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

News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 44  May 27, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"A sailing ship like Wavertree, sitting in salty water, being buffeted by the elements, is not like an artifact in a glass case. And so much the better, because we can touch her. We can pull on lines and have students and visitors set sails. We can have people climbing into the rigging, and one day, based on the foundation of this project, we may once again see her sailing in New York Harbor."
     - Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, commenting on the $10.6 million restoration of the museum's ship, Wavertree.              

* Eight organizations write to Mayor de Blasio opposing Howard Hughes' Seaport proposals 
* Bits & Bytes: $30 hot dogs; 100 Wall St.'s record sale; Spotted Pig coming to 70 Pine St.
* South Street Seaport Museum's Wavertree leaves Pier 15 for year-long restoration
* Peter and Norma Stanford's account of Wavertree's arrival at the South Street Seaport Museum
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Get Low Tuesdays; Bringing up Boys; Downtown Post Portfolio
* Letter to the editor: Peck Slip event raises $5,000 for bulldog rescue
* Poets House's annual fundraising walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
* Calendar: Week of May 25
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.

IF YOU LIKE DOWNTOWN POST NYC - Downtown Post NYC is emailed free to subscribers, but if you like DPNYC and want to support it, you can do that in three ways. 1) Support Downtown Post's advertisers by clicking on their ads, and if you use their services, tell them that you read about them in DPNYC. 2) Consider advertising in DPNYC if you have a business, service or event that you want to promote. 3) Tell people about DPNYC and suggest that they subscribe. They can sign up at

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: The Staten Island ferry and a U.S. Coast Guard boat crossing New York harbor. May 22, 2015 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Part of the Financial District as seen through the rigging of the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner, Pioneer. A letter to Mayor de Blasio asking him to protect the Seaport from destructive development describes the Seaport as "the City's last link to the commercial maritime history that fueled New York's economic success."
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Eight organizations concerned with Lower Manhattan or historic preservation or both have banded together to oppose The Howard Hughes Corporation's proposals for the South Street Seaport. On May 20, they sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio with copies to other elected officials outlining their concerns and asking for a halt to all development activity in the Seaport until the issues have been addressed.

"We are deeply troubled," the letter begins, that "the city is repeating past failures to protect the Seaport by entrusting the future of the district to a single developer." It goes on to say, "There is an egregious absence of transparency and public review of the plans for the Seaport. Stewardship is being entrusted to a developer who has not adequately demonstrated capacity, experience or desire to create a sustainable plan linking the interests of preservation to the economic vitality of the area."

About The Howard Hughes Corporation's desire to demolish the New Market Buildng and erect a 494-foot-tall skyscraper on that site, the letter says, "Plans for a skyscraper in the heart of the District will irreparably compromise the integrity of this treasure."

The letter describes the Seaport as "the City's last link to the commercial maritime history that fueled New York's economic success."

The letter was signed by Peg Breen, president of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. She wrote on behalf of the City Club of New York, Friends of the South Street Seaport, the Historic Districts Council, Manhattan Community Board 1, the Waterfront Alliance (formerly known as the "Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance"), Save Our Seaport and the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council.

"There's strength in numbers and it's impressive to see that there's this number of groups with a large number of members if you add it all up, who care very much about this," Breen said in a telephone interview. "This is important to the whole city and we're going to make sure that that message gets out."


The letter asks de Blasio to "pause all activity and provide material insights into the developer's full plan for the Seaport and the current status of all ownership and leases on Seaport buildings and sites, including the right to program public spaces."


Former New York City Comptroller John Liu had audited the New York City Economic Development Corporation, landlord for most of the South Street Seaport, and The Howard Hughes Corporation, and in July 2013, said that his office had found that HHC had understated the amount of square footage it was leasing and that the EDC had never performed its own survey of square footage so it didn't know that Howard Hughes owed the city back rent. Liu said that as of that time, HHC had underpaid its rent by almost $1.8 million. Liu had planned an additional audit of the Seaport but did not complete it before he left office.  


Scott Stringer, the present New York City Comptroller, has not announced any follow-up on the investigation that Liu began.  


Breen said that the organizations that she represented were looking for "some real answers. I don't think that anybody could tell, at this point, exactly where things stand," she said.      


The letter asks the mayor to examine "the rationale for continuing the [South Street Seaport] Museum's dependency on developer revenue instead of the City-funded approach typical at other cultural institutions across the City."


Unlike the city's other museums, the South Street Seaport Museum does not receive an infusion of city money on a regular and predictable basis.  


The letter also refloats the idea that the Seaport's historic buildings and the Museum are "a natural magnet to attract New Yorkers and tourists to the Seaport. They must be strengthened to ensure the area's future economic vitality."


The Howard Hughes Corporation has more or less ignored the Seaport's maritime and food market history and has tried to position the area as a fashion hub. HHC's largest tenant to date is iPic Entertainment, which has a 20-year lease from Hughes for 46,000 square feet in the Fulton Market Building, located in the historic area. HHC has gutted that building, once used by the Fulton Fish Market, so that iPic can install movie theaters with cushy, reclining seats that allow customers to see a movie while nestling in their chairs with a pillow and blanket. A ticket to the iPic movies can include dinner, served at the customer's seat.


The organizations that wrote to Mayor de Blasio have a different vision for what the Seaport should be. "The Seaport is ideally suited to reclaim its role as our City's market district and to welcome visiting historic vessels," the letter says. The Museum should serve as the hub of an arts district....Retail uses that complement the area's character will promote its economic success."


Importantly, the letter asks for consideration of "alternative stewardship models for managing and maintaining the Seaport and surrounding waterfront."   


The Howard Hughes Corporation inherited many of its Seaport leases from bankrupt General Growth Properties, which inherited them from the Rouse Company that acquired them in the early 1980s, but the New York City Economic Development Corporation has augmented the original leases with several secret deals. These only came to light in response to FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests or when HHC chose to act on them and suddenly the community learned of their existence. 


The organizations that backed the letter to de Blasio don't like this way of doing business. "We demand an opportunity to get this right," they say in their letter. They ask for an opportunity to sit down with de Blasio  and the appropriate commissioners to discuss the Seaport.


"We'll give this a little time and then start calling," said Breen. "We're not just going to go away quietly. We're going to keep at it."


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer  




Bits & Bytes

Part of the Financial District. The former AIG building on the right will have a four-story rooftop restaurant with Spotted Pig owners, April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, at the helm.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Iron-Hulled Ship Makes a Short, but Crucial, Harbor Voyage," New York Times, 5/21/15. With just a touch of journalistic skepticism, The New York Times reported on the departure of the South Street Seaport Museum's sailing ship, Wavertree, from Pier 15 on May 21. "The sailing ship that glided away from Lower Manhattan on Thursday was not a tourist craft; it was a gritty iron-hulled vessel whose fans say it is a symbol of New York City," said The Times. "They say the ship, Wavertree, is a monument to 19th-century ships that made the city the economic and commercial powerhouse it became." Because Wavertree was built in Southampton, England, The Times noted that, "Queen Victoria was in her 60s when it went on its maiden voyage in the 1880s. Now it needs some work, which is why it was making this trip, an hourlong ride from South Street Seaport to a shipyard on Staten Island. Wavertree, the pride of the South Street Seaport Museum, sailed off for $10.6 million worth of repairs and renovations." For the complete article, click here.

"100 Wall St.'s $275M pricetag a downtown record," New York Post, 5/19/15. "The 29-story office building at 100 Wall St. is being sold by Savanna to Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers for $275 million, the highest price-per-square-foot paid for a downtown building east of Broadway," says the New York Post. "The 1969-era glass tower near the East River is bounded by Wall, Front, Water and Pine streets. At roughly 520,000 feet, the space's price tag works out to $528 per square foot." For the complete article, click here.

"Rental Conversion 70 Pine To Get a 'Glamorous' Rooftop Venue,", 5/19/15. "AIG's old building on Pine Street is getting turned into hundreds of pricey rental apartments-a process that's been going on for, oh, years," says "While the opening date for the reborn 1931 building has been pushed back (again) to fall 2015, there's news of what will crown the conversion. Amenities at 70 Pine were already going to be over the top, and now add a four-story rooftop restaurant and bar courtesy of Spotted Pig owners April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman to the list. The Post's Steve Cuozzo reports that while the agreement isn't completely finalized, the 'deal is all but done.' Bloomfield and Friedman have some serious New York food world chops, and the proposed venue would occupy floors 62, 63, 64, and 66 of the handsome Art Deco tower, which sports a pretty glorious crown containing "an octagonal former observatory with eye-popping views." For the complete article, click here.

"Hundreds of Volunteers, Armed With Fliers, Tell Nail Salon Workers of Their Rights," New York Times, 5/21/15. "Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across New York on Thursday morning as part of an outreach campaign for nail salon workers organized by city officials, with the goal of reaching thousands of manicurists by day's end and educating them about their rights and how to protect their health," says The New York Times. "In the Wall Street area, [Julie] Menin [Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs] and Councilwoman Margaret S. Chin, a Democrat who represents the area, carried clipboards with maps showing local salons. They ducked into small establishments, or tramped up narrow stairs to second-story shops. At AA Nails Spa on Pine Street, the manager, who gave her name only as Sophia, expressed surprise when she read the leaflet outlining a worker's right to paid sick leave." For the complete article, click here.

"Food cart illegally ripping off customers right outside City Hall," New York Post, 5/25/15. "He's not charging $30 for a hot dog, but another Manhattan food-cart vendor is ramping up the frankfurter wars by gouging his customers right outside the seat of city government," says the New York Post. "The sausage server set up shop outside the Park Row entrance to City Hall on Friday, where it took him only 60 minutes to raise the price of a hot dog - to the same customer.
The vendor, who refused to identify himself, was one of a dozen selling street-side food within a block radius of City Hall - and blatantly breaking the law by not publicly displaying the prices of their products." For the complete article, click here.

"Lightstone buys two FiDi properties for $23M," The Real Deal, 5/26/15. The Real Deal reports that, "David Lichtenstein's the Lightstone Group picked up a pair of Fulton Street development sites from Fisher Brothers for more than $23 million, property records filed with the city Tuesday show. The properties lie next to the Financial District development site where Lightstone is planning to build a residential tower and hotel. The deal for 92 and 94 Fulton Street closed earlier this month for a total of $23.25 million, property records show." For the complete article, click here.

"Sneak a Peek Inside the Latest Parm, a Battery Park City Behemoth,", 5/26/15. "Despite a sign in the window saying Brookfield Place's roomy Parm outpost would debut earlier this month, it looks like those Torrisi boys are still in the unpacking stages," says "An Eater spy managed to sneak a peek through the windows over the weekend, and captured a glimpse of a restaurant still strewn with piles of boxes and chairs in random places." For the complete article with photos, click here.


Wavertree in the East River on her way to shipyard. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

 On May 21, the people assembled on Pier 15 witnessed something they are not likely to forget: the South Street Seaport Museum's massive sailing ship, Wavertree, built as a cargo ship in 1885, was propelled by tugboats into the East River and then turned downstream for a trip to
Caddell's Dry Dock on Staten Island where she will undergo a year-long restoration.

Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum.
Wavertree was built in Southampton, England and is the last wrought-iron hulled sailing ship afloat. "This is one of the very special objects of the Earth," said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, at the ceremony to see the ship off.

Only when the ship was in the East River was it fully apparent just how big she is. Boulware said that she was typical of the sailing ships that used to call on New York City, lining the docks of the East River between Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery. The cargo that they carried built New York City and made it a world financial capital. 

"The restoration of a historic sailing ship is a long and difficult process," Boulware said. "It's not one to be taken lightly. It's certainly one for which there's not really any end."   


He said that restoring a ship of this size was, "Much like painting a bridge, when you finish at one end, you go back to the beginning and start again. A sailing ship like Wavertree, sitting in salty water, being buffeted by the elements, is not like an artifact in a glass case. And so much the better, because we can touch her. We can pull on lines and have students and visitors set sails. We can have people climbing into the rigging," he said, "and one day, based on the foundation of this project, we may once again see her sailing in New York Harbor."  


That breathtaking vision generated loud applause.  

Boulware said that he was more hopeful for the Seaport Museum than he had been at any time since he arrived there three-and-a-half years ago. "Across the board, the City of New York as a government is paying attention to the Seaport Museum and has recognized it for its important and vital and unique role in New York," he said.


The planned restoration and stabilization work will cost $10.6 million and is the largest project of this kind every undertaken in the United States. Boulware said that it would preserve Wavertree for at least another generation. A bagpiper serenaded her departure. Moved by the majesty of the spectacle, many people cried.


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Daniel Sprague, a pipe sergeant with the Pipes & Drums New York City Police Department Emerald Society, serenaded the South Street Seaport Museum's ship, Wavertree, as tugboats pulled her away from Pier 15 into the East River for her trip to Caddell's Dry Dock in Staten Island.  


Peter and Norma Stanford applauding as the Wavertree left for shipyard.
 (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Two of the people in the crowd on Pier 15 to see Wavertree off for shipyard had ties to the ship that went deeper than those of anyone else on the pier. Peter and Norma Stanford founded the South Street Seaport Museum in 1967. Peter was its first president, and in 1970, the Stanfords brought the Wavertree to New York City.

In their book, "A Dream of Tall Ships," they described the Wavertree's arrival.

"Early on Wednesday, 5 August 1970 she appeared all at once, emerging from the morning sea mist south of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge - one moment, only damp, shifting strands of mist; the next, the ship Wavertree looming over the still harbor water like the revenant she was. The small Dutch tug Titan pulled her along like a child on a tricycle hauling a giant circus calliope, a phantasmagorical thing with a sweeping sheer line above a long line of painted gunports not seen in New York for half a century or more."

The Stanfords recounted that the crew on the Titan didn't, at first, understand the significance of the ship that they had hauled to New York City from Argentina, where the Stanfords had found her. But then "a few old seamen from Sailors Snug Harbor in Staten Island" came "down the road to stand speechless before the ship and gaze at her with awe. Then they understood. We then raised our glasses to the solidarity of the seafaring world and its values and traditions."

Wavertree on her way to shipyard on May 21, 2015, accompanied by a fireboat as she was when she entered New York Harbor in 1970.
After her long voyage from South America, Wavertree was first taken to Staten Island to be cleaned up and to have some deck exhibits installed. Then, said the Stanfords, she was ready for her official debut. "There was a raucous hooting of sirens, foghorns and whistles as the Wavertree made her formal entrance to New York Harbor from her temporary berth in Staten Island. There was a clattering of helicopter blades overhead, accompanied by a brilliant plume of harbor water from an escorting New York City fireboat."

Wavertree had last visited New York City in 1895 when she was still a cargo ship - "an ocean wanderer" as one person called her, traveling the world with her freight, wherever needed and wherever the winds might blow. Now, she was back.

"There was an electric consciousness of history in the air for every soul aboard," the Stanfords wrote, "a consciousness that this ship, which had sailed out unnoticed 75 years earlier in a far different world, was now back and this time being hailed by her successors in the maritime trades of New York. Everyone seemed to understand that she was a last survivor of the tall ships which had built a city from the sea."

As the Stanfords and others left the Wavertree that day, they "took a last look at the great bow arched against the rising towers of the city of today. Henceforth, it would be our job to carry her message to the people immured in those towers, to bring them an awareness of the great sailing ships which had built their city."

("A Dream of Tall Ships" was published by Sea History Press in 2013. It is available from For more information, click here.)

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown bulletin board
Fireworks by Battery Park City resident and photographer, Jay Fine. To see more of his work in Downtown Post Portfolio, click here. Downtown Post Portfolio is open to Lower Manhattan photographers and artists. For submission instructions, see below.

Get Low Tuesdays: The Downtown Alliance has launched "#GETLOW Tuesdays," a new summer promotional campaign that will provide a 20 percent discount at nearly three dozen Lower Manhattan restaurants. In addition, participants who share the program using social media will be entered to win a four-day, three night trip to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Created by the Downtown Alliance, the program will be driven by social media. Participants can utilize 11 social media platforms to spread the word about the campaign, using the hashtag #GETLOW. Available platforms include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Vine, Snapchat, Foursquare, Flickr, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Participating restaurants are: 121 Fulton Street; Atrio Wine Bar | Restaurant; Barbalu Restaurant; Bavaria Bierhaus; Beckett's; Blackhound Bar; Church & Dey; Cowgirl SeaHorse; Da Claudio Ristorante & Salumeria; Dina Rata; The Dubliner; Felice 15 Gold Street; Financier Patisserie; Fresh Salt; GRK; Harry's Café and Steak; Industry Kitchen; Lonestar Empire; Lumpia Shack; Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina; Merchants River House; Nelson Blue; Pound & Pence; Ramen Burger; Red Hood Lobster Pound; St. George Tavern; Schnitz; Seaport Smorgasburg; Smorgas Chef; SouthwestNY Restaurant; Stone Street Tavern; and Watermark Bar & Lounge. The campaign is also receiving support from the Millennium Hilton and Hilton Amsterdam.

To learn more, click here. seeks renters for video: is working on a video project for its "renters' week" and needs people willing to go on camera to tell their "awesome/terrible stories about renting in New York City." All neighborhoods, all income classes and all ages are welcome.

The video will be shot in the Vox studio in Midtown this week. Click here for more information on the project. Click here for the form to fill out to participate.

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.

Pet emergency care: Under the sponsorship of the Battery Park City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), two veterinarians will make a presentation on May 27 about emergency pet care, addressing the needs not only of dogs and cats but of other kinds of pets as well. They will show how to give a pet CPR and answer questions. Place: Battery Park City Community Center, 21 South End Ave. (at West Thames Street and the Hudson River). Time: 6:30 p.m. Fee: $10 donation (CERT members); $20 donation (non-members). Space is limited. RSVP to to reserve a place.

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.

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   

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.

Letter to the editor  

Raising money for bulldog rescue. (Photo: Conni Freestone/Courtesy of The Salty Paw)

To the editor:
Our first annual "Strut, Swagger and Slobber" bull dog rescue event took place on May 16 in Peck Slip park. Around 250 people and over 150 dogs stopped by. The event featured an "Ask the vet" tent from the Seaport Animal Hospital, a fashion parade, a kissing booth, an obstacle course, a blue carpet to take pics on and raffled items from The Salty Paw plus 20 other local businesses. There was even a Leonardo DiCaprio sighting!  He stopped by on his bike.

We raised more than $5,000.

Special thanks goes to the Old Seaport Alliance, which helped sponsor this event and obtained permits for the park. And a special thanks goes to The Howard Hughes Corporation, which donated $1,000 to the bulldog rescues as well as tents and chairs.

Since the event, The Salty Paw and the Old Seaport Alliance have been getting many calls from organizations that want to do events or programming in Peck Slip park. This is very good for the neighborhood and we are super excited to see more to come in this special place that we call the Old Seaport!

Amanda Byron
Owner, The Salty Paw

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


Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On May 24, the Brooklyn Bridge turned 132 but this bridge is never old. It's a cathedral, a marvel of engineering, an affecting work of art.

On June 8, hundreds of people will have a chance to see the bridge in the special light of sunset and to reflect on it through readings of poems inspired by the bridge when they join Poets House for its 20th Brooklyn Bridge poetry walk.

"The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme:1939" by Joseph Stella is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. For more about this painting, click here.
The annual walk that benefits Poets House will be led by poet Richard Blanco, who read one of his poems at President Obama's inauguration in January 2013, and by actor Bill Murray. They and others will share city-centric poems at strategic points along the Bridgewalk. The bridge amble will be followed by a dinner (with more poetry readings) to be held at 26 Bridge, a historic foundry-turned-event space in DUMBO. 

This year's featured poets are Richard Blanco, Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, Cornelius Eady, Edward Hirsch, Laura Kasischke, Thomas Lux, Ocean Vuong, and special guest Bill Murray.

Galway Kinnell (1927-2014) reading Walt Whitman's
"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry."
As part of the dinner program, a short film in memory of poet Galway Kinnell (1927-2014) will honor his remarkable commitment to Poets House and the Bridgewalk over the many years that he contributed his unmistakable voice and boundless passion to this special event.

The Poetry Walk is an annual benefit for Poets House, a 60,000-volume poetry library, national literary center and creative space at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City. All proceeds support its programs and services, many of which are free to the public.

Tickets for the Poetry Walk and dinner start at $250 ($225 for Poets House members). Reservations are required. For details or to make reservations, contact Krista Manrique at (212) 431-7920, ext. 2830 or

Anyone interested in participating in the walk should sign in at 6 p.m. in the small park just outside of the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St. The walk will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.  Readings will take place in the park and on the Bridge and culminate with a sunset reading of Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Richard Blanco beside Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn. The dinner following the walk will conclude around 9:30 p.m.

CALENDAR: Week of May 25

Governors Island has opened for the summer season. It will be open daily through Labor Day. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 27: "The Empire of the Senses" is a gripping, historical novel that tells the story of Lev Perlmutter, an assimilated, cultured German Jew, who enlists to fight in World War I and later has to grapple with questions of Jewish identity amid the Nazis' rise to power. Author Alexis Landau talks about her book with poet Deborah Garrison at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $15; $12 (museum members). To buy tickets, click here.

May 28: Sonia Ollo presents "Al Son Son Flamenco" at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. The recital is the culmination of a six-month workshop designed to deepen the understanding of authentic flamenco traditions among emerging New York talent. Place: 199 Chambers St. Time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and students). To buy tickets, click here.

May 29
: 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

Ongoing: Celebrate summer with a sail aboard the South Street Seaport Museum's historic schooner, Pioneer, and get a new perspective on New York City. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, snack, beverage or dessert. Pioneer was built in 1885 as an iron-hulled sloop to carry cargo along the Delaware River and is the oldest ship regularly sailing in New York Harbor. For more information or to buy tickets, stop by the museum's Visitor Service Center at 12 Fulton St. or ask the Museum's Associates on Pier 16. Afternoon Sails: Tuesday-Friday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets: $38; $28 (museum members); $32 (students and seniors); $20 (children 2 to 11 years old); $5 (children uner 2 years old). Sunset Sails:
Tuesday-Sunday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets: $45; $35 (museum members); $25 (children 2 to 11 years old); $10 (children under 2 years old). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Ongoing: Governors Island is open daily through Labor Day. For a calendar of events, click here
Ongoing: The historic lighthouse tender, Lilac, berthed at Pier 25 near North Moore Street in Hudson River Park, is hosting a three-month exhibition of artwork through Aug. 15. It focuses on three themes inspired by the ship's story - "Steam," "Work + Labor" and "Restoration/Reinvention." The exhibition features the work of more than 25 artists, with several site-specific installations.  Performances, artist talks, film screenings, readings, community activities and educational events accompany the exhibition. For more information about the Lilac, click here. For a video about the Lilac, click here. For more about the art series, 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