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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 66  May 16, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Events of 9/11 that we remember are becoming history."- Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, reflecting on the dedication ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

* National September 11 Memorial Museum opens
* South Street Seaport: Wraps soon to come off on Howard Hughes proposals
* Bits & Bytes: Fences come down; 4WTC near deal with first private tenant; Hudson Eats
* Letters to the editor: New York harbor's 'tall ships'
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

A firetruck that was smashed on 9/11, now in the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
May 15, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


President Barack Obama at the dedication ceremony of the National September 11 Memorial Museum on May 15. (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar/Pool )

The National September 11 Memorial Museum, which opened yesterday, is vast and complex. With most of the exhibits below ground, visitors descend into the museum as into a tomb.

On the night of May 15, a few hours after the museum's dedication ceremony, the people in the museum were not just random visitors. They were family members of the victims, first responders, volunteers, downtown residents and workers. They wandered through the museum with hushed solemnity.

Massive steel columns near the museum's entrance.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The hub of the museum is a huge, high-ceilinged room called the Foundation Room. During the dedication ceremony, filled with memories and prayers, it seemed like a cathedral.

President Barack Obama's speech described a savior.

People huddled in thick smoke on the South Tower's 78th floor, thinking they were going to die, he recounted. Then a young man who was unknown to them, suddenly appeared with a red bandanna covering his nose and mouth and said that he would show them the way out. He carried one woman on his back down 17 flights of stairs, and then returned to rescue others. On one of these trips, he died.

The "last column," inscribed with messages and mementos. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
For months, no one knew who he was. Then an account of the man with the red bandanna appeared in the newspapers. His mother, Alison Crowther, recognized her son, Welles, an equities trader and a volunteer firefighter. He always carried a red bandanna with him.

At the Dedication ceremony, Alison Crowther appeared on the stage with Ling Young, one of those Welles rescued.

The tragedy of the World Trade Center is monumental and as such, almost incomprehensible. As the Dedication ceremony showed and the exhibits confirm, it is also intimate. Visitors hear a mother saying good-bye to her son. A mangled wristwatch displays the hour and the minute when the plane hit. Dusty shoes meant for the office are enshrined because they carried their wearers to safety.

The slurry wall. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
One of the Foundation Room's walls is the miraculous slurry wall that didn't buckle when the towers fell. It kept the Hudson River from roaring in. The base of this redoubtable feat of engineering serves as a screen on which messages can be projected when people enter them with styluses on nearby monitors.

A young woman used one of these touch screens to create a message with a heart and the words "never forget" to one of the fallen. "Who was he?" I asked her. - "My father," she said. -"How old were you when he died?" - "Four."

Community Board 1 chair, Catherine McVay Hughes, attended the Dedication ceremony. "The ceremony at the base of the massive slurry wall was moving and emotional," she said. "Events of 9/11 that we remember are becoming history."

The Dedication period with 24-hour-a-day access to the museum continues through May 20. On May 21, the museum opens to the public. For information about seeing the museum during the dedication period, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A young woman writing a memorial message to her father, a firefighter, who died on 9/11- his 40th birthday. (Photo: Jay Fine)

The Paris Cafe | 119 South Street | 212.240.9797 | | @theparisnyc

South Street Seaport
Gregg Pasquarelli, a founding partner of SHoP Architects, and Christopher Curry, executive vice president of The Howard Hughes Corporation, presenting Hughes' plans for the South Street Seaport to Community Board 1's Seaport Committee on Nov. 19, 2013. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Howard Hughes Corp., a Dallas-based developer with a long-term lease on much of the South Street Seaport, is a member of the Seaport Working Group convened in February to establish guidelines for Seaport development. At weekly meetings since then, HHC has listened to recommendations from elected officials, downtown businesses and residents and from Seaport landlord, the New York City Economic Development Corporation - all with representatives on this working group - but has been quiet about if or whether its plans have changed.

In November 2013 at a public meeting, HHC showed sketchy proposals for a 50-story-tall hotel/apartment tower on the site of the New Market Building and also said that it wanted to elevate the landmarked Tin Building, add a story to it and move it 30 feet closer to the East River.

On June 2, at a place to be determined, the public will be able to review the development guidelines for the Seaport that the Seaport Working Group has proposesd to Howard Hughes. Comments from the public will be welcomed.

On Thursday, June 12, the Howard Hughes Corporation is supposed to report back to the Seaport Working Group, with a rundown on its current plans.

On Monday, June 16, Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee will hear from the Howard Hughes Corporation on its "application for the Tin Building, pavilions under FDR Drive and Link Building." The committee will pass a resolution either affirming or rejecting these plans. Howard Hughes must get the Community Board's approval before taking its plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

For more than a year, Save Our Seaport and the New Amsterdam Market, among other groups in the community, have been calling for a "master plan" for the Seaport and not just a rubber-stamping of the Howard Hughes proposals. However, it sounds as though Howard Hughes has not departed significantly from what it put forward six months ago. Perhaps the community will like the Howard Hughes vision, but even if the majority of the community does object to the plans once they are known, there would be little time to revise them before HHC's scheduled presentations to the Seaport Working Group and Community Board 1.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Chris Curry of The Howard Hughes Corp. (left) and Michael Levine, Community Board 1's then-director of planning and land use, at a meeting of C.B. 1's Seaport Committee in May 2013 at which Curry presented Howard Hughes' summer plans for the Seaport.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Bits & Bytes 

The fences have come down around the September 11 Memorial Park.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"There Are No More Fences Keeping You From The 9/11 Memorial," Gothamist, 5/16/14. After the 9/11 Museum opens to the public on May 21, it will cost $24 to get in, "but the twin reflecting pools that make up the museum's memorial are still free to visit," says Gothamist. "And now, the pools are even more accessible to the general public-the memorial plaza will be barrier-free during the museum's open hours. The memorial has been fenced off since it opened to the public in 2011, but a spokesman with the 9/11 Museum tells us the plaza will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Passersby in Lower Manhattan will be able to walk right up to the massive pools." For the complete article, click here.

"4 WTC close to landing first private-sector tenant,"
Crain's New York Business, 5/16/14. "The brand-new tower at 4 World Trade Center looks to be close to landing its first private-sector tenant," says Crain's New York Business. "MediaMath, a firm that develops online advertising software, is in negotiations to lease a big office at the glass-clad, 72-story, 2.3 million-square-foot behemoth, according to sources familiar with the talks. MediaMath would relocate to the building from midtown, where it currently bases its New York offices out of 1440 Broadway near Bryant Park. The company is in talks to take as much as 120,000 square feet in a deal that would include expansion rights that would allow the fast-growing firm to take additional space in the tower in the future." For the complete article, click here.

"Possible Deal May Bring Money to Repair Pier 40 in Manhattan," New York Times, 5/15/14. "For years, Hudson River Park officials have tried to generate funds to repair Pier 40, the dilapidated former cargo terminal at the foot of West Houston Street, by proposing an odd succession of projects on the pier: a professional soccer stadium, a $600 million entertainment complex and residential towers," says The New York Times. "But they all failed to win either community support or financing. Now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration and park officials have struck a tentative agreement with a developer to transfer unused development rights from the 14 1/2-acre pier to a site across the West Side Highway occupied by a sprawling building, in return for more than $100 million that would be used to rehabilitate Pier 40, which is crumbling more rapidly than originally feared. If a final deal is put in place, government officials and real estate executives say the owners of the four-story St. John's Terminal Building, which stretches more than three blocks between West Houston and Spring Streets, would demolish the structure in phases over 10 years and build several residential buildings and retail shops." For the complete article, click here.

"Verizon Building calls for big views,"
New York Post, 5/13/14. "The 35-story white monolithic Verizon Building that towers over the downtown skyline at 375 Pearl St. could soon get a new vista to Brooklyn," says the New York Post. "Seattle-based Sabey Data Center Properties, which operates the 1 million square-foot tower as Intergate Manhattan, is now readying its top 15 stories with 500,000 square feet for office use, and it will install new floor-to-ceiling glass windows." The building is next to One Police Plaza. For the complete article, click here.

Citizen Preparedness Training Program
A "Citizen Preparedness Training Program" sponsored by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, other elected officials and Community Board 1 takes place on Monday, May 19 at 6 p.m. in the Southbridge Towers Community Room, 90 Beekman St. Through this program, approximately 100,000 New Yorkers will be provided with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. Trainings participants (one per family) will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit. Participants must register in advance at or by calling (212) 681-4605.

Hudson Eats to open by end of May
There were supposed to be 14 upscale, fast-food eateries at Hudson Eats in Battery Park City's Brookfield Place, but the cited number is now "13." At any rate, the opening is nigh. Press has been invited to a tasting on May 29. It isn't clear whether that's also the opening day for the public. However with or without that last laggardly vendor, Brookfield management apparently thinks it's time to open. A lot of people will agree. For the list of confirmed restaurants, click here.

Weekend work at Hugh L. Carey Tunnel
One tube at the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday, May 16 through 5 a.m. Monday, May 19 as part of the project to replace the tunnel's original 1950s-era electrical switches and feeder cables.

The remaining tube will have one lane heading into Manhattan and one lane into Brooklyn. Motorists are advised to expect delays and use an alternate route if possible.

The work includes replacing the tunnel's 1950's electrical system, which provides the necessary   electrical power to run the tunnel's ventilation, lighting, drainage and communication systems.


Letters to the editor

The South Street Seaport Museum's "tall ships," Wavertree and Peking.
 (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
(Re: "Clipper City returns," DPNYC, 5/14/14): The article this evening refers to "Clipper City, New York City's only Tall Ship..."  Rest assured that New York has several other tall ships, among them Peking, Wavertree, Pioneer, and Lettie G. Howard. Clipper City is not (yet) an endangered species.

Capt. Robert Rustchak

To the editor:

Clipper City is in no way a "ship" - much less New York's tall ship. By rigging she is a schooner; a "ship" is square-rigged on all three masts.
Further, Clipper City most recently sailed out of Baltimore's Inner Harbor (see the comment from their official press release: "The new Clipper City, a steel-hulled schooner carrying six fore-and-aft rigged sails and two square topsails on two steel masts, was operated as a Baltimore charter vessel for 20 years until falling into disrepair.")
The Peking's masts, with Wavertree in the background.
In point of fact, the South Street Seaport Museum's Wavertree is the only "ship" in the harbor, being square-rigged on all three masts.  Peking is a Barque, Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard are schooners, and all four vessels have been in New York far longer than Clipper City, and have more right to be referred to as New York's tall ships than does Clipper City.
I have no problem with Clipper City thinking she is a "tall ship."  That term is very loosely interpreted to mean almost any sailing vessel with masts, no matter the size. However, Clipper City is by no means "New York's only tall ship."

Beth Childs

To the editor:
I read your article on the Clipper City today and wanted to clarify one item in the article that is incorrect. The "Clipper City" is not the only tall ship in New York City. If you look at the South Street Seaport Museum, it has the beautiful Lettie G. Howard, which will be sailing soon, if it hasn't started already, with the New York Harbor School Students aboard.  The Pioneer, although not exceptionally big, is currently sailing and is a 'schooner' as is the Clipper City. The Wavertree and Peking, which are indeed true "tall ships," are now docked at Piers 16 and 15 and, although neither sail, are a proud testament to the great ships that were used in a bygone era.
I certainly don't want to take away from Clipper City but it's a misrepresentation when you write that it's New York City's only tall ship.
Lia Dudine

To the editor:
I have to agree: The article is in error. The Clipper City is not the only "tall ship" in New York City. However, it is accurate to say that Clipper City is the largest sailing ship licensed to carry passengers currently operating in New York City.

Clipper City.
Our use of the term "tall ship" is not meant to assert a defined class of vessel or to try to take away from the majesty of other larger sailing vessels that operate in New York waters.

Manhattan by Sail is a small, family-run business that takes New Yorkers and their guests out sailing in New York harbor. We operate two large sailing vessels - the historic Shearwater, a 1939 classic schooner that turns 85 this year and is listed on the historic registry, and the Clipper City. It is a steel replica of a Great Lakes schooner that sailed from 1854 to 1882. A recreated cross section of the Clipper City hull is in a maritime museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She is rumored to have been the largest and fastest "ship" of her day.  

Both vessels are sailing vessels; our crew sail because they love sailing. I started this company because I fell in love with sailing aboard the graceful and historic Petrel at the Battery in the late 1980s. I am especially happy to be bringing the Clipper City to Battery Park, where I originally got my start sailing.

Tom Berton
Owner of Clipper City and Shearwater

From the editor:
We are so grateful to attentive readers of Downtown Post NYC, who correct our errors! Thank you.

Since writing the article, this is what we've learned:

Lettie G. Howard.
Wavertree is, indeed,  New York's only "ship-rigged" sailing vessel, meaning that she has three (or more) masts, all of which are square-rigged.

In modern parlance "ship" is a term with many definitions, all of which have a measure of validity. So while a true "ship" in the sailing vessel sense is as described above, it's also any large merchant vessel, and in loose terms would apply to Peking as well. Peking is a barque, as is USCG's Eagle, but they can accurately be called "sailing ships" or "tall ships." That latter term is a trademark of Tall Ships America and is often used to denote sailing ships with education programs aboard.

Wavertree, Peking, Pioneer, and Lettie are all historic ships that were merchant vessels of various types during the 19th (and in Peking's case 20th) centuries. Clipper City is not. She is a modern, welded-steel passenger vessel loosely based on a historic vessel but is not a faithful replica. The  South Street Seaport Museum, on the other hand, has historic sailing vessels.

The museum's Pioneer is an 1885 trading schooner; Lettie G. Howard is an 1893 fishing schooner; Peking is a 1911 barque-rigged nitrate-clipper; Wavertree is an 1885 three-masted sailing ship built originally for the jute trade but almost immediately employed as a tramp.

A New York Harbor School student working in the rigging of the South Street Seaport Museum's schooner, Lettie G. Howard. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

CALENDAR: Week of May 12
Shir Victoria Levy playing at a fundraising soirée for the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra on Thursday. She and the orchestra will play at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sunday, May 18. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
May 17: Gelsey Kirkland Ballet's Sleeping Beauty. With choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, this enchanting fairy tale ballet was first performed in 1890 at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. It is the epitome of dramatic storytelling in the classical tradition. With lavish sets and costumes, this staging of the full-length production explores the well-known highlights of this ballet: the opulence of the royal court, the fairies' magical realm, the haunting vision scene, the Prince's boat journey through the thorny forest, and the miraculous kiss that awakens Princess Aurora from the curse of her century-long sleep. The role of Princes Aurora was one of the hallmarks of Gelsey Kirkland's stage career, and once again she is passing on this classical treasure to a new generation of dancers. Also May 18 at 1:30 p.m.. Where: Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce St. Time: 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$59. To buy tickets, click here.

May 17: Taste of Tribeca is an outdoor culinary festival featuring signature dishes from renowned Tribeca chefs, a family-friendly Kids' Zone, a comprehensive wine tour and live entertainment provided by City Winery. Most of Downtown's critically acclaimed restaurants participate. The proceeds go to support the arts and enrichment programs at public schools PS 150 and PS 234. Advance tickets start at $45 for six "tastes" from any participating restaurant (with a $3.47 booking fee). On the day of the event, tickets are $50. Place: Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Streets). Time: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.

May 17: A three-hour Block Party Workshop 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.

May 17: The Friends of Delury Park at Fulton and Gold Streets are planning an Arts and Crafts Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  All proceeds will go to the upkeep of the park. In addition, in conjunction with the Parks Department, there will be a Spring Planting Day on May 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The rain date for both is Sunday, May 18. Volunteers are welcome! For more information, click here.

May 17: Bluegrass Family Square Dance, the first "family dance" of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy's 2014 season, brings the Ebony Hillbillies to Battery Park City, where they will play foot-tapping American bluegrass on traditional string instruments and washboard. Dance caller Eric Hollman leads the square dancing. Come to dance, or just to listen. Place: Esplanade Plaza along the Hudson River at the end of Liberty Street. Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Free.

May 18: The Friends of Bogardus Garden present a Spring Celebration with performances by Modern Martial Arts, dance with Miss Rachel, music by the TriBattery Pops (Tom Goodkind, conductor), kids' activities by Manhattan Youth, Playgarden, Whole Foods, Jemz, Reade Street Prep, and Brooklyn Robot Foundry, face painting, cookie decorating, and children's tumbling. Place: Bogardus Garden (at Chambers and Hudson Street). Time: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 18: The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra presents "Pièces de Résistance: Music Celebrating the Polish Spirit" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Shir Victoria Levy is the soloist for a haunting violin concerto by Karl Szymanowski. Also on the program are works by Chopin, Mozart and Bach that pay tribute to the musical landscape of pre-war Polish-Jewish life. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 2:30 p.m. Tickets: $18; $15 (students, seniors); $12 (members). To purchase tickets, click here.

Last call, May 18: "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: 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: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking welcome visitors Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Pier 16 (on the East River at Fulton Street). The Ambrose, launched in 1908,  once guided large ships through the Ambrose Channel into New York harbor. Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911, one of the last commercial sailing ships ever built. She was used to carry goods from Europe to South America and to return to Europe with nitrate. The museum's Visitors Services associates explain all of the fascinating details of the ships and their relevance to the history of New York as a port city. Cost: $12 (adults); $8 (students, 12-24 and seniors); $5 (children 2-11); under 2, free. To buy tickets, 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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