Bits & Bytes: Estuarium for Pier 26; Tribeca gets wine bar; Southbridge Towers gets offering plan
* Downtown bulletin board: Old Seaport Kids' Academy; Scholarships for chefs
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

The Titanic Memorial Lighthouse in the South Street Seaport was erected by public subscription in 1913 and once stood atop the Seamen's Church Institute. It commemorates the people who died when the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912. April 17, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Chinese tourists on Pier 15 before boarding a Hornblower harbor cruise.  
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

A group of Chinese tourists in brightly colored parkas hurried across South Street and onto Pier 15, headed for the Hornblower Serenity, where a sign in Chinese reassured them that they were in the right place. New York City can be overwhelming for tourists at best, but with a significant language barrier, even more so.

Hornblower Cruises gives these visitors a break. In partnership with Hu Business International Sightseeing, Hornblower has been offering New York harbor cruises in Mandarin for several months. This has worked out so well, that Hornblower is expanding its multilingual offerings to include Italian, Portuguese, German, French, Japanese and Spanish.

"New York is such a visual experience and you see such great things, but if you don't know what you're looking at, you don't really appreciate the history or learn about the culture," said Cameron Clark, vice president and general manager at Hornblower Cruises and Events. He said that Horblower's goal is to make sure that visitors not only see the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and other harbor attractions, but are "actually able to understand a little bit more about the history and the culture."

Each passenger receives an MP3 player, included in the ticket price, with the narrated harbor tour. "It becomes part of their experience that they can take home," said Clark.

The one-hour tour costs $28 with discounts for seniors.

These tours leave from Pier 15. In the evening, there are two-hour cocktail cruises, also leaving from Pier 15. "They give visitors
an opportunity to get out on the water without committing a whole night," said Clark. The cocktail cruises go out from Tuesday to Sunday, principally on the Hornblower Hybrid unless the Hybrid has a private charter.

In addition, Hornblower offers Sunday jazz brunch cruises and three-hour dinner cruises on Thursdays and Saturdays, leaving from Pier 40.

At the moment, the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner Wavertree is berthed on the north side of Pier 15. Wavertree is scheduled to go into shipyard this summer for six months of repairs. When that happens, Clark said that he believed that Hornblower will be using that side of the pier, but "we're working with the Seaport Museum to support their efforts," he said. "We don't have any business plan yet." He said that the north side of Pier 15 would be available to Hornblower if Wavertree weren't there.

What happens when Wavertree returns from shipyard will
depend on the Seaport Museum's long-term vision, Clark said - specifically what's happening with the Peking, the museum's 102-year-old barque, which it has been trying to repatriate to Hamburg, Germany. "I don't have an answer to that to date," he said. "It's too early to be able to tell. The [north side of the pier] is the Seaport Museum's if they need it. It's only available to us if it's not being used by them."


Clark said that Jonathan Boulware, the South Street Seaport Museum's interim president, "is finding ways that we can create combo packages and offers to drive some of our people to visit the Peking and the Ambrose [the museum's historic lightship]. If we can drive some of our traffic that way, that would be a great one for them. We're in the maritime industry, too, so as a maritime operator supporting the museum would be really exciting."


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


For information about Hornblower Cruises' harbor excursions, click here.  





The Howard Hughes Corp. is currently demolishing Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Update: Seaport Working Group
At this past Thursday's meeting, members of the Seaport Working Group received a comprehensive presentation on waterfront design, activation and ecology. In addition, they further developed guidelines and principles relating to waterfront design and resiliency and defined further the concepts generated in earlier discussions. 

The meeting took place at the office of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, landlord for much of the South Street Seaport. Members of the working group will meet again at the EDC office on Thursday, April 24.

The Seaport Working Group was convened to help determine the Seaport's future. The group has been meeting weekly since Feb. 27. It is made up of elected officials, community stakeholders, Community Board 1 members and representatives of The Howard Hughes Corporation and the New York City Economic Development Corp.
No reporters are present for its meetings and committee members are not allowed to reveal what is said. Its recommendations will be advisory and non-binding.

Seaport Panel: Who Owns the Waterfront?
In the midst of negotiations about development in the South Street Seaport, a panel with deep knowledge about its past and with great concerns about its future will discuss "Who Owns the Waterfront?" on May 15 at Pace University.

Topics will include the history of the New York City waterfront, historic preservation, waterfront development and the public trust doctrine.

Panelists include Daniel E. Estrin, supervising attorney, Environmental Litigation Clinic, Pace Law School; Andrew Genn, senior vice president of ports and transportation, NYC Economic Development Corp.; Robert LaValva, founder and president of the New Amsterdam Market; and Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. The moderator will be Jason J. Czarnezki, Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, Pace Law School.

Date: May 15. Time: 7 p.m. Place: Lecture Hall North, Pace University, One Pace Plaza. Free, but space is limited. RSVP to

Book Talk: Preserving South Street Seaport
The current clash of visions over what should happen to the South Street Seaport has numerous antecedents, as James M. Lindgren, professor of history at SUNY Plattsburgh, points out in his recently published book, "Preserving South Street Seaport" (New York University Press, 2014). The fact that there is any Seaport left to preserve, he says, is due to dogged persistence on the part of a few people, the vagaries of politics, a few wealthy patrons who decided to support the fledgling South Street Seaport Museum, a rag-tag army of volunteers who shored it up more than once, and the fulminations of Ada Louise Huxtable, the first full-time architecture critic for The New York Times. The destruction of Penn Station was "a turning point for her," Lindgren writes. In 1960, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association supported a Rockefeller plan to tear down the Seaport's old buildings and replace them with high rises. Huxtuble called that "occupational insanity" and deplored the D-LMA's "uncontrollable urge for the crashing roar of bulldozers clearing away the past."

Lindgren quotes a 1961 article that Huxtable wrote for The New York Times Sunday magazine after walking the Seaport - in Lindgren's words, "one of the city's few areas with an intact early nineteenth-century flavor." She saw "eloquent reminders of sailing and shipbuilding, of schooners and spices, of a fascinating, vital chapter of New York's early commercial life." Huxtable called for "judiciously mixing the old and new."

Lindgren will talk about the Seaport and his book at The Paris Cafe on Monday, April 21. Place: 119 South St. Time: 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Free, but reservations are required. To register, call (212) 988-8379 or email

South Street Seaport Museum celebrates new season
The South Street Seaport Museum will be celebrating on Saturday, April 26 with a taste of what the summer season will bring. The April 26 festivities will include ship tours, wood carving, sail raising, live music, local food, vendors, New York harbor souvenirs, and "living history."

The celebration will take place rain or shine between noon and 5 p.m. with a bell-ringing ceremony and remarks at 2 p.m.

The 102-year-old barque, Peking, the 1885 schooner, Pioneer, the tugboat, W. O. Decker, and the lightship, Ambrose will be open to visitors as will the Bowne stationery and printing shops on Water Street. The museum has a great new website. Check it out.  Click here.


Bits & Bytes  

4 World Trade Center at dusk, with reflections of the sunset and of 1 World Trade Center in its shimmering surface. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Pier 26 lands new education, research center," Crain's New York Business, 4/18/14. "A new educational facility will be built on Hudson River Park's Pier 26," Crain's New York Business reports. "The Pier 26 Estuarium, which will also be used for research purposes will focus on the Hudson River Estuary, where ocean and fresh water meet and mingle with the tides. It will be housed on the pier which lies between Hubert and North Moore streets in TriBeCa," says Crain's. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who made the announcement on Friday, April 18, said that, "This new center will allow us to expand our research and understanding of the historic Hudson River Estuary, which is one of New York's greatest resources for supporting environmental awareness and protection." The Estuarium will be funded with a $10 million grant mostly coming from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "The new facility would join a restaurant and a boathouse also slated for the site," says Crain's. For the complete article, click here.

"Racines, A French Wine Bar With a Michelin-Starred Chef," (4/17/14) On Wednesday, restaurateur David Lanher opened "a location of his hit Parisian wine bar Racines on Chambers Street in Tribeca," says "For his first American project, Lanher partnered with David Lillie, the owner of Chambers Street Wines, and sommelier/FOH man Arnaud Tronche. The chef, Frédéric Duca, earned a Michelin star last year for his work at L'Instant d'Or in Paris." For the complete article, including photos, click here.

"Maki's 4 WTC offers shimmering perfection: Architecture Review," The Real Deal, 4/1/14. James Gardner, who writes for The Real Deal, loves the architecture of 4 World Trade Center. (So do we.) And he deplores the lack of coverage and recognition that it has received to date. "No high-profile New York City publications have written a truly critical appraisal of the project yet.," he says. "There was a time when any new building of such consequence in New York City (and many of far less consequence) would have received front-page coverage in the New York Times. Those days, sadly, are long past. This oversight is especially puzzling when you consider the importance of the project; the stature of its architect, Fumihiko Maki, and the fact that (after years of dithering, delay and breathless anticipation), we, the public, are finally allowed to enter the World Trade Center site." Gardner notes that, "Maki is a winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor, and it's clear he deserved it on the basis of 4 World Trade, which is surely one of the best buildings to rise in New York in some time." For the complete article, click here.

Southbridge Towers "black book" due next week: It has taken more than seven years for an offering plan for Southbridge Towers to emerge from the New York State Attorney General's office, but next week, the wait will be over. The plan will describe the pros and cons of converting Southbridge Towers' 1,651 co-op apartments from low-cost Mitchell-Lama ownership to market rate. The plan would need to be approved by two-thirds of the residents (each apartment in good standing gets one vote), in order to go through. The vote will occur in mid-June. The Southbridge Towers board of directors is sponsoring the plan. Fourteen members of the 15-member board are in favor of it. The Southbridge Towers complex dates from 1969. It consists of four 27-story towers and six low-rise buildings set on acreage bounded by Pearl, Frankfort, Gold and Fulton Streets. Read next week's Downtown Post NYC for more information.


Downtown bulletin board   

Amanda Byron Zink, owner of The Salty Paw at 38 Peck Slip, with Clara, who attended a "basic pet care class" at the Old Seaport Kids' Academy.
(Photo: Courtesy of The Salty Paw)

Old Seaport Kids' Academy:

The Old Seaport Kids' Academy classes started this past week and will continue through May 4. Each business in the Old Seaport is hosting a series of fun and creative classes for children ages 5 to 12.

Among the classes coming up next week are "basic pet care" at The Salty Paw on Tuesday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to noon and "the art of sushi making" at Suteishi on April 26 and 27. Classes cost $25 a child. For more information, click here.

Scholarships for chefs:
The James Beard Foundation is accepting applications for its 2014 scholarship program, with over $450,000 in scholarships and grants available to help aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution. 

The new scholarship and grant offerings for 2014 include:
*    Spencer's Restaurant at the Mountain: the four-star American restaurant in Palm Springs, California is offering an unrestricted scholarship to a deserving student selected by the JBF Scholarship Selection Committee.
*    Andrew Zimmern's "Second Chances" Scholarship: sponsored by Eyebobs, will offer a student faced with extreme challenges, a "second chance," to overcome these hardships.
*    Green Door Gourmet Scholarship: sponsored by Sylvia Harrelson Ganier, will reward a student with an interest in sustainable farming and learning creative cooking using fresh, nutritious foods.
*    Miljenko "Mike" Grgich's American Dream Scholarship: sponsored by Grgich Hills Estate offers a professional wine studies program.
*    Union Center National Bank Scholarship: will be presented to an individual from the state of New Jersey who possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and aspiration for excellence.

Additionally, JBF School Scholarships will include a $16,000 tuition waiver scholarship from the new Colorado Culinary Academy in Denver, and two scholarships of $15,000 each in Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

The James Beard Foundation also offers work/study grants for current working culinary professionals to expand their culinary experiences. As in previous years, the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant, in memory of one of the great culinary geniuses of the 20th century, will be offered, enabling a qualified professional to work with food producers at their source and to study varied specialized skills. Also granted again this year will be the Rhone Rangers Professional Study/Travel Grant for working chefs or sommeliers who wish to learn about American Rhône-varietal wines.

The James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program is administered by the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students. Applications for scholarships are received and evaluated by Scholarship America. The applications of the finalists are then submitted to the James Beard Foundation's Scholarship Selection Committee for final review.

For application forms, click here. All scholarship application materials, including transcripts, must be postmarked by May 15, 2014.  Professional grant applications must be postmarked by June 15, 2014. Scholarship winners will be notified in August 2014.


CALENDAR: Week of April 14
The Tribeca Film Festival includes three nights of free films on the plaza overlooking North Cove Marina in Battery Park City. Above, a scene from "Splash," which was shown on April 18. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
April 19: The Tribeca Film Festival at Brookfield Place presents free films and related programming on the plaza overlooking North Cove Marina. Tonight, see "Next Goal Wins," about the American Samoan national soccer team. Programs and seating begin at 6 p.m. Films begin at dusk, around 8:15 p.m.  

April 20
: 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 20: Celebrate Easter 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.

Save the Date: New York State Senator Daniel Squadron's Sixth Annual Community Convention takes place on Sunday, April 27 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Seward Park Educational Campus (Formerly Seward Park High School), 350 Grand St. (Between Ludlow and Essex Streets). The keynote speaker this year will be New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Sen. Squadron started holding community conventions in order to be able to hear directly from constituents about issues they were facing and their ideas for solving community problems. There are numerous topic-driven breakout sessions at which everyone has a chance to speak. Transportation: Subways J/M/F to Essex & Delancey or B/D to Grand Street. RSVP: Mauricio Pazmino at (212) 298-5565 or 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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