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DOWNTOWN
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News and Events
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Volume 1, No. 73  June 2, 2014
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IN THIS ISSUE

Quote of the day:
"George T. Moon was here a hundred years ago." - Artist Naima Rauam, explaining how she chose the names of the fishmongers that appear in the paintings of the Fulton Fish Market, which she is now creating on the exterior of a building on Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport.

The Seaport Working Group Open House
Tonight (June 2) at 6 p.m., the guidelines created by the Seaport Working Group for the development of the South Street Seaport will be revealed. The Seaport Working Group is comprised of elected officials, Community Board 1 members, Seaport residents and businesses and representatives of The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has a long-term lease on part of the Seaport, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, landlord for much of the Seaport. This session is open to the public and will provide an opportunity to review and submit feedback on the guidelines compiled by the Seaport Working Group over 11 consecutive weekly meetings. Place: Southbridge Towers community room, 90 Beekman St. Time: 6 p.m.

* Rauam depicts the Fish Market on Schermerhorn Row wall
* Bits & Bytes: Woolworth Tower condo; Downtown Asking rents drop; 3WTC; Islam film
* Letter to the editor: Hope for the South Street Seaport?
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of June 2
* Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance issues free waterfront guide
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to www.DowntownPostNYC.com

The New Market Building in the South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge. May 31, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



The Paris Cafe | 119 South Street | 212.240.9797 | thepariscafenyc.com | @theparisnyc

South Street Seaport
RAUAM DEPICTS THE FISH MARKET ON SCHERMERHORN ROW WALL
Rauam painting a wall at 93 South St. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

As visitors to the South Street Seaport wend their way between food trucks, picnic tables and shipping containers on Fulton Street, a vestige of the old South Street Seaport is taking shape before their eyes. Naima Rauam, who had been painting the Fulton Fish Market for decades, is creating paintings on the wall of 93 South St. depicting the market as she knew it.

The four panels on the exterior of one of the buildings on Schermerhorn Row, are 93 inches high and of varying widths.

The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has a long-term lease on this part of the Seaport, asked Rauam to do the work a few weeks ago. She started on May 29 and expects to finish this week.

Rauam is volunteering her time. Hughes provided the panels and installed them. In the fall, Hughes will auction them and give the proceeds to charity.

"I was glad to do this," said Rauam. "I had reached a lull in my work. This was an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the Fish Market."

The Fulton Fish Market left the South Street Seaport for Hunts Point in the Bronx in 2005. After the fishmongers departed, Rauam did many drawings and paintings of what she remembered of the market. The current paintings are based on huge charcoal drawings that she did in 2009 as part of a show called "Remembering Fulton Fish Market."

For the Schermerhorn Row paintings, Rauam decided to use blue-green paint instead of black, because "black is more severe." Also, she thought that the blue-green color complemented the ruddy tones of the old bricks.

In her paintings, Rauam has depicted the fishmongers in and around the New Market Building on South Street, but has taken some poetic license with the signage on the building. "George T. Moon was here a hundred years ago," she said. "Ford Fish Co. sold fish here between the '20's and the '50's. Comstock was a fishmonger in the mid-20th century. Blackford's was a fishmonger in the original Fulton Market Building - built in the late 1800s."

People have stopped to talk to Rauam as she works. "They ask about the hurricane - how high the water came," she said. "Some of them say that they feel disoriented because they remember the South Street Seaport as it was. They take pictures of themselves in front of my paintings."

Another common question, said Rauam, is "where's a good place to eat?" She sends them to the Paris Cafe at 119 South St., which has been in business since 1873 and which she recalls as having been a hang-out for the fishmongers. In those days, the Paris was open much of the night, to serve a clientele who started work at dusk and finished at dawn.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer







Bits & Bytes
WOOLWORTH TOWER CONDO; DOWNTOWN ASKING RENTS DROP; 3WTC DEVELOPMENT; PIER 17 DEMOLISHED; ISLAM FILM AT 9/11 MUSEUM
The Woolworth Building as seen from the 54th floor of 4 World Trade Center.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"NYC Woolworth Tower Condo Priced at Record $110 Million," Bloomberg.com, 6/2/14. "Lower Manhattan's landmark Woolworth Building, once the tallest skyscraper in the world, is setting another record," says Bloomberg. "Developers are seeking $110 million for the penthouse apartment in the pinnacle of the 58-story tower, a proposed offering plan filed with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office shows. That's the highest-ever asking price for a condominium in downtown Manhattan, according to Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc." The $110 million penthouse is about 8,975 square feet with a 584-square-foot terrace. For the complete article, click here.

"Downtown asking rents drop sharply," The Real Deal, 6/2/14. "Despite large leasing deals such as Time Inc. relocating to Lower Manhattan last month, the average asking rent in all three Manhattan markets ticked down in May, the first time that has happened in at least a year," says The Real Deal. "Some leasing executives took the decline in stride, explaining that it was the result of expensive space being taken off the market. But others saw it as part of a broader trend underscoring a relative weakening of the landlord's position in the Manhattan leasing game.
In the market's most high-profile price cut, the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey cut the asking rent for large tenants eyeing mid-tower space in One World Trade Center by about 10 percent to $69 per foot. The 3.1 million-square-foot skyscraper is just 55 percent leased." For the complete article, click here.

"Zuccotti presses for 3 WTC development," New York Post, 6/1/14. "Brookfield Office Properties co-chairman John Zuccotti wants to see 3 World Trade Center built soon, even though it would create more competition for his own Brookfield Place complex," says the New York Post.
Zuccotti believes that having 3 WTC built "takes a major step forward to generate the critical mass of street level retail and streetscape to continue to make the [whole] project successful," according to the Post. More than 1 million square feet of space remain available at Zuccotti's own development, Brookfield Place, despite a recent giant lease-signing with Time Inc. For the complete article, click here.

"At Pier 17, piles of rubble and plans for the future," Capital, 5/30/14. Much of the old mall
Pier 17 being demolished. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
on Pier 17 "has been reduced to a pile of rubble," says Capital. "A boat ride around the pier on Thursday afternoon revealed that a demolition crew has taken down some three quarters of the old mall and is just a few weeks away from a more momentous feat: Disassembling the entire pier. What will follow that four-month process is a brand new platform and a glassy mall-park hybrid that will become the crowning achievement of Howard Hughes Corp.'s redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, said Adam Meister, the vice president of development for the company. The new building should be complete in 2016, he said." For the complete article, click here.

"Visitors Fault Sept. 11 Museum's Portrayal of Islam," New York Times, 6/1/14. "After the vivid audio recordings, diagrams and personal artifacts that take visitors minute by minute through the Sept. 11 attacks, and before the images of recovery workers combing through rubble, a small section of the National September 11 Memorial Museum is devoted to explaining Al Qaeda and terrorism," says The New York Times. "A seven-minute video installation narrates a summarized history of Al Qaeda, opposite a series of brief explanatory panels about the group's ideology and its attacks. On a recent weekday, some visitors stopped to watch the film in its entirety, but others only paused briefly. Some read the text panels, one of which explains that Al Qaeda represents a tiny fraction of the world's Muslims; many people did not. In April, the video, 'The Rise of Al Qaeda,' became the center of a controversy over how the museum should talk about Islam in reference to the attacks. An interfaith group of New York clergy members argued the film failed to sufficiently differentiate between terrorism and Islam, and asked for changes. Now that the public has access to the museum, some visitors say they agree." For the complete article, click here.


 

Letter to the editor
HOPE FOR THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT?
Fulton Street between Water and Front Streets with food trucks and picnic tables installed by The Howard Hughes Corporation. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
I read your reporting with great interest and thank you for it.

I retain my hope that somehow the South Street Seaport Museum will rise again from the detritus of management, Sandy, and misdirected intentions of yet another "developer" in the South Street Seaport Historic District.

It would appear that the present Task Force will recommend the next phase based on many premises similar to the first. Indifference to the history of the maritime contribution to the City, State, and nation is one thing, but indifference to the more recent history of the Seaport development is another. Will we just repeat the errors of the past?

To that end, I wonder how many members of the Task Force, Community Board, downtown residents, and even Museum supporters have read James M. Lindgren's excellent history, "Preserving South Street Seaport: The Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District" (NYU Press, 2014), wherein the question, the failed responses, and the alternative solution are thoroughly researched, objectively  analyzed, and responsibly presented. It should be required reading for everyone with an interest in the future of the district, primarily as a basis for not repeating the flawed structure, unrealistic expectations, and further destruction of one of New York's few remaining authentic evocations of its people's history.

 

Peter Neill  

President of the South Street Seaport Museum (1985-2005)  

and the current director of the World Ocean Observatory  

 

From the editor:
James M. Lindgren's book, "Preserving South Street Seaport," is available from Amazon.com and other Internet sites.

Downtown Post NYC welcomes letters to the editor. Email them to editor@downtownpostnyc.com. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and length.

COMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of June 2

Shari Hyman, president of the Battery Park City Authority, addressing Community Board 1's full board meeting on May 27. She will talk with CB1's Battery Park City Committee on June 3. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Community Board 1 meetings take place at 49-59 Chambers St., Room 709, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Bring photo ID to enter the building. All are welcome

June 2: Seaport Working Group Open House - 6 p.m.
Place: Southbridge Towers, 90 Beekman St., Community Room
This session is open to the public and will provide an opportunity to review and submit feedback on the guidelines compiled by the Seaport Working Group over 11 consecutive weekly meetings.

June 3: Battery Park City Committee - 6 p.m.
Place: Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave.
* Update and response to BPC Committee Report - Shari Hyman, President, Battery Park City Authority
* Pending traffic and transportation issues in BPC - Update by Elisabeth Wooton, Project Manager, NYC Department of Transportation and Jennifer Leung, Project Manager, NYC Department of Transportation
* BPC Parks Enforcement Patrol - Update by Sergeant Srisuro

June 4: Financial District Committee
* Tour bus management - Update by Luis Sanchez, Lower Manhattan Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation
* Water Street Summer Programming - Presentation by Fred Sham, Operations Director of Planning, Downtown Alliance
* Coenties Slip Pop-Up Greenmarket - Presentation by Cathy Chambers, Intergovernmental Relations and Special Operational Projects, Greenmarket, GrowNYC - Resolution
* National Park Service - Presentation by Mindi Rambo, Public Affairs Specialist, NPS
* 195 Broadway, letter requesting waiver by NYS legislature of 200 foot rule - Committee vote
* 103 Washington St., application for liquor license for SMG Hotel, LLC d/b/a TBD - Resolution
* 86A West Broadway, application for wine and beer license for J R Sushi 2 Inc. - Resolution
* 108 John St., application for liquor license for Thai Sliders & Co. LLC - Resolution
* 88 Fulton St., application for beer license for A Spice Route Inc., d/b/a Tandoor Palace - Resolution

June 5: Planning Committee
* WTC Performing Arts Center - Update by Maggie Boepple, President and Director, Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center
* MTA Bridges and Tunnels - Update on Post-Sandy Repair/Construction Improvements by Lou Andreani, Romolo DeSantis, Marc Mende & Joyce Mulvaney, MTA
* Lower Manhattan Multi-Purpose Levee Feasibility Study - Update by Lusheena Warner, Government & Community Relations, NYC Economic Development Corporation
* Affordable Housing & Stabilization Guide Updates - Julien-Pierre A Schmitz, CB1 Community Planning Fellow

 

METROPOLITAN WATERFRONT ALLIANCE ISSUES FREE WATERFRONT GUIDE
 
Kayakers resting at a natural beach under the Brooklyn Bridge.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance has just published the 2014 edition of SPLASH!, a guide to free and low-cost water-related opportunities for education, enrichment and recreation for kids of all ages in the metropolitan region.

SPLASH! contains listings of dozens of organizations that offer water-based field trips and educational programs. The activities include rowing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, boatbuilding, seining, water-testing, oyster reef restoration, ecological monitoring and data collection. SPLASH! lists organizations by location and includes detailed program descriptions and contact information. For a free copy of SPLASH!, click here.

For a list of waterfront events in June and July, click here.

For a list of resources (who is doing what), click here.

 

CALENDAR: Week of June 2
The walls of Castle Williams on Governors Island are seven to eight feet thick and are made of red sandstone and brick. The fort was built between 1807 and 1811 to defend New York harbor. This summer, Governors Island is open daily, with tours for adults and kids. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
June 3: Emerging Poets Fellowship reading. A glimpse into the most exciting new poetry in New York City. This program, now in its third year, assists emerging poets by providing  poetry writing instruction, mentorship, and access to Poets House's world-class poetry resources and programming. Hosted by 2014 Emerging Poets Fellowship workshop leader Kristin Prevallet. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free to Poets House members. For more information, click here.

June 4: "Deepest Man" at 3LD Art & Technology Center, is a dark, new-age-science, multimedia theatrical production delving into the controversial and amazing properties of water. "Deepest Man" weaves a complex narrative flowing from the mind of a man teetering on the edge. Place: 80 Greenwich St. Time 8 p.m. Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and students). From Wednesday to Saturday, June 4-June 7 and from Wednesday to Saturday, June 11-June 14. For more information, click here.

June 6: The Sunset Singing Circle meets in Wagner Park, Battery Park City, to sing folk songs led by folksinger Terre Roche. Music and words provided. No experience necessary. All ages. Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free.

Ongoing: "From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island." A program for kids, who will see first hand the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required, but large school or day camp groups should call (212) 825-3045. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Place: Governors Island. Time: 10:20 a.m. Also at 11:20 a.m. Free.

Ongoing: Hike Through History. The most comprehensive tour of Governors Island National Monument takes in nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles. Wednesdays to Sundays. Place: Governors Island. Meet at Soissons Dock. Time: 2 p.m. For more information, click here.
 
Ongoing: "A Town Known as Auschwitz" is an exhibit of photographs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage tracing the history of a town called "Oswiecim" in what is now Poland, where Jews and non-Jews lived side by side for centuries. When German forces occupied the town in September 1939, they renamed it "Auschwitz" and established a concentration and death camp there. More than 1 million people died at Auschwitz, including 90 percent of the town's Jews. The museum is at 36 Battery Place. For information the exhibit, click here. For information on the museum's hours and admission fees, click here.
 
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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2014