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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 51  June 28, 2015

Quote of the day: 
"As I worked on the project I realized how evocative possessions really are."
     - Elise Engler, an art instructor with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, discussing her drawings of "Everything I Own," one of her art projects described in an article in The New Yorker.             

* Lower Manhattan children write poetry at Poets House workshops 
* Bits & Bytes: National Trust says South St. Seaport is "endangered;" Whole Foods overcharges
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Discounted sailing lessons; River to River food discounts
* Elise Engler, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy art instructor, in The New Yorker
* Letter to the editor: New heliport in Jersey City and free kayaking flash crowd at Pier 26
* Battery Park City in Bloom: One of Luther Burbank's many legacies - Shasta daisies
* River to River Festival: Last Day
* Calendar: Week of June 22
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: World Trade Center spire.  June 26, 2015. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Lee Briccetti, executive director of Poets House, with children from PS1 who read some of their poetry at Poets House's annual fundraising Brooklyn Bridge walk on June 8.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Fourth grader, Jeff Chen, wrote a poem about his school, PS 1 at 8 Henry St. in the Two Bridges neighborhood. He said his school was haunted.

"Oh P.S. 1! Why do you have six floors when we only use five floors?" he wrote. "Oh P.S. 1! Why do you have a basement when people don't use it?/Oh P.S. 1! You give me the creeps!/Oh P.S. 1! Why are you so haunted?/Ahhhhh!/I go to P.S. 1 for school!!!"

Wearing a mask that he made depicting his school, Chen read his poem on June 8 to the 350 or so people who had assembled for Poets House's annual fundraising walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Two other students from PS 1 also read their poems. Justin Yaw's was called "Best Places in NYC" and Elaine Dong's was called "The Brooklyn Bridge vs. the Manhattan Bridge." (To read these poems, click here.)

The poems were written with the help of a Poets House program funded by Goldman Sachs that enables poets, visual artists and volunteers to go to three neighborhood schools - PS 1, PS 89 and PS 276 - to do workshops. The project culminates in a poetry anthology and a celebration at Poets House - a 60,000-volume poetry library at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City - at which the students read their poems. Following that, some of the poems are printed and distributed to the public for Poem in Your Pocket Day.

"We would like to support local schools and teachers wherever we can to make poetry part of what they do," said Lee Briccetti, executive director of Poets House. "We would like to invite students into poetry both as an art form that will give them pleasure and an understanding of the human condition and that will be something that will strengthen their language skills."

Briccetti said that some of the kids like Poets House so much that they bring their parents there. "We're really excited about that," she said.

Mike Romanos, children's room director at Poets House, said that the program is now in its third year. "We visit each class twice to write poems about the city and our neighborhoods," he said. "We visit one more time with artist Felipe Galindo to create art that goes along with our poems. This year we made self-portrait masks that incorporate things from the city or our neighborhoods."

The workshops begin with the students grappling with the question of what is a poem?

"We talk to the kids about what they think a poem is and develop a definition as a class," Romanos said. "Then we read some simple, classic poems with them like Carl Sandburg's poem 'Fog.' We talk about what is happening in the poems and why. Then we try to write poems modeled on the poem that was discussed."
During the writing process, the Poets House instructors work with the kids to shape and revise their poems.

The response from both teachers and students has been enthusiastic. Christine Wei, the teacher at PS 1 whose students read their work at the Brooklyn Bridge walk, emailed Romanos to say, "Thanks for giving these three this wonnnnnnnddddeerrrrful opportunity to read aloud at the poetry walk! They were so thrilled. It will definitely be a wonderful memory for their fourth grade year!"
The program will continue in July and August at Governors Island.

"They will be giving us a little house, as they did last year," said Briccetti, "and we'll be doing an exhibit of the children's artwork and their poems." In addition, there will be three stations where visitors to Governors Island can do some of the same exercises that the children did and can tweet the results to Poets House's Twitter feed.

"Our mission is for people to have an experience with poetry that really makes them have a new discovery in language," Briccetti said.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For more information about Poets House, click here.

Bits & Bytes
New York City is investigating Whole Foods for routinely overcharging customers. The Tribeca location was one of the worst offenders. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"South Street Seaport Tops Preservation Trust's List of Endangered Historic Sites," New York Times, 6/24/15. "South Street Seaport, the low-scale, brick waterfront district that was once home to New York City's booming maritime industry, made it to the top of a national list," says The New York Times. "But it is no cause for celebration. The National Trust for Historic Preservation put the district, which is south of the Brooklyn Bridge, on its annual list of 'America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places,' which [was] released Wednesday. The trust contends that the 11-block historic district and its early-19th-century buildings are threatened by a series of development proposals, including one for a high-rise condominium tower on a pier at the foot of Beekman Street." The Times quotes Stephanie Meeks, president of the trust, who said, "The proposed developments will have an overwhelming impact on the historic neighborhood, diminishing the seaport's unique relationship to the water and compromising one of the most intact 19th-century neighborhoods in Manhattan. The tower would alter the character of the waterfront and block views of the Brooklyn Bridge." For the complete article, click here.

"Whole Foods chain faces NYC probe after investigators found 'worst case of overcharges'," Daily News, 6/23/15. "The city has launched a probe of Whole Foods Markets after investigators nabbed the upscale food purveyor for routinely overcharging customers on groceries during dozens of inspections dating back to at least 2010," according to the Daily News. "The most recent spate of violations came during a sting operation the Department of Consumer Affairs conducted in the fall that specifically checked the accuracy of the weight marked on pre-packaged products. Inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at Whole Foods' eight locations in the city that were open at the time. They found every label was inaccurate, with many overcharging consumers, agency spokeswoman Abby Lootens told The News." The article states that the Whole Foods store in Union Square "was hit with the most counts of mislabeled packages out of any supermarket in the city since 2014 - with 15 during two inspections. The Tribeca location came in second with 14 charges and the Brooklyn location third with 13 charges, both during two separate inspections." For the complete article, click here.

"A Crossroads Decades Gone Will Reopen at the World Trade Center," New York Times, 6/24/15. "When the chain-link fences are pushed aside this week, pedestrians will be able to cross the crossroads of Greenwich and Fulton Streets in Lower Manhattan. This is big news," says The New York Times. "Like eight other intersections, the crossroads was subsumed in 1967 into the 16-acre superblock on which the World Trade Center was built. Since Sept. 11, 2001, its four corners have been occupied by rescue workers, recovery workers or construction workers. On Thursday, the crossroads is to return to public use for the first time since ham-radio and hi-fi buffs swarmed the little appliance and electronics stores of Radio Row, squeezing past flower and food shops whose goods spilled out to the streets, resisting the temptation to buy a three-and-a-half-foot baby elephant for $3,000 at Trefflich's animal dealership." For the complete article, click here.

"New York City's Flag, Centuries in the Making, Turns 100," New York Times, 6/24/15. "City fathers were flummoxed. Wherever they looked, on documents, statues, building facades and other public works, the Seal of the City of New York rarely looked the same," says The New York Times. "Moreover, nearly three centuries of bloviating at City Hall had apparently generated a lot of wind, but had yet to produce an official municipal flag. So 100 years ago Wednesday, on June 24, 1915, thousands of New Yorkers crammed into Lower Manhattan as Maria Duane Bleecker Cox, great-great-granddaughter of James Duane, the first post-British mayor, in 1784, after the American Revolution, hoisted the flag presented by the vice-consul of the Netherlands, whose colors - blue, white and orange - the ensign replicated." The Times reports that, "Certain symbols [on variatios of the flag] were consistent: beavers, evoking the fur trade; flour barrels, to mark the city's brief but prosperous monopoly over milling, an Indian warrior and a sailor, and the proverbial windmill." But, The Times continued, "The Art Commission cited complaints that the beavers sometimes looked like pigs or dogs, that the Indians were variously bald or wearing war bonnets, and that the sailor, of uncertain nationality or even occupation, at times was 'naked as if for a plunge overboard.'" For the complete article, click here.

Sheldon Silver orchestrates date change for New York State presidential primary: New York State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver announced on June 23 that the New York State Presidential primary will be changed from April 26 to April 19, 2016 and will no longer conflict with the Passover holiday. This announcement followed a campaign by Assemblyman Silver and Assemblyman Charles Lavine, President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, to change the date and make the Presidential primary open and accessible to all voters. Silver said, "As a New Yorker and a legislator who represents a diverse district with a significant Jewish population it is very important to me that all voters have the opportunity to express their right to vote. Changing the date is a win for democracy that gives so many more New Yorkers the freedom to vote for their next president on Election Day, instead of struggling to fit it in between Passover celebrations with their families." Legislation will soon be voted on to officially enact the new date.
Congressman Nadler and Parks Dept. obtain FEMA funds for Sandy-related repairs to Lower Manhattan's Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Manahatta Park: Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation announced more than $2.8 million in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The federal grant from FEMA's Public Assistance Program has been awarded to the State of New York in order to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Facility and Manahatta Park, both in Lower Manhattan, are two of the sub-grantees of the federal funding for repair work, receiving $1,256,216.40 and $1,560,351.60 respectively.

"The devastation of Superstorm Sandy continues to have an effect on thousands of New Yorkers whose homes, businesses and property were destroyed or irrevocably damaged," said Nadler. "Immediately after the disaster we fought to secure the necessary emergency funding from the federal government to help New York recover, providing temporary housing, emergency supplies, and short-term loans. But there remains a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done."

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver commented that Hurricane Sandy had demonstrated that "New York City's coastal parks are our first line of defense against climate change."

"Why TriBeCa is still downtown's nabe to know," New York Post, 6/24/15. "Decades after TriBeCa first emerged as one of Lower Manhattan's most desirable enclaves, the district finds itself once again in the spotlight," says the New York Post. "Its prime location - a stone's throw from buzzing downtown construction - has upped TriBeCa's commercial offerings, helping give the sleepy nabe a 24-hour vibe. Most of all, available neighborhood development sites are attracting world-class architecture, with prices on the rise and builders placing bets that deep-pocketed buyers will want to be part of the action - in luxury settings, no less." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
A boat from the Offshore Sailing School in New York Harbor. The Offshore Sailing School is offering discounted sailing lessons on Fridays. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Offshore Sailing School offers discounted sailing lessons on Fridays: Starting June 26, the Offshore Sailing School is offering discounted sailing lessons on "Freedom Fridays" at the its outpost at Pier 25 in Tribeca. The sailing lessons from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. will cost $125 per person, discounted from the usual price of $225.

Sign up by Tuesday of each week to reserve a Freedom Friday sail. After completing six Freedom Friday lessons and attending a complimentary three-hour seminar, participants will be eligible for Colgate Basic Keelboat certification. Freedom Friday lessons are taught aboard the Colgate 26, designed by Offshore Sailing School's founder, and Olympic and America's Cup sailor, Steve Colgate. The school's certified instructors will teach how to trim sails, how to make the boat go using wind-power alone, and how to pick up a mooring. For information, click here. Advance registration is required by calling (212) 786-4888. Reservations will be confirmed on a space-available basis. For more information on course schedules, locations and other sailing programs, click here.

Manhattan Yacht Club launch from Pier 25:
The Manhattan Yacht Club's clubhouse, the Honorable William Wall, is anchored for the summer near Ellis Island. A launch service from Pier 25 to the Willy Wall departs from Pier 25 near North Moore Street in Tribeca. Everyone is welcome at the Willy Wall (you don't have to be a member of the Manhattan Yacht Club.) Enjoy the incredible views of the harbor. Watch the sailboat races. Bring a picnic. The launches depart at 5:25 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and then every 30 minutes from Pier 25. Return trips are also every half hour. The William Wall closes at 10 p.m. The first four launches from Pier 25 have reserved tickets. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. If tickets are sold out, visitors can still go standby. By 7 p.m., some guests start to come back and launch rides are available on a first-come basis. For more information about the Honorable William Wall, click here

River Project Wet Lab Look-ins:
The River Project's WetLab at Pier 40 (at Houston and West Streets), provides an opportunity for the public to meet the underwater animals of New York Harbor. The Wetlab is on the south side of Pier 40 and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wetlab Look-ins are centered on a 3,000 gallon flow-through system of unfiltered river water. The animals in residence encounter the same temperature, salinity and microorganisms as they would if they were in the river. This estuarium houses a unique and important NY State Heritage Collection of locally caught fishes and invertebrates that represents the biodiversity of the Hudson River Park Estuarine Sanctuary, and it can include hundreds of animals.

A special feature is the Living Oyster Reef Ecosystem Exhibit. Wetlab Look-ins are interactive. Visitors are encouraged to get their hands wet in touch tanks and to participate in hands-on activities set up on the south walkway of Pier 40. Special topic Look-ins are hosted by students participating in The River Project's Marine Biology Internship Program. Interns choose a topic of interest, do extra research and create their own hands-on activities for visitors. Topics can vary, as they depend on interest, and can be anything from sediment exploration, to water quality testing, to a specific estuarine species. The River Project's events calendar includes a list of Wetlab Look-ins so that guests can plan their visit around a topic of their interest, or come and be surprised. To see the events calendar, click here

Downtown Boathouse closures:
Downtown Boathouse's free public kayaking will be closed on Sunday, June 28 for New York City Pride Day events.

River to River Festival discounts: Several Merchants Hospitality restaurants are offering a 25 percent discount to festival audience members who mention "River To River" between June 18 and 28. The discounts apply at The Black Hound, Merchants River House and SouthWestNY in Battery Park City; Clinton Hall at 90 Washington St. (at the corner of Rector and Washington Streets); Industry Kitchen at 70 South St. and Watermark on Pier 15 at 78 South St. (in the South Street Seaport); and Pound & Pence at 55 Liberty St. (in the Financial District).

Open auditions for Downtown Voices:
Trinity Wall Street is looking for experienced volunteer singers to join Downtown Voices, a new choir bringing together the best professional and non-professional singers in the New York metro area. The choir will rehearse once a week and perform Benjamin Britten's St. Nicholas, James MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross, and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in the 2015-2016 season. Stephen Sands will direct. If you have choral experience and are interested in singing alongside members of the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, audition for Downtown Voices. Click here for more information on audition requirements.

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.

July 4 fireworks:
This year's Fourth of July fireworks display, presented by Macy's, will again take place over the East River. The best places to see the show will be from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and along the east side of Lower Manhattan. The light show starts at 9 p.m., but it would be best to arrive early. 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.

Elise Engler. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Elise Engler, who teaches art classes for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, was recently featured in an article in The New Yorker (the issue of June 8) that described her sequence of drawings called "Everything I Own." Her idea was to document all of her possessions, a project on which she started in the late nineteen-nineties. As The New Yorker reported, "the resulting piece, which she executed in pencil and colored pencil, covers eighty-five square feet. It consists of thirteen thousand one hundred and twenty-seven individual images, many of them no larger than a largish postage stamp: an expansive and almost endlessly ponderable self-portrait in stuff."


"Everything I Own," No. 9 of 17 drawings each 5' x 1', detail 1998 (color pencil on paper) 

Since finishing "Everything I Own," Engler "has made a number of what she calls 'list drawings,'" says The New Yorker, "including a series depicting the contents of the purses of sixty-five different women" who sometimes would take things out of their purses before she started, or add a little something, perhaps to impress her. The New Yorker went on to say that, "Engler also began drawing the contents of her suitcase whenever she went on a trip. In 2009, she was chosen by the National Science Foundation to spend two months as an artist-in-residence in Antarctica, and the body of work she produced during that project includes detailed pictorial inventories of her luggage, both going and coming. She said, 'You can't buy anything at the South Pole, of course, and I had to deal with two seasons, because we left from New Zealand, where it was summer. But most of what I took was art supplies.'"


In 1999, Engler wrote about "Everything I Own." She said it "consists of seventeen 5' x 1' drawings on paper done in colored pencil. They are renderings of, literally - everything I own. Each drawing includes anywhere from 400 to 2,000 objects all drawn about the same size (1/2" to 2 1/2").  The size was determined only by my ability to catch the essence of the object so the viewer can clearly determine what each thing is.  I began the drawing in February of 1997 and completed it late in 1998.


"It all started when I noticed the number of comments from friends regarding my  pack-rat habits.  The common thread was, 'You have a lot of stuff - interesting stuff, but a lot none the less.'  So I decided to take stock. As an artist I thought what better way than to draw it all?  I began in the kitchen and brought each object into the studio to draw. Systematically moving from room to room I drew everything I own. There were many decisions to make along the way. I couldn't draw every straight pin, nail or thumbtack, so I showed them in their respective boxes with one on the outside to make the contents clear. I drew the white buttons in the button collection inherited from my mother in their containers, but drew the colored buttons individually. From my alphabetized  postcard collection I selected one work from each letter, drew that card, and then showed the stack underneath. I did the same with my flat files full of  drawings, putting them in piles by style and subject matter. But I did draw every item of clothing, every book, record, CD and cassette (13,127 items in total). In the process I rid myself of duplicate books, earrings I hadn't worn in many years and broken appliances shoved in the back of my closets.


"As I worked on the project I realized how evocative possessions really are. Photographs (also drawn by category in stacks) obviously evoke memory, but so do older clothes, dog-eared saved toys, and books. (Where was I when I read that, what was going on in my life?). Although I knew one of the side benefits of this project was the weeding of possessions, my sentimentality about my things often took over and I was unable to throw stuff away. At the same time I kept thinking, What will become of  these old paintings, all of my clippings, and other possessions probably I alone will cherish? In addition, the listing format of the drawing in itself felt like a way of marking  time - it inadvertently became a kind of giant pictographic calendar.  It certainly forced a repetitive yet thoughtful assessment of my life up until this point as well as contemplation of the future."


Engler is usually teaching for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy on Wednesdays. She will be there almost full time in July teaching a program for teens in how to prepare an art portfolio suitable for admission to art schools. 


A panel from Elise Engler's "A Year on Broadway - Exchange Place to Wall Street." (Courtesy of Robert Henry Contemporary)

Letter to the editor

The newly refurbished heliport in Jersey City. (Photo: Graeme Birchall)

To the editor:
I have two items of news for you.

The first is that you have a new heliport in your neighborhood. It is directly across the river from Pier 26 [in Hudson River Park], at Newport in downtown Jersey City. It is actually not a new heliport. It has been around for many years, but got very ragged over time. In recent weeks it has gotten new tarmac and paint. In the past, it was only used very occasionally.  I have no news about future plans. I found no news on the web.
Also, one Biren Patel decided that he wanted to go kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 on June 27 and invited his Facebook friends to come with him. Although 1,000  replied "maybe" and 20,000 said they were "going," only 442 people showed up on Saturday, maybe because the weather was bad.

But around 10 a.m., we had a line all the way back to the walkway. Mr. Patel said that he was as surprised as we were at the number of responses. He said that he does a lot of similar events for friends and usually gets 50 people who sign up.

We try to limit the size of private groups to no more than 10 people because otherwise it is not fair to the general public.

Here is the link to Mr. Patel's Facebook page where you can see a photograph of some of the people who came kayaking with him.

Graeme Birchall
President, Downtown Boathouse

From the editor:
Thank you for the news. The Downtown Boathouse, for those who have not yet discovered it, is a free kayaking facility run by volunteers at Pier 26. For more information about the Downtown Boathouse, click here.

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

Battery Park City in Bloom

Shasta daisies blooming in Wagner Park. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum ×superbum) blooming in Wagner Park and elsewhere in Battery Park City have an interesting pedigree. They were hybridized by the famous horticulturist and botanist Luther Burbank, who spent 17 years developing this much-loved flower. He introduced it in 1901, and it has been a garden staple ever since, although not precisely in its original form. Many new cultivars have been introduced in the past 114 years.

Burbank named the daisy for the snow-covered peaks of Mt. Shasta in northern California, not far from where he lived and worked.

Burbank was born on March 7, 1849 in Lancaster, Mass., where he first saw the wild oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), native to temperate Eurasia, that flourished in North American fields and also grew in front of his family home. As an adult, he moved to Santa Rosa in northern California but never forgot the daisies that he had so loved as a child. He decided to create a more perfect version of them, with large, white flowers and a long blooming period. To do this, he hybridized oxeye daisies with three other species.

Burbank, the 13th of 18 children, never went beyond elementary school, but his knowledge of plants was encyclopedic. He created hundreds of varieties of fruits, ornamental flowers, vegetables and other plants. Among his creations was the Russet Burbank potato, still the most widely cultivated potato in the United States.

Burbank died of a heart attack in 1926. His home in Santa Rosa is a registered national, state and city landmark. It is open for tours from April to October. The grounds are open daily year round. For more information about Burbank and his home, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

River to River Festival

Dancers performing Twyla Tharp's "The One Hundreds" on June 20 in Rockefeller Park, as part of this year's River to River Festival. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Sunday, June 28 brings more Open Studios talks with River To River artists in the Arts Center at Governors Island.

Open Studios with Emmanuelle Huynh and Eiko Otake. Huynh, who choreographed Cribles/Wild Governors, and Eiko, who performed A Body in a Station, will have an informal discussion, moderated by Judy Hussey-Taylor, about people who have inspired and influenced their works, their challenges and desires in creating, and their multicultural identities. Time: 1 p.m.

Open Studios with Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey, Jonathan Bepler and Dr. Chikako Yamauchi, a panel discussion in which three artists will discuss the creative processes and motivations that led to the protocols used in the cross-cultural installments in The Set Up. If you are interested but did not RSVP, show up for the wait list -- there is still room!

Sunday also marks your last chance to see several dance, operatic, and interdisciplinary works that have been performed at Governors Island to much fanfare and glowing reviews. Emmanuelle Huynh's Cribles/Wild Governors will perform a playful and energetic "maypole"-style dance rooted in social rituals and traditions. Place: Parade Ground on Governors Island. Time: 3:30 p.m.

Fall of the Rebel Angels: X by Catherine Galasso. Commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and developed as part of LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fall of the Rebel Angels: X is an evening-length interdisciplinary work of dance and theater performance that is loosely inspired by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. RSVP by clicking here. Place: Nolan Park on Governors Island, House No. 19. Time: 5 p.m.

Love of a Poet by John Kelly. Kelly, singing in his signature countertenor voice, portrays a lovesick poet hiding from the world as natural elements and personal demons haunt him and flood his space. The work examines the tensions between the everyday world and the seemingly irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. RSVP by clicking here. A wait-list will begin in-person approximately 30 minutes before the performance. Place: Arts Center at Governors Island. Time: 2 p.m.

Souvenir Undone by Rachel Tess. Co-commissioned and presented by the Baryshnikov Arts Center with support from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Souvenir Undone is an ongoing dance project that explores the relationship between architecture and choreography and choreographer and audience. RSVP and read more. A wait-list will begin in-person approximately 30 minutes before the performance. Place: Fort Jay magazine at Governors Island. Time: 1 p.m.

Closing party: Come to Vbar Seaport for the festival closing party, an R2R Living Room, to dance, take in wit-filled rapping, see provocative dance performances, and experience the banter between MCs CAN-D + DRELLA. Place: Front and Beekman Streets. Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Due to the popularity of many events, some reservation forms are no longer open. If you did RSVP, plan to arrive onsite at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.

In the case of bad weather, the River to River Festival will communicate any cancellation or postponement on its website and on LMCC's Facebook and Twitter pages.

CALENDAR: Week of June 22

"Sea Wife," a concert play of nautical adventures, is at the South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery through July 19. (Photo: Caitlin McNaney)
June 28: "Sea Wife" at the Melville Gallery (part of the South Street Seaport Museum), is a concert play of nautical adventures presented by Naked Angels and the raucous folk band, The Lobbyists. Part play, part concert, and part environmental experience, SeaWife envelops its audience in a dark tale marked with romance, tragedy and spirits on the high seas. Audiences will be invited to raise a glass of ale as they are transported through an adventure of epic proportions following Percy, a young sailor bred within the golden age of the American whaling industry, as he journeys through port cities and sea vessels in search of a greater glory than killing leviathan. Naked Angels is a theater company committed to developing and producing new work by artists who explore unique perspectives and non-traditional theatrical formats. Through July 19. Place: 213 Water St. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 to $40. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

June 28: Tour Pier A with the Battery Park City Authority's Vice President of Real Property, Gwen Dawson. Extending 300 feet into New York Harbor at the southern end of Battery Park City and featuring a 70-foot clock tower, Pier A is New York City's last remaining historic pier and its latest revival story. Dawson will explain the history of Pier A and tell the story of its recent renovation and re-imaging as a public space. Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free. For more information,
click here.

June 28: The annual River to River Festival ends with food and drink at VBar in the South Street Seaport.  Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artists-in-residence Amy Khoshbin and Raja Feather Kelly reemerge as C∆N -D (Amy) + DRELLA (Raja) to host and perform during a fun evening influenced by media and celebrity culture, featuring "cosmic rapping," video collage, and a dance team of ethereal drag angels. Cash bar with 10 percent discount on food and drink for River to River Festival members. Place: Front and Beekman Streets. Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The annual Poets House showcase of all the poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in the previous year is on display through Aug. 8, 2015. The publications come from over 650 commercial, university and independent presses. During the course of the exhibit, some poets will read from their work. Next reading: July 9. Timothy Liu (Don't Go Back to Sleep, Saturnalia Books), Sara Jane Stoner (Experience in the Medium of Destruction, Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs), Yolanda Wisher (Monk Eats An Afro, Hanging Loose Press), and Magdalena Zurawski (Companion Animal, Litmus Press). Place: 10 River Terrace. Readings begin at 7 p.m. Showcase is open during regular Poets House hours, Tuesdays to Saturdays. (Closed July 3 and July 4.) Free. For more information, click here.

: 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.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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