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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 4  Dec. 25, 2014
Quote of the day:
"It was a short, cold Christmas; and as the short northern day merged into night, we found ourselves almost broad upon the wintry ocean." 
        - Herman Melville, describing a Christmas day in "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale"

* Christmas Day: From "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale"
* Twelfth Night Festival is a cornucopia of early music
* Letter to the editor: Kudos for Downtown Post NYC as it celebrates its first year
* Bits & Bytes: Lower Manhattan floods; Brookfield Place perks; Illegal heating oil
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Westside Commuter Ferry; Stuy High School Community Center
* Community Board 1: Special meeting of Landmarks Committee on Jan. 5, 2015
* Calendar: Week of Dec. 22

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An apartment lobby in Battery Park City. Dec. 10, 2014  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 



The historic South Street Seaport. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"At last the anchor was up, the sails were set, and off we glided. It was a short, cold Christmas; and as the short northern day merged into night, we found ourselves almost broad upon the wintry ocean, whose freezing spray cased us in ice, as in polished armor. The long rows of teeth on the bulwarks glistened in the moonlight; and like the white ivory tusks of some huge elephant, vast curving icicles depended from the bows."

Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale"

Greeting cards, gift tags and posters printed on antique and vintage presses at Bowne Printers, part of the South Street Seaport Museum. Bowne Printers is closed on Christmas and New Year's Days, but otherwise is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Julian Wachner, conductor of the Choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, acknowledging applause after a performance of Handel's Messiah.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Julian Wachner recently completed a ritual of the Christmas season - several performances of Handel's Messiah - a work that was written 271 years ago but that is still urgent and fresh.

Admittedly, some obstacles stand in the way of the modern listener. We have fewer kings than in Handel's time and are less likely than his audience to believe that we are sinful creatures who must hope to be redeemed. But we do know something about sorrow and struggle and the first words of the oratorio, sung as in previous years by tenor Stephen Sands, still weave a compelling spell. "Comfort ye, Comfort ye, my people," says the libretto, drawn by Handel's colleague, Charles Jennens, from various Biblical texts. In these, the darkest days of the year, Messiah tells us, there is the promise of light.

This year's performance of Messiah was noteworthy because of the addition of several strong soloists to the already strong choir. Christopher Burchett, a bass, was fearsome in his delivery of the recitative in which Handel describes how the Lord of hosts will "shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land." He was followed by soprano Marie-Eve Munger, who passionately described how the Messiah would strike awe in all who saw him. Soprano Jessica Muirhead, also new this year, was touching in her rendition of the air that begins, "I know that my redeemer liveth."

More than one-third of the singers were new to the choir since last year's Messiah. There were also some changes in the makeup of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, but Josh Cohen was still there to play the trumpet for Handel's painterly rendition of how "the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised." Cohen plays the natural trumpet, which has no valves, and is among the most difficult of the instruments from Handel's time to play correctly.

Over the next two weeks, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6, 2015, Trinity will delve even further into the past with its fourth annual Twelfth Night Festival of early music.

Over the twelve-day period that liturgically reflects the interval between the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Wise Men at the manger, some of the city's best early music ensembles will perform works by Bach, Haydn, Handel, and many other composers at Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street) and St. Paul's Chapel (Broadway at Fulton Street).

Some of the events are ticketed. Many are free.

The festival begins on Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. with a free performance of Bach's complete orchestral suites at St. Paul's Chapel. Avi Stein, who played harpsichord for Messiah, will conduct the Trinity Scholars and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra.

This concert will be followed on Dec. 27 and 28 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day by performances of the 12th-century The Play of Daniel. This
fully-staged music drama, presented by Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) at Trinity Church incorporates music, chant, song, and dance to tell the story of the Babylonian king Belshazzar and his nobles, who blasphemously drank from sacred Jewish temple vessels until they were stopped in their tracks by writing that appeared mysteriously on the wall. Unable to read it, the king summoned Daniel who told him what it meant - that his reign was about end and that he was about to die. As Daniel foretold, the king was killed that night and his kingdom divided between the Medes and the Persians.

A new prologue in English, makes The Play of Daniel accessible for listeners of all ages.

The Play of Daniel requires tickets as does Handel's Saul, another highlight of the Twelfth Night Festival. It, too, will be a fully-staged performance by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Julian Wachner and directed by James Darrah. The performances are in St. Paul's Chapel on Jan. 2 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 4 at 3 p.m.

This dramatic oratorio depicts the first king of Israel's conflicted relationship with his successor David. Members of the audience may choose to sit near the performers as though they were in Saul's banquet hall, or in the chapel's balcony. Champagne will be served.

For the complete Twelfth Night Festival schedule and information about tickets for those performances that require them, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Letter to the editor
New Year's Eve fireworks. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
To the editor:
I read that your newspaper celebrated its first birthday!!!! and I immediately wanted to congratulate you for that. I know it is really hard work that you do and you do it very well. I think you are doing a great job for all of us in Battery Park City. I want to wish you many more, a great success for 2015 and Happy Holidays.

Gabriela Strejilevich de Loma

From the editor:
Thank you so much for your congratulations and for your warm holiday and new year wishes. I wish you and all Downtown Post NYC readers the very best for the new year. I thank every one of you for your interest in Downtown Post NYC, and for your support. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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

In the 12/17/14 issue of Downtown Post NYC, we published some statements from members of the public regarding The Howard Hughes Corporation's development proposals for the South Street Seaport. If any additional Downtown Post NYC readers want to share their comments to Community Board 1 for publication here, email them to

Bits & Bytes

The Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. By 2021, sea level rise is predicted to cause frequent floods in Lower Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Lower Manhattan will start getting flooded all the time within seven years,", 12/23/14. "By 2021, lower Manhattan will start to be frequently flooded thanks to rising sea levels, according to a new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," says "The agency says that high tide events are getting higher in most major U.S. coastal cities. After averaging out projected further increases in sea levels, and looking at where and when tidal flooding is occurring now, they found that these cities can now expect 30 days of 'nuisance flooding' a year, the impact of which will include: Deterioration and corrosion of infrastructure not designed to withstand frequent inundation or saltwater exposure; Frequent road closures; and Overwhelmed storm water drainage capacity at high tide." For the complete article, click here  


"Amex Tapped to Provide Brookfield Place Perk," Commercial Observer, 12/23/14.

"Brookfield is souping up its Brookfield Place retail complex with a concierge and other services including American Express gift cards," says Commercial Observer. "Shoppers will be able to purchase American Express gift cards to be used complex-wide (Amex's headquarters are located at Brookfield's 200 Vesey Street), book theater tickets, utilize language interpreters, check coats, valet park on Vesey Street close to the restaurants and have packages from multiple stores delivered the same day." For the complete article, click here


"Ritz Tower, Manhattan Criminal Ct. burning illegal heating,"The Real Deal, 12/23/14. "High-profile Manhattan properties - including the Ritz Tower, the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, and the headquarters of the Tribeca Film Festival - are burning illegal heating oil that emits dangerous pollutants," says The Real Deal. "According to city data, the owners of the buildings at 465 Park Avenue, 100 Centre Street, and 13-17 Laight Street have failed to switch over to cleaner fuel sources." For the complete article, click here.     


"NYISO Ordered to Refund $700K in Superstorm Sandy Billing Dispute," RTO Insider, 12/22/14. According to RTO Insider, "NYISO must refund more than $700,000, plus interest, to an energy supplier due to overcharges caused by missing meter data in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled (EL.14-89) Thursday. GDF Suez Energy Resources filed a complaint in August asking FERC to order NYISO to reopen billings for electricity supplied in November and December 2012 by Consolidated Edison to 55 Water Street, a commercial office building in lower Manhattan." For the complete article, click here.


"Peter Poon to design new 31-story FiDi hotel," The Real Deal, 12/22/14. "Peter Poon is designing a new hotel in the Financial District, according to a permit application filed with the city today," says The Real Deal. "NY Times Square Hotel Group is developing the hotel at 120 Water Street, which is slated to stand 31 stories tall and span roughly 42,000 square feet. Li Hui Lo, president of the NY Times Square Hotel Group, bought 120-122 Water Street - located between Wall and Pine streets - for $15 million in April." For the complete article, click here.


"Ramona Singer: 'Real Housewife' turned restaurateur," New York Post, 12/22/14. "A newly single 'Real Housewives of New York' reality TV star has a new title: restaurateur," says the New York Post. "Ramona Singer is now a partner in AOA Bar & Grill at 35 Sixth Ave. in Tribeca. ... Singer and her partner, Peter Guimaraes, took over the 6,000- square-foot, 190-seat restaurant a month ago." For the complete article, click here


"Cement Bloc becomes latest firm to move downtown," Crain's New York Business, 12/22/14. "The health care advertising company heads south and combines its Flatiron district and Chelsea offices into a 55,000-square-foot location at 32 Old Slip," says Crain's New York Business. "

The Cement Bloc, an advertising company that focuses on the health care industry, is relocating downtown." For the complete article, click here.  



Downtown bulletin board
Playing basketball at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center. It is closed on Christmas and New Year's Days but is open with extended hours during the remainder of the winter recess period. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Community Center at Stuyvesant High School holiday hours: The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St., will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Extended winter recess hours resume on Dec. 26. Through Jan. 4, 2015, the Community Center will be open weekdays: 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; weekends, 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Closed,  Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. For more information about the community center and its programming, click here.
Westside Commuter Ferry:
New York Water Taxi's Westside Commuter Ferry, which has been running between Pier 84 at West 44th Street and the World Financial Center ferry terminal, will not operate between Dec. 24 and 26. It will reappear for a few days, but the last day of service for the season will be Wednesday, Dec. 30. It will be back again in the spring. The rush-hour commuter service started in May 2014 with three round trips each way, morning and evening. The ride took 15 minutes and cost $4.50 for a single ticket, with weekly and monthly passes available. For more information, click here.

Fundraiser for Kerri Pedersen's children
: For more than two decades, Kerri Pedersen worked as a nurse practitioner at Tribeca Pediatrics. Eleven years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but continued living as normally as possible - working and and taking care of her two children. She passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 44. "Kerri touched thousands of local parents and their babies and children with her gentle knowledge and her loving and inviting smile," said Manon Chevallerau, one of her many admirers. "Every one who knew her, loved her and is heartbroken with the news." Pedersen was a single mother. Her older child, Conrad, now 27, has become the legal guardian for her younger child, Gage, 11. Pedersen's many friends have established a fundraiser to help her boys. To learn more about this effort, or to contribute, click here.


The New Amsterdam Market, which was held for several years on parking lots under the FDR Drive between Beekman Street and Peck Slip. This photo shows the opening day of the 2012 market season. The Howard Hughes Corporation proposes installing glass pavilions for shopping on this site and placing lighting on the underside of the FDR Drive (see rendering below). (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

SHoP Architects' design for glass pavilions and lighting under the FDR Drive.

Dec. 25: Office Closed - Christmas Day

Jan. 5, 2015: There will be a special meeting of Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee to discuss The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposals for South Street Seaport development and to vote on a resolution that will be presented to the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission. The meeting will be held at the National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, in the Diker Pavilion, starting at 6 p.m. The public may attend but will not be allowed to participate in the discussion.

The topics to be considered in the resolution include:
1. Tin Building: relocation and one-story addition
2. Pier 17 western edge/removal of headhouse
3. Pier 17 canopy and mechanical screen
4. Pedestrian canopy
5. Demolition of the Link Building
6. Construction of pavilions and lighting under FDR Drive
7. East River Esplanade
8. New building on Pier 16
9. Schermerhorn Row and new building on John Street
10. Wayfinding dynamic signs

Community Board meetings for January 2015:

Jan. 1: Office closed - New Year's Day
Jan. 5: Special Landmarks Committee meeting, as described above
Jan. 6: Battery Park City Committee
Jan. 7: Financial District Committee
Jan. 8: Landmarks Committee
Jan. 12: Planning Committee
Jan. 13: Youth & Education Committee
Jan. 14: Tribeca Committee
Jan. 15: Quality of Life
Jan. 19: Office closed - Martin Luther King's birthday
Jan. 20: Seaport/Civic Center Committee
Jan. 26: Monthly full board meeting (to be held at PS 89, 201 Warren St., 2nd floor auditorium)

CALENDAR: Week of Dec. 22
Joe Svehlak leading his "Downtown Connections" tour for the Municipal Art Society, in which he guides the group through parts of the Lower Manhattan subway system, pointing out its art and architecture. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dec. 26: The Art Studio Tribeca hosts the Friday Night Live Art Party every Friday. The event, which is open to the first two dozen registrants, features food, champagne, and a chance to work with an artist on a collaborative art piece. Guests can purchase tickets starting at noon on the day of the event. Place: 368 Broadway. Time: Doors open at 9 p.m. and close at 10 p.m., although the party itself goes until 2 a.m. Tickets: $10. For more information, click here. 


Dec. 26: Trinity Wall Street kicks off its Twelfth Night Festival with Bach's complete Orchestral Suites played by the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the Trinity Scholars. Place: St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway. Time 6 p.m. Free. The Festival continues through Jan. 6, 2015, with a variety of programs, some of them, free and others requiring tickets.  For more information, click here.

Dec. 27: In his tour for the Municipal Art Society, "Downtown Connections," guide Joe Svehlak describes the continuing struggle to keep downtown Manhattan connected to its multilayered history during this time of much redevelopment. Above ground, the group visits sites connected with preservation gains and losses, among them, the nation's first memorial and New York's first Roman Catholic parish. Underground, Svehlak leads the way through various subway stations, pointing out major Arts for Transit projects that highlight the area's diverse history. These include the murals of Trade, Treasure, and Travel by Margie Hughto that were re-installed in the re-opened Cortlandt Street underpass. The tour ends at the Fulton Street/Broadway Nassau subway complex. Note: You will need to bring a Metrocard worth at least two fares. Time: 11 a.m. Tickets: $20; $15 (Municipal Art Society members). The meeting location is provided after tickets are purchased. All tours proceed rain or shine. No refunds or exchanges. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Dec. 28: and Kids Club THIRTEEN present "Skate with Arthur." This event - part of the Seaport's Character Skate program - will also feature complimentary giveaways. Place: Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Tickets: $10 (half off to residents living in zip codes 10038, 10004, 10005, and 10007, with valid ID). For more information, click here.


Ongoing: The Jewish Art Salon presents "Lashon Hara: On the Consequences of Hate Speech." This exhibit examines the power of words, both within hate speech and as "a catalyst for salvation" The exhibit features several mixed media textile works by Robin Atlas. Place: The Anne Frank Center USA (44 Park Place). Time: Tuesdays through Saturdays (except holidays), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets: $8 (adults); $5 (students and seniors 65 and over); Free for children ages 8 and under.

Through Feb. 27, 2015. For more information, click here.  


Ongoing: 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.

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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İ 2014