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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 78  June 13, 2014

Quote of the day:
"It's not a question of if a disaster is going to happen, it's when it will happen." - Capt. Glenford Rose on the need for disaster preparedness.

* State-funded program teaches how to prepare for a disaster
* Letter to the editor: Authenticity in the South Street Seaport
* Battery Park City in bloom: Knock Out roses
* Shoreline experts lead architecture tours of Manhattan
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

'Blushing Pink' Knock Out Rose blooming in Battery Park City. June 11, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Col. Trevor Jackson of the New York National Guard holding up a backpack filled with some of the supplies that would be needed in case of a natural, man-made or technological disaster. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The thunderstorm that passed over Lower Manhattan this evening came with a flash flood warning along with bolts of lightning and claps of thunder that were shockingly bright and loud and shockingly close.

In the wake of hurricanes Irene and Sandy and tropical storm Lee, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a citizen preparedness training program, with the goal of providing New Yorkers with the information needed to cope with an emergency, whether natural, man-made or technological.

Since February, the New York National Guard has been holding two-hour training sessions across the state, abetted by experts from the New York State Division of Homeland Security, the Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control. On May 19, the large community room at Southbridge Towers in the South Street Seaport was filled with people who wanted to hear what they had to say.

"It's not a question of if a disaster is going to happen, it's when it will happen," Capt. Glenford Rose, a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the National Guard, told the crowd. The risk in New York State is greater than elsewhere, he said.

He mentioned natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and ice storms; man-made disasters such as terrorism and accidents; and technological catastrophes such as communications and transportation failures, power outages, water system breakdowns and nuclear power plant failures.

"If a disaster occurs, responders may not be available," he said. "The first responders may be you."

The readiness advice was wide ranging starting with creating a household emergency plan. Capt. Rose advised selecting two places to meet if a family gets separated - a place immediately outside the home and a place away from the neighborhood. He said it was necessary to develop a communications plan. "Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be a contact," he said.

He also said that each family should have enough emergency supplies to last seven to 10 days. That would include a gallon of water per day, per person and pet food.

One of the inducements for attending the training session was undoubtedly that each family was given a backpack containing some of the supplies needed in case of an emergency. The backpacks held first aid kits, drinking water, a flashlight, batteries, goggles, emergency rations, a plastic drop cloth, work gloves, an emergency blanket and more.

Several more training sessions will take place between now and June 25. Two of them are on Staten Island. One, on June 19, is at Confucius Plaza in Chinese. 

For additional information about emergency preparedness training and the upcoming sessions, click here. For information about how to access the U.S. government's wireless emergency alert system, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The audience in the Southbridge Towers community room. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Letter to the editor

It's Sugar, one of the stores installed by The Howard Hughes Corp. in landmarked Schermerhorn Row on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:

As a Seaport resident, business owner and New Yorker for 30 years, my family and I have so enjoyed Howard Hughes' ice skating, free movies and fun events to bring revitalization to this historic area.


It is such a wonderful spot in New York City and there is such huge potential.


But I would encourage Howard Hughes to focus on stores that fit the area such as Anthropologie, Fish's Eddy, Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table - stores with a focus on quality and craftsmanship - but that can still pay the high rents Howard Hughes would like.


By putting in cheap stores like The Limelight and It's Sugar and cheap clothing - HHC is not doing anything different than the last company with leases in the Seaport. HHC is creating a huge wedge between itself and the residents.


Moreover, HHC is not appealing to the young, hip audience it wants with DJs in a white, blow-up cube. Artisans and craftsmanship are what people want and crave. The most authentic and interesting stores in the Seaport are the Bowne printing shop and Bowne Stationers, which belong to the South Street Seaport Museum - the very place whose land holdings I hear HHC would like to have for itself.


Take a walk at Chelsea Market. This is what the Seaport should and could look like - and both the business owners and the landlord are winning.


The Seaport does need HHC's help - but it will be helping no one (and will continue to have a huge fight from the community) the more it focuses on a quick buck and glassy condos. If HHC keeps the authenticity, it will get far more revenue that is also sustainable.  And it would also be helping save an amazing part of New York City. 


The Howard Hughes Corporation could be a hero instead of a foe.


Christine Dimmick


From the editor:

Letters to the editor are welcome. Email We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and length. 


Battery Park City in bloom

'Blushing pink' Knock Out roses. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
June is the month for roses, and Battery Park City has them in abundance. The aptly named 'Blushing Pink' Knock Out Roses growing on the esplanade could stop you in your tracks - they are so exquisitely colored and so beautifully shaped.

William Radler, a Wisconsin horticulturist, bred them to maximize their hardiness and effulgent blooms. They came onto the market in 2000 in a shade of red-violet, and since then, have appeared in a variety of colors, including a sunny yellow.

There are more than 100 species of roses, most of them, native to Asia. They have been cultivated as ornamental plants for at least 2,500 years.

The word "rose," comes from French, derived from the Latin word, "rosa."

Among the great and famous rose gardens of the 19th century was that of the French Empress Josephine (Napoleon's wife), who bred roses in her gardens at Malmaison. Josephine picked up the estate, seven miles outside of Paris, while her husband was away fighting in Egypt. He was said not to have been pleased at her purchase. The place was run down and cost a bundle. But eventually, he came around to her point of view.

To create her rose garden, Josephine acquired plants from her native Martinique as well as from elsewhere in the world. She grew more than 250 kinds of roses and was so enamored of them that she had a well-known Belgian artist of the time, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, create paintings of them.

Eventually, Josephine and Napoleon divorced. She lived at Malmaison among her roses until her death in 1814.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Carefree roses on Rector Place. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Downtown on the water

The shoreline of Manhattan as seen from Classic Harbor Line's yacht, Manhattan.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

With the Manhattan shoreline attracting a lot of attention because of the threat of flooding from sea level rise and climate change, Classic Harbor Line has started a "Featured Guide Series"
in collaboration with members of the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) NYC chapter.

As Classic Harbor Line's 1920-style yacht, Manhattan, circles the island, New York City waterfront specialists offer insights drawn from their involvement in shoreline transformation.

This Sunday, June 15, Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, will lead a tour that explores the ecology, architecture and infrastructure of New York Harbor. As co-author of "On the Water: Palisade Bay," Yarinsky 's research inspired MoMA's Rising Currents exhibit in 2010. Yarinsky, a partner in ARO (Architecture Research Office), has led interdisciplinary teams responsible for the waterfront projects Urban Ground and Greenwich South.

On Sunday, June 22, Signe Nielsen, FASLA, partner in Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and designer of award-winning landscapes, will share examples of her firm's work in the transformation of the city's post-industrial edge. As co-author of High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, published by New York City's Department of Design and Construction, Nielsen will discuss how the City must adopt more resilient waterfront planning to prepare for rising sea levels. 

Both tours are 1.5 hours long and leave from Chelsea Piers at 5:15 p.m. Tickets: $46. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

CALENDAR: Week of June 9
Joe Svehlak leads a walking tour for the Municipal Art Society of "Downtown Manhattan's Lost Neighborhood" on Sunday. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
June 14: "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 12-June 14. For more information, click here.

June 14: The Global Beat Festival explores music from around the world, pairing groups from different traditions. Jivan Gasparyan is an 86-year-old Armenian duduk maestro, who received worldwide critical acclaim following the release of his Brian Eno-produced album "I Will Not Be Sad in This World" in the late '80s. Gasparyan performs on the duduk, an ancient, oboe-like instrument made of apricot wood and played using a remarkable circular breathing technique. For this farewell show Jivan introduces his grandson Jivan Jr., a great talent in his own right, who will carry on this extraordinary tradition. Kayhan Kalhor is one of Iran's most beloved artists and the preeminent ambassador of Persian music. He is a master of the kamancheh, the Persian spiked fiddle. Widely known for stirring improvisations, exquisite compositions, and collaborations with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Brooklyn Rider, Kronos Quartet, Osvaldo Golijov, Ghazal Ensemble, as well as with many orchestras around the world, Kalhor has popularized Persian music in the West and is a creative force in today's international music scene. Place: Brookfield Place, Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St. Time: 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

June 14: Pinkster at the African Burial Ground National Monument, commemorates a religious holiday that was celebrated throughout the Colonial period. Its name is derived from the Dutch word "Pinksteren," which means Pentecost or the Seventh Sunday after Easter. The Pinkster celebration at the African Burial Ground will feature libations, lectures, songs, performances, reading of proclamations and the laying of flowers on the burial mounds. Place: 290 Broadway. Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

June 15: The Municipal Art Society presents a walking tour of "Downtown Manhattan's Lost Neighborhood," led by Joe Svehlak. From the 1840s through the 1960s, waves of Irish and German immigrants, followed by peoples from the former Ottoman Empire, and from Central and Eastern Europe, lived mostly in the old streets west of Trinity Church from Liberty Street to the Battery. Washington Street was the heart of the "Mother Colony" for the many Arab peoples living and working on the Lower West Side, and the area is considered to be the first Arab settlement in the United States. In 1917 the Guaranty News noted 27 nationalities living in this compact area. Sometimes referred to as "Little Syria", Bowling Green Village, or just Downtown, few remnants of this neighborhood still exist due to acts of eminent domain and the rampant redevelopment after 9/11. View the former St. George Syrian Melkite Church, the Downtown Community House, some Federal style townhouses, and the few remaining tenements. You'll hear stories of the diverse people who once populated the neighborhood, learn about the problems facing current residents, and the struggle to landmark the last significant remaining buildings. Location provided on ticket purchase. Time: 10:30 a.m. Tickets: $20; $15 (MAS members). For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "SKY HIGH" identifies a new form of skyscraper in New York and in the world: the super-slender, ultra-luxury residential tower. While Manhattan is the historical home to improbably slender spires, these buildings represent a new typology of trophy properties that use the city's system of transferable air rights and employ a development strategy of slenderness to stretch up 700-1300+ feet tall. The exhibition examines a dozen new examples that rise 50 to 90+ stories on tiny footprints and have slenderness ratios ranging from 1:12 to 1:23. Through June 15. Place: 39 Battery Place. Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). For more information, click here.

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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