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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 119  Sept. 17, 2014
Quote of the day:
"We do not yet know what's in the application. We've asked them on several occasions but they haven't told us."- Michael Levine, land use and planning consultant to Community Board 1, on the Howard Hughes Corporation's application to control and change some South Street Seaport landmarks.
* Howard Hughes has plans for Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport
* Fashion Week with Battery Park City's Vince Smith 
* Bits & Bytes: Demolished Downtown buildings; Two new Staten Island ferry boats coming
* Letters to the editor: New York City's colorful past
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Free senior swim; Free High Holiday services
* Battery Park City Block Party: Sept. 27
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Back stage at the Long Tran fashion show, with makeup and hair by Vince Smith.  Sept. 7, 2014. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Landmarked Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


The Howard Hughes Corporation - the Dallas-based developer with long-term leases on parts of the South Street Seaport - is now angling to increase its leasehold and for the first time, is mentioning that landmarked Schermerhorn Row is a part of its desired plans.


Schermerhorn Row is a collection of buildings on the south side of Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. The buildings, more than 200 years old, once housed the galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum, but the museum has not been able to reopen those galleries because electrical damage from Superstorm Sandy has never been repaired.  


At Community Board 1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on Sept. 17, Diana Switaj, CB 1's director of land use and planning, said that the next step in the Howard Hughes land use application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission would pertain to the Tin Building, the pavilions under the FDR Drive and "potentially some areas of Schermerhorn Row."


She said that Community Board 1 does not yet know what the details are.  


Howard Hughes has to complete the Landmarks Preservation Commission portion of their applications before they initiate a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, required when public property is transferred or altered) and so on Sept. 29, said Switaj, "the Howard Hughes Corporation will be presenting the contents of their Landmarks Preservation Commission application to the Seaport Working Group and then on Oct. 22, CB1 is having a special Landmarks Committee meeting for HHC to present their application to the Landmarks Committee with the Seaport and the Planning Committees invited for a recommendation from the Landmarks Committee. Then, after that, HHC has their Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Nov. 18."


Howard Hughes had originally said they thought they would be ready to go to ULURP in the fall of 2014. They now anticipate that they will be ready to go to ULURP in the spring of 2015.


Michael Levine, former director of land use and planning for CB1 and now a consultant to CB1, said, "We do not yet know what's in the application. We've asked them on several occasions but they haven't told us."


Levine said that he, Switaj and CB1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes, had had a conversation with Howard Hughes representatives about the reason for the delays in bringing information to CB1. According to Levine, the HHC representative said that Howard Hughes was waiting for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to give them the "go ahead," which had not yet happened. "It is their property," said Levine, "and one of the essential components [of any plan] is a lease for the property."


"The final plan - we don't know if it's been approved by EDC yet," he said. 


According to Levine, the HHC application would be for the Tin Building, for the demolition of the Link Building, which is adjacent to Pier 17 "because they're moving the public market into an expanded Tin Building - and for potential pavilions under the FDR Drive and something happening in Schermerhorn Row in some way - we don't know exactly what the plan will be - all of which is in the landmarked district. These are not ULURP actions. They are only Landmarks approvals," said Levine.


"What part of Schermerhorn Row are you looking at?" asked Michael Kramer, a public member of CB1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee and a member of Save Our Seaport, a group of Seaport residents and businesses who are trying to save the historic seaport and its maritime heritage.


Both Chris Curry, executive vice president for Howard Hughes in charge of the Seaport and Adam Meister, a Howard Hughes vice president, were in the room when Kramer asked that question. Neither Curry nor Meister answered it.  


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 



Before Long Tran's show, Vince Smith and his team had less than three hours to do hair and makeup on 13 models. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Vince Smith has been in the hairdressing business for 35 years, much of that time in Battery Park City. Four years ago, he got an email from a young fashion designer, unknown to him, named Long Tran, asking him if he might be interested in doing the hair and makeup for Tran's first show. Smith said yes.

On Sept. 7 during Fashion Week, they staged their fourth collaboration - a show of spring and summer clothing at the Gibney Dance Center on Chambers Street. There were 13 models - the women dressed in white garments with architecturally structured shoulders and skirts, the men, in brilliant brocades and silver in shapes that suggested science fiction heroes. They emerged into the darkened theater amidst puffs of mist with spotlights gleaming on their faces and their other-worldly vestments.

"The theme of the show was 'Holo,' which stands for 'hologram,'" said Smith. "I created a make-up look that would be futuristic and give a holographic effect to the face so as the model moved and went in and out of the light, it would appear different and holographic to the viewer."


Smith said the he finds it exciting to work with Tran. "He's so original and he pushes the envelope as far as he can push it," Smith said. "He's very demanding and wants to see an original creation of hair and makeup so it pushes me to be original and creative. It's nice to have that kind of push and also to have the arena to show your work at that level to people who appreciate the avant-garde. It's easy to make avant-garde ugly, but I think it's really difficult to make avant-garde look beautiful."


Smith created a hairstyle for the women with square, boxy chignons into which he tucked LED lights. To create a base for the chignons, he used plastic cupcake boxes with holes cut in the bottom so that a ponytail could be slipped through and wrapped around the box.  


"It took a good four tries to figure out how to make it happen and how to make the lights show," said Smith.


His team of nine people started working on the hair and makeup around 3 p.m. on the day of the show. The women had very complicated makeup, with strong colors on the eyes, strongly defined, dark eyebrows, liner around the eyes, green and blue eye shadows, blue mascara and a navy blue liner. After applying contouring, highlighting and blush, their lips were covered with foundation and then, said Smith, "we created that cool, holographic effect on the face by taking a fish net stocking and stretching it across the model's face and then airbrushing in a silver shimmer highlighter."


Smith said that doing the show is "a great experience for me, as a professional, as an artist and it's such a great experience for the salon  - for each individual's growth. It bonds the team like no other experience. It's really gratifying. It also pushes us to be more creative and to be at the top of our game. It's an amazing feeling when we're done."


Smith said he hopes to get recognition from other designers and more opportunities to do this kind of work. 


Tran, now 25, is seeking to advance his career as a fashion designer. He was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the United States at the age of 15. He lived in Kansas and then moved to Chicago. He came to New York to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.

He was given a boost last year when Lady Gaga wore some of the boots that he had designed.

In the meantime, he supports himself by managing a pizza shop - LES Pizza - at 181 East Broadway on the Lower East Side. "In between managing a pizza shop, he's building dresses and marketing himself and mounting shows. It's pretty impressive for someone that young," said Smith.

From the first time Smith saw Tran's work, he said, "I could tell he was really going to make it. I still believe he's going to be huge."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

To see more of Long Tran's work, click here. For information about Vince Smith and his Battery Park City hairdressing salon, click here.


Bits & Bytes
Two new boats are being added to the Staten Island ferry fleet.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"49 beautiful old New York buildings that no longer exist,"
The Real Deal, 9/16/14. The Real Deal has compiled photos of 49 New York City buildings that were torn down. Many of them were in Lower Manhattan - the Singer Building, the Produce Exchange, the City Hall Post Office, Astor House and many more. "It wasn't until 1966, with the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act, that historic buildings could be protected by federal law," says The Real Deal. To see the photos, click here.

"Sales launch at Tribeca condo building 290 West," The Real Deal, 9/18/14. "VE Equities launched sales at its 10-story Tribeca condo building at 290 West Street. Two of the 13 apartments hit the market today. A three-bedroom, fifth-floor unit is asking $6.5 million, and a four-bedroom, fourth-floor unit is asking $6.6 million." For the complete article, click here.

"Two New Boats to Be Added to SI Ferry Fleet,", 9/18/14. "Two new Staten Island Ferry boats will be added to the fleet using $190 million in federal funding as part of the city's storm resiliency plan," reports. "Officials say the new boats will replace vessels that are more than 30 years old. They say the new ferries will be able to operate in harsher conditions and will be able to carry more passengers during emergency situations or evacuations. The funding will also cover flood-proofing upgrades in ferry facilities and storm damage protection measures at ferry landings." For the complete article, click here.

"Morningstar ditches midtown for 4 WTC," Crain's New York Business, 9/18/14. "Morningstar Inc., the investment reporting and research firm, is moving to lower Manhattan," says Crain's New York Business. "The company has signed a 10-year lease for 30,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center, the 72-story, 2.3 million-square-foot office tower that developer Silverstein Properties opened earlier this year. The firm will be relocating from 1065 Sixth Ave., where it has 7,500 square feet, and will almost triple its office space in the transaction. The company is taking a portion of the tower's 48th floor. It will move into the space sometime in mid-2015, Silverstein Properties announced Thursday." For the complete article, click here.

Letters to the editor
Joe Svehlak leading a tour of Nassau Street. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:

(Re: "Walking Tour: Three centuries of history on Nassau St.," DPNYC, 9/16/14): Thank you for your informative article on Nassau Street and its architectural and historical gems (including the great tour guide, Joe Svehlak). Once again Downtown Post has demonstrated a love for New York City's colorful past in a comprehensive article that is second to none.

Esther Regelson

To the editor:
So wonderful the 9/16/14 issue describing all the Nassau Street architecture in styles from
Federal to post-Modern: the fireproof terra-cotta of the Potter Building, the New York Times building, the Morse building and the cast-iron Bogardus building.

I loved the "beach" on Water Street at Whitehall and all the Greenmarket information...and cupcakes at Battery Park City, too! :) I also enjoyed the articles on the 9/11 ceremonies.

Thank you! A pleasure to read.  Like I am there!
(Great pics as well.)

Beth Adams

From the editor:
Thank you for your emails. You make the long days and nights to put this newsletter together seem worthwhile.

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


Downtown bulletin board
Sign up now for a Citizen Preparedness Training program to be held at PS 276 on
Sept. 30. It will instruct in how to prepare for emergencies and disasters.
(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.

High Holiday services:
Chabad Wall Street is holding High Holiday services on Rosh Hashana (Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 a.m. with shofar blowing at around 12:30 p.m.) and on Yom Kippur (Friday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 4 at 9:30 p.m.). Services are free, but there is a suggested donation of $180. RSVP required. Reserve by email only: Place: Reserve Cut, 40 Broad St.

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.

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

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


Brownies at the Battery Park City Block Party in 2011. (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

Talent at all levels is welcome for the talent show. To participate, email Vicki Winters at Volunteers to set up and break down the Block Party and to keep it working smoothly are needed. Contact Tammy Meltzer at 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

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
A female ruby-throated hummingbird fattens herself up in Battery Park City's Wagner Park in preparation for her migration of thousands of miles to Mexico or Central America, where she will spend the winter. Go for a free birdwatching walk with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy on Sat., Sept. 20. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Sept. 18: "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. 18 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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