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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 2, No. 79  Dec. 23, 2015

"The peasants showed up with pitchforks in hand last night and I hope that they don't back down."
     - Battery Park City resident Dolores D'Agostino commenting on the Community Meeting between the Battery Park City Authority management and BPC residents

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: Rector Place garden. Dec. 14, 2015.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Buff Kavelman, a Battery Park City resident, questioning Battery Park City Authority management about the BPCA's criteria for awarding contracts. From left to right:  Shari Hyman, president; Martha Gallo, board member; Dennis Mehiel, CEO and chairman. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dennis Mehiel has been chairman and chief executive officer of the Battery Park City Authority for three years, but chances are he had never seen as many Battery Park City residents in one place as he did on the evening of Dec. 16. They filled a large room at 6 River Terrace - a couple hundred people, maybe, and most of them, not friendly. They were present for what had been billed as a "Community Meeting," to hear what the Battery Park City Authority is working on and to ask questions.

Mehiel, a wealthy, successful corporate executive who is in his element when he sits at the head of a long table for BPCA board of directors meetings, looked and sounded uncomfortable. He started off by acknowledging that there seemed to be a desire for the BPCA to be "more communicative." Since this was the first public meeting ever during Mehiel's tenure, that "more" was a low bar. When there has been nothing despite some BPCA decisions that infuriated many Battery Park City residents, anything at all is, by definition, "more."

He started the meeting by turning it over to BPCA president Shari Hyman, who lobbed some softballs at the audience. She started by referencing a Community Board 1 survey that found that BPC residents are satisfied with their Quality of Life. Then she painted a gloomy picture of what would happen if the Battery Park City Authority were to go away as New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron has repeatedly suggested. Things that needed fixing such as broken lights, paving stones and damaged benches would be routed to 311. The City's Department of Parks would be charged with maintaining Battery Park City's glorious parks, in whatever way it saw fit, and no cost, or low-cost programming, presently provided by the BPCA, would be at the discretion of the city.

For the next half hour or so, several members of the Battery Park City Authority management team discussed such matters as infrastructure and resiliency, the BPCA's winter calendar and rats. Though these are important matters, they were not exactly what most people in the audience wanted to hear about. They wanted to talk about the Parks Enforcement Patrol, which has provided security and law enforcement in Battery Park City for more than two decades. In late October, the community learned that the PEP contract was on a month to month basis and that the Battery Park City Authority was in the process of hiring a private security firm called AlliedBarton to supplement the PEP and perhaps to replace it.

This was not good news. The PEP are sworn law enforcement officers who can write summons and make arrests. AlliedBarton would have no such powers. They would be "ambassadors," who would ride around the community on bicycles, wearing bright yellow vests, presumably so that the bad guys, if there were any, could spot them from a distance and behave themselves.

Around half an hour into what was supposed to be a one-hour meeting, Benjamin Jones, vice president for security at the Authority, got to the matter that was preoccupying many in the room. "The PEP contract that the BPCA has with the New York City Parks Department remains in effect and that includes our current 24/7 coverage," he said. This was greeted with applause.

"That includes our 24/7 coverage at the command desk, which continues to be operational as we speak," he continued. "As a supplement to that, on Friday, we will begin Safety Ambassador patrols in Battery Park City beyond the green spaces - to all of the open spaces in Battery Park City. That will include the Eastern Boundary, the esplanade and the bridges."

For a few minutes, the audience thought everything was going to be OK. Then the prepared remarks ended and a question and answer period began. New York State Assemblymember
New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick flanked by Pat Smith and Jeff Galloway.
Deborah Glick stepped up to the microphone. "There was a good deal of applause when people heard that the PEP officer contract was still in force so I'm just wondering if that could be clarified," she said. "Is it the same number of people? Is it still month to month or is there a longer commitment, or how is that?"

Shari Hyman replied, "It's an automatically renewing month to month contract. Its term expires on Jan. 31st so we're currently talking to the Parks Department of what it might look like in the future."

There was a murmur in the crowd.

"So currently - is the discussion including the same number?" Glick pursued.

"Again," said Hyman. "We're talking to people. We're talking to the Parks Department directly. We are in negotiations with them."

"Thank you," said Glick in a disgusted voice.

Those who followed her at the microphone were not as restrained. "For the record, part of the reason that we're so frustrated as a community is the miscommunication and the half truths that are coming forward," said BPC resident Justine Cuccia. "Saying and eliciting that the contract is in effect is true - for the next 30 days... That's not what we, as a community are asking you. We're asking what's the deal? What's next?"

Cuccia referenced the Community Board 1 meeting that took place on Dec. 1 at which "it was promised" that "nothing would be done" until the community could meet with the BPCA for an open discussion.

Gallo, who was present at that meeting, said that she had not made "a commitment that we wouldn't sign the contract. I said that we had a couple of weeks to consider the input we heard at the meeting and BJ [Benjamin Jones], who has been working diligently on this, and having conversations with the Parks folks, is in the middle of negotiating a blended security infrastructure for our neighborhood where we will complement the PEP with AlliedBarton so that with the increased activity and population in the neighborhood, we'll be protecting not just the green space but more of the community space."

Actually, that was not exactly what Gallo had said on Dec. 1. Community Board 1 member Bob Schneck had asked, "Why don't we restructure the relationship [between the community and the BPCA] by extending the date of the signing of the [AlliedBarton] contract?"

Gallo had replied, "I think that's a great suggestion, given all I've heard tonight. I'm not sure that we're ready to sign it in the next couple of weeks."

That is what was said. But it turned out that the contract was signed on Dec. 2, the day after that meeting and the very day that the Battery Park City Authority received a letter from several elected officials urging that the AlliedBarton contract not be signed.

"I believe that except for the last two years, the community and the Authority have had a very successful partnership - a partnership that created perhaps the most beautiful place in New York City," said Pat Smith, board president of the condo where he lives in the southern part of Battery Park City. "Turning [Battery Park City] over to the city I think would be a monumental disaster. We would be cast into city-wide politics, we would have interests from all over the city looking to see what more they could bring out of Battery Park and very few interests looking to see how they can protect and maintain Battery Park. So except for the last two years, this has been a successful partnership. But the partnership is frayed and there is a very simple but a very necessary fix to this. The Authority leadership must be replaced."

The people in the room applauded.

"The trust and the confidence of the community in the leadership of the Authority is gone," said Smith. 

Mehiel sounded annoyed and aggrieved when he asked, "OK. Based on what?"

"Based on someone standing up and saying that the contract with PEP remains in effect," Smith replied. "That was an attempt to mislead us."

Smith went on to say, "I think there is a general attitude among the staff of the Battery Park City Authority that they are lords of the manor and we are the peasants." This remark was also applauded.

Smith returned to the topic of the PEP. "I've had a lot of experience with PEPs," he said. "Private security tells their people, we do not want a liability question. We do not want a medical insurance question. Do not get involved. Call 911. Private security is the worst thing in the world. It makes you feel safer when you're not."

Standing next to Capt. Paige Lener of the Battery Park City Parks Enforcement Patrol, Battery Park City residents Maryanne Braverman, Buff Kavelman and Elizabeth Lara waited to ask questions of the Battery Park City Authority management at a Community Meeting on Dec. 16.
The questions and remarks continued for a half hour beyond the time when the meeting was supposed to end, and even so, not everyone got a chance to speak.

Mehiel often sounded annoyed and defensive. Finally, he said that the meeting had run over time and he was going to leave.

"I think the PEP topic is a lesson learned," said board member Martha Gallo - the only person on the BPCA board of directors who lives in Battery Park City. "Dennis may or may not agree with me. I know Shari does. In the future when we're thinking about these things, we have to be more clear about the process and the timetable, and where it's appropriate, to get community input. So we got it. It is a lesson learned."

"Thanks, everybody," said Shari Hyman, "for our first try at this community dialogue."

The next quarterly meeting with the community is supposed to take place in April but several people suggested that for these meetings to be meaningful, they should take place once a month. There's a lot to talk about.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A videotape of the Community Meeting can be viewed by clicking here.

Shari Hyman, president of the Battery Park City Authority; Martha Gallo, board member; and Dennis Mehiel, CEO and chairman, listening to Battery Park City residents criticize the BPCA. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

After the Community Meeting on Dec. 16, a number of Battery Park City residents weighed in with their reactions to what was said.

We do expect to be heard and respected
To use a movie line, "what we have here is a failure to communicate." Chair Mehiel asked at the outset what "outcomes" does the community have issue with? What the BPCA leadership fails to understand is that the process is equally important in any relationship. I saw and heard last night great frustration from a major stakeholder - residents of BPC. These are folks who endured 9/11, blackouts, superstorms, raised families, started businesses, pay taxes, ground rental, civic fees (or rent which includes all of these costs) and don't feel that they have a seat at the table. No one ever expects the BPCA to relinquish its responsibility but we do expect to be heard and respected. I hope this lesson is not lost on the BPCA.

Real leadership is listening and learning not deciding and defending.

Tim Carey and Jim Cavanaugh [former presidents of the Battery Park City Authority] actively engaged the community. They may not have always agreed but they listened. Gayle Horwitz [also a former BPCA president] engaged and held Town Hall meetings but with Mehiel everything stopped.

As for RFPs, asking up front before the RFP is developed is the best course to get the sentiment and needs of the community. The BPCA has to make the decision but listening is critical. We all understand they have a job to do with responsibilities and processes that we don't have but to take the position they know better has created this lack of trust.

Anthony Notaro
Chair of Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee

It was disheartening to see how little trust there is now in what was previously, for the most part, a positive relationship with the community

Resident, who asked not to be quoted by name

Indifference to the residents' critical housing issues
The community is reasonably outraged at the performance of the BPCA, and if the community had a say in its government representation, which it clearly does not, it would clean house.

What most concerns me is the BPCA's indifference to the residents' critical housing issues concerning both renters and unit owners. Shari Hyman's apathetic response to a request to list local rent protections, something the City does with all of its housing, is a clear indication to just how inattentive to residential needs the Authority feels entitled to be.

Representing New York City, I brought along a dollar, hoping they would take it, so that NYC could take over management, as BPCA founder, Charles Urstadt had planned. I would gladly join the thriving island of Manhattan and rid our community of the neediness of the State, which has been known to grab our Battery Park City funds for shortfalls.

Tom Goodkind
Member of Community Board 1

The BPCA has to seek input prior to issuing RFPs
Only time will tell if the BPCA listened versus "heard" the community and its demand for inclusion in the decision-making process and communications. The meeting was used as a tool for "reporting" as they do monthly; they did not engage the community in dialogue about potential concerns or ideas. Once an RFP is issued it is because the BPCA has already decided on change. The South End Avenue RFP to gather information is interesting but for what goal and clear details on the process has not been disclosed. The BPCA has to seek input prior to issuing RFPs and be more transparent if they want to have productive quarterly meetings.  Battery Park City stakeholders and BPCA are at the lowest point in terms of communication and relationship in the 20 years I have lived here. Typically, on one side, Chairman Mehiel's comment about including more local stakeholder representation to the board and filling the expired/vacant positions was that the Governor makes the decisions and not him. As the Chairman of the Board he can ask to have it filled. As he noted not 30 minutes later, "I serve at the pleasure of the Governor" so he has the relationship to make the request but since he feels it is not required, it is not done, even after the community and elected representatives have all called for action.  

Tammy Meltzer
Member of Community Board 1

An open forum was promised and delivered
At last night's meeting, it was obvious that all parties involved feel passionately about keeping Battery Park City the fantastic place it has always been. An open forum was promised and delivered. Concerned residents expressed themselves with candor and emotion while the BPCA executive team was receptive to listening to differing points of view as they presented their goals and protocols. All in all, it was certainly a step forward. And we have no doubt that BPC will remain a world-class neighborhood - and a safe one.

Glenn Plaskin
President, Gateway Plaza Tenants Association
Last night's meeting restored my faith in the power of the people
Someone used the word "disingenuous" to describe the Battery Park City Authority's pronouncements, but what appeared as such was a put-on. The BPCA clearly has assumed the right to run the neighborhood like a business by and for the privileged and to totally dismiss the democratic process that residents as citizens have a right to. Yes, process. Democracy is a process. Dennis Mehiel doesn't seem to get that.
A very telling moment that should not have been allowed to pass occurred when the BPCA representatives were asked what the qualifications are to be on the board of directors of the Authority. Why were they not pressed to answer that question truthfully?

I thoroughly enjoyed the comments by Buff Kavelman, a BPC resident experienced in planning and design, who pointed out the discrepancies regarding the contract for the South End Avenue redesign project. She said that the contract was given to one of the higher bidders, a company that she said is not highly regarded in the field.

I liked Pat Smith's line that the BPCA considers itself the Lord of the Manor and the residents mere peasants. Well, the peasants showed up with pitchforks in hand last night and I hope that they don't back down. For too long toadies and corporate underwriters have been controlling the State government and the neighborhood. Last night's meeting restored my faith in the power of the people.

Dolores D'Agostino
Gateway Plaza resident

We've heard a lot of frustration from the community
Last night's meeting can't be the end of engagement. We've heard a lot of frustration from the community, and that needs to be addressed in an ongoing and structural way. Together with the community, I will continue to push for a real, permanent community voice in BPC decision-making.
New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron


The New York City Police Memorial in Battery Park City as it looked on July 30, 2013. It was damaged by Superstorm Sandy and has still not been repaired although an RFP has been issued and is due back in January.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Among the issues raised at the Battery Park City Authority's Community Meeting on Dec. 16 was the fact that most people in Battery Park City had no idea that the BPCA was considering replacing the Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) in whole or in part with a private security force. This was first revealed at a BPCA board meeting on Oct. 27 and subsequently discussed at a Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee meeting on Nov. 2.

At the Dec. 16 Community Meeting, BPCA management claimed that the residents of Battery Park City should have known about this because an RFP was publicly posted. It was in the New York State Contract Reporter and the New York City Record as well as on the BPCA's website.

However, most Battery Park City residents don't make a habit of checking the BPCA website for RFPs. To help with this situation, Downtown Post NYC will now publish the BPCA's RFPs. Here's the current list:

2016 RFPS
Tribeca Bridge Painting AD - (Proposed Due: 02/01/2016)
Tribeca Bridge Painting RFP
Phase 5 & 6 Pile Remediation - Design & Engineering Services - Ad - (Proposed Due: 1/15/2016)
Phase 5 & 6 Pile Remediation - Design & Engineering Services - RFP
Police Memorial and North Cove Marina Electrical Vault Resilience Project AD - (Proposed Due: 1/11/2016)
Police Memorial and North Cove Marina Electrical Vault Resilience Project RFP
Public Accountant Audit Services - AD - (Proposed Due: 01/06/2016)
Public Accountant Audit Services - RFP
Public Accountant Audit Services - Addendum #1

For more information about these RFPs, click here.

The Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. with drawings by the Society of Illustrators depicting 9/11 first responders, including some who became ill and died. The show was on display between Dec. 7 and Dec. 11 at a time when intense efforts were being made to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. (Photo: Doug Smith)

It took years of work. It took numerous trips by first responders, walking the halls of Congress. It took rally after rally in New York and Washington, D.C. It took the intervention of Jon Stewart on national television. It took negotiations by a raft of Senators and Representatives - cajoling, pleading and bargaining but finally, a renewed James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act passed Congress on Dec. 18 as an appendage to a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill and was signed into law that evening by Pres. Barack Obama.

The renewed Zadroga bill extends the World Trade Center Health Program to 2090 and provides full compensation to survivors and first responders through the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. The Zadroga bill had first passed in 2010 with a five-year expiration date. In fact, by the time this Congress got around to renewing the legislation, it had already expired as of Sept. 30 and was running on a small amount of holdover money.

In the end, 68 Senators and 272 members of the House voted for the bill, but to get it past Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the chief negotiator on behalf of the bill, had to do what he said he wouldn't do - trade passage for something that McConnell wanted - the lifting of a 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil overseas.

There was relief but no jubilant celebration when the finish line was finally crossed.

John Feal, a first responder who lost part of his foot at the World Trade Center site, and who has been most fiercely and bluntly outspoken about the service that first responders provided, the price they have paid and the care that they and their families need, issued a press release in the wake of the bill's passage.

"The cloud of uncertainty on health care coverage for 9/11 first responders and survivors has been removed," he wrote. "This is the best Christmas present for those in need. I'm ecstatic for those who will benefit from this bill, but we all know Congress should have done this a lot sooner. Let's be honest. It took too long for politicians to respond, and American heroes died. We did everything the politicians asked us to do and they still didn't act when they had prior opportunities to do the right thing. I'm angry about how business is done in DC. There's a disconnect between the members of Congress and real people who need help. I don't think they did this because they wanted to for moral reasons. I think they did it because they had to for political reasons."

But it was to morality that supporters of the bill appealed.

"We do not leave the wounded on the battlefield," Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who represents New York's 10th district, said over and over. "We cannot begin that now."

He went on to say at a rally on Dec. 6, as he has said on many other occasions, "This is a moral obligation that the United States has both because we have a moral obligation to our soldiers and to our heroes and to our first responders and to our survivors and because many of them would not be sick today if the Federal government hadn't knowingly lied at the time and said the air was safe to breathe when we knew it wasn't."

After 9/11, Americans from all 50 states served at the World Trade Center site to help with rescue and recovery. Today, more than 33,000 responders and survivors are ill or injured. More than 4,100 people have been diagnosed with cancer either caused by 9/11 or exacerbated by exposure to the chemicals, asbestos, pulverized cement and other hazardous substances released when the Twin Towers fell.

Twenty-three NYPD officers died on 9/11. Since then, more than 94 have died from 9/11-related causes. Three hundred forty three firefighters died that day. Since then, another 110 firefighters have died because of their 9/11 exposure. More people are getting sick and dying every month.

"This should have been a walk in the park," said Sen. Schumer. "It was a roller coaster."

The full story of what happened behind the scenes to enable passage of the bill has probably not yet been told. And maybe it won't be.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer   

Bits & Bytes

One World Trade Center to get another media tenant. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Howard Hughes Drops Plans for 494-Foot Seaport Tower,", 12/16/15. "For once, a condo building will not be rising along a New York City waterfront," says "The Howard Hughes Corporation has called off plans to construct a 494-foot residential-hotel tower along Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport neighborhood after vehement opposition from local residents and elected officials." For the complete article, click here.

Howard Hughes Corp. stock trading near a 12-month low: The stock of The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has long-term leases on parts of the South Street Seaport, is trading near a 12-month low. For details, click here.

"Ackman says this year will be worst ever for his hedge fund," New York Post, 12/16/15. "Hedge fund mogul Bill Ackman is having his worst year ever," says the New York Post in an article that should interest Lower Manhattan readers because Ackman happens to be the chairman of The Howard Hughes Corp. in addition to being chairman of Pershing Square Holdings. "Ackman told investors in his publicly traded Pershing Square Holdings that the fund is down 20.8 percent through November. That is way worse than 2008, when his private funds fell between 12 percent and 13 percent. The private funds were down 17 percent through last month, the Post reported earlier." For the complete article, click here.

"Mic in talks to move to 1 WTC," The Real Deal, 12/16/15. The Real Deal reports that, "Media company Mic is close to signing a lease on the 82nd floor of One World Trade Center, according to sources familiar with the talks. Winning over Mic, which runs the popular millennial-focused news site, is a coup for the Durst Organization. The developer has struggled to fill the $3.9 billion, 3.5-million-square-foot tower it built in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The deal, if it were to go through, would also highlight Lower Manhattan's emergence as a popular destination for media companies." For the complete article, click here.

"New York lawmakers introduce 'Anything But Trump Act' to strip Donald Trump's name from undeveloped state park," Daily News, 12/17/15. "State lawmakers on Thursday formally introduced legislation that would strip Donald Trump's name from an undeveloped state park in New York's northern suburbs," says the Daily News. "The 'Anything But Trump Act,' introduced by State Sen. Dan Squadron [who represents Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn] and state Assembly Member Charles Lavine (D-Glen Gove) calls for New York officials to rename the Donald J. Trump State Park in Westchester and Putnam counties to punish the GOP candidate for his hateful rhetoric." The Daily News says that, "Trump donated more than 400 acres of land near the Taconic Parkway to New York State in 2006, after his plans for a golf course were blocked because of environmental concerns. The park was never completed, and closed completely in 2010 due to a lack of funding." A spokesperson for Sen. Squadron said that Trump paid around $2 million for the land and received a $100 million tax break when he donated it to the State. For the complete article, click here.

"Rentals at Luxe Tribeca Building Will Range From $800 to $50K,", 12/18/15. According to, "Applications recently closed for the 22 affordable apartments at Tribeca rental 460 Washington Street, and a piece in the Wall Street Journal highlights the dichotomy that is often found in these mixed-income developments: the building's affordable units start at $800, while the market-rate apartments will rent for as much as $50,000. (Yes, $50,000.) The project, developed by Related, is one of many that benefits from the city's 421-a tax abatement program, which offers property tax breaks to developers who provide a certain percentage of affordable housing in new buildings. At 460 Washington, there are 106 market-rate units compared to 22 affordable, which is just about in line with the 80/20 designation needed for a building to be considered 'affordable.' According to the Journal, the building will receive a tax abatement of about $16.7 million over 20 years, or $837,000 per year. While this obviously benefits the developers, critics of the program are less enthused. Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, told the Journal, 'The 421-a program is an extremely inefficient use of taxpayer resources, and this building is another depressing example of that.'" For the complete article, click here.

"Review: Variety and Risk in Trinity Wall Street's 'Messiah,'" New York Times, 12/17/15. "Alongside its mighty choruses, Handel's 'Messiah' features a string of solo recitatives and airs for soprano, alto, tenor and bass," says The New York Times. "As such, it is usually performed by a choir and four soloists representing each of those voice types. But Trinity Wall Street, which presented the first of its three concerts of the oratorio on Wednesday at Trinity Church, adheres to a different practice. Drawing on a deep pool of talent among its 28-member chorus, it fields a whole flock of soloists: 13 at the initial presentation. This results in electrified exchanges between the group and its individual members. With each solo, the audience gets to know another singer, so that by the final 'Amen,' the chorus has become an ensemble of characters, its sound colored by the memories of individual voices." For the complete article, click here.

"Duane Street mansion is Downtown's priciest new rental listing," The Real Deal, 12/18/15. "Lower Manhattan has a new priciest rental listing. A trophy mansion once owned by hedge fund manager and George Soros protégé Mark Sonnino has hit the market as a rental, asking $135,000 a month," says The Real Deal. "The Tribeca property at 144 Duane Street, which comprises a massive triplex penthouse, several guest apartments and a basement gym and basketball court, last traded for $43 million in 2013 to an unidentified buyer affiliated with the entity Duane Street LLC. Yoko Sanada of Douglas Elliman declined to comment on the identity of her client, saying only that he or she was currently living overseas." For the complete article, click here.

"Deals aplenty at One and Three World Trade Center," New York Post, 12/22/15. "Both Larry Silverstein and Douglas Durst have something to cheer about for the holidays at the World Trade Center," says the New York Post. "The major GroupM expansion at Silverstein's 3 World Trade we first predicted on Nov. 9 is at hand. The WPP-owned media agency group and Silverstein Properties are in 'the very final stage' of wrapping the deal up by Jan. 1, sources told us. GroupM is expected to add 170,000 square feet to the 520,000 square feet that it has already leased as the anchor tenant in the Richard Rogers-designed skyscraper. In what's the largest new space commitment at the complex in some time, the firm will take floors 32 to 35 in addition to its previous signings for 11 to 16 and 28 to 31 (there are no office floors, only mechanical components, between the two blocks)." For the complete article, click here.

"Trinity Church Campaigns Against Some Gun Sales at Cabela's," New York Times, 12/21/15. "After pushing Walmart to remove high-capacity weapons from its shelves, Trinity Church on Wall Street is turning its attention to the sporting goods retailer Cabela's," says The New York Times. "It wants Cabela's to stop selling weapons that can fire more than eight rounds without reloading. Trinity made the request in a shareholder proposal for the next annual meeting of Cabela's shareholders." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown Post Arts
Cameron Johnson as Misha and Rachel Policar as Goldele in the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of "The Golden Bride"/ "Di Goldene Kale" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Broadway has yet another production of the wonderful and heartbreaking "Fiddler on the Roof," but Battery Park City has "The Golden Bride" ("Di Goldene Kale"), an authentic Yiddish operetta that premiered on Second Avenue (the "Yiddish Rialto") in February 1923 and has not been seen in a full-scale production since 1948. Some of the great actors of the time played on the Second Avenue stages. Even with significant competition, "The Golden Bride" was immensely popular and ran for 18 weeks in the 2,000-seat Second Avenue Theatre before going on the road to other U.S. cities and abroad.

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene has revived "The Golden Bride" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage with a cast of 20 and a 14-piece orchestra conducted by Zalmen Mlotek, Folksbiene's artistic director. The operetta is sung in Yiddish with English and Russian titles above the stage.

Like "Fiddler," "The Golden Bride" revolves around the inhabitants of a Russian shtetl whose close-knit community endures many hardships. In "The Golden Bride," these are leavened by dreams of a good life in America ("Our friends from America,/From far away, will help us") which suddenly becomes a reality for one of their own - a
The young women of the shtetl sing about finding husbands. Jillian Gottlieb as Khanele kneels in the foreground.
poor girl named Goldele - whose estranged father has recently died in America and left her a fortune. Suddenly all the young men in town are after her, but she loves her childhood sweetheart, Misha, and he loves her. Nevertheless, she tells him that she must leave him and go to America. Abandoned by her mother when she was a child, Goldele tells her would-be lovers that she will marry the man who finds her beloved mother. And so the quest begins.

The program notes observe that members of the original audience would themselves have recently made the transition from Russia and Eastern Europe to America. "Yiddish operettas served to help these Jewish immigrants make meaning of their lives as strangers in this new land," say the notes.

"The Golden Bride" is creaky in places with oompah music and shtick, but when Rachel Policar shows up as Goldele and Cameron Johnson comes on stage as her bashert, who loves her rich or poor, their singing and acting make this period piece touching and memorable. Both Johnson and Policar are relatively young. ("The Golden Bride" marks Policar's off-Broadway debut). It will be interesting to see what else they do with themselves. They are ably supported by a strong cast, especially Jillian Gottlieb as Misha's sister, Khanele and Glenn Seven Allen as her suitor, Jerome.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"The Golden Bride" ("Di Goldene Kale") runs through Jan. 3, 2016. Forty-five minutes before each program, there is 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.       

A matinée show will be performed on Dec. 25 at 12 p.m. Separate admission is required and advance purchase is recommended.

Rachel Policar as Goldele.

Downtown Post Arts
"Night at the Fulton Fish Market" by Naima Rauam
It has been 10 years since fishmongers last sold their wares on South Street and the neighboring streets of the South Street Seaport, but Naima Rauam has not forgotten. She continues to paint and draw the activity of the Fulton Fish Market so vividly that the sounds and smells of the place that captured her heart are almost as present as her re-creation of the sights.

Under the title, "Remembering Fulton Fish Market," some of her art is on display at 207A Front St. through Jan. 10.

Naima Rauam. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The old Fulton Fish Market was astonishing, thronged with trucks and handcarts at night that disappeared shortly after dawn. By the time office workers began to troop through the Seaport around 8 a.m., almost all remnants of what had existed the night before had been swept away except for the seagulls foraging for scraps.

The fish market that Rauam knew had its roots in the Fulton Market of 1822, where foodstuffs of all kinds were sold to local residents. The fishmongers thrived and expanded. By mid-century, the Fulton Fish Market had become a wholesale one, as residents and the other food merchants moved uptown. A hundred and fifty years later, an average of a million pounds of seafood came through South Street nightly, for distribution throughout the New York City metropolitan area and beyond.

"I vividly recall Friday morning, November 11, 2005," Rauam said. "It was the end of not only a week of business, but also the end of an era for the fish market. As the reckless debris of a night's work in the fish trade was swept away, and the last fish trucks headed out, moving vans came to gorge on scales, display bins, hand trucks, desks, filing cabinets, cash registers, computers, mementos worthless and priceless, and whatever else a sales floor, cashier's booth, or upstairs office could hold. By Sunday night, the mass exodus had stripped South Street of the country's largest wholesale seafood market. Only empty buildings and the smell of fish remained."

Rauam has been painting fish market scenes since the mid-1960s. She had a studio in one or another fish house until 2005. Though the fish market is gone, it continues to haunt her. She remains at the Seaport to paint what she remembers and what remains.

Remembering Fulton Fish Market Art Exhibit by Naima Rauam. Through Jan. 10, 2016. Place: Fulton Stall Market, 207A Front St. Time: Noon to 6 p.m. daily.

"Looking Down Front Street" by Naima Rauam

Downtown bulletin board
The ice skating rink at Brookfield Place will offer free ice skating classes on Jan. 9. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Stockings with Care still seeking donations: Stockings With Care, a charity co-founded by Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph, has already collected, wrapped and dispatched holiday presents for 1,400 children in New York City shelters or who are otherwise at risk. The presents are given to the child's family to give to the child and are based on a wish list that the child provided. Donors are invited to play "Santa" and to shop for a child whose wish list they have in hand. But this year, Joseph writes, 100 children on the Stockings With Care list didn't have Santas. So that these children wouldn't be disappointed, Stockings With Care dipped into its own funds to provide presents. "Please donate today to help cover the cost of their gifts and other drive necessities!" Joseph asks. "No amount is too small." To donate, click here. Contributions are tax deductible.

Brewer's office accepting capital funding applications:
The office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is accepting capital funding applications from schools, cultural institutions and nonprofits for Fiscal Year 2017. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 12. In FY 2016, Brewer's office awarded $30 million for Manhattan capital projects. Representatives of organizations interested in applying for capital funding grants should schedule a meeting with staff from the Borough President's office. Email For more information on eligibility, click here

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.

Friday nights at the Whitney: From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, admission to the Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St. is now "pay what you wish." The reduced admission charge has been made possible by a gift from The Donald and Barbara Zucker Family Foundation. Tickets usually cost $22 for adults and $18 for seniors. They are free to members and to visitors under 18. Current exhibitions include a Frank Stella retrospective and a show of the paintings of Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891-1981), who first came to prominence in the 1920s during the early days of the Harlem Renaissance. The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875−1942),  houses the foremost collection of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. For more information, click here.

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.

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.

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.

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

The rink at Brookfield Place:
The ice skating rink at Brookfield Place is offeringfree 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
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 portrait in Gracie Mansion by John Trumball depicts Elizabeth Stoughton Wolcott, who was the daughter of Oliver Wolcott, Jr., governor of Connecticut, and Elizabeth (Stoughton) Wolcott. At the age of 18 she married William Gracie, son of Archibald Gracie (1755-1829), builder of Gracie Mansion. She died suddenly of a stroke in 1819. Some say that her ghost haunts Gracie Mansion. (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 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.

Downtown Post NYC photos for sale: If would like to buy prints of a photograph that has appeared in Downtown Post NYC, email with your request for more information about sizes and prices.

Letters to the editor

Vernon Hendrix on a voyage to Cape Horn. 

From the editor:
An article in Downtown Post NYC about the planned departure this spring of the South Street Seaport Museum's barque, Peking, from the South Street Seaport ("After 40 years at the South Street Seaport, the Museum's barque, Peking, will leave for Hamburg, Germany this spring," DPNYC, 11/20/15) elicited a letter to the editor and my own recollections of visiting Cape Horn - the scene of many of the Peking's voyages. This, in turn, elicited another letter to the editor, as follows:

To the editor:
Jeanne [Dorle] and I have been around Cape Horn twice - once each direction. Of course we were in monstrous Princess cruise ships with stabilizers, not little sailing ships. On the trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the ship encountered one monstrous storm. I was outside on the top deck taking photos as the captain circled the most southern piece of rock of South America. That was like being on the roof of a nine-story building. The waves were breaking over me and the wind was so strong that when I lifted a foot to walk it would blow my leg away. I had to hold the railing to walk. I thought of what it would have been like in a ship like the Peking.

Vernon Hendrix

To the editor:
At a CB1 Battery Park City Committee meeting, State officials informed us that there are many rent protections given to BPC rental residents in terms of affordable housing and stabilization through tax benefits to owners/developers. But unlike New York City buildings, these BPC benefits aren't listed anywhere online, and nearly impossible for those living and wishing to live in our community to find out. The State officials promised our Board that they will send the full information to us - showing affordability and stabilization and expiration dates in BPC. They have not.  The Battery Park City Authority could get us this information.  But they told us last night [Dec. 16] at the Town Hall meeting that they will not.

Why can't we know when our affordability or stabilization runs out?

I will always have a dollar in my pocket to loan the City to purchase our area, so that we may be provided a more responsive and representative governance. 

Tom Goodkind

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

CalendarCALENDAR: Week of Dec. 21

Melissa Attebury, conductor of the Trinity Youth Chorus, leading the singers down the aisle of Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street during a performance of Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols."  It will be performed at Trinity this year on Dec. 27. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Community Carol Sing at Trinity Wall Street. Come sing favorite Christmas carols with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Family Choir, Trinity Youth Chorus, and festive brass, arranged by Trinity's director of music and the arts, Julian Wachner. Place: Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: 1 p.m. Free. 

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 the Roaring 20s - 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.  

Dec. 27: Trinity Wall Street's annual Twelfth Night Festival continues with Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols and his St. Nicholas performed by Downtown Voices, Trinity Youth Chorus and Orchestra, NOVUS NY; Melissa Attebury and Stephen Sands, conductors. Place: Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street). Time: 5 p.m. Free.

Dec. 27: Compline by Candlelight with Lessons and Carols provides a meditative, musical conclusion to the week. Place: St. Paul's Chapel (Broadway and Fulton Street). Time: 8 p.m. Free.

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

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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