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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 128  Oct. 8, 2014
Quote of the day:
"This is such a great harbor and New York City was disassociated from it for so long." - Michael Fortenbaugh, commodore of the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, on the comeback of recreational sailing in New York harbor.

* Battery Park City's North Cove Marina up for grabs
* Battery Park's wild turkey, Zelda, killed in automobile accident 
* Bits & Bytes: Howard Hughes Corp. takes 10-year lease at 199 Water St.; J.Lo shops in Tribeca
* Downtown Alliance gives away more than 4,000 geraniums
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Poll workers needed; Public hearing for CB1's capital budget
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

Lunar eclipse as seen from Battery Park City. Oct. 8, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


 Fortenbaugh supporters at Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee meeting on Oct. 7.  (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

For the last 10 years, Michael Fortenbaugh has been the operator for North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, but his tenure may be coming to an end. On Sept. 22, the Battery Park City Authority issued a Request for Proposals for an operator to manage the marina. Fortenbaugh is just one of the applicants. His current contract with the BPCA expires on Dec. 31, 2014.

Responses to the RFP are due by Oct. 24. The Battery Park City Authority will pick an operator for the marina before the end of the year.

Michael Fortenbaugh addressing CB1's Battery Park City Committee.
Fortenbaugh said that he had expected to have to reapply. "The only challenge is that now we have made the marina so successful that it has attracted interest from other large companies outside the community," he said in an email.  "So the question is whether we keep growing the marina in the manner we have with a combination of mega-yachts and public amenities like the sailing school and junior sailing programs or does the marina go to another company? We are concerned that all the great things we have created could be lost, but we are also confident that we have done a great job and we believe in the process of BPCA making the decision."

In addition to managing the marina, Fortenbaugh runs the Manhattan Yacht Club, the Manhattan Sailing School, and summer sailing camp programs for young children and teenagers. According to the American Sailing Association, the Manhattan Sailing School is the biggest adult sailing school in the country. It can accommodate up to 78 students a weekend.

The school for juniors and teens is run through the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, which was founded by Fortenbaugh and a few of the Manhattan Sailing Club members as a non-profit organization to teach kids to sail. It offers scholarships for junior and teen sailors so that no one is turned away because of inability to pay.

On Oct. 7, Fortenbaugh, a Battery Park City resident, appeared before Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee to make a case for his continued oversight of the marina. "This is such a great harbor and New York City was disassociated from it for so long," he said. "There's no more important place in the city for recreation in the harbor than North Cove."

Before becoming manager of the marina in 2005, Fortenbaugh was already running programs there. "We started a sailing club in 1987 at the South Street Seaport," he told the BPC Committee. "It was a totally different time. No one thought you could sail the harbor. We witnessed the harbor changing from 'you can't touch the water' to 'let's go!' We moved to North Cove in 1994. In between was 9/11."

The marina, like much else in Battery Park City, was wrecked on Sept. 11, 2001. Fortenbaugh helped to put it back together.

The Community Board 1 meeting, held on the second floor of the Battery Park City library, was packed with supporters. "There are a lot of people who took off from sailing tonight to come down here. It's not because I'm giving them free beer afterwards," Fortenbaugh joked. "People really care. I think all of us feel a terrific amount of appreciation for the opportunities we've been given."

The committee commended Fortenbaugh's work to date, but was unsure whether it could properly issue a formal resolution supporting his application. As chairman Anthony Notaro said, "I don't know the legality or code of ethics for us to support one commercial bidder without having talked or having any conversation with someone else."

However, he and others on the committee were unstinting in their praise of Fortenbaugh's work. "
I remember when you came to us 10 years ago," said committee member Jeff Galloway. "Up until that time, though the marina was a wonderful thing in the neighborhood, it was as if it were just like American Express or some other neighbor, but not part of us. What you brought to the marina is that you made it part of us. You run a wonderful operation and it's a destination for people around the world but it's also a part of our community."

In evaluating the proposals for a marina operator, the BPCA will consider the quality and viability of the proposed marina use and layout, the proposer's relevant expertise and successful experience with comparable marine facilities and the quality and viability of the proposer's preliminary financing plan and license payment proposal.

These three factors will account for 70 percent of the BPCA's decision.

Fortenbaugh has been paying rent for the use of the marina, but he indicated to the Battery Park City Committee that some of the companies vying for the management of the marina are "much larger" and could pay even more rent.

He asked that if people were so disposed, that they send him letters of support that he can include with his application. He said that he already had 50 letters commending him and his stewardship of the marina.

"If you are going to write letters of support, I would ask you to write them to me, not to the Battery Park City Authority," Fortenbaugh said. "We don't want to tell them what to do."

His email address is Mailed letters can be sent to North Cove Marina Management, 375 South End Ave., Apt. 20L, New York, NY, 10280. All responses must be received by Friday, Oct. 17 in order to be included.

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Clipper yachts engaged in a around-the-world race put in at North Cove Marina.


Zelda in Battery Park. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


One of Lower Manhattan's much beloved residents was struck and killed by an automobile around two weeks ago. Zelda, the wild turkey who lived in Battery Park, was walking along South Street toward Pier 11 when the accident occurred.    


"A UPS worker and a custodian working on South Street both notified us that they saw her after she had been hit, but we're not sure if they saw the accident itself," said Nicole Brownstein, a spokesperson for the Battery Conservancy. "We wanted to be sure that it was her before we notified the public."    


In announcing her death, the Battery Conservancy said, "She made her first appearance on May 5, 2003 when garden designer, Piet Oudolf and 50 volunteers planted the Gardens of Remembrance along the waterfront in honor of all the survivors of 9/11 who had fled to safety through the park."


Zelda made occasional forays into the neighborhood, as she did on the day of her death, but Battery Park was her home. The Conservancy staff named her Zelda after F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, who was said to have fled to Battery Park during a nervous breakdown.   

It was always a joy to see her. "There's Zelda!" people would say, introducing her to visitors. "She lives here."

After Superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 29, 2012, she wasn't seen for several days and many people asked after her. They were relieved when she resurfaced.

Though definitely wild, she loved parties. She would always show up to greet guests.  
"Zelda's last appearances were at the 11th annual Battery Gardeners Luncheon, on September 17th, making sure to greet guests as they arrived, and at the previous day's Conservancy board meeting, where she monitored the discussions of the park's future from a nearby tree," the Conservancy said in its obituary for the beloved bird.  


Zelda's place in the hearts of all who knew her must surely be because she was a wild creature living in an urban setting. She was a link to the natural world for which so many city dwellers long. Yet, at the same time, she was one of us - a social animal, comfortable with our ways, who brightened our lives with her presence. We will miss her. 


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer   



Bits & Bytes
The flank of 120 Broadway that faces Nassau Street. The building, erected for Equitable Life Insurance between 1913 and 1915, takes up an entire city block. The building is so massive that the city enacted zoning laws in 1916 to prevent anything like it being built again without setbacks on the upper floors. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"The deals flow at 199 Water St.,"
New York Post, 10/7/14. "Two new leases at 199 Water St. are bringing Jack Resnick & Sons' 1.1 million-square-foot tower to 100 percent occupancy," says the New York Post. Of particular interest to people who are wondering what The Howard Hughes Corporation may be hoping to do in the South Street Seaport is the fact, reported by the New York Post, that Hughes "will move to the entire 28th floor in a new 10-year 36,985-square-foot lease. The nationwide company is currently redeveloping the adjacent Pier 17 and replanning the look of the entire Seaport. These offices will house its East Coast headquarters." In addition, the Post says that, "BGC Partners is converting a sublease of 79,990 square feet to a 15-year direct deal as of Jan. 1, 2015. The parent of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and an affiliated company of Cantor Fitzgerald, occupies the entire 18th and 19th floors of the 35-story building." For the complete article, click here.

"Inside the Building That Changed New York City's Zoning Laws,", 10/9/14. "So many skyscrapers, in New York City and beyond, owe a major part of their design to one building in Lower Manhattan," says "That building is the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway. Completed in 1915 and designed by Ernest Graham, its 40 floors cover the entire block and cast a shadow one-fifth of a mile long and seven acres in size. To say that didn't go over well is an understatement. It's why New York has zoning laws, and why towers such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building were required to have the setbacks that make them that so dramatic." For the complete article, with photos, click here.

"Macklowe Completes 1 Wall Street Buy With $460M in Financing,"
Commercial Observer, 10/9/14. Though no records have yet been filed with the city's Department of Buildings, it seems likely that the landmarked building at 1 Wall St., completed in 1931 for the Irving Trust Bank, will be converted from office to residential use, says the Commercial Observer. "A joint venture led by Macklowe Properties sealed its $585 million purchase of 1 Wall Street from Bank of New York Mellon with $460 million in acquisition financing serviced by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas," the Commercial Observer reports. "The transactions closed on Sept. 30 and hit records this morning. Qatar National Bank is listed as the agent bank in the deal. No other lenders are named. BNY Mellon agreed to sell its 50-story office tower headquarters in the Financial District to billionaire developer Harry Macklowe and his partners in late May. The price paid amounts to $502 a square foot, according to Real Capital Analytics." For the complete article, click here.

"Real-life "Wolf of Wall Street" character goes lone wolf to sell $43M home,"
The Real Deal, 10/8/14. "Turns out the real-life inspiration for a minor character in Martin Scorsese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street' isn't afraid to break away from the pack," says The Real Deal. "Entrepreneur and semi-professional race car driver Alan Wilzig, who is depicted in the pool-party scene from the 2013 movie introducing Leonardo DiCaprio's character to his future wife, is shopping his tricked-out Tribeca condo/townhouse without the assistance of a broker. The for-sale-by-owner listing posted on yesterday is asking $43.5 million for the two-story maisonette at 3 Hubert Street." For the complete article, click here.

"Jennifer Lopez eyes $13.99M apartment in TriBeCa," New York Post, 10/9/14. "After five weeks of vegan dieting to help her shed the pounds to get in form for her 'Booty' video, Jennifer Lopez is shaking it on the real estate trail, too," says the New York Post. "One spot she checked out was a 5,924-square-foot penthouse duplex loft at 55 Warren St. in TriBeCa. The $13.995 million apartment has four bedrooms and 4 bathrooms - along with 1,300 square feet of private outdoor space, including a pool." For the complete article, click here. For photographs of the apartment, see "J.Lo Caught Eyeing a Sprawling $14M Penthouse Loft in Tribeca," in, 10/9/14. Click here.

Southbridge Towers update: When the votes were counted on Sept. 30, 2014, it appeared that the residents of Southbridge Towers, a Mitchell-Lama subsidized co-op in the South Street Seaport, had voted to privatize the 1,651-unit apartment complex. To privatize, 1,072 votes were needed, and those in favor of taking Southbridge Towers out of the Mitchell-Lama program had 1,082 votes. However, now everything is on hold.  The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), which administers Southbridge Towers, has required all voting material and proxies to be secured for investigation.


Ryan Calby of Phillips Florists giving away one of more than 4,000 geraniums at Bowling Green Park - an annual ritual at the end of the summer season, arranged by the Alliance for Downtown New York, which helps maintain the park. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

There was a run on geraniums on Oct. 8, when the Downtown Alliance advertised that the flowers that had brightened Bowling Green Park all summer would be given away. Paul Phillips, owner of Phillips Florists in Hicksville, L.I., the contractor for the plantings, thinks that around 5,000 geraniums changed hands. "We gave most of them away in the first hour and a half," he said.

Geraniums are annuals that wouldn't survive a New York City winter outside, but should do fine on a sunny windowsill, according to Phillips. He said that under the right conditions, each plant would bloom a few more times.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Downtown Alliance is sponsoring a second horticultural day in Bowling Green Park, which is at the foot of Broadway, in front of the National Museum of the American Indian. Everyone is invited to show up between 10 a.m. and noon to help plant the tulip bulbs that will bloom at the first hint of spring.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Bowling Green Park as it looked in July, festooned in geraniums.


Downtown bulletin board

Poll workers needed: The New York City Board of Elections is recruiting people to serve as poll workers on Election Day, Nov. 4. Depending on their registration status and availability, applicants may be assigned to work as an Inspector, Poll Clerk, Information Clerk or Door Clerk. Interpreters and Door Clerks earn a salary of $200 for working an Election Day plus $25 for attending class and passing an exam. Inspectors, Poll Clerks and Information Clerks earn a salary of $200 for working on Election Day plus $100 for attending a six-hour training class and passing an exam. Any worker who does not attend training class will not be assigned to work an Election Day. Poll workers can be assigned to any poll within the borough in which they live. The work day begins at 5 a.m. and ends when all votes have been tallied at the assigned polling place. For more information and to apply, click here.

Public hearing for Community Board 1's capital and expense budget priorities for FY2016:
A public hearing on Oct. 28 provides an opportunity for members of the Lower Manhattan community to let Community Board 1 know what their budget priorities are for the district. The board will finalize its priorities during the business session of the meeting following the hearing. Anyone in the community may attend and speak. This is a link to the budget priorities for FY 2015. For more information call (212) 442-5050 or email Place: National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, Diker Pavilion, 1st floor. Time: 6 p.m.

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 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).

CALENDAR: Week of Oct. 6
 A painting by courtroom artist Aggie Kenny of the U.S. Supreme Court under Warren Burger. Kenny's paintings of 9/11 responders will be on display at the New York City Police Museum through Oct. 25.


Oct. 11 and Oct. 12:
Open House New York has arranged access to more than 300 venues in the five boroughs that are usually closed to the public or open on a limited basis. For the complete listing, click here.

Oct. 11:
A concert by Loudon Wainwright III, who has released more than two dozen albums and won a Grammy in 2010 for best traditional folk album. Where: Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $29, $39 and $49. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Oct. 12
Compline by Candlelight featuring Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. A meditative musical service in historic St. Paul's Chapel (built in 1766) on Broadway at Fulton Street. Time: 8 p.m. Free.

Oct. 12: Walking tour, "Secrets of Jewish New York City," with Oscar Israelowitz, a licensed New York City tour guide who holds degrees in architecture and geology and who is also a professional photographer whose work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum and elsewhere. Also, Oct. 13 and Oct. 14. Meet at 17 State St. Time: Noon. Fee: $20. For reservations, call (718) 951-7072. For more information, click here.
Through Oct. 19: Sail New York harbor on the South Street Seaport Museum's landmarked 1885 schooner, Pioneer. Varying times. Place: Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. Tickets: $38; $28 (museum members); $32 (students and seniors); $20 (children); $5 (children under 2). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Through Oct. 25:
"Artist as Witness: 9/11 Responders Watercolors" by Aggie Kenny at the New York City Police Museum. This will be the Police Museum's last exhibit at its current location. The museum will close on Oct. 25. Place: 45 Wall St. Open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: $5; children, free. 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.

Ongoing: "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

Mark your calendar: On Oct. 14, Julia Wolfe's folk-infused "Steel Hammer" returns to the Winter Garden in Battery Park City, part of New Sounds Live from Brookfield Place. The Bang on a Can All-Stars will team up with vocalists Katie Geissinger, Emily Eagan, and Molly Quinn for this free CD release celebration. Inspired by Wolfe's love for the legends and music of Appalachia, "Steel Hammer" culls from both the music and oral traditions of the region. The text is taken from over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad - based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales - and explores the subject of human vs. machine in this quintessential American legend. Steel Hammer stretches the standard instrumentation of Bang on a Can All-Stars with wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, banjo, clogging, whistling and more. 7:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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