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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 61  May 5, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The City has a responsibility to the public to ensure its residents can live and remain in their neighborhoods."- Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in her proposal for the creation of affordable housing in Manhattan.

* 'Affordable housing' for Manhattan?
* Bits & Bytes: New Amsterdam Market returns; Stuyvesant High School Community Center rates
* Letter to the editor: EDC leasing public assets to The Howard Hughes Corp. for pennies
* Battery Park City in Bloom: Trillium in Teardrop Park
* Downtown bulletin board: Statue of Liberty's summer hours; Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra
* Community Board 1 calendar: Week of May 5
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Fireboat 343. May 4, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Lower Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

According to NYU's Furman Center, which studies New York City real estate, nearly a third of the City's renters pay more than 50 percent of their income for rent and utilities. This is far in excess of federal guidelines that state that housing is "affordable" if it accounts for no more than 30 percent of a household's budget.

Rents have gone up while incomes for many people have stagnated or decreased.

On April 24, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio about what she described as "truly a crisis in the availability of affordable housing in this city."

The problem, she said, was particularly acute in Manhattan because of "high property values, widely diverse levels of income in our neighborhoods and the increasing costs related to new housing development in the Borough.

"The City has a responsibility to the public to ensure its residents can live and remain in their neighborhoods," she said.

Brewer had some observations about what is causing the housing problem in Manhattan. "The creation of large amounts of new market-rate housing in Manhattan, in particular, contributes to the lack of affordable housing both directly, by replacing previous more affordable units, and indirectly, by bringing in wealthier residents who contribute to increases in cost of goods and services."

De Blasio announced on May 5 that he would require developers to include affordable units in residential buildings erected in newly rezoned areas of the city - but this policy would not take effect until the middle of 2015 at the earliest.

The mayor also said that he plans to spend $8.2 billion of public money on a 10-year housing plan with supplemental funding from state, federal and private sources for a total of $41.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Brewer had her own suggestions. They included the creation of a dedicated fund to encourage the development of permanent affordable housing in Manhattan and adjustments to existing inclusionary zoning policies.

Projects receiving tax benefits should provide more affordable units than the previously accepted 20 percent of the development, she believes, and they should be equally distributed throughout the development to ensure equity of treatment and access within the building.

Brewer surveyed each of Manhattan's 12 community boards, asking for recommendations as to where new affordable housing could be sited. In Community Board 1, the 23-story, landmarked building at 60 Hudson St. was mentioned. In addition, 5 World Trade Center - as yet unbuilt - was listed as a possibility.

However, Community Board 1 listed fewer sites than any other community board in Manhattan.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes  

The New Amsterdam Market on South Street will reopen for the season on May 31. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

New Amsterdam Market returns:
On May 31, the New Amsterdam Market will reopen on South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip. Subsequent markets will take place on Saturday,  June 21; Thursday, June 26 (Gathering of Fisheries nightmarket and fundraising event); Saturday, July 26; Sunday,  Aug. 24; Sunday, Sept. 28; Sunday, Oct. 26; Sunday, Nov. 23; and Saturday, Dec. 20 (night market). The market will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The New Amsterdam Market has received a grant from the Stillpoint Fund that will enable it to recruit apprentices and paid interns to help launch the 2014 market season. Applications including a resum� and cover letter are due by May 9. For more information, click here.

Community Center at Stuyvesant High School announces new rates: The 20-year-old community center at Stuyvesant High School has as its mission to be a true community center, affordable to all. The Battery Park City Authority funds the community center and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy runs it. The BPCA had announced last fall that the community center would close, eliciting a storm of protest. The community center will not close, but the rates have slightly increased. It now costs $500 for an annual adult membership (18-61 years old), $250 a year to add a family member over 18 years old to that membership and $75 a year for additional family members under the age of 12. Seniors, 62 and older, can join for $150 annually. Students, 18 to 24 years old, pay $200 and youth (12 to 17 years old) pay $75 a year. For those who just want to use the Olympic-sized swimming pool or just want access to the gym and fitness facilities, annual memberships for adults are $325 a year (swimming) and $350 a year (gym) with discounts for additional family members. Day passes to the Stuyvesant High School community center are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and youth. Classes are offered in yoga, tai chin, tennis for kids, badminton and swimming. For more information, call (646) 210-4292 or click here.

"Downtown office building fetches $261M," Crain's New York Business, 5/5/14. "The real estate investment firm Savanna announced Monday morning that it had closed on its acquisition of 110 William St., a 32-story, 928,000-square-foot office building in lower Manhattan," says Crain's. "The firm said it paid $261.5 million for the property, which is one of several commercial buildings to trade hands in the neighborhood in recent months. Savanna bought the building in a joint venture with KBS Capital Advisors. The sellers were Swig Equities, the real estate firm of the embattled real estate investor Kent Swig, in partnership with the Dubai Investment Group. Savanna has been a prolific acquirer of real estate for several years in the city, and has purchased other assets from Mr. Swig, whose real estate empire tumbled into a string of defaults during the recession." For the complete article, click here.

"New York City Gives Families of 9/11 Victims One-Week Notice That Remains Will Be Moved," New York Times, 5/5/14. On Saturday, May 10, expect to see a "solemn, somber, respectful procession" of vehicles from the Police Department, the Fire Department and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as the unidentified remains of World Trade Center victims are  moved in a "ceremonial transfer" from the medical examiner's office near the East River to "a specially built repository at ground zero," says The New York Times. "But like much else in this yearslong process, the news was met with a mixture of anger, confusion and acceptance, reflecting the divisions of opinion, and continued heightened passions, of the relatives. The date of the transfer was disclosed just a week in advance in an email sent to relatives over the weekend from Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the city's deputy mayor for health and human services." For the complete article, click here.

Letter to the editor

Real estate broker Bridget Schuy speaking at a Save Our Seaport Town Meeting on
May 3.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
The Seaport belongs to the people of New York City and should be accessible to all of the people.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is egregiously violating a public trust that it should be protecting by leasing an unspecified amount of square footage in the South Street Seaport to the Howard Hughes Corp. for less than $3.50 a square foot.  At that price, HHC could realize an obscene profit at the expense of the people of New York City.

A 50-story hotel/apartment tower proposed by HHC would be more than twice the height of the Brooklyn Bridge and would have a projected asking price of $2,000 a square foot for its condos. That does not sound like a place that all New Yorkers are in a position to enjoy. Nor do I think that the City or the country for that matter, will enjoy seeing any tower dwarf the Brooklyn Bridge - especially one that comes at the expense of the community.

There is an unprecedented amount of development occurring in Lower Manhattan at this time - 900 apartments at 8 Spruce St., 168 apartments at 113 Nassau St., 800 to 1,000 apartments at 70 Pine St., to name a few. The City hasn't been able to keep up with the tremendous population growth that has already occurred. Existing schools are overcrowded and the City cannot build schools fast enough to accommodate the growth. With all the new residential buildings and hotels coming to this area, Lower Manhattan does not need another one - certainly not one that exploits a beloved American icon and that comes at the expense of all American citizens so the richest can  augment their wealth.

Bridget Schuy
Licensed real estate broker


Battery Park City in Bloom

Trillium blooming in Battery Park City's Teardrop Park. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The trillium blooming in Battery Park City's Teardrop Park are eye-catching, both because of the size of the flowers and their brilliant white color, which stands out sharply against the surrounding greenery.

All of the vegetation in Teardrop Park is native to this region of the country. The distinctive three-petaled flowers of trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) can be found in the deciduous forests of eastern North America as well as in Battery Park City.

Trillium take 17 years to mature. A plant can live as long as 70 years - if the white-tailed deer don't get it. This is one of their favorite foods. They prefer to eat the large plants, and since trillium grow slowly, the ravenous deer population has depleted it to the point of "endangerment" in the state of Maine. In New York State, it is considered "vulnerable."

The seeds of trillium are primarily disbursed by ants, who collect the seeds as food. The residue when the meal is finished is still viable, and the ants will have performed a service by depositing the seeds away from where the original plants were growing.

Trillium have several medicinal uses. The root is a diuretic. Grated, it is said to reduce swelling in the eyes and pain in rheumatic joints. Additionally, the leaves can be boiled and eaten like spinach - it is alleged.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

Downtown bulletin board   

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will have extended hours during the summer. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Longer hours for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The National Park Service announces expanded summer hours beginning Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 24, for Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.  Departures from both Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in New Jersey will begin at 8:30 a.m. daily.  An additional afternoon departure will leave from both locations at 5 p.m. each day.

The extended summer hours run through Labor Day weekend, Monday, Sept. 1.  Food service is available on both islands.

To visit the crown, pedestal observation deck and/or museum, advance tickets are required and can only be purchased through the park's concessionaire Statue Cruises at Online reservations are strongly encouraged for general visitors as well. All tickets provide access to Liberty Island's grounds and the museum of immigration on Ellis Island. Audio tours of both islands are included with all tickets and are available in multiple languages.  A child-friendly version of the audio tour is also available in several languages. For more information and updates, click here.

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 soir�e 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 R�sistance: 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 [email protected]. Ticket prices start at $150.

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].


With the approval of the Battery Park City Authority, Verizon has installed a cellular tower on the roof of a building at Albany Street and South End Avenue. Some residents have objected. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
All Community Board 1 meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, unless otherwise noted, and start at 6 p.m. Bring photo ID to enter the building. All are welcome.

May 6: Battery Park City Committee
Place: Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave.

1) American Heart Association/NYC LeadDog Marketing Group, Inc., application for Battery Park City Authority permit for Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - Discussion
2) Pilot program for six weekends of ferry service between World Financial Center and Jersey City - Report
3) West Thames Street Bridge - Update
4) Maintenance of Promenade South area adjacent to West Street - Update
5) Cellular tower on roof of building at Albany Street and South End Avenue - Discussion

May 7: Financial District Committee
1) Governors Island - Update by Leslie Koch, President, Trust for Governors Island
2) July 4 Festival in Lower Manhattan, presentation by James S. Kaplan
3) 1 NY Plaza, application for Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit for a Physical Culture Establishment - Resolution
4) 23 Park Place/20 Murray Street reconsideration of application for tavern liquor license for Murray Place Inc., d/b/a The New Yorker - Possible resolution
5) 103 Washington St., application for liquor license for SMG Hotel, LLC, d/b/a TBD - Resolution
6) 49-53 Ann St., application for a hotel liquor license for Ann Street Hotel, LLC d/b/a Aloft Manhattan Downtown-Financial District hotel - Resolution
7) 161 Front St., application for a hotel restaurant liquor license for Seaport Heights LLC, d/b/a Fairfield Inn & Suites - Resolution
8) 4-10 Platt St., application for a hotel restaurant liquor license for Lam Platt Street Hotel LLC., d/b/a Four Points by Sheraton Downtown - Resolution
9) 1 Hanover Square, application for an on premise liquor license for Masterpiece Caterers Corp. - Resolution
10) Governors Island, application for a restaurant liquor license for Salmon East Seven Corp, d/b/a Little Eva's
11) Southeast corner of Dey Street and Broadway, application for a newsstand license for MD Shahinur Islam Newsstand

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk caf� permits:
3 Hanover Square, renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for Fontana Restaurant Corp. d/b/a/ Joseph's
166 William St., renewal application for a restaurant liquor license for Baba's Kebbab House Inc.

CALENDAR: Week of May 5
A few weeks ago, Dr. Seth Gopin, formerly a lecturer in art history at Rutgers University and dean of academic affairs, gave a lecture at Asphalt Green Battery Park City about post-Impressionist artists. He returns on Tuesday with a lecture on Michelangelo. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
May 6: "Tuesday Talks" at Asphalt Green Battery Park City continue with Dr. Seth Gopin talking about "A Renaissance Genius: Michelangelo in Rome." From painting to sculpture, from theoretical treatises to actual architecture, this Renaissance man challenged the conventions of his time. Gopin will focus on Michelangelo's career in the Vatican. Place: 212 North End Ave. Time: Noon to 1 p.m. Tickets: $22; $18 (Asphalt Green members). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

May 6: Under the auspices of the Historic Districts Council, the first in a series of three programs in which James Sanders, author of Celluloid Skyline, will discuss New York City as the scene and backdrop for more than a century of motion pictures. The evening will include a viewing of the 1948 documentary, "In the Street," about life in Spanish Harlem. On May 12, Sanders will show "Street Scene," a black-and-white film from 1931 and on May 20, "An Unmarried Woman." All three programs will be presented at the landmarked former Engine Co. 31, Downtown Community Television Center, 87 Lafayette St. (between Walker and White Streets) in Tribeca. Time: 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $10; $5 (Friends of HDC, seniors and students). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

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 [email protected] 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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