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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 99  Aug. 1, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE

Quote of the day:
"We are actively planning the future of New Amsterdam Market and will keep you informed." - Robert LaValva, founder of the New Amsterdam Market, in an email indicating that the market may reopen.
 
* Possible resurrection for New Amsterdam Market and fight for the Seaport Historic District
* Bits & Bytes: BPCA questions Downtown Connection bus; WTC contractor charged with fraud
* Letters to the editor: Southbridge Towers shareholders at loggerheads
* Downtown arts: Bettye LaVette soars and smolders in River & Blues concert
* In the farmers' markets: Week of July 28
* NYPD and community get acquainted on National Night Out
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to www.DowntownPostNYC.com

Bettye LaVette singing in Battery Park City. July 31, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


 

South Street Seaport
POSSIBLE RESURRECTION FOR NEW AMSTERDAM MARKET

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver touring the New Amsterdam Market in September 2011. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The thousands of people who visited the New Amsterdam Market between Beekman Street and Peck Slip on South Street every day that it was open can take heart. The market may not be closed for good, after all.

"My decision to stop holding New Amsterdam Market on South Street grew from the frustrations of running a minimally funded organization while also leading a contentious land-use campaign for nearly a decade," founder Robert LaValva wrote in an email and on the New Amsterdam Market website on Friday. "Thanks to the overwhelming expressions of support and concern that poured in after the July 14 announcement, our board of directors and I are inspired to see that the market continues its mission. We are actively planning the future of New Amsterdam Market and will keep you informed."

A plaque on Schermerhorn Row says that the buildings were restored between 1981 and 1983 by the People of New York State. Millions of dollars of public money went into this effort. 
In the meantime, LaValva urged the people who care about the market to "join us in demanding that public assets at the South Street Seaport remain in public hands and [be] used for public purposes."

An Op-Ed piece called "The War on New York's Waterfront" ran in Friday's New York Times. Written by Roland Lewis, Paul Greenberg and Joan Davidson, it spoke about "the possible giveaway of our public property to a Texas-based real estate developer [The Howard Hughes Corporation]."

The HHC plan "would involve the destruction of the Fulton Fish Market's New Market Building, the construction of a soaring luxury tower and the imposition of a massive glass shopping mall - all of which could likely be a mere beachhead for further development inland," the New York Times Op-Ed article said.

"Forward this article widely to your lists," LaValva asked his followers, "but do this from within the Times website, so it can be put on the front page and be seen by more people."

He also asked that they endorse "The Vision for the Seaport" on the New Amsterdam Market website, and that they encourage friends and colleagues to show their support. 

Liz Gutman of Liddabit Sweets at the New Amsterdam Market on May 31, 2014. The now-thriving business
was incubated at the market. 
LaValva's vision for the Seaport goes far beyond the market. He has long called for the creation of an "East River Market District" that would preserve the historic Fulton Fish Market buildings and repurpose them as a year-round food market, incubators for food-related businesses, classrooms for teaching about food preparation and places where chefs could hold food-related events and demonstrations.


The New Amsterdam Market was first held at the New York City Municipal Building on Oct. 2, 2005, LaValva said on the New Amsterdam Market website. "Our mission, then as now, is to support sustainable food systems, regional economies, and fair trade through an emerging small business community."

He recapitulated the history of the market. "In December 2007, we moved to the site of New York City's oldest commons, on the East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan -- where public trade has been conducted since 1642," he wrote.  "For seven years, the market grew at this location while championing the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Old Fulton Fish Market, an endangered and irreplaceable city-owned icon."

LaValva is saying that "a massive expression of public support is now needed for this vision to be fulfilled." He is asking those who support the market and his proposal for an East River Market District to sign a petition for delivery to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. (To see the petition, click here.)

In The Times Op-Ed article, Lewis, Greenberg and Davidson noted that, "Public money is used all the time for public infrastructure." They asked rhetorically, "Couldn't some money be found for what is arguably Manhattan's last grand public space?"

In suggesting alternative uses for the Seaport that would respect its history and historic buildings, they said, "What we don't need, in a place whose uniqueness attracts the world, is another sterile development that further reduces Manhattan to an overstuffed version of every other city in the country."

More than 100 people commented on the article, most of them agreeing with the authors. "Anything but another luxury glass tower," said someone identified in the comments section as "grilledsardine" from Brooklyn. "It amazes me how this city never learns its lesson about preservation and how important it is to stay connected to our collective history. A year-round food hall sounds like a grand idea."

"Simply looking at the modern graphics that the Howard Hughes Corp has plastered all over the Seaport: "SEE/CHANGE" and "STH/ST/SEAPRT/NYC" shows how blissfully out of touch HHC is with this area and its history," said a man named Chuck from Lower Manhattan. "This is a fight that can be won, and people who live here and those around the world who care about maritime history and historic preservation will have to lead Mayor De Blasio and the other elected officials in the right direction to rescind this obscene giveaway to a profit-driven corporation with no taste."

"So, now what do we do????" asked Virginia from Greenwich Village.

A man named Matt J. from San Francisco said that he had visited New York City and had taken his wife to the Seaport. "I had remembered going there as a little kid in late '70s or early '80s and actually remembered it as a museum," he said. "Boy, what a disappointment it is today. It was like going to any mall in America with the same stores (and it was pretty dead in terms of people). As someone who now lives in San Francisco, I would encourage NYC to look to what San Francisco did with the Ferry Building so that it isn't just tourists but locals as well who come to visit and shop. If I want to go to the mall, I will go to Garden State Plaza and get my fill."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Howard Hughes installations on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport.  


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

Bits & Bytes
DOWNTOWN CONNECTION BUS; WTC INTERSECTION RESTORED; WTC CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH FRAUD; 'CROWD SELLING' APARTMENTS    
The free Downtown Alliance Connection bus makes 37 stops between the South Street Seaport and Broadway near City Hall. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
 
Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors (again) debates support for Connection bus: It's that time of year again, when the Battery Park City Authority board of directors wonders how much the Connection bus run by the Downtown Alliance is costing the BPCA, and whether that cost is reasonable. At the board of directors meeting on Thursday, Robert Serpico, the Authority's CFO, said of the bus, "It's a great service to our community."

The free bus makes a total of 37 stops between the South Street Seaport, where it begins its route, and Broadway near City Hall, where it turns around to return to the Seaport. According to Serpico, 18 of those stops are in Battery Park City, where 45 percent of all rides begin and 49 percent end.

Battery Park City is not in the Downtown Alliance Business Improvement District, but nevertheless has been contributing $632,000 a year to fund the shuttle. "We pay a little less than our fair percentage of the cost to the Downtown Alliance," said Serpico, who recommended that the subsidy be continued.

Dennis Mehiel, chairman of the BPCA, observed that the Alliance's contract with the current bus company will expire in one year. "Given the portion that we're funding here, do we have a right of reasonable approval on the contract that they entered into?" he asked.

Serpico replied, "
I don't think we have a right to say no or yes. We work cooperatively with them."

Mehiel was not entirely satisfied with that answer. If the contract has been in place for years, he said, "
it is what it is. I'm simply suggesting that we put them [the Downtown Alliance] on notice - we think you're wonderful, we love you, but when you're negotiating the new contract, we want to see that contract before you approve it. You're going to run it and all that stuff. We're not trying to take over, but we want full transparency and be able to reach a judgment that what you're doing is rational before we sign on for 30 or 40 percent."

 

"OK," Serpico said. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


"At World Trade Center Site, Rebuilding Recreates Intersection of Long Ago,"
New York Times, 7/31/14. Beginning on Aug. 1, "New Yorkers will be able to do something they have not done in nearly half a century: stand on the corner of Cortlandt and Greenwich," says The New York Times. "It will be the first recreated street intersection on what had been the monolithic World Trade Center site, the first three-dimensional expression of a long-sought goal to reintegrate the 16-acre site with the rest of Lower Manhattan. This new crossroads, with constantly merging streams of pedestrians, ought to go far in restoring an urban pulse to the trade center site, which was cut off from its surroundings by design before Sept. 11, 2001, and by catastrophe and construction ever since." For the complete article, click here.

"World Trade Center contractor charged with fraud," New York Business Journal, 8/1/14. "The owner and CEO of DCM Erectors, a company that's done about $1 billion worth of construction work at the new World Trade Center in Manhattan has been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy," says the New York Business Journal. "Prosecutors alleged Larry Davis paid at least two minority-owned businesses for work that those businesses did not do in order to meet contractual requirements set by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to subcontract out work to such businesses, according to a report by Reuters. Executives with those two businesses have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with authorities, the report added." For the complete article, click here.

"How NYC neighbors jointly sell units as larger apartments - at larger prices," New York Post, 7/30/14. "With New York real estate inventory reaching a six-year low, sellers - and their crafty brokers - are trying new strategies to gain an edge on the market," the New York Post observes. The latest trend is "crowd selling" in which several owners with contiguous apartments combine them and ask a hefty price. "Crowd-selling's most ambitious - if not audacious - example has to be a current sale at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park," says the Post. "Here, Ryan Serhant of Nest Seekers got three adjoining apartments from a pair of owners to come together into one massive listing on the 39th and 40th floors. The result will be a penthouse-duplex with 15,434 square feet inside with space for 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms (depending on final configuration) and 2,193 square feet of terraces. The asking price: $118.5 million." However, the article mentions a caveat for would-be buyers in Battery Park City. "Historically, apartments in Battery Park City have traded at much lower prices since land there is land-leased (which means the buildings do not own the earth beneath them)," says the article. "In fact, the highest-priced area residence sold for $11.7 million earlier this year - a five-bedroom, 3,513-square-foot penthouse at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton." For the complete article, click here

"Protestant nonprofit to buy downtown office condo," Crain's New York Business, 7/31/14. "Having just sold its landmarked headquarters building on Park Avenue South for a reported $50 million, one nonprofit is parking some of those proceeds into new office space in lower Manhattan," says Crain's New York Business. "The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, which provides funding for faith-based social service groups, is acquiring a 33,000-square-foot floor at 40 Rector St. for more than $13 million, according to sources. "The organization is acquiring the space from Philips International, a company that purchased the 19-story, 600,000-square-foot office property in 2000 and converted it into commercial condos. Philips International has since sold off or is in contract to sell most of the property." Several nonprofits are already in the building. "Office condos are favorable to nonprofits because the purchase allows them to avoid paying real estate taxes that have to be paid when renting office space," the article explains. For the complete article, click here.

"Teens caught aboard 'Casino Royale' yacht," New York Post, 7/30/14. "Two kids from the projects wanted to feel like billionaires for a night, so they slipped aboard several glitzy megayachts docked near the World Financial Center - telling cops they were 'just chillin'' on them, according to law enforcement sources cited by the New York Post. "Carrying flashlights, Trey Cruz, 20, and his pal Justice Mejias, 16, allegedly raided cabinets for beer inside the 'Casino Royale,' a $42 million James Bond-themed megayacht at the North Cove Marina at around 5 a.m. on Sunday, law enforcement sources said." For the complete article, click here.




 

 
Letters to the editor
SOUTHBRIDGE TOWERS SHAREHOLDERS AT LOGGERHEADS

A meeting of Southbridge Towers shareholders that occurred in May to discuss the offering plan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
   
To the editor:
(Re: "Southbridge Towers residents duke it out in advance of vote on whether to privatize the Mitchell-Lamo co-op," DPNYC, 7/30/14) As a Southbridge Towers resident who attended Tuesday's information meeting, I wish to take exception to some of Ms. Singer's points in your article. Note that I do not take exception with her opposition to the plan, which is her right -  only to her remarks that certain risks and remedies remain unanswered.

On the contrary, that very long meeting did respond to most of the issues Ms. Singer raises.

Asbestos was discussed at mind-boggling length. Mr. Saft even revealed what he paid in his own apartment to get rid of a popcorn ceiling containing non-friable asbestos: about $1,800. In other words, yes, should you make major changes in an apartment you own, you do have to bear those costs.

The other asbestos-related discussion - that its presence would prevent lending institutions from lending for mortgages, home equity loans, etc. - was rebutted repeatedly with the names of actual institutions stating their willingness, nay eagerness, to lend.

Another point-how could SBT find $10.3 million to pay original equity if a great number of residents chose to stay as renters, was discussed -  again, exhaustively,  with a number of different options presented, depending on the number of possible renters. To refresh everyone's memory, if there were a very large number of renters, they could be paid over a period of a few years, rather than in one lump sum. Or, SBT could opt for a loan to pay them at once - a loan on what would be a property valued at $1 billion or more. To do that would leave SBT as the eventual owners of all those apartments, which could then be sold at market value as they become vacant. The value of those properties over time vs. $10.3 million (which is the worst-case scenario) should be evident.

The overarching financial question for all who worry about this very scary move is whether the property, as a whole, and per unit, is of sufficient value, and the value can in some way be recovered as needed, to make this viable whether you choose to leave or to stay.

My personal belief, backed by research into other Mitchell-Lamas that have gone through this process, is that SBT is in a very strong position, and this move makes sense.

I respect residents who have a strong belief in the value of the Mitchell-Lama program and wish it to continue. I am troubled, however, when opposition continues to focus on issues that should be non-issues by now, like asbestos.

Rona Kluger

To the editor:
It's good to know that someone at Goldman Sachs with a huge house in Florida and New Jersey has an $800 apartment in New York City. Warms my heart, and don't tell me I would do it if I could. Not quite.

Robert J. Ponzini

From the editor:
We welcome letters to the editor. Email them to editor@downtownpostnyc.com. We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length.  



Downtown arts
BETTYE LAVETTE SOARS AND SMOLDERS IN RIVER & BLUES CONCERT

Bettye LaVette singing in Battery Park City.



























Bettye LaVette, born Betty Haskins 68 years ago in Muskegon, Michigan and raised in Detroit, has sung at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and with Jon Bon Jovi at Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009, but she gave no less of herself to the crowd that welcomed her in Battery Park City's Wagner Park on July 31. The audience sat on blankets and on the grass and in portable chairs as she threw back her head and with powerful honesty spoke and sang about her life.

After all these years, she is a master who at last is seeing some of the recognition that she deserves - "an overnight success," she says drily.

Married at 14, she was pregnant at 15 and cut her first album at 16. Though it was a hit, through the next decades, she survived many hardships and disappointments, with intermittent successes.

She can be droll, as when she spoke about her youthful desire to be on American Bandstand, and why it didn't happen. The song that she proffered when she auditioned at the age of 16 was "My Man-He's a Lovin' Man." She sang it for the Battery Park City crowd with a few of the suggestive moves that apparently sent Dick Clark running for cover.

She also sang "Love Reign O'er Me," which she had performed at the Kennedy Center. Like many of her songs, it was a supplication.

Sound explodes from her but her voice can also caress. She holds nothing back nor does she pretend to be anything other than what she is. Her music director introduces her, she comes on stage and when she finishes, she walks off. No bows. No preening. That's it. The members of the audience know that they have been in the presence of something extraordinary and they stand on their feet, clapping and shouting.

The River & Blues set up - a stage on a lawn - allows for an intimacy with the performers that would not be possible in a concert hall. The final concert in this year's River & Blues series takes place on Thursday, Aug. 7 with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For a brief video of the end of Bettye LaVette's last song at her Battery Park City performance, and the audience's response, click here.



IN THE FARMERS' MARKETS: Week of July 28

Onions and beets at the Tribeca Greenmarket. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

This week at the Tribeca Greenmarket on Greenwich Street, just north of Chambers Street, you will find cantaloupes, watermelons, nectarines, celery, corn and heirloom tomatoes among other fruits and vegetables.

The Saturday market is far larger than the Wednesday market.  This Saturday, farmers will bring a wide variety of peppers, peaches and plums plus okra, blackberries and corn. "Strawberries have made a reappearance!" said Jay Ledoux, manager of the Tribeca Greenmarket.

In Lower Manhattan, there are also Greenmarkets at Bowling Green, City Hall and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. On Thursdays, there is a small farmers' market on the Andaz hotel plaza at Wall and Water Street and a "Youthmarket" on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport.

 


NYPD AND COMMUNITY GET ACQUAINTED ON 'NATIONAL NIGHT OUT'

Capt. Brendan Timoney, who heads the First Precinct, addressing the First Precinct Community Council. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Now in its 31st year, "National Night Out Against Crime" has provided a chance for police and the communities they serve to get to know each other. This year, the observance takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
 
The First Precinct's Community Council is hosting the local gathering on Esplanade Plaza in Battery Park City from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"There will be hot dogs and burgers for all and music, with a short ceremony at 6:30 p.m." said Anthony Notaro, who chairs the First Precinct Community Council.

Representatives from the district attorney's office and other local organizations will attend. Capt. Brendan Timoney, who heads the First Precinct, will be there along with other NYPD officers.

The First Precinct Community Council meets on the last Thursday of every month at 16 Ericsson Place at 6:30 p.m. Crime statistics, noise, pollution and loitering problems and other community and police issues are discussed. Everyone is welcome to attend, either to listen or to present issues for discussion. For more information, including schedule changes and crime prevention tips, click here.

For more information about the First Precinct Community Council, call (212) 334-0611. Click here for more information about National Night out.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


CALENDAR: Week of July 28
On Aug. 6, join Capt. Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum, for an evening sail aboard the museum's 1885 schooner, Pioneer. For information and reservations, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Aug. 2: The first-ever "Explore Nolan" Scavenger Hunt takes place on Governors Island starting at 1 p.m. Participants will visit the houses in Nolan Park, answering clues about nearly a dozen exhibits that are ensconced in the handsome homes built for the officers of the U.S. Army, which once had a base on Governors Island. The competitors can sign up as a team, as an individual or as a child under 12. There will be a variety of prizes including a gift certificate for a free surrey from Blazing Saddles for the first five teams to complete the hunt. Contestants can get a head start on the scavenger hunt by downloading the clues in advance. Clues will also be available at the Governors Island Alliance (GIA) welcome tables at Soissons Landing and Yankee Pier. Place: Governors Island, Nolan Park. Free.

Aug. 2
: Poets House, a free, 60-000-volume poetry library based in Battery Park City, will have an outpost on Governors Island for one more weekend in 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: Saturday and Sunday, 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. 

Aug. 3: The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra plays music for dancing in the South Street Seaport. The free performance, "Sweet Sounds of Summer," conducted by KCO founder and director Gary S. Fagin, will feature music by Johann Strauss, Irving Berlin and others. Place: Front and Fulton Streets. Time: 5 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Aug. 3: Aboard a New York Water Taxi, Gabriel Willow, a naturalist with the New York City Audubon Society, will lead a two-hour ecocruise to the Brothers Islands in the East River. Participants will see herons, egrets, cormorants and gulls and the ruins on the island where Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) was quarantined from 1915 until her death in 1938.. 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.  

Ongoing
: Snowmine and The Casket Girls perform at the Seaport Music Festival on Aug. 1. 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.  

Ongoing
: 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

  

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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2014