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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 120  Sept. 19, 2014
Quote of the day:
"Don't expect to see. Count the number of doors between your apartment and the nearest exit."- Firefighter and FDNY fire safety educator Michael Jones on what happens during an apartment fire and how to keep safe.
* FDNY firefighter imparts fire safety tips at Community Board 1 forum 
* Bits & Bytes: Paris Cafe building for sale; Glimpse of 30 Park Place; Tribeca condo conversion
* Letter to the editor: Kudos for Downtown Post NYC
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Old Seaport Street Fest; Free senior swim; Citzen preparedness
* Battery Park City Block Party: Sept. 27
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of Sept. 22
* Fall writing workshops at Poets House in Battery Park City
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Regatta in New York harbor.  Sept. 19, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


The interior of a firehouse in Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Michael Jones has been a firefighter with the Fire Department of the City of New York for 25 years and has seen it all. Now he is a fire safety educator for the FDNY, hoping that the tips he imparts will save a few lives.

On Sept. 18, Community Board 1 sponsored a Fire Safety Forum at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Around 50 people attended.

Jones said that he has found that a lot of people get their ideas of what to do in case of a fire from watching television: wrap themselves in a blanket and run through the flames, jump out a window, and things like that.

"That's not real," he said. "That's entertainment."

First of all, he said, you have to know whether you live in a non-fireproof building or a fireproof building. Owners of residential apartment buildings with three or more dwelling units are required by the New York City fire code to develop a fire safety plan specific for their building. It must contain basic fire safety tips and information about the building including the type of construction, information about its fire safety systems and information on more than one way to exit the building in case of fire.

"If you are in a non-fireproof building and a fire erupts anywhere in the building," said Jones, "get out." He said that fires can spread behind walls and ceilings. He also said that once you're outside, you should not attempt to go back into the building. He recommends having a prearranged place to meet family members outside the building so that there is no question of someone having been left behind.

A fireproof building can burn, said Jones, but a fire is likely to be confined to the apartment or room where it started. "It would take four to six hours to penetrate walls and floors," he said.

If a fire is in your apartment, you should leave, Jones said, but if it is elsewhere in a fireproof apartment building, the best thing to do is to stay put rather than entering smoke-filled hallways. He said to keep your apartment door closed and seal it with duct tape and with wet sheets and towels. Ventilators should be covered to keep smoke out of the apartment.

More people die in fires from smoke inhalation than from flames, he said. If it's necessary to flee, he said to keep as low to the ground as possible because smoke rises. He also said that in a real fire (not the kind depicted on TV), the smoke is dense and black.

"Don't expect to see," Jones said. "Count the number of doors between your apartment and the nearest exit because you would have to feel your way along a wall to find it."

More fires start in kitchens than anywhere else in a home, Jones said. "Stay in the kitchen until your food is ready," he advised. "And don't wear long or loose-fitting sleeves while you cook."

Many people believe that dumping salt on a grease fire is the best way to put it out. Jones said that you would have to use a lot of salt for that to work. Baking soda is more effective - plus a tight-fitting lid for the pot. "But not a glass lid," Jones said. "A lot of glass lids are not fire resistant and will break." And - yes - clean your oven regularly so that you don't get grease build-up inside.

According to Jones, landlords and owners of apartment buildings are under no legal obligation to hold fire safety drills or to install alarm systems. But they are required by law to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every apartment.

A law that went into effect in April 2014 says that all smoke detectors installed after that date have to have non-removable, non-replaceable batteries that power the alarm for a minimum of 10 years. They must sound an audible notification at the end of the useful life of the alarm.

The law also requires that smoke alarms that were installed before April 2014 must be replaced with the newly required model no later than April 2021 if their useful life is not known. An owner may collect a maximum of $25 for a smoke detector or a maximum of $50 for a combined smoke and carbon monoxide detecting device to offset the expense of installation. The apartment occupant has one year from the date of the installation to make the reimbursement.

"Make sure your smoke detectors are working," said Jones. "Don't disable them for any reason, and check the batteries once a month."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For more information about fire safety, click here.


Bits & Bytes
The Four Seasons hotel and condos under construction at 30 Park Place behind the Woolworth Building. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Home to The Paris Cafe, Other Seaport Building Hit Market,"
Commercial Observer,
The building housing the Paris Cafe on South Street is for sale.
9/18/14. "Two mixed-use buildings, including one that is home to The Paris Cafe, have hit the market for $25.8 million," according to the Commercial Observer. "The buildings are the five-story 116-119 South Street, historically known as the Meyer's Hotel and Paris Cafe, and at 108 South Street, which is a vacant 5.5-story, mixed-use building. The two properties are being offered for sale individually, or as a portfolio for $25.75 million with Eastern Consolidated's Adelaide Polsinelli and James Famularo. Known as the Harriet Onderdonk Building, 116-119 South Street has 16 free-market apartments, primarily one-bedrooms with an average monthly rent of $2,500, and the Paris Café on the ground floor and basement. Over the past year, the building has undergone a $2 million renovation, which included updating 12 of the apartments, building mechanicals and common areas." For the complete article, click here.

"Silverstein Showcases 30 Park Place Hotel and Condos,"
Commercial Observer, 9/10/14. "Less than an hour after he left the stage at an event about the World Trade Center's progress ahead of the 9/11 anniversary, Silverstein Properties chairman Larry Silverstein invited reporters for a look at the Four Seasons hotel and condo development that's rising just two blocks away from the trade center complex at 30 Park Place," says the Commercial Observer. "The 926-foot Robert A.M. Stern-designed building will feature 189 hotel rooms on the first 39 floors and 157 luxury condos leading up to the 82nd floor, including 11 penthouses with outdoor terraces starting on the 75th floor, when it opens in early 2016, according to Silverstein." For the complete article, click here.

"The Fresh-Air Amenity," New York Times, 9/19/14. "In a city that can treat its courtyards like walled-off terrariums - things to behold but not to touch - 443 Greenwich Street is taking a different approach and creating a space to be enjoyed like a park," says The New York Times. "The 4,000-square-foot doughnut hole in the middle of the new 53-unit condominium, a conversion of a nearly full-block former factory in TriBeCa, will be lined with hundreds of windows and shutters with a 19th-century aesthetic and will have seats shaded by sassafras trees." Metro Loft Management is doing the conversion. It "has a long history of converting office buildings to rentals in the financial district, but this conversion will be its first condo," says The Times. "The hundreds of windows, many of them arched, were created to deliver light and fresh air to workers relegated to the back reaches of the red-brick 1880s building, which was variously used by bookbinding, drug, glass, silver, toy and steel-wool companies." For the complete article, click here.

The last issue of Downtown Post had a non-working link to this article. This link works. "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.

Letter to the editor
New York harbor and Lower Manhattan, the purview of Downtown Post NYC.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:

How do you do it? Every edition of DowntownPost NYC is a gem. The reporting and writing are always topnotch. The photography is always superb.

Richard Nusser

From the editor:
Thank you very much for your email. The short answer to your question is that I work all the time. Downtown Post NYC is now nine months old. To put that in perspective, DPNYC's 120 issues have contained around 225,000 words of original copy plus links to other articles and calendar items and around 1,500 photographs. I have done this by myself. If and when I get more advertisers, I will hire someone to help me. I am looking forward to that! - Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor

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


Downtown bulletin board

The swimming pool at Asphalt Green Battery Park City. Free passes to Asphalt Green facilities are available on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Old Seaport Street Fest: The Old Seaport Alliance is throwing a party on Sept. 27 from noon to 10 p.m. Come to Peck Slip plaza for live music, food, art performances, free yoga and more. For more information, click here.

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.

Battery Park City Asphalt Green's fall season:  Come to Asphalt Green Battery Park City on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 for a one-day free pass to Asphalt Green's facilities. All classes are first-come, first-served. For more information, call the Asphalt Green Membership Department at (212) 369-8890, ext. 2081 or email Place: 212 North End Ave.


Peruvian dancers at the Battery Park City Block Party in 2012.
(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.


The Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Community Board 1's monthly full-board meeting takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 23 starting at 6 p.m. This month, it will be held at the Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26. The Pier 26 boathouse is located on the southern end of Hudson River Park at West Street just north of North Moore Street.

All are welcome to attend. The meeting begins with a public comment section at which anyone may speak for one to two minutes. Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse will welcome the meeting and it will be addressed by Madelyn Wils, President, Hudson River Park Trust. Most of the meeting consists of reports from Community Board 1 committees.

Sept. 30: Citizen Preparedness Training - 7 p.m.
Location:         PS 276 - Battery Park City School, 55 Battery Place

Learn how to prepare for an emergency or disaster and how to recover afterward. All participants must register in advance at


Kevin Young, author of seven poetry collections and a teacher at Emory University, conducting a two-day master class at Poets House. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City is offering writing workshops this fall for people of all levels of ability and experience. The workshops range from one day to six weeks. For most workshops, no applications are needed but registration is required. To register, call (212) 431-7920 x2832, email or click here.

Six-Week Workshops
The six-week workshops are open to all.  $325 each.

From Journal to Poem with Barbara Henning
6 Saturdays, Sept. 20 to Nov. 1. Time: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Inherent Logics: From One Genre to Another with Douglas A. Martin
6 Thursdays, Sept. 25 to Oct. 30. Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Writing About Big Ideas with Jennifer Michael Hecht
6 Wednesdays, Oct. 8 to Nov. 12. Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Love Me In Your Language with LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
6 Tuesdays, Oct. 14 to Nov. 18. Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Rewriting With Abandon: The Art of Revision with Sharon Dolin
6 Thursdays, Oct. 30 to Dec. 11 (skipping Nov. 27). Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Departures: A Way to Start the Poem with Patricia Spears Jones
6 Saturdays, Nov. 1 to Dec. 13 (skipping Nov. 29). Time: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

One-Day Workshops
Open to all levels.  $60.

Catch Sight of Desire: A Monologue Lab for Poets with Lenelle Moïse
Sat., Oct. 18, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

"Why Must It Always End This Way?" Narrative Theory & Poetry Workshop with Natasha Sajé
Sat., Oct. 18, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Both workshops part of Other Impulses: Poets Writing Across Genres

Three-Week Workshop
Open to all levels. $150.

Text, Event, & Chorus: Intergenre Writing for Poets with Corina Copp
3 Saturdays, Oct. 25, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Part of Other Impulses: Poets Writing Across Genres

Special Workshop for Teens
The Connection in Disconnection: One-day High School Poetry Workshop with Farrah Field. Saturday, Oct. 11, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Application deadline: Friday, Sept 26
Teen Workshop Guidelines: In a single attachment, email three poems accompanied by a cover sheet with your name, address, email address, phone number to No names or addresses should appear on the poems themselves. Fee: $75. Application deadline: Friday, Sept. 26

CALENDAR: Week of Sept. 15
 The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy sponsors catch and release fishing on the Battery Park City esplanade at Wagner Park. Dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Sept. 20: "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. 20: 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. 24: 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: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets: $12; $8 (students and seniors); $5 (children); free (members). Also, on Sept. 26, Oct. 2 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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