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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 35  April 14, 2015

Quote of the day: 
""It withstood legal challenges that went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which explicitly told the nation that landmarks matter."
      - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, commenting on the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks law.                

* Manhattan Borough President Brewer celebrates 50-year-old Landmarks law
* City hands developer Howard Hughes a big tax break on South Street Seaport property  
* Bits & Bytes: Prosecutors probe 1WTC observatory deck deal; Silver's son-in-law arrested
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Malaysian Kitchen grand opening; Sailors Ball tickets on sale
* Tribeca Film Festival: Celebrating Monty Python with a new documentary
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of April 13
* Calendar: Weeks of April 6 and April 13
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60 Hudson St. in Tribeca, a landmarked building designed by Ralph Walker. April 12, 2015. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

George Calderaro, who serves on the board of directors of the Historic Districts Council, talking with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at a celebration on April 8 to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the New York City Landmarks law. 
(Photo: Maurice Pinzon)

Several hundred people gathered in the rotunda of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green on April 8 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks law.
The interior of the Custom House. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The building in which they were standing was one of the first to be designated a landmark after the law was enacted. The marble floors and columns, the ornate metal work, the skylit rotunda with its murals by the renowned artist Reginald Marsh, would be enough to make anyone gape - no matter how jaded. The custom house is a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, designed by Cass Gilbert, who was also the architect of the Woolworth Building a few blocks north on Broadway. The custom house came first. It was built between 1902 and 1907 and is on the National Register of Historic Places for both its exterior and interior spaces. It is also a National Historic Landmark.

"This law was the first of its kind and served as the model for municipalities across the country," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer of the 1965 law. "It withstood legal challenges that went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which explicitly told the nation that landmarks matter."

Brewer is a passionate believer that landmarks matter. "This law has been one of the city's most important in shaping our streetscape," she told the people who had gathered for the anniversary celebration. "Jane Jacobs wrote that 'Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.' I think she stole that line from me."

Brewer has been actively trying to defend the South Street Seaport, Manhattan's last surviving neighborhood of largely 19th-century and early 20th-century buildings - from intrusive development.

"When we formed the Seaport Working Group, our guidelines stressed the Seaport's importance to our collective history and sense of place and the Seaport Museum's vital importance to that goal," she said. "They explicitly stated that preservation should be a guideline on which any development is judged. And, as you all know, I have consistently said no tower. We need to treat our special places better."  


Grand Central Terminal. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Brewer has also been trying to make sure that development around Grand Central Terminal and along Park Avenue remains respectful of the iconic buildings that are found there. With City Councilmember Dan Garodnick, Brewer is co-chair of the East Midtown Steering Committee.  


East Midtown "is one of our most important commercial districts and contains some of our most important historic resources-from Grand Central and the Chrysler Building to St. Barts, St. Patrick's, and Central Synagogue," she said. "We are exploring ways to encourage the growth of new office space and improvements to the pedestrian and transit network while allowing for these critical landmarks to thrive via the sale of unused development rights throughout the district."


Brewer, Garodnick, and City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin have devised a legislative package that they hope will improve the city's landmarks review and preservation process. If City Council is willing to consider it, the legislation would prevent buildings from languishing on the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendar for more than five years, without getting a hearing. It would create a publicly accessible web database of all LPC actions.  


It would allow the public to submit documentation and a rationale for landmark or historic district status online and set a timetable for LPC response.


It would publish style guides for each historic district so that owners and tenants could easily learn what changes were permissible without having to query the LPC about each detail.  


It would require that commercial tenants be apprised of a property's landmark status before signing a lease that might undermine the tenant's ability to do business efficiently on that property.  


Finally, it would codify into law the unofficial "gentleman's agreement" that the LPC would be informed with 45 days to act when the Department of Buildings receives an application to alter or destroy a "calendared" property. Everyone with a serious interest in landmarking has a gloomy story or two to tell about a building that was demolished or defaced before it could be preserved.    

If this were to become law, there could be no more stealth attacks against historic buildings by owners who believe that landmark status would hurt their pocketbooks.  


For a hot few minutes last week, it appeared that City Council might actually discuss this list of landmarks reforms, but then the word came down from Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (as quoted in Crain's New York Business) that, "The council has a thorough vetting process for which legislative requests actually get introduced, and that includes checking for potentially duplicative laws."  ("Not so fast: City Council says there's no landmark bill in the works," Crain's New York Business, 4/13/15.)

One of the items in the proposal might, indeed, be duplicative, but not all of them. In any case, Mark-Viverito's pronouncement seems to have put the package on ice, at least for the time being.


However, the legislators behind it are not likely to be permanently discouraged. People who are interested in landmarks tend to take the long view.


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer   


The Howard Hughes Corp. owes no taxes on the Fulton Market Building, one of the South Street Seaport properties on which HHC has a long-term lease.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Howard Hughes Corp., with long-term leases on parts of the South Street Seaport, will have a tiny tax bill for several of its properties on April 15. In fact, it will be zero says Save Our Seaport,
a grassroots organization founded by volunteers and former staffers of the South Street Seaport Museum who were subsequently joined by an array of people concerned with the preservation of the Museum and the Seaport Historic District.

According to New York City Department of Finance public records, Hughes will not have to pay taxes on 89 South St., valued at $32,936,000 (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016). Additionally, another HHC property at 95 South St., valued at $29,911,600 (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016) is also tax-free.

"The Howard Hughes Corporation has gotten a sweetheart deal from the City of New York at the South Street Seaport, which allows this exemption from real estate property taxes and pass-alongs," said David Sheldon, a Save Our Seaport spokesperson.

According to Save Our Seaport, HHC has had a pattern of negotiating for substantial public subsidies at other sites throughout the country. The company promises high-paying union jobs and significant economic stimuli that it says will result in revenue streams to government (sales taxes and ordinary income taxes). However, the corporation's plans have not consistently delivered. In fact, since HHC took over the South Street Seaport in 2010, revenue has dwindled and there has been a net job loss.

"HHC would argue that they are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into new development, and repairs and maintenance at the South Street Seaport. The reality is they are paying zero property taxes in addition to having a lucrative deal that enables them to charge tenants hundreds of dollars per square foot while they pay less than $3.09 per square foot," said Sheldon.

Bits & Bytes
On April 11, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney attended a "Ready for Hillary" fundraiser at SouthWest NY in Battery Park City. Hundreds of people attended the gathering, some of them coming from New Jersey, northern Manhattan and the city's outer boroughs to be there. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Prosecutors looking at 1 WTC observation deck deal,"
New York Business Journal, 4/9/15. "The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has acknowledged prosecutors are probing the agency's deal with Legends Hospitality to operate the One World Trade Center observation deck," says the New York Business Journal. "Legends is a joint venture of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund that operates concessions and other operations at several major sports and tourism-oriented venues, including Yankee Stadium. Now, investigators want to know more information about how Legends won its deal to operate the WTC observation deck back in 2013, and have subpoenaed the Port Authority, the Wall Street Journal reports. Legends, itself, has not been subpoenaed, the report added, though it is cooperating with the investigation at the moment." For the complete article, click here.

"Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Is Arrested and Charged With Securities Fraud," New York Times, 4/14/15. The New York Times reports that, "A son-in-law of the former State Assembly speaker was arrested on Monday and accused of defrauding investors out of $7 million, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court. The defendant, Marcello Trebitsch, 37, of Brooklyn, told investors that he would use their money to trade in securities through his investment fund, and promised them double-digit returns with very low risk, according to a statement from the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Trebitsch's wife, Michelle Trebitsch, is the daughter of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, the former speaker who has been indicted on corruption charges. Agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Mr. Trebitsch, and he appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Manhattan. He was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud." For the complete article, click here.

"Adele Sarno, 85, Continues Fight To Stay In Little Italy Building Up For Sale," CBS New York, 4/13/15. "A grandmother who has lived in the same Little Italy apartment since 1962 was back in court Monday, fighting to keep her home," says CBS New York. "As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, Adele Sarno, 85, might be forced to leave her apartment. She has been fighting her landlord - which happens to be the Italian-American Museum - since 2010 to stay in the Mulberry Street apartment where she has lived for more than half a century." According to CBS, "When Sarno moved into the apartment, her rent was only $150. She now pays $820 to the Italian-American Museum below. It turns out that the museum is selling the entire building to get out of debt itself. Many political activists and city officials have come to Sarno's defense, noting that Sarno has lived in the community her whole life." For the complete article, click here.

"Is this really the shortest street in Manhattan?" Ephemeral New York, 4/11/15."Manhattan may conjure images of vast avenues. But the borough also has its share of back alleys and dead ends. In fact, its shortest street is just 63 feet long," says Ephemeral New York. "At 63 feet, Edgar Street in the Financial Discrict - just off of Greenwich Street - is arguably Manhattan's shortest thoroughfare. The street is named after a 19th Century shipping magnate whose mansion fronted Greenwich Street, according to Ephemeral New York." For the complete article, click here.

"Owners of luxury building at war with NYC, FedEx over ramp," New York Post, 4/13/15. "FedEx will do anything to make the world run on time - even risk New Yorkers' safety, angry Financial District residents claim," says the New York Post. "Owners of the luxury building 20 Pine, which has drawn buyers like Jennifer Aniston and 'True Blood's' Nelsan Ellis - are at war with the city and commercial tenant FedEx over a ramp they fear will create a security hazard.
Residents of the condo, where a two-bedroom lists for $3.8 million, say the city Department of Buildings had a November meeting about the 74-foot-long, 5-foot-wide ramp without including any tenants. A copy of the attendance record includes representatives from the Buildings Department, the Department of Transportation, FedEx and The Klein Group, a New Jersey-based commercial real-estate firm that owns the ground-floor unit. Pine Street resident Heather Curatolo told The Post that the ramp will take up half the sidewalk." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board

On April 18, lion dancers will help to celebrate the grand opening of Malaysian Kitchen at 21 South End Ave. (Photo: Courtesy of Malaysian Kitchen)

Malaysian Kitchen grand opening:
The newest restaurant to open in Battery Park City is Malaysian Kitchen at 21 South End Ave., overlooking South Cove. The grand opening will be on Saturday, April 18 from noon to 2 p.m. with Malaysian finger food from noon to 12:30 p.m. followed by lion dancers and a free Malaysian dessert - Bubur Cha-Cha - for those guests and customers who "like" Malaysian Kitchen on Facebook. (Every country in Southeast Asia has its own variation of this colorful dessert, which is prepared for festive occasions and is made from sweet potatoes, taro and black-eyed peas cooked in a sweet, coconut milk base.) Malaysian cuisine reflects the historical influences of the English, the Portuguese and the Dutch, and the country's present connection to its Southeast Asian neighbors. Malaysian Kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will deliver. The phone number is (212) 786-1888. For more information about Malaysian Kitchen, click here.

Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra fundraising soirée: The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra was founded in 2009 by Lower Manhattan resident Gary S. Fagin to perform great music in distinctive downtown locations. The orchestra's fundraiser, "Music of the Gilded Age," will take place on April 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pier A Harbor House - itself, a relic of the Gilded Age. Guests will hear the orchestra play melodies from the turn of the 19th century ("After the Ball," for instance, and "A Bird in a Gilded Cage.") Soprano Marcy Richardson is also on the program singing the Jewel aria from Gounod's "Faust." Wine, champagne and hors d'oeuvres are on the menu. Tickets: $125. For reservations, click here. For more information about the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, click here. 

Sailors Ball: The 18th Annual Sailors Ball, a fundraiser for the NY Harbor Sailing Foundation, will take place on Friday, May 1 at the Downtown Association. The Foundation, a project of Michael Fortenbaugh's Manhattan Sailing Club, created the first junior sailing programs in New York Harbor. All proceeds from the black-tie Sailors Ball go toward scholarships for the junior and teen programs. Dancing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. (tickets are $95 in advance and $120 at the door) follows a sit-down dinner ($250 a person for those who choose to attend the dinner). This year, the post-dinner festivities will also include a casino with black jack, craps and roulette tables. Place: 60 Pine St. For more information and tickets, click here.

Scholarships for chefs:
The James Beard Foundation, named for the renowned cookbook author, has scholarships for people who want to become chefs and for chefs who want to improve their skills. This year, the JBF will award $700,000 in scholarships and grants. There are unrestricted cash awards, cash awards with specific restrictions or qualifications, and scholarships to specific schools that can be applied to tuition at those schools only. Among them are the Institute of Culinary Education, which will soon relocate from Chelsea to Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, and the International Culinary Center in Soho. Some of the other scholarships include the Alain Ducasse Education Scholarship of $20,000, which goes to a student seeking an education in the culinary, pastry, and bakery arts or in wine studies, the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant, which enables a qualified professional to work with food producers at their source and to study varied specialized skills and the Rhone Rangers Professional Study/Travel Grant, designed for working chefs or sommeliers who wish to learn about American-Rhône varietal wines. All scholarship application materials must be postmarked by  May 15, 2015. Professional grant applications must be postmarked by June 15, 2015. Scholarship winners will be notified in August. To learn more about the scholarship program, click here.

Yom Hashoah at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: On April 16, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City observes Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day - with a day of free admission. Place: 36 Battery Place. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. For more information about the museum, click here.
Offshore Sailing School: On April 11, Steve and Doris Colgate's Offshore Sailing School reopens its New York Harbor campuses at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City and at Pier 25 in Tribeca. Established in 1964 by Olympic and America's Cup sailor, Steve Colgate, the school offers sailing instruction for beginning to advanced students and a sailing club.

Two-hour sailing lessons for those who just want to "test the waters" are available for $150. Two-day Basic Sailing courses are $590 per person, and the school's three-day Learn to Sail certification course starts at $695. Learn to Race and Performance Sailing courses on Colgate 26s (designed by Steve Colgate with naval architect Jim Taylor) start at $795 per person. Offshore Sailing School offers US Sailing certification, which is sanctioned by the governing body of sailing in the United States, appointed by Congress. In addition, the school provides cruising courses on 43-foot Jeanneau cruising yachts, which result in US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification. 


The Colgates started their New York sailing school in 1982 on City Island and then, in 1987, moved the school and club to the old Colgate factory property in Jersey City where Colgate's ancestors started the soap business in the 1800's.  


The Colgate Offshore Sailing Club (COSC) will also start sailing out of Liberty Landing Marina and Pier 25 on April 11. Annual Skipper membership starts at $1,795. Crew membership starts at $1,395 for unlimited sailing, along with racing series and special events throughout the season.


In addition to its two New York Harbor locations, Offshore Sailing has three resort-based campuses in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico (Captiva Island, Ft. Myers Beach and St. Petersburg) and two in the British Virgin Islands (Scrub Island Resort and The Moorings). For more information on course schedules and locations, click here.     


Brewer's office seeks volunteers:  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office has a presence at public events throughout Manhattan year round, but with the warm weather approaching, she says that, "We especially need help staffing tables at outdoor events like street fairs and housing development family days. It can be a lot of fun, and since I strive to attend every street fair and family day, I look forward to the help in distributing information and listening to constituents." To sign up, click here.

Brewer's office seeks summer interns: Each summer Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office hosts a dozen or more interns, usually college students who are eager to learn the ins and outs of city government. Interns are placed in a part of the office - Land Use, Community Affairs, Budget, Policy or Communications - that's compatible with the student's ability, experience and interest. Weekly seminars are presented by staff professionals to offer interns additional opportunities to learn. Flexible scheduling is available. These positions are unpaid. College students can apply by clicking here.

Interfaith Couples at The Museum of Jewish Heritage:
On April 15, the Interfaith Community, which serves Jewish/Christian families, invites interfaith couples to explore one of their traditions in an evening of cultural history and interfaith reflection at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The evening will include a guided tour of the museum, an opportunity to talk with Interfaith Community leaders Dr. Sheila Gordon, President, and Rev. Joel A. Gibson, Christian Advisor, and wine and cheese. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m. Free. For reservations, click here.

Downtown Little League:
The opening day of the Downtown Little League season is Saturday, April 18. As usual, players and their families will march to the Battery Park City ball fields, gathering at City Hall at 8 a.m. and setting off at 8:30 a.m. There will be no carnival on Warren Street and no celebrity ball player this year to enliven the festivities, but Downtown Little League's own celebrities - the girls' softball teams who won New York State championships last year and the baseball district champions - will be honored. The TriBattery Pops will be on hand to play, and at 10 a.m., the first games of the season will begin.

Mini Mates at the South Street Seaport Museum:
The South Street Seaport Museum will now have two classes for its popular Mini Mates program - Thursdays, April 16 to June 4 and Fridays, April 17 to June 5. The Mini Mates program enables children ages 18 months to 4 years and their parents or caregivers to engage in fun and educational activities under the guidance of a museum educator. Classes will be offered on two different days in order to minimize class size while allowing more families to participate. Both Thursday and Friday sessions will offer the same program. A typical Mini Mates class includes unstructured play time, music-making, hands-on learning activities, art-making, reading and snack time.Themes include holidays, the changing seasons, nature, and the Seaport neighborhood. Place: 12 Fulton St. Time: 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Fee: $200. A deposit of $100 is required at registration. To reserve, email or call (212) 748-8753. Registration is now open.

I Love My Park Day at Hudson River Park: Join the Friends of Hudson River Park on Saturday, May 2 for the fourth annual I Love My Park Day. Hudson River Park is one of many parks throughout the state that are participating in the program, which was created to improve and enhance New York's parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will assist in general maintenance and park beautification, including cutting back grasses, planting, invasive species removal and mulching. Water and tools will be provided. All ages are welcome. Participants should bring a snack. Registration is required. For more information, click here.

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.


Tribeca Film Festival

Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Eric Idle - the five surviving members of Monty Python - rehearsing for a performance at London's O2 Arena in July 2014.

Nothing is off limits for the comedy troupe, Monty Python, including old age and death. The Pythons are in their 70's now. In 1969, they debuted with a TV show called "Monty Python's Flying Circus." At the time, there were six Pythons; Graham Chapman died in 1989. When the five surviving members of the group announced that they would reunite for what was billed as their final show on July 1, 2014 at the O2 in London - a 15,000-seat theater - they called their revue "Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go." The tickets sold out in 43 seconds, so the Pythons added nine more shows.

That reunion and those performances are the subject of a new documentary, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25. "Monty Python: The Meaning of Live" is brilliantly funny, of course, but it's also moving and sometimes profound.

April 24 to April 26 will be Monty Python weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival with a screening of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" on April 24. The Pythons will be on stage and will answer a few questions, marking the 40th anniversary of the release of their first major film.

"Monty Python's Life of Brian" will be shown on April 25 and "Monty Python: The Meaning of Life" on April 26.

The 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 went on sale to downtown residents on April 5 with a $2 discount per ticket. These can only be purchased at ticket outlets and require proof of zip code to get the discount. The ticket outlets are the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 9, 260 W. 23rd St. (between 7th and 8th Avenues) and the Regal Cinemas Battery Park Stadium 11, 102 North End Ave. (between Vesey and Murray Streets.) The general public could begin buying single tickets on April 6. During the Festival, tickets will be on sale at all Festival Venue box offices, based on screening or event availability. Ticketing locations open approximately one hour prior to the venue's first ticketed screening or event of the day.


Construction workers at the World Trade Center. On April 16, Community Board 1's Quality of Life Committee will discuss construction site safety during high winds.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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.

April 16: Quality of Life Committee
* NYC Department of Transportation construction update
* Construction site safety during high winds - Discussion with Department of Transportation and Department of Buildings representatives
* Drone regulations - Presentation by David Swanson, Manager, NextGen Branch, Federal Aviation Administration
* Transit police and the public - Presentation by Robert Gangi, Director, Police Reform Organizing Project and Tanya Dwyer, Leader of the Community Outreach Committee of Trinity Church
* Rodent issues in CB1 - Update by Caroline Bragdon, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
* World Trade Center Health Registry - Update by NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
* United States Postal Service - Update
* Aging-Friendly Neighborhood Initiative in Lower Manhattan by Council Member Margaret Chin and The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) - Update
* Organizing a construction forum - Discussion

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: Week of April 13

A bracelet designed and made by Raymond Yazzie is in an exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian called "Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family." (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

April 16: Poets House presents "From the New World: A Reading by Jorie Graham." Graham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Harvard professor, is the author of 13 books of poetry, most recently "From The New World: Poems 1976-2014." Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (seniors and students); free to Poets House members. For more information, click here.

April 18:
The Battery Conservancy in historic Battery Park is staging workshops from April to September with hands-on activities that utilize the park's horticultural resources and knowledge. The workshops start with "Spring Cleaning! Natural Cleaners, New Blooms, and More." Participants will learn how to make natural household cleaners using herbs and other ingredients they already have in their kitchens. All workshops meet in front of Castle Clinton National Monument. Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. No RSVPs necessary. All materials will be provided. For more information about historic Battery Park, click here.

Through April 30
: During the month of April, Lynda Caspe is showing her sculpture, sculptural reliefs and preparatory drawings in the gallery at the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. A member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, her work has been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Westbeth Gallery, and the Synagogue of the Arts. Place: Manhattan Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., 19th floor South. Time: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Through May 23: Poets House in Battery Park City presents Edward Sanders' "Seeking the Glyph." During the course of a long and diverse career as a poet, musician, historian, publisher, activist and pacifist, Sanders has invented a glyphic alphabet - a colorful script of hand-drawn characters, symbols, and graphemes. He says that, "A glyph is a drawing that is charged with literary, emotional, historical or mythic, and poetic intensity." This exhibition shows selected drawings and daybooks authored by Sanders between 1962 and the present. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents "Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism," an exhibition that explores the cultural context in which many Jewish émigré architects and designers created a distinctly modern American design that still has wide appeal today.  Walk-up tours will be offered on Sundays in May (except May 24) at 12 p.m. with no reservations necessary. Through January 2016. Place: 36 Battery Place. 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 May 9, Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place presents a variety showcase of live music, games, story time, magic, puppetry and more followed by a movie for the whole family. Time: Shows at 11 a.m. and noon. Movies at 1 p.m. Free. For more information, 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: "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: 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.

Temporarily closed: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking, berthed at Piers 16 and 15, are closed to visitors through April 25 as the Museum prepares for its 2015 season. 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 2015 season will open on April 25. 
Buy tickets now: On June 8 at 6 p.m., Poets House will once again embark on a poetic pilgrimage across the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping along the way to listen to NYC-inspired poetry and ending on the Brooklyn side of the bridge with dinner, wine and more poetry. This is the 20th anniversary of the fundraising event. All proceeds help make possible the hundreds of free and affordable public programs that Poets House presents each year. Tickets start at $250; ($225 for Poets House members). Reservations are required. To buy tickets online, click here. For details or to make reservations, contact Krista Manrique at (212) 431-7920, ext. 2830 or email

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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