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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 60  May 2, 2014

Quote of the day:
"For thousands who lived through 9/11, the effects of that day did not end when the towers fell."- Congressman Jerrold Nadler on the proposed monument to honor the first responders and survivors of the September 11 attack.

* Plans launched for a 9/11 monument to first responders and survivors
* Bits & Bytes: 'Quasi-suburban' Battery Park City; FiDi's retail scene; 5 Beekman Place
* Letter to the editor: Selling off New York City to high-end development
* Downtown bulletin board: Peck Slip School's Night Out; Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Tulips blooming in Battery Park City. May 2, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, U.S Rep. Carolyn Maloney, NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Council Member Margaret Chin, local residents, first responders and organized labor announcing the formation of a committee to establish a monument to 9/11 responders and survivors sickened and dying from their exposure to Ground Zero toxins. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The people who died on 9/11 have not been forgotten. Their names are engraved around the memorial pools on the footprints of the Twin Towers where they died. But thousands of people have sickened and in many cases, died, since Sept. 11, 2001 because of the toxins generated by the attack. Their struggles and those of their survivors have only been noted in passing.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer decided to do something about that. She is co-chair with Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, of a committee to establish a monument to 9/11 responders and survivors. The committee, which includes elected officials, labor leaders and community residents, announced its plans today.

"From the beginning, those who came to help or those who came back to their homes began to suffer from symptoms brought on by their proximity to Ground Zero," said Brewer.  "Too many Americans do not realize that there are thousands still suffering and in some cases, dying, from the attacks that day. So today, we are here to announce the formation of an effort to remember and honor the thousands who are living with the illnesses and toxins that they breathed in at Ground Zero and the many who died from their illnesses with a monument here in Lower Manhattan, near Ground Zero."


She said that the committee would find a location, select a design and find the funding to pay for "a simple, elegant monument" so that people will always be reminded of "what the word 'honorable' means in practice, day to day."


U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a member of the committee, said, "In the years since 9/11, many of us here have watched our friends, our families, our colleagues and our neighbors continue to struggle with the aftermath of that day. For thousands who lived through 9/11, the effects of that day did not end when the towers fell nor even when the rest of the recovery efforts were completed at Ground Zero."


He said that after 9/11, the air quality in Lower Manhattan was worse than during the Kuwaiti oil fire. Responders, community residents, area students and workers breathed those fumes for months. 


"Thousands have since become ill or died as a result of exposure to 9/11 toxins," he said, "including now, increasingly from cancers."


Nadler said that it took 10 years to get the Zadroga Bill passed. It provided health care for those sickened by 9/11. A Victim Compensation Fund allowed those affected to file claims for economic losses due to physical harm or death caused by the September 11 attack.    


"Now we are beginning to work for the bill's reauthorization in 2016," said Nadler. "We cannot and will not stop fighting for those who are still suffering as a result of 9/11."


U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. 

U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who fought with Nadler for the passage of the Zadroga Act, said that around 3,000 people had died on 9/11, but that since then, thousands and thousands more have died because of illnesses generated by exposure to Ground Zero toxins. Among others, she said that 77 firefighters have died since then and that 500 more are sick.  


"We have a moral obligation to those who fell ill in the days and months after the attack, to take care of them and to support them," said New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.


John Feal. 


John Feal, a first responder who lost part of his left foot at the Ground Zero site, and who was dogged, year in and year out, in his efforts to get the Zadroga Bill passed, said,"This committee was not formed just to create a monument. This committee was formed to tell history."


He said that if he had his way, the monument would be built as close to Ground Zero as possible.


 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



Bits & Bytes  

Ads for Le District, opening at Brookfield Place in the fall. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Battery Park City: Quasi-Suburban,"
New York Times, 4/29/14. It's always fun to read what an outsider has to say about a place that you know well. The New York Times described Battery Park City as "the 92-acre planned community developed since 1980 on landfill along the west side of Lower Manhattan." So far, so good.  Then John Freeman Gill goes on to say that "for many New Yorkers [BPC is] akin to a new guest bedroom added to the side of a beloved old house. It's sleeker and more functional than the main residence, but it lacks the character and inspired disorder of the creaky old place, and you never set foot in there without a very specific reason." Hmmpf.
"For those who have chosen to live in Battery Park City, that reason is quality of life," Gill says, quoting a resident who says of BPC, "It really is Smalltown, U.S.A., over here; all the parents know all the kids." Well, that's true. For the complete article, click here.

"Tracking the Financial District's Booming Retail Scene,", 4/30/14. The Downtown retail scene is undergoing cataclysmic change. In the next couple of years, when dozens of new stores will have opened at Brookfield Place and at the World Trade Center, Downtown shopping will be unrecognizable from what it was five years ago. "Over the past several months, we've been bombarding you with news of the bursting Financial District retail scene," says Attempting to consolidate the information, Racked has "put together a handy guide of what's headed to a neighborhood once known solely for Wall Street wolves. We've lumped the luxe names together for the two major spots into handy lists, and highlighted some other notable entries in separate categories." For the complete article, click here.

"An Early Skyscraper Becomes a Hotel With a View," New York Times, 4/29/14. One of New York City's first skyscrapers, the gorgeous, nine-story brick-and-terra-cotta building at 5 Beekman St., is being converted into a 287-room hotel with restaurants, bars and a condo tower next door, says The New York Times. The hotel is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015. The Victorian structure, dating from 1883, is centered by "a tall atrium topped by a large pyramid-shaped skylight that was sealed up for much of the 20th century," according to The Times. The Beekman Hotel, as it will be called, will mostly be contained in the existing brick building, which is actually two joined structures: the one with nine stories from 1883, and an annex with 10 stories from 1890. "In recent years," says The Times, "it served as an office building but essentially has been empty for more than a decade." For the complete article, click here.

"Privatizing South Street Seaport a Flawed Process," The Epoch Times, 5/1/14. In an opinion piece in The Epoch Times, David Sheldon, coordinator and member of the community advocacy group Save Our Seaport, wrote about the Seaport Working Group, which was convened earlier this year to formulate advisory plans for the development of the South Street Seaport. "In our view, it is becoming obvious that the Seaport Working Group is being steered through a flawed process designed to resemble participatory consensus building," Sheldon said. "In reality, the NYC Economic Development Corporation [landlord for much of the South Street Seaport], is trying to create a belated cover to legitimize what it has always wanted to do: unilaterally assign and privatize all unique and irreplaceable Seaport Historic District public piers, properties, and land for the benefit of the developer, Howard Hughes Corporation. Rather than create a master plan to re-establish their potential to celebrate the city's maritime past and present, EDC would offload its own failed responsibility for maintaining, programming, and managing these cultural and historic sites." Sheldon described the Seaport Historic District as the remnant of the city's oldest seaport.
"It is from here that New York, and the nation, grew," he writes. "It is more relevant to our history than most any other part of town. It is an irreplaceable asset." For the complete article, click here.

"Woman gives birth in backseat of NYC cab," NY Post, 5/2/14. A taxi driver in Tribeca picked up one passenger and ended up with two. "A woman gave birth to a baby boy in the backseat of a yellow cab in TriBeca Thursday night," according to the New York Post. "Police Officer Pasquale Carpentiere was on routine traffic enforcement when he was flagged down by a cab driver at Laight and Hudson streets around 11:30 p.m. Carpentiere tended to the woman until emergency responders arrived to help deliver the baby." For the complete article, click here.

Letter to the editor

Grand Central Terminal almost didn't last long enough to celebrate its centennial in 2013. Penn Central wanted to tear it down, as the Pennsylvania Railroad had already done to Penn Station. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and others intervened.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
My wife and I attended New York State Senator Daniel Squadron's 'town meeting' on Sunday. Our sub-group on arts and culture shared a common theme - neighborhoods that are losing their local resources to high-end residential and commercial development. Everything that folks want and need - from libraries, to senior centers, to children's theater, to art studios, to our precious Seaport - is falling to the bulldozers.  Can you imagine, we are selling off our public libraries!
Surely our new civic leaders will realize that the pursuit of this policy can't continue forever.  It is the death knell to the spirit of the Big Apple.

If you get a chance, try to see the documentary that recently aired on PBS, "The Zipper."  It documents the demise of this favorite ride in Coney Island, and the sadness of the working-class New Yorkers who took so much pleasure in our iconic amusement park. Mayor Mike is shown proudly re-zoning the area and selling off much of the land for residential developers. People wept. The only comfort came from the joy of children in Nicaragua who now ride The Zipper.
Zipper is viewable online at
Jared Brown

From the editor:
This is what Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said in 1968, when Penn Central wanted to tear down Grand Central Terminal, replacing it with an office tower:
"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters. Maybe... this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."


Downtown bulletin board   

Peck Slip. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Peck Slip School's Community Night Out
The Peck Slip School Community Service Committee will be showcasing the Old Seaport neighborhood on May 3 during its First Annual Community Night Out. Residents, families and friends of the Peck Slip School are invited to attend.

The historic Seaport district runs from Fulton to Dover Streets and from Pearl Street to the East River, with numerous shops and restaurants. Participants in the Community Night Out are encouraged to walk around the district between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., supporting the establishment(s) of their choice.

Volunteers will staff a table at the corner of Peck Slip and Front Street from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. to greet participants, distribute merchant maps, and hand out Peck Slip School stickers (designating them as a participant of the event).

The Peck Slip School PTA planned this event to connect with one another, and to get to
know the district that will serve as host to their permanent school location, currently under
construction on the site of the former Peck Slip Post Office. Volunteers will staff a table at the corner of Peck Slip and Front Street from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. to greet participants, distribute merchant maps, and hand out Peck Slip School stickers (designating them as a participant of the event).

For more information, email Community Service Committee Chairperson Denise
Courter ( or call (917) 513-0011.

Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra concerts
Downtown's own orchestra, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gary Fagin, is holding two concerts in May. On Thursday, May 15, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a soirée in the South Street Seaport at the home of KCO board members Lynda Davey and Alan Schiffres, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Shir Victoria Levy, a renowned 19-year-old violinist, will perform works by Debussy and Poulenc. KCO board member Sharon Phair Fortenbaugh is co-host for the event. Tickets are by donation starting at $125 a person. Click here for more information or to make a reservation, or call (917) 929-8375 and contribute at the door.

On Sunday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m., the KCO returns to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to perform Piece de Résistance: Music Celebrating the Polish Spirit. Shir VictoriaLevy will play Karol Szymanowski's haunting Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35. Also on the program are works by Wladyslaw Szpilman, subject of the award-winning film "The Pianist;" Wojciech Kilar, composer of the film score for "The Pianist;" and more! Tickets are $18; $15 (students and seniors); $12 (museum members). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Manhattan Youth: Downtown Community Awards 2014 Event
At its annual Community Awards event, this year on May 15, Manhattan Youth honors seven people for their commitment to education in the Lower Manhattan community. The honorees are
Wendy Chapman, for her advocacy on behalf of children and education, and Michael Clark, Frank DiOrio, Derick Henry, Jose Velez, James Willie and David DiGiacomo, for their stewardship of the PS 89/IS 289 physical plant through 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and every school day, and their commitment to the community's children.

Invited guests include Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hon. Sheldon Silver, Hon. Scott Stringer, Hon. Gale Brewer, Hon. Daniel Squadron, Hon. Deborah Glick, Hon. Margaret Chin, and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes.

Proceeds from the event will help Lower Manhattan working families obtain after-school and summertime childcare services of the highest quality regardless of their ability to pay. Manhattan Youth provides nearly $500,000 in childcare subsidies to families each year in addition to $500,000 in free programming, and has been the leading provider of after-school childcare, summer camp, recreation and enrichment programming in Lower Manhattan since 1986.

The Community Awards Event will take place at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. featuring the piano stylings of Nate Andersen followed by an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m., a buffet dinner and live music. The Manhattan Youth Players of IS 276 will present "It's a Hard-knocks Life" from their recent production of "Annie."

Click here for tickets to the event or contact Jim Hopkins at (212) 766-1104 ext. 232, or by e-mail Ticket prices start at $150.

Save Our Seaport Town Hall meetings
On May 3 and May 5, Save Our Seaport is hosting Town Meetings in New York's South Street Seaport Historic District. Both will begin with guest speakers followed by a walking tour.

SOS invites the public to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum; maintains ties to an active waterfront and locates a world-class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

The Town Meeting on Saturday, May 3, will start at 2 p.m. in Titanic Memorial Park, Fulton and Water Streets. Guest speakers will include Peter Stanford, founder of the South Street Seaport Museum and author of "A Dream of Tall Ships," Robert Rustchak, Merchant Marine Captain and Bridget Schuy, realty specialist in Lower Manhattan. After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period followed by a walk through the South Street Seaport Historic District.
The second Town Meeting, on Monday, May 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will also start in Titanic Memorial Park followed by a walking tour of the Seaport Historic District. Guest speakers will include Capt. Brian McAllister, owner of McAllister Towing and Robert LaValva, founder and president of the New Amsterdam Market.

For more information, email or call 347-6-PIER16.

Open meeting with NY State Liquor Authority Chairman
On May 6, Community Boards 1, 2 and 3 will be meeting with New York State Liquor Authority Chair Dennis Rosen and staff to clarify questions and issues involved with the review of liquor license applications and renewals. The purpose of the meeting is to make Community Board recommendations to the SLA as effective as possible. All interested are urged to attend. The meeting will take place at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information email

CALENDAR: Week of April 28
A sculpture called "Totem" by Benjamin Dowell is part of an exhibit in the 250 Vesey St. lobby at Brookfield Place through June 1. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
May 2: The annual Sailors Ball is a black tie gala that celebrates the start of the new sailing season. All sailors and sailing enthusiasts in the New York area are invited to attend. Dancing, open bar and hors d'oeuvres. The Sailors Ball raises money for the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation. Place: Down Town Association, 60 Pine St. Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets: $120. For more information, click here.

May 3: A sleepover at Poets House includes guided meditations and intuitive writing sessions, proprioceptive movement and acupuncture options, and other activities designed to clear and comfort the mind and body, and open up new space for creativity. Led by poet and certified hypnotherapist Kristin Prevallet, yoga and mindful movement teacher Romona Mukherjee, and licensed acupuncturist and holistic healer Mona Chopra. Open to Poets House members. Place: 10 River Terrace. Fee: $75. Memberships cost $50 a year, with a discount for seniors and students. To register, contact Krista Manrique, (212) 431-7920 ext. 2830, or email For more information, click here.

May 4: Matthew Urbanski, landscape architect with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will lead a tour entitled "Imagining, Creating and Constructing Teardrop Park." Meet at Teardrop Park (or at 6 River Terrace in case of rain). Time: 2 p.m. Free.

Reserve now: A three-hour Block Party Workshop on Saturday, May 17 at Bowne Printers (part of the South Street Seaport Museum) will teach participants how to carve and print linoleum blocks. Bowne's resident printer, Ali Osborn, will then use everyone's design to print a poster on Bowne's vintage Vandercook press. All materials supplied. Registration required. $15 non-refundable deposit for materials due by May 14. Place: 211 Water St. Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fee: $50; $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). For more information or to make a reservation, email or call (646) 628-2707.

Ongoing: An exhibit called "Bright! Color in Three Dimensions" is in the lobby of 250 Vesey St., Brookfield Place. With the advent of digital and commercial technology, it has become easier to take the power of color for granted in two-dimensional mediums. The artists - Justin Adian, Caitlin Bermingham, Benjamin Dowell, Charles Dunn, Juan Fernando Morales, and Courtney Puckett - in Bright! take color to another level by manipulating it into sculptural forms. Whether made of plastic, textile, or paper, the artists use color as a foundation for the entire object, rather than the decorative finish to the piece. Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through June 1. Free.

Ongoing: Poets House in Battery Park City presents "A Painter and His Poets," the first major retrospective show of George Schneeman's collaborative paintings, collages, prints, and books, with portraits of his poet friends, spanning 40 years. "A sort of utopia in the visual field filled with pleasure, quickness and wit" is how Schneeman himself described his collaborative work with poets. Exhibition on view through Saturday, Sept. 20, during regular Poets House hours. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For information about Poets House, click here.

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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