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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 27  June 8, 2016 

"It's clear the stakes are much higher than anyone in the community was led to believe."
     - Alice Blank, architect and Community Board 1 member, commenting on the proposed Water Street Text Amendment

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: Rhododendron blooming on Rector Place. May 29, 2016
 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance, addressing Community Board 1's full board on March 22, 2016 to urge passage of a resolution supporting the Water Street Text Amendment. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Tuesday, June 7, was supposed to be the day when City Council's Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and its Land Use Committee voted on what has been dubbed the "Water Street Text Amendment" but that didn't happen. The Subcommittee vote has been pushed back to June 14 and the Land Use Committee, to June 15. This is to allow time for the text amendment to be modified because there has been so much opposition to the proposal as originally presented.

"Water Street Text Amendment" is a designation sure to put off all but the most dedicated policy wonks were it not that millions of dollars of property on Water Street could change hands depending on what City Council decides. How many millions is a subject of controversy. One estimate says that what is at stake is a quarter of a billion dollars. The Alliance for Downtown New York, one of the sponsors of the text amendment, says that that number is hugely inflated.

If there is one thing on which everyone agrees it's that this text amendment is "controversial."

The proposal, submitted by the Downtown Alliance, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and the New York City Department of City Planning, would allow the owners of buildings that currently have privately owned public spaces (POPS) on or near Water Street to fill in their arcades with retail stores in exchange for upgrading their plazas with drinking fountains, diverse seating and plantings.

Each of the filled-in arcades would be approximately 6,000 square feet with two of them, around 10,000 square feet. Approximately 110,000 square feet of what is now public space could potentially be repurposed for private use.

Of  20 buildings on the Water Street corridor between Whitehall Street to the South and Fulton Street to the north and between South Street and Pearl Street, 17 have arcades and 13 have plazas that could be affected by the amendment. The buildings date from the 1960s and 1970s when design requirements for POPS were minimal. At the time, building owners who agreed to create plazas and arcades were able to build taller office towers as a trade off.

The arcades are underutilized and the plazas are dingy, say the supporters of the text amendment. Moreover, they say, Water Street is an uninviting corridor that does not serve the area's growing residential population. Retail stores and more foot traffic would make it livelier and safer.

"I don't accept that these arcades and plazas are a failure," said Roger Byrom, chair of Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee. He said that in Europe he had seen similar public spaces being used as open air cafés and for dancing lessons. "We haven't put the effort in to use those examples to bring more life to the arcades and plazas," he said. "And I don't think we need to provide retail space every square foot for New York City because we would turn into midtown with no open spaces."

The opponents of the text amendment also say that if the owners get to fill in their arcades in exchange for upgrading their plazas, they would be double dipping. "They were handsomely rewarded by inducing them to provide these POPS," said Byrom. "If the plazas have failed," he said, (and he doesn't agree that they have failed), "the developers have some responsibility and they should be motivated, if not forced, to make these spaces more desirable as they exist today."

If anyone was still yawning over this, they might have snapped to attention when reports surfaced at the end of May that some downtown residents were getting phone calls purporting to be from City Councilmember Margaret Chin's office asking them if they wanted to register their support for the Water Street Text Amendment. One of those phone calls was placed to Community Board 1 member Paul Hovitz who replied that he wanted to register his opposition to the text amendment, at which point the caller hung up.

Hovitz snapped a picture of the ID on his phone showing Chin's office number. Chin denied having anything to do with this. It turned out that the phone calls emanated from the Downtown Alliance, which had hired a public relations firm called the Global Strategy Group to promote the Water Street proposal. The Global Strategy Group, in turn, hired a phone bank subcontractor called Political Connection, which placed the calls.

Chin, who does not support the Water Street text amendment in its present form, responded with indignation. "I am incredibly troubled by reports that Political Connection, a firm hired to conduct outreach to my constituents, used misleading information in order to solicit support for the Water Street text amendment," she said in a statement. "At no point was my office aware of misrepresentation by any group about this important issue. Upon learning about this solicitation, my office consulted with legal counsel about possible enforcement action to ensure that these kinds of misleading tactics do not happen again. I would like to assure the dozens of people that wrote letters, testified, and attended meetings on both sides of this issue that it is their voices - not those purporting to represent a City Council office - that will be heeded as the process of determining the future of Water Street continues."

"It's clear the stakes are much higher than anyone in the community was led to believe," said
Alice Blank at a Community Board 1 full board meeting expressing her opposition to the Water Street Text Amendment. 
Alice Blank, an architect and Community Board 1 member who has been among the most vocal opponents of the text amendment. She said that this involves "an extraordinary compromise of public rights and public money that goes well beyond the Downtown Alliance's understated public story of a need for 'enhancement of the pedestrian experience' along Water Street."

She went on to say that, "The story is unfolding contemporaneously with the giveaways of City property that have occurred in recent weeks with the lifting of deed restrictions in the Lower East Side and in East Harlem."

On June 7, a couple dozen opponents of the text amendment fired off a letter addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio, all City Council members, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials stating that under the circumstances it is "impossible for a fair vote to occur on the Water Street Text Amendment" and urging the recipients to "intervene to suspend all action on the Water Street Text Amendment until the public can be fully informed and fully heard."

Among other things, they want the City to investigate the potentially unlawful phone calls and to designate an independent working group to propose "responsible changes to the text amendment."

The revised text amendment, currently in the works, would not be made public until June 15, when City Council's Land Use Committee is scheduled to vote on it. After consideration by the Land Use Committee, the modified text would be sent to City Planning for comments with a final vote expected on June 21 by the full City Council.

Opponents of the text amendment say that this schedule would not allow for any public comment on the modified proposal. Anyone wanting more information can email

Despite opposition, Jessica Lappin and the Downtown Alliance still firmly support the text amendment as the best way to enliven Water Street. "In my view, things change and we should be evolving and growing," Lappin said. "I understand there was a benefit given to create the arcades. But I'm a pragmatist." She noted that the text amendment proposal had twice passed Community Board 1's Planning Committee and more recently had passed CB 1's full board. (The vote on March 22, 2016 was 19 in favor, 11 opposed, 7 abstentions and 1 recusal.)

"When people went and toured and studied and discussed it, there was very broad agreement that the arcades are not providing the benefit that was intended," she said. "You know, this is New York and people have different opinions and there are people who think the arcades are a fantastic architectural feature. I disagree and I'm not going to change my mind. I wish we could see eye to eye, but we obviously don't. Our goal is for this to be community space or retail or amenities that the neighborhood wants, where people from the neighborhood will shop and go. We want there to be activity and signage and lighting. There are a lot of uses that would be very welcome."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner, Pioneer, sailing past the Central Railroad of New Jersey building during Op Sail, May 23, 2012.
(Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A sunny day in New York harbor when the air is warm, but not hot and the wind is steady can induce euphoria aboard one of the harbor's historic sailboats. The oldest of these is the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner, Pioneer, which was built as a sloop in Marcus Hook, Pa. to carry sand mined near the mouth of the Delaware Bay to an iron foundry in Chester, Pa. Ten years later she was re-rigged as a schooner.

"She has a flat bottom," said Kirsten Johnsrud, one of the captains of the Pioneer. "Her crew
Capt. Kirsten Johnsrud
would deliberately run her aground at low tide, fill her with sand, and then at high tide, she would float away."

In the days before paved roads, small coastal schooners such as Pioneer were the delivery trucks of their era, carrying cargo between coastal communities: lumber and stone from the islands of Maine, brick on the Hudson River, and oyster shell on the Chesapeake Bay. Almost all American cargo sloops and schooners were wood, but because she was built in what was then this country's center of iron shipbuilding, Pioneer had a wrought-iron hull.

She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country, and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence.

By 1930, when new owners moved her from the Delaware River to Massachusetts, she had been fitted with an engine, and was no longer using sails. In 1966 she was substantially rebuilt in Gloucester, Mass. and turned into a sailing vessel once again. She arrived under sail at the South Street Seaport Museum in August 1970, initially serving as a training vessel for teenagers who had formerly been addicts.

In their book, "A Dream of Tall Ships," Peter and Norma Stanford said that the Pioneer was a good teacher. "She was a real handful to sail," they said, "literally, for she had no labor-saving devices aboard except the anchor winch and auxiliary engine. Sail-handling with the heavy gear had to be done by disciplined teamwork."

At the beginning of a cruise, guests who sail on the Pioneer nowadays are always invited to help raise her sails and many do, learning exactly what the Stanfords were talking about and the meaning of the call from a crew member, "Ready on the peak!" and "Ready on the throat!"

After that, they can sit back and enjoy the trip around the harbor, watching the passing cruise ships, the tankers and barges pushed by tugs, and the other sailboats that glide by like birds.

Wherever the wind, tide and current take the Pioneer on these voyages, there's always a chance to see the Statue of Liberty and to admire the East River's trio of stately bridges - the BMW, as out-of-town guests may be told - Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg. And without the usual clamor of city noises and the drone of an engine, the melodic tones of a buoy bell sound across the water accompanied from time to time by the cries of gulls.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Pioneer sails on Saturdays and Sundays and on many Thursdays and Fridays, leaving from Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. Tickets: $32; $28 (seniors and children under 12). For more information and to book tickets, cllck here.

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Bits & Bytes

The SS United States, the fastest trans-Atlantic ocean liner ever built, is docked in Philadelphia while experts see what it would take to make her seaworthy again. 
"Tribeca spa Aire had unlicensed massage therapist who 'creeped out' woman with 'inappropriate' massage: suit," Daily News, 6/1/16. The Daily News reports that, "A swanky Tribeca spa that offers wine and olive oil 'rituals' also offered an unlicensed massage therapist who sexually abused customers, a shocking new lawsuit says. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, a 40-year-old Ulster County lawyer said she and her boyfriend indulged in a visit to Aire Ancient Baths on Franklin Street in March 2014, when she was coping with a relative's declining health." The suit stated that, "In an attempt to comfort plaintiff, (her) boyfriend splurged on Aire Ancient Baths because the spa promoted itself as providing one of the most extravagant and relaxing experiences in New York City." The suit claims that the unlicensed massage therapist touched the woman in intimate and private parts of her body. For the complete article, click here.

"Philly woman pleads guilty in Lower Manhattan sidewalk-driving case," Metro New York, 6/1/16. "A woman who injured a pedestrian with her car in Lower Manhattan when she drove on the sidewalk to avoid traffic has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the incident," says Metro New York. "In April 2015, Tiffany Murdaugh, 35, drove her 2013 Dodge Challenger onto a crowded Beekman Street sidewalk near the Spruce Street School, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. stated. Murdaugh drove for nearly half a block on the sidewalk, striking a 37-year-old woman, the district attorney added. The victim suffered serious injuries including a broken knee and a laceration to her head." For the complete article, click here.

"One WTC Nabs Another Financial Occupier,", 6/2/16. "A second big financial services tenant has come to One World Trade Center in nine months," says Globe Street. "Ameriprise Financial has signed a 37,704-square-foot lease to take the 78th floor of the iconic property. The Downtown property-owned jointly by The Durst Organization and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey-is now 69% leased. Ameriprise Financial joins Moody's, which occupies 75,312 square feet in the building, as a prominent financial services firm to lease space at One World Trade Center." For the complete article, click here.

"In Turner Paintings at the Met, the Bloody Business of Whaling," New York Times, 6/2/16. "Among the most revered works by the great British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) are those representing the world dissolved by light, steam, fog, smoke, rain, wind and snow," says The New York Times. "One of his favorite settings for his evocations of elemental chaos was the ocean, a place where nature regularly overwhelms human challenges to its dominion. In this vein, late in his career, when he was around 70, Turner made the dangerous business of whaling the subject of four paintings. He exhibited two of them at the Royal Academy in London in 1845 and the others in 1846, but they've never been shown all together until now, as the Metropolitan Museum of Art has united them in 'Turner's Whaling Pictures, an exceptionally thought-provoking exhibition." For the complete article, click here.

"Jason Pizer out at Trinity Real Estate,", 6/3/16. "Months after selling a chunk of its massive Hudson Square portfolio to Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Trinity Real Estate showed president Jason Pizer the door," says The Real Deal. "Pizer, who was tapped to lead the real estate arm of Trinity Wall Street in 2010, left his post last month, sources told The Real Deal. As Trinity's longtime leasing director, he succeeded Carl Weisbrod six years ago in overseeing the church's vast and extremely valuable real estate portfolio. The Episcopal church controls one of the largest commercial portfolios in the city, spanning 5 million square feet of commercial real estate in Hudson Square that can be traced to 1705, when Queen Anne of England bequeathed 215 acres to the Episcopal parish. The portfolio was valued at $3.55 billion last year after Trinity's mega deal with Norges Bank Investment Management, which paid $1.56 billion for a 44 percent share in a 75-year ownership of 11 office buildings.
In April, a joint venture between Trinity and Norges tapped Houston-based Hines to manage the 11-building portfolio." For the complete article, click here.

"Contemporary Duplex In One of Manhattan's Oldest Buildings Asks $1.95M,", 6/3/16. "You wouldn't know it from its contemporary interiors, but a Seaport
The entrance to 273 Water St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
duplex that just hit the market is in one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan," says "The duplex is located in the Captain Rose House that's believed to date back to 1773, making it the third oldest building in Manhattan (behind St. Paul's Chapel and the Morris-Jumel Mansion, per the Times.) 273 Water Street's history is as well-documented as it is fascinating. The Times summed it up in a 1998 article, just as the aging structure was being reborn as condos. The first occupant was Capt. Joseph Rose, a mahogany trader who kept his brig moored out the back door. It was Christopher (Kit) Burns who put No. 273 on the map in the 1860's by offering dog and rat fights as entertainment to the patrons of his tavern." For the complete article, click here.

News about the SS United States: The SS United States, a luxurious trans-Atlantic ocean liner built in 1952 for United States Lines, was designed by William Francis Gibbs, whose office was at 21 West St. in Lower Manhattan. She was the largest ocean liner constructed entirely in the United States and still holds the record as the fastest passenger liner to cross the Atlantic Ocean in regular service. However, she was no match for airplane travel. Her sailing days ended in 1969. Since 1996 she has been docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.

More than once since then, she has seemed headed for the scrap heap but too many people love this ship to have let that happen.

In February the SS United States Conservancy signed an exclusive option agreement with Crystal Cruises in hopes of returning America's Flagship to seagoing service. Crystal executives, including President and CEO Edie Rodriguez and her technical advisors, convened in Philadelphia recently to assess progress and plans. Crystal has been evaluating the technical issues and requirements of the ship's potential conversion. The historic vessel must be completely re-engineered to comply with modern rules and standards, while retaining her historic profile and visual cues. Crystal is covering all of the ship's monthly carrying costs as this feasibility study progresses.
Under the leadership of retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan, Crystal has assembled a team of maritime experts and engineers to evaluate how the conversion could best advance. In-depth assessments of the ship's structural condition have been performed. Underwater divers have conducted inspections of the vessel's hull, and her fuel and salt water ballasting tanks are also being examined. Evaluations of the various products and materials used in the ship's construction are ongoing. Because the ship's original steam power plant will need to be modernized and replaced, a series of intensive engineering studies are currently under way.   
While Crystal's planning advances, the SS United States Conservancy has been building up its curatorial programs. Last month it convened a high-level meeting of curatorial advisors, maritime historians, exhibit designers and other experts to generate concepts and recommendations for future shipboard displays and a land-based exhibition open to the general public. In the meantime, the Conservancy continues to expand its permanent collections.

Downtown bulletin board
The annual Brooklyn Bridge poetry walk that raises funds for Poets House takes place on June 13. The walk across the bridge is interspersed with poetry readings and ends with dinner. Buy tickets now! (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Seafarers Camp 2016: The South Street Seaport Museum's 1893 fishing schooner, Lettie G. Howard, will serve as a camp for teens this summer. The week-long Seafarers Camp is for middle and high school students, who will acquire sailing and science skills, make friends and have fun aboard this historic, Coast-Guard certified tall ship. It will depart each week from Manhattan and sail into Long Island Sound where the teens will raise and handle sail, stand lookout, navigate and plot a course, steer the ship and sail through the night, taking their watch on deck. In the morning, they will anchor in a quiet harbor for a morning swim. The six-day voyages will depart every Sunday from July 3 through Aug. 26. Campers can sign up for one or more weeks. Cost: $1,250 per participant (covers all trip expenses). Group rates are available.  Scholarships may be available based on financial need. For more information, email or click here.

Next New York City primary: On June 28
, there will be a federal primary election for registered Democrats in seven of New York City's congressional districts. Voters will select a
A primary election on June 28 will determine who will be the Democratic candidate in the 10th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Jerrold Nadler who is running against Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

candidate to represent their party in the Nov. 8 general election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Only registered Democrats can vote in these primaries. (There are no Republican primaries in these districts.) In District 10, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the incumbent, is running against Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg. This district includes the Financial District, Battery Park City, Tribeca, Soho, the West Village, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, Clinton, Midtown West, and the Upper West Side. For more information about Congressman Nadler and his record, click here. For more information about Rosenberg, click here. Polls will be open on June 28 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. To locate your polling site, click here.

Volunteers needed at the South Street Seaport Museum:
Since its founding, the South Street Seaport Museum's mission has been to preserve and interpret the history of the Port of New York. Volunteers and interns are essential to this effort. Their skills are needed in many aspects of the museum's operation including administration, the crafts centers, and visitor services.

Volunteers and interns help to inventory items in the museum's collections and assist with exhibitions. In the Education Department, they help the staff with public programs, book talks, lectures, workshops, walking tours and family programming. Some volunteers serve as docents after they receive training provided by Museum staff, giving tours of the collections and the historic district.

On the waterfront, volunteers and interns help maintain and interpret the stationary vessels and operate, maintain and interpret the operational vessels. All of the ships need carpenters, electricians, ship engineers, riggers, metalworkers and divers from time to time. Volunteers and interns also work as crew on the schooner Pioneer as she cruises in New York Harbor and beyond. Training is provided. Those who are interested must be over the age of 18 or have parental or guardian permission, and pass a US Coast Guard-required drug test. For more information about volunteering for the South Street Seaport Museum, click here.

Fort Jay Trophée d'Armes on Governors Island needs restoration funds:
The sandstone eagle sculpture atop Fort Jay's monumental arch on Governors Island was designed by Joseph Mangin, architect of New York's City Hall. It is a one-of-a-kind national treasure and work of art, but two centuries of water, ice and pollution have damaged this national symbol. The preservation of the eagle sculpture was selected to take part in a national competition run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, which will award grants to national parks in need of preservation. There are 20 parks competing, with just a quarter of the projects winning funding. A $245,000 grant from the competition would help restore the iconic eagle and stabilize the arch's deteriorating surfaces. Voting takes place between May 25 and July 5. The Friends of Governors Island is asking the public to vote once a day, every day to #SaveOurEagle at After clicking to vote for Governors Island, you must scroll to the bottom of the voting site and click "Submit Votes" for your vote to be counted.

Smorgasburg returns to the South Street Seaport:
Smorgasburg is back in the South Street
Picnic tables on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport
Seaport for the third year. Vendors are located inside the newly renovated Fulton Market building at 11 Fulton St., with indoor and outdoor seating. There is also an outdoor bar.

The food vendors include El Tigre, Lumpia Shack, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Home Frite, Landhaus and Wowfulls. All are 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.

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.

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. Annual membership and day pass purchases 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.

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.

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 14, 21 and 28 and July 5, 12, 19 and 26. 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.

waterLetter to the editor
Water Street at Pine Street. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The following letter regarding the proposed Water Street Text Amendment was sent to City Councilmember Margaret Chin and also forwarded to Downtown Post NYC.

Dear Councilmember Chin,
1)  Re:  Recent the phone scam related to Water St Upgrades Text Amendment N160166 ZR:

I am dismayed and disgusted about the recent phone scam instigated by a marketing firm hired by the Alliance for Downtown New York to push the controversial Water Street Upgrades Text Amendment sponsored by the Alliance, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and City Planning.

At this point, the whole public hearing process on the Water Street amendment is tainted. And it brings unwarranted suspicion to all the people who work hard to do the right thing, who work within both the bounds and spirit of the laws that guide us in our public lives.

Regardless of where one stands regarding the proposed text amendment, no city agency so dominated by private real estate interests should be able to push an agenda involving the public's interests without the public having a real, and equitable say in the outcome.

Real estate interests are imbedded in the appointees who head so many city government bodies.

Lobbyists have both access and funding from the real estate world to promote their agendas.

And agencies such as the Downtown Alliance can tap in to both private and taxpayer monies to market and promote their agendas.

This is hardly a level playing field for the ordinary citizens who just want their voices to have an even say when public assets are at stake.

I hope you and others elected to protect the public's interests will be able to hold those accountable in a meaningful way for what few believe to be just a "mistake."  Walking the legal edges of the law and crossing boundaries to see what one can get away with should not be tolerated.

2)  Re:  The amendment itself:

I am opposed to it as it stands.

It provides even greater rewards to building owners who have already reaped the benefit of increased bonus height for their now "undesirable" POPS (privately owned public spaces); and who  have continued year after year to reap those benefits in the ongoing rentals of those additional floors.

As outlined, the amendment would enrich them once again at the expense of some ill-defined public benefit trade off.

A suggestion: Define the public benefit in terms of a real monetary amount - weighed against the initial land value and ongoing revenue that buildings will continue to receive benefit from - to be put into an ongoing Water Street Public Plaza Benefit Fund that does not end at the day of an arcade "infill."

As noted in write-ups in support of the amendment, building owners have done little to nothing to maintain their "public" plazas to date. Required ongoing monetary input would remove this plaza maintenance "burden" from building owners who have heretofore turned away from this responsibility.

With a clearly defined and guaranteed public benefit, I think we could all win.

Joanne Gorman
Seaport resident

From the editor:
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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.

communityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of June 6

The swimming pool at Asphalt Green Battery Park City. On June 7, CB 1's Battery Park City Committee discussed Asphalt Green's agreement with the Battery Park City Authority and the facility's performance as a community center.
(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. 

June 7: Battery Park City Committee

* 21 South End Ave., application for restaurant liquor license for Ningbo Café - Resolution
* Battery Park City Authority - Update
* Allied Barton Ambassadors - Update
* Unexpected rent hikes and lease issues in Battery Park City - Discussion with Yong Teo, Director of Housing and Constituent Services, Council Member Margaret Chin's Office
* Asphalt Green agreement with BPCA and performance as a Community Center - Discussion
* West Street traffic issues - Discussion
* Presentations by BPC organizations - Update
* Committee Accomplishments from January - June 2016 - Discussion
* New Business

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 225 Liberty St., application for renewal of wine and beer license for Fast Fish LLC d/b/a Blue Ribbon Sushi
* 375 South End Ave., application for renewal of liquor license for Merchants River House

June 8: Tribeca Committee
* 113 Reade St., application for liquor license for Serafina Tribeca Restaurant LLC - Resolution
* 111 Worth St., application for wine and beer license for Smit and Smith Worth Street LLC - Resolution
* 165 Church St., application for unenclosed sidewalk cafe - Resolution
* 69 Leonard St., application for restaurant liquor license for Ichidan LLC - Resolution
* 281 Church St. aka 35 White Street, application for liquor license for David Bouley Atelier LLC - Resolution
* 118-120 Duane St. tenants - Presentation and discussion with Maryam Abdul-Aleem, Community Liaison & Scheduler, Office of Assemblymember Deborah J Glick
* Committee Accomplishments from January - June 2016 - Discussion

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 106 Duane St., application for a renewal of a liquor license for Beignet Inc.
* 181 Duane St., application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for 181 Duane Ristorante Inc., d/b/a Max Tribeca
* 31 Walker St., application for renewal of a liquor license for Anejo

On Friday, June 10, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra directed by Gary Fagin will honor 100 years of the National Park Service, Seaport visionary and founder, Peter Stanford and Lower Manhattan's waterfront parks with a program of Monteverdi, Dvorak, Joplin, Ives and a few surprises. Tenor Glenn Seven Allen will be the soloist.
Wine and Champagne will be served.

Melville Gallery, 213 Water St.
June 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Suggested donation: $20, $50 or $100 per person supports the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra and classical music downtown.

Click here for details and to reserve a place or call (917) 929-8375.

Co-sponsors: Laura Starr, Madelyn Wils and the Old Seaport Alliance

calendarCALENDAR: Week of June 6

   The Harlem All-Stars performing at Dine Around Downtown in 2014. They will be back for this year's Dine Around Downtown on June 8. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)                  

June 8: An exhibition, "Animal Forms" at the World Trade Gallery, includes the work of Cern, Uncutt, Gavin Sewell, Alicia Flannery, Caitlyn Shea, Erasmo and Ernie Colon. Open Monday to Saturday. Through June 13. Place: 120 Broadway (entrance on Cedar Street). For hours and more information, click here.

June 8: Shakespeare Downtown presents "Romeo and Juliet" at Castle Clinton. Place: The Battery. Tuesdays to Saturdays, through June 25. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Tickets: Free. (Available beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the performance. Get tickets at Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park. Seating capacity, 200 people per performance.) For more information, click here.

June 8: Dine Around Downtown returns with more than 45 Lower Manhattan restaurants selling their wares. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars will provide music. Place: Liberty Plaza (the corner of Nassau and Liberty Streets). Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, click here.  

June 8: "One World Trade Center: Biography of a Building" is the subject of a book talk by Judith Dupré at the Skyscraper Museum. She chronicles the rise of One World Trade Center from the building's groundbreaking design and engineering through the final placement of the spire. Dupré is also the author of "Skyscrapers," a worldwide bestseller. Place: 39 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free but reservations are necessary to ensure admission. To reserve, email

June 8: Board the Lilac, the last steam-powered lighthouse tender in America, to celebrate World Oceans Day with a literary salon curated by One Grand Books. Readings will include presentations by Radiolab host Robert Krulwich and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham. A musical interlude will be offered by Angela McCluskey and Paul Cantelon with Linked Dance Theater performing excerpts from their site-specific work, "The Soul of the Sea."  Book sales and signings follow. Wine provided by the event sponsor Bedell Cellars of Long Island. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free but reservations are recommended. Place: Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. Time: 6:30 p.m. To reserve, click here. For more information about the Lilac, click here.
June 9: 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, June 16. Registration is required. Place: Meet at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St. Time: 6 p.m. Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). For tickets, click here.

June 9: The South Street Seaport Museum's walking tour, "Hello, Havana: The Forgotten Luxury Liners of the East River," recalls the years when thousands of Americans sailed for the Caribbean, Mexico, and Cuba from piers along South Street. Among those luxury liners was the doomed Morro Castle, which caught fire on the morning of Sept. 8, 1934, en route from Havana to New York, killing 137 passengers and crew members. The tragedy led to laws that improved fire safety at sea. Thursdays, through June 16 at 12:15 p.m. Fridays, through June 17 at 6 p.m. The tour leaves from 12 Fulton St. Tickets: $20; $15 (Museum members); $10 (children). For more information and to buy tickets, click here.       

June 10
: 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 17. Time: 12:15 p.m.  Tickets: $20; $15 (seniors and museum members); $10 (children). For tickets, click here.

June 10: The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra directed by Gary Fagin will honor 100 years of the National Park Service, Seaport visionary and founder, Peter Stanford and Lower Manhattan's waterfront parks with a program of Monteverdi, Dvorak, Joplin, Ives and a few surprises. Tenor Glenn Seven Allen will be the soloist. Wine and Champagne will be served. Place: Melville Gallery, 213 Water St. Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets: Suggested donation: $20, $50 or $100 per person supports the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra and classical music downtown. Click here for details and to reserve a place or call (917) 929-8375.

June 11: "Garden City/Mega City Scavenger Hunt" is a family program at the Skyscraper Museum. After touring the museum's current exhibit of the tropical towers of Singapore, families will go on a scavenger hunt in the gallery in search of fun facts. Kids will then create illustrations of their favorite discoveries. Place: 39 Battery Place. Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Tickets: $5; free for Museum members. RSVP requested by Friday at 5 p.m. To sign up for the Family Program newsletter, or for more information and to RSVP, email or call (212) 945-6324.

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 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
Ongoing: A retrospective of the work of Rosemarie Castoro (1939 - 2015) is at the Hal Bromm Gallery in Tribeca. The exhibition features over 50 works from the 1960s to the 2000s including painting, sculpture and work on paper. Castoro established herself in the late '60s as one of the few well-recognized female painters among the New York Minimalists. Through June 30. Place: 90 West Broadway (at Chambers Street). Open: Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call (212) 732-6196 or 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: 
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.

June 12: At the Noble Maritime Collection in Sailors' Snug Harbor, Dr. John Rocco,
Herman Melville (in top hat) at Sailors' Snug Harbor. (Photo: Isaac Almstadt, courtesy of the Noble Maritime Collection) 
Professor of Humanities at SUNY Maritime College, will give a lecture about author Herman Melville and his younger brother, Thomas, who, from 1867 to 1884, served as the third governor of the old retirement home for mariners. Herman Melville often visited his brother at Sailors' Snug Harbor, and having been a mariner himself (before writing Moby-Dick and other novels), had much in common with the residents and much sympathy for them. Place: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. Time: 2 p.m. Free (but admission to the museum is by donation.) For more information, click here.   
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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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