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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 77  Dec. 10, 2015

Quote of the day: 

"Why hasn't it passed? It hasn't passed because some of the leaders haven't wanted it to pass or haven't been determined that it should pass. At this point, everyone is saying, don't worry. It will be there. Well, we will find out."
     - Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on whether the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, which has broad bipartisan support, will pass Congress before the end of the year         

* Despite bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, the Zadroga 9/11 Act hasn't passed
* Sheldon Silver's legacy and the future of Lower Manhattan
* Gateway Plaza Tenants Association gives Rep. Jerry Nadler a Lifetime Achievement Award 
* Calendar: Week of Dec. 7
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MASTHEAD PHOTO: A Christmas tree and pop-up shops on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. Dec. 1, 2015.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

As U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke, Jack McNamara, 9, held a sign at a rally on Dec. 6 urging passage of the Zadroga Act to fund permanent health care for first responders and others sickened by the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 and to provide a five-year extension of the Victim Compensation Fund. Jack's father, John McNamara, a firefighter, died in 2009 of colon cancer caused by his service at the World Trade Center. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

It was dark when two buses left Lower Manhattan on Dec. 3 and it was dark by the time they returned 13 hours later. They carried firefighters, police officers, EMS technicians, downtown residents and members of union DC 37 to Washington, D.C. to plead for the permanent passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act - enacted in December 2010 with a five-year expiration.

For hours, these people, many of them desperately sick, stood on the cold and windy lawn in front of the Capitol building at a rally urging passage of the Zadroga bill currently before Congress. It would fund permanent health care for the people who had rushed to the Twin Towers on the day they burned and who, in many case, had stayed there for months, working to clean up the devastation. It would also provide five years of financial support for people unable to work because of 9/11-related illnesses or to their families if these people were deceased.

Bill Gleason, a former FDNY/EMS lieutenant stationed in Elmhurst, Queens, was on one of the
Bill Gleason, former FDNY/EMS lieutenant, at the Zadroga rally on Capitol Hill. 
buses to Washington. He was 41 years old when the Twin Towers came down and was in perfect health, he said. He served on the pile for nine months. As a result of a string of illnesses, he has been unable to work since 2004. He said that the workers were told by the Federal government that the air was OK to breathe. Now many of those people are dead, with new deaths occurring every month. "I've lost count of how many friends have died," he said. "It's a minimum of one a month for the last couple of years. If the red flag had been raised and we had the proper equipment, everyone who arrived at the site from Tuesday evening on would not be getting sick like they are now."

The year is drawing to a close. Congress is getting ready to adjourn, and still despite bipartisan support in both houses, the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act is in limbo. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) has
balked at passing the Act unless he can trade passage for something else that he favors. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), the Speaker of the House, has also put up roadblocks. Though he has expressed his support for Zadroga he has also said that he doesn't know how it would be paid for.         
The Zadroga Act was first passed five years ago after a dogged struggle. At that time, opponents insisted that it have an expiration date. Consequently, the World Trade Center Health Program authorization expired at the end of September 2015. Funding will run out completely by Sept. 30, 2016. In the meantime, the program is in the process of shutting down, creating anxiety for those in treatment like Bill Gleason (just one of his medications costs $2,100 a dose), and problems for program administration, medical staff retention and continuity of care.

The Victim Compensation fund, also authorized for five years by the 2010 Zadroga Act, will shut down by Oct. 3, 2016 and will not be able to fully compensate 9/11 responders and survivors unless Congress extends the program and fully funds it.

On Dec. 3, the supporters of the Zadroga Act were hopeful that the overwhelming bipartisan support for the legislation in Congress would immediately ensure passage. But nothing happened. Three days later, on Dec. 6, a second rally was held in New York City in front of 7 World Trade Center. 

"It's rare that we get to work on something that everybody says they're for," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, 12th district), an author of the Zadroga bill. "I've never met anyone who didn't support the 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill. So I'm here to say, Why hasn't it passed? It was supposed to be in the Transportation bill. At the last minute, it was snatched out and no one knows how it happened."

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was standing behind her, interjected a comment. "Oh, yes we do," he said in a knowing voice. The implication was that McConnell had deliberately deleted Zadroga from the Transportation bill umbrella that would have allowed Zadroga to pass.

"Every single Democratic member of Congress is supporting this bill and 70 Republican members of Congress are supporting this bill," Maloney continued. "And what are we talking about? We are talking about 75,000 people who have signed the register saying that they were exposed and think they might be sick - 33,000 of them have been designated as sick. Over 4,500 of them have cancer; 1,700 have died and we know that when we started, 14 years ago, they didn't want to include cancer in the bill because no one was sick with cancer. But what breaks my heart is when we go to Washington, we're now going with people who used to be well who would proudly tell me, I'm well. I'm just going to help other people. They're now telling me, I have two cancers. I have cancer behind my eye. I have six months to live, and it is a national scandal at this holiday season that these men and women do not know if they have their health care."

Maloney said that the Zadroga legislation would cost roughly $8 billion. "Whatever it is, we should pay for it," she said. "They're paying for tax breaks that they don't know how they're paying for. We should figure out how to find the money. The money's there."

At the Dec. 3 rally on Capitol Hill, Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show, spoke to the
Jon Stewart, speaking on behalf of the Zadroga Act
crowd. He said that McConnell could immediately arrange to have Zadroga passed - if he so chose. The "pay-for" objection, Stewart said, was a red herring.

He pointed out that in 2000, McConnell had sponsored the Nuclear Energy Permanent Health Care bill that to date has cost $11 billion. "How can you, in good conscience, deny [the World Trade Center responders] the very thing that you have proudly brought to the people of your state?" he asked.

"When Carolyn and I first introduced this bill 14 years ago, we didn't think that we'd still be battling for it now," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY, 10th district) at the Dec. 6 rally. "The fact that we are battling for it now is an unfortunate sign that there are people in this country who do not recognize their moral and legal obligations to our heroes. There are 258 co-sponsors in the House and 67 co-sponsors in the Senate - bi-partisan in both cases. That's a solid majority. Why hasn't it passed? It hasn't passed because some of the leaders haven't wanted it to pass or haven't been determined that it should pass. At this point, everyone is saying, don't worry. It will be there. Well, we will find out."

Nadler said that passage of the bill - or not - was up to McConnell and Ryan. "If this bill passes, they're American leaders," he said. "If it doesn't, they're American deserters."

If the bill doesn't pass, he said that he didn't know what the repercussions would be for McConnell and Ryan.

"Do people around the country know much about this? Do they care? Do people in Kentucky care? I don't know," he said.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Rep. Carolyn Maloney. "What breaks my heart is when we go to Washington, we're now going with people who used to be well," she said. 

Former N.Y.S. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver addressing a meeting of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association at the New York County Lawyers' Association on Sept. 8, 2011. Silver spoke about the resurgence of Downtown in the intervening decade after the World Trade Center attack. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On Nov. 30, a jury in Federal District Court found former Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver guilty of seven counts of corruption, which could lead to fines and years in prison. Silver has said he will appeal. His lawyers have until Jan. 11, 2016 to file a new motion for acquittal and prosecutors will have until Feb. 19 to respond. Then Silver's lawyers must enter a reply no later than March 4.

If that strategy fails, then Silver can appeal his case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan.

Though Silver has had to relinquish his seat in the New York State Assembly, his legacy of service and accomplishments after 40 years in politics is not summed up by his conviction.

"If there were a problem in our community that our Assembly Speaker wasn't solving, I hadn't
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association on June 6, 2013. Silver was congratulated by (left to right)  Jenifer Rajkumar, candidate for City Council; Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes; Congressman Jerrold Nadler; City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Julie Menin, candidate for Manhattan Borough President.  
heard of it," said Tom Goodkind, a Battery Park City resident and member of Community Board 1. "To have a local elected official so effective in our community was an amazing asset. For all of us downtown, I am greatly saddened at this loss."

Silver is credited with being a catalyst in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan after 9/11, bringing political and financial will to the resurrection of the World Trade Center site and to Lower Manhattan businesses. His name is also associated with all of the new schools that have been built downtown in the last decade - a response to the burgeoning residential population. He founded the School Overcrowding Task Force, which met regularly to keep the pressure on the Department of Education to find solutions to an increasingly urgent problem.

"I was very sorry to learn the news [of Silver's conviction]," said Tricia Joyce, who heads Community Board 1's Youth & Education Committee. "I can only say that we've lost an important advocate for Lower Manhattan. I am unsure of how the Task Force would continue, though I hope that it can as it was essential in creating understanding about the overcrowding issues facing downtown and without it, I doubt we would have been able to open the schools that we have over the past decade of development."   
Paul Hovitz, co-chair of Community Board 1's Youth & Education Committee, called Silver's conviction "a sad day for Downtown." He said that he was sorry for Silver and his family. "I do not condone the issues [around which] that jury found him guilty," Hovitz said. "However, the years of service to our community, indeed the entire state, should not be minimized. Most of the school seats in Community Board 1 would not exist if it weren't for the work of Shelly Silver. Grants to seniors, stewardship of the Seaport Historic District, etc. should all be on the plus side of the ledger along with dozens of other public service projects. We will be hard pressed to find another so dedicated to our community."   

"Sheldon Silver helped to get several new schools that Downtown Manhattan badly needed to
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver donning a Downtown Little League shirt on the opening day of the 2013 season. Silver was instrumental in getting the artificial turf-covered Battery Park City ball fields reopened in time for the season after they were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.  
accommodate a booming school-age population, and also helped find sites for those schools," said Eric Greenleaf, a professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business and a member of the Task Force. "His steadfast commitment to the educational needs of Downtown families and their children, in what is by far the fastest growing neighborhood in New York City, never wavered.The School Overcrowding Task Force he formed as part of that commitment made a big difference."

"The judicial process has concluded with a verdict and it must be respected," said Anthony
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaking at a press event on Nov. 20, 2012 during which he and other New York State, New York City and federal officials toured the South Street Seaport to see the damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy and to talk to business owners.
Notaro, chair of Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee. "But we will also remember Silver for his many accomplishments for Lower Manhattan." Notaro added that Silver's replacement "
will have a lot to live up too in being an advocate for this growing community."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has decreed that an election will be held on Primary Day, April 19, to select someone to fill Silver's vacant seat in the New York State Assembly. Candidates will be nominated by their parties rather than chosen in primaries. Assembly District 65, which Silver represented, includes Battery Park City, the Financial District, the Lower East Side and Chinatown.

Already, Jenifer Rajkumar and Paul Newell, district leaders in Lower Manhattan, have stepped up to say that they are interested.

There is no question Silver's legacy is complicated and that his power benefited many people
Paul Newell
downtown," Newell said in a statement. "But there is also no question that era is over. Downtowners need to start to build a new kind of leadership as soon as possible - one committed to an open, responsive government that allocates resources based on community need, not who sits in what chair in Albany.

"Per the special election, yes, I am very seriously considering a run. We've been fundraising for some time, and I'm confident we'll have the resources we need to do it right. Right now, I'm meeting with supporters and community leaders, and planning a path forward."

Rajkumar is even further along with her plans. On Dec. 8, she issued a press release saying that, "A national coalition of women leaders has launched the Women for Jenifer Committee in support of Jenifer Rajkumar's potential candidacy to succeed Sheldon Silver. The prominent group includes Ninfa Segarra, former NYC Deputy Mayor and Latina Leader; Kristy Pagan, Michigan State Representative; Siobhan 'Sam' Bennett, former President/CEO of the Women's Campaign Fund & She Should Run; Demie Kurz, Professor and Co-Director of Women's Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Jodi L. Ochstein of Hillary for America; and Monica F. Guerra, Co-Founder of WIN.NYC.  If elected, Rajkumar would be the first South Asian elected to a government office in New York City and the first South Asian elected to the NY State Legislature."   
  - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 
Jenifer Rajkumar - a resident of Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City and Democratic District Leader, at the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association holiday party on Dec. 6 where Rep. Jerry Nadler (left) was given a Lifetime Achievement award for his service in Congress by Glenn Plaskin (right) president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association.

Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, and Glenn Plaskin, president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association, flanked Rep. Jerrold Nadler at the annual GPTA holiday party, where the GPTA presented Nadler with a lifetime achievement award. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

For the last 23 years, Jerrold Nadler has represented New York's 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district stretches along Manhattan's West Side and extends into Brooklyn, taking in parts of Borough Park, Kensington, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.

But of all those he represents, Nadler's constituents in Lower Manhattan probably have the most reasons to be grateful to him because of what Lower Manhattan has suffered and what he has done to help.

 On Dec. 6, when Glenn Plaskin, president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association presented Nadler with GPTA's Lifetime Achievement Award, he remarked, "After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jerry Nadler led the fight in Congress and at the White House to secure $20 billion for recovery work. And when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused to test buildings contaminated by the collapse of the Towers, Jerry held hearings which resulted in a comprehensive clean-up in Lower Manhattan. He was a powerful advocate for bills granting economic aid to the families of those killed and small businesses that were destroyed due to the attacks. He has also promoted legislation to extend Medicare benefits to people suffering from Ground Zero illness or mental health problems."

Plaskin presented the award at Gateway Plaza's annual holiday party, held at SouthWestNY. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer attended, as did New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and representatives of City Councilmember Margaret Chin and New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, with whom Nadler has worked closely over the years.

Hillary Clinton, who was a U.S. Senator from New York State when the Twin Towers fell, sent a letter in which she referred to Nadler as her "friend." She noted that he had promoted civil rights, shaped laws on child support enforcement, domestic violence and consumer protection, and had fought for investment in transportation infrastructure and in safe, affordable housing.

"I will always be grateful for his leadership on behalf of the progressive values we hold dear," she wrote.

When it was her turn to stand at the podium and praise Nadler, Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1, was eloquent.

"In a week with bad news about politicians, it is especially important to shine a light on someone for doing the right thing day in and day out for years on end on complex issues that can rarely be captured in a soundbite," she said.

"To give a counter example, I remember sitting in the office of a well-known elected official - not Congressman Nadler - and that person told a group of us urging health care for both responders and residents, 'Why don't you hire a lobbyist?' Lobbyists are for the special interests. For regular folks, who vote, we have elected representatives.

"After Sandy, it was Congressman Nadler that sent the National Guard down to Community Board 1 with food and water rations and he personally walked around our community distributing them. He secured resources for our community, this time clobbered by climate change, to rebuild its damaged infrastructure, including the South Street Seaport Museum, subways and tunnels.

"After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 here, it was Congressman Nadler and his terrific staff that worked on rebuilding Lower Manhattan, including environmental health issues."

But perhaps at the top of McVay Hughes' mind was the fight that Nadler and others from the New York Congressional delegation are currently leading to get permanent funding for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. Earlier that day, there had been a press conference in front of 7 World Trade Center to urge passage of the bill.

"Without Congressman Nadler, the James Zadroga Health & Compensation Act would never have passed in 2010 and it would not have included the survivor population of residents, students and workers," McVay Hughes said. "Today at the press conference, he continued to support the survivors who were instrumental in bringing life back to this community when half the residential population moved out. Right now Congressman Nadler is on the front line in D.C. working to reauthorize the Zadroga Act before the end of the year."

McVay Hughes also mentioned many other issues that Nadler has worked on: climate change, helicopter and ferry horn noise, delivery of United States Postal Services and transportation.

"The list is long and it is honorable," she concluded.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Bits & Bytes

American Express has donated $300,000 to spruce up the steps of Federal Hall, which stands at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets on the site where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Basking in a New Holiday Glow, No Evergreen Needed," New York Times, 11/29/15. "The designer David Rockwell has created high-energy sets for Broadway hits like 'Kinky Boots' and 'Hairspray,' and he has given Nobu restaurants and W hotels their flashy looks. But lately he has been telling people he is working on 'the living room of Lower Manhattan,'" says The New York Times. "As living rooms go, this one is big and airy. It is 200 feet long and more than 100 feet wide. It has palm trees. Mr. Rockwell was commissioned to design a holiday display for the Winter Garden in Brookfield Place, the office-and-shopping complex in Battery Park City that was built in the 1980s as the World Financial Center. The capacious Winter Garden has a cascading staircase and a floor-to-ceiling view of the Hudson River, and the assignment reflected a huge ambition: to make the Winter Garden a destination to rival the tree at Rockefeller Center." For the complete article, click here.

"Ferry fight pits hometown waterway services against West Coast rival," Crain's New York Business, 11/30/15. "With the city poised to choose an operator for its expanded ferry service, the competition has come down to a gritty hometown gang and a gleaming West Coast rival," Crain's New York Business reports. "Three companies currently rule the city's seas: Billybey, which runs the East River Ferry service; New York Waterway, which has the Hudson River ferries; and the Durst Organization, which owns New York Water Taxi. The trio has teamed up, according to sources with knowledge of the deal, to bid for the citywide contract. They are up against San Francisco-based Hornblower, which operates dining cruises, tours and private-event charters on its sleek fleet of eco-friendly luxury yachts. New York's Economic Development Corp. said it will pick a winner early next year." For the complete article, click here.

"Resnick, Fortis reach settlement in "One Seaport" dispute," The Real Deal, 12/2/15. "Two One Seaports may be one One Seaport too many. But one One Seaport and one 1 Seaport? That's perfectly fine," says The Real Deal. "Jack Resnick & Sons and Fortis Property Group have reached a settlement over Fortis' disputed use of the 'One Seaport' moniker to promote its new 60-story condo tower at 151 Maiden Lane in the South Street Seaport.
Midtown-based Resnick filed suit against Fortis in September, claiming the Dumbo-based developer was infringing on Resnick's trademark for its 35-story, 1.1 million-square-foot office tower at 199 Water Street - dubbed One Seaport Plaza, and mere blocks away from Fortis' condo development site. But the two sides announced Wednesday that they have entered into a settlement agreement to resolve the matter." For the complete article, click here.

"Federal Hall Receives $300K For Restoration Work,", 12/2/15. One of America's most iconic but oft forgotten monuments is getting much needed repair work to restore it back to its former glory," says "American Express has made a grant of $300,000 to restore and repoint the deteriorating steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial, located on Wall Street. In coordination with the grant, the National Trust for Historic Preservation declared the building as one of the country's National Treasures, placing it in an elite club of buildings and monuments nationwide including the New York State Pavilion in Queens, and the Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village. The Trust's National Treasures program is meant to highlight buildings throughout the country that have major historic significance, but are now in need of funds and restoration work to ensure their preservation." The building was erected in 1842 on the site of a previous structure - demolished - where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789. For the complete article, with some interesting, historic photographs, click here.

"New World Trade Center Tower Could Get a Lift," Wall Street Journal, 12/7/15. "The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering offering financial concessions toward construction of another office tower at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan," the Wall Street Journal reports. "The proposed concessions are intended to make way for construction of the building known as 2 World Trade Center, half of which would be occupied by 21st Century Fox Inc. and News Corp, according to a summary released by the authority on Monday. News Corp is the parent company of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal. News Corp and Fox were part of the same company until 2013. The companies' current lease in Midtown Manhattan isn't expected to expire until 2020. Spokesmen for News Corp and 21st Century Fox declined to comment. The companies entered into a nonbinding letter of intent with the developer Larry Silverstein earlier this year to occupy approximately 1.5 million square feet space in the new tower." For the complete article, click here.

"A One-Bedroom in the Financial District," New York Times, 12/3/15. "After his 2008 graduation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Justin Cohen Anderson landed a job as a management consultant in New York. He chose to live downtown, in the financial district," says The New York Times in an article about Mr. Anderson's search for a suitable apartment. "The neighborhood's buildings, within easy walking distance of his TriBeCa office, were filled with amenities. Mr. Anderson, now 29, initially shared a one-bedroom with a roommate, later moving by himself to a studio for four years. Then, work sent him temporarily to San Francisco. Mr. Anderson's apartment there, on Russian Hill, was 'bigger than any other apartment I've lived in to date,' he said. Last summer, as his San Francisco assignment wound down, he planned his return to his old haunt. He was surprised to see how much prices had risen during his absence." For the complete article, click here.

"The financial district block that emerged untarnished by Silver scandal," Crain's New York Business, 12/8/15. "The business most prominently featured in the recently ended federal corruption trial of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was Glenwood Management, the owner of 30 luxury apartment towers in Manhattan and in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx," says Crain's New York Business. "Silver illegally received fees from a law firm to which he steered Glenwood for tax-related work. The five-week trial saw the ex-speaker convicted on all seven counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering. No one from Glenwood has been charged with any crime. Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin began buying and developing higher-end apartment buildings in the 1950s. One of the best-known addresses is 10 Liberty St., the first new development in the financial district to go up after 9/11." For the complete article, click here.

"Selfies and a Sales Pitch at the Museum of Feelings," New York Times, 12/8/15. "Despite its name, the Museum of Feelings, a pop-up installation devoted to sights and smells in Battery
A line of people waiting to get into the Museum of Feelings in Battery Park City. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Park City in Lower Manhattan, is not a place of introspection," The New York Times observes. "On the surface, it is a place devoted to a set of positive emotions, including joy and optimism. But that is about as deep as it goes. On Tuesday, visitors spent more time looking at their own images reflected on their phone screens, because the Museum of Feelings is actually the perfect place to take a really good selfie. The museum is not a museum at all. It is an elaborate, walk-through advertisement for Glade products, complete with some very attentive brand ambassadors dressed in costume. But the marketing aspect has not stopped visitors from standing in a line that snakes around a luxury mall." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
The SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery has already hosted more than 100,000 people since it opened in August. Because of its popularity, it will remain open with extended hours through the Christmas/New Year holiday and will be open weekends and holidays in January and February, weather permitting. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Permits for Governors Island's 2016 public season:
The Trust for Governors Island has started accepting OpenHouseGI permit applications for Governors Island's 2016 public access season. OpenHouseGI offers 150,000 square feet of indoor space in historic houses and 25 acres of outdoor space free of charge to any organization that creates programming that is free and open to the public during the Island's public season. In 2016, Governors Island will be open daily from May 28 through Sept. 25. The Island will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.

In 2015, more than 65 organizations produced art exhibits, festivals, workshops, theatre and dance performances and recreational and sports programs which were enjoyed by 450,000 visitors.

OpenHouseGI offers more than two dozen former officers' homes in Nolan Park and Colonels Row for groups to use.  The 2016 season will be divided into two sessions for these indoor spaces. Session I runs from May 28 to July 25 and Session II runs from July 26 to Sept. 25. Groups wishing to use indoor spaces apply for only one of the two sessions. Groups using indoor spaces for the first half of the season may have the opportunity to extend through the second session, if space is available.

OpenHouseGI also offers 25 acres of outdoor space for programs.  Historic District green spaces include the Colonels Row Festival Grounds, Parade Ground, Nolan Park and the South Battery. The Play Lawn and other areas in the Island's new park, open to the public since 2014, are also available for programming.

When applying to OpenHouseGI, organizations can propose programming for a day, multiple days, a week or multiple weeks. Organizations can also propose season-long installations and programs. The Island typically welcomes 8,000 visitors each weekend day and last year welcomed 450,000 visitors over the course of the season. More than 75 percent of visitors to the Island are from New York City.

The permit process is open and transparent for all. Organizations are responsible for their own budgets, staffing and other program-specific responsibilities and expenses. Permits are issued for a single season and all organizations, including those that have participated previously in OpenHouseGI, must complete a permit application for 2016. Once groups submit their permit application, Trust for Governors Island staff will contact applicants within two weeks.

The permit application, as well as information needed by organizations to apply for the 2016 season, is available by clicking here. As noted on the website, for programs that are free and open to the public, no site fees are required.

The Trust will open additional permit processes for Governors Island on Jan. 15. On this date, the process for food vendors will open, as well as the permit process for the Island's two natural turf ball fields.  Jan. 15 is the date that permits open for ball fields used in the spring season elsewhere in the City of New York. As with other public ball fields in New York City parks, preference will be given to youth groups, schools and leagues from across the City. The fields will be open for use during daylight hours from May 28 to Sept. 25.

BPC Ball Fields:
The Battery Park City ball fields will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Feb. 29 for soccer, flag-football, hockey, and more, organized by Battery Park City staff or play on your own. Equipment provided. For ages 7 and older. For more information, click here.

Planning and Response to an Active Shooter: An Interagency Security Committee Policy and Best Practices Guide. The guide, initially released in July of 2015 for use by departments and agencies and considered For Official Use Only (FOUO), has been revised for public release so the materials in the document can be used by a wider audience. Active shooter incidents can be unpredictable and evolve quickly. A number of guidance documents are available to help people prepare for, and respond to, an active shooter incident. While this document was created as a resource for federal agencies and departments to enhance preparedness in federal facilities, the ISC Active Shooter Working Group responded to multiple requests to modify the document for wider use and believes it will be useful for non-federal facilities as they enhance their preparedness. For more information, go to the DHS active shooter preparedness webpage

Stockings With Care: 
Stockings with Care (SWC) was created 24 years ago by casting director (and Battery Park City resident) Rosalie Joseph and producer Tom Fontana to grant the gift wishes of children at the holiday time while preserving the dignity of parents and caregivers. The children make their wish lists, and social workers provide SWC with the name, gender and age of each child along with their wishes. Individual donors (aka "Santas"), corporations and an army of volunteers come together to purchase and wrap the gifts. They are then delivered anonymously to the parents before the holidays, ensuring dignity and creating holiday magic. Last year over 1,000 children woke up to a miracle on Christmas morning. Since its inception in 1992, over 40,000 children have benefited from Stockings with Care.

This year's Holiday Drive will take place the weekend of Dec. 10 to Dec. 13.

For more information about Stockings with Care or to sign up to be a "Santa," go to, Be A Santa or Donate. For additional information, email or call (917) 991-5975.

Portrait with Santa Fundraiser For Save The Children: The Vince Smith Hair Experience at 300 Rector Place is hosting a Portrait with Santa fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 13 from noon
Portrait with Santa Fundraiser at the Vince Smith Hair Experience.
to 6 p.m. to benefit Save The Children. There are five Portrait with Santa packages starting at $25 for five high-res digital images. Packages go up in price to $100, which includes 20 high-rez digital images and a hair and makeup touch-up. The money raised will help Syrian children refugees. Save The Children is trying to raise $300,000 to help the more than 5 million Syrian children who are suffering as a result of a horrific conflict - one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time - which is now stretching into its third year. The children of Syria are a generation at risk of losing everything. They want and need to go to school. To be protected. To be comforted. These children need champions. These children need us to be their champion. Save The Children has been distributing clothing, blankets and food, as well as offering education and emotional support programs. The Vince Smith Hair Experience is trying to raise at least $5,000 to help them help as many suffering children as possible. You can book an appointment for your portrait by calling the salon at (212) 945-1590. For more information, click here.

New York Cares Coat Drive: The Downtown Alliance's LMHQ at 150 Broadway, 20th floor,  is one of 300 drop-off locations for The New York Cares Coat Drive. Through Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 donations of gently used, freshly laundered coats can be left at LMHQ (by the front desk) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The New York Cares Coat Drive, in its 27th year, is an annual citywide tradition that has collected more than 1.7 million winter coats for men, women, and children in need throughout the city. For more information and a map of other drop-off locations, click here.

Downtown Basketball League: Now is the time to become a sponsor for this year's Downtown Basketball League. Help support Manhattan Youth's league and clinics and join its growing list of community and basketball sponsors. See your business's name on the players' T-shirts and in ads, and make a lot of children happy. For more information about the Downtown Basketball League, click here. For more information about sponsorship, click here.

Open auditions for Downtown Voices: Are you interested in singing alongside members of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street? Trinity is looking for experienced volunteer singers to join Downtown Voices, a newly formed choir bringing together the finest professional and non-professional singers in the New York metro area. The choir rehearses once a week and is directed by Stephen Sands. Spring performances include works by Beethoven, Alberto Ginastera, and James MacMillan. Audition date: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Place: Trinity Church choir room (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: Slots open starting at 11 a.m. For more information including audition requirements, click here.

Battery Park City open community meeting: The Battery Park City Authority is hosting a community meeting on Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 6 River Terrace. Future meetings will take place on April 13, 2016; July 20 and Nov. 16.

Community Board applications open: The Manhattan Borough President's office is currently accepting applications for Community Board membership. Community Boards represent their neighborhoods on crucial issues including real estate development and land use, historic preservation and even liquor licenses. There are 12 Community Boards in Manhattan and 59 citywide.

"Right now Manhattan's Community Boards are in the center of a debate over the most ambitious rezoning proposals in a generation," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Community Boards may be New York City's most grassroots level of government, but they are deeply involved in some of our city's biggest policy questions. If you want to make a difference on anything from investment in our parks and public spaces, to determining the future of our city's skyline and streetscape, Community Boards are the place to start."

Community Board members are appointed to staggered two-year terms by the Manhattan Borough President, with half selected solely by the Borough President and half nominated by the City Council members representing each Community Board district. Since taking office, Brewer has enhanced the selection process by introducing online applications and a robust review process that includes group interviews with discussion and problem-solving components.

Community Board selections for 2016 will be announced in late March.

Although each Community Board has a small, paid administrative staff, Community Board members are volunteers.

If you would like to join your Community Board, fill out the online application by Jan. 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. After submission, you will be contacted regarding the next steps in the screening and interview process. For more information about Manhattan's 12 Community Boards, go to Manhattan Borough President Brewer's website or email Paola Liriano.

For the online application, click here.
For Manhattan Borough President Brewer's website, click here

Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House: The Emerging Poets Fellowship is an annual opportunity for poets to receive guidance and instruction from a distinguished and diverse faculty and enter the next stage of their professional and artistic practice. Funded by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, this fellowship immerses poets in a 12-week program consisting of workshops and meetings that are reinforced by the inspiring environment here at Poets House, including our poetry library and unique archives as well as a diverse offering of readings and conversations by leading poets and scholars. The program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, free access to Poets House's events and archival resources and culminates in a final group reading. Each participant will receive a $500 honorarium for their participation and a stipend of $100 to cover travel expenses. There may also be some funding to help participants pay childcare expenses. The application process is competitive; tuition is free to those accepted into the program. For more information about the program and required application materials, click here. The application deadline has been extended to Dec. 18, 2015.

The rink at Brookfield Place:
The ice skating rink at Brookfield Place is offering free weekday skating to Battery Park City residents through Dec. 22. This is available with proof of address in the following zip codes: 10282, 10280, 10004 and 10281. Not available on holidays. In addition, there will be free skating classes on Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. Register for a one-time free class at

Public skating hours are weekdays, 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and weekends from 10:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The rates are $15 (single session of 90 minutes); $5, skate rental; $200, individual season pass; $500, family of three season pass. Group rates, classes, private rentals and private lessons available. For more information, email, call (917) 391-8982 or click here

Après ice skating:
The Chalet on Le District patio across from the ice skating rink at Brookfield Place serves hot chocolate, cider, homemade beignets and more. Those who would like to enjoy their treats outside can borrow blankets and sit under heat lamps for extra warmth. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun., 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Affordable housing opportunity: The Related Management Company has announced that a building that it is currently constructing at 456 Washington St. in Tribeca will have 22 apartments for low-income residents. Half of these apartments will go to residents of Community Board 1. There will be five studio apartments for one person, six one-bedrooms for one or two people, and 11 two-bedrooms for two to four people. Rents range from $800 a month to $1,041. Annual household income requirements range from $28,800 a year to $51,780. To apply and for more information about this building, known as Bridge Land West, click here. Applications are due by Dec. 14, 2015.
Downtown Post Portfolio: Downtown Post Portfolio is a 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.

South Street Seaport Museum on Schermerhorn Row: To see photographs of some of the artifacts inside the South Street Seaport Museum's premises on Schermerhorn Row and photos of past exhibitions, 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.

Gracie Mansion: Artifacts and Tours: Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City's mayors at 88th Street and East End Avenue, was built in 1799 as a country retreat for financier Archibald Gracie and his family. At the time, the gracious, Federal-style house was five miles outside the city limits - and at that time, the city limits would have meant what we now call "Lower Manhattan." A recently installed exhibit of paintings, sculptures and documents called "Windows on the City: Looking Out at Gracie's New York" sheds light on what our neighborhood was like at the turn
A captain's mirror in Gracie Mansion reflects a room that was added to the house in 1810. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
of the 19th century. Slavery was still legal, and there was a slave market at the foot of Wall Street. Clipper ships plied the harbor, taking cargo in some cases to and from Asia - a recently opened market. The streets were noisy with the raucous calls of vendors selling oysters, ice, charcoal, milk and many other goods and services. Immigrants began to arrive in greater numbers, many of them living in crowded tenements and working at monotonous, low-paying jobs. The city, already diverse from the time of the Dutch settlers in the early 17th century, became even more so. For more about Gracie Mansion and to see photographs, click here. Free tours are available on Dec. 15 and on Jan. 5, 12 and 19. To register for a tour, click here.

SeaGlass Carousel: After 10 years of design and fundraising and a setback named "Sandy," the SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery opened on Aug. 19 to universal critical acclaim and rapturous crowds. Downtown Post NYC was there for the opening. Read about the carousel and see photos by clicking here. SeaGlass Carousel is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  "Crowds are still coming, but wait time is typically minimal," according to a spokesperson for the Battery Conservancy. "The line is rarely longer than 15 minutes." Due to popular demand, the Battery Conservancy has extended operating hours for SeaGlass Carousel. From Monday, Dec. 21, through Saturday, Jan. 2, SeaGlass will be open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. In January and February, SeaGlass will be open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., weather permitting. SeaGlass will also be open on Monday, Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and Presidents' Week, Feb. 15-19. For updates on changes to operating hours, follow The Battery Conservancy on Twitter and Facebook. Admission to SeaGlass Carousel is $5 per ride.  Access to The Battery is free and open to the public.

Wavertree video: The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 sailing ship, Wavertree, is currently at Caddell Drydock on Staten Island, where the ship is undergoing a $10.6 million refurbishment. The museum has created a video to show the progress of the overhaul. To see the video, click here.

Letters to the editor

A homeless artist on 42nd Street. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
(Re: "Homeless in New York City," DPNYC, 11/26/15): On Monday, Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m., Care for the Homeless and New York City Rescue Mission are hosting "Homeless Persons' Memorial Day." This event is in memory of New Yorkers who needlessly passed away while unstably housed. This program features a meal, live entertainment, and a special tribute with a reading of names of those who we lost this past year. The Memorial is free and open to the public and will be held at the New York Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette St. (at White Street). Subway: J, Z (Canal), 6 (Canal), N, Q.

Thomas Newton

To the editor: 
Last week, the Downtown Post briefly noted the passing of John Zuccotti, the long-time chairman of Brookfield Properties. I would like to offer my own remembrance.

In September 2001, just a few weeks after the tragedy that took nearly 3,000 of our neighbors' lives - a time when bodies were still being pulled from the burning rubble pile - most persons' thoughts turned to mourning the dead and safeguarding the nation. Not Mr. Zuccotti. He, instead, turned his attention to how the ruined landscape could be rebuilt in a way to drive more foot traffic to his company's shopping mall across the street. As Mr. Zuccotti explained to the New York Times on Sept. 26, 2001: "This tragedy has given us an opportunity to rethink and rebuild all of Lower Manhattan." Right then and there, Mr. Zuccotti came up with a proposal to divert $2.4 billion of the $20 billion donated by the American taxpayers for reconstruction, and  use that money to bury the stretch of West Street between the World Trade Center site and the World Financial Center (as it was then called). 

Before any of us residents of Battery Park City had even returned to our homes (the neighborhood was still, at that point, a giant fenced-off crime scene, coated in toxic dust, and lacking electricity or running water), Mr. Zuccotti had already succeeded in convincing the then-sitting Governor of New York, George Pataki, to adopt the tunnel idea as his own.  Ultimately, after years of pesky community protests, the tunnel plan was dropped. However, Mr. Zuccotti did win for his company a consolation prize - a stoplight at a point in West Street where there is no actual intersection. The red light, which recently went live, helps tourists visiting the World Trade Center memorial more quickly cross the street to take in the new shops at Brookfield Place.

For those of us who must come and go to BPC South on a regular basis, the stoplight will mean gridlock and delays, but that is a small price to pay for the profit boost to Brookfield's investors.  So let us all remember Mr. Zuccotti as a man who did not allow the unparalleled death and devastation, happening right outside his office window to shake his focus on his corporate fiduciary duties. As I sit in traffic, I will not be one to forget him.
John Dellaportas
21-Year Battery Park City resident
From the editor: 
We welcome letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length. Email them to 

CommunityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of Dec. 7    

As Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver started the School Overcrowding Task Force, which has worked effectively to bring more schools to Lower Manhattan, including PS/IS 276 at 55 Battery Place. On Dec. 8, Community Board 1's Youth & Education Committee discussed the future of the task force since Silver is no longer in the New York State Assembly. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

All Community Board 1 meetings are held in the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., in CB1's Conference Room, Room 2202A-North, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. The public is welcome to attend and to comment. Bring photo ID to enter the building. 
Dec. 10: Quality of Life Committee
* NYC Department of Transportation construction update including Liberty Street update
* Status of Department of Transportation Lower Manhattan Commissioner's Office - Resolution
* Proposed service changes for the M5 route in Manhattan - Presentation by Zachary Campbell, Assistant Director, MTA NYC Transit


CalendarCALENDAR: Week of Dec. 7

At 1776 feet (including the spire), 1 World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. An exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum called "Ten Tops," surveys all buildings in the world today, completed or under construction, that are 100 stories and taller. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dec. 10:
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene brings "The Golden Bride" / "Di Goldene Kale" to the Museum of Jewish Heritage. An operetta about Goldele, a poor girl from the shtetl, who inherits a fortune from her estranged father and embarks on a mission to find both her long-lost mother and her husband-to-be, "The Golden Bride" was first staged in the 1920s. Joseph Rumshinsky's original score is performed by a full orchestra in this lavish production. Through Jan. 3, 2016. Forty-five minutes before each program, there will be a 15-minute lesson in "Instant Yiddish," free to "Di Goldene Kale" ticket holders. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 12 p.m. (NO 7:30 p.m. performance on Dec. 31). Tickets: $40; $30 (Museum of Jewish Heritage and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene members). To buy tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or click here.

Dec. 10: Fresh Prints, a two-hour-long open house at Bowne Printers, allows visitors to watch Bowne's antique presses being used to print cards and other materials, and to help in the process. Each participant leaves with three cards. Bowne Printers is part of the South Street Seaport Museum. Place: 211 Water St. Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. For more information, call (646) 628-2707. To buy tickets, click here.

Dec. 11: The Paris-American Reading Series at Poets House features Mark Doty, Tomas Q. Morin and Lolita Stewart-White. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. For more information, click here.

Dec. 12: Passwords: Miriam Nichols on Robin Blaser. Miriam Nichols's expertly edited "The Astonishment Tapes" (2015) is a transcript of 20 autobiographical audiotapes recorded in an attic room in Vancouver by poet Robin Blaser in 1974. Thirty years prior, Blaser, along with Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer, formed the Berkeley core of what is now known as the San Francisco Renaissance. Reminiscent of the perfect mix attained by Blaser's legendary martinis, this talk by Nichols blends gossip and literary legacy into a balanced representation of this mythic poet. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Time: 3 p.m. Tickets: $10; $7 (students and seniors); free (Poets House members). For more information, click here.
Ongoing: "City Lives," an exhibit of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, film, video and ceramics, runs at the Borough of Manhattan Community College's Shirley Fiterman Art Center through Jan. 16. 2016. The art is available for sale with proceeds benefiting the BMCC Foundation Scholarship Fund. Place: 81 Barclay St. Open Tues.-Sat., noon to 6 p.m. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: Work by Trevor Winkfield showcases his visionary contributions to the overall aesthetic of poetry publishing. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City.  Exhibition will be on view through Jan. 10, 2016 during regular hours for Poets House. 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.  Through Jan. 17, 2016. Place: 36 Battery Place. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The Skyscraper Museum's 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 December 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: Fraunces Tavern Museum's exhibition, "Lafayette," opened in May to complement the docking of the Marquis de Lafayette's replica ship, L'Hermione at the South Street Seaport over the July 4th weekend. It includes 20 items from the museum's collection such as Lafayette's calling card and the his sash, splashed with his blood from a wound sustained at the Battle of Brandywine. Through December 2016. 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. Lobby access: Fridays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For private tours of Schermerhorn Row and its old hotels, email

Make your holiday plans:
Dec. 25: The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering exhibitions, tours, and a matinée performance of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of The Golden Bride / Di Goldene Kale (separate admission required for the show). Visitors can see the core exhibition and two special exhibitions. The core exhibition presents Jewish history and heritage before, during, and after the Holocaust. The two special exhibitions are Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism and Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945. Adult and family-friendly tours of the core exhibition will be offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and are free with Museum admission. Place: 36 Battery Place. Museum admission: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors);   $7 (students); free (members and children 12 and younger).

A matinée show of The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of The Golden Bride / Di Goldene Kale will be performed at a 12 p.m. in the Museum's Edmond J Safra Hall. Separate admission is required and advance purchase is recommended. In this operetta - first seen on stage in 1923 - Goldele, a poor girl from the shtetl, inherits a fortune from her estranged father and embarks on a mission to find both her long-lost mother and her husband-to-be. Joseph Rumshinsky's original score is performed by a full orchestra in this lavish production. Tickets: $40; $30 (Museum of Jewish Heritage and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene members). To buy tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or click here.

Dec. 26: Celebrate Kwanzaa at the African Burial Ground National Monument, 290 Broadway. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration based on traditional African culture and values observed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The holiday celebrates family, community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. Activities on Dec. 26 will include music, dance and spoken word performances; a lecture on regenerating African spirituality; a crafts workshop; a libation ceremony, and; the lighting of the kinara (candleholder). The African Burial Ground National Monument is part of an original 6.6-acre site containing the remains of approximately 15,000 people, buried in the 17th and 18th centuries, making it the largest African cemetery excavated in North America. The cemetery was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993 and as a National Monument on Feb. 27, 2006. The Kwanzaa celebration is free. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (212) 637-2019 or click here.    

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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