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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 118  Sept. 16, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
Quote of the day:
"I remember these great buildings that are gone." - Tour guide, Joe Svehlak, describing the great newspaper buildings of Lower Manhattan, now demolished.
 
* Walking tour: Three centuries of history on Nassau Street 
* Bits & Bytes: City Hall in the cross hairs; R train to Brooklyn returns; Brookfield revamps
* Lower Manhattan gets more high-tech trash bins
* Letter to the editor: Kudos for Downtown Post NYC
* Downtown farmers' markets: Week of Sept. 15 (new one on Coenties Slip!)
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Free senior swim; Victims' Compensation Fund enrollment deadline
* Battery Park City Block Party: Sept. 27
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to www.DowntownPostNYC.com

The Bennett Building, cast iron on three sides, at 93-99 Nassau St. Sept. 7, 2014. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 



 

WALKING TOUR: THREE CENTURIES OF HISTORY ON NASSAU STREET
Nassau Street dates from the 17th century and was named for William of Nassau, the Dutch prince who became King William III of England. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Nassau Street, which runs from Spruce Street on the north to Wall Street on the South, is only nine blocks long, but with three centuries of history behind it, there's a lot to talk about.

Much is lost, but much is still there behind and above a jumble of tawdry shop signs.

"Nassau Street to me is a textbook of architecture," said Joe Svehlak, at the start of a walking tour on Sept. 7 that he was leading for the Municipal Art Society. "In these nine blocks, there's a vestige of every type of architecture in New York City from Federal to post-Modern."

Svehlak, 74, first got to know the street as a young man when he worked as a messenger. At that time, Nassau Street was lined with stamp dealers. It was also, still, a hub of the printing trade, whose godfather, Benjamin Franklin, is honored with a statue in front of 1 Pace Plaza, where the New York Tribune building used to stand. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt (who also designed
Svehlak with a photo of the New York World building.
the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty), it was one of the first high-rise buildings with an elevator. It opened in 1875 and was demolished in 1966. 

Next door was the magnificent office of Joseph Pulitzer's New York World building, with its signature dome. Pulitzer's office in the dome allowed him to look down on his competitors. The World building was erected in 1890 and torn down in 1955 to make way for a car ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge.

This area was once known as "Printing House Square" because of all the newspaper offices that surrounded it. "I remember these great buildings that are gone," Svehlak said. "I would pass them walking down to the Butter and Egg market with my mother." He said that one-third of the Lower Manhattan that he knew has disappeared in his lifetime.

The New York Times building, now part of Pace University.
Of the grand newspaper edifices, only The New York Times building at 41 Park Row remains. It was designed in 1889 by one of the starchitects of the time, George B. Post (he also did the New York Stock Exchange) and was intended to impress the public and the competition.

It now belongs to Pace University.

This was the third downtown location for The Times and its predecessor, The New-York Daily Times, founded in 1851 at 113 Nassau St. The building is still there. No one who didn't know its history would look at it twice. After three years in that unpretentious setting, the paper moved down the street to 138 Nassau, where it remained for four years before moving to Park Row.

A Federal townhouse on Nassau Street with the Morse Building in the background.
On the same block as the early Times buildings, Svehlak pointed out a low-rise, red brick building that he said dates from the 1830's and was probably once a town house. Nearby are several impressive late-Victorian structures, among them, the Morse building at 140 Nassau St., only 10 stories, but once one of the tallest buildings in the city. It was commissioned by two nephews of Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, Svehlak said, and opened in 1879.

An early movie maker, the American Vitagraph Company, had an office in the building and a studio on the roof, where it shot some movies, still extant.  (To see some of them, click here and enter the search term, "Vitagraph.")

The Morse Building is at the corner of Nassau and Beekman Streets, diagonally across from 5 Beekman St., the Silliman & Farnsworth Temple Bar building of 1883 that is now being converted into a hotel and apartments. On the other side of the street is the mammoth Potter building that
The Potter Building.
Svehlak called "triple-high Victorian." A barber shop now occupies what was once the building's main entrance.

Orlando Brunson Potter, a politician and one of the wealthiest men in the city, owned a previous building on that site. It burned down on Jan. 31, 1882, killing 12 people. "Potter determined that his new building would be fireproof," said Svehlak. He covered it with terra cotta, deemed fireproof, but had to go to Boston to have it made. This inspired him to form the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Co. on Long Island. As tastes changed, it went out of business in the 1920's - but the work it produced can be seen in many places in New York City, including on Carnegie Hall.

63 Nassau St.
Perhaps no building speaks more eloquently of the architectural wealth on Nassau Street, and its vulnerability to commerce than the little building at 63 Nassau St. It is dilapidated with tacky signage obscuring its ground floor, but no one who loves architecture could fail to notice it. It has three bays crowned with arches, separated by graceful columns. On plaques at the third floor are bas-relief sculptures of Benjamin Franklin. These were the clue that caused the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the building in May 2007.

The landmarks designation report says that the building was "almost certainly produced c. 1857-1859 by James Bogardus, the pioneer of cast-iron architecture in America, making it an extremely rare extant example of his work. It is one of only five known Bogardus buildings in the United States (four in New York City). It is also one of the oldest surviving cast-iron-fronted buildings in the city, and one of the very few located in Lower Manhattan."

The sculptures of Franklin and two of George Washington that are missing from the building are known on other work by Bogardus, and are found only on his work.

The report notes that at the time of the Landmarks designation hearings, seven people spoke in favor of designation, including representatives of the Municipal Art Society and the Historic Districts Council. "A representative of the building's owner spoke against designation," the report says.

Construction is booming in the Financial District as developers eye old buildings that they can convert to condos or tear down and replace with high-rise apartments and hotels. Nassau Street is not immune. "Some of the buildings have been landmarked," said Svehlak. "I think there are others that should be."

He said that the public can weigh in by writing to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. "Anyone can propose the designation of any site or neighborhood as an individual landmark or historic district by submitting a Request for Evaluation (RFE) application, to the Commission's Research Department," the Landmarks Preservation Commission says on its website. "The Commission reviews approximately 200 RFEs each year." (For the website, click here.)

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Joe Svehlak will be leading a Municipal Art Society tour on Oct. 19 called "Downtown Manhattan: What's in a Name?" For more information about this and other Municipal Art Society tours, including several of Lower Manhattan, click here.

Svehlak on Nassau Street: "This is one of my favorite streets."



 

Bits & Bytes
CITY HALL IN THE CROSS HAIRS; R TRAIN TO BROOKLYN RETURNS;
BROOKFIELD REVAMPS; TEARING DOWN TRIBECA; WATER ST. BEACH   
 
The "beach" on Water Street at Whitehall will be there through the end of September. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)




























"It's True, You Can't Fight City Hall,"
New York Times, 9/12/14. Several times developers wanted to tear down New York City's graceful City Hall, completed in 1812. They almost succeeded, Christopher Gray of The New York Times reports. "Over the last two centuries, change has often been in the wind for City Hall and its surrounding park, as mayors, agencies, visionaries, grafters and others put forth ideas for an appropriate civic center - including getting rid of City Hall entirely," says The Times. After cataloging a number of near-misses, Gray says, "By the 1960s the most elaborate civic center under review was a tall tower on Reade Street connected to City Hall by a plaza with a fountain across Chambers Street, in the best midcentury modern style. But whether motivated by graft or vision, the civic center concept gradually died away. In its stead, we have an endearingly ragtag group of buildings surrounding City Hall Park, where the pristine City Hall will, with luck, endure for hundreds of years." For the complete article, click here.

"Subway tunnel damaged by Sandy restored to service," Crain's New York Business, 9/15/14. As of 6 a.m. on Sept. 15, the R train connection between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn is back. "Trains will once again roll through a New York subway tunnel that was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy, taking in 27 million gallons of water," says Crain's New York Business. "Gov. Andrew Cuomo and officials from the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority took a ride Sunday through the reconstructed Montague Tunnel linking Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.
Nearly two years after Sandy stormed through, the $250 million job is finished-one month ahead of schedule and $60 million under budget, officials said." For the complete article, click here.

"Brookfield's big revamp," The Real Deal, 9/1/14. "The massive real estate company now known as Brookfield Property Partners is undergoing a shake-up that's impacting everything from the ranks of its top leadership team to the direction of its New York City portfolio," says The Real Deal. "The firm has seen two of its top executives depart in the last few months and has inked a contract to buy its first residential portfolio in Manhattan. That all comes on the heels of going public last year, a move which prompted financial analysts to begin covering it for the first time this summer. Sources say that the new level of scrutiny is likely to have a positive impact on the flagging stock price at the firm, one of the largest publicly traded real estate companies in the world, with assets valued at $95 billion. Amidst all this activity, the firm is, of course, in the throes of two high-profile New York City projects: The construction of its 5.5 million-square-foot mixed-use Manhattan West complex and the lease-up of the newly rehabbed Brookfield Place, the office complex once known as the World Financial Center." For the complete article, click here.

"Tearing Down Tribeca," Tribeca Citizen, 9/15/14. "In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot of demolition going on right now - and there's a lot more to come," says Tribeca Citizen. Acknowledging that it may have missed some of the buildings that have been torn down or that will be soon, Tribeca Citizen provides "a look at what we're losing, along with how much taller the new buildings will be, and what we've lost." For the complete article, click here.

"A sneak peek inside the MTA's palatial $1.4B Fulton Center," Daily News, 9/14/14. Pete Donohue of the Daily News got a "sneak peak" inside the Fulton Transit Hub at Fulton Street and Broadway. "This isn't the dungeon-like experience that usually follows a MetroCard swipe," he reports. "The Fulton Center - the MTA's $1.4 billion transit hall that initially will provide a new means of access to nine subway lines - is not yet open. But if you managed a sneak peek behind the temporary construction walls, you'd see that the project is 99% completed." For the complete article, with photos, click here.

Water Street beach: There's still time to go to the beach in Lower Manhattan. The beach on Water Street at Whitehall Street, installed by the Downtown Alliance as part of its summer "Game On" program, will be there through the end of September. It was designed by Joanna Pertz Landscape Architecture. All other Game On programming has ended for the season.


LOWER MANHATTAN GETS MORE HIGH-TECH TRASH BINS   
 
High-tech trash and recycling bins on Stone Street. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



























The Big Belly trash compactors and recycling bins now dispersed throughout Lower Manhattan, courtesy of the Downtown Alliance, are state of the art. They are solar powered and remotely monitored via wireless technology so that staff knows when they are full and need emptying.

Previously, there had been 16 compactor and recycling units in Lower Manhattan. By September 2013, there were 158 compactors. Now each has been paired with a recycling bin, for a total of 174 installations south of Warren Street.

The Big Belly solar-powered trash bins can hold five to six times more refuse than conventional garbage cans.

According to Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin, Lower Manhattan is the largest district in the city using this technology. It has been installed in collaboration with the City's Department of Sanitation and with Vector Media, described by the Downtown Alliance as "the exclusive media partner for the units' exteriors."

Vector Media has purchased the bins and is paying the annual licensing costs associated with their operation. After five years, Vector Media will transfer ownership to the Alliance, which will then pick up only the annual licensing costs. In the meantime, Vector Media will earn revenue from advertisements on the bins.

Currently, the recycling bins are carrying ads for the Alliance's Dine Around Downtown, which takes place on Sept. 30.

Politicians and community leaders praised the trash and recycling bins. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer noted that they are air-tight, reduce waste, improve efficiency and discourage rats. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer





Letter to the editor
KUDOS FOR DOWNTOWN POST NYC   
 
Family members of those killed on 9/11 gathered on the Sept. 11 Memorial plaza on the morning of Sept. 11, 2014 to commemorate the dead. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)































To the editor:

(Re: "Sept. 11, 2014 - The view from the plaza," DPNYC, 9/13/14): Your 9/11 piece, "Sept. 11, 2013 - The view from the plaza," was beautifully and eloquently written.  Thank you, once more, for caring enough to create Downtown Post NYC.

Beth Childs

From the editor:
Thank you for your email. Your support means a great deal.

We welcome letters to the editor. Email them to editor@DowntownPostNYC.com/ We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length.


DOWNTOWN FARMERS' MARKETS: Week of Sept. 15

Alan Zaback and his son, David, of Z Food Farm, sell produce at the Andaz Hotel Farmers Market on Thursdays. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Opening this week: 
Coenties Slip Greenmarket:
A new Lower Manhattan Greenmarket opens on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Coenties Slip on Water Street between Hanover Square and Broad Street. It will offer a wide selection of local vegetables, orchard fruit, breads and pastries, honey, hard cider and wine. In addition, there will be community activities, cooking demonstrations and free recipes. The farmers include Apple State Hilltop Family Farm with honey from Sullivan County, N.Y.; Bad Seed Cider Co. selling hard cider from Ulster County, N.Y.; Cherry Grove Farm, a dairy and creamery from Mercer County, N.J.; Francesca's II Bakery with breads and baked goods from Middlesex County, N.J.; King Ferry Winery, Treleaven with wine from Cayuga County, N.Y.; Migliorelli Farm, selling vegetables and orchard fruit from Dutchess County, N.Y. and Toigo Orchards with orchard fruit from Cumberland County, Pa.

The market will be open on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 20.

New to Lower Manhattan: 
Greenmarket at Albany and Greenwich Streets
: The Greenmarket that opened on Sept. 2 on the plaza where World Trade Center visitors used to line up is open on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., year round. There are two farmstands at the moment, though more may be added. Meredith's Bakery sells baked goods from Ulster County, N.Y. and Red Jacket Orchards sells orchard and small fruit, juices and preserves from Ontario County, N.Y. WIC and FMNP checks are accepted at individual farmer stands.

Lower Manhattan's largest Greenmarket: 
Tribeca Greenmarket: Lower Manhattan's largest Greenmarket is located on Greenwich Street between Chambers and Duane Streets. It is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Wednesdays, there are three farm stands: Francesca's Bakery Breads and baked goods from Middlesex County, N.J.;  Jersey Farm Produce with vegetables, herbs, small fruit and cut flowers from Glen Gardner, N.J. and Toigo Orchards with orchard fruit from Cumberland County, Pa.

On Saturdays, there are 22 farm stands. For the complete list, click here.

"At the Wednesday market we now have tat soi and bok choy from Jersey Farm. On Saturdays, we have several varieties of grapes, pears and apples," said manager Jay Ledoux.

This Saturday, Sept. 20, there will be a photo exhibit at the Tribeca Greenmarket of the historical Washington Market that occupied large parts of Tribeca and Lower Manhattan between 1812 and 1962.

Other Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets: 
Bowling Green Greenmarket: On Broadway at Battery Place, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., year round. There are four farm stands on both days.

City Hall Greenmarket: Located on Broadway at Chambers Street, it is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has three farmers and will be open through mid-December.

Staten Island Ferry Greenmarket: Inside the Staten Island Ferry building, this market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., year round. There are two farm stands, Remsburger Maple Farm with maple syrup and honey from Dutchess County, N.Y. and Wilklow Orchards with orchard and small fruits, vegetables, cider, baked goods, and jams from Ulster County, N.Y.

And...at the Andaz:  
Andaz Hotel Farmers Market: Z Food Farm is the only vendor at the Andaz Farmers Market, open on Thursdays from 11 a.m. (and sometimes earlier, depending on traffic) to 6 p.m. at 75 Wall St. but the produce from this farm is unusual and excellent. David Zaback is the farmer. Alan, his father, mans the farm stand. Both can answer questions about their produce, including how to cook it. Most of the Greenmarket farm stands are manned by hired help. The Zabacks are the owners of their farm. They used to sell at the New Amsterdam Market before it closed.


Downtown bulletin board
FREE SENIOR SWIM; VCF ENROLLMENT DEADLINE; FIRE SAFETY FORUM; CITIZEN PREPAREDNESS TRAINING; ASPHALT GREEN OPEN HOUSE    
 
Fire truck on Water Street. Community Board 1 is hosting a Fire Safety Forum on Thursday, Sept. 18. RSVP required. To register, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Free senior swim: Seniors can swim for free at the Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. from Monday through Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Community Center offers aerobic water classes for seniors on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:45 p.m. To register, click here or call Lily at (212) 766-1104, ext. 221.

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 vcf.gov 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.

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 man01@cb.nyc.gov/

Battery Park City Asphalt Green hosts Open House with free classes: To kick off its four-day Fall Open House, Asphalt Green is holding a party on Thursday, Sept. 18 featuring free fitness and cultural classes for all ages, a Zumba Party, food, giveaways, a chance to win a free one-month membership, and more. The celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. Click here for a schedule of events. If you miss the kick-off party, you can still stop in between Sept. 19 and Sept. 21 for a one-day free pass to Asphalt Green's facilities. All classes are first-come, first-served. For more information on the Open House, call the Asphalt Green Membership Department at (212) 369-8890, ext. 2081 or email membership@asphaltgreen.org.




 

BATTERY PARK CITY BLOCK PARTY: SEPT. 27       
 
Decorating cupcakes at the Battery Park City Block Party in 2013.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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. As usual, there will be vendors, food, a talent show and games for kids.

Vendors can rent tables at the block party for $25. To reserve a table, email info@blockparty.com.

Talent at all levels is welcome for the talent show. To participate, email Vicki Winters at vickiwinters18@gmail.com. Volunteers to set up and break down the Block Party and to keep it working smoothly are needed. Contact Tammy Meltzer at volunteer@bpcblockparty.com to find out more and to volunteer. Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, is coordinating the children's rides and activities. He is looking for an assistant who could become the supervisor next year. For more information, email bob@manhattanyouth.org/

Electronics recycling: 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.

CALENDAR: Week of Sept. 15
Governors Island as depicted on a map made in 1776 and now on display at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in an exhibit called "Defining Lines."
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
























 
 

Sept. 16: "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. 17 to Sept. 21: Through Oct. 3, the historic lighthouse tender, Lilac, moored at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, has been transformed into a Floating Library. The project, created and organized by artist Beatrice Glow, offers opportunities aboard the ship for reading, writing, research, debate and "fearless dreaming." Activities take place almost daily from Wednesday to Sunday, with varying hours. Place: Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. Time: 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Cost: Free. For more information, click here.   

Sept. 19: 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: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: $12; $8 (students and seniors); $5 (children); free (members). Also, on 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. 20: 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. 20: During the fall migration, many species of birds pause in Battery Park City to rest and recuperate. Sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, join a naturalist for a bird-watching walk starting in Wagner Park. Binoculars and field guides are available. Time: 11 a.m. Free. 

 

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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2014