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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 116  Sept. 11, 2014
Quote of the day:
"I like the cover of darkness. This has nothing to do with the cameras. It has everything to do with the people who were lost." - Retired NYPD Detective Louis Camerada, on why he has been coming to the Police Memorial in Battery Park City at midnight every year since 2002.
* 9/11 street closures
* Sept. 11 midnight tradition at the Battery Park City Police Memorial continues
* Some of Battery Park City's new oak trees didn't make it  
* Bits & Bytes: Artist at 50 West St.; Ground Zero shrine; College money for 9/11 kids
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Victims' Compensation Fund enrollment deadline approaching
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Tribute in Lights. Sept. 10, 2011.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 



The following streets in Lower Manhattan will be closed from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
    *    Liberty Street between Trinity Place and Greenwich Street
    *    Greenwich Street between Liberty Street and Albany Street
Areas bounded by:
    *    Barclay Street on the North
    *    Thames/Albany Street on the South
    *    Trinity Place/Church Street on the East
    *    West Street on the West

Retired Lieutenant Paul Putkowski of the 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, at the Police Memorial in Battery Park City shortly after midnight on Sept. 11, 2014. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Shortly after midnight on Sept. 11, 2014, though a full moon darted in and out of the clouds, at the Police Memorial in Battery Park City, it was dark. The electrical system, destroyed in October 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, still has not been repaired.

Someone held a cellphone flashlight so that retired NYPD Lieutenant Paul Putkowski could read the words of Theodore Roosevelt that he has been reading at the memorial every year since 2002, along with the names of the 23 police officers who died on 9/11.

"It is not the critic who counts," Putkowski read, "not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again - because there is no effort without error and shortcoming - but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause."

On Sept. 11, 2001, Putkowski was the special operations lieutenant in the 61st Precinct at Sheepshead Bay. Among other responsibilities, he directed the anti-crime and community policing units. "I had a lot of police officers and sergeants working under me," he said.


When the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attack rolled around, Putkowski and others from the 61st Precinct came to the Battery Park City Police Memorial to honor the dead.


"We were working during the daytime and we wanted to do something where we could all come to it," he said. So they arrived at the Police Memorial at midnight.

On that first anniversary, he was surrounded by a contingent of policemen. Over the years, their numbers dwindled. This year, he and Officer Brendan O'Hara, who started the midnight tradition with Putkowski, were accompanied by around 20 people from the Blue Knights - a law enforcement motorcycle club - who had ridden their motorcycles in from Long Island.

"We made a promise that we would never forget," O'Hara said, "so that's why we decided every year that we would come down and do this ceremony. We honor that promise every year."


On Sept. 11, 2001, O'Hara was a police officer in Sheepshead Bay. "When we got the call that the planes hit, I was off in the morning," he recalled, "but we raced to work and from there, we came down here to Ground Zero. I spent Sept. 11 and 12 down here, and then every day after that for 16 hours a day for about a month."


O'Hara now works for the NYPD mounted unit in midtown Manhattan. He is 42 years old and has 22 years of service behind him. He could have retired two years ago, but chose not to. He says that he enjoys his job. "It was something I wanted to do ever since I was five years old," he said.  


He says that he doesn't worry about his own safety as a police officer. "It's one of the risks you take when you take this job," he said.


Like Putkowski and O'Hara, retired NYPD detective Louis Camerada has been coming to the Police Memorial every year.    


"I'm here to pay my respects to my co-workers who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001," he said. "I knew at least a half a dozen of them."


Camerada was in the second tower when it fell.  


"I remained at the World Trade Center site for nine months," he said. "I couldn't go home, being that my co-workers were missing. I stayed until the clean-up was done and I've been coming back here every year since at midnight. I like the cover of darkness. This has nothing to do with the cameras. It has everything to do with the people who were lost."


Camerada said that he had to retire early. "I'm sick," he said. "I have terrible lung problems. I have GERD, sleep apnea - the list goes on and on. Just recently, they found foreign material inside my lungs. I go for treatment two days a week to the World Trade Center Health program. It's a wonderful thing, and I don't know what I'd do without them. The monthly cost of my medications is astronomical."


The ceremony at the Police Memorial was brief. After reading Roosevelt's words and the names of the dead, Putkowski called for a minute of silence. Everyone bowed their heads. Then, they dispersed in the darkness for the long ride home.  


O'Hara paused beside the large wreath of red, white and blue flowers that he and Putkowski had purchased to leave at the memorial. He read the card on it aloud.   


"To our cherished 23," he read. "Though 13 years have passed, time has not diminished our memories of you. You continue to be in our thoughts and in our hearts."


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


Retired NYPD Detective Louis Camerada. He worked on the Ground Zero pile for nine months and now has serious health problems that forced him to take early retirement. 


Dead oak trees on the Battery Park City esplanade. Sept. 8, 2014
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

In April, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy bought 34 trees to replace those on the esplanade and in South Cove destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and by a violent storm on May 11, 2013. Most of them were Quercus rubra (northern red oak), a native of northeastern United States and eastern Canada or Quercus acutissima (sawtooth oak), a native of China, Korea and Japan.

The replacement trees were selected for their tolerance to salt water and for rapid growth. But some of the new trees didn't make it through the summer.

"It's been a bad year for oaks in the northeast due to very wet spring and summer seasons, causing a lot of fungal issues," said Robin Forst, spokesperson for the Battery Park City Authority, which oversees the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. "The problem was compounded because the trees were newly transplanted, making them more susceptible to environmental conditions."

The trees will be replaced this fall with swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor). Eric T. Fleisher, the Conservancy's director of horticulture, will be tagging replacement trees at a nursery on Sept. 15.

More than 400 swamp white oak trees were planted on the plaza at the September 11 Memorial. They seem to have done well.

The previously purchased trees on the BPC esplanade were under warranty from the contractor, who will be paying for the replacement trees.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes
Under legislation proposed on Sept. 10 in City Council, more seniors would be eligible for rent protection, including those living in Gateway Plaza. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Artist-in-Construction at 50 West St.,"
Wall Street Journal, 9/8/14. "Bulldozers, jackhammers, cranes and cement mixers are common sights-and sounds-at New York City construction sites," says the Wall Street Journal. "But an artist-in-residence may be a first. "That's the role Noa Charuvi, an Israeli artist, is playing at 50 West St., a 64-story luxury residential skyscraper going up in lower Manhattan." After 10 months of work, the foundation of the building is almost finished, according to Francis Greenburger, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Time Equities Inc., the building's developer. "Ms. Charuvi has been documenting the project's progress for the last three of those months," the Wall Street Journal says. For the complete article, click here.

"A Ground Zero Shrine for 9/11 Families Brings Forth Its Stories," New York Times, 9/10/14. "Twenty stories above ground zero, its existence and whereabouts known only to those who needed it, the Family Room served for a dozen years as a most private sanctuary from a most public horror," says The New York Times. "It was spartan office space at a 54-story tower at 1 Liberty Plaza for families to be by themselves, a temporary haven where they could find respite from bad weather and the curious stares of passers-by. Piece by piece, without any planning, it was transformed into an elaborate shrine known only to them." Now the contents of the Family Room have been transferred to the New York State Museum in Albany. "The display speaks of the personal communion between the victims' relatives and those who were killed 13 years ago, when terrorists took down the twin towers," says The Times. For the complete story, click here.

"Foundation Sends Kin of 9/11 Victims to College," New York Times, 9/9/14. "Sean Booker was a Xerox technician on the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center's north tower. The Newark resident was at work when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001," says The New York Times. "The oldest of his three children, Sean Jr., had just started kindergarten....Of the 3,051 children who lost a parent in the Sept. 11 attacks, about 300 were kindergartners that day. Many of them are now taking their first classes in college, and about 100 of them, including Mr. Booker, will begin their higher education with full scholarships from the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which was formed a week after the attacks to benefit children of the victims." The Times says that, "Mr. Booker, now 18, attends Pace University in Lower Manhattan, within view of 1 World Trade Center." For the complete article, click here.

"Seniors left out of rent freeze could get help," Crain's New York Business, 9/10/14. "City Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) is eyeing legislation to catch a number of seniors who fell through the legislative cracks earlier this year when the city and state expanded rent freezes to a cover a greater number of elderly tenants," says Crain's. "Ms. Chin plans to introduce a resolution Wednesday in the City Council urging the state to seek to bring a larger swath of the city's elderly into the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, or SCRIE, program, which offers landlords a property tax abatement in exchange for freezing rents of qualifying tenants." This proposed legislation would cover "elderly tenants in developments such as Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City, or the former Mitchell-Lama development Independence Plaza North in TriBeCa" who were excluded from previous SCRIE protection because "their apartments were not rent regulated through one of the major state programs specifically mentioned in the current legislation." For the complete article, click here.

"A Look Inside the Accidentally Preserved 5 Beekman Street," New York Magazine, 9/8/14. "When 5 Beekman Street (then known as Temple Court) was built in the 19th century, its ten stories of terra-cotta and brick qualified the building as a skyscraper," says New York Magazine. "Because of, in all likelihood, a change in the fire code, its original, stunning atrium was walled off in the 1940s in an accidental act of preservation. The building's trajectory parallels the story of downtown New York's history: It flourished first as a legal and publishing hub and later held an assortment of small businesses as larger corporations headed to midtown. In the post-9/11, depths-of-economic-meltdown aughts, it lay empty. But the neighborhood is changing." The stunning atrium and its eight floors of balustrades will be part of an apartment/hotel called "The Beekman" that is set to open next year. For the complete article with a video tour of the building, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
North Cove Marina. During the Battery Park City Block Party on Sept. 27, there will be rides to the Statue of Liberty and the Arabella will be open for boarding, with a cash bar. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Lower Manhattan Community Remembers 9/11: Get together with neighbors at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center on the evening of Sept. 11 to share memories of 9/11 and to listen to music played by the Tribeca Chamber Players. Refreshments will be provided by chef David Bouley. The gathering this year will honor the memory of Rev. William Grant, who worked with Manhattan Youth for many years to organize 9/11 commemorative events that helped the community heal. The event begins at 7 p.m. with music, including Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. At 7:30 there will be conversation and refreshments followed by music at 8:15 p.m. including the Andante from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, played by Nate Andersen. Admission is free. Manhattan Youth suggests a $10 donation to the 9/11 Memorial. Reserve a free ticket by clicking here.

Deadline near to enroll in Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund: If you were diagnosed with a 9/11-related eligible cancer before Oct. 12, 2012, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Registration preserves your right to file a claim in the future (before the VCF ends on Oct. 3, 2016). Registration is not the same as filing a claim and you are not required to file a claim even if you have registered. Register online at by Oct. 12, 2014. For more information click here or call VCF's toll-free helpline at (855)-885-1555 (or 855-885-1558 for the hearing impaired).

Citizen Preparedness training at PS 276: Sign up now for a Citizen Preparedness training program to be held at PS 276, 55 Battery Place in Battery Park City on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.  The program will provide instruction in how to prepare for emergencies and disasters, what to do when they happen and how to recover as quickly as possible. Training participants will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit (one per family) containing such supplies as an AM/FM radio with batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a face mask, safety goggles, an emergency blanket and more. The program is being sponsored by New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Community Board 1. All participants must register in advance. To register, click here.

Electronics recycling at Battery Park City Block Party:
Plans are under way for the 13th Annual Battery Park City Block Party, which will be held on Sat., Sept. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the esplanade just south of North Cove Marina. Unclutter your home by bringing your unwanted electronics to the block party. The following working and non-working items will be accepted: computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, video games, cell phones and PDAs. For more information, click here or call (212) 477-4022.

BPC Block Party on the water: The Manhattan Sailing Club is offering a 45-minute "Circumnavigation of the Statue of Liberty" on one of their launches during the Battery Park City Block Party. They will depart at 15 minutes after each hour - 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and the last one at 3:15 p.m. Check in at the Welcome Table beginning at 11 a.m. to buy a ticket ($5).  All proceeds go to Battery Park City Cares for the local Wounded Warrior Chapter. Also Block Party goers are invited onboard the Arabella during the block party free of charge from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is anchored in North Cove Marina. There will be a cash bar.

Fire Safety Forum for highrise buildings
: In the aftermath of several news-making fires in high-rise apartment buildings in the last few months, Community Board 1 is hosting a fire safety forum on Thursday, Sept. 18. One of the recent fires took place on Aug. 11 at Independence Plaza North. Eight people were injured in that fire. The fire safety forum is being presented in partnership with the Independence Plaza North Tenants Association, the New York City Fire Department and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Place: Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., Richard Harris Terrace. Time: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public but space is limited. RSVP to

CALENDAR: Week of Sept. 8
"Give Me Liberty," a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Sylvanus Shaw, is at the Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Sept. 11: Motorexpo returns to Brookfield Place in Battery Park City for the seventh year with displays of late model cars from Tesla, Lexus, Cadillac, Ford, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers. The free exibit is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through Sept. 12. For more information, click here.

Sept. 11: "Give Me Liberty," a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Sylvanus Shaw, is at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. In this site-specific exhibition, Shaw utilizes images from the Museum's permanent collection, invoking imagery of early American statehood in media ranging from oil on panel to collaged holograms, security envelopes, and other mediums.
Through March 16, 2015. Place: Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., noon to 5 p.m. Admission: $7; $4 (seniors, students, children 6-8); free (children under 5 and active duty military). For more information, click here.  

Sept. 12
: Go for a walking tour of the historic South Street Seaport with an educator from the South Street Seaport Museum. Place: Meet on Pier 16 at the Visitors Services kiosk. Time: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets: $12; $8 (students and seniors); $5 (children); free (members). Also, on Sept. 19, Sept. 24 and other dates at varying times. For more information and to buy tickets, click here. The ticket price includes admission to the museum's historic ships, Peking and Ambrose.

Sept. 13: The Governors Island Art Fair has filled 100 rooms on Colonel's Row with paintings, photography, sculpture, installations, video, and sound art. Run by artists for artists, New York's largest independent exhibition is in its 7th year. GIAF organizers, 4heads, received proposals from New York and from around the world for this show. Admission is free. Catalogues are available for purchase for $20. Time: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, through Sept. 28. Ferries to Governors Island leave from the Battery Maritime Building (10 South St.) in Lower Manhattan and from Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 (at the end of Atlantic Avenue, at Columbia Street) in Brooklyn. The ferry ride costs $2 (adults); $1 (seniors). For directions and more information call (212) 673-9074 or click here.

Sept. 14: A three-hour Block Party Workshop at Bowne Printers (part of the South Street Seaport Museum) will teach participants how to carve and print linoleum blocks. Bowne's resident printer, Ali Osborn, will then use everyone's design to print a poster on Bowne's vintage Vandercook press. All materials supplied. Registration required. Place: 211 Water St. Time: 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Fee: $50; $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). For more information or to make a reservation, email or call (646) 628-2707.

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: "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, Nov. 15, 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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