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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 25  May 25, 2016 

"For Bill Bernstein, the Alliance was so much more than a job."
     - Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, announcing the death of the Alliance's Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer, Bill Bernstein.

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge opened as thousands of people watched. U.S. President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication, which was celebrated with fireworks and a regatta. At the time, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. This picture was taken on July 4, 2015. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Bill Bernstein, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer of the Alliance for Downtown New York, died of
Bill Bernstein
cancer on May 24 at the age of 64. After serving as a city official, Bernstein started working at the Alliance in 1997. On three occasions, he was acting president, helping to guide the Alliance during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the recession of 2008 and Superstorm Sandy.  
"For Bill Bernstein, the Alliance was so much more than a job," said Alliance President Jessica Lappin. "It was a personal and professional mission, a cause to which he devoted himself for nearly two decades. His wisdom and generosity helped build this organization and helped shape Lower Manhattan, many times behind the scenes. His impact was truly immeasurable, and we will miss him dearly."
Bernstein's judgment, attention to deal and financial expertise proved pivotal to the success of numerous key Alliance programs and initiatives. Following the 9/11 attacks, he helped devise a program to support more than 575 small businesses with a combination of grants, wage subsidies, low-interest loans and other forms of assistance. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, he helped create a "Back to Business" grant program that provided a total of more than $1.5 million in grants to 105 small businesses.
Before joining the Downtown Alliance, Bill was the First Deputy Executive Director of the New York City Department of City Planning for more than 10 years. He managed the Department's staff, human resources, labor relations and computer operations and oversaw its $15 million budget. Prior to this, he worked for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Rent Control Division and for the New York City Loft Board for 16 years, serving in a number of management and policy positions.
For many years, he served on the Board of Directors of Futures and Options, a Lower Manhattan non-profit about which he cared deeply. The organization provides New York City teens with internships, mentoring and job training.

A longtime resident of Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bernstein attended New York City public schools, including Stuyvesant High School, and graduated from City College of New York and New York University School of Business.
His wife, Donna, predeceased him in 2013. His son, Adam Bernstein, works as an information associate in the Downtown Alliance's operations division. In addition to his son, Bernstein is survived by his sister, Dava Jo Zavodnick.
Information about funeral and memorial arrangements will be forthcoming.


Downtown Post Art

In the painting in the foreground, Cornelius Ray, then around 12 years old, posed with his dog for artist John Durand (active 1766-1782). Cornelius grew up to become one of New York's most prominent merchants. He was president of the New York branch of the Bank of the United States and of the New York Chamber of Commerce. The painting is part of an exhibition called "Picturing Prestige" at the Museum of the City of New York. 
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Museum of the City of New York's exhibition "Picturing Prestige" invites us to remember the people who walked the streets of what is now Lower Manhattan 150 to 300 years ago and the artists who painted them. At the time of the earliest portraits in the exhibition, Lower Manhattan was the city, which had not yet expanded to anything like its current dimensions.

Abraham De Peyster, Sr. is here. He was born in New Amsterdam in 1657 and inherited his father's successful shipping business. He lived on Queen Street (now Pearl Street), in one of
Abraham De Peyster, Sr.
the city's first mansions. The Jewish merchant Moses Levy is here, standing in front of a window affording a glimpse of one of his ships. Along with several other wealthy Jewish merchants, in 1711 he contributed money to build the steeple on Trinity Church. Levy's wife, Grace Mears Levy, is also here, her ample bosom barely restrained by a simple, low-cut dress, a lock of her long, dark hair snaking across her shoulder. She was 30 years younger than her husband. After he died, leaving her with seven young children, she ran a store in Lower Manhattan to support them.

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, is here in a portrait by John Trumball
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
created after Hamilton died in 1804 in that terrible duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton's law office was at what is now 26 Broadway. A portrait of his wife, Elizabeth (Betsey) Schuyler Hamilton, hangs next to him. It was painted in 1787 by Ralph Earl, a talented artist but a ne'er-do-well. (Among other things, he was a bigamist who skipped out on his first family.) He was confined to the debtor's prison under City Hall at the time that Betsey posed for him. City Hall was then located at the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets, where the Federal Hall National Memorial is now.

George Washington, who lived on Cherry Street and then on Broadway after he was
Gen. George Washington
inaugurated as the first president of the United States in 1789, is in the exhibition, once in a full-length portrait by an unknown artist and once in the iconic portrait by Gilbert Stuart that was in such demand that Stuart had to paint multiple copies.

Gilbert Stuart had a studio at Stone and William Streets.

And so it goes. People known and people lesser known parade across these walls.

There are 56 paintings in the exhibition, some of them miniatures. The premise of the exhibition, embodied in its title, was that these paintings were made to signify wealth and social standing, and that must surely have been one of the motives, but there may have been others. These people wanted to be remembered, not just by their contemporaries but by future generations.

Death was not an abstraction. Most of the women in this exhibition bore numerous children. It was common for children to die and for women to die in childbirth.

A case of miniatures painted on ivory provides a loving testimony to loss and the possibility of loss. These were easily portable keepsakes. Among them is a portrait by Charles Wilson Peale of Alexander Hamilton, his hair closely cropped. It was made in 1777 when he was serving as a lieutenant-general in the American Revolution. At the time, he had not yet met Betsey. (They met and married in 1780.) But it must have been intended for someone dear to him in case he didn't come back.   

The exhibition ends with paintings dating from just before the Civil War. Most of the New
Lavinia M. Parcells Pike
Yorkers in the later paintings had moved away from what is now Lower Manhattan, but for some local history, take note of the portrait of Lavinia M. Parcells Pike. It was painted around 1825 by Samuel Lovett Waldo and William Jewett, partners who worked out of a house on Cortlandt Street near Broadway. For their portrait commissions, Waldo painted the faces and hands and Jewett painted the costumes, draperies and backgrounds.

Lavinia was a professional dressmaker who ran a store on Broadway. She and her husband, Noah Pike, a tailor and a merchant, came into some substantial money in the 1830s when he won $4,500 after being forced to buy a lottery ticket that his daughter had chewed on in a New York City shop. That would be around $115,000 in today's dollars.

The clothes and the hair styles may be different but the people in this exhibition could be people we know.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"Picturing Prestige" runs through Sept. 18, 2016 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. (at 103rd Street). The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and fees, click here.

On Thursday, June 16 at 1 p.m. there will be a talk and curator-led tour of the paintings in the
The Brooks Clothing Store on Catherine Street 
exhibition that relate to the Brooks Brothers family. Brooks Brothers was founded in April 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks who opened a shop on the northeast corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in what is now Lower Manhattan. Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and students); $10 (Museum members). The price includes admission to the museum. To buy tickets, click here.

On Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m., there will be a program entitled "Elizabeth Hamilton: Reflecting on a Living Legacy" with Phillipa Soo, the actress who plays Elizabeth Hamilton in "Hamilton," and Morgan Marcell, the show's Assistant Dance Captain. They will talk about Elizabeth's lasting impact. Tickets: $40; $35 (students and seniors); $30 (Museum members). To buy tickets, click here.  

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Bits & Bytes
 A visitor to the National September 11 Memorial Museum looked at some of the steel beams that supported the World Trade Center before the Twin Towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. The museum opened on May 15, 2014. Since then, millions of people have visited the museum, but only 20 percent of them have come from the tri-State area. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
"Islamic Cultural Center and Condos Slated For 45 Park Place Move Forward,", 5/19/16. "Plans to bring a 43-story condo tower to 45 Park Place in Tribeca are moving forward with the developer, Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties, having acquired a $219 million construction loan for the project," says "Once dubbed the 'Ground Zero Mosque' site due to the inclusion of a 15-story Islamic cultural center as part of the project, El-Gamal has since scaled that down to a three-story building designed by Jean Nouvel, which will be located at 51 Park Place. In regards to the condo tower - plans call for the creation of a 665-foot building with 50 apartments, that will be designed by SOMA Architects. For the complete article, click here.

"Apartments, Islamic museum to be built on site of failed Ground Zero Mosque," New York Post, 5/19/16. The New York Post reports that, "The developer of the failed Ground Zero Mosque has nailed down 'Sharia-compliant financing' for a new, luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum on the same site, he and his banking partners said Wednesday. The $174 million dollar project features a three-story Islamic cultural museum at 51 Park Place and 48 high-end residential condos in a 43-story tower at 45 Park Place in the Financial District. The 'Sharia-compliant' financing means the deal complies with complex Islamic laws that govern lending and borrowing, including a prohibition against accepting interest or fees for loans." For the complete article, click here.

"Vegan Hotspot By Chloe Opening New Location In South Street Seaport,", 5/18/16. "Uber trendy veggie burger destination By Chloe is opening a huge new outpost in the Seaport District - the third big name to announce restaurant locations in the Howard Hughes Corporation's downtown development plan," says "The West Village restaurant will take over 2,500-square-feet of space on Front Street by 2017, and diners will be able to eat food in the restaurant or to-go. Vegan celeb chef Chloe Coscarelli and By Chloe co-founder Samantha Wasser join David Chang and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who are planning restaurants and a market in the same area." For the complete article, click here.

"Exclusive: Watch Time-Lapse of 50 West Street's Construction, Financial District," New York YIMBY, 5/17/16. "It's been a while since we checked in on Time Equities' project at 50 West Street, dubbed simply 50 West, in the Financial District," says New York YIMBY. "The 64-story, 780-foot-tall building topped out back in the fall of 2015, but work has been going on since winter 2014. Now, we have an exclusive time-lapse of its construction, produced by EarthCam. The images were taken from south of the project site, which is bound by Joseph P. Ward Street to the south and Washington Street to the east." For the complete article, click here.

"9/11 Museum a Tough Sell for New Yorkers," Wall Street Journal, 5/22/16. "Two years after it opened and lacking government funding, the National September 11 Memorial Museum is making a push to persuade reluctant New Yorkers to have a look," says the Wall Street Journal. The article notes that, "Some 5.7 million people have visited since it opened in May 2014. Yet only 20% of them come from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, according to the museum. In contrast, residents from the same region accounted for 41% of attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in fiscal 2015. The 9/11 museum is in the midst of a marketing campaign to increase its local audience. It includes before-and-after videos with city residents who were coaxed into visiting, as well as advertising in the subway and on local cable television." For the complete article, click here.

"Madison Equities Files Permit for 1,115-Foot Supertall Condo in the Financial District,", 5/19/16. "Madison Equities and Pizzarotti Group filed a new building application yesterday to construct a 1,115-foot supertall skyscraper at 45 Broad Street in the heart of the Financial District," says "When finished, reportedly in 2018  (good luck with that), the tower will be the second tallest building in lower Manhattan after 1 WTC, and the sixth tallest in the city. As detailed by the application, the tower will comprise 371,634 gross square-feet of floor area spread across 66 floors. Listed are 150 units, a bit less than the 245 condo-residences Pizzarotti CEO, Rance MacFarland said there would be earlier this year. Supposedly, the building will cater to "'entry- and mid-level buyers' with relatively conservative prices of  below $2,000 per square foot on average." For the complete article, click here.

"3 World Trade Center Reaches Supertall Territory," New York YIMBY, 5/24/16. "The new World Trade Center is coming together," says New York YIMBY. "In March, the Santiago Calatrava-designed World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened. Liberty Park is due to open this summer. Now, we have news about one of the complex's skyscrapers. 3 World Trade Center, located at 175 Greenwich Street, has reached supertall height. A supertall is anything above 300 meters, or 984 feet, in height, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which issues such determinations. Well, 3WTC has passed the 1,000-foot mark, on its way to a final height of 1,079 feet and 80 stories. As of Friday, the concrete had reached 1,001 feet, six inches and the steel was up to 732 feet." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
The Liberty Community Garden is on the north side of West Thames Park in Battery Park City. Plots are awarded on a first come/first served basis. To be added to the waiting list, email your name and contact information to For more information, click here.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Smorgasburg returning to the South Street Seaport: Starting May 27, Smorgasburg will be back in the South Street Seaport for the third year. Vendors will be located inside the newly renovated Fulton Market building at 11 Fulton St., with indoor and outdoor seating. There will also be an outdoor bar. The food vendors will include El Tigre, Lumpia Shack, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Home Frite, Landhaus and Wowfulls. All will be open daily.

Minority and women-owned businesses get boost from New York City:
Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to awarding Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) $16 billion in contracts over the next 10 years. During FY 2015, the City awarded M/WBEs $1.6 billion and is on track to reach the $16 billion goal. There are now 4,454 M/WBEs in the City, a 21 percent increase since the start of De Blasio's administration. Free services are available to help strengthen certified M/WBE's including access to technical assistance, bonding, financing, teaming and mentorship. Firms interested in starting the M/WBE certification process or participating in M/WBE programming can learn more by calling 311, meeting with a client manager at one of the City's seven NYC Business Solution Centers (the Lower Manhattan center is at 79 John St., second floor) or by clicking here.

Manhattan Youth's Outdoor Adventure Summer Program:
From Aug. 15 to Aug. 19,  Manhattan Youth is offering a week-long sleepaway program for young people in grades 4 to 9 at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Outdoor Mohican Center in Blairstown, N.J. The program will include swimming, canoeing and kayaking, camping, day and night hikes, fishing, outdoor sports, evening campfires and more. Private transportation to and from the Mohican Outdoor Center will be provided. The center is a 90-minute drive from New York City located on 70,000 acres in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The program costs $945, however any child previously or currently enrolled in Manhattan Youth's Downtown Day Camp or After School Outdoor Adventure Program will receive a discount of $100. There is an additional $100 discount for siblings. For more information, email Yessenia Chimelis at or call (212) 766-1104, ext. 303.

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.

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:
This year's season of free kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 (near North Moore Street) has begun. 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 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.

Before the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the World Trade Center, Manhattan's Lower West Side was home to one of the largest and earliest communities of Arab Americans in the United States. Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community's Life and Legacy tells the story of this neighborhood from its beginnings in the late 1800s to its legacy in Brooklyn and beyond.

May 25 to Sept. 16: The NYC Department of Records and Information Services,
31 Chambers St. Visitors Center.

This exhibition was created by the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
For more information, click here.

calendarCALENDAR: Week of May 23

   Spectators in front of the Grand Theatre in 1905. The marquee announces Jacob P. Adler in "The Jewish King Lear." The photograph is part of an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York called "Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway." On June 5, the museum is offering a walking tour of Second Avenue, the heart of the Yiddish Rialto. For more information, 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.

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.

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.

June 5: As an adjunct of its exhibition, "Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway," the Museum of the City of New York is offering "The Yiddish Walk of Fame," a walking tour of Second Avenue, the heart of the Yiddish Rialto. In the first decades of the 20th century, a vibrant Yiddish theatrical scene blossomed on the Lower East Side. Centered on Second Avenue, New York's "Yiddish Broadway" offered dramas, comedies, and musicals that rivaled the offerings uptown. Join community historian Elissa Sampson to explore the roots of American theater and popular culture through a tour of historic sites along Second Avenue. Stops will include the Yiddish Arts Theatre, Cafe Royale, the Yiddish Rialto Starwalk, and the Community Synagogue. The total length of the tour will be about half a mile. Place: The tour will begin at the southwest corner of Second Avenue and Twelfth Street. Time: 10:45 a.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold on site. Tickets: $30; $25 (seniors and students); $20 (Museum members). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

June 8: "Since the early 1960s, the South Street Seaport has been a battleground for New York's identity," says Dr. James M. Lindgren, professor of history at SUNY Plattsburgh. The South Street Seaport has the largest concentration of 19th-century mercantile buildings in the city - dear to preservationists but not necessarily to city bureaucrats and commercial developers. Lindgren will present an illustrated talk on his book, "Preserving South Street Seaport: The Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District" at the Mid-Manhattan Library. Place: 455 Fifth Ave., 6th floor. Time: 6:30 p.m. Free.

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

June 11: A workshop entitled "Weaving and Poetry with Jill Magi" at Poets House is about playfulness and about ways in which beginners can sense and use language intuitively. It will
Jill Magi. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
begin with a 45-minute-long work session where participants will make small, cardboard looms, take bits of thread and fabric, and make page-sized weavings. No textile arts experience is necessary. Then, in a writing session, participants will transfer this sense of play and "in-expertise" to the blank page. Class enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Place: 10 River Terrace. Time: 2 pm. to 6 p.m. Fee: $125. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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