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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 94  July 21, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The sculpture collection in New York City's parks constitutes the greatest outdoor public art museum in the United States." - New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website.  

* New York City as art collector and art patron
* Restaurant Week in Lower Manhattan
* Bits & Bytes: Luxury rentals in Tribeca; Private-sector tenant for 4WTC; LaValva returns
* LaunchLM series continues with session on 'placemaking'
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Hudson River Park, Pier 25. July 12, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Art in the parks
The East Coast Memorial in Historic Battery Park. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


The website of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation doesn't mince words when it comes to describing the city's art collection. "The sculpture collection in New York City's parks constitutes the greatest outdoor public art museum in the United States," the website says.

There are more than 800 public monuments in the Parks Department's permanent collection. In addition, dozens of temporary works of public art are exhibited every year in what the website calls "New York City's greatest public gallery."

The catalog of subjects and artists in the permanent collection goes on for 84 pages. The list of temporary exhibits is shorter, but still impressive.

The Parks Department also runs an art gallery in the Arsenal at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, currently showing an exhibit of photographs entitled "Tomorrow's World: The New York World's Fairs and Flushing Meadows Corona Park." It will be there through Aug. 27.

The city's "Art & Antiquities" department, as it is called, is directed by Jonathan Kuhn.

One of the permanent monuments under his care is the East Cost Memorial in historic Battery Park. It lists the names of the 4,601 members of the armed forces who died in combat on the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. Shockingly, it recently appeared to have been defaced with large scratches.

Kuhn said it was fine.

"I am pleased to report that these are not newly inscribed scratches or defacement, nor cause for alarm," he wrote in an email.  "The lines, which at times are more visible under certain weather and light conditions, are original 'inclusions' in the granite used to build the monument, and have been present since its dedication in May 1963."

He said that in recent decades, the monument has received greater attention and care than it had previously. The American Battle Monuments Commission came to the rescue, aided by the Parks Department's Citywide Monuments Conservation Program. They conserved the monument in 1997 and have conducted annual maintenance, as well as periodic inspections, since then.

With so much art under his wing, in addition to conservation, Kuhn has to figure out where to put things. The sculpture in the city's collection isn't tiny. For instance, there is the
15-foot-tall statue of Abraham de Peyster (1657-1728), an alderman, mayor, member of the king's council and acting governor of New York City.

In the late 19th century, his great-great-great grandson, John Watts de Peyster, commissioned a statue of his ancestor, sitting grandly on a large chair, bewigged and armed with a sword. From 1896 to 1972, the statue lorded it over Bowling Green Park, but then it had to be moved to make way for park and subway renovations. It next went to Hanover Square, but that, too, proved to be only a temporary resting place. In 2003, Hanover Square was redesigned and dedicated to the memory of the British victims of the World Trade Center attacks so de Peyster was booted. For more than a decade, he was not on public display.

This sad state of affairs came to an end on July 8, when he again found a worthy home at Thomas Paine Park in Foley Square. More than two dozen de Peyster descendants attended the rededication ceremony.

Now, Kuhn is fundraising to keep the de Peyster statue looking chill. The brochure for the rededication ceremony plugged the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, a public-private initiative of New York City Parks. "Founded in 1997, the program provides consistent professional care for the city's vast outdoor collection of art and monuments," the brochure says.

"If you would like to make a contribution to help preserve the Abraham de Peyster statue, please make your check payable to the City Parks Foundation and send it to Art & Antiquities, NYC Parks & Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, NY, NY 10065."

As an added incentive, all donations are fully tax deductible.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A statue of Abraham de Peyster, first unveiled in 1896, now sits in Foley Square.  
(Photo: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks) 

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


Oysters at Blue Smoke in Battery Park City, one of the restaurants participating in the Restaurant Week promotion. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To give restaurants a boost during the doldrums of summer, NYC & Company, New York City's tourism arm, promotes "Restaurant Week" - actually four weeks between July 21 and Aug. 15 - when participating restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $25 and a three-course dinner for $38 (both, plus the cost of beverages, tax and tip).

In Lower Manhattan, 26 restaurants are participating. Some offer both lunch and dinner, some, just lunch or just dinner. In all cases, Saturdays are excluded.

The participating restaurants in Battery Park City, the Financial District and Tribeca include 2 West, Atrio Wine Bar and Restaurant, Blue Smoke, Bobby Van's Steakhouse and Grill, The Capital Grille Wall Street, Church & Dey, Cipriani Wall Street, City Hall Restaurant, Delmonico's, Fino Ristorante Italiano, The Harrison, Harry's Cafe and Steak, Kutsher's Tribeca, Les Halles Downtown, MarkJoseph Steakhouse, Megu New York, Morton's The Steakhouse - World Trade Center, Mr. Chow New York - Tribeca, Nobu New York, Nobu Next Door, Sarabeth's Restaurant Tribeca, Sazón, Tamarind Tribeca, Telepan Local, Thalassa Restaurant and Tribeca Grill.

For more information and to make reservations, click here.


Bits & Bytes
On July 21, 4 World Trade Center got its first private-sector tenant. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Charles Dayan to build luxury rentals at foreclosed Tribeca site," The Real Deal, 7/21/14. "Developer Charles Dayan is looking to build an 18-story residential building in TriBeca, after the building's previous owner lost the site to foreclosure," says The Real Deal. "Dayan's Bonjour Capital filed plans on Monday to build an 89-unit apartment building at 59 Franklin Place, which has an alternate address of 358 Broadway, according to property records. The plans came on the heels of an application in May to demolish the site's existing, six-story building. Dayan plans to build 100 units of luxury rentals. For the complete article, click here.

"Silverstein's 4 WTC leases 106,000 sq. ft. to MediaMath," New York Post, 7/21/14. "MediaMath came up with the right number for Larry Silverstein," says the New York Post. "The global technology company has signed a lease for 106,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center, making it the 2.3 million square-foot tower's first private-sector tenant. The deal has been in discussions for months but was only finalized Monday morning. MediaMath will move more than 300 employees from three Midtown locations into 4 World Trade's 44th, 45th and 46th floors, Silverstein said." For the complete article, click here.

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver welcomed the deal as "the kind of development I had hoped to encourage when I championed the extension of critical financial tax incentives for Lower Manhattan businesses earlier this year. Because of our efforts, companies are continuing to relocate to downtown and our community is thriving," he said.

Robert LaValva back in town: The New Amsterdam Market's founder, Robert LaValva, is back in New York City after having been incommunicado all last week. On July 14, he had announced that he was closing the New Amsterdam Market, which had been operating on South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip. In a terse email on his return, he said, "I gave it my best and I reached a point where I cannot go further. It has been 10 years." Roland Lewis, the chairman of the New Amsterdam Market board of directors, is out of town this week. LaValva said he had nothing more to say until Lewis returns and they can confer.

"New Kid on the Block: Macaron Café," Tribeca Citizen, 7/21/14. "Arnaud and Cecile Cannone have opened the fourth outpost of Macaron Café - it's at 303 Greenwich, in what used to be a medical office," says Tribeca Citizen. "The new location has the same menu as the others: sandwiches (including breakfast ones), salads, soup, and pastries" and 18 flavors of macarons. Macaron Café is open daily with hours yet to be determined. For the complete article, click here.

"A 24-Hour Stay on the Rapidly Changing Governors Island,", 7/17/14. "Piece by piece, the ghost town of Governors Island is being reclaimed," says "Every day, boatloads of visitors temporarily repopulate this former military base, undeterred by a new $2 ferry fee. The island is now open seven days a week, with picnickers, bicyclists, farmers, students, and club-goers exploring its changing landscape." On July 12 and 13, "an annual overnight camping trip for City of Water Day provided a unique opportunity to view the ebb and flow of the island's daily life over the course of 24 hours." The article, with photographs, documents Governors Island by day and by night. For the complete article, click here.

South Street Seaport
Under the auspices of LaunchLM, a series of lectures in the South Street Seaport has been discussing technology and cities. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Placemaking" is a word dearly loved by current urban planners but probably not clearly understood by those not immersed in that work. It refers to the way the people in a community define and utilize shared spaces that are central to their neighborhoods - a village green, a plaza, or a park, for instance.

People create these places, of course, but the nature of these places, in turn, influences the lives and behavior of the people in the community that use them.

On July 22, LaunchLM, a tech sector development enterprise established by the Alliance for Downtown New York, will consider technology's role in creating urban public spaces.

A panel assembled by SHoP Architects with assistance from Droga5, an advertising firm, will explore new ideas for securing public space and increasing access to green space in urban settings. The panelists will also talk about how to utilize new and developing technologies to build more efficiently and will discuss different approaches to experiencing and interacting with public spaces.

The speakers will include Dan Barasch and James Ramsey of The Lowline, a project for utilizing underground space; Margaret Newman of the Municipal Art Society; David Benjamin of The Living Architecture Lab and winner of this year's PS1 young architects program; Jamie Bennett of ArtPlace America, a national collaboration designed to accelerate creative placemaking across the country and Susie Ibarra of Digital Sanctuaries, which brings sound and art to public spaces.

Following the panel discussion, Ibarra will lead participants on a site visit to two of her Digital Sanctuaries locations.

The free lectures take place in the South Street Seaport at the corner of Fulton and Front Streets on Tuesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m.


CALENDAR: Week of July 21
The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner, Pioneer, sails New York Harbor, Tuesdays through Sundays. For tickets, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
July 24: Arts Brookfield partners with Rooftop Films to present three nights of films, each preceded by a live musical performance. The series starts with "Animation Block Party," the premier animation festival on the East Coast. The Dominican pop band Franny & Zooey will open. Place: Brookfield Place's waterfront plaza in Battery Park City. Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Screening: 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

July 24: On the third night of the five-part River & Blues series, the Heritage Blues Quintet honors old African-American musical traditions. Place: Wagner Park in Battery Park City. Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free.

July 25: The second program in the Arts Brookfield film series offers short films preceded by electronic hop-hop band Pool Cosby. No city in the world produces more independent films than New York City, with more being made each year. Place: Brookfield Place's waterfront plaza in Battery Park City. Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Performance: 7:30 p.m. Screening: 8:45 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

July 26: A documentary feature film, "The Case of the Three Sided Dream," closes the three-night film festival on Brookfield Place's waterfront plaza. It will be preceded by the Aukua Dixon Quartet. "The Case of the Three Sided Dream" revolves around musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who, despite being blind, becoming paralyzed, and facing America's racial injustices, did not relent. Adam Kahan's artful and poignant documentary features spectacular performance footage of this dynamic artist. Place: Brookfield Place's waterfront plaza in Battery Park City. Time: Doors
open at 6:30 p.m. Performance: 7:30 p.m. Screening: 8:45 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. For more information, click here. 
July 26: Poets House, a free, 60-000-volume poetry library based in Battery Park City, will have an outpost on Governors Island for two more weekends in July and August. Visitors will be able to settle into one of the historic houses on Colonels' Row and make drawings and write poetry, filling in the outline of a gigantic mural cityscape created by artist Felipe Galindo. The idea is to make a city of poems. There will be writing prompts for those who want them, including a Haiku station where visitors can play with the ancient form via social media applications. Drawings will also be welcome as contributions to the cityscape. When: Saturdays and Sundays, July 26 and 27 and August 2 and 3; Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Where: 406A Colonels' Row, Governors Island; How to get there: Ferries go to Governors Island from South Street in Manhattan and from Brooklyn. Ferries are free on weekend mornings. For the ferry schedule and fare information, click here. 

July 27: Aboard a New York Water Taxi, Gabriel Willow, a naturalist with the New York City Audubon Society, will lead a two-hour ecocruise, "Bridges and Birds," to Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, nesting place for egrets, cormorants and gulls.  (Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. leaving from Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport.) On Sunday, Aug. 3, he leads a two-hour cruise to the Brothers Islands in the East River. The next New York Water Taxi/New York City Audubon Society ecocruise to Jamaica Bay takes place on Sunday, Aug. 10, followed by one on Aug. 17. The cruise is three hours long (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.).  For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

July 27: The Friends of the Lower West Side will lead a walking tour of the neighborhood that was sometimes called "Little Syria" because so many immigrants from the Middle East settled there in the 19th century. The tour will take in the former St. George Melkite Church, the Downtown
Community House, some Federal-style town homes, and the few remaining tenements. Leaders Joe Svehlak, an urban historian whose family lived on the Lower West Side in the early 1900s, and Esther Regelson, community activist and current resident, will tell stories of the diverse people who lived together in one of New York's great neighborhood melting pots. They will also talk about the problems facing current residents as they fight to preserve the last significant remaining buildings. A donation of $10 to $20 will help with preservation efforts. Place: Meet inside the Staten Island Ferry Building (South Ferry) at the bottom of the escalators, left side. Time: 10:30 a.m. For more information, call Joe at (718) 855-7374 or Esther at (212) 349-4396 or email

Ongoing: Calvin Love, "a Canadian bedroom punk out of Edmonton," who "delivers suave and demented tunes" and las Rosas, a trio from Brooklyn, played at the Seaport Music Festival on July 18. The Festival is produced and partially sponsored by The Howard Hughes Corp. Place: Fulton Street at Water Street. Time: 7 p.m. Free. The Festival continues on Friday nights through Aug. 29. For more information, click here.  

: Every Friday through Aug. 22, join a master drummer in Battery Park City's Wagner Park for Sunset Jams on the Hudson. Improvise on African, Caribbean and Latin rhythms. Drums provided, or bring your own. Place: Wagner Park. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. For more information, click here

: "Tugboats: Workhorses of New York Harbor," photographs by John Skelson, are on exhibit aboard the Lilac, a historic lighthouse tender docked at Pier 25, through July 31. Skelson's photographs document the powerful and colorful array of tugs that keep our harbor working. The Lilac is open 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information about the Lilac, click here.

Ongoing: An exhibit in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's arts center on Governors Island examines a pivotal time in Trisha Brown's early career as an artist and choreographer, as well as a particularly fertile moment for artistic production in New York City. With videos, photographs and installations, "Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity" highlights Brown's community of performers and artists, and the Lower Manhattan in which they lived and created. The exhibit shows Brown's investigation of simple movements such as walking or dressing, and the built environment, specifically through performances that took place on buildings inside and out, museum walls, parks, cobblestone streets, and other non-traditional performance spaces. 
The exhibition also bridges the transition in Brown's practice from site- and gallery-based work to proscenium stage work, for which she became well-known throughout the 1980s and beyond. Through Sept. 28. Times: Fridays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. For more information, 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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