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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 24  May 21, 2016 

""Ninety-five percent of everything we use traveled here on a vessel."
     - Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, explaining the importance of New York harbor commerce to the life and well-being of the metropolitan area.

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: A 15-foot-tall bronze statue of the Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher Confucius stands on Confucius Plaza in Manhattan's Chinatown. The base of the statue is inscribed with a Confucian commentary on just government. May 15, 2016 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The Bayonne Bridge, connecting Bayonne and Staten Island, opened in November 1931. The road bed is too low for many of the large cargo ships that now visit New York harbor. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

More than 2,200 miles away from New York City, thousands of construction workers are putting the finishing touches on an engineering project that will have a profound effect on commerce in New York harbor.

After 10 years of labor, an expansion of the Panama Canal, linking the Atlantic and Pacific
A cargo ship going through the Panama Canal.
Oceans, is due to open on June 26. The new canal runs parallel to the old one, which opened more than a hundred years ago. Wider and deeper than the old canal, the new one will be able to accommodate cargo ships that are almost three times larger than the ones currently in use.

The problem in New York harbor is that its major commercial ports - Port Elizabeth and Port Newark - are in New Jersey on the far side of the Bayonne Bridge, which spans the Kill Van Kull between Bayonne, N.J. and Staten Island. The bridge opened in November 1931. Even now, many large ships have a hard time going under it when they are fully laden. They have to wait for low tide.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been eyeing this problem for years. In
A cargo ship going under the Bayonne Bridge.
2009, it commissioned a $10 million study from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to find a solution. The alternatives examined included constructing a tunnel under the Kill Van Kull and building an alternate bridge to replace the existing one. However, the final recommendation was to raise the roadway on the Bayonne Bridge, and that is what's happening now.

Construction started in July 2013 and was supposed to be finished by late 2016. Now the Port Authority says that the bridge reconstruction should be finished by mid-2019.

The Port Authority attributes the delays in part to bleak weather during the winter of 2014-2015
Roadway construction on the Bayonne Bridge.
and to the need to keep the bridge open while the work continues. More than 20,000 vehicles a day traverse the bridge.

With delays, the cost of the project is expected to balloon by around 15 percent. It is now budgeted at $1.3 billion.

Nevertheless, there is no question that this work must be done. "Ninety-five percent of everything we use traveled here on a vessel," said Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, at a recent conference on the New York City waterfront that was organized by the Waterfront Alliance.

The disruption to New York City and its economy caused in October 2012 by Superstorm Sandy was a reminder of how dependent the metropolitan area is on its waterborne commerce. At the time, 57 vessels had to be diverted to other ports. Cranes and cargo handling equipment were damaged. Among other problems, the interruption in the pipeline caused supplies of home heating oil and gasoline to be diminished.

The Bayonne Bridge reconstruction will raise the roadway from approximately 151 feet above water level (depending on the tide) to 215 feet. 

Although work on the bridge has been significantly delayed, New York City did get a temporary reprieve. The locks in the Panama Canal are filled with water from the Gatun Lake. The vast amounts of water required have been depleted this year by a drought in the region. For this reason, the largest vessels will be unable to go through the canal even after the expansion opens a month from now.

The Panama Canal Authority has had to limit ships going through the canal to a draft of 11.74 meters (down from 12.2 meters) so that they don't get stuck. When the new locks open in June, they could potentially accommodate ships with a draft of 15.2 meters, but that's only if the water levels rise. And right now, that doesn't look like it's going to happen.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A cargo ship traversing the Panama Canal. The canal is of major importance in moving cargo between the East Coast of the United States and Asia, between the East Coast of the United States and the West Coast of South America and between Europe and the West Coast of the United States and Canada. The ship in this picture is about one-third the size of the newest cargo ships, which can carry 14,000 cargo containers.

Catherine McVay Hughes with her husband, Tom, and with friends and colleagues with whom she has worked for almost two decades as a volunteer for Community Board 1. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 12 was a night for celebration at the Downtown Community Center. 

The Center at 120 Warren St., home to Manhattan Youth, was packed with friends, family and colleagues of Catherine McVay Hughes, who will retire at the end of June as chair of
Lane Steele, one of 20 high school students who won Downtown Community awards for their volunteer service this past year.
Community Board 1, and with friends, family and colleagues of 20 young people, ages 13 to 18, who volunteered their time this past school year to work in programs operated by Manhattan Youth. Each of the students received Downtown Community Award plaques in recognition of their contributions as assistant teachers, lab assistants and facilitators of the work of the Community Center.

"Most of the volunteers are residents of Lower Manhattan and have graduated from our elementary or middle school programs," said Zebi Williams, director of Manhattan Youth's Community Service program.

In addition to service in after-school programs, Manhattan Youth Community Service can entail such activities as cleaning up the beach at Far Rockaway, homeless outreach and working on a fundraiser for Syrian refugees - all of which took place this past year.

Catherine McVay Hughes
Catherine McVay Hughes is also a volunteer. She has devoted almost two decades to Community Board work as Co-Chair and then Chair of the Financial District Committee, as Chair of the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee for seven years, as Vice Chair of Community Board 1 for six years and as Chair for four years.

Among many other issues, she has fought steadfastly and fiercely to get health care for people affected by 9/11, to ensure that Lower Manhattan gets the funds it needs to protect it from storm surges and sea level rise and to mitigate the problems created by unbridled construction within Lower Manhattan's one and a half square miles.

There is no one in this community who is not indebted to her in some way. Past and present members of Community Board 1 turned out in force to honor her. So did New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Borough of Manhattan President Gale Brewer.

"There is still more to do before my term ends on June 30th, but we are in a very good place now," she said. "I'm delighted to live here with neighbors and friends like you."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Recipients of Downtown Community Awards. They included Lucy Altus, Kendal Chapman, Sophia Delaney, Jackson Deysine, Maryam Diallo, Morgan Dodds, Amelia Eigerman, Faith Greene, Lola Kenet, Nicholas Kim, Mikaela Klippel, Eden Lavie, Adam Lockhandwalla, Tallulah Lover, Carmen Mascarenhas, Luca Nickola, Damion Ribeiro, Annika Rogers, Morgan Starling and Lane Steele. 

Bits & Bytes
Manhattan's Chinatown, where a recent Mount Holyoke graduate named Mei Lum has become the third generation of her family to run the Wing On Wo antique shop at
26 Mott St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Is the city's planning chief stepping down?" Crain's New York Business, May 16, 2016. "Is Carl Weisbrod getting ready to step down as director of the Department of City Planning and chairman of the City Planning Commission?" asks Crain's New York Business. "Rumors have circulated off and on for months that Weisbrod, 72, will soon become one of the senior-most officials to leave Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration. Last Thursday, when asked about the chatter, his office issued a somewhat cryptic statement that didn't exactly read as a denial. According to Crain's, "Opinions about the likelihood of Weisbrod's departure vary among planning experts in the city. One source who knows Weisbrod said he had grown frustrated late last year as criticism from community boards and residents greeted the de Blasio administration's plan to force builders to include affordable housing and to rezone neighborhoods to spur development. However, that certainly was not a surprise; Weisbrod has said he has been in New York City long enough to expect such reactions. Ultimately, the City Council approved the plan to pass mandatory inclusionary housing, which compels builders to include affordable units in exchange for the ability to add density, and rezone East New York, the first of 15 planned neighborhood rezonings." For the complete article, click here.

"The Fish Market Fishmonger," New York Times, 5/13/16. "Dan Feig, 59, had just begun his early-morning rounds in the fish market when a man with a longshoreman's hook sidled up and discreetly described a sweet shipment of sea bass," says The New York Times. 'I got a beautiful box over there, the best you ever seen, but you better hurry up,' he told Mr. Feig, who was soon sizing up the catch. 'They don't come any better than that, pal,' the man said, trying to hook Mr. Feig, one of the biggest fish buyers here at the New Fulton Fish Market Cooperative at Hunts Point in the Bronx. Mr. Feig picked up a bass and saw from the translucent sheen and bulging eyes that it was fresh. He wiped his fish-slimy hands on his vest and said he'd take the box. Mr. Feig, whose business card identifies him as a 'Fourth Generation Fulton Fish Market Fishmonger,' has been making his living by buying and selling fish ever since going to work at age 17 at the Fulton Fish Market in Lower Manhattan. The market was moved in 2005 up to this cavernous terminal in the Bronx, where the buying begins after midnight each weekday and is largely over before dawn." For the complete article, click here.

"Bad boy chef Todd English starts comeback at W Hotel," New York Post, 5/16/16. "Bad boy chef Todd English - one of People's most beautiful people, a 2009 runaway groom and Page Six hot tub fodder - is making a comeback, " according to the New York Post. "The James Beard award-winning chef, who had become better known for his extra-curricular antics than his cooking, is launching 'The English' at the W Hotel Downtown with his son, Oliver. The father-son team will also be in charge of all food - including catering, weddings and room service - at the hotel, located at 123 Washington St." The 6,000-square-foot restaurant - formerly BLT Bar & Grill - closed last fall and will reopen this summer. For the complete article, click here.

"Jennifer Lawrence shops Tribeca with Fredrik Eklund,", 5/15/16. "Actress Jennifer Lawrence was apparently too busy promoting her new film, 'X-Men: Apocalypse' to make this year's Met Gala (an event she co-chaired last year). Nevertheless, she seems to have found the time to peek in at a few Tribeca properties with Douglas Elliman's Fredrik Eklund." For the complete article, click here.

"New Look at 86-Story, 245-Unit Mixed-Use Supertall Tower, 45 Broad Street, Financial District," New York YIMBY, 5/16/16. "Back in February, the first renderings were revealed of the planned 86-story, 245-unit mixed-use tower at 45 Broad Street, in the Financial District," says New York YIMBY. "The renderings originated from EB-5 materials, as the development team - Madison Equities, Pizzarotti-IBC, and AMS Acquisitions - is hoping to raise $75 million in financing through the program. Now, another rendering of the CetraRuddy-designed project has surfaced via YIMBY Forums, which depicts the tower when viewed from the north (looking southward down Broad Street). New buildings applications haven't been filed yet, but the 1,100-foot-tall tower will encompass approximately 298,000 square feet." For the complete article, click here

"New Blood in an Old Chinatown Shop," Voices of NY, 5/16/16. "Walking into Wing On Wo, an antique shop located at 26 Mott St., is like getting into a time tunnel," says an article in Voices of NY that originally appeared in Chinese in the Sing Tao Daily. "From the objects displayed in the shop, one may get a sense of what Chinatown looked like in the old days. But Mei Lum, the third generation of the family that owns the shop, is trying to do something new. She wants to offer more products that cater to young people, and bring the business out of Chinatown and into the night market in Queens. She is even considering following the model set by her grandfather, the former auxiliary police commander in the 5th police precinct, Shuck Seid, to make the shop a public space in Chinatown where the community can get together to discuss the future of the neighborhood. These are not easy decisions because just three months ago, the shop was on the edge of being closed for good." For the complete article, click here.

"21 Vendors Face Charges of Selling Fake Tickets to the Statue of Liberty," New York Times, 5/18/16. "The arrival of spring beckons millions of tourists to New York City, and many are set on visiting the Statue of Liberty," says The New York Times. "For years, visitors have been greeted in Lower Manhattan by vendors selling boat tickets to the landmark - at least that's the pitch. On Wednesday, the police arrested more than a dozen ticket sellers in what officials said was a crackdown on vendors who prey on tourists by offering fake tickets to the Statue of Liberty. The vendors, some on parole for serious crimes, told tourists they were getting tickets to boats that stopped at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, though the tickets were actually for ferries that circled New York Harbor without stopping, the police said. John J. Miller, deputy police commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said 21 vendors were facing charges of fraudulent accosting after an investigation of ticket-selling practices in and near Battery Park, where ferries to the landmarks depart. Fourteen of the suspects were in police custody, he said." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
The Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26 opened for the season on May 21. Staffed by volunteers, the Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking on the Hudson River.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Public hearings on proposed rent increases: The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) is voting at the end of June on possible rent increases for rent-regulated tenants. At the preliminary vote on May 3, the RGB agreed to discuss/vote on a 0%-2% rent increase for  one-year leases and a .5%-3.5% rent increase for two-year leases. That means that there could be a rent freeze on one-year leases for the second year in a row.

For information about the RGB's upcoming public hearings, email Ahmed Tigani in the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer or call (212) 669-3223.

New York Assembly seat campaign launch:
Two of the candidates for the New York State Assembly seat (65th AD) formerly held by Sheldon Silver will launch their campaigns on Sunday, May 22. Gigi Li, chairperson of Community Board 3, will discuss her ideas for the district at Sara Delano Roosevelt Park (Hester Street between Forsyth and Chrystie) at noon. City Councilmember Margaret Chin, tenant leader Nancy Ortiz of Vladeck Houses I & II, and other community leaders will attend, to throw their support behind Li's candidacy. At 2 p.m., district leader Paul Newell will officially launch his campaign at Straus Square (corner of East Broadway and Essex - take the F Train to East Broadway). RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

Meet the New York State 65th Assembly District Candidates:
Alice Cancel won the special election held on April 19 to fill the seat for the New York State 65th Assembly District previously held by Sheldon Silver. Cancel will serve until the end of the year. However, in September, there will be a primary election and in November, a general election to determine who will represent the 65th AD next. On Monday, May 23, the Downtown Independent Democrats are holding a forum at which candidates will talk about their community involvement, their background, their vision for the office they seek and their perception of the top issues. (The list of candidates who will make presentations is still in formation.) Place: 125 Greene St. (between Prince and Houston Streets). Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

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.

Special Poets House Members' Event: Treasures from the Poets House Library:  On May 25, Poets House members can get a 'behind the scenes' look at items from the Poets House Library Special Collections and archives. Among the items on display will be books and memorabilia from founders Elisabeth Kray and Stanley Kunitz and rare titles by poets such as E.E. Cummings, W. S. Merwin, Tracie Morris, Fred Moten, and C.D. Wright among others. Light refreshments will be served. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free to Poets House members. Space is limited. RSVP to Gina Scalise at

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.

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.

Poets House membership:
If you're not yet a member of Poets House, this is the time to sign up. Poets House, at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City, is a free, 60,000 volume poetry library that sponsors lectures, symposia, exhibitions and classes and has special programs and facilities for children. Memberships start at $40 a year and are tax deductible. For more information about membership, click here.

Willy Wall open for the summer season:
The Honorable William Wall, Manhattan Yacht Club's floating clubhouse in the harbor, has opened for the summer season.  Buy a ticket, ride out to the Willy Wall on a launch and experience the incredible harbor. The Willy Wall offers unmatched views of sailboat races on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. This year, there will be an announcer doing play-by-play on race nights so you can follow the action and root for your favorite team. There is a bar on board where drinks and sodas can be purchased. Many people bring a picnic basket. For more about the Willy Wall, click here. Tickets: $20. To buy tickets, 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 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 through 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.

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 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.

ferryCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETING: Week of May 23

On May 17, Community Board 1's Seaport/Civic Center Committee discussed the Citywide Ferry Service, which is supposed to launch in the summer of 2017. The service will consist of five new ferry routes in addition to the existing East River Ferry service. The fare
will be $2.75. (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 24: Community Board 1 monthly meeting -  6 p.m.
               Location: Gibney Dance, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers St.)

May 30: Office Closed - Memorial Day

All documents relating to the above agenda items are on file at the Community Board 1 office and are available for viewing by the public upon written request to

calendarCALENDAR: Weeks of May 16 and May 23

  Gabriel Willow (with binoculars), a guide for the New York Audubon Society, leading a trip aboard New York Water Taxi from the South Street Seaport up the East River to the Brother Islands to see egrets, herons, cormorants, gulls and other birds. This year,  Ecocruises to the Brother Islands, Hoffman and Swinburne Islands and Jamaica Bay will run Wednesday evenings from June 8 to Aug. 17. For more information and to buy tickets, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

May 21: Flamenco Dance is the first family dance of the summer season in Battery Park City. Flamenco dance and music stemmed from the blending of many cultures in southern Spain over centuries. Watch or participate as Sonia Olla and Ismael Fernandez demonstrate and teach the lightning-fast footwork of this traditional dance form. Place: Esplanade Plaza (just south of North Cove Marina). Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

May 22: Author Michael Wex talks with Jayne Cohen about his book, "Rhapsody in Schmaltz," at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Known for his New York Times best seller, "Born to Kvetch," and his Yiddish charm, Wex traces the history and social impact of the culinary traditions that European Jews brought to America. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 3 p.m. Free. Pre-registration is required. To register, click here.

May 22: "Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School" is a musical adventure based on Barbara Park's popular book. It's part of a series of shows for families at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Place: 199 Chambers St. Time: 1:30 p.m. Tickets: $25. (A packet of 10 tickets that can be used at this and at "Charlotte's Web" on June 5, the final show in the series, can be purchased for $120.) For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

May 26: 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.) Registration is required. Place: Meet at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St. Time: 12:15 p.m. (The tour will also be available at 6 p.m.) Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). For tickets, click here.

May 27: 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, June 3, 10 and 17. Time: 12:15 p.m. (The tour will also be available at 6 p.m.) Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). 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 26: In a festive concert at the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, home of the Museum at Eldridge Street, EastRiver Ensemble and Hot Pstromi explore the historical and musical connections between the Russian Jews and Chinese who lived together in Harbin, China from the turn of the 20th century through World War II. Place: 12 Eldridge St. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25; $15 (students and seniors). For more information and to buy tickets, 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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