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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 41  Aug. 30, 2016  

"Being a port city at the mouth of a great harbor put New York on the map, and is an inextricable part of this city's heritage."
     -  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer explaining why she believes that all New Yorkers should have access to free and low-cost boating opportunities such as the free kayaking that will return to Governors Island on Aug. 31.

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 double ship's wheel was needed on the Peking because of her massive size and weight. Aug. 26, 2016  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

The four-masted barque, Peking, will leave the South Street Seaport on Sept. 6, bound for dry dock on Staten Island, where her masts will be removed preparatory to her being transported across the Atlantic Ocean to her new home in Hamburg, Germany. She has been in the South Street Seaport for 42 years. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

This past weekend was the last when visitors could climb the steep gangplank to the four-masted barque, Peking, moored at Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. She has belonged to the South Street Seaport Museum since 1974, but on the morning of Sept. 6 she will be towed to Staten Island to be demasted preparatory to being transported across the Atlantic
Visitors to the Peking experienced raising one of her sails. She carried 32 sails, the largest of which weighed one ton.
Ocean in the spring of 2017 to Hamburg, where she was built in 1911. She was one of the last cargo sailing ships ever to be built. She carried an acre of sail that had to be monitored at all times. Day and night, her crew kept watch, working in four-hour shifts.

Transporting nitrate from the west coast of South America to Europe, Peking traversed some of the most treacherous oceans in the world. In good weather and bad, the men had to climb her masts, more than 170 feet tall, to tend her sails. They climbed without safety harnesses, often as violent waves broke over the Peking's decks.

Over the weekend, in the hot sun, visitors walked across those now-tranquil decks, touched the
One of the Peking's capstans.
belaying pins that the sailors, too, had handled, put their hands on the capstans that were used to wind and unwind the Peking's massive ropes and took pictures of themselves next to the ship's huge double wheel that took two men to turn.

Visitors to the Peking this weekend were asked to sign guest books that will go with her to Germany. "Take good care of her," one man wrote. Said another message, "We will miss her."

Peking's departure will create room for the arrival of the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 cargo ship, Wavertree, which has been in dry dock for a year undergoing a $10.6 million restoration. She is due back in the South Street Seaport on Sept. 24.

And on Oct. 7, the iPic Theater is scheduled to open in the Fulton Market Building at 11
An advertisement for the iPic Theaters affixed to the outside of Schermerhorn Row on Fulton Street.
Fulton St. In October 2015, when iPic applied to Community Board 1 for liquor license approval, Hamid Hashemi, iPic president and CEO, said there would be eight auditoriums, each with food service and equipped with reclining seats.

Hashemi described this as "the next phase in theater destinations. The dining concept is really the wave of the future," he said. "We pride ourselves on really having an exceptional night out."

Advertisements for the iPic Theater affixed to Schermerhorn Row across Fulton Street from the building in which the theater will open call iPic "the ultimate movie experience."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
To see the Peking off, go the Seaport esplanade between Piers 15 and 16 or to the upper deck of Pier 15 on Sept. 6. "0808 is slack low water, so we imagine she'll leave around then," said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum. "Interested people should certainly be on site no later than 0730." Boulware said that it will take two or three tugs to guide Peking into the East River and across the harbor to Staten Island. 

"There is no formal ceremony planned," he said. "The Free Friday and final weekend were the formal sendoff."

For a video about the Peking and her sister ships, known as the "Flying P-Liners" because all of their names began with the letter "P," click here.

Peking at anchor on Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport.

Volunteers from the Downtown Boathouse did most of the work of installing the new kayaking dock on Governors Island. (Photo: Rob Buchanan)

Free public kayaking is about to return to Governors Island. A previous kayak dock, located at Pier 101, was damaged beyond repair in 2014. A new, more stable dock was purchased and installed this summer at a cost of just under $50,000 with funds supplied by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Located in a sheltered cove, the new dock was specially designed for beginning kayakers.

The ribbon cutting will take place on Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m., followed by kayaking opportunities until 4 p.m.

The free kayaking program will be run by the Downtown Boathouse, which also has facilities on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. The Downtown Boathouse is run and staffed by volunteers who make kayaking (including lessons) available to the public at no charge.

Governors Island kayaking will be available on Saturdays through mid-September. The kayaking program will resume in May.

The new dock will also be open to all people coming to the Island by human-powered boat during Governors Island's regular public hours - weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the end of September.

During Governors Island's non-public season, the dock will be used for maritime research and education by two of the Island tenants - the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project.

Funding for the gangway that connects the floating dock to Pier 101 was provided in part by a
Merritt Birnbaum, president of the Friends of Governors Island, at the new dock. (Photo: Downtown Boathouse)
grant from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation. Funding was funneled through the Friends of Governors Island, an  independent nonprofit that supports Governors Island with volunteers, financial resources and advocacy. The Friends purchased the dock parts and the ramp.

"Being a port city at the mouth of a great harbor put New York on the map, and is an inextricable part of this city's heritage," said Brewer. "Every New Yorker should have the opportunity to rediscover our connection to the harbor and waterways through free and low-cost boating opportunities at our parks and public spaces."

She said that it had been her "pleasure to support the construction of this beautiful, new facility that will help more New Yorkers experience the harbor."

Graeme Birchall, president of the Downtown Boathouse, pointed out that New York City was built on an archipelago. The view from the water in a kayak provides a very different understanding of the city than viewing it from land, he said.

"We at Billion Oyster Project and Harbor School have known all along that being out on the water is the very best way to get a new perspective on life and to fall in love with New York City all over again," said Murray Fisher, president of the New York Harbor Foundation.

"Since it opened to the public in 2005, Governors Island has been a favorite destination- perhaps the favorite destination - for human-powered boaters with the skill and experience to paddle safely in the open harbor. We're thrilled that the old dock has been replaced and that public access from the water has been restored, and grateful to all who worked to make it happen," said Rob Buchanan of the NYC Water Trail Association.

"If residents of Lower Manhattan really care about their waterfront, then coming to Governors Island on Wednesday would be a great way to show their support for public access," said Birchall. "Just make sure to take the 11 a.m. ferry to be there for the opening ceremony."

To RSVP for the ribbon-cutting on Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. and for the free kayaking that follows, click here. Ferries will depart from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. (The cost is $2 round trip). After the ribbon-cutting, there will be kayaking until 4 p.m. Kayakers must know how to swim, and those under 18 must have a guardian present.

Bits & Bytes

With outdoor and indoor seating and a take-out section, Le Pain Quotidien is now open daily at 395 South End Ave. in Battery Park City. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Race to Replace Sheldon Silver Reflects His District's Ethnic Diversity," New York Times, 8/29/16. "The six would-be inheritors of Sheldon Silver's political legacy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan sat on a dais last week and introduced themselves in the neighborhood's native tongues," says The New York Times. Two said "hello" in Spanish, two, in Cantonese and one in Yiddish. "As Mr. Silver, the deposed speaker of the New York Assembly, awaits an appeal of his conviction on federal corruption charges, the candidates are vying to replace him in the 65th District, which stretches from Alphabet City public housing to Battery Park City luxury buildings. The Democratic primary is Sept. 13, and the winner is all but assured of taking the Assembly seat, which is currently held by Alice Cancel, who won a special election in April. Anchored by the oldest Chinatown in New York City, the Manhattan district is one of the city's most ethnically diverse and the candidates reflect that mix: Three were born in Asia - two in Hong Kong, one in Taiwan. One is the child of South Asian immigrants. One came to New York from Puerto Rico as a child. One has roots in the area's longstanding Jewish immigrant population. Ethnicity is not always a factor in elections, but in a primary that could be decided by hundreds of votes, it very well could be, said Doug Muzzio, a professor of political affairs at Baruch College." For the complete article, click here.

New Citi Bike valet service in Battery Park City:
Bicycle parking by valet may seem like luxury over-kill, but not to the Citi Bike riders who arrive at a busy docking station only to find there are no more spaces at which to leave their bikes, or no more bikes to be had there. So on Aug. 29, the Citi Bike station at West and Chambers Street in Battery Park City joined more than a dozen busy bike share stations across Manhattan to have valet service on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A pilot program at the Battery Park City location will run through Oct. 7, and if successful, will be continued until the season ends on Nov. 4.

During the designated hours, Citi Bike valets will take in bicycles if no docking spaces are available and will have extra bikes for users who want to start their trips from West and Chambers Streets.

At 27,000 trips to and from that station this July alone, it is the second busiest in the city. There are four other Citi Bike stations in Battery Park City including South End Avenue at Liberty Street and Vesey Place and River Terrace. Those two locations are among the top 20 in system-wide usage. To see them and the entire Citi Bike map, click here. By the end of 2016, there will be 10,000 Citi Bikes at more than 600 stations in New York City.

The pilot program at West and Chambers Streets has been sponsored by the Battery Park City Authority and by Motivate, operators of the Citi Bike program.

Support for small business loans:
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill sponsored by State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Ron Kim to expand small business access to small loans/seed funding. The Squadron/Kim legislation (S579C/A6621A) directs the state to prioritize access for "micro-businesses" (under five employees) and "micro-loans" (under $25,000) when awarding Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (SBRLF) loans.
"Small businesses provide a path to prosperity for neighborhood entrepreneurs and are the fuel that powers economic growth in so many of our communities," said Squadron.
The Squadron/Kim bill directs the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to show preference in awarding SBRLF funds to lending organizations who serve "micro-businesses" and provide "micro-loans." Additionally, application fees for "micro-loans" under $5,000 would be waived. Created in 2010, the state's Small Business Revolving Loan Fund utilizes $25 million in state funding with a $25 million private match to create an ESDC-administered fund for small businesses to access credit. For more information about the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, click here.

"9/11 survivors: We were saved by the man with the Red Bandanna," New York Post, 8/28/16. As the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack approaches, stories and memories are surfacing of what happened that day. One of them, as recounted in the New York Post, had to do with the man with a red bandanna. His name was Welles Crowther. On Sept. 11, 2001, he was at his desk on the 104th floor in the south tower of the World Trade Center when the plane struck. At 9:12 a.m., he dialed his mother's cellphone and left a message that he was OK. "They were the last words his family would ever hear him speak," says the Post. "Some details of what happened next remain a mystery. But through determination, careful questioning and a single clue, Welles' parents uncovered a story of heroism that would touch a nation." Welles always carried with him a red bandanna that his father had given him. Deliberately going back into the burning tower when he could have escaped, Welles managed to save at least five people, and maybe more, before he died. The people he saved didn't know the name of the man who rescued them but they remembered that red bandanna. For the complete article, click here.

"Hubb NYC Properties Picks Up Tribeca Mixed-Use Building for $16M," Commercial Observer, 8/25/16. "Midtown-based real estate investment firm Hubb NYC Properties has purchased a five-story mixed-use building at 121 Chambers Street from Ackerman Realty for $16.2 million," says the Commercial Observer. "The 18,750-square-foot Tribeca building between West Broadway and Church Street is comprised of 3,200 square feet of retail divided into two units on the ground floor, a 3,200-square-foot office space occupied by artists and designers on the second floor and five residential apartments on the third through fifth floors. An upholstery store with a lease expiring at the end of September is in one of the ground-floor retail units, and the other is vacant." For the complete article, click here.

"Chinatown Jumps Into Food Hall Fray With Planned New Market on Canal,", 8/25/16. "A new food and retail hall for the 'modern urban consumer' is taking over a sprawling space on Canal Street," says "The Canal Street Market food hall will debut in November in 12,000-square-feet of space on Canal between Broadway and Lafayette. The 11 vendors confirmed so far include cult favorite bubble tea purveyor Boba Guys, East Village's Davey's Ice Cream, and a new concept called Yori Nori from the team behind Chelsea Market Korean ramen shop Mokbar. A retail portion of the market will open in October and features nearly 30 'artist and brand booths' like home goods, ceramics, and flowers." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
 The National Park Service turned 100 on Aug. 25. There are two NPS sites in Lower Manhattan: Castle Clinton in The Battery that was built just prior to the War of 1812 to fortify New York Harbor, and Federal Hall at Wall and Nassau Streets, the site of George Washington's inauguration on April 30, 1789 as the first president of the United States. The National Park Service has created an online archive of photographs, books, maps, letters and drawings about these Lower Manhattan sites and about the three others in Manhattan and one in Mount Vernon that are under its jurisdiction (Hamilton Grange, St. Paul's Church, Gen. Grant's Memorial and Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace). For access to the archive, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Open House New York Weekend (OHNY) seeks volunteers: From Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, volunteers are needed to welcome New Yorkers and visitors from around the world for Open House New York's annual weekend of site visitations and tours. Volunteers will be assigned to one of over 250 sites and tours, where patrons get to meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York City. The aim of OHNY is to encourage everyone to engage in discussions about how to build a better, more vibrant New York through design and architecture. For one four-hour shift, volunteers will receive front-of-the-line access to certain locations and will receive a custom 2016 button and t-shirt. For more information, click here or email
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2017 grants: The deadline to apply for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Creative Engagement and Creative Learning grants has been extended to Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. Artists or arts organizations that have not already received City or State funding are encouraged to apply. First-time Creative Engagement applicants are required to attend an information session as well as all applicants to Creative Learning. There will be an information session on Sept. 19. Place: 150 Broadway Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. To RSVP click here. For more information about the grant program, click here.  

Birthday Beach Party for Manhattan Youth: On Sept. 24 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Manhattan Youth will celebrate 30 years of serving Manhattan families. There will be games, refreshments and music at Hudson River Park's Pier 25 beach volleyball courts. Tickets: $10 (by Sept. 23); $15 (at the door). Family tickets (for two adults and up to three kids), $30 (by Sept. 23); $40 (at the door.) Premium tickets are also available for $100 each. They include one reserved blue lounge chair, five free mini-golf coupons to play anytime in 2016, refreshments for two adults and up to three kids, one adult beer ticket (value $10 each), and a thank you gift. For more information, click here. If tickets are sold out, email 

Liberty Ship John W. Brown to visit New York: For the first time since 1994, the Liberty ship John W. Brown will call on New York City from Sept. 9 to Sept. 18. Although thousands of Liberty
Liberty ship, John W. Brown 
ships were built in the United States during World War II to replace cargo ships torpedoed by German U-boats, the John W. Brown is one of only two Liberty Ships that survive. She'll dock at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side (299 South St.) and be open for tours and other events starting with a fundraising reception the evening of Sept. 9 and ending with a six-hour living history cruise on Sept. 18.  She departs for her homeport of Baltimore on Sept. 19. Between 1941 and 1945, Liberty Ships were constructed in 18 U.S. shipyards. The John W. Brown was built in Baltimore. She was named for a well-known labor leader and launched on Labor Day, 1942.  Her maiden voyage was to New York City where she picked up Jeeps, trucks and ammunition to aid Russia under the Lend-Lease Act and took them to the Persian Gulf. She transported troops and cargo in support of the WWII effort until 1945. When she retired in 1946, she became a floating vocational high school, training students in maritime fields for the NYC Board of Education until 1982. After several years with the Reserve Fleet, she was towed to Baltimore in 1988 and the all-volunteer Project Liberty Ship began restoration. She has been fully operational on steam since 1991. For more information about the ship, click here. Reception on Sept. 9: Hosted by the Marine Society of New York. Place: Pier 36 at 299 South St. (at the foot of Montgomery Street). Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets: $125. RSVP by Sept. 2 to Karen Laino, or call (212) 425-0448. Tours, Sept. 10 to Sept. 17: Guided and self-guided tours. Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For group tours, email On both Saturdays the engines will be working at the pier as part of the tour. Living history cruise, Sept. 18: The living history cruise includes lunch, a military flyover and more. Time: 8 a.m. (all aboard by 9:15 a.m., departure 10 a.m.) to 4 p.m. Tickets: $195. To reserve, 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 Dance Company fundraising for refugee dancers:
In memory of Adel Euro, a 23-year-old Iraqi dancer who was killed by an ISIS suicide bomber on July 3, Battery Dance is raising money to help other dancers from the region seeking refuge. A campaign has been launched on Generosity by Indiegogo. 

The immediate goal is to raise $30,000 toward the expenses of providing safe harbor and membership in a new ensemble for one at-risk dancer. Ultimately, the hope is to extend this protection to many other dancers "who exhibit extraordinary talent but are limited in their opportunities and are at risk due to societal constraints and conflict in their countries."

Ultimately, Battery Dance plans to create an ensemble of six dancers from conflict zones who will receive advanced training in New York City. Support is needed to bring them safely to the United States, to provide room and board until they can earn a living, to enroll them in classes and to develop choreography with them.

Battery Dance believes that with the initial funding in hand, it can successfully approach foundations to seek funding for five more at-risk dancers and for other program costs.

Battery Dance was founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit company, with the intent of connecting the world through dance. For the past decade, Battery Dance has toured the world, using dance as a tool for diplomacy in more than 50 countries.

To learn more about this funding campaign and to contribute to it, click here.

Support for small business loans:
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill sponsored by State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Ron Kim to expand small business access to small loans/seed funding. The Squadron/Kim legislation (S579C/A6621A) directs the state to prioritize access for "micro-businesses" (under five employees) and "micro-loans" (under $25,000) when awarding Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (SBRLF) loans.
The Squadron/Kim bill directs the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to show preference in awarding SBRLF funds to lending organizations who serve "micro-businesses" and provide "micro-loans." Additionally, application fees for "micro-loans" under $5,000 would be waived. Created in 2010, the state's Small Business Revolving Loan Fund utilizes $25 million in state funding with a $25 million private match to create an ESDC-administered fund for small businesses to access credit. For more information about the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, click here.

Free Fridays at the South Street Seaport Museum:
On the last Friday of every month through October the South Street Seaport Museum will offer free admission to its exhibition "Street of Ships: The Port and its People," as well as thematic educational and programmatic activities including special tours, artisan demonstrations, talks and lectures, and hands-on activities for the whole family. Each upcoming Free Friday  (Sept. 30, and Oct. 28) will be centered around a different theme. Place: 12 Fulton St. Time: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

Trinity Youth Chorus Auditions:
The Trinity Youth Chorus brings together New York City youth ages 5 to 18 for group and individual training in vocal technique, music theory, sight-reading, and performance skills. The choristers have sung with a variety of notable performers, from Josh Groban to The Rolling Stones. Auditions for the 2016-2017 season will take place in August and September. For questions or to schedule an audition, contact Melissa Attebury at or (212) 602-0798.

Downtown Voices audition:
Trinity's semiprofessional choir, praised by The New York Times for their "incisive, agile strength," is holding auditions for the 2016-17 season! Sing with members of the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street in works by Morten Lauridsen, Handel and Stravinsky. For more information and to apply to audition, click here.

Registration for 9/11 Memorial Museum fall programs:  The fall lecture programs at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum begin on Sept. 21 with "Joe Torre: Baseball After 9/11." Hall of Famer and Major League Baseball's chief baseball officer, Torre will talk about getting the Yankees back into playing ball after 9/11 and the importance of baseball in helping Americans heal. According to the museum's website, this event is fully booked however members can add their names to a waiting list by contacting the museum's membership department at (212) 857-0157 or by emailing To join the museum, contact the membership department. The ASL Slam on Sept. 23 includes poetry, songs, literature and performances in American Sign Language, all related to 9/11. There is no voice interpretation; the program is offered in American Sign Language only. The program begins at 7 p.m. but from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., attendees are invited to view "Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11." "CIA Director John Brennan: From Ground Zero to Abbottabad and Beyond," presented on Sept. 26, will be a reflection on the CIA's arrival in Afghanistan and the challenges that will be faced in the future. RSVP required for all programs. All programs take place at 180 Greenwich St. Time: 7 p.m. Cost: Free. For more information, click here.

SAFE disposal at Union Square: Unwanted automotive products, electronics, household products and medical items can be dropped off on Sunday, Sept. 25 at the New York City Department of Sanitation's SAFE disposal event at Union Square. Only New York City residential waste will be accepted (no commercial vehicles allowed). Residents must provide proof of New York City residency (a driver's license, utility bill, etc.) No appliances, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators or tires will be accepted. Do bring such things as batteries, motor oil, TVs, computers, cellphones, paint, compact fluorescent bulbs, medications, syringes and lancets (in tightly sealed, clearly labeled and puncture-resistant containers). Place: Union Square, North Plaza. Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain or shine. For more information, click here.

Gateway Plaza Tenants Association to honor Schumer: The Gateway Plaza Tenants Association (GPTA) has announced that it will give U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) a Lifetime Achievement Award on Sept. 9. The presentation will take place on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove Marina, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with national, State and City officials in attendance. As a Gateway Plaza Tenants Association function, only residents of the complex are officially invited, but anyone who is interested will be able to see and hear the proceedings from a distance.

Schumer ran for the U.S. Congress in 1980 after having served in the New York State Senate. He became a U.S. Senator in 1998. Should the Democrats regain control of the Senate in the November election, Schumer would probably become the Senate Majority Leader.

GPTA's presentation of an award to Schumer will be two days away from the 15th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In the aftermath of that attack, along with Hillary Clinton, who was then a U.S. Senator from New York State, Schumer obtained more than $20 billion in funding to help rebuild Lower Manhattan. He also worked for the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act both in 2010 when it was first authorized and in 2015 when it came up for renewal. In addition, for years, he has successfully advocated for federal funds to build an esplanade along the East River and to fortify Lower Manhattan with berms that would protect against sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

For Gateway Plaza residents, there will be complimentary wine, beer, and hors d'oeuvres at the award ceremony, courtesy of SouthWestNY, Le Pain Quotidien, Duane Park Patisserie and Sprinkles. Gateway Plaza residents can RSVP by emailing

Grand opening of Saks Downtown: Saks Downtown at 225 Liberty St. in Brookfield Place will open on Sept. 9 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saks promises "light refreshments as well as many in-store surprises and delights throughout the day." 

Free swimming and yoga for seniors:  Beginning Sept. 8
, the Downtown Community Center is offering free swimming and yoga for seniors on the following schedule:
Senior Swim, Monday to Thursday: 12:30 p.m.-2p.m.;  Senior Water Exercise, Monday and Thursday: 12:45 p.m.; Senior Swim Clinic, Tuesday, 1:15 p.m.; Senior Yoga, Friday: 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. To register, click here, come to the Downtown Community Center at 120 Warren St. or call (212) 766 1104. You can also email

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. 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.

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
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.

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 where the pier will officially open on Aug. 31. 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. 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.

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.

ferryFrom the South Street Seaport Museum Collection
Missing the ferry from Manhattan to Brooklyn entailed a long wait for the next one. This postcard from c. 1847 probably produced some knowing laughs from people who had been there. (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 sixth in what will be a regular feature in Downtown Post NYC highlighting artifacts from the collection.)

The man on this postcard, entitled "Bound to Hear Beecher," must have really wanted to get on that ferry to Brooklyn where the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher headed the Plymouth Congregational Church. According to the South Street Seaport Museum's acquisition records, the postcard dates from ca. 1847, when Beecher was newly appointed to that pulpit. He already had a national reputation as a lecturer, preaching with increasing fervor against slavery. Beecher's sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who would soon become an even more famous abolitionist than her brother. She wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the heart-breaking story of a slave named Uncle Tom and a young, white girl named Eva who becomes his friend. Published in 1852, it was the best-selling novel of the 19th century.

Although the picture on the South Street Seaport Museum's postcard was comical, it reflected a reality that would have been familiar to anyone who saw it. Before steam, ferries were poled across New York City's waterways and often had to be hand rowed. In 1811, one of the first steam-powered ferryboats, Juliana, offered service between Manhattan and Hoboken, N.J. where the boat's inventor, John Stevens, lived. (The site of his mansion is now the Stevens Institute of Technology.) The trip was not short. Passengers could expect long waits to set off and heavy traffic once waterborne. To appease angry travelers, in 1833 the aptly named Relief and Olive Branch ferries were launched.

This postcard was printed by Currier & Ives. The firm was started by Nathaniel Currier in 1835. It published "cheap and popular prints." James Merritt Ives joined Currier's firm in the 1850's, becoming its business manager and a full partner in 1857. Some of the designs that predated the partnership were reprinted for years thereafter, with the Currier & Ives branding.

Currier & Ives had a succession of offices in Lower Manhattan, most of them, on Nassau Street. Their factories were first at 2 Spruce St. and then at 33 Spruce St. in the heart of what was then New York City's printing district.

[Image: Collection of the South Street Seaport Museum)  


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. 29

The 24th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race takes place on the Hudson River on Sunday, Sept. 4. Tickets are still available for the spectator boat. For more information, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)                 

Sept 4: The Great North River Tugboat Race is a highlight of the Labor Day weekend. Some of the tugboats and their crews that spend the rest of the year pushing and pulling ships and barges in New York Harbor take a few hours off to parade up the Hudson River and then race each other down the river from Pier 1 at West 70th Street to Pier 84 in Hudson River Park. After the race, there are nose-to-nose pushing competitions and a line-toss contest. Those who dare can compete in the spinach-eating contest, which entails eating an entire can of spinach in the shortest amount of time and then placing the empty bowl over your head to prove that you've finished. A spectator boat accompanies the race from start to finish. Place: Board at Pier 83 (West 43rd Street and Hudson River Park). Time: Boarding begins at 9 a.m. The spectator boat leaves at 9:30 a.m. Race concludes by 11:30 a.m. at Pier 84. Tickets: $25; $20 (seniors); $12 (children 3 to 12 years old). For more information and to buy tickets for the spectator boat, click here

Sept. 4: At the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Greta Elbogen will speak about her experiences during the Holocaust when she lived in a Red Cross shelter with her brothers, separated from her mother and sister, who were protected by a Swedish diplomat. Her father, who worked in forced labor camps, died in the Dachau concentration camp. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 1 p.m. Free with museum admission: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors, 65+); $7 (students); free for children 12 and under and members. For more information, click here.

Sept. 6: At the Skyscraper Museum, Linda Jacobs will discuss her new book, "Strangers in the West," - the story of the Arab-speaking immigrants, most of them from the region known as "Greater Syria, who settled in New York City beginning in 1880. The center of their community was "Little Syria," on the lower west side of Manhattan just south of the future site of the World Trade Center. Jacobs paints a vivid portrait of life in this early immigrant community and the people who founded it. They were peddlers and merchants, midwives and doctors, priests and journalists, performers and impresarios. They capitalized on the orientalist craze sweeping the United States by opening Turkish smoking parlors, presenting belly dancers on vaudeville stages, and performing across the country in native costume. Through exhaustive archival and demographic research, Jacobs, who has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology/Anthropology, has identified almost every member of this 19th-century community, which included all four of her grandparents. Place: 39 Battery Place. Time: Gallery opens at 6 p.m. Book talk from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free, but RSVP required to ensure admittance. Email For more information, click here.

Sept. 7: Learn how to preserve family heirlooms for future generations. Erica Blumenfeld, Interim Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and Jennifer Roberts, Associate Registrar, will show you how to care for them. (There will be no appraisals of artifacts.) Advance reservations recommended. Place: 36 Battery Place. Time: 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Cost: Free. To reserve, 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" that runs through the winter of 2017. Place: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. For more information about the museum and this exhibition, 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. 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: 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. 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: "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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