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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 18 April 16, 2016

"Mom and pop stores like myself who have little businesses are not going to last here much longer. The rents are outrageous around here - $30 thousand, $40 thousand a month."
     - John Delutro (Baby John), owner of Caffé Palermo, in the documentary, "Mulberry," part of the Tribeca Film Festival  

WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

To reach AlliedBarton "safety ambassadors," call  (212) 945-SAFE (7233). The Battery Park City Command Center is now located at the Verdesian at 211 North End Ave. In case of emergencies, call 911.

NEW YORK STATE PRIMARY ELECTION: The primary election in New York State will be held on Tuesday, April 19. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Voters in Lower Manhattan will select their choice for the Democratic and Republican nominee for U.S. president and for someone to take the seat of former New York State Assemblymember Sheldon Silver. For more information, click here.  

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery during the closing ceremony of a weeklong residency in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place as they deliberately destroyed an intricate sand mandala that had taken all week to create.
April 9, 2016 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The swimming pool at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School (CCSHS), 345 Chambers St., was always a bargain, now even more so, especially for Battery Park City residents.

"What we have in CCSHS is an outstanding community resource - which the community isn't fully using," said Battery Park City Authority President and Chief Operating Officer Shari Hyman. "Now, with deeply reduced pricing for all membership types - including a further-discounted Battery Park City resident membership option available for the first time - we're looking to expand access as we sprint into the spring and summer seasons. With a range of new classes set to begin soon, I encourage BPC residents and the lower Manhattan community at large to avail themselves of all CCSHS has to offer."

At a town hall meeting on April 13, Hyman announced that all-access memberships in the community center will now cost $199 for adults (ages 18-61), down from $525. For Battery Park City residents, the price will be $179.

For seniors, youth (17 and under) and for members of the military, all-access annual membership is now $79, down from $150 for seniors and $100 for youth. Military membership pricing is being offered for the first time. Battery Park City residents in these categories will pay $59 annually for an all-access membership.

Day passes will continue to cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and youth, with a first-time $10 day pass option now available for military members.

Badminton at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center
Beginning May 1, annual membership and day pass purchases will include free access to many classes and programs at the community center.  Upcoming classes and programs include group swim lessons for children and adults, tennis clinics, yoga, badminton, total body boxing, the BPC Running Club, and more.

The community center has a large cafeteria, two gyms, a dance studio, pool lanes, and other spaces available for public use. They have been rented for birthday parties and other specialized events under permits issued by the Battery Park City Authority. In the past, there was a $30 processing fee that has now been eliminated. Membership in the community center is not required for permitted use of the space.

The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School is a community resource operated by the Parks Programming department of the Battery Park City Authority. The community center is open seven days a week when classes at the high school are not in session.

For full membership options or to join CCSHS email or call (212) 267-9700. For more information, click here.


Vincent Vallone (left), Little Italy resident, and John Delutro (Baby John), owner of Caffé Palermo in Little Italy, arriving at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 14 for the premiere of a short film called "Mulberry" about the demise of the Italian neighborhood where, as Delutro says in the film, "Years ago, we knew the whole block."
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

As successive groups of people took their place on the Tribeca Film Festival red carpet outside the Regal Battery Park cinema on Thursday night, one group stood out. They were boisterous, dressed like they could have come out of a film by Martin Scorsese ("Marty," to them) and accompanied by a priest, Monsignor Donald Sakano, of the 200-year-old Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral at 263 Mulberry St.

They were there for the premiere of a 20-minute-long documentary called "Mulberry," about Manhattan's Little Italy and its near extinction, caused in part by gentrification and rising rents.

In the early 20th century, Little Italy stretched from Worth Street to Houston Street and was home to around 10,000 people of Italian birth or origin. Now, only around 1,000 people of Italian origin still live in the area, centered on three blocks of Mulberry Street between Canal and Broome Streets.

"Mom and pop stores like myself who have little businesses are not going to last here much longer," says John Delutro (Baby John) in the film. He is the owner of Caffé Palermo at 148 Mulberry St., established in 1973. "The rents are outrageous around here - $30 thousand, $40 thousand a month."

Residents have also felt the squeeze. "The landlords would love to see me die or move because I'm holding them back from getting $4,000 a month in rent," says James Bari in the film. He owns The Original Benito One, established in 1968, at 174 Mulberry St. "They can't touch me. I'm rent controlled."

Michael Verra (left), Anthony di Pilato and Doreen Donofrio
In an immaculate apartment whose furnishings include a record player with a bell-shaped horn, a radio encased in a tall, wooden cabinet, telephones with rotary dials and a double bed with a lacy, snow-white coverlet above which hangs a reproduction of a Madonna and Child by Raphael, Michael Verra (Baby Michael) sits among family photographs. 

"My grandparents are both from Italy and we have lived in this apartment since 1897," he says. "We've gone to the court quite a few times, but the fact [is] that I'm a primary resident, born in the apartment in 1950 - the landlord, of course has decided that we should go to court and find out." We won, he says, "so I guess that's one less person that they have the right to throw out."

Most of the people who appear in the film are elderly. They remember their youth fondly even though there might have been five or more people living in a three-room railroad apartment with a bathtub in the kitchen and a toilet down the hall. "We didn't know we were poor," one of them says. "It was a great, great neighborhood," says another.

Would they move? Never, they say. Unless they had to.

The film ends with title cards that say, "The City of New York relocated Vinny Vella and the residents of 244 Elizabeth St. claiming building repairs as a pretext.  Eight years have passed and the residents have not been allowed to move back to the neighborhood they still call home. Since then, many of the elderly residents have passed away, having spent their last years hoping to return."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"Mulberry" is one of six short films being screened at the Tribeca Film Festival under the programming name, "New York Then." The others are "Taylor and Ultra on the 60s, The Factory and Being a Warhol Superstar," "Dead Ringer" (about the four outdoor phone booths still left in New York City), "The Carousel" (about a 1925 carousel in Binghamton, N.Y.), "Starring Austin Pendleton" (about "the most famous actor you've never heard of") and "Joe's Violin" (about a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life of 12-year-old schoolgirl from the Bronx).

"New York Then" is playing at the Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, 102 North End Ave., on April 19 at 9:45 p.m., and April 21 at 2:45 p.m. It is playing at the Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd St., on April 23 at 3:30 p.m.

For tickets, click here.

"Mulberry" was directed by Paul Stone, who was also the screenwriter, cinematographer and editor. The producer was Claudia Huezo.

Vinny Vella sits in front of Mo's the butcher on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy. From the short film "Mulberry". (Photo: Paul Stone)

Bits & Bytes
Chatham Square in Manhattan's Chinatown has a monument to Lin Zexu, a Qing Dynasty official from Fujian Province, whose drug policies sparked the Opium War with Great Britain, and to Second Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, a Chinese-American bomber pilot, who died in combat during World War II. Two Chinese candidates are among the four vying for New York State Assembly seat vacated by Sheldon Silver, with Chinese voters expected to play a significant role in determining the outcome of the election. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Boathouse gets grants to expand services:
The Downtown Boathouse, which offers free public kayaking in Lower Manhattan, has received two grants that will enable it to better serve the public. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has given the Downtown Boathouse a $5,000 community grant. In addition, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has granted $15,000 to the boathouse. The money is being used to buy new boats, paddles, life jackets and other gear needed to run the free public kayaking program.

The Downtown Boathouse kayaking season will open at Pier 26 (on the Hudson River at North Moore Street) on Saturday, May 21. On weekends and holidays through Oct. 10, the hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last boat going out a half hour before closing time. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from June 15 to Sept.15, the boathouse will be open from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"We will be open for half an hour longer than last year on weekday evenings," said Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse. "This is an attempt to make free public kayaking accessible to a broader range of people. We found that many people had trouble getting to the boathouse from work before we closed for the evening."

He also said that although there will be no listed events for Monday or Friday evenings, "we do intend to serve the public on those days. We want to leave them free in order to experiment. Last year we found that we had no time to try something new (e.g. run a short evening trip up to Pier 40 and back) because we were open seven days a week."

In addition to Pier 26, the Downtown Boathouse runs a free public kayaking program on Governors Island, with details about the plans for this season yet to be announced.

For information about how to become a volunteer for the Downtown Boathouse, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"A Close Election Turns Confucius Plaza Into a Battle Zone,", 4/13/16. "In the upcoming special election on April 19 in State Assembly District 65 for the seat vacated by the disgraced former Speaker Sheldon Silver, Chinese voters, who make up one third of the total, may play a significant role," says, citing an article that appeared in the Sing Tao Daily. "And the Confucius Plaza Apartments, the biggest residential building in Chinatown, has long been the most important source of ballots here. Among the four candidates, two are Chinese. And they both have deep connections with the building and its residents. Competition over the ballots there has turned the building into a battle zone. With more than a thousand registered voter residents and a poll site located in the ballroom, Confucius Plaza is often on the must-visit list of candidates in local elections. But for the first time, there are two candidates who are both closely tied to the building in their own ways. Lester Chang, candidate of the Republican Party, has been serving as the coordinator at the poll site for more than 20 years. He does not only know most of the poll site workers and interpreters who have served for a long time there, but he also knows many voters personally. The other Chinese candidate, Yuh-Line Niou, who represents the Working Families Party, has been endorsed by the United Democratic Organization (UDO), the democratic club in Chinatown. And among her supporters is Justin Yu, senior member of the club, the president of Confucius Plaza, a longtime resident, and the head of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which is also located in the building." For the complete article, click here.

"Jean-Georges' South Street agreement came with a sweet side deal," New York Post, 4/11/16. "Jean-Georges Vongerichten's deal to open a seafood market and restaurant at Howard Hughes Co.'s South Street Seaport redevelopment came with a sweet side dish," says the New York Post. "Vongerichten and his business partner, Phil Suarez, can veto any other restaurant or food tenant at the complex if they don't feel they're the right fit for the new Seaport's less touristy, locally oriented approach or compete too directly with their own planned places - and they've nixed a bunch of Seaport suitors already. According to the Post, citing Eastern Consolidated co-principal and senior retail leasing director James Famularo, there were "10 or 12 operators interested in going there and they killed them." The Post says that they "wouldn't name names, but said they included a beer garden, a moderately priced seafood chain and burger and ice cream spots." For the complete article, click here.

"Charles S. Hirsch, New York's Chief Medical Examiner on 9/11, Dies at 79," New York Times, 4/10/16. "Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, the New York City chief medical examiner who raced to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and returned to the morgue with every rib broken to face the monumental forensic challenge of identifying the 2,753 victims of the attacks, died on Friday in Westwood, N.J. He was 79," says The New York Times. "His death, from complications of several illnesses, was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office. Dr. Hirsch, a forensic pathologist, was the chief medical examiner from 1989 to 2013." The Times says that, "In 2001, when two jetliners commandeered by terrorists struck the World Trade Center, Dr. Hirsch and six aides rushed downtown to establish a temporary morgue. When the North Tower collapsed, two aides were severely injured. Dr. Hirsch, thrown to the ground, broke all of his ribs. His cuts sutured by a medical team, he returned to the examiner's squat brick headquarters at First Avenue and 30th Street, coated in a ghostlike gray soot." For the complete article, click here.

"Man arrested for scaling landmarked FiDi skyscraper: VIDEO,", 4/9/16. "James McNally, a photographer who is known for illegally climbing some of the city's tallest buildings, has been arrested for scaling 70 Pine Street," says "The nerve-racking video shows McNally sneaking in and the climbing to the pinnacle of nearly 1,000-foot tower last September." For the article and video, click here.

"The Untold Story of the Portuguese in SoHo,", 4/14/16. "In the summer of 2006, Ana Ventura Miranda rang the bell of 550 Broome St. As she opened the door, she couldn't imagine that Maria's building was the entrance to a community left forgotten for decades," says "The acting student had heard about Maria Oliveira, a Portuguese immigrant in her 90s who rented apartments in SoHo, and was checking if she had any available. She did, and Miranda became a tenant in the building. As she left the house every day, she noticed old men in dress pants and tennis shoes, ironed check shirts and hats, quietly chatting on the benches of SoHo Square. 'Suddenly, it was as if I was in a small town in Portugal,' she remembers. 'I was almost sure they were Portuguese. They had to be. But I had never heard of a Portuguese community before.'" It turns out that there was one and that "Eventually, the story of that community resulted in the documentary 'Portuguese from SoHo - A story that changed its geography,' which premieres this Saturday at MoMA and is shown again on Sunday at Anthology Film Archives." For the complete article, click here.

"Alchemy brings in Sotheby's to ramp up sales at the Woolworth,", 4/14/16. "Alchemy Properties is bringing in the cavalry to help spur sales at one of the city's most high-profile conversion projects," says "The company, led by Ken Horn, has tapped Sotheby's International Realty brokers Stan Ponte and Joshua Judge to market units at the 33-unit Woolworth Building conversion, six months after sales director JP Forbes left the firm amid rumblings of slow sales. It's the first time Alchemy has tapped an outside firm to market a project from scratch. The company is also 'tweaking' some of the building's Thierry Despont-designed finishes, including scaling back some of the custom millwork. Market insiders had grumbled for months that the finishes were too specific and didn't appeal to a broad range of buyers, sources said." For the complete article, click here.

"Prosecutors in Sheldon Silver Case Cite Extramarital Affairs," New York Times, 4/15/16. "Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have evidence that Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the New York State Assembly, engaged in extramarital relationships with two women, according to newly unsealed court documents," says The New York Times. "The women were not identified in the papers released on Friday, but one of them lobbied him "'on a regular basis on behalf of clients who had business before the state,' the government said in a memo to a judge. In the case of the other woman, prosecutors said, Mr. Silver 'used his official position to recommend' her for a state job, 'over which he exercised a particularly high level of control.' The allegations were contained in sealed court papers that federal prosecutors in Manhattan first presented to a judge last fall in hopes of being allowed to use the material in Mr. Silver's trial on federal corruption charges." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
A gala celebrating the 85th birthday of landmarked fireboat John J. Harvey will take place on May 3. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Workspace designers at LMHQ: On Monday, April 18, come hear top leaders in workspaces, design and architecture at LMHQ as they examine the evolution and future of office and workspaces. As more offices are moving away from traditional and conventional design, companies are considering ways to make spaces inspiring and fun, while also supporting functionality, efficiency and productivity. The panel will feature PivotDesk, a TechStars Boulder 2012 company that helps find room for growing businesses; rapidly growing startup DigitalOcean on how they found the balance between form and function; Floored, on how the role of technology can help make real estate visually compelling; and SHoP Architects, who are designing cutting-edge, innovative workspaces. Place: LMHQ, 120 Broadway, 20th floor. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Seaport Real Estate Trivia Night: On April 20, Bridget Schuy and the BOND New York Seaport team of real estate professionals are staging Seaport Real Estate Trivia Night with prizes and refreshments. The Grand Prize is a sail for two on Schooner Pioneer plus a family membership in the South Street Seaport Museum. Second Prize is a private mixology class for four people at Hideaway Seaport. The Third Prize is a Cowgirl Seahorse gift certificate. Daniel Gershburg, Esq., Seaport resident and real estate attorney, will be on hand to answer questions. Lauren Pastore from Contour Mortgage will also be there to explain what you need to know about mortgages. Place: Melville Gallery, 213 Water St.; Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. RSVP to Space is limited - reserve your spot today!

Manhattan Youth's 2016 Downtown Community Awards: Manhattan Youth will honor Catherine McVay Hughes on May 12 for her leadership as chair of Community Board 1 and for her dedication to issues such as community resilience, land use and overall services. Twenty students who have participated in Manhattan Youth's Community Service Program
will also be honored. They have contributed to community endeavors during Manhattan Youth's After-School programs, environmental cleanup and overall advocacy. Place: Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets (to cover the cost of refreshments), $12. To buy tickets, click here.

Free business counseling:
The Small Business Development Center at Pace University's Lubin School of Business (Pace SBDC) offers free business counseling to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Services include helping to access financing, develop business plans and financial projections, identify government procurement opportunities and come up with strategies for increasing sales (particularly for minority and women-owned businesses). Pace SBDC advisors can also guide entrepreneurs through the process of forming their legal structure as well as provide demographic, economic and other key market research. The service is both for new and for ongoing businesses. To set up a free appointment with a small business advisor, call (212) 618-6655 or click here.

Fireboat John J. Harvey gala:
The fireboat John J Harvey is 85 years old this year. At 130 feet and 268 gross tons, she is among the most powerful fireboats ever in service, capable of pumping up to 18,000 gallons of water a minute. Harvey assisted during such notable fires as the Cunard Line pier fire in 1932, the burning of the Normandie in 1942, and the ammunition ship El Estero during World War II. She served the FDNY until her retirement in 1994. On September 11, 2001, John J. Harvey was reactivated as FDNY Marine 2. Alongside FDNY fireboats Firefighter and John D. McKean, she pumped water for 80 hours, until water mains were restored. On May 3, celebrate Harvey's 85th birthday with an evening of music, cocktails and a buffet dinner with a selection of Firehouse Chilis, plus an exploration of the history of the New York Fire Department. Place: New York City Fire Museum, 278 Spring St. (between Varick and Hudson Streets). Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $125. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Community Convention: State Senator Daniel Squadron will be holding his 8th Annual Community Convention on Sunday, May 15 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at PS 124, The Yung Wing School, 40 Division St. (between Bowery and Market). The convention will be an opportunity to raise issues important to residents of the 26th Senate District, which Squadron represents. Subway: F to East Broadway, 6/J/N/Q/R/Z to Canal, or B/D to Grand Street. To register, click here.

Youth Open Mic Night:
Open Mic Night at Manhattan Youth on April 22 will give teens, ages 12 to 16, an opportunity to perform their own work or work they love accompanied by professional musicians. Place: Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free. RSVP is required along with parental permission. For more information about the Friday night programming at Manhattan Youth, click here.  To make a reservation for Open Mic Night, email or call (212) 766-1104, ext. 299.

Memorial service for Peter Stanford:
There will be a memorial for Peter Stanford on Saturday, April 16 at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity Wall Street, (Broadway at Wall Street) followed by a reception from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the South Street Seaport's Melville Gallery, 213 Water
Peter and Norma Stanford
St. The Stanford family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the National Maritime Historical Society and the South Street Seaport Museum. The National Maritime Historical Society is also requesting remembrances and photos for a feature on Peter Stanford for the next issue of Sea History. They can be emailed to or mailed to 5 John Walsh Boulevard, PO Box 68, Peekskill New York 10567.

Unclaimed funds in New York:
The New York State Comptroller's Office reports that it is holding nearly $14 billion in unclaimed money for New York residents who may have been charged superfluous fees or overpaid a bill, among other reasons for the money to end up in that office. Manhattan has the largest number of unclaimed funds in the New York area with just over 1.5 million potential cases. To search the comptroller's database and verify if you have unclaimed funds, click here or call (800) 221-9311 for more information.

Disposing of electronic waste: New York State and City laws require the safe disposal of electronic waste (such as cellphones, computers and television sets) so that it doesn't end up in landfill. Most electronics can't be discarded through regular curb-side pick ups. The Lower East Side Ecology Center has a warehouse in Gowanus where electronic waste can be dropped off. In addition, the Lower East Side Ecology Center  has rotating monthly  recycling events in various city neighborhoods. For a calendar of its April recycling events, click here. The New York City Department of Sanitation offers a free recycling service for apartment buildings with more than 10 units. For information on how to enroll, call (212) 437-4647. Finally, many manufacturers offer drop off or mail-back options. For a list of manufacturers registered in New York State, go to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation  website by clicking here. If a manufacturer on the list refuses to accept your electronics, notify the Department of Environmental Conservation by calling (800) 847-7332.

Basketball clinic: Under the auspices of Battery Park City Parks, during spring break (April 25-April 29), there will be a basketball clinic at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center. Instructors Jamel Thomas and Louis Frye will teach new skills and techniques. Place: 345 Chambers St. Times: 4 p.m.-5 p.m. (ages 10 to 13); 5:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. (ages 14 to 17). Fee: $250 (ages 10 to 13); $300 (ages 14-17). Registration is required before April 18. For more information and to register, call (212) 267-9700 or click here.

American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Training:
A 40-hour course given at the Stuyvesant High School Community Center meets New York State Health Department regulations for life guards and includes CPR/AED and first-aid skills. Participants must be at least 15 years old by April 25, 2016. Place: Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St. Dates: April 25-April 29, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost: $425; $400 (Community Center members); $375 (students). For information and to register, call (212) 267-9700 or click here.

Sailors Ball tickets on sale:
The annual Sailors Ball is a black-tie party that celebrates the start of a new sailing season and raises funds for the Manhattan Yacht Club's junior sailing programs. This year, the ball will take place at the Down Town Association, 60 Pine St., on April 29. Regular ball tickets (with an open bar, finger food, dancing and casino games) cost
Guests at the 2015 Sailors Ball.
$95 before April 26 and $120 afterward. VIP ball tickets cost $250 and include the 12 Meter Dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and admission to the Ball. In addition there are raffle tickets whose proceeds support junior sailing. The raffle prizes include a place on board the historic America II during the America's Cup World Series in New York Harbor, Saturday May 7. (America II competed in the 1987 America's Cup, so this is a rare circumstance where a historic America's Cup boat will be in the same waters as the modern ones. Prize value $800) and two VIP tickets aboard the Arabella during the America's Cup World Series, Saturday May 7. The Arabella is the flagship of Manhattan Yacht Club and will be hosting its Club and special guests to watch this unique event with the most spectacular backdrop! Prize value $800.) Raffle tickets cost $20 (one ticket); $50 (three tickets); $100 (seven tickets). To  buy tickets for the ball and the raffle, click here.

Free tax preparation:
If you earned $62,000 or less in 2015, you may qualify for free tax preparation services, either via online filing or in person with a certified preparer. There are two ways to file your taxes safely and without charge:

In person at your local free tax preparation site: For most sites, this service is offered to people with an annual income of $54,000 or less (with children) or $30,000 or less (no children). IRS certified preparers will help you claim credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC) to get the full refund you deserve. Some sites let you drop off your tax documents and pick up the completed return later.

There are more than 200 NYC Free Tax Prep sites in the city. In Lower Manhattan, this service is available through Beta Alpha Psi at Pace University, One Pace Plaza, 4th floor (call 212-618-6598 for more information) and at the New Amsterdam Library, 9 Murray St. (call 212-732-8186 for more information). For other free tax preparation sites, click here or call 311.

Online filing is for people with an annual income of $62,000 or less. The online service is quick, easy and secure. Step-by-step instructions make it easy to claim credits like the EITC and NYC CCTC. Experts are available by phone to help with questions.
For more information, go to or call 311 and ask for tax preparation assistance.

5K Run/Walk and Community Day:
Sign up now to participate in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum's 5K run/walk that will take place on Sunday, April 24, rain or shine. This is a "fun Run/Walk" for people connected with the memorial or who want to support it. The event will not be timed. It starts at Pier 26 in Hudson River Park, goes through Battery Park City along the Hudson River esplanade and ends at the 9/11 memorial with a free "Community Day." From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be activities for all ages, a kid zone, live music and opportunities to learn more about the memorial. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. People with a 9/11 Memorial Run/Walk bib will get a 25 percent discount at the Memorial Museum ticket window if they want to visit the museum that day. To register and for more information, click here.

Luminaries, the light show that David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group devised for Brookfield Place's Winter Garden in Battery Park City, went on display in December and was supposed to come down on Jan. 10. But it proved so popular that it remained up until Feb. 29. For photographs of Luminaries, click here.

GrowNYC offers discounted farm-fresh produce:
From now through May, residents and community members of all income levels can sign up for a bag of farm-fresh produce for $12 a bag. Cash, credit cards, debit cards, and SNAP (food stamps) can be used in payment. To participate, customers pre-order bags one week in advance of the designated distribution day. The next week, they can pick up their Fresh Food Box containing seven to nine seasonal fruits, vegetables, and grains, along with healthy recipes and tips on how to store and prepare the produce. All of the produce comes from family farms selling through GrowNYC's wholesale food hub and distribution arm, Greenmarket, Co. In Lower Manhattan, this service is available at 1 Centre St., 9th floor, South Building, Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through May 2016. For more information, click here.

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.

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 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 April 19 and 26; and May 3, 10, 17 and 24. To register for a tour, click here.

SeaGlass Carousel: Following 10 years of design and fundraising and a setback named "Sandy," the SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery opened on Aug. 19, 2015 to universal critical acclaim and rapturous crowds. Downtown Post NYC was there for the opening. Read about the carousel and see photos by clicking hereSeaGlass Carousel is open daily, weather permitting. For updates on changes to operating hours, follow The Battery Conservancy on Facebook. Admission to SeaGlass Carousel is $5 per ride.  Access to The Battery is free and open to the public.

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.

communityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of April 18    
New York City's Five Boro Bike Tour takes riders through all five boroughs of New York City on a 42-mile course. Here, some of the riders pedal through South Cove in Battery Park City. On April 13, Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee considered temporary street closures for this year's tour.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

All meetings of Community Board 1 take place in the conference room at 1 Centre St., Room 2202-A North, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. A photo ID is needed to enter the building.

April 19: Seaport/Civic Center Committee
* Development in the Seaport area - Report by Marco Pasanella, Committee Chair
* Future of Brooklyn Banks - Discussion and resolution
* Street Activity Permit Office application for 4th of July Pig Roast, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, Maiden Lane between South Street and Water Street - Resolution
* 212 Front St., application for change in method of operation for a restaurant liquor license - Resolution
* Lower Manhattan Resiliency - Update by Michael Shaikh, Deputy Director for External Affairs, Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency for the City of New York & possible resolution (POSTPONED)
* Citywide Ferry Service - Update by Economic Development Corporation and Captain Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum (POSTPONED)

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 111 Fulton St., application for renewal of a restaurant wine, beer & cider license for MS 111 Fulton, LLC d/b/a Melt Shop
* 2 Rector St., application for renewal of a wine, beer & cider license for S&I Variety Market, LLC d/b/a Variety Market

April 21: Joint Quality of Life and Financial District Committees
* Proposed City Council legislation to license ticket vendors - Resolution

Quality of Life Committee
* Light pollution - Update by Paul Borri
* Discussion with Brian Nelson, Crime Prevention Unit and Lieutenant Greg Engel, Special Operations Lieutenant, First Precinct (TENTATIVE)
* Request to create a construction liaison position to coordinate between the agencies responsible for permitting and regulating after hours variances - Discussion and possible resolution
* Construction Forum - Discussion

April 25: Nominating Committee
* Selection of Committee Chair
* Discussion of Candidates for Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer
* Set date of next meeting

April 25: Personnel Committee - 6:30 p.m.
* Agenda to be determined

April 26: CB 1 Monthly Meeting - 6 p.m.
        Location:  Governors Island Ferry Terminal
                        10 South St.
                        Waiting Room at the Terminal (street level/ground floor)   

calendarCALENDAR: Weeks of April 10 and April 17

The Titanic Memorial Lighthouse is on Water Street in the South Street Seaport. It was erected in memory of the people who died on the Titanic when it sank on April 15, 1912. The South Street Seaport Museum is offering a walking tour of the Seaport on April 16 to look at artifacts and places connected with the Titanic.
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

April 16: Take a 75-minute-long walking tour of the "Titanic's Seaport" with a guide from the South Street Seaport Museum. The tour commemorates the 104th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. Meet at the museum's main entrance, 12 Fulton St. Time: 12:15 p.m. Tickets: $25; $20 (museum members); $15 (children). For more information, email To buy tickets, click here.

April 16: The Thunderbird Social at the National Museum of the American Indian is a participatory social evening with inter-tribal dances and fellowship led by Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago).  Drum groups include Heyna Second Son Singers and Silvercloud Indian Singers. Place: 1 Bowling Green. Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free.

April 17: Australian artist Amanda Parer's North American tour of Intrude arrives in New York with a public art installation that features monumental rabbits - five two-story rabbits and two four-story "XL" rabbits, commissioned by Arts Brookfield. Each rabbit is sewn in nylon and internally lit. The rabbits will be inflated on Brookfield Plaza (at North Cove Marina) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free. They will be there through April 30.

Through April 27: The National Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island is displaying 13 art quilts created to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The quilts were created by Fiber Works, a group of textile artists from the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area.  The artists were inspired by their favorite national park site. The quilts are on a year-long tour of the 13 chosen parks. For more information about the exhibition, click here.

Ongoing: "Street of Ships: The Port and Its People" in the South Street Seaport Museum's 12 Fulton St. lobby. The exhibition showcases works of art and artifacts from the museum's permanent collections related to the 19th century history of the Port of New York. The objects  on display illuminate the Seaport's decisive role in securing New York City's place as America's largest city and the world's busiest port by the start of the 20th century. On view through 2016. Place: 12 Fulton St. Time: Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets:  $12; $8 (seniors 65+, Merchant Mariners, Active Duty Military and students (with valid ID); $6 (kids, ages 6-17); free (children ages 5 and under). For more information or to reserve tickets, click here.

Ongoing: "Rethinking Cities for the Age of Global Warming" is the title of the newest exhibition at the Skyscraper Museum. Of the world's 20 largest megacities - metropolitan areas with a population of 10 million or more - seven are located in the tropical countries and islands of Southeast Asia. WOHA - the practice begun in 1994 by architects Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell - has built extensively in the tiny city-state of Singapore, as well as in Bangkok, Mumbai, and other megacities in the region. WOHA proposes - and has built - tropical skyscrapers enveloped by nature and vertical villages with sky gardens, breezeways, and elevated parks. At a time when global warming threatens the future, the enlightened work of WOHA rethinks the urban environment, offering prototypes that use vertical density to create highly social, sustainable, and garden-filled cities. Through Sept. 4, 2016. Place: Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place. Museum open, Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission: $5; $2.50 (students and seniors). For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains" at the National Museum of the American Indian traces the evolution of the narrative art form from historic hides, muslins and ledger books to a selection of contemporary works by Native artists, the majority commissioned for this exhibition. Warrior-artists from the Native nations of North America's plains have long used pictures to depict visionary experiences and successes in battle and horse raiding. When the U.S. government enacted policies from 1870 to 1920 that forced Plains people to give up their traditions, drawings became a crucial means of addressing cultural upheaval. Since the 1960s, narrative artists have blended traditional and modern materials to depict everything from ceremonies and family histories to humor and contemporary life. Through Dec. 4, 2016. Place: 1 Bowling Green. The museum is open daily. Free. For more information, click here.      
Ongoing: The exhibition, "New York's Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway," is playing at the Museum of the City of New York (definitely uptown - the museum is at 1220 Fifth Ave., at 103rd Street - but the subject matter recalls the downtown heyday of the Yiddish theater in New York City). New York's first Yiddish production was staged in 1882. In the ensuing decades, so many Yiddish theaters opened on Second Avenue between Houston Street and East 14th Street that the area was known as the "Yiddish Rialto." The exhibition features more than 250 artifacts, including photographs, costumes, playbills, sets, drawings, sculptures and film clips. Some of them came from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, now affiliated with Folksbiene, the National Yiddish Theatre - one of the co-presenters of the exhibition along with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the National Yiddish Book Center. Place: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Chalsty's Café in the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: Suggested admission, $14; $10 (seniors and students with ID); free (under age 20 and members). For more information, click here.

Ongoing: In Atlanta, in 1915, Leo Frank became the only Jew ever lynched in the United States. He was accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl who worked at the pencil factory that he managed. His trial, murder and the aftermath are the subject of an exhibition, "Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case Revisited." Through Aug. 28, 2016. Place: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Open Sunday to Friday (closed Saturdays). For more information, click here.
: An exhibition entitled "Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet Barbara Guest & Artist Fay Lansner" runs at Poets House through April 23, 2016. Beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1990s, this exhibition charts the creative collaboration and friendship between the New York School Poet Barbara Guest (1920- 2006) and painter Fay Lansner (1921-2010). Included in the exhibit are drawings, paintings, collages and portraits of Guest that depict the progressive transformation of the creative process. This is the first time that these works have been brought together in an exhibition. Place: 10 River Terrace. The exhibition is open during Poets House's regular hours. Free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: "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 December 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. For a video related to the exhibition, 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.

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: "Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s" at the Fraunces Tavern
Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation's place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Place: 54 Pearl St. Time: Noon to 5 p.m., daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old. Children, 5 and under, free. Active military with ID, free. For more information, click here.

Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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