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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 31  March 28, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"Brookfield Place is a place of convergence....It's a fantastic public art space." 
   - Artist Heather Nicol, whose fabric sculptures are now hanging from the 10-story-high roof of the Winter Garden.                      

* Brookfield Place's Winter Garden blooms with fabric sculptures 
* Bits & Bytes: EDC chief stepping down; Inside Brookfield Place's swanky mall
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Community convention; Chin seeks summer interns
* Community Board 1 meeting: Week of March 30
* Calendar: Weeks of March 23 and March 30
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Witch hazel blooming in Battery Park City's South Cove. March 23, 2015. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Six large, swirling, fabric forms have been suspended from the top of the 10-story-tall Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. They are part of the U.S. premiere of "Soft Spin," a sculpture and sound installation by Heather Nicol that celebrates the opening of Brookfield Place shops and of Le District, a food market with restaurants.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To celebrate the opening of most of Brookfield Place's shops on March 26 and of part of Le District, food marketplace and restaurants, something big and festive was needed and that's what artist and curator Heather Nicol provided.

Her installation, "Soft Spin," consists of six gargantuan fabric sculptures that hang from the roof of the Winter Garden in a swirl of color. They move delicately, as though blown by a light breeze. Each of them is equipped with speakers from which music and voices emerge.

Heather Nicol.

The use of fabric in the sculptures evokes Brookfield Place's high-end clothing stores, which will undoubtedly become a fashion destination. "That definitely was in my mind," said Nicol, "and I think that was part of Brookfield's attraction to me as well."


Last year, she had created similar sculptures minus the sound effects for Brookfield Place in Toronto, which is where she is based.   


The sculptures are motorized but Nicol said, "I went through a lot of experimentation to find motors that have that acceleration/deceleration factor so they look very natural. Sometimes they look like they're just blowing in the breeze, and then that personality kicks in, and they're dancing."


For the vivid colors - turquoise blue, chartreuse green, mauve, yellow orange, a deep orange red and an intense pink - Nicol said that she was inspired by the costumes in a Mark Morris dance. "They're of similar intensity," she said of the colors. "They sort of go together but each one has a different personality."


Dancers? Bells? A bouquet of brilliant flowers? The pieces are more evocative than specific - and that was deliberate. 


The sculptures, though huge, are remarkably light. They are made of ripstop nylon - a strong, lightweight fabric often used for yacht sails, parachutes and hot air balloons.


Nevertheless, it was a challenge to hang them from the Winter Garden's 10-story-high ceiling.  "We started installing these over the weekend [March 21-22] and today's Wednesday!" Nicol said. "It's been a bit of a blur! It's a big job. It's an enormous space so they had to be professionally rigged, they had to be brought up by motors."


As she glanced around the Winter Garden, she declared herself to be very happy with the results. "Brookfield Place is a place of convergence," she said. "People are moving through a transitional space but they're also sitting, enjoying time here. People are coming through with kids. It's a fantastic public art place."


Light plays an important role in the effect. During the day, the sculptures glow from the light that pours through the Winter Garden's glass walls and roof. At night, Brookfield's lighting designer, Robert Henderson, "has managed to light them on the outside so they look really beautiful but he's also managed to light the interiors," Nicol observed. "That's a big part of it for me - this idea that from where we're sitting right now, you don't know there's anything there and you go underneath and there's that encounter and he's made them amazingly beautiful."   


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


"Soft Spin" will be on display through April 24. For more information, click here.    



Bits & Bytes

Some of the stores that opened at Brookfield Place on March 26.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"NYC economic development chief stepping down," Crain's New York Business, 3/25/15. Of interest to South Street Seaport watchers: "The president of the Economic Development Corp. has announced plans to step down this summer," says Crain's New York Business. "Kyle Kimball joined the corporation in 2008 and was appointed its president by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013. Mr. Kimball said he was ready for new opportunities." The New York City Economic Development Corporation is the landlord for much of the South Street Seaport. For the complete article, click here.

"Museum in Little Italy Seeks to Evict a Living Link to the Past," New York Times, 3/25/15. "Adele Sarno's father, a longshoreman, emigrated from Naples, and she grew up in Manhattan's Little Italy," says The New York Times. "As a child, she served as princess for the annual Feast of San Gennaro, she said, and one year was even crowned the queen. Ms. Sarno eventually owned a candy shop and, later, an Italian products store below her family's apartment on Grand Street until Sept. 11, when business dried up. The number of people of Italian ancestry who live in Little Italy is shrinking by the year, and may soon drop by one more: Ms. Sarno, 85, is being evicted from her apartment after losing a fight to keep her $820-a-month rent from skyrocketing. But what has gotten tenant advocates' attention is not just her age, but also the identity of the landlord: the Italian American Museum, which is in the building next door." The Times quotes Victor J. Papa, director of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, an affordable housing group that has helped Ms. Sarno in her effort to stay, as saying, "You're fighting a museum that purports to exhibit Italian-American culture and then proceeds to evict a living artifact. That's absolute hypocrisy." For the complete article, click here.

"Restaurant Review: Little Park in TriBeCa," New York Times, 3/24/15. "It is as colorful and otherworldly as a coral reef, this row of fried cauliflower knobs in purple, ivory and marigold yellow," observes Pete Wells, restaurant critic for The New York Times, of the vegetables set in front of him. "Wrapping each floret is a pale-gold skin of batter. It's almost invisible, but you feel it as you bite, its soft snap reinforced by the full-on crunch of chopped almonds. Poached before it is fried, the cauliflower is nicely salted all the way down to its tender core, but it is still cauliflower, so it needs a little support. This is supplied by a lush green tomatillo, pistachio and fresh herb sauce that gets in a quick, peppery jab before it signs off. Where does this dish come from? In the proximate sense, it is from Andrew Carmellini's latest restaurant, Little Park, inside the Smyth hotel in TriBeCa. The ultimate inspiration, though - where is that from? The batter is related to tempura, and I think I might have caught the rustle of Mexico in the sauce. Beyond that, it is hard to say. The fried cauliflower seems to be one of those dishes that happen when a chef's imagination is allowed to roam." For the complete article, click here.

"Inside Brookfield Place, the Swanky Mall Opening at the World Trade Center,", 3/25/15. "In the shadow of One World Trade Center, the colossal skyscraper in Lower Manhattan, lies a newly renovated luxury mall that hopes to be a mecca for swanky shopping," says "Brookfield Place will open the doors to its glitzy new fashion stores and food marketplace on Thursday. Located in the building complex formerly called the World Financial Center, the project is four years and $300 million in the making, an ongoing saga that's drawn much media attention for its ambitiousness. But though it's connected to one of the most expensive transit hubs ever built, the mall is actually aimed at locals." Ed Hogan, Brookfield's director of retail leasing, describes these "locals" as a"young, wealthy, well-educated demographic," who will enjoy shopping at "upscale clothing retailers like Tory Burch and Michael Kors that don't carry the astronomical price tags of luxury fashion houses like Chanel or Prada." For the complete article, click here.

"Crystal-Inspired Facade for 10 Jay Street Wins Over Landmarks,", 3/25/15. Of course, the Dumbo waterfront isn't in Lower Manhattan, but some people in Lower Manhattan look at it. "An eyesore of a warehouse on the Dumbo waterfront will be getting new life as condos with ground floor retail," says "On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved plans for a makeover at 10 Jay Street, complete with an ODA-Architecture-designed northern façade inspired by the building's history as a sugar refinery. The design was deemed a little too edgy last time it was presented, but the refinements left one commissioner calling it 'absolutely perfect.' Interior demolition is expected to begin May 1 of this year with the project expected to be completed by fall 2016." For the complete article, click here.


Downtown bulletin board

Kevin Young, author of seven poetry collections and a teacher at Emory University, teaching a poetry-writing class at Poets House in Battery Park City. A new round of classes begins the first week in April. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

26th District Community Convention: New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron will be holding his seventh annual 26th Senate District Community Convention on Sunday, April 12 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lower East Side Preparatory High School, 145 Stanton St. The community convention provides an opportunity for Squadron and his staff to hear from constituents about matters of community concern. RSVP by webform at or call (212) 298-5565.

Margaret Chin seeks summer interns:
City Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents District 1, has a new website - It provides information on the district, legislation that she is sponsoring, news stories about her, and her biography. The website mentions that Chin's office is seeking summer interns. These should be "students who have a strong interest in learning more about city government, have good people skills, and who are organized and proficient in writing. Applicants should be very comfortable using Microsoft Office Suite. Chinese or Spanish language skills are a plus. Long-time residents of NYC strongly preferred, council district residency a plus." To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Yume Kitasei, chief of staff, at Include a cover letter with potential start and end dates and the hours available for internship work.

Landmarks at 50:
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is holding a reception in the rotunda of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, 1 Bowling Green, on April 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 signing of the Landmarks Law and the continuing efforts of New York City's preservationists to keep its architectural history from being plowed under. All are invited to attend. To RSVP, click here.

The building where the reception will be held houses the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Archives for New York City and a U.S. bankruptcy court. It is, itself, a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places for both exterior and public interior spaces. It was designed by Cass Gilbert to serve as a U.S. customs house and was completed in 1907. The rotunda where the reception will be held is ornamented with a frieze of murals by Reginald Marsh depicting early explorers of the Americas and commerce in New York harbor. For more information about the building, click here.

Poetry writing classes:
Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City is offering six-week-long poetry-writing classes and a special one-day workshop. All are open to people of all levels of experience. The six-week-long classes focus on the relationship between reading and writing poetry.  There are classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting the first week of April. Fee: $325. The one-day workshop, "Hands On/Hands Off: A Seminar in Artistic Collaboration with Bill Berkson," takes place on Saturday, April 25, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. This seminar, inspired by last season's exhibition, "A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman," includes an overview of the often spontaneous and casual collaborations developed by New York artists and poets from the 1950's onward, and the opportunity to create and collaborate on new work. Fee: $25. For more information and to register, click here.

Tribeca Film Festival tickets on sale: The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15 to April 26
, with passes and ticket packages now on sale. They range in price from $45 for a six-matinée ticket package to $425 for 18 individual general screening tickets that include perks such as early ticket selection and the option to select up to four tickets for any given performance (excluding all specialty and premium-priced screenings and events.) For more information and to purchase ticket packages, click here. Individual tickets will be available to American Express® Card Members March 31 at 11 a.m. and April 6 at 11 a.m. to the general public.

Art portfolio development for teens: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy is running a class this summer to help students entering grades 7 to 12 develop the art portfolios that they will need for further art study. Participants in the class, which runs from July 6 to July 31, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will learn new techniques using a variety of media. Studio work will be supplemented with weekly museum and gallery outings to look, discuss and draw. The registration deadline is March 31. Tuition is $1,000 for four weeks, with 50% payment required at registration. A limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need are available. All art materials are provided and included in the tuition. For information, call (212) 267-9700, ext. 366 or email
Health and Wellness seminar: Free health and wellness seminars are being presented at Pace University in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College. On April 21, Catherine Lord, Ph.D., will discuss "New Approaches and Challenges in Autism Spectrum Disorders." The seminar will begin at 8:30 a.m.-9 a.m. with registration and light refreshments. The presentation will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. followed by question and answer sessions. Space is limited. RSVP to Place: Pace University, Aniello Bianco room, 3 Spruce St.


Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes presenting a citation to John Fratta to thank him for his many years of Community Board service. He is one of five CB1 members who did not seek reappointment.

All meetings take place at the Community Board 1 office, 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. The public is welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

March 31: Sidewalk Café Working Group
* Review CB1 sidewalk café guidelines and zoning regulations and recommend revisions, with Richard Suarez, Planner, Department of City Planning - Resolution

Community Board 1 loses five members: Five members of Community Board 1 did not seek reappointment. They are George Calderaro, co-chair of the Battery Park City Committee and a member of the Landmarks Committee; John Fratta, chair of the South Street Seaport/Civic Center Committee and member of the Executive Committee; Sarah Currie-Halpern, who was on the Planning and Quality of Life Committees; Coren Sharples, who served on the Landmarks and Youth and Education Committees and Allan Tannenbaum, who was on the Tribeca and Landmarks Committees.

CALENDAR: Weeks of March 23 and March 30

Joyce Gold on Pearl Street, leading a tour about the Jews of Colonial New York. She will next give the tour on March 29. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

March 28: As part of its "Making Space" series, Gibney Dance presents video artist Maya Ciarrocchi and visual/performance artist Kris Grey in "Gender/Power (composition II)," which poses questions about the dynamics of power in relation to gender.  Place: Gibney Dance, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53 Chambers St.); Time: Installation opens at 4 p.m. with performances at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets: $20; $15 (students, seniors and Gibney Dance Class card holders). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

March 29: Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and New York Magazine critic and editor Matt Zoller Seitz discuss how the series became not just the story of the rise of advertising, but of a generation of Jews coming into their own in post-war America. Place: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Time: 4 p.m. Tickets: $25; $20 (members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

March 29: Joyce Gold, who teaches history at New York University, leads a walking tour of Jewish Colonial Manhattan, taking in (among other things) the site of the first synagogue in North America, the 18th-century Jewish ghetto and the flagpole inscription at Minuit Plaza honoring the first 23 Jews in New York City, who arrived here in 1654. Place: Meet at Bowling Green Park in front of the National Museum of the American Indian. Time: 1 p.m. Fee: $20; $15 (seniors, 62+). No reservations are necessary. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "Artifacts & Memory: The Drawings of Nancy Patz" is at the Anne Frank Center USA through April 30. Nancy Patz is a Baltimore-born artist, teacher, lecturer, author, and illustrator. Inspired by a hat she saw on display at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, Patz began a larger exploration of the power of artifacts and memory. The result was "Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat," a book she published in 2003 of moving pencil drawings, displayed here for the first time in their entirety. Using subdued watercolors and old photographs, the drawings bring the reality of the Holocaust into sharp focus by trying to recreate the story of the woman - faceless, nameless - behind this hat. Place: 44 Park Place. Hours: Tues.-Sat.,  10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $8; $5 (students and seniors, 65 and over); free (children, ages 8 and under). For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Skyscraper Museum's new exhibition, "Ten Tops," surveys all buildings in the world today, completed or under construction, that are 100 stories and taller. Of these 24 towers, the exhibition focuses on 10 (plus a few more), zooming in on their uppermost floors to see how they were designed and constructed. Through September 2015. Place: 39 Battery Place. Hours: Noon to 6 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays. Admission: $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). For more information, click here.

Ongoing: Every Tuesday through April 7, Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place presents movie trivia with Maggie Ross from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by a film with a food-related theme from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Each round of trivia has a different theme with prizes for individual rounds and a growler from Mighty Quinn's BBQ for the overall weekly team champion. Free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "The Nomad," a new musical with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney, gets its world premiere at The Flea Theater in Tribeca. The story, told entirely with song and dance, is based on the life of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904), who was born in Switzerland and defied all expectations and conventions when went to live in the Sahara desert, becoming a practicing Muslim and dressing as a man so that she could have the freedom to travel and work. A writer and journalist by trade, she was both an associate of the French colonists and an advocate for the disenfranchised citizens. She was killed in a flash flood at the age of 27. Through April 6. Place: 41 White St. Tickets: $70-$15 (lowest price tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis). VIP tickets, including reserved seats and unlimited drinks, $100. For more information and to buy tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or click here.

Ongoing: The Woolworth Building was designed by Cass Gilbert to house the offices of the F. W. Woolworth Company and was the tallest building in the world from 1913 until 1930. With its ornamental gothic-style exterior, it dominated the New York City skyline and served as an icon of American ingenuity with state of the art steel construction, fireproofing and high-speed elevators and it was dubbed "the Cathedral of Commerce." The building is still privately owned and operated, and has long been closed to the public. Tours of its magnificent landmarked lobby featuring marble, mosaics, and murals have only recently been made available and can be taken for 30-minutes, 60-minutes or 90-minutes. Custom and Private tours for groups of 10 - 35 can also be arranged. Place: 233 Broadway. Various times. Tickets: $20, $30 and $45, depending on the length of the tour. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Ongoing: "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: "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 lobby of the South Street Seaport Museum at 12 Fulton St. on Schermerhorn Row is open three days a week with interpretive displays and activities. Access to the museum's upstairs galleries is by appointment or for education programs only. For private tours of Schermerhorn Row and its old hotels, email Lobby access: Fridays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ongoing: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking welcome visitors Fridays 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. In addition, a guide to the Ambrose can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking here. 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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