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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 147  Dec. 3, 2014
Quote of the day:
"Most of us are incredibly excited about the investment that Howard Hughes is making in this community."  
        - Maria Ho-Burge, an organizer of Friends of the Seaport, a group that supports The Howard Hughes Corporation's Seaport development proposals.

* Howard Hughes execs present Seaport development plans
* Reactions to the Friends of the Seaport forum
* Bits & Bytes: Landmarks Preservation Commission wants to wipe slate; 140 West St. penthouse
* Letters to the editor: Why people go to the South Street Seaport; Confusing names; Bravo!
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Coat drive; Photography contest; Hanukkah sale; Native Art Market
* Community Board 1 meetings
* Calendar

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Seaport resident Marion Hurstel with a poster that she printed at a workshop held at Bowne Printers, part of the South Street Seaport Museum. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 



Capt. Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum, making a presentation at a forum on Dec. 1 organized by Friends of the Seaport, a group favorable to The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposals for South Street Seaport development. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

In recent weeks, The Howard Hughes Corporation has been pulling out all the stops in an effort to drum up support for its South Street Seaport development proposals. On Dec. 1, HHC got an assist from a group called "Friends of the Seaport," whose members organized a meeting so that Howard Hughes executives and Gregg Pasquarelli, a partner in SHoP Architects, could present their development plans to the public.
David Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation.
David Weinreb, the Chief Executive Officer of The Howard Hughes Corporation, thought the occasion important enough to be at the meeting. "If you give us the opportunity, we will not let this community down," he told the audience of around 100 people.

On Nov. 19, Howard Hughes had presented its proposals to the Seaport Working Group, a committee of elected officials, Community Board 1 members, Seaport residents and business owners and other stakeholders, and had gotten a lukewarm to negative reception. HHC was due to go back in front of the Seaport Working Group on Dec. 3 and undoubtedly hoped to be able to say that many members of the Seaport community were solidly behind them.
Lisa Minuta Gorke, Joy Martini and Maria Ho-Burge.
Three women, all of them parents of children at the Peck Slip School, organized the Dec. 1 forum and said that they were ardent supporters of Howard Hughes. 

"As we watched the debate play out with respect to the project, we haven't felt included, engaged or represented," said Maria Ho-Burge, who led off the meeting. "We believe that many in our community have been silent." She went on to say that, "most of us are incredibly excited about the investment that Howard Hughes is making in this community. We discovered that many of us love the modern construction of the new pier [Pier 17, now under construction], and guess what else? A lot of us love the proposed tower."

A rendering of the proposed Howard Hughes tower on the East River. Opponents have said it would dwarf the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and block sight lines to the bridge. 
She was referring to a 494-foot-tall apartment tower that Howard Hughes would like to erect on the site of the 1939 New Market building, which it would demolish. Hughes says that the tower is necessary as the economic engine that would pay for improvements and amenities that it proposes to bring to the Seaport. These would include a 430-seat middle school, rebuilding decayed piers, restoring the landmarked Tin Building, which has been empty since the Fulton Fish Market moved to the Bronx in 2005, extending the East River esplanade through the Seaport, building a marina and creating affordable housing in landmarked Schermerhorn Row, which, for decades, has served as the South Street Seaport Museum's principal gallery space. 

Joy Martini, one of the trio of organizers, spoke disparagingly of the South Street Seaport Museum, though most people in the room, including Weinreb, said they supported it. "That incredible institution was shuttered long before Howard Hughes landed on this island," Martini said. She went on to say, "After years of neglect and mismanagement, that museum had no membership to speak of, was in arrears on its rent for more than a decade and owed $3 million to its former chairman - a private developer, by the way - who lent it money to cover operating expenses and payroll."

She also described the Brooklyn Bridge as "monstrous." "
Since we can't take down the bridge, let's build one," she suggested. "Let's figure out how to better connect our neighbors to each other and to the water."


She expressed the hope that The Howard Hughes Corporation would stick around, noting that previous developers had fled because of "a storm, an attack, or maybe just a pain-in-the-ass community."


Although Martini exhorted the audience to "separate fact from fiction," she failed to note that Howard Hughes' predecessor as Seaport developer, General Growth Properties, had departed because it went bankrupt.


When it was his turn to speak, Capt. Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum, also offered some corrections to Martini's assertions about the museum. "It is a misconception that is commonly held that the museum has always been hanging on by its fingernails in the Seaport District. And that couldn't be farther from the truth," he said.  


He said that in the 1970s, the museum had more members than any other museum in New York City. He also said there were periods, particularly in the late 1990s, when the museum "was fully solvent with a $6 million or $7 million annual budget, with $2 million in program revenues."  


Boulware conceded that there had been periods of mismanagement in the museum's history, but he also attributed the museum's financial struggles to a "mistake [that] was made in 1967 in the formation of the Seaport Museum under the wrong institution in the city rather than under the guidance of its sister institutions in cultural affairs - and as a result, the museum has struggled a lot over the years."


The New York City Economic Development Corporation is landlord for the South Street Seaport Museum and for most of the Seaport, rather than the Department of Cultural Affairs, which many people believe would have been a better steward.  


Most importantly, Boulware corrected the misperception that the South Street Seaport is a maritime museum. He said, "I am here to talk about a museum and a district. ... The museum was founded in a district that represents the birthplace of New York. ... We have ships not because we're preserving maritime history but because we're preserving the story of the commerce - the cultural exchange - that happened in the South Street Seaport," he said.


The Howard Hughes Corporation has already obliterated some of that history with its installations on Fulton Street where it placed shipping containers in front of the Fulton Market building, covered Fulton Street's cobblestones with artificial grass and brought in a fleet of food trucks and picnic tables during the summer, completely obscuring 202-year-old Schermerhorn Row and the sightlines to the historic ships on the waterfront. Now, a large ice skating rink and an inflatable, plastic tent are parked on the cobblestones.  


HHC's Seaport development proposal includes evicting the South Street Seaport Museum from Schermerhorn Row and creating a 5,000-square-foot home for the museum on Pier 16. HHC proposes to turn Schermerhorn Row into affordable housing, which would mean that the public would no longer have access to the old hotels, the 19th-century industrial machinery and other artifacts that are part of the fabric of the buildings.


Without commenting specifically on what Howard Hughes has in mind, Boulware said of Schermerhorn Row that it was "New York's first World Trade Center. It represents the growth of New York in a way that no other structure does."   


However, the Friends of the Seaport don't see the Seaport District as a historic treasure. Martini said that the "blighted buildings on South Street are a menace to growth, a threat to public safety and an abject insult to the residents and the local merchants on those blocks."  


Lisa Minuta Gorke, one of three women who had organized the Dec. 1 event, said that she and her family were avid bikers. Her vision of the rebuilt Seaport included "a bike path where we can ride past the structure that we're not afraid of who's living there and what's being smoked as we drive by with our five- and seven-year-olds."  

Gregg Pasquarelli and Chris Curry.
For these women, and perhaps for other Friends of the Seaport who didn't speak at the meeting, a great attraction of the Howard Hughes plan is that it would include a middle school. The plans as presented by architect Gregg Pasquarelli, show that it would be located on three floors of the waterfront apartment tower.  
"We've talked to the School Construction Authority. We got the design program from them," said Chris Curry, senior executive vice president of Howard Hughes. "We talked to the City and to the community who said this is where the school should go."


Paul Hovitz, a member of Community Board 1 and co-chairman of its Youth & Education Committee, immediately corrected Curry's remarks. "The School Construction Authority is saying that they don't know if they want a school on the water," Hovitz said. "They're saying that it has to go through ULURP [the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure required of any disposition of public property] and they're saying that you only can accommodate the graduating fifth graders from the Peck Slip School" - a small fraction of the fifth graders in the community who would need middle school seats.  


The Peck Slip School alone will have five fifth grade classes, each with 30 or more students. Since a middle school goes from grades six to eight, the proposed school would be overcrowded even before it was built.   

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Both Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Margaret Chin were in the room, and almost as an afterthought, they were invited to speak. Brewer said, as she has said in the past, that she wants to find a way to have a tall tower and a school, but not right in the middle of the Seaport.  


Chin spoke briefly at the very end of the meeting, and was noncommittal about what she had heard. Afterward, her press secretary, Sam Spokony, said that Chin had not departed in her thinking from her earlier statement following Howard Hughes' initial presentation to the Seaport Working Group, in which she had said "Unfortunately, it's clear that the Howard Hughes Corporation has not fully considered all of the guidelines put forth by the Seaport Working Group. I can't support the proposed tower in its current form, and I can't support the development proposal overall in its current form. There's still a lot of work to be done to make sure this plan truly serves the Seaport community, and we must strongly consider alternatives to the proposed tower."


As part of the ULURP process, both Brewer and Chin would have to sign off on the Howard Hughes development plans, and Chin would play a pivotal role in securing - or blocking - the proposal when it gets to City Council, which has the ultimate right of approval.   


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer   



City Councilmember Margaret Chin with Joy Martini and Maria Ho-Burge, two of the three organizers of a forum on Dec. 1 sponsored by a group called Friends of the Seaport. Behind them, Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes talked to Jonathan Boulware, interim president of the South Street Seaport Museum.  





The audience at the Friends of the Seaport forum. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

At its Dec. 1 forum, the Friends of the Seaport made an all-out effort to garner public support for The Howard Hughes Corporation's Seaport development plans, however those who were opposed were not swayed by the presentation.

"It was a well-scripted performance by HHC lobbyists appealing to a vulnerable population searching for zoned middle school seats," said Michael Kramer, a member of the Seaport Working Group and of Save Our Seaport. "In spite of a tremendous effort to fill seats through robo-calls, Google ad buys and building-wide email networks, subtracting SOS skeptics and HHC employees and lobbyists, the room was half filled." However, he added, "We are encouraged to see some new PTA parent faces who will join the conversation."

David Sheldon, a member of Save Our Seaport, observed that the presentation ended with a call to believe in The Howard Hughes Corporation. "It felt to us like a surreal pep rally for the developer, an exercise in corporate cynicism exploiting the earnest concerns of many in the room," he said.

"I believe the young families have been conned into believing HHC wants to do something good for their children," said Diane Harris Brown, a member of the Seaport Working Group. "'In a pig's eye' is my feeling. Notice there was no reference to the 4,000-person concert venue on the roof of Pier 17. A few loud rock concerts with drunken, drugged-up, brawling audiences and they might regret that."

Caroline Miller, a Seaport resident said, "The two women who spoke at the beginning were exceedingly well-prepared and slick, as was the whole evening, designed to come to the rescue of HHC, which they portrayed as being maligned and victimized by the opposition to the project. I couldn't help but wonder about the motivation of these women - how powerful the addition of the school seemed to be, or whether they really love the whole thing and feel that the HHC folks are just wonderful. As the process goes on, we'll find out if there really are a lot of people who think putting a luxury apartment tower on the water right in front of the Seaport is a great idea, and who trust HHC to fulfill its vague promises to the museum."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Bits & Bytes

The Excelsior Power Co. on Gold Street near the South Street Seaport was an early and short-lived electric supply company. However, its striking Romanesque Revival building survived and was converted to apartments in 1979. It is among the buildings that the Landmarks Preservation Commission has marked for "decalendaring," meaning that it would no longer be eligible for landmarks preservation. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Ben Shaoul wants $100M-plus for 140 West PH,"
The Real Deal, 12/1/14. "Developer Ben Shaoul could be asking more than $100 million for the penthouse at the former Verizon headquarters 140 West Street, a property he is turning into a luxury condo building," says The Real Deal. "He is one in a line of developers who are bringing nine-figure units to the market. ... Shaoul is not the only one who is bringing units of unprecedented size and shape to the market. At least five units in other buildings will be up for sale for prices north of $100 million. The five-story penthouse at the Woolworth Building is priced at $110 million. The current city record is $88 million for a unit at 15 Central Park West." For the complete article, click here.

"With 3 WTC Financing Finally a Done Deal, What Comes Next?," Commercial Observer, 11/28/14. "Silverstein Properties scored a big win in late October after selling 1.6 billion in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds, paving the way for full construction of the firm's long-stalled 3 World Trade Center tower," says the Commercial Observer. "The financing marks the largest-ever unrated bond deal in the municipal market. ... The $2 billion skyscraper development at 175 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan is now on track to reach its 80 stories. It will total 2.8 million square feet once completed in 2018," according to developer Larry Silverstein. For the complete article, click here.

"Proposal Would Trim New York City's List of Potential Landmarks," New York Times, 12/1/14. "The chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is charged with protecting New York City's historic structures, is proposing to remove more than 100 of them from her agency's oversight, dismaying preservationists who say the move could endanger some of the properties," according to The New York Times. "The move would affect 94 individual structures and two historic districts that had been 'calendared' since the commission was formed in 1965. Calendaring is the first step in the public review process, an acknowledgment that a property is worthy of consideration for protection, at which point hearings and votes follow. All of the properties under consideration have languished for at least five years without a vote on whether they are landmarks, and 80 of them have been on the books for more than 20 years, including 26 first proposed in 1966." For The New York Times article, click here. Several of the buildings affected by the landmarks proposal are in or near Lower Manhattan. They include the Excelsior Power Co., 33-43 Gold St.; 143 Chambers St.; 315 Broadway; 2 Oliver St. and 57 Sullivan St.

"Stakes are high in South Street Seaport's redevelopment plan," New York Post, 12/2/14. In a news article that followed on the heels of an editorial praising The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposal for the South Street Seaport, the New York Post says, "This could be a week of destiny for Howard Hughes Corp.'s South Street Seaport redevelopment proposal. (In case you hadn't noticed, the old Seaport complex - mismanaged for decades and further ravaged by superstorm Sandy - is a ragged remnant of its former self.) At a meeting of the 'Seaport Working Group' Wednesday night, Hughes execs will try to sell the project's opponents on its public benefits. Many of those grew out of the company's attention to earlier concerns voiced by other SWG participants - who include elected officials, City Hall reps, Community Board 1 and local 'stakeholders.' It's the group's final meeting before the project is to be submitted into the city's seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure - which would culminate in a make-or-break vote by the City Council. (Certain portions also face Landmarks Preservation Commission approval.)" For the complete article, click here.

"Jenga-Like 56 Leonard Is Looking Crazier by the Day,", 12/1/14."Herzog & de Meuron's very-nearly-sold out 56 Leonard has risen past 40 stories, which means that it's more than two thirds of its eventual height of 821 feet and 60 stories," says "In addition, as new photos from Field Condition show, glass is climbing up the Tribeca tower, where only two penthouses remain. The rest of the 145 units, ranging in price from $2.975 million to $47 million, are already in contract. Despite the challenges posed by its crazy cantilevering floor slabs, 56 Leonard appears to be on track for a 2015 completion." For the complete article, with photos, click here.

Letters to the Editor
The ice skating rink installed by The Howard Hughes Corporation on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport is lined with advertisements for Howard Hughes and for what HHC is calling the "Seaport District" in its proposals to redevelop the South Street Seaport. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
To the editor:
Re the editorial in the New York Post on Nov. 30 entitled "Save the Seaport," which called anyone who opposes The Howard Hughes Corporation plans for the Seaport "a historical-preservation purist, anti-development stick-in-the-mud or a community shakedown artist looking to squeeze yet another private investor:"

Would the editors of the New York Post have called the folks who saved Grand Central Terminal "purist stick-in-the-muds?" Do they celebrate the destruction of the glorious old Penn Station, and cheer that ugly monstrosity that took its place in the name of modernism and efficiency? What about Westminster Abbey, Versailles, New Orleans' French Quarter? Shouldn't we get rid of these outdated dinosaurs and build us some nifty skyscrapers instead? There could be Starbucks and Duane Reade and Walmart and Citibank and all kinds of swell retail on the ground floor - certainly nothing that has character, charm or wonderful stories associated with them.

Thank goodness New York City has preserved a bit of its awesome history. People come to the Seaport to see the antique buildings, the ships and the Brooklyn Bridge ... not to shop, for heaven's sake. The people who have their heads in the sand are the ones who don't see the future of retailing. Wake up, folks!

Retailing is online now!!! Shopping malls are fast becoming obsolete. There are far better ways to purchase consumer goods. Why sacrifice history for forms of commerce that are already fading into the past?

Diane Harris Brown

To the editor:
"Friends of South Street Seaport" was registered with the domain name in August 2014. The website is now up.

As we discovered, the name we chose was similar to the name that the founders of the South Street Seaport Museum led by Peter and Norma Stanford back in 1966 gave to their enterprise. They called themselves "Friends of South Street" as recounted in their book, "A Dream of Tall Ships." This seemed so appropriate to us. We see ourselves as continuing their legacy of preserving the Seaport historic district and its maritime heritage.

On Nov. 20, 2014 a group favorable to the Howard Hughes Corporation's development plans launched a website under the name "Friends of the Seaport." This is very close - suspiciously close - to the name of our group, which opposes the Howard Hughes plans. A Google search for our site - "Friends of South Street Seaport" - lands on this other site, with its message and goals in complete opposition to ours.  

Friends of South Street Seaport (FOSSS), is a spinoff of the Outreach Committee of Save Our Seaport, SOS.

We in FOSSS and SOS regret the attempts by The Howard Hughes Corporation to use our names and our ideas. In another instance, the backs of the T-shirts handed out by HHC at a neighborhood event table said, "Support the vision for NYC's original Waterfront District." This was lifted from the petition and website of the New Amsterdam Market, which spoke about "The Vision for the Seaport."

In another example of confusing usurpation, the New Amsterdam Market backed the idea of creating an "East River Market District." Now, Howard Hughes is advertising its proposals for Seaport development as the "Seaport District."

HHC is trying to destroy the 1939 New Market Building, the last building constructed specifically for the Fulton Fish Market. It continues to propose a 494-foot-tall tower to be built on the site where the New Market building now stands.

Friends of South Street Seaport,  FOSSS, is for intelligent economic development that builds upon the grit and character and authenticity of the South Street Seaport - a market district whose history goes back centuries. We are not for anything that destroys or diminishes this authenticity in any way in the name of "progress."

Julie M. Finch

To the editor:
I've become a loyal reader of Downtown Post NYC. I read dozens of e-newsletters; yours has become one of my favorites.  Thanks for producing it.  

Ken Sacharin

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

Downtown bulletin board
Coco Paniora Salinas, a self-taught jeweler from Peru who now lives in Morristown, N.J., showing some of his work to a customer at last year's Native Art Market, an annual event at the National Museum of the American Indian. This year's market opens on
Dec. 5 and runs through the weekend. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Donate winter coats at Poets House: Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City is a donation site for the New York Cares Coat Drive. Donated coats go to New Yorkers in need. Bring your coats to Poets House during regular library hours (Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or when you attend an event. For more information about the coat drive, click here. For more information about Poets House, click here.

Lower Manhattan photography contest: The Downtown Alliance is sponsoring a contest of photos depicting the holidays in Lower Manhattan. The grand prize winner will receive a two-night weekend stay for two at the W New York with a retail value of up to $800, a $50 gift card to Century 21 Department Stores, and two $50 gift cards totaling $100 to Delmonico's Restaurant. The contest began on Nov. 24 and will end at 11:59 p.m.on Jan. 4, 2015. It is open to legal residents age 18 and older of the United States, its territories and possessions. Employees of the Downtown Alliance and members of their immediate families are not eligible. The winner will be selected by the Downtown Alliance staff on or about Jan. 5, 2015. To enter, email your holiday photos of Lower Manhattan to For more information, click here.

Museum of Jewish Heritage Hanukkah sale:
Through Dec. 31, the Pickman Museum Shop of the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place is holding its annual Hanukkah sale. Museum members receive 25 percent off all purchases. The shop carries a wide variety of Judaica, jewelry, books, music, DVDs and toys for children. Proceeds support the museum's educational programs. For more information, click here.

Native Art Market: Once a year, the National Museum of the American Indian at Bowling Green sponsors an art market that brings some of the country's best Native American craftspeople to the museum to sell their wares. This year, the ticketed preview party is on Dec. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition to getting a chance to see (and buy) fine jewelry, ceramics, baskets, textiles, beadwork, masks, sculpture, and more before the crowds arrive the next day, those attending the preview party will hear a talk on Sustainability in Native Art & Design moderated by Lois Sherr Dubin, author of "Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family," the excellent exhibit that recently opened at the museum. There will be food and drink at the preview, and an opportunity to tour the museum's galleries. Tickets are $45; $35 (museum members). To buy tickets, click here. The Native Art Market is open to the public on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. free of charge. For more information about the art market, including bios of the exhibitors and photographs of their work, click here.

Reforming Albany:
New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron is hosting a Town Hall in downtown Brooklyn on Dec. 11. Called "Reforming the State: Making Albany Work for Our Neighborhoods," it will focus on how to make state government more responsive and transparent. Squadron will discuss ways to improve the system such as reining in unlimited campaign contributions, closing gaps in ethics laws and making it easier to vote. Place: Forchelli Conference Center at Brooklyn Law School, 205 State St., 22nd floor. Time: 6:30 p.m. To RSVP, call (212) 298-5565.

Study under way of how 9/11 exposure affected childrens' health:
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer published this notice on her Facebook page: "We know that the 9/11 attacks affected the health of thousands of New Yorkers - but how has exposure impacted children who lived or went to school near Ground Zero? Dr. Leonardo Trasande, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, is conducting a federally funded clinical study to compare the health of those who lived near the World Trade Center site to those who did not. This study needs volunteers for both groups, so if your children (or those you know) are between the ages of 13-21 and live in New York City, please contact Jenny Lee, research coordinator, at (646) 501-9166."

Tribeca Holiday Craft Fair: A holiday craft fair on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at the Downtown Community Center promotes the talents and resources within our community. Twenty three vendors -- including Manhattan Youth teaching artists, parents, members and supporters -- will be showcasing jewelry, ceramics, leather bags, home goods, art, holiday ornaments, baby items, pet gifts and more. Visitors can come to shop, hear music and eat, all while supporting a good cause. 30% of all sales will be donated to Save The Children's emergency efforts in West Africa. The event is free to attend. Place: Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. in Tribeca. Time: Dec. 12, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Dec. 13: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stories & Songs: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy's popular program for infants, toddlers and preschoolers introduces and integrates musical performance into their lives. BPCPC's Stories & Songs is a 14-week program of participatory music and stories for young children accompanied by an adult. Through musical performances by a rotating roster of professional musicians, Stories & Songs develops active listening, socializing, and cultural literacy.

When: Tuesdays, Jan. 6 - April 7, 2015; Wednesdays, Jan. 7 - April 8, 2015

SESSIONS: Session 1: 9:40 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. (6 months - 3.5 years)
Session 2: 10:30 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. (13 months - 3.5 years)
Session 3: 11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (13 months - 3.5 years)

Place: 6 River Terrace in Battery Park City. Cost: $335 for 14 sessions, siblings: $315.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. For more information or to pre-register, call (212) 267-9700 ext. 363, or email Payment can be made by check to BPCPC, or by Visa or Master Card. Battery Park City Parks Conservancy offers a 5% discount to siblings enrolled in Stories & Songs. For more information about the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, click here.


The former AIG building at 70 Pine St. is being converted into luxury rental apartments. At its Wednesday meeting, CB1's Financial District Committee considered a liquor license application at that address. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On Dec. 10 there will be a special meeting of Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee to discuss The Howard Hughes Corporation's activities in the South Street Seaport including its application for alterations to the landmarked Tin Building, landmarked Schermerhorn Row, Pier 17 and the East River Esplanade, demolition of the Link Building and construction of pavilions under the FDR Drive. Howard Hughes executives will make a presentation and the Landmarks Committee will possibly issue a resolution. Place: St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway. Time: 6 p.m.

CALENDAR: Week of Dec. 1
Naima Rauam with one of her paintings of the old Fulton Fish Market. This past summer, they hung on Schermerhorn Row. On Thursday, Dec. 4, they will be sold in a silent auction, with the proceeds going to benefit the Peck Slip and Spruce Street Schools and the South Street Seaport Museum. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Just opened: An exhibit at Poets House called "Winter Wedding: Holiday Cards by Poets" is a compendium of imaginative and sometimes touching holiday greetings. The exhibit has been drawn from the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University and was curated by Kevin Young and Lisa Chinn. See "Happy Holidays" greetings from Langston Hughes, "Seasons Greetings" from Seamus and Marie Heaney and handmade valentines exchanged by Alice Notley and Ted Berrigan. This exhibition explores the vibrant, often funny, and always fascinating portraits of time, affection and ties of love and friendship. The exhibition is on view during library hours through March 21, 2015. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For more information, click here.

Dec. 4: This past summer, Naima Rauam, who has been painting the Seaport for more than 40 years, made mural-size paintings of the old Fulton Fish Market. They hung on the outside of Fulton Street's Schermerhorn Row for several months. Now, The Howard Hughes Corporation is holding a silent auction of these paintings at Cannon's Walk in the Seaport, with the proceeds going to the Peck Slip and Spruce Street Schools and to the South Street Seaport Museum. The paintings are currently on display at the Fulton Stall Market, which is located next to Cannon's Walk at 207A Front St. On the evening of the auction, Rauam will talk about her work and there will be live music and refreshments provided by Fresh Salt, a Seaport restaurant. Place: 207 Front St. Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. RSVP by clicking here. For more information, click here.

Dec. 4: Annual tree-lighting festivities in Battery Park City take place at the South End Avenue cul-de-sac with hot cider and cookies, carolers, Santa and South Cove's majestic cedar trees (a popular roost for BPC's black-crowned night herons), festooned with lights. Share the joy by bringing an unwrapped gift of clothing or a toy to donate to Stockings With Care, a charity founded by Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph to provide holiday gifts to children in homeless shelters. Time: 5:45 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Dec. 5-Dec. 7: Santa's Winter Garden comes to the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place for three days headlined by Santa, who will be there with his reindeer and elves for photo ops. Photo packages start at $20 for 14 photos. A digital file with any photo package can be purchased for an additional $20. Proceeds benefit Dancing Classrooms. On Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7,  at 2 p.m. the experts from Dancing Classrooms will lead free family dance lessons. Get a free skate rental at The Rink at Brookfield Place (a $5 value) with any photo package purchase. Skating costs $15. Place: Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St. Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Santa takes a break between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.) Free to attend.

Dec. 6: Celebrated journalist, poet, and New York Times bestselling author Eliza Griswold, whose most recent book is the poetry and photography compilation "I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan," speaks at Poets House in Battery Park City on the intersections and overlap of her Middle East reportage and poetry. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free to Poets House members. For more information, click here.

Dec. 6: Mystical beasts, magical forests, lost treasure and more can be found in this island map-making workshop at Poets House. Children will create their own maps with poetic descriptions of distant unexplored islands for those daring enough to venture there. Lead by Poets House Children's Room Director Mike Romanos. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 11 a.m.  Suggested donation: $5 per child. For more information, click here.

Dec. 7: In a three-hour workshop, Ali Osborn, the resident printer at Bowne Printers, teaches the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks. He begins by showing how to sketch out an idea and then transfer it to a linoleum block, where his students gauge away the backgrounds, leaving lines and desired dark places in high relief. Then Osborn brings out ink and rollers so that students can print their blocks by hand. The final step is to arrange everyone's work on the bed of Bowne's vintage Vandercook press and make a poster. Each student goes home with his or her own block, individual prints and one poster of the combined effort. All materials are supplied. There are a maximum of six people in each class. For ages 12 and up. Time: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: $50; $40 (South Street Seaport Museum members). To register, click here.  

Through Dec. 31: After the success of artist Anne Militello's 2013 installation "Light Cycles" in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, Arts Brookfield commissioned a new design called "Metamorphosis" featuring a unique palette of colors and light patterns to honor the holiday season. Each night, the installation illuminates the plaza through a harmonious interplay of colors, starting with a gentle flicker of candlelight and transforming into a brighter, more colorful display throughout December. Place: 220 Vesey St. on the facade of the Winter Garden facing North Cove Marina. Time: 7 p.m. to midnight.

: "Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family" opened on Nov. 14 and continues through Jan. 10, 2016. The exhibit includes more than 300 examples of beautifully crafted jewelery, most of it made by the Yazzie family, with some from the National Museum of the American Indian's collection. Through a video, photographs and a handsome catalog, the exhibit shows how the jewelry expresses Navajo cultural values and way of life inspired by a majestic landscape of buttes, mesas and desert. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and on Thursdays until 8 p.m.; closed December 25. Admission is free. 


Ongoing: The Skyscraper Museum presents "Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Movement," on view through Jan. 18, 2015. Times Square today is bright and crowded - a tourist mecca, entertainment district, retail powerhouse and pedestrianized precinct that matches in vitality, both economic and populist, any decade of its storied past. But 30 years ago, the future of Times Square was in limbo - caught between a series of false starts at clean-slate urban renewal by New York City and New York State and an emerging philosophy of urbanism that favored history, preservationist values, electric signs and semiotics, and delirious diversity. Place: 39 Battery Place. Open, Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission: $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). 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: 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.  

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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