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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 43  May 19, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"I will draft a resolution condemning what's going on, reminding EDC that this is continued bad faith."
     - Roger Byrom, chairperson of Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee, on the New York City Economic Development Corporation's plans, which inadvertently came to light, to demolish the Tin and New Market Buildings in the South Street Seaport.               

* EDC planned to demolish New Market and Tin Buildings in June, say internal memos 
* Bits & Bytes: Liberty Park; Liberty Street pedestrian managers; Riff Hotel; Howard Hughes Corp. may discuss its Seaport plans in June; Wall Street corruption
* Downtown Boathouse launches its 2015 kayaking season
* Wavertree leaving for shipyard for restoration this Thursday
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Candle decorating for charity; Bringing up boys; Pet emergency care
* Letter to the editor: EDC should be replaced as Tin and New Market Buildings landlord
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of May 18
* Calendar: Week of May 18
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MASTHEAD PHOTO: A peony blooming in Battery Park City's Wagner Park. May 15, 2015.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 


The New Market Building in 1981 around 6:30 a.m. 
(Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Mensch Photography Archive)
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), landlord for much of the South Street Seaport, says that it needs to do a little work on the New Market and Tin Buildings on South Street - the last remnants of the Fulton Fish Market that occupied the South Street Seaport for centuries and that moved to the Bronx in November 2005.

EDC says that the cooling units on the backs of the buildings are structurally unsound and must be removed in the interest of public safety. That's all. Just the cooling units.

But that's not what EDC was saying in April. Internal memos obtained by Crain's New York Business indicated that EDC planned on demolishing both buildings.

In a stunning article that appeared on May 14, 2015 ("Two historic buildings at South Street Seaport to be torn down-and the city is leading the demolition,") Crain's said, "The EDC said Wednesday [May 13] that it would demolish a portion of the rear of both buildings called the cooler areas, and then assess whether or not the rest of the structures needed to be razed, as well. But according to emails obtained by Crain's, back in April city officials already knew they would tear down both buildings in their entirety, and had aimed to begin the demolition June 8, a month or two earlier than the current plans."

EDC had been caught with its pants down. Some Seaport residents noticed Jersey barriers in front of the New Market Building being moved and heard from a parking lot attendant that the building was going to be demolished. Word rapidly spread throughout the community.

Apparently EDC is now attempting to backtrack and play by the rules. It says that it is seeking the necessary permits before proceeding, and that if these are obtained, it expects to remove the cooling units in July and August.

Asked about the memos uncovered by Crain's, an EDC spokesperson said they do "not reflect the current timeline or proposed scope of work, which is focused on the demolition of the cooler areas only. We anticipate this work will begin over the summer, once the proper authorizations and approvals are in place."

Some people are buying this, but not everyone. "How convenient that they are now focused on this. It is clearly a plan to demolish these buildings piecemeal," said a highly placed land use consultant who asked not to be identified.

The Howard Hughes Corporation has repeatedly stated its desire to demolish the New Market Building and to erect a 42-story luxury tower on that site.

Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee was also not buying EDC's assertion as conveyed by a spokesperson that, "After the cooler areas of the Tin and New Market buildings are removed, the remaining structures will undergo a full evaluation to determine if additional measures are needed."

"It's very disconcerting that after all the input we had - the Community Board and the Seaport Working Group - that EDC continues to feel that it's just fine for them to work in isolation and not even have the courtesy to explain what's about to happen," said Roger Byrom, chair of CB1's Landmarks Committee at its meeting on May 14. "Manhattan Borough President [Gale] Brewer made a strong statement a little while ago when she said that LPC [the Landmarks Preservation Commission] and EDC should place a moratorium on anything that's going on within the South Street Seaport District until we have the full plan, and there's been a lot of political support for that, so to see EDC suddenly move Jersey barriers out of the way, in theory just to remove some cooling equipment that had to be removed, is the tip of the potential iceberg."

EDC said that its decision to remove the cooling units was based on an April engineering report that it had commissioned. "It said that everything's falling down," said Michael Kramer, a public member of CB1's Landmarks Committee and a member of the Seaport Working Group that had created guidelines for Seaport development during more than five months of meetings. "This is disingenuous," Kramer said. "You remember originally they [The Howard Hughes Corporation] wanted to disassemble the [Tin] building and relocate it? Now they [EDC] want to demolish the building."

Kramer said that he believed that pile driving on Pier 17 where Howard Hughes is building a new shopping mall, was contributing to structural problems at the neighboring Tin and New Market Buildings.

He also alluded to "benign neglect." "EDC has been in control of these buildings since 2005 when the Fish Market left," he said. "They've put zero amount of money into maintaining these buildings. They've allowed them to deteriorate. After Sandy, there was FEMA money available. There was insurance money available. None of that money went to bolstering these buildings. They're being allowed to decay so they can make the argument that they have to be demolished."

Asked about what maintenance EDC had done on the buildings over the last 10 years, a spokesperson for the agency denied that it was "zero." "Maintenance happens on a recurring basis," she said, "and on issues such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, vermin extermination, lighting, security, and snow removal. Approximately $2.5 million has been spent on pile repairs at both buildings."

At the end of the Landmarks Committee meeting, Byrom said that he would draft a resolution "condemning what's going on, reminding EDC that this is continued bad faith. All of the inputs that the Seaport Working Group, the local politicians and elected officials put into this [have been ignored]." He said that the resolution would demand a meeting with EDC.

EDC had been invited by Community Board 1 to appear at its Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on May 19 but declined the invitation.

The Landmarks Committee resolution will be presented to Community Board 1's full board at its meeting on May 26 at which time it will be discussed and put to a vote.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Bits & Bytes

The building at 102-104 Greenwich St. is scheduled to open this summer as the Riff Hotel. The building dates from around 1856, and at the moment, its 19th-century facade is exposed with columns and lintels and faded lettering. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Leafy Refuge in Liberty Park for Residents Annoyed by Construction," New York Times, 5/18/15. "There is almost nothing neighborly about the neighborhood south of the World Trade Center," The New York Times observes. "Truly a war zone 14 years ago, it has since been a nonstop demolition and construction site. Residents' needs have rarely prevailed. Patricia L. Moore, who has lived at 125 Cedar Street since 1977, serves Community Board 1 as the chairwoman of its quality-of-life committee." The Times quotes Moore as saying, "The joke is: We have none. We're struggling to try to find some." Now, says The Times, "A small bit of hope has arrived, in leaf. A 15-foot serviceberry tree was planted Monday as the first in the new Liberty Park." For the complete article, click here.

Pedestrian managers at Liberty Street and South End Aveue
: Pedestrian traffic at Liberty Street and West Street had been a source of concern even before the Liberty Street bridge closed on May 11. Numerous pedestrians seemed to be tourists going to or coming from the September 11 Memorial and Museum, apparently unaware that they were crossing an eight-lane highway. Some of them would then continue on into Battery Park City. Now the Battery Park City Authority and Brookfield have joined forces to pay for pedestrian managers at the South End Avenue/Liberty Street intersection during the morning and evening rush. The pedestrian managers will continue to be stationed there until both the north and south sidewalks on Liberty Street are open to pedestrian traffic between West Street and South End Avenue. The Liberty Street bridge will remain closed until its eastern connection to the World Trade Center complex is complete.

Riff Hotel on Greenwich Street: "I noticed the owners of the soon to be Riff Hotel at 102 Greenwich St. have exposed the original storefront with its brownstone columns and beam and old sign," Mary Dierickx, owner of Mary B Dierickx Historic Preservation Consulting, wrote in an email. "It looks great and it's nice to have some positive news about the neighborhood architecture." The building dates from around 1856 and is one of the few pre-Civil War buildings remaining in the Greenwich Street South area. No. 102-104 Greenwich St. was described as a "five-story brick storage building" in an 1895 report of its sale. In 1896, it was known as the Barber Warehouse. In 1911, the building was in the news when a 19-year-old shipping clerk employed by the German-American Fire Insurance Company, located at 104 Greenwich, shot and killed a 17-year-old co-worker. An email to the Riff Hotel asking whether the 19th-century facade will continue to be visible and incorporated into the design of the hotel went unanswered. It might be best to look at it now.

Howard Hughes Corporation's Seaport proposals: On Feb. 5, 2015, The Howard Hughes Corporation made a formal presentation to Community Board 1's full board of its proposals for the landmarked parts of the South Street Seaport and received qualified approval for some - but not all - of what was suggested. Since then, HHC has apparently changed its plans but has not made any formal announcements about its proposals. Community Board 1 invited HHC to make a presentation at May's Landmarks and Seaport/Civic Committee meetings. HHC declined to come to the Seaport/Civic Center meeting but has committed to appearing at the Thursday, June 11 Landmarks Committee. However, said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, "That could always change." The Howard Hughes Corporation is not slated to appear before the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission in the month of May. LPC's June calendar has not yet been announced. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), landlord for much of the Seaport, was also invited by Community Board 1 to appear at its Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on May 19 but declined the invitation.

"Many on Wall Street Say It Remains Untamed," New York Times, 5/18/15. "Wall Street has changed. But perhaps not as much as you would think," says The New York Times. "A new report on financial professionals' views of their industry paints a troubling picture. Rather than indicating that Wall Street has cleaned itself up, it suggests that many of the lessons of the [financial] crisis still haven't been learned. And the mind-boggling settlement numbers, as well as stringent new rules, like the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul in 2010, appear to have had little deterrent effect. In the study, to be released Tuesday, about a third of the people who said they made more than $500,000 annually contend that they 'have witnessed or have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.' Just as bad: 'Nearly one in five respondents feel financial service professionals must sometimes engage in unethical or illegal activity to be successful in the current financial environment.'" For the complete article, click here.

Free public kayaking at Pier 26, near North Moore Street. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

An overcast sky and even a few drops of rain were not enough to dampen the enthusiasm of 199 people who showed up at Pier 26 on May 16 for the first day of the Downtown Boathouse's 2015 season of free public kayaking.

"We had a total of 618 people on our first weekend," said Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, which is on the Hudson River near North Moore Street. "We also count the countries where people come from by looking at the pins on the large world map that we put out. By the end of the day on Sunday, we had 39 countries."

The first two people to kayak this season were two young women from Venezuela, but the Downtown Boathouse is also - and especially - a resource for the local community. Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1 and her husband, Tom, were among the first people to go kayaking on Saturday morning.

Raising the flag to formally inaugurate the 2015 kayaking season.
Raising the flag to formally inaugurate the kayaking season. 
Then McVay Hughes and Morris Chan, community liaison for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, raised a U.S. flag over the pier to formally inaugurate the 2015 season.

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.

Possibly as soon as early July, river trips will begin in which experienced kayakers escort groups of people up and down the Hudson River and across it to New Jersey.

"In order to go on a river trip one must be able to paddle for three hours," said Birchall. "Adults only please. Make sure to have breakfast, bring water, and a hat."

For the Downtown Boathouse's hours of operation and up-to-date information,
click here.
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Tom Hughes, Catherine McVay Hughes and Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, on the first day of the 2015 kayaking season. 


The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 iron-hulled cargo ship, Wavertree, will leave on Thursday for a $10.6 million restoration. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The South Street Seaport Museum's beloved Wavertree, a full-rigged sailing cargo ship built in 1885, will depart for Caddell Drydock and Repair in Staten Island on May 21 for stabilization and restoration - the largest project of its kind ever undertaken in the United States.

This $10.6 million stabilization and restoration project has been funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Council Office, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. City Councilmember Margaret Chin, Borough of Manhattan President Gale Brewer and Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, will be among the dignitaries and elected officials who will assemble on Pier 15 at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday to see the ship off.

The iron-hulled Wavertree.
The 130-year-old ship, built of riveted wrought iron, is typical of the sailing cargo ships of the latter half of the 19th century. They once lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. The sheer volume of these ships conducting world trade in New York directly fueled the economic and cultural development of the city and established New York as a global commercial capital.

Wavertree has a well-documented and fascinating history. Built in Southampton, England, she circled the Earth four times in her career, carrying a wide variety of cargo. The ship called on New York in 1896, one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after 35 years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn gale that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo ship. She was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and then as a sand barge in South America before being acquired by South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 to become the iconic centerpiece of the "Street of Ships" at South Street.

Caddell Drydock and Repair will address the critical long-term preservation needs of the ship. Stabilization work will include the replacement of 20 massive steel plates below the waterline, a new ballast system and the installation of up-to-date electrical, lighting, and de-watering infrastructure. State-of-the-art cathodic protection and coatings will isolate the hull from corrosion more effectively than ever before.

Caddell's is a family-owned firm that has passed from generation to generation. John B. Caddell, known as "JB," came to New York in 1889 from a seafaring family in Nova Scotia. He founded the company in Brooklyn in 1903. In 1916, he moved the company to its present site in Staten Island.

Fifty-four shipyards in New York Harbor have closed in the last 50 years. Caddell's, the oldest, largest and busiest, is one of the last. It has seven dry docks that enable a ship to be raised out of the water so that its underside can be repaired.

Restoration work on the Wavertree will see not only her main deck restored, but also the reinstallation of her 'tweendeck (the deck between the cargo holds and the main deck), which was removed from the ship in the 1930's when she was used as a barge. The 'tween deck will create a large, indoor area that can be utilized year round for the museum's educational programming and for repair and preservation work.

Wavertree's restoration and stabilization will lay the groundwork for re-rigging the ship when she returns to South Street.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown bulletin board

Honey Locust trees in Battery Park City's South Cove. The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy has started featuring one of its plants every day on its Facebook page. About Honey Locust trees it says, "Rarely do people look at leaves close up but isn't this lovely? It is a Honey Locust (Gleditsia traicanthos), one of our common street trees in New York City." (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Candle decorating to aid PS 234: Da Claudio, a restaurant at 21 Ann St. is raising money for its "beloved school, PS 234," by providing glass candle holders for the students to paint and decorate. The decorated candle holders are being displayed at the restaurant and are for sale ($10 each), with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the school.

Da Claudio is open daily. For more 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.

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.

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.

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.

Letter to the editor  

The New Market Building. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
The New Market and Tin Buildings are part of one of the City's most important historical sites. For the first two centuries of New Amsterdam/New York's existence, the Seaport was the cradle of the City's pre-eminence as an international center of shipping, commerce and finance. Now the New
The New Market Building around midnight in 1981. (Photo: Barbara Mensch Photo Archive)
York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) has issued a statement declaring that it must partially (and, perhaps, totally) demolish these two historic buildings because of deterioration, but fails to address even the possibility of restoration. Surely the public deserves a very careful and genuinely open-minded evaluation of a restoration alternative, and deserves to know the details of that study. But, perhaps, EDC, which really wants to replace the New Market Building with a 42-story residential tower, is simply not the agency that should be responsible for such an objective study.
As it happens, there is an answer to that surmise. The City Charter and Administrative Code assign total responsibility for management and maintenance of wharves owned by the City to the City's Department of Small Business Services.
Michael S. Gruen
President, The City Club of New York

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


In October 2013, Abi Raheel and Charlie Collins sold tickets for Taste of the Seaport, a fundraiser for the Spruce Street and Peck Slip Schools. On May 19, CB1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee will hear an update on plans for this year's event.
(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 19: Seaport/Civic Center Committee
* Committee priorities - Discussion
* Taste of the Seaport - Update by parents of PS397 and PS343
* New Market and Tin Buildings - Update
* Seaport/Civic Center construction projects - Update

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:

* 32 Cliff St., application for renewal of liquor license for The Iron Horse
* 259 Front St., application for renewal of a liquor license for Cowgirl Seahorse
May 21: Quality of Life Committee
* NYC Department of Transportation Construction update
* Five Boro Bike Tour Complaints - Discussion
* Immigration Legal Services LI - NYC - Presentation by Natalia Saavedra, Interim Co-Executive Director
* Right at Home - Presentation by Albert Eshoo, Owner
* Grow NYC - Update by Cathy Chambers, Intergovernmental Relations and Special Operational Projects
* IDNYC - Update by Joseph F. Lin, Community Associate, IDNYC, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs

May 25:  Office Closed - Memorial Day

May 26: CB 1 Monthly Meeting - 6 p.m.
              Location: Gibney Dance
              280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers)


CALENDAR: Week of May 18

The lighthouse tender, Lilac, built in 1933 for the U.S. Coast Guard, is now a museum ship. As America's only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender, LILAC is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lilac is hosting a three-month art exhibit this summer, with the opening reception on May 19. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 19: Come to the opening reception for the Lilac's Art Series - a three-month exhibition of artwork aboard the historic lighthouse tender, Lilac, berthed at Pier 25 near North Moore Street in Hudson River Park. The Lilac Arts Series will run from May 19 to Aug. 15 and will focus on three themes inspired by the ship's story - "Steam," "Work + Labor" and "Restoration/Reinvention." The exhibition will feature the work of more than 25 artists, with several site-specific installations.  Performances, artist talks, film screenings, readings, community activities and educational events will accompany the exhibition. Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission, cash bar. Guests under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Lilac opens for her regular season on May 23. For more information about the Lilac, click here. For a video about the Lilac, click here. For more about the art series, click here.  

May 20:
Fleet Week starts with a parade of ships up the Hudson River from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Three U.S. Navy ships, four U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats, and two U.S. Coast Guard cutters will participate in the parade. For more information about Fleet Week, click here

May 20: The South Street Seaport Museum is holding a reception for members starting at 6 p.m. at 12 Fulton St. Celebrate the opening of the museum's newest display with objects from the collection at the Visitor Service Center at Schermerhorn Row, and meet photographer Barbara Mensch whose images captured the essence of the Fulton Fish Market. Some copies of Mensch's book, "South Street," will be available for purchase at the reception (Mensch says that paperback copies of her book are almost sold out). All purchases and donations benefit the South Street Seaport Museum. To join the museum, click here. For more information about the reception or to RSVP, email

May 21: At 12:30 p.m. on Pier 15, elected officials and dignitaries will lead the send-off for the South Street Seaport Museum's sailing ship, Wavertree, as she leaves for a $10.6 million restoration at Caddell Dry Dock in Staten Island. Join Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; City Council Member Margaret Chin; Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction; Captain Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director and other City officials for the celebratory send-off. Free.

May 22
: 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 22: Celebrate the unofficial start to 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. Time: On May 22, the first sailing day of the season, the Pioneer will go out at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. On subsequent days, there will be more frequent harbor sails. Tickets: $38; $32 (students and seniors); $28 (museum members); $20 (children, 2 to 11 years old); $5 (under 2 years old). 
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 


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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