Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 
To advertise in Downtown Post NYC, email 

News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 42  May 14, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"I wonder how much damage was done to the platforms where the Tin and New Market buildings sit due to the vibrations from pile driving into the river bed."
     - Michael Kramer, a member of Save Our Seaport, commenting on the Economic Development Corporation's announcement that the Tin and New Market Buildings in the South Street Seaport may have to be demolished.              

* New Market Building endangered
* Offshore Sailing School gets North Cove Marina contract    
* Bits & Bytes: Fire at Indian Point nuclear plant; New restaurant and bar at Pier A
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Free public kayaking; Free Citi Bike day; Bulldog meet-up
* Etan Patz murder trial as seen by a courtroom illustrator
* Letter to the editor: Mayor de Blasio ignoring pleas to ban tourist helicopters
* Community Board 1 meeting: Week of May 11
* Calendar: Week of May 11
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

DOWNTOWN POST NYC KUDO: Downtown Post NYC is honored to have been one of eight Manhattan publications to be included on Brick Underground's list of the "24 Best NYC Neighborhood Blogs." To see the article, click here.

Go to for updates on breaking news.

All ads in Downtown Post NYC have clickable links. Click on an ad for more information.

MASTHEAD PHOTO: A Cuban Family Dance in Battery Park City. May 9, 2015.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


Construction behind the Tin and New Market Buildings on May 12, 2015.
 (Photo: Barbara Mensch)
Early on the morning of May 12, news about the New Market Building rippled through emails and text messages and crack-of-dawn phone calls. Something was happening to the building that Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia had jubilantly opened in 1939 - the last to be constructed for the Fulton Fish Market at its centuries-old home in the South Street Seaport.

The New Market Building dates from 1939.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The Jersey barriers in front of the building had been moved. The previous evening, a parking lot attendant at the site had told Gary Fagin, a South Street Seaport resident, that the New Market Building was going to be demolished, maybe beginning the next day.

People who valued the building and hoped that it could be restored and repurposed perhaps as a food market, perhaps as part of the South Street Seaport Museum or as a community center, were panic stricken. What was going on? they wondered. Who was doing this? Were there demolition permits?

A search of the Small Business Services website, which administers permits for waterfront properties, turned up nothing.

The New Market Building is just outside the city's South Street Seaport Historic District. Unlike its neighbor, the Tin Building, also once part of the Fulton Fish Market, it isn't landmarked. The Howard Hughes Corporation has repeatedly stated its desire to demolish the New Market Building and erect a 494-foot-tall luxury apartment tower on that site.

Slowly, on the morning of May 12, some information began to emerge.

Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, said she had spoken about the New Market Building to Ruth Pierpont, deputy commissioner for historic preservation in the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Although not in a city landmark district, the New Market Building is in a landmark district designated by New York State, and therefore falls in SHPO's jurisdiction.

"The only approval they've given is for the city to take out some cooling equipment that is in the back of the New Market and Tin Buildings," said Breen. "They are very concerned about the buildings and certainly don't believe that they should be or need to be demolished."

Breen said that she thought that on Wednesday, May 13, SHPO representatives would be meeting with representatives of the New York City Economic Development Corp., the landlord for much of the Seaport. She didn't know whether Howard Hughes representatives would be part of that meeting or not.     


Breen's uncertainty was echoed in numerous conversations that day. "I think there needs to be a lot more transparency and that the city government should be insistent," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. "I can't tell you if it's just Howard Hughes or it's also the EDC [behind this]. That's part of the problem."


"We're all in the dark," said Gina Pollara, former executive director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island and a land use consultant. "Nobody really knows what's happening here, and that has been part of EDC and Howard Hughes' MO for a very long time."   


Pollara said that, "Nobody knows what the asset valuation is [of the Seaport properties]. Nobody even knows what the assets are. There's been no accurate inventory done about the square footage - about any of this stuff. I mean, it's outrageous what's going on and this most recent thing about demolishing some refrigerators or something. They shouldn't even be allowed to touch that building!"


On the evening of May 13, EDC issued a statement about its plans and intentions vis-ŕ-vis the New Market Building. Peg Breen was not entirely right that possible demolition was not in the cards. 


"Both the Tin and New Market (NMB) buildings suffer from significant structural issues and are in very poor condition overall," said the statement. "In April, EDC and its structural engineers inspected both buildings and found them to be increasingly unsound, but of utmost concern to us are the 'cooler areas' which run along the back of both the Tin and New Market Buildings and are supported by piles (along with the rest of the Tin and NMB) buildings that have deteriorated significantly over time. This area ('the cooler area') was determined to be in danger of imminent collapse and must be demolished."

The reconfigured bike lane in front of the New Market Building. (Photo: Catherine McVay Hughes)

The statement from EDC said that temporary shoring had been installed while plans for the demolition work were drawn up, and that the bike lane that runs under the canopy of the New Market building had been reconfigured in order to create a buffer zone and protect cyclists and other pedestrians

"We anticipate the demolition of the cooler area will commence in July/August after the proper permits and approvals are granted by the applicable city and state regulatory agencies (DEC, LPC, Army Corps, SHPO)," said the statement. (DEC is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; LPC is the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Army Corps is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.)

The statement went on to say that, "The demolition of the cooler area is a first step and will allow EDC and the other agencies to more fully evaluate  the remaining portions of the structure and determine what additional measures are needed, which may include full or partial demolition of the Tin and New Market buildings. Changes to the Tin Building will be handled according to the appropriate procedure as determined by LPC and SHPO."


"Full or partial demolition of the Tin and New Market buildings?" Those words are likely to provoke a firestorm. The buildings have been vacant for 10 years, since the Fulton Fish Market moved to the Bronx. EDC, as the landlord, was supposed to maintain them, but has not. Michael Kramer, a member of a grassroots group called Save Our Seaport that has been trying to preserve the historic South Street Seaport and its maritime history, called EDC's actions, or more accurately, its failure to act, "benign neglect."


He also pointed out that The Howard Hughes Corporation's pile-driving activity at neighboring Pier 17 could have contributed to structural problems at the Tin and New Market Buildings.  


"I wonder how much damage was done to the platforms where the Tin and New Market buildings sit due to the vibrations from pile driving into the river bed?" he said in an email, supplying a short video to back up his question.

Although The Howard Hughes Corporation has no legal right to either the Tin or the New Market Building, their destruction would facilitate HHC's desire to erect a luxury apartment tower on the Seaport waterfront.

As they related to landmarked parts of the South Street Seaport, HHC had presented its  development plans to the community in January 2015, drawing support from some but also significant opposition from many residents and from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Margaret Chin, among other elected officials. 

Since then, HHC has been silent about its intentions. It is now scheduled to go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission with its plans sometime in June.


"Howard Hughes is not just sitting on its hands," said Simeon Bankoff. "They've got stockholders to report to. I can't point to anything, but I think it would be foolhardy for people who care about the Seaport to think that Howard Hughes isn't doing its thing."


The Howard Hughes Corporation has benefited repeatedly from secret deals with EDC that has dowered the Texas-based developer with leases to plots in the South Street Seaport at prices that are a small fraction of the going rate for Lower Manhattan real estate.  


EDC, however, in its statement about construction activity and possible demolition of the New Market and Tin Buildings, declared innocence. "This emergency work has no bearing on any future plans for the Tin and New Market sites," said the statement. "Any plan that deviates from as-of-right zoning must go through the city's public approvals process."


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer  



Doris and Steve Colgate, owners of the Offshore Sailing School, which will be giving sailing lessons in North Cove Marina. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Doris and Steve Colgate, who have been teaching people to sail for the last 51 years, have been anointed by Brookfield Property Partners as the new sailing instructors at North Cove Marina.   


This will be the eighth location for their Offshore Sailing School, which already operates out of Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City and Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. In addition, Offshore Sailing has locations in the British Virgin Islands and in Florida.     


North Cove will be a stand-alone operation.     


To date, the Colgates have trained more than 130,000 people to sail.    


Beginning on May 21, Offshore Sailing will bring five Colgate 26 sailboats (designed by Steve Colgate) to the North Shore Marina, with two more arriving around a week later. Each boat can accommodate up to six people.


Sailing lessons will be available for kids, teens and adults.   


The youth program, KidsSail for 7 to 17 year-olds, will run from June 22 to Aug. 14 with two sessions each day - from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A half-day costs $325 a week, a full day, $600 a week. Half of the children enrolled in KidsSail will get scholarship help.


"Scholarships will be awarded on a case-by-case basis," said Doris Colgate. "We will be taking the most needy in our first year." Application forms are available from Beth Oliver, the Offshore Sailing School's director of marketing. (Click here for more information.)  


For adults there will be two-hour to three-day classes for beginning to advanced students. The basic course is a two-day introduction to sailing. Next year, when North Cove Marina is fully operational, there will also be certification courses such as cruising. "We can't offer that this year," said Doris Colgate. "There's not enough dock space."


A three-day learn-to-sail certification course without an instructor on board will get people up to speed for independent sailing. There will also be learn-to-race courses.


There will be no bar and club house in the marina this year but there will be a sailing club. "We have the lightship at Liberty Landing Marina in New Jersey and office/classroom space in North End Avenue," said Doris Colgate. "However, we are right at Brookfield Place and will be gathering in the atrium and at the various eateries in Winter Garden for social activities."


Members of the sailing club will be able to use the shore facilities at the Offshore Sailing School's other New York harbor outposts, but not the boats. "The fleets are separate at these locations and at North Cove Marina."  


The North Cove Sailing Club will allow members unlimited use of Colgate 26 boats on New York harbor and will host weekly racing series throughout the sailing season.  


The Offshore Sailing School is celebrating its first year at North Cove Marina by offering discounts on courses and on club membership. Learn to Sail and Performance Sailing courses are available at a 50 percent discount. A membership for one person in the North Cove Sailing Club starts at $2,150 - a $600 discount, with per person memberships for two people starting at $1,950 each. The season runs from May to October. 


"We will have a celebration free sail, date to be determined, after all the boats coming this year are in place," said Colgate.


For more information about the Offshore Sailing School at North Cove Marina, click here.   


 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

Bits & Bytes

The Indian Point nuclear power plant is around 35 miles north of Manhattan, near an earthquake fault line. A recent fire has renewed calls to shut the plant down.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Greater Aims Than Marketing With a Film Starring Green Luxury Apartments," New York Times, 5/11/15. "The film shows a man in a leather biker jacket and a woman in an oversize black parka leaning against the gunwale of a boat, staring up at the huge icebergs floating by, dressed more for the cobblestones of SoHo than for the shoals of Greenland," says The New York Times. "The camera captures their amazement at the drifts of glacial beauty. Just then - crack! - both jump as a piece of ice the size of a townhouse cascades into the water." The woman in the parka was Veronica Mainetti, whose family holdings include 60 White Street, a loft building in TriBeCa. Inspired by what she saw in Greenland and by what she knew about climate change, Mainetti decided that 60 White, the conversion of an 1869 loft building into multimillion-dollar apartments and the latest project of her family's development company, the Sorgente Group, "should do its part to save the world. Ms. Mainetti thought the eight-unit project could have an even bigger impact if the world knew about it, too. The building is now the star of a documentary, 'Giglio on White,' about its redevelopment, with Ms. Mainetti co-starring as the crusader turning environmental anxieties into luxury accommodations one locally sourced granite countertop at a time." For the complete article, click here.

"Fire Prompts Renewed Calls to Close the Indian Point Nuclear Plant," New York Times, 5/13/15. "To protect marine life in the Hudson River, environmental advocates have been calling for the Indian Point nuclear power plant to shut down for several weeks each year beginning in May. This year, they got part of what they wished for - but in a way they would have preferred not to," says The New York Times. "A fire that knocked out one of the plant's two reactors on Saturday caused oil and fire-retardant foam to spill from it and into the Hudson, putting the reactor out of commission for several weeks. On the bright side, millions of fish and insect larvae are less likely to be sucked into the plant along with the billions of gallons of river water it uses to cool the two reactors. However, a large swath of the surface of that habitat remained coated in an oily slick on Tuesday. A spreading sheen was reportedly visible as far upriver as the Bear Mountain Bridge and as far south as Haverstraw, N.Y. - well beyond the floating, yellow booms set up around the plant, which is in northern Westchester County, about 35 miles north of Midtown Manhattan." For the complete article, click here.

"NYC Charter School Center to Stay at Trinity Building," Commercial Observer, 5/12/15. "Nonprofit NYC Charter School Center is remaining at Trinity Building at 111 Broadway in Lower Manhattan for another 10 years," according to the Commercial Observer. "NYC Charter School Center, which helps new charter schools get started and supports existing schools, leases 9,304 square feet in Capital Properties' 21-story, 485,000-square-foot landmarked building at Broadway and Thames Street, which, along with 115 Broadway, is called Trinity Centre. Rents in the building typically are around $49 per square foot, according to CoStar Group." The New York City Charter School Center's lease was about to expire. For the complete article, click here.

"Bliss Moving Downtown With Brookfield Place Office Deal," Commercial Observer, 5/11/15. "Bliss spa is moving its offices from 75 Varick Street to Brookfield Place in a 15,407-square-foot deal," says Commercial Observer. "The massage, facial and pedicure chain took part of the 25th floor at 200 Vesey Street in a 10-year deal, according to John V. Wheeler, a managing director at JLL. The asking rent, he said, was in the low-$60s per square foot, and Bliss should be relocating imminently." Wheeler was quoted as saying that, "It's continuation of that trend of fashion and consumer products companies relocating to the Lower Manhattan marketplace." For the complete article, click here.

"Opening Alert: Pier A Harbor House Debuts Second Floor Steakhouse and Upscale Bar,", 5/6/15. Peter Poulakakos and his team debuted new dining and drinking spaces on May 6 at their downtown restaurant megaplex Pier A Harbor House, says "An oyster bar and beer hall opened on the first floor of the newly renovated, historic building in November, but it's taken until now for the second floor venues to get up and running. One is the Harrison Room, a clubby upscale bar with drinks from The Dead Rabbit's bar manager Jillian Vose. Next to it is a restaurant simply called The Restaurant, which sports some sweet views of Lady Liberty and New York Harbor, along with a semi-open kitchen and a chef's table." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board

The Downtown Boathouse's program of free public kayaking on the Hudson River starts for the season on May 16. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Free public kayaking:
The Downtown Boathouse's 2015 season of free public kayaking at Pier 26 on the Hudson River near North Moore Street starts on Saturday, May 16. The Downtown Boathouse, which is staffed by volunteers, offers kayaking weekends and most holidays until mid-October. Weekend and holiday hours are usually 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In July and August the Downtown Boathouse will also be open on weekday evenings from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For hours of operation and up-to-date information, click here.

Bringing up boys: A film screening and panel discussion, "The Mask You Live In," at PS/IS 276 on May 27 will examine how boys and young men struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America's narrow definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, the protagonists of "The Mask You Live In" confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become "real" men. The PS/IS 276 PTA is hosting the event with HRP Mamas and NYC Dads Group as co-sponsors. Place: PS/IS 276 auditorium, 55 Battery Place. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15. Click here to buy tickets.

Volunteer in Battery Park:
Historic Battery Park is a 25-acre park at the southern end of Manhattan. It is under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and of the National Park Service because of the presence in the park of the Castle Clinton National Monument. The Battery Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization that works with the city, state and federal governments to enhance the park with a variety of architectural and horticultural projects.  The Conservancy seeks volunteers to help maintain The Battery for the more than six million people who visit each year. They are needed to assist with gardening, greeting visitors, maintaining benches and surfaces and preparing for events. Volunteers usually work in the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March through October. For more information about how to volunteer, click here.

Free Citi Bike Day: Citi Bike will be free on Thursday, May 14, courtesy of Switzerland Tourism.  From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., Citi Bike day-passes will be available for free at any Citi Bike station kiosk. This is the first time a partner has provided a free day of Citi Bike passes. Riders will just need to swipe a credit card and select the 24-Hour Access Pass option. No promo code is needed. A $101 security hold may be placed on the card. Standard overtime fees apply to trips that last longer than 30 minutes. Switzerland Tourism says that it is doing this in honor of Bike-to-Work Week, plus it wants New York City's bike riders to know that Switzerland offers 5,600 miles of cycling routes and 2,800 miles of biking trails as part of a program called SwitzerlandMobility. "Switzerland is the place to go for anyone who wants to swap NYC's high-rise buildings for stunning mountain scenery and city bike lanes for well-marked cycling and mountain bike routes which crisscross a land full of surprises," Switzerland Tourism says.

Bulldog meet-up in the Seaport: The largest bulldog meet-up group in the United States with over 2,000 members is holding a "Strut, Swagger & Slobber" 2015 fundraising event on May 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Peck Slip plaza. 'Strut, Swagger & Slobber 2015' - A Bulldogs of NY fundraising event will include photos taken on the "blue carpet," free check-ups from local Seaport vets, fashion and spa vendors, give aways donated by many local restaurants and businesses of the Seaport, a New York-themed agility course, a Kissing Booth for pups and even a custom parade!  All attendees will have the opportunity to help raise needed funds for our area bulldog rescues, Bumper Bull Dog Rescue and MidAtlantic Bull Dog Rescue.

Free Tai Chi classes:
Warrior Bridge, which opened in January in the South Street Seaport to teach martial arts, meditation and yoga, is offering free Tai Chi classes in the Peck Slip Plaza on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. The Warrior Bridge studio is at 275 Water St. For more information about Warrior Bridge, click here. In Battery Park City, free Tai Chi classes take place on Friday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove Marina. Alex Hing, the instructor, also teaches at the China Institute and at Sacred Sounds of Yoga. No experience is necessary for the Tai Chi classes and all levels are welcome. The classes are under the auspices of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy and run through Oct. 31 except on May 23, July 4, Aug. 29 and Oct. 31. For more information, click here.

Spring planting at DeLury Square Park: Join the Friends of DeLury Park on May 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Spring Planting Day, a citywide event sponsored by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. All tools and planting materials are provided. DeLury Square Park is at the corner of Fulton and Gold Streets, next to Southbridge Towers. Rain date is Sunday, May 17. For more information, click here.

Liberty Street bridge closed: On May 11 at 6 a.m., the Liberty Street bridge was closed to pedestrian traffic in order to remove the temporary bridge extension from the Route 9A median to the sidewalk in front of 90 West St. Pedestrian and handicap access to the Battery Park City/World Financial Center is available via the north and south crosswalks at Albany Street and the north crosswalk at Liberty Street. The Liberty Street bridge will remain closed until its eastern connection to the World Trade Center complex is complete.

Focus groups and Town Hall meetings on aging: On June 3, the New York Academy of Medicine will be conducting a focus group on aging at the Battery Park City library, 175 North End Ave., from 10 a.m. to noon. The NYAM is looking for a maximum of 12 people aged 55 or older, to participate. Each participant will be paid $20. All information will be kept confidential. To sign up, call Anushka Gopilall at (212) 822-7237 or email


In addition to this focus group, City Councilmember Margaret Chin, who chairs City Council's Committee on Aging, hosted a town hall meeting on May 1 and is hosting one on June 5 to discuss issues affecting the elderly. The May 1 town hall was co-sponsored by Community Boards 1, 2 and 3 and took place at the City Hall Senior Center, 100 Gold St.


The June 5 town hall will be held at the Educational Alliance, 197 E. Broadway from 10 a.m. to noon. To attend, send an email to Xiaomin Zhao at    


Beach volleyball at Pier 25:
Kids in grades 6 through 12 can sign up for Beach Volleyball instruction and games at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. The League runs from May 15 to July 17 on Friday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The program is free for Downtown Community Center members. The fee for non-members is $25. Sponsorships are needed. Email to become a sponsor. To register, click here.

Battery Park City Parks Conservancy summer programming: The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy organizes free art, gardening, science, yoga, tai chi and sports programs that run from early May through late October in BPC's parks. The programs are for children as young as three years old to adults. Some are drop-in programs. Others require advance registration. For more information, click here.
Downtown Post Portfolio: Downtown Post Portfolio is a regular feature in Downtown Post NYC, showcasing artists and photographers who live and/or work south of Canal Street or who create images (paintings, drawings, photographs) of Lower Manhattan.

To have your work considered for publication in Downtown Post Portfolio, send up to seven high-resolution jpeg files attached to an email to (One of the photos should be a picture of you.) Several of these photos will be published in Downtown Post NYC, along with a short artist bio and a statement about the work submitted, including whether or not it is for sale and how to purchase it.

Not all entries can be published. Copyright remains with the artist. Before publication, each contributor will be asked to sign a release stating that Downtown Post NYC has the right to publish the work in the emailed newsletter and in the Downtown Post archives, and that there is no payment.

Downtown Little League opening day photo gallery
: The Downtown Little League kicked off its 2015 season on April 18. This year, there are just under 1,100 players on 81 teams. For photos of the opening day, click here.

Whitney Museum of American Art photo gallery: The Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St. opened to the public on May 1. For photographs of the Whitney Museum's new building and of its opening exhibition, click here.

South Street Seaport Museum Opening Day: The South Street Seaport Museum opened its 2015 season on April 25 with events on Pier 16 and activities for kids and their families in the lobby of the museum's 12 Fulton St. building. For photographs of the museum's opening day, click here.

Downtown Post Portfolio: Jay Fine: Jay Fine is a New York City fine-art photographer and photojournalist, based in Lower Manhattan whose work was featured in Downtown Post Portfolio (DPNYC, 5/6/15). To see some more of Fine's work on the Downtown Post NYC website, click here.



A witness at the trial of Pedro Hernandez for the kidnapping and murder of Etan Patz. Hernandez is on the right side of the illustration, with a photograph of the bodega where he worked on May 25, 1979 on the screen. (Drawings © Elizabeth Williams)

The balding, impassive man on trial for murder in Justice Maxwell Wiley's courtroom at 111 Centre St. was an 18-year-old high school dropout working as a stock clerk in a Soho bodega on May 25, 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz vanished on his way to school. Thirty-three years passed before Pedro Hernandez, by then a disabled factory worker, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder.

Hernandez' trial began in February 2015 and lasted four months. A conviction would have required a unanimous vote from the 12-person jury. One man held out. After 18 days of deliberations, Justice Wiley declared a mistrial.

With cameras forbidden in the courtroom, illustrators were there during the trial to record what was happening. One of them, Elizabeth Williams, a Lower Manhattan resident, was present for the opening statements, the first witness, the presentation to the jurors of Hernandez' confession tape, and the conclusion of the trial.

Pedro Hernandez being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs.
She described Hernandez as "extremely mild-mannered and almost stone faced. He rarely turned to his left or right," she said. "He didn't look at the jury."

The only expression that she noted was when the judge announced that there was a hung jury. "I could see Hernandez clench his jaw," Williams said.

Dr. Michael First, a witness for the defense, described Hernandez as schizophrenic and subject to hallucinations. "His mental state weighed on the juror who held out," Williams observed.

During the days that she covered the trial, Williams said that Hernandez' wife and daughter were in the courtroom as were Etan Patz' mother and sister. She saw Hernandez' wife smile when the judge said that no verdict had been reached. The Patz family left the courtroom before the outcome was announced.

Williams said that the reporters who covered the trial were not surprised that the trial went on for months and that there was a hung jury.

Formerly, the major news outlets would have assigned a courtroom illustrator to cover the entire trial, but now, said Williams, the illustrators come and go during the trial as she did.

She said that she made four or five sketches each day that she was there. "There's no time to go home and finish them," she said. "They're shot [for publication] right outside the courtroom, as soon as possible."

Williams is the co-author of an award-winning book, "The Illustrated Courtroom: Fifty Years of Court Art," that describes many famous trials and the courtroom illustrator's imperative to capture the essence of what is happening accurately and fast. It is a demanding profession with fewer and fewer practitioners.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Pedro Hernandez, on trial for kidnapping and murder, listening to a videotaped confession that his defense attorneys called a fiction that he concocted under pressure after many hours of interrogation by the police.

Letter to the editor  

A helicopter flying over the South Street Seaport on May 7, 2015.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
(Re: "Battery Park City helicopter noise is worse than in Baghdad," DPNYC, 5/6/15): Mayor de Blasio has done absolutely nothing about helicopter traffic and apparently refuses to do anything about it in the future even though the situation is even worse than last year with the tour companies adding more flights by stacking helicopters one above the other along the flying path.  The fact that 22 elected officials at every level of government sent him a letter last August asking him to ban these tours has not moved him at all. Nor was he moved when Public Advocate, Tish James, in a separate letter asked him to ban the tours, nor when New Jersey lawmakers held a press conference a couple of months ago introducing a bill that would ban these helicopters from using New Jersey facilities. (The tour helicopters park overnight at New Jersey heliports and airports - where their maintenance is also carried out.)  Not surprisingly, the pilots and mechanics live in New Jersey, so that's where the few jobs actually created by this industry are - in New Jersey, not New York.  But, New Jersey has made it clear that they don't want those jobs. Hoboken's mayor, Dawn Zimmer, told me point blank that they are not interested in preserving these few jobs. The cost is too high and the benefits too small.

Stop the Chop NYNJ has just received 501c(3) nonprofit status from the IRS and has started raising money to fund marketing and legal initiatives to combat the helicopter traffic.  For more information about Stop the Chop NYNJ, click here.

Delia von Neuschatz

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


Duane Street, in the Tribeca West Historic District. On May 14, Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee will hear a report on historic districts in Lower Manhattan.
 (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.

May 14: Landmarks Committee
* Historic Districts in Lower Manhattan -- Staff Presentation
* 65 Broadway, application for storefront renovation - Resolution
* 249 Church St., application for storefront renovation and installation of handicapped access ramp - Resolution
* Building 555, Governors Island, application for window replacement, new rear entrance and new chiller and enclosure - Resolution

CALENDAR: Week of May 11

Resident printer Ali Osborn showing a student how to use Bowne Printers' Vandercook press at a linoleum block printing workshop. The next workshop takes place on Sunday, May 17. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 13: "Witness to History: The Images of PFC Tony Vaccaro." On the 70th anniversary of VE Day, Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of "The Liberator," talks with 92 year-old legendary photographer Tony Vaccaro, who smuggled his portable 35mm camera onto the battlefield and created one of the most intimate and comprehensive records of daily life as a soldier. Place: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Time: 4 p.m. Free (donations welcome). For more information, click here

May 13: The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe with several special programs. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will talk with Charlie Rose (Charlie Rose, CBS News This Morning, and Peabody and Emmy Recipient for 2014) his own experience in WWII as a refugee from Nazi Germany and a veteran of the U.S. Army during the war. Dr. Kissinger, as historian and statesman, will also reflect on the impact of that greatest of conflicts on the seven decades that have passed since it ended. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25; $20 (museum members). For more information, click here.

May 14: A commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian genocide at the Museum of Jewish Heritage features pianist Hayk Arsenyan. On April 24, 1915, Ottoman officials ordered the deportation of Armenian intellectuals from Constantinople - a devastating blow that stripped the beleaguered community of the ability to defend itself. Word of the atrocity that befell the Armenians a century ago was spread, in no small part, by Henry Morgenthau Sr., the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and the grandfather of the Museum's Chairman Emeritus, Robert M. Morgenthau. Remembering the Armenian Genocide has always been important for the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Space is limited. RSVP by Monday, May 11 to or call (646) 437-4368. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m. For more information, click here

May 14: "Person, Place, Thing" with Randy Cohen and Diane Ackerman. Emmy Award-winner Randy Cohen, widely known as the original writer of "The Ethicist" for New York Times Magazine, returns to Poets House for a second live recording of his beloved public radio show, during which he interviews popular public figures about one person, place and thing they find meaningful. Poet, essayist and naturalist, guest Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen works of nonfiction and poetry. This special evening will include music played by Irish harpist Maeve Gilchrist and great stories. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free (Poets House members). For more information, click here.

May 15: "Safeguarding Historic Places in Times of Armed Conflict" will be the subject when Lisa Ackerman, art historian, Executive Vice President of the World Monuments Fund and a Battery Park City neighbor, shares her insights into the important work of preserving historic world art in times of armed conflict. Place: 21 West Thames St. Community Room. Time: 10:30 a.m. Free. To reserve a seat, call (212) 912-0678 or email Ruth Ohman at   

May 15: This is the 14th year that the Sunset Singing Circle has been held on Friday evenings in Battery Park City, led by singer/guitarist Terre Roche. As the sun sets over the Hudson River, novice and experienced singers sit on the lawn and sing folk songs (with words provided in the Sunset Singing Circle Songbook). Players of acoustic instruments are encouraged to add their skills to the mix. Place: Wagner Park. Time: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 16: Tribute to Wanda Coleman. Los Angeles poet and writer Wanda Coleman (1946-2013) was the author of 20 books, most recently "The World Falls Away" and, with Austin Straus, "The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry." Considered the "Unofficial Poet Laureate of Los Angeles," Coleman was active across the city's artistic scenes as a poet, performer, and singer, devoted to themes of racism and the female experience. Join Mahogany L. Browne, Steve Cannon, Cornelius Eady, Bob Holman, Tyehimba Jess, Patricia Spears Jones, Julie Patton, Austin Straus and Quincy Troupe for readings and discussion of the life and legacy of this electric and under-recognized pivotal poet of the post-war period. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 3 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 16: The first "Go Fish!" of this season takes place at Wagner Park with lessons in catch-and-release fishing from experienced anglers and an introduction to the aquatic life of the Hudson River. Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform bluegrass filled with humor. Art projects and bird watching are also part of the event. Time: Fishing, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Art projects, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Birdwatching, 11 a.m.; Performance, 12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 17: At Bowne Printers, part of the South Street Seaport Museum, resident printer Ali Osborn teaches the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks in a three-and-a-half-hour-long workshop. Bring a few ideas for images and learn how to transfer and carve your design into linoleum followed by inking and printing your linoleum block by hand. At the end of the class, Osborn shows how to lock up all of the blocks on the museum's Vandercook press to create a poster. Students go home with their own block, individual prints, and one poster of everyone's prints together. All materials supplied. Registration required. Limited availability. Suitable for apprentices 13 and up. Place: 209 Water St. Time: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets: $50; $40 (museum members). For more information and to buy tickets, 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: "America in Circulation: A History of US Currency Featuring the Collection of Mark R. Shenkman," an exhibition at the Museum of American Finance, showcases around 250 rare examples of American paper money accompanied by large, interactive touch screen displays. From Colonial times, American money has told a fascinating story of the country's struggles and successes. Often local and national currencies competed and coexisted with each other, while economic depression, war and counterfeiting drove constant advances in design. The exhibition spans the period from the Colonial era to the present day. Highlights include rare examples of currency bearing the signatures of signers of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence; a complete set of notes from the Educational Series of 1896, renowned for being the most beautiful paper money in American history; and rare examples of high denomination notes including $5,000 and $10,000 bills. Through March 2018. To see an online version of the exhibition, click here. Place: 48 Wall St. Museum is open Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $8; $5 (students and seniors); free (museum members and kids 6 and under). For more information, click here.

: "Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed" displays 155 ancient objects from the National Museum of the American Indian's rarely seen collections of Central American ceramics. The exhibition examines seven regions representing distinct Central American cultural areas that are today part of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, where Central America's first inhabitants lived. Dating back to 1000 B.C., the ceramics help tell the story of the innumerable achievements of these ancient civilizations, each with unique, sophisticated ways of life, value systems and arts. Through January 2017. Place: 1 Bowling Green. The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays, until 8 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: 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: 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.
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 


Downtown Post NYC is emailed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 
To subscribe to Downtown Post NYC, click here

Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

We welcome comments, questions and letters to the editor. Send them to

To advertise, email

Previous issues of Downtown Post NYC are archived at

All articles and photographs in Downtown Post NYC are copyrighted and
may not be reprinted or republished without written permission.
© 2014