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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 23  May 12, 2016 

"I deployed two signs that said 'Transit of Mercury Free View' with the 'Free' in a big, red font."
     - Graeme Birchall, describing what happened when he set up his telescope in Battery Park City's Wagner Park on May 9. The transit of Mercury across the sun will not be seen again for a decade at least, and then will not be visible from New York City as it was on Monday. 

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.  

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: Two of the boats in the America's Cup race on the Hudson River - Oracle and Emirates. May 7, 2016. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The U.S. team's boat, Oracle, in the America's Cup race on May 7.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Saturday, May 7, was overcast and chilly with almost no wind, but that didn't keep around 75,000 spectators from lining Brookfield Place's Waterfront Plaza and the Battery Park City esplanade hoping to see some of the best sailors in the world race some of the fastest sailboats in the world. The event was the much touted Louis Vuitton America's Cup, a run-up to the 35th America's Cup race, which will take place in Bermuda in June 2017.

On Sunday, the sky cleared and around 100,000 people turned out to watch the races. That day, there was a brisk wind - almost too much. America's Cup racing rules state that a race can't take place if there is a wind of 25 knots sustained for a minute or more. This rule was adopted following a tragedy on May 9, 2013 when Artemis Racing capsized, killing double-Olympic medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson, who was 36 years old.

Because of the lack of wind on Saturday, only one of three planned races could take place. It was won by the SouthBank Team, Japan, which adopted the strategy of staying close to the Battery Park City seawall while its competitors headed out into the Hudson River current.

On Sunday, there were three races, as scheduled. In the first one, Artemis caught a puff of wind that put the boat far in front of the others. "The race was won by tactical skill," said Colin Gordon, the commentator on the press boat.

The last of the three races on Sunday was equally dramatic. The Emirates New Zealand boat got tangled in a starting buoy and consequently trailed the others until the very end, when the lead boats encountered a becalmed patch and Emirates caught a puff of wind and sailed right by them at around 20 knots.

The final standings for the two days of racing put Emirates New Zealand in the lead, followed by Oracle, Land Rover BAR, SoftBank Team Japan, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France.

All of the teams raced on AC45F catamarans that were built in New Zealand and designed by the Oracle Racing engineering team. The boats are 44.1 feet long and carry a rig height that can be extended to 84 feet. They can go at speeds of up to 50 knots.

Maneuvering these boats requires great strength and fast reflexes, plus skills that were not required on the boats used previously in America's Cup races. The crews are, for the most part, young because of the physical demands. At any one time, there are five men on a boat, but each team consists of around 30 athletes. "Injuries are common," said Gordon.

The boats are owned by syndicates that each put up tens of millions of dollars to place their sailboats in America's Cup competition. Advertisers pay handsomely to have their brands emblazoned on the boats, the sails, the gear and the hardware that surrounds the races. Since the races are watched by millions of people, this advertising investment reportedly pays off very well.

Although each boat is branded with the name of a country, the crew is likely to be from parts of the world other than the boat's name would indicate. SoftBank Team Japan, for instance, had four team members from New Zealand and only one from Japan. Land Rover BAR, sailing for Great Britain, was the only boat with a team that came entirely from the branded country. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, was the skipper and helmsman.

The Louis Vuitton races will yield a challenger to compete in Bermuda with Oracle TEAM USA, the defending champion. The New York race was the fifth in a series of eight and possibly nine races that give the six competing teams a chance to practice against each other and to accumulate points that could buy them a ticket to Bermuda. After New York, the teams will be headed to Chicago and then on to Portsmouth, England, Toulon, France, and possibly to Japan.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Land Rover, with Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm, approaching the finish line during the America's Cup race on May 8.

Bits & Bytes
Leslie Koch, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, has announced her retirement. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Howard Hughes to self-fund Seaport development," The Real Deal, 5/10/16. "The Howard Hughes Corporation will not take out a construction loan for its planned commercial development at the South Street Seaport," The Real Deal reports. "Instead, it is taking the unusual route of funding the entire project from its own balance sheet, the company's CEO David Weinreb said Tuesday." According to The Real Deal, Weinreb explained the decision by saying, "We didn't want to have the burden of a lender who was going to have various requirements about, you know, when you were going to be leased, the timing, etc. Because when you're resuscitating an asset, often the best decisions are not signing a lease, not doing something, just being patient.... And when you have a lender that's behind you, they often are pressuring you to make decisions that are not good decisions for the long term." For the complete article, click here.

"As the Revival of Governors Island Reaches a Peak, Its Architect Steps Down,"
New York Times, 5/8/16. "At 10 a.m. on July 19, the final section of Governors Island, known as the Hills, will open to the public. Some 10 acres of ridges, paths, slides and lawns will rise seven stories over the harbor, providing panoramic views of New York City," says The New York Times. "The Statue of Liberty looms large over the vista, the closest point in all of New York to the copper giant. Yet it is not the only outsize presence on this 172-acre island. That distinction also belongs to the woman who stood atop the Hills on Thursday, giving a tour: Leslie Koch, the president and chief executive of the Trust for Governors Island." The Times says that, "everywhere you look on Governors Island, you see Ms. Koch's influence," adding, "There is still much to be done, including attracting private development without alienating the park's newfound fans. Yet Ms. Koch will not be there to enjoy it. After a decade on the job, and on the island, she will announce her retirement on Monday." For the complete article, click here.

"Waiting for Godot: These NYC penthouses are languishing without buyers,"
The Real Deal, 5/10/16. "While brokers try everything from price cuts to publicity stunts to generate interest in their product, the market just ain't buying some of what they have to sell," says The Real Deal. "A number of penthouses are lingering for months - and even years - before finding a buyer. Those that have been written about the media and plugged aggressively on social media and television by brokers with large followings don't seem to be selling any quicker than their less-talked-about counterparts." Among the penthouses mentioned in the article are several in Lower Manhattan. They include the Adjmi & Andreoli-designed penthouse at 11 North Moore which, says The Real Deal, "has seen its share of interest from A-list buyers - actor Leonardo DiCaprio is among those who reportedly scoped it out. But the luxe Tribeca pad, developed by VE Equities, hasn't found a buyer since hitting the market at $40 million in January 2014." For the complete article, click here.

"After 6 Years Off the Market, FiDi Landmark Seeks Additional $70M,", 5/9/16. "Talk about a price jump: The landmarked building at 70 Broad Street, formerly the headquarters of the American Bank Note Company, hit the market today with a whopping $88 million asking price," says "But what makes this completely mind-boggling is the fact that when the property last sold in 2010 (to a Chinese firm), it fetched a relatively modest $18 million. So yes, the sellers are seeking an astronomical $70 million profit." says that the building dates from 1908 and became New York City landmark in 1997.  For the complete article, click here.

"From Hammams to Private Jets, 111 Murray's Most Outrageous Amenities,", 5/11/16. "It's all but impossible to plan a new development in New York City these days without throwing in at least some schmancy amenities - things like a private fitness center, a 24-hour concierge, or a children's playroom-to entice buyers," says "But of all the luxury developments that Curbed tracks, 111 Murray in Tribeca might take the cake for the most ridiculous amenities. The building, developed by Fisher Brothers, Witkoff, and New Valley, has offerings you'd expect (spa, residents' lounge, private garden), but a few that are downright outrageous (private jet?!?). With the announcement that the building will now be home to a private Drybar outpost, here's the rundown on some of its more over-the-top perks." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
 On May 12 at 7 p.m., Manhattan Youth will honor Catherine McVay Hughes for her leadership as chair of Community Board 1 and for her work for more than a decade on many issues of importance to Lower Manhattan. Everyone is invited to attend the gathering. (Catherine McVay Hughes at the World Trade Center site on April 16, 2010.)
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Tribeca Meet & Greet: Tribeca Meet & Greet has been holding meetings almost monthly for more than 10 years so that neighbors can meet, exchange ideas and broach some ways of working together as businesses. Each month, the meetings take place at a different neighborhood business. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Double Knot rug gallery, 19 White St., (between West Broadway and Church Street). The Double Knot rug gallery specializes in new and antique oriental and tribal carpets, rugs, kilims, grain sacks, saddle bags from Turkey, Anatolia, Persia, Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The meetings are free and everyone is welcome. Ann Benedetto (owner of A Uno) will be there promoting the Tribeca Alliance, a new organization of local businesses. She is eager to speak with potential supporters.

Some people show up for the full evening, some just drop by to say hello. Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway will provide some beverages and MaxDelivery will bring some snacks.

Feel free to bring business cards, menus, flyers and other information about you and your business. Tribeca Meet & Greet is organized by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. For more information, call David Cleaver at (212) 220-1459.

Mini Golf on Pier 25:
As part of the Hudson River Park Games, Manhattan Youth will be running a special Mini Golf event on Pier 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. For an extra $4, you can win a prize if you get a hole in one!

From May 14 to May 21,
a series of events entitled "Community Fest" will help support Hudson River Park. In addition to Mini Golf, they include yoga, a sailing class, outrigger canoe paddling, kayaking and more. For more information about the Community Fest, click here.

The Hudson River Park Games take place on May 21. For more information, click here.

Offshore Sailing School season:
The Offshore Sailing School has launched its sailing programs in North Cove Marina. They include a two-day, accelerated "learn to sail" course, a two-day "race ready" course, a three-hour course entitled "Freedom Friday Sailing Adventures" and a five-day family "learn to sail" course, among others. Program pricing starts at $150. KidsSail for ages 7 to 17 starts on Monday, June 20 and runs through Aug. 12 with half- or full-day weekly sailing lessons. For more information about Offshore Sailing's New York harbor sailing activities, visit its office/classroom on the first floor of One North End Ave. (also known as 300 Vesey St. at Brookfield Place), call (212) 786-4888 or click here.

Firehouse Open House:
Learn about the lifesaving work of the FDNY at firehouses and EMS stations citywide at the annual FDNY Open House on Saturday May 14. Take a tour, pick up fire safety education literature, and meet local firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. You can also learn about careers in the FDNY. In Lower Manhattan, the firehouses at 42 South St. and 100 Duane St. will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the firehouses at 124 Liberty St. and 49 Beekman St. will be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Annual Brooklyn Bridge Poetry Walk:
On June 13, Poets House will be staging its annual walk across the Brooklyn Bridge as a fundraiser for its many events and public programs. The walk across the bridge is interspersed with poetry readings and ends with a festive dinner in DUMBO where more poetry is read between courses. Time: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets: $250; $225 (Poets House members). For more information, call (212) 431-7920 or click here.

Downtown Boathouse Season:
Free kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 will begin on May 21. Weekends and holidays, the Downtown Boathouse will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 10. It will also be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings between June 15 and Sept. 15 from 5 p.m to 7:30 p.m. with the last boat going out a half hour before closing time. 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 more information about the Downtown Boathouse, click here.

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.

Manhattan Youth volleyball: On Friday nights, Manhattan Youth offers beach volleyball instruction and games on Pier 25 in Hudson River Park for kids from grades 5 to 12. The Volleyball League runs from May 13 to July 25. Fifth to eighth graders play from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. while ninth through 12th graders play from 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. The program is free for Downtown Community Center members. The fee for non-members is $35. For more information, email Marshal Coleman at To register, click here.

Free sailing: Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., May through October, Offshore Sailing is offering a free one-hour sail for New York City residents with a valid New York City ID. The boats leave from North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City. There is a limit of one free sail per person per season. All who participate must be be 18+ years old or 7-17 years of age with a parent/guardian. Spots are limited - only 10 are available each day, so advance reservations are necessary. To reserve, click here. For information about the Offshore Sailing School's sailing programs for adults, families and kids, email

Reduced fees at Stuyvesant High School Community Center: All-access memberships in the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School (CCSHS) at 345 Chambers St. 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. 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 at Stuyvesant High School is 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.

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.

Contributions in memory of Peter Stanford:
Peter Stanford, founder and first president of the South Street Seaport Museum and the second president of the National Maritime Historical Society, died on March 24 at the age of 89. 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.

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: Through May 26
, 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 26, 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 May 17 and 24 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28. 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.

Letters to the editor
City Council has just passed a bill that, beginning Oct. 1, will tax the plastic and paper shopping bags used by grocery store customers.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
(Note from the editor: On Monday, May 9, Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, brought his telescope to Wagner Park in Battery Park City to show anyone who was interested what the planet Mercury looked like as it moved across the sun. This rare celestial event will not occur again for at least a decade, and when it does, it won't be visible from New York City. Birchall wrote a letter to the editor to report what happened.)

I arrived in Robert Wagner Park at 11:30 a.m. and promptly set up. The wind was stronger than I had planned for, but my telescope did not vibrate all that much. There were occasional clouds, but they usually cleared in a minute or two. Approximately 100 people had a look. I deployed two signs that said "Transit of Mercury Free View" with the "Free" in a big, red font.

Most of the people who stopped were tourists. Others were office workers out for a lunchtime stroll. Plus there were a few locals doing errands or exercising. Those who had heard about the transit came directly over and wanted to look. Those who had not, or who had no idea what a transit was, were a little more skeptical, but I usually convinced them to look. As always in New York City, the incredible diversity of people stopping to look was a big part of the attraction.

My objective was to show people the transit, and also to get them out of their comfort zone just a little bit. Pointing out that they were not actually seeing Mercury, but rather the silhouette of Mercury, was a good place to start.

Some people were in a rush and did not want to wait for the clouds to dissipate. My response that this was the only time in their whole life that they will probably see this. Most stayed.

Graeme Birchall

To the editor:
(Re: "City Council passes bill to charge consumers at grocery stores and non-food stores for plastic and paper bags," DPNYC, 5/6/16). Thank you for the news that the City Council voted to levy a charge on shoppers for plastic bags provided by the store, as of next October.  However, doesn't the last sentence, i.e."stores will still be able to distribute free bags for produce, meat and bulk food items," negate the whole story? What is left after produce, meat and bulk food? In addition, a major violator of this environmental recommendation appears to be Rite Aid, that can't seem to use enough plastic with the most minor purchases. (Do you know how long it takes for a plastic bag to decompose?)

Dolores D'Agostino

From the editor:
The "free bags for produce, meat and bulk food items" refers to the flimsy, clear plastic bags that are dispensed at produce sections and elsewhere in most food stores. The bags to be taxed would be the plastic and paper bags with handles that customers receive when they check out.

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

communityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETING: Week of May 9

The Cosmopolitan Hotel at the corner of Chambers Street and West Broadway opened in 1845 and is said to be the oldest extant hotel in New York City. On May 11, Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee considered its application for a liquor license. 
(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. 

May 12: Landmarks Committee
* 11 Hubert St., application for additions to existing building - Resolution
* Liberty Street Pedestrian Bridge - Discussion

calendarCALENDAR: Week of May 9

  Alicia Flannery, an artist who works at the World Trade Gallery, 120 Broadway, wearing a one-of-a-kind hat made by artist Don J. The current exhibition includes work by Keith Haring, Narihito Munakata, Don J and others. Prices range from $45 (for a hat) to $30,000 (for a signed screenprint by Haring). The gallery is open from Monday to Saturday. For more information, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 12: Every Thursday this spring, Trinity Wall Street's Music & the Arts program has been presenting Revolutionaries: a festival celebrating the centennial of Alberto Ginastera by pairing music from his third compositional period with that of fellow revolutionary Ludwig van Beethoven. On May 12, internationally renowned organist and composer Chelsea Chen performs works by Ginastera, Maurice Duruflé, and Nicolas De Grigny. Place: Trinity Church (at Broadway and Wall Street). Time. 1 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 12: Learn about "The Secret Life of the Brooklyn Bridge" on a walking tour with a guide from the South Street Seaport Museum. Beneath its elegant and restrained exterior, the Brooklyn Bridge holds many secrets. Hear the stories of the bridge's remarkable builders and the quirky life of this enigmatic structure. (Note: this walking tour does not go across the Brooklyn Bridge.) Also, May 19 and May 26. Registration is required. Place: Meet at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St. Time: 12:15 p.m. (Starting May 12, the tour will also be available at 6 p.m.) Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). For tickets, click here.

May 13: The South Street Seaport and the area immediately north of it are decorous now compared with what they used to be. Take a walking tour of the "wicked 4th Ward" with a guide from the South Street Seaport Museum. Home to eccentric and dangerous characters, the Fourth Ward was the city's district of vice and crime. Tours meet at the Museum's main entrance (12 Fulton St.) and will last approximately 75 minutes. E-mail for more information. Also May 20 and May 27. Time: 12:15 p.m. (Starting May 13, the tour will also be available at 6 p.m.) Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). For tickets, click here.

May 14: Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month at the National Museum of the American Indian with storybook reading and hands-on activities for kids. Place: 1 Bowling Green in the Education Classroom on the 2nd floor. Time: 1 p.m. Free. For more information about the museum, click here.

May 15: "Letters to Sala" by Arlene Hutton will be performed at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. In this poignant concert presentation based on Ann Kirschner's book, " Sala's Gift," the original Off-Broadway cast, led by Anita Keal and Britian Seibert, portray how Sala risked her life to keep a forbidden diary while in seven Nazi forced-labor camps. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 3:30 p.m. Tickets:  $20; $15 (members; students with valid ID); $10 (children, for ages 10+). For tickets, click here.

Ongoing: "Stitching History from the Holocaust," an exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, re-creates the dress designs of Hedy Strnad. In 1939, she and her husband, Paul, wrote to his American cousin seeking help to escape Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Nearly 60 years later, the Strnad family discovered the letter in their basement, along with a packet of Hedy's dress designs. While Hedy and Paul did not survive, their story is brought to life through the contemporary creation of Hedy's designs and the piecing together of this couple's history. Through Aug. 14, 2016. Place: 36 Battery Place. The museum is open Sunday to Friday. Tickets: $12; $10 (seniors, 65 and up); $7 (students); free (children, 12 and under and museum members). For hours and more information, 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.

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: "Keeping the Revolution Alive: The John Ward Dunsmore Collection" at Fraunces Tavern Museum. John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) was best known for his realistic and accurate genre paintings of the events surrounding the American Revolution and Early Republic. His careful research and attention to detail lead to the creation of vivid paintings that became a part of the nation's historical imagery. Dunsmore's works have been reproduced on items ranging from school children's textbooks to the Library of Congress's website. This exhibition displays a chronology of the Revolutionary War as depicted by Dunsmore. All of the paintings have been restored in the past 10 years. On May 31, the paintings will be moved to another gallery at Fraunces Tavern Museum for a larger exhibition, "Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War" that opens on June 17. 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.

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.

Nearby attractions: 
May 21: Irish singer songwriter Larry Kirwan, the leader of the band Black 47, will return to the Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center for a solo concert. An accomplished playwright and composer, Kirwan has written 13 plays and musicals. He hosts and produces SiriusXM's Celtic Crush and writes a weekly column for the Irish Echo. Kirwan will be presenting songs from his musicals, "Hard Times" and "Transport," Black 47 favorites, and "Floating," an ode to his great-grandfather inspired by the museum's study of the Sailors' Snug Harbor retirement home. The Noble Maritime Collection is a museum and study center on the campus of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information or to buy tickets, call (718) 447-6490 or click here.

Buy tickets now: 
June 4: BMCC Tribeca PAC's Lost Jazz Shrines series is dedicated to restoring the memory of legendary New York City jazz venues to the consciousness of the world with a thorough remembrance and celebration, led by Artistic Director Willard Jenkins. On Saturday, June 4 at 8:30 p.m. celebrate the legacy of both the legendary Sweet Basil and Lester Bowie. The concert will be preceded by a free panel at 7 p.m. featuring a discussion of the legacy of Sweet Basil and its activities with Bob Stewart and James Browne (previous proprietor of Sweet Basil), moderated by Willard Jenkins. Place: Tribeca Performing Arts Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St. Tickets: $25 for the concert. To buy tickets, call (212) 220-1460 or click here

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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