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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 85  June 30, 2014


Quote of the day:
"Right now, the size of the fleet is not manageable for any manifestation of the Seaport Museum that I can imagine." - Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum, on the museum's probable need to divest some of its ships 

* Forecast for South Street Seaport Museum? Sun and clouds
* CB1's Seaport Committee getting new leadership
* Bits & Bytes: Conde Nast starts downtown move; New tenants for 1 World Trade Center
* Letters to the editor: Howard Hughes no savior for the Seaport; Hot air balloons?
* On land and sea, some places to celebrate July 4
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of June 30
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

4 World Trade Center. June 26, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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


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

The South Street Seaport Museum's galleries on Fulton Street have been closed for more than a year. Nevertheless, Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the museum, remains optimistic about the museum's future.

"There's nothing that I can say specifically about it, but there's a lot of horsepower behind the effort," he said. "I think a solution will be found."

Come Oct. 29, it will be two years since Superstorm Sandy caused the South Street Seaport Museum to founder, undermining the previously successful efforts of its then-steward, the Museum of the City of New York, to mount interesting exhibits, balance the budget and increase membership.

The electrical system in the museum's galleries at 12 Fulton St. still has not been repaired.

It will be one year as of July 5 since the Museum of the City of New York ceased to manage the South Street Seaport Museum, as it had been doing since the fall of 2011.

Though the museum's Fulton Street galleries have been closed since April 7, 2013, its shops on Water Street - Bowne Stationers and Bowne Printers - are open. On Pier 16, the Ambrose lightship and the museum's 103-year-old, steel-hulled barque, Peking, receive visitors, and the 1885 schooner Pioneer takes them for harbor sails. 


However, visitation is down this year, Boulware said. "We are definitely noticing that the congestion

on Fulton Street has caused a drop in numbers of visitors to Ambrose and Peking, but we're working with Howard Hughes to open that up," he said.   


Food trucks on Water Street in front of Bowne Printers and the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse. 


"There are things that Hughes gets right and there are things that Hughes gets wrong and I think the installation of food trucks in a historic district is not an ideal match," he said. "Food trucks have their time and place for sure, but this isn't it."

 Part of finding a solution for a viable Seaport Museum is reducing the fleet to a size that is manageable, according to Boulware, "and right now, the size of the fleet is not manageable for any manifestation of the Seaport Museum that I can imagine," he said. "At some point, we're going to have to make some hard decisions." 

As has been said for some time, Boulware made it clear that Peking would have to go "when a suitable home can be found for her," but other ships will probably also have to be divested. Boulware declined to say which ones.

The museum's 1893 fishing schooner, Lettie G. Howard, will only make occasional appearances at Pier 16, but that's for other reasons.

"She is not handy enough - meaning nimble - to manage the currents on the East River," said Boulware. "So for years, actually, she either had to come and go with the tide, or for a long time she was up at the 79th Street boat basin. There are limitations that make it difficult for Lettie to operate from the Seaport so that she's typically only at the Seaport when she's in a period of lay up."


Lettie G. Howard has been spending some time in Atlantic Basin and at Pier 25 and occasionally, has been making appearances elsewhere as she did this past Saturday at the start of the Bay Ridge Community Eco Dock's 2014 season. The flexible, floating dock at the 69th Street pier in Bay Ridge allows large and mid-sized historical, cultural, commercial and educational vessels and smaller human-powered boats to tie up. It also serves as a platform for environmental education programs.    


The Lettie is manned by a South Street Seaport Museum crew captained by Aaron Singh. There are also New York Harbor School students on board and volunteers from the Seaport Museum.  


In 1989, Lettie G. Howard was declared a National Historic Landmark. In 2013, she went to shipyard in Portland, Maine for $250,000 worth of repairs, money that was largely raised through the efforts of the Museum of the City of New York.  


Ambrose has also been repaired recently and Wavertree is scheduled to go to shipyard this summer for six months of repairs. Perhaps the future of the South Street Seaport Museum will have been determined by the time she returns. 


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer  


The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship, Ambrose.


South Street Seaport
At a Community Board 1 Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting, Marco Pasanella and John Fratta listened to a presentation from Phillip St. Pierre, general manager of the South Street Seaport for The Howard Hughes Corporation. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

John Fratta, chairperson of Community Board 1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee, will leave the community board at the end of July. Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, will appoint a new chairperson for the committee, but has not yet announced who that will be.

Marco Pasanella, owner of Pasanella & Son Vintners at 115 South St., is currently vice chairman of the Seaport/Civic Center Committee. He is also founder and chairperson of the Old Seaport Alliance, a consortium of merchants in the South Street Seaport. He is presumably in line for the Seaport Committee chairmanship, though others may also be considered.

Community Board 1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee has been on the front line of the battle for the future of the South Street Seaport. It will ultimately play an important role in advancing or blocking approvals that would be needed for future development since much of the Seaport is publicly owned property, some of which is landmarked. The disposition of this property would have to go through a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process, and Community Board 1 is the first stop in those proceedings.

John Fratta had been outspoken in his criticisms of The Howard Hughes Corporation's tactics in advancing its plans for real estate development of the South Street Seaport. He was among those who repeatedly asked HHC for a master plan for its development efforts, which HHC at first said it didn't have, but in any event, never provided.

In December 2011, when HHC first quietly showed its plans for a new glass, shopping mall on Pier 17 to some members of the Community Board, Fratta registered his reservations and his suspicions. "We know what you want to do for Pier 17 and it sounds very sexy and everything else," he said at the time. "What about the rest of the Seaport?" He said that Howard Hughes claimed that "because of the economic crisis that we're in, they're not ready to move on anything other than Pier 17."

Fratta went on record at that time of being in favor of using the Tin Building and the New Market Building to house the New Amsterdam Market so that it could operate year round. "It may be premature, but down the road we should start looking at a resolution urging or demanding, really, that those stalls be used for this purpose so we don't have to worry about something else coming in over there," Fratta said on Dec. 19, 2011. "We know how important it is to the community."

Ultimately, on March 20, 2013, the Howard Hughes Corporation did receive approval from City Council to demolish the existing shopping mall on Pier 17 and to erect a new shopping mall. And finally after its hand was forced by an article in The New York Times on Nov. 18, 2013, on Nov. 19, Howard Hughes revealed that it wanted to demolish the New Market Building and erect a 50-story luxury hotel/residential tower on that site. It also wanted to move the Tin Building and make other changes to the South Street Seaport.

In the aftermath of that revelation and a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 13, 2014 at which most speakers expressed opposition to the Howard Hughes plans, a Seaport Working Group was formed to hammer out non-binding guidelines for the development of the South Street Seaport.

It met for 11 weeks. Fratta was a member of that working group.

Among the Seaport Working Group's guidelines was one that explicitly addressed the subject of a tower. "Buildings developed on properties adjoining the South Street Seaport Historic District should not adversely impact neighborhood scale and character," the guideline says. Under that, the task force stated that, "Alternatives to the proposed 50-story tower should be sought and any building on the New Market site should be contextual with the buildings within the South Street Seaport Historic District."

Howard Hughes has yet to reveal its explicit proposals for the New Market Building, the Tin Building or for a tower in the Seaport. By the time it does so, John Fratta will be gone.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes
1 World Trade Center is now 56 percent leased. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Condé Nast starts its migration downtown," Capital New York, 6/30/14. "Condé Nast began its move to downtown Manhattan today," Capital New York reports. The news was announced on the publisher's Twitter feed. "The company's technology group, archives team and Condé Nast Entertainment all started working Monday at 222 Broadway, not far from 1 World Trade Center, where the rest of Condé Nast's workforce will begin moving this November. About 300 employees relocated from 1166 Avenue of the Americas to floors 15, 16 and 17 at 222 Broadway, a Condé Nast spokesperson told Capital." For the complete article, click here.

"With a total of seven tenants, 1 WTC now 56 percent leased,"
The Real Deal, 6/30/14. "With three recent leases, the Durst Organization and the Port Authority seem to be breaking out of a three-year slump to fill One World Trade Center," says The Real Deal. "The first new tenant after the dry spell was KiDS Creative, followed by BMB Group, a London-based wealth management company. Legends Hospitality is setting up its headquarters in the building and will also run One World Trade Center's 1,766-foot-high observatory." That means that seven tenants have signed leases in the 3 million-square-foot building, with more potential deals in the works. The building is now 56 percent leased. For the complete article, click here.

Classes at the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School: This is the time to register for yoga, summer tennis and babysitter's training classes at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center, 345 Chambers St. Babysitter's training is a two-day course for 11 to 15 year olds, run by the American Red Cross and offered on July 17 and 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Graduates receive a certificate. Space is limited. $100; $75 (Community Center members). Yoga classes are offered on Mondays from July 28 to Sept. 22, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The instructor, Molly Heron, has practiced Hatha Yoga for more than 25 years and teaches at the Integral Yoga Institute in Greenwich Village. $144; $128 (Community Center members); $20, (drop ins). Summer tennis is for 8 to 14 year olds at all levels of experience and ability. The course runs from July 21 to Aug. 8 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. $450 (for nine sessions); $60 (drop ins). For more information or to register, call (646) 210-4292. Click here for more information.

Letters to the Editor

Lawn chairs and fake grass on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
I love your coverage of the Seaport. Howard Hughes has yet to make a decision or choice that reflects they really care about the historical beauty and history of the Seaport. They have yet to demonstrate that they intuitively understand who lives here. It breaks my heart to see what they are doing there. While the Seaport does need an infusion of something new, based on what I've seen and read Howard Hughes is not it.

Lorraine (last name withheld at letter writer's request)

To the editor:
Thank you for your incisive and ongoing coverage of excessive noise caused by tourist helicopter flights originating in Lower Manhattan. ("Helicopter and ferry noise plague downtown residents," DPNYC, 6/27/14)

These flights make life unbearable for thousands of New York City residents. Many cannot have conversations in their own living rooms - or in their children's bedrooms - without having to pause every two minutes because they cannot be heard until a helicopter passes.

These flights are enjoyed by tourists for about 15 minutes. But they imperil the safety, security and quality of life of New York City residents -- every day, all day long.

Allowing this to continue is ridiculously wrong, of course. And every elected official representing Lower Manhattan has agreed that these tourist helicopter flights should be curtailed or banned.

But the flights persist. Why? Money is the only justification, according to City Hall.

From the numbers I've seen, these flights bring pathetically little income to New York City - far less than can be justified by this relentless persecution of local residents.

 But, hey, the budget is tight, and we need all we can get. So here's my modest proposal...

1- Ban tourist helicopters from all New York City airspace, immediately.

2- Allow airborne tours only by HOT AIR BALLOONS.

Balloons are quiet, non-intrusive, even picturesque. Tourists can get their thrills and photos, no one is disturbed, New York City harvests tourist income, and local residents can admire the balloons - rather than resent the noise of helicopters, and spend years fighting to abolish them.

Only half in jest,
Ro Sheffe

From the editor:

We welcome letters to the editor. Email them to We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length. If requested, we will publish letters anonymously but all letters must be identified to Downtown Post NYC with the writer's full name and contact information.

July 4 celebrations

July 4 fireworks. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Piers 15 and 16: On piers 15 and 16, there will be a "private party" sponsored by Macy's with food, non-alcoholic beverages and live music, with some of the proceeds benefiting the South Street Seaport Museum. Tickets: $275; $195 (South Street Seaport Museum members). To buy tickets, click here.

Pioneer: The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner Pioneer will take 40 guests for a sail on the East River as the fireworks explode over the Brooklyn Bridge. The fully catered event will include beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets: $325; $250 (South Street Seaport Museum members). To buy tickets, click hereTo become a member of the South Street Seaport Museum, click here.

Hornblower Cruises: Hornblower will be putting two ships in the water for July 4: Jubilee and Infinity. Both will offer food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cruising, an on-board DJ and prime views of the East River fireworks. Both leave from Pier 40 at Houston Street. Prices start at $185 a person (plus tax and fees) on Jubilee with add-ons for special amenities. Infinity is offering three different packages, starting at $201.59 a person, plus taxes and fees. All of Infinity's packages include an open bar. For more information, click here.

New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown: View the fireworks from one of the jaunty, yellow New York Water Taxis or from Circle Line Downtown's plush yacht, the Zephyr. New York Water Taxi will offer hors d'oeuvres, a light buffet, dessert trays, soda, juice and water for $225 a person. A cash bar will also be available for beer and wine. The boat leaves from Pier 45, Hudson River Park, (Christopher Street and West Side highway), with boarding at 7:15 p.m. The Zephyr will serve hors d'oeuvres, a buffet dinner, dessert trays, soda, juice and water for $325 a person. A cash bar will also be available. The Zephyr leaves from Pier 25, Hudson River Park (between Franklin and North Moore Streets on the West Side highway) at 7:15 p.m. Both excursions will be approximately three and a half hours. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Classic Harbor Line: Classic Harbor Line's sailing ships and small yachts are sold out for July 4. However, Classic Harbor Line is offering a July 4 package aboard a five-deck yacht called the Aqua Azul, which can accommodate up to 350 guests. The 3.5-hour July 4 cruise includes beer, wine, sangria, water and juice, hors d'oeuvres and desserts. The cruise leaves at 7 p.m. from Chelsea Piers at 20th Street. Tickets: $352 a person. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Manhattan by Sail: Manhattan by Sail has two ships: Clipper City, one of the largest sailing ships in the harbor, and Shearwater, a classic schooner that dates from 1929 and can hold up to 48 people. At 158 feet long, Clipper City can accommodate up to 134 passengers. Both ships will serve an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet with an open bar. Clipper City will depart from Battery Park at 5:30 p.m., returning shortly after 10 p.m. Tickets are $350 for adults and $275 for children, 12 and under. Shearwater leaves from North Cove Marina in Battery Park City at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $450 for adults, $350 for children, 12 and under. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Federal Hall: An all-day event at Federal Hall National Memorial, 26 Wall St., commemorates the Fourth of July. Though the citizens of New York City first heard a reading of the Declaration of Independence at Bowling Green, George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on the site of what is now the Federal Hall National Memorial. Starting at 10 a.m. on July 4, visitors can meet Gen. George Washington (portrayed by a living history enactor), hear period music, and take part in a special reading of the Declaration of Independence. Those who participate in the reading will receive a certificate filled out with his or her name and signed by Gen. Washington. As there are only a limited number of spots for readers, advance reservations are being taken. To sign up, call (212) 835-6990 or email In addition, National Park Service Rangers will lead programs on the causes of the American Revolution as well as how the news of the Declaration was received by various populations in New York. For more information, including program times, click here.

South Street Seaport/See/Change: The Howard Hughes Corporation is staging three days of free music and movies in the South Street Seaport (July 3 to July 5). For more information, click here.

Viewing sites for the July 4 fireworks: The fireworks can be seen from any area with an unobstructed view of the sky above the East River. The public viewing sections will be the elevated portions of FDR Drive with the following entry points in Manhattan:

Montgomery and South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street). Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) and Wagner Place (viewing both north and south of the Brooklyn Bridge). Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street (viewing between Heliport and south side of Brooklyn Bridge ADA viewing area: Murray Bergtraum High School track and field facility, at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Use the entrance at Market & Cherry Streets. Note: Piers 15 to 17 are not public viewing areas.


Community Board 1 committee meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, and start at 6 p.m., unless otherwise noted. All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

Sgt. Phuchong Srisuro of the Battery Park City Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) at a Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee meeting. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

July 1: Battery Park City Committee

          Location: Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave. at 6 p.m.
* 212 North End Ave., application for catering liquor license for Asphalt Green - Resolution
* 225 Liberty St. a/k/a World Financial Center, Store #251, application for beer license for SkinnyPizza WFC LLC - Resolution
* BPC Parks Enforcement Patrol - Update by Sergeant Phuchong Srisuro
* Quality of life impacts from ferry operations - Update

July 2: Financial District Committee
* Summary of Traffic Study and Recommendations made by Pace University Students - Presentation
* 92 Fulton St., application for approval to facilitate construction of a residential building within the bed of a mapped but unbuilt street - Resolution
* 103 Washington St., application for liquor license for SMG Hotel, LLC and Amazon Restaurant & Bar Inc. as Manager - Resolution
* 88 Fulton St., application for beer license for A Spice Route Inc., d/b/a Tandoor Palace - Resolution
* 108 John St., application for liquor license for Thai Sliders & Co. LLC - Resolution
* 88 Broad St., application for liquor license for OBBM LLC - Resolution
* Sidewalk café regulations - Presentation by Michael Levine, CB1 Planning Consultant

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
*  2 Broadway, application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for Chipotle Mexican Grill of Colorado, LLC

July 4: Office closed - Independence Day

CALENDAR: Week of June 30
The interior of St. Paul's Chapel at 209 Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets. The chapel dates from 1766. George Washington worshiped here after he was inaugurated as the first president of the United States. A walking tour on July 2 will visit St. Paul's and other places in Lower Manhattan associated with the American Revolution.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
July 2: Walking tour, "New York During the American Revolution" with guide Peter Laskowich. He will point out the remnants of the American Revolution in Lower Manhattan, the damage caused by inspired patriots, and symbols of British authority. Charrings from a great fire as the British invaded show the direction of the blaze and suggest how some historic structures, like St. Paul's Chapel, survived. It was one of two great fires that left most of the city in ruins. "New York is destroyed," said George Washington at the end of the war, "but its future greatness is certain." The tour is sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society. Meeting location upon ticket purchase. Time: 10 a.m. $20; $15 (Municipal Art Society members). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.
July 3: Explore the military history of New York harbor aboard Classic Harbor Line's yacht, Kingston. The 2.5-hour tour takes in the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Louis Kahn's Four Freedoms Monument on Roosevelt Island, the harbor forts on Governors Island and more. Place: Leaves from Chelsea Piers near 22nd St. Time: 2 p.m. Tickets: $68. (World War II veterans, free). Also on July 4 and July 5. For more informaiton and to buy tickets, click here

July 5
: "Tugboats: Workhorses of New York Harbor," an exhibit of photographs by John Skelson aboard the Lilac, a historic lighthouse tender docked at Pier 25. Skelson's photographs document the powerful and colorful array of tugs that keep our harbor working. Opening party for the exhibit on Tuesday, July 8, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Cash bar. (Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Exhibit runs through July 31. For more information about the Lilac, click here.

Ongoing: Poets House presents its 22nd annual showcase, a free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year from over 650 commercial, university, and independent presses. Through Aug. 16. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. 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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