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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 37  Aug. 9, 2016  

"Adil was somebody who, despite every possible pressure from society not to dance, living in a war zone, not having a dance studio to work in, not having teachers to train him, not having a community around him that was supportive, he still persisted."
     - Jonathan Hollander, founder and choreographer of Battery Dance, describing dancer Adil Faraj (stage name, Adel Euro), who was killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad on July 3. Battery Dance will honor him at its annual festival, which opens on Aug. 14 in Wagner Park.

WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

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

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MASTHEAD PHOTO: A drummer with Tararam, an Israeli percussion and dance troupe, during a performance in Battery Park City's Wagner Park. Aug. 7, 2016
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The Fulton Market Building at 11 Fulton St. will be the site of the World Chess Championship, taking place from Nov. 11 to Nov. 30. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Two of the best chess players in the world will be in the South Street Seaport from Nov. 11 to Nov. 30 in a battle of brains, skill, intuition and physical stamina to see who will be the next FIDE World Chess Champion.

Magnus Carlsen, 25, of Norway currently holds the title. The challenger is Sergey Karjakin, 26, of Russia.

The match arena will be built inside the Fulton Market building at 11 Fulton St. with an area for spectators and a VIP lounge. In addition, the match will be televised to a global audience of hundreds of millions of chess fans.

Carlsen and Karjakin will play 12 games, competing not only for the title but for a prize fund of over one million euros ($1.1 million). The winning player will have to attain a score of 6.5 points. If, after 12 games, Carlsen and Karjakin are tied, they will play tie-breaking games.

Agon Limited owns the commercial rights to organize the World Chess Championship and to televise it. FIDE and Agon will provide an exclusive live broadcast of the match at

FIDE stands for Fédération Internationale des Echecs, known in English as the World Chess Federation. It is recognized by its members and by the International Olympic Committee as the supreme body responsible for the sport of chess and its championships.

Tickets for the match will go on sale on Aug. 17 through Ticketmaster. Single day, family and season passes will be available.

The Howard Hughes Corporation has a long-term lease on the Fulton Market Building and has leased it to iPic Entertainment as a movie theater. There are supposed to be eight auditoriums in the building, each of them equipped for food service as well as for watching movies.

The opening date has been announced as Oct. 7.

It was not immediately clear how the World Chess Championship match, with its own viewing requirements plus its need to have the contenders play in a quiet environment, would mesh with iPic's plans, however, a spokesperson for The Howard Hughes Corporation did not foresee a problem.

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

Lower Manhattan as seen from Jamaica Bay. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A New York Water Taxi sped out of Pier 16 at the South Street Seaport, headed toward that mysteriously named body of water between Brooklyn and Governors Island called "Buttermilk Channel." The New York City Audubon Society naturalist on board, Gabriel Willow, repeated
Gabriel Willow
the old story that in colonial times, farmers would lead their cows across the narrow, shallow channel to graze on Governors Island. The water was sufficiently turbulent, he said, to turn their milk into buttermilk. Well, probably not. But what is incontrovertible is that Governors Island has a colony of common terns nesting on Yankee Pier. Willow and some colleagues discovered them a few years ago. Despite their name, these terns are not at all common in New York State and their presence was enough to cause that pier, crumpled by Superstorm Sandy, not to be torn down.

Willow, whose ability to discern and name birds from audio and visual clues that would escape most people said that the terns had little chicks. They live on Yankee Pier in apparent harmony with double-crested cormorants. Canada geese sometimes show up there, too, as do great-black-backed gulls, the largest member of the gull family. Willow said they should properly be called "bay gulls" and not "sea gulls" because they spend their lives in bays and not on the open ocean. By whatever name, they are ruthless hunters. They will eat other, smaller birds, eggs and chicks. The tern parents have to be constantly vigilant. They can never leave their offspring alone.

New York harbor teems with wildlife, a fact that few would suspect unless they took an ecocruise with Willow. Summer and winter, he has been leading ecocruises aboard New York Water Taxi for well over a decade. For many people, they are a ritual of the season - an opportunity to see how the birds are doing, and which new ones have shown up, and which haven't been seen recently - maybe because of climate change.

The chance to see the East River and New York harbor from the vantage point of a relatively small boat that can get in close to some of the islands never grows old. In addition to birds, there are some interesting mammals. In winter, harbor seals are common visitors and in summer, people are beginning to report the sighting of whales not far beyond the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that separates New York's Upper and Lower Bays, leading to the Atlantic Ocean.

Two ecocruises remain on the summer schedule. On Aug. 10, there will be a three-hour-long trip to Jamaica Bay - one of the most extraordinary places in New York City. It is a 25,000-acre nature preserve that lies between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Its diverse terrain of marshes, low-lying, sandy islands, fresh and brackish ponds and intertidal flats provides a hospitable environment for more than 330 bird species - almost half of the total number of species to be found in the Northeast.

As the Water Taxi passes under the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge that crosses Rockaway Inlet, 
A peregrine falcon on the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
connecting the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens with Floyd Bennett Field and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Willow scans the upper reaches of the bridge looking for peregrine falcons, and sure enough, he finds some. In fact, he finds three of them - an oddity that he attributes to one of them being the offspring of the other two.

When hunting, peregrine falcons can fly up to speeds of 242 miles per hour, making them the fastest creatures in the world. Once endangered because the use of the pesticide DDT caused their egg shells to crack, they are now making a comeback. Willow imparts the interesting fact that bridges provide an excellent nesting site for peregrine falcons and that New York City probably has the largest number of mated pairs in the world. (They mate for life.) In fact there are peregrine falcons living on every Hudson River bridge south of Albany.

But though peregrine falcons provide an introduction to the wonders of Jamaica Bay, they are just a prelude to what it has to offer- black skimmers that hover low over the water, raking it with their bills as they try to catch small fish, elegant terns with pointed wings, several kinds of gulls, and glossy ibises with long, curved beaks who look like they escaped from an Egyptian hieroglyphic. Sometimes osprey will show up. Sometimes the bird watchers get to see a bald eagle.

In addition, there is the spectacle as the sun sets with sand flats in the foreground and the skyline of Lower Manhattan clearly silhouetted in the distance. What is amazing is that this natural world is so close to the concrete and the bustle of the city - and yet so far, so different and so tranquil.

The trip back to the South Street Seaport provides a lovely coda as the sky darkens. The
The parachute jump on Coney Island.
parachute jump in Coney Island is ablaze with colored light, the Wonder Wheel spins its web of seaside frolics. Most of the birds in the harbor have gone home to roost. The commercial ships have anchored for the night. The Verrazano Narrows bridge wears a necklace of lights as the stars come out.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The last two ecocruises of the summer season take place on Aug. 10 to Jamaica Bay and on Aug. 17 to the Brother Islands in the East River. For information and tickets, click here.

The Isadora Duncan Dance Company directed by Lori Belilove performed dances choreographed by Isadora Duncan and by Belilove at the 33rd Annual Downtown Dance Festival in August 2014. They will be back again this year, performing on Aug. 19. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Battery Dance Festival, a smorgabord of outstanding dancers and companies from many parts of the world, returns to Battery Park City's Wagner Park starting on Aug. 14 for six nights of free performances. As in previous years, this celebration of dance will end with performances and a reception at the Schimmel Center at Pace University - this year on Aug. 20.

The festival started modestly in 1982 as the Downtown Dance Festival. At first the dancing took place on downtown streets and plazas. Now the setting is more spectacular, with vistas of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and dramatic Hudson River sunsets behind the dancers.

Twenty-two local dance companies will perform during the festival along with companies from Romania, Austria, India, Germany and Turkey.

This year the festival will begin on a somber note. A gifted 23-year-old Iraqi dancer, Adil Faraj, whose stage name was Adel Euro, was killed in a suicide bombing in Baghdad on July 3. He had taught himself to dance by watching YouTube videos, mimicking the break dancing and street styles that were available to him as models.

Battery Dance founder and choreographer Jonathan Hollander learned of Adel through YouTube videos that the young man posted of his own dancing, and offered to help and mentor him. Through Battery Dance's "Dancing to Connect" program, a mentor, Sean Scantlebury, was assigned to teach Adel via Skype.

A year ago, Adel and Scantlebury, and another Battery dancer, Mira Cook, performed together as part of Battery Dance's appearance at the Amman Contemporary Dance Festival in Jordan. That was Adel's first time on stage.

In love with dance, Adel founded his own dance school in Baghdad and called it the Battery Dance Academy.

"Adel pursued his passions despite social pressure for him to quit," Battery Dance said on its Facebook page. "He spread his love for dance to others in Baghdad, starting a dance academy, and providing a creative outlet for other artists at-risk. Adel just completed his law degree and had plans to come to the U.S. to continue his dance studies, with the hope of one-day returning to Iraq to provide opportunity to others.

"Rest in peace Adel and all victims of senseless violence throughout the world."

As the opening number in this year's dance festival, three of Adel's compatriots from Iraq will perform a dance in his memory. All of them are in the United States as refugees.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For a video about Adel Euro, click here.

For more information about the Battery Dance Festival, including listings of which companies will be performing on each day of the festival, click here. General admission tickets for the closing night at the Schimmel Center are free but must be reserved in advance. VIP tickets that include a reception can be purchased for $75. For more information and to buy VIP tickets, click here.

Bits & Bytes
 The pink and blue paint job inside St. Paul's Chapel - the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan - turns out to be a color scheme that was applied in the 1960s and is not authentic. The chapel on Broadway at Fulton Street is getting a new coat of paint in a creamy white that will be in place by the time it celebrates its 250th birthday on Oct. 30. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Ex-Tribeca Film Festival home to be sold for $90M," New York Post, 8/2/16. "The former home of the Tribeca Film Festival at 17 Laight St. is in contract to be sold to Richard Coles and Gary Tischler's Vanbarton Group for $90 million," says the New York Post. "The ink is barely dry on the deal, sources said. The 115,000-square-foot building sits on the northern end of the Tribeca block bounded by Varick and Laight streets and St. John's Lane by Canal Street, and has open views in three directions. The sellers, controlled by James Bishop's WhiteStar Advisors of Boca Raton, Fla., with Zach Vella and Justin Ehrlich of VE Equities, paid $56 million for the former warehouse at the end of 2012." For the complete article, click here.

"Goldman Sachs fined $36 million by Fed over leaked documents," Crain's New York Business, 8/3/16. "Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to pay $36.3 million over allegations that former employees obtained confidential documents from the Federal Reserve in a settlement that requires the bank to beef up its policies to prevent another lapse," says Crain's New York Business. "The Fed is also pursuing a fine and a permanent banking ban against a former Goldman Sachs managing director, Joseph Jiampietro, over his unauthorized use and disclosure of Fed secrets, according to a statement Wednesday from the agency. The Fed said Goldman Sachs' employees used confidential supervisory information in presentations to clients to try to solicit business." For the complete article, click here.

"Developer moves to block builder of 1,000-foot tall tower in lower Manhattan," Crain's New York Business, 8/5/16. "A Manhattan-based development firm is trying to stop a 1,000-foot tall luxury apartment tower from going up along the Manhattan waterfront, between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges," says Crain's New York Business. "Little Cherry, run by Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg, filed a lawsuit Friday in Manhattan state Supreme Court against the project's developer Michael Stern, head of JDS Development. Spindler and Schoenberg claims that they are entitled to the development rights that Stern is using for his project-an 80-story, luxury condo tower at 80 Rutgers Slip, on the corner of Cherry Street." For the complete article, click here.

"Celebrating a Lesser-Known Role of Hamilton: Father of the Coast Guard," New York Times, 8/4/16. "It was the morning rush in New York Harbor on Thursday when the Eagle, a majestic, 295-foot, three-masted Coast Guard ship, set sail from beneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. On the Eagle's starboard side, a Staten Island Ferry chugged toward Lower Manhattan, while on its port side, a Fire Department fireboat shot plumes of water in front of the Statue of Liberty," says The New York Times. "Standing on the deck among the ship's crew and its guests were Sydney James Harcourt and Kamille Upshaw, two cast members from 'Hamilton,' the popular Broadway musical about the nation's first secretary of the Treasury and, not incidentally, the father of the United States Coast Guard. They were there to celebrate Coast Guard Day, observed every Aug. 4 to commemorate the founding of the maritime service branch." For the complete article, click here.
"Super White or White Dove? Restoring St. Paul's Colonial Color," New York Times, 8/1/16/. "King George III ruled New York when St. Paul's Chapel was built in Lower Manhattan," The New York Times remarks. "The chapel endured the Revolution, played a central role at the birth of the American republic in 1789, survived the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center 212 years later and then served as sanctuary, clinic and canteen for rescue and recovery workers in the mountainous wreckage across Church Street. Its history will always be colorful. But the chapel itself will soon be much less so. By the time the current renovation is finished - for St. Paul's 250th anniversary on Oct. 30 - the pink and blue sanctuary, which looks like a candied Colonial confection, will have been muted to a creamier tone." For the complete article, click here.

"South Street's renaissance will appeal to more than tourists," New York Post, 8/2/16. "South Street is on its way to becoming downtown's hottest ticket around," says the New York Post. "The once-forlorn corridor astride the elevated FDR Drive is on fire with new development and new energy from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. The street has come a long way since we last wrote about it in July 2015. It's a remarkable renaissance for the FiDi area's eastern shore, which has been eclipsed in the public eye by all of the new World Trade Center-Brookfield Place area development. On Oct. 7, the doors will open on the long-awaited iPic luxury cinema complex at the Fulton Market Building, iPic founder and Chief Executive Hamid Hashemi told The Post. The Fulton site is an anchor element of Howard Hughes Corp.'s newly conceived South Street Seaport meant to appeal to New Yorkers as much as to tourists. iPic's eight auditoriums, containing about 500 seats, will offer movie-going amenities never before seen in the city, including special plush reclining chairs and 'ninja'-clad waitresses who will silently bring premium food and drink to film lovers as they watch the screen." For the complete article, click here.

"Zurich will move New York headquarters to 4 World Trade Center," Crain's New York Business, 8/2/16.  "Zurich American Insurance Co. confirmed it is moving its New York headquarters to the World Trade Center," says Crain's New York Business. "The company, the U.S. subsidiary of the Switzerland-based insurance giant, has signed on for 132,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center. Crain's first reported in May that the insurer was relocating to the 72-story, 2.3 million-square-foot tower from its current headquarters at 1 Liberty Plaza, which is just across the street. Zurich is downsizing in the move, although the lease is almost double the size of what the firm was initially rumored to be taking at 4 WTC." For the complete article, click here. 

"Tom and Gisele buying $20M waterfront Tribeca pad," New York Post, 8/1/16. "Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are strengthening their ties to New York by buying a $20 million-plus apartment in a waterfront Tribeca building" says the New York Post. "The Patriots QB and his supermodel wife are in contract to buy a five-bedroom pad at 70 Vestry, a luxury Robert A.M. Stern-designed building overlooking the Hudson River." According to the Post, The 14-story building features "an 82-foot lap pool, studios for cycling, yoga and pilates, a squash court, a sauna and a steam room." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
Sail to Gloucester, Mass. and New London, Conn. as part of the crew of the South Street Seaport Museum's strong and graceful fishing schooner, Lettie G. Howard. No experience necessary! (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Tribeca Meet & Greet at Poets House: For more than 10 years, Tribeca Meet & Greet has been providing an informal way to meet neighbors and do some networking over snacks and a glass of wine. The meetings take place around once a month at a local business or organization. The August meeting will be on Aug. 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Poets House, a 70,000-volume poetry library and national literary center at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City. Through its poetry resources, literary events for adults and children, and exhibitions, Poets House documents the wealth and diversity of modern poetry and stimulates public dialogue on issues related to poetry in culture. Everybody's welcome! Some people show up for the full evening, some just drop by to say hello. Ann Benedetto (owner of A Uno) will be there promoting Tribeca Alliance, a new organization of local businesses. She is eager to speak with all potential supporters. Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway will provide some beverages and MaxDelivery will bring some nibblybits. Feel free to bring business cards, menus, flyers and other information about you and your business. Tribeca Meet and Greet is organized by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. For more information, call David Cleaver at (212) 220-1459.

Offshore sailing adventures aboard Lettie G. Howard: The South Street Seaport Museum's beautiful and historic (1893) schooner Lettie G. Howard will be sailing from New York City to her home waters of Gloucester, Mass. from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, where she will take part in the Gloucester Schooner Race and Festival on Sept. 4. Afterward she will sail to the New London Maritime Heritage Festival in New London, Conn. (Sept. 5 through Sept. 9) and then back to New York City (Sept. 11 through Sept. 13). Join her for any part of this sail (or all of it!) as crew in training (no experience necessary). You will stand watch, raise and handle the sail, take the helm, help to chart a course and learn some of the skills of a traditional mariner. Prices for various parts of the journey range from $160 (for the schooner race) to $800 for the longer stretches of sailing. For more information, click here. To make a reservation, click here.

Harbor and Hudson River trips aboard fireboat John J. Harvey: The historic fireboat John J. Harvey, built in 1931 and among the most powerful fireboats ever in service, officially retired in 1994 but she continues to ply the waters of New York harbor and even goes up the Hudson River to Kingston, N.Y. from time to time. All trips aboard the John J. Harvey are free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Some upcoming trips are as follows: Aug. 13: 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (to and from Pier 66); Aug. 14: Engine room tours at 1 p.m. followed by a harbor trip from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (to and from Pier 66). In September, she will participate in the North River Tugboat Races on Sept. 4, go to Newtown Creek on Sept. 7 and then travel to Kingston, N.Y. from Sept. 9 through Sept. 12. For more information about the John J. Harvey and for details on her schedule, including how to make reservations, click here

Lox at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: The Museum of Jewish Heritage has opened a new café called Lox with a menu that features in-house cured salmon served in a variety of ways.  A tasting dish of lox served in five different ways costs $36. Sandwiches are $13 to $18.  Also on the menu are homemade babka ($12), cheese blintzes with sour cream ($13), borscht ($5 for a cup, $8 for a bowl), Russian coffee cake, ruggelach, and more. Museum members receive a 10 percent discount. Place: 36 Battery Place. Open during museum hours. For more information, call (646) 437-4231 or click here.

Tunnel to Towers Run
: In recognition of the special role that Battery Park City, the Financial District, the South Street Seaport and Tribeca have played in the remarkable success of the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has issued an invitation to the area's residents to join the five-kilometer walk on Sunday, Sept. 25 as a group called "the Neighbors." The Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk commemorates the heroism of firefighter Stephen Siller who, on Sept. 11, 2001, strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, already closed to traffic, to the Twin Towers, where died while saving others. The Neighbors team is invited to participate in the run/walk and in the after-party. Registration is necessary and children are free. Click here to register.

Battery Park City Block Party: The 15th annual Battery Park City Block Party will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Esplanade Plaza next to North Cove Marina. Once again, the BPC Chamber will be hosting.  If you would like a table at the block party for your business, contact Rosalie ( as soon as possible. Volunteers are needed for the day of the event to help set up and break down, check in vendors and other tasks. Email if you can help.
Battery Park City Lost and Found:
Plenty of things are lost in Battery Park City, according to Patrick Murphy, AlliedBarton's BPC manager for operations. AlliedBarton is responsible for patrolling 92-acre Battery Park City and dealing with safety and quality-of-life issues. Murphy told Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee that he could "open a shop" with the number and variety of skateboards that had been left behind by their owners. But many other things turn up as well. To contact AlliedBarton's lost and found, call (212) 945-7233 or email

One World Observatory Happy Hour:
Tickets to One World Observatory's Thursday Happy Hours buy two specialty cocktails, live music and spectacular views from the 101st floor of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The performers for the remainder of August are Aug. 11: DJ from iHeartRadio 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Aug. 18: Your Ex-Boyfriends 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Aug. 25: JoeKris Music 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 a couple. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Museum of American Finance Launches audio tour:
The Museum of American Finance at 48 Wall St. has launched a 12-stop audio tour of its permanent exhibits. The tour was developed in partnership with Antenna - a leading innovative multi-media story-telling company - and is narrated by a variety of experts including the Museum's president and curators, as well as CNN founding financial editor Myron Kandel and architectural historian Damien Cregeau.

The tour features the backstories of several of the Museum's most popular collections and exhibitions, including objects from the Crash of '29; a stock certificate issued to Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff; rare high-denomination currency; and the solid gold and jewel encrusted Monopoly Set by artist Sidney Mobell, on loan from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The most in-depth stop on the audio tour is the 1880 plaster study of the Alexander Hamilton statue by Carl Conrads, which was commissioned by Hamilton's son as a gift to the city of New York. The study stands just outside the Alexander Hamilton Room - the Museum's permanent tribute to the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury. Also on July 12, in honor of the 212th anniversary of Hamilton's death, the Museum has unveiled several new additions to this exhibit, such as an original copy of Hamilton's obituary and a rare 1804 collection of documents pertaining to his death in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. This includes correspondence leading up to the duel, Hamilton's last will and testament, the eulogies of his friends and colleagues and detailed information on his funeral ceremony.

The audio guides are available to visitors on a first come, first served basis for $2 per person. MoAF members and visitors with visual or other impairments will be granted free usage of the guides. For more information about the museum, click here.

Get Low 2016:
The Alliance for Downtown New York's popular summer program, Get Low,  is back for the third year with restaurant discounts on Tuesdays through Aug. 30. The program brings special deals to Downtown diners with discounts at 34 restaurants every Tuesday night after 4 p.m. Photograph your meal and post the picture to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #DownIsWhatsUp for a chance to win one of the weekly prizes for the most interesting posts. All participants who tag @ICECulinary will be entered to win the grand prize - a cooking course for two at the Institute for Culinary Education's new Brookfield Place location. The Institute will also offer all participants a 20 percent discount on their Tuesday night classes. For more information on the program, click here.

Sunset Yoga at Wagner Park:
Come to Wagner Park at the southern end of Battery Park City for free yoga instruction. The class is suitable for people of all levels. Wednesdays through Sept. 28. Time: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free (but bring your own mat). Click here for more information.

BPC Running Club:
After warming up at the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St., members of Battery Park City's Running Club jog along the BPC waterfront followed by cool-down exercises. Thursdays through Aug. 25. Time: 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.
Sunset Jam on the Hudson:
Join a drumming circle in Battery Park City, led by master drummers. Instruments are provided or bring your own. Place: Wagner Park (at the southern end of Battery Park City.) Fridays, through Aug. 26. Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Battery Park City Parks Summer Events Calendar:
For a complete list of events and classes taking place this summer in Battery Park City under the auspices of Battery Park City Parks, click here. 

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.

Downtown Boathouse season:
This year's season of free kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 (in Hudson River Park near North Moore Street) is in full swing. Weekends and holidays, the Downtown Boathouse is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 10. It is also 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. Kayaking classes take place every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. 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.

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.

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 Aug. 16, 23 and 30 and on Sept. 13, 20 and 27. 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.

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CoentiesFrom the South Street Seaport Museum Collection
A wood engraving depicting Coenties Slip as it looked around 1885. (Courtesy of the South Street Seaport Museum)

(Note from the editor: The South Street Seaport Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia, much of it not currently on display. This is the second in what will be a regular feature in Downtown Post NYC highlighting artifacts from the collection.)

Coenties Slip was originally an artificial inlet in the East River, created to abet loading and unloading ships. In 1835, it was filled in.

A wood engraving depicting Coenties Slip elevated railroad, with the East River and Brooklyn in the background, dates from ca. 1885. It is in the collection of the South Street Seaport Museum. The building of the elevated train, or "L," was one of the most dramatic changes to New York City's 19th-century transportation and waterfront.

Coenraedt Ten Eyck (1617-1686), for whom Coenties Slip is named, was a shoemaker and tanner who was born in The Netherlands. He emigrated to New Amsterdam around 1651.

Around 300 years later, Coenties Slip served as home to some of the most important painters and sculptors of the latter part of the 20th century. In what must have been a remarkable time, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, James Rosenquist, Robert Indiana, Jack Youngerman and others lived in or near Coenties Slip. They were among the first artists to move into formerly industrial buildings. The old sailmaking lofts were cheap. Most of them didn't have kitchens or hot water. But the lofts were spacious and the artists formed a community that fostered their creativity and inspired them.

The objects that they found in the old lofts also inspired them: nautical equipment, shipbuilding materials, industrial machinery, charts and ledgers. Some of it turned up in their art.

In January 1993, Holland Cotter wrote about that period in the history of Coenties Slip for The New York Times ("Where History Was Made, a 50's Group Made Art History"). "There was a shared sense of freedom," he said. "Several of the Slip artists have remarked upon it - about living between land and sea, and at the point where an American past and an energetically progressive present met in an uncertain balance."

It couldn't last. It didn't. But, Cotter went on to say, "On a winter afternoon on the Slip, when the wind is strong and redolent of the sea, you can still get a sense of the place where some of this country's finest artists produced work that altered the course of American art."

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

[Image: Coenties Slip elevated railroad, ca. 1885, wood engraving.
Gift of Mrs. and Mr. Kadane, 1991]

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 Aug. 8

"Holding" by James Hyde is in an exhibition called "Portrait of a Landscape" at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, part of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)                  

Aug. 10: "The Golden Bride," a Yiddish operetta that premiered in February 1923 and ran for 18 weeks in a 2,000-seat theater on the Lower East Side, has returned to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in an enthralling production staged by the National Yiddish Theatre
Folksbiene. It is sung in Yiddish with supertitles in English and Russian that make the words accessible for everyone. The charming and touching story revolves around love and money, the seduction of American dreams for residents of an impoverished Russian shtetl and the pangs and triumphs of immigrants trying to find their footing in a new land. A brilliant production, not to be missed. Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28, 2016. Place: 36 Battery Place. Tickets: $50 (premium seats); $40 (regular seats); $30 (Museum of Jewish Heritage and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene members). Group rates available. For tickets and for more information, call (866) 811-4111 or click here.

Aug. 10: Join a New York City Audubon Society Eco-cruise aboard New York Water Taxi for a thrilling glimpse of New York Harbor's wildlife. The tour on Aug. 10 goes to Jamaica Bay, a stunning 25,000 acre nature preserve entirely within New York City. It is home to terns, peregrine falcons, glossy ibis, ospreys, gulls and numerous wading birds. On Aug. 17, the ecocruise goes to the Brother Islands in the East River where herons, egrets, and cormorants nest. North Brother Island was a prison for Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon), an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen that causes typhoid fever. She was incarcerated there for years because she had infected (and killed) many people by working as a cook.  Place: All eco-cruises leave from Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. For the Hoffman/Swinburne cruise, time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets: $35 (adults); $25 (children, 3 to 12). For more information, click here.

Aug. 11: See a screening of "The Goonies" as part of a Thursday evening "movie night" in Lower Manhattan. Free popcorn and food for purchase. Every Thursday
through Aug. 25. Presented by Fosun in partnership with the Downtown Alliance. Place: 28 Liberty Plaza. Time: 8 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.  

Ongoing: "Portrait of a Landscape" is the title of the exhibition at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, part of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Artists from New York and Buenos Aires, Argentina are represented in the exhibition. Through Sept. 10. Place: 81 Barclay St. Time: Tuesdays to Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m.    
Ongoing: The 24th Annual Poets House Poetry Publication Showcase at Poets House features all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year from over 650 commercial, university, and independent presses. The exhibition continues through Aug. 20, Tuesdays through Saturdays, during Poets House's normal hours. Place: 10 River Terrace. For more information, click here.

Ongoing:  An exhibition at the World Trade Gallery called "Breezy" is about summer fun and features the colorful work of seven artists. Through Aug. 31. Place: 120 Broadway (at Cedar Street). Phone: (212) 619-2030. For more information including gallery hours, click here.  

: An exhibition  called "Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War" opened on June 17 at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) was a realistic and accurate genre painter who focused on the American Revolution and Early Republic. Through a chronological display of the Revolutionary War, this exhibition returns 47 recently conserved paintings to their rightful place in the iconography of American culture. Place: 54 Pearl St. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Admission: $7; $4 (seniors, students and children 6 to 18); free (children under 5 and active military). For more information, 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: Aboard the historic lighthouse tender Lilac, an exhibition of maritime art in mixed media by Adam Payne reflects the artist's love of history and his appreciation of everyday materials. Using old rain slickers and life jackets, he creates memorials to failed explorers and spells out messages on vintage maps, using signal flags. Opening reception is Aug. 10, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition continues through the end of September. Place: Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. Time:  4 p.m. to  7 p.m. (Thursdays) and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays). Free. For 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: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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