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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 3, No. 42  Sept. 6, 2016   

"Some of them are in the hospital. And some of them have gotten lawyers by now."
     - Charles Rowe, spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard Sector NY, commenting on why it will take months to interview all the witnesses and determine exactly what happened on Aug. 30 when a NY Waterway ferry collided on the Hudson River with a group of kayakers, seriously injuring three of them.

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: Hudson River sunset. Sept. 2, 2016 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

A kayaker on the Hudson River. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

A week has passed since a NY Waterway ferry leaving the terminal at 39th Street collided with a group of 10 kayakers on the Hudson River, seriously injuring three of them. But it will be months before there is a clear understanding of what happened.

The collision took place around 6 p.m. on Aug. 30. According to Charles Rowe, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, which is investigating the accident, the ferry had backed out of its berth and had swung around so that its bow was facing west. "It was under way for a minute to a minute and a half," he said. In other words, it had had time to pull out into the river.

The kayakers had launched from the Manhattan Kayak Co. at West 44th Street. Rowe said they were not hugging the shoreline. Apparently they were well out in the river where presumably they should have been visible.

As the lead investigator for marine casualties involving commercial vessels, the Coast Guard is investigating what happened, how it happened and why it happened. "We look for the causation and any remedial actions that should be taken on either an individual basis or system wide," Rowe said.  "A Coast Guard finding or recommendation of any changes in procedure or equipment can apply to every single ferry in the United States or it may apply to nothing more than this particular ferry, this particular crew, an individual member of the crew or anything in between."

The investigation will take months in part because all of the witnesses have to be interviewed. There were 35 or 40 witnesses including the ferry passengers, the crew and the kayakers. "Some of them are in the hospital," said Rowe. "And some of them have gotten lawyers by now."

In addition to that, the Coast Guard will try to re-create the conditions under which the accident happened. "An inspector will rerun the route, looking for anything pertinent to the accident," said Rowe. "Same time of day. Same kind of vessel. That takes a certain amount of time to set up and to analyze."

Since the accident took place shortly after 6 p.m. when the sun was setting in the west, it has been suggested that visibility may have played a part in the collision.

Rowe said that there is video available and that it will have to be analyzed. "There are two cameras aboard the vessel, both of them pointing forward," he said. "We also believe that there was shoreline video shot by people with iPhones. We saw it on the news. We want to contact them and get the entire footage, not just what was shown on television. Depending on what you see, or think you see, or cannot see in that video, you may have it have it enhanced in the lab. That takes a certain amount of time."

Once the Coast Guard has all of the facts that it can gather, it will be able to create a timeline. But, said Rowe, "we may find in the course of that that we need to go and re-interview witnesses."

Pat Smith, a spokesperson for NY Waterway, said that the company is cooperating with the Coast Guard. "There's no evidence that the captain of the ferry was in any way distracted," he said. "He didn't have anybody in the wheelhouse with him. No alcohol. No drugs. None of that stuff. He's a skilled captain."

Up until now, the Manhattan Kayak Co., which had put the kayakers on the water, had a good safety record. Rob Buchanan, who is on the steering committee of the NYC Water Trail Association, a not-for-profit group of more than 20 community-based non-motorized boating organizations in and around New York City, said, "It's a respected, professional guiding service that, until this accident, had operated on the Hudson for more than 10 years without serious incident. In general, the human-powered boating community has gone to great lengths to ensure that paddlers and rowers using the public waterways have the necessary skills and experience. Commerce and transportation are critical to our city, to be sure, but it's important to remember that the harbor is ultimately a public space that needs to be safely shared."

Considering that New York harbor is the busiest on the East Coast and one of the busiest in the country, "It's remarkable how rarely this sort of thing happens," said Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance, an advocacy group for waterfront usage.

Nevertheless there have been public acknowledgements that the harbor is treacherous. In 2012, the New Jersey Department of Transportation in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard sector NY, funded a film called "The Mariner's Guide to the Port of New York and New Jersey" about the boating hazards of the harbor.

"My biggest problem with kayaks is that I can't see them sometimes," says a ferry captain in the film. "You can't see them until you're right on them. Then it might be too late."

Tom Fox, a founder of New York Water Taxi and the first president of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, says in the film, "One of more difficult situations is where you have boat houses like we've created on the west side of Manhattan directly proximal to high-velocity ferry terminals like the one at West 39th Street. Crossing that path really creates a difficult situation where everybody has to be more alert and aware."

In the film, Capt. Richard Thornton of NY Waterway says, "Sometimes we get some very close calls. We assume they see you," he says of the kayakers. "It's a hundred foot vessel but sometimes they're oblivious. You never want to assume that the other person knows what they're doing or sees you so you always err on the side of caution. We have a fairly decent view but there's always that blind spot behind that ventilator there and just about anybody could sneak behind you."

Those remarks were made four years ago. Whatever the Coast Guard may determine about the specific causality of the collision on Aug. 30, "The Mariner's Guide to the Port of New York and New Jersey," does make it sound as though that was an accident waiting to happen.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

To see the film, "The Mariner's Guide to the Port of New York and New Jersey," click here.

A fragment of Battery Park City's 36 acres of parks and gardens. This autumn garden, along the esplanade, is planted with roses, hydrangeas, salvia and viburnum. 
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Battery Park City has been without a director of horticulture since Eric T Fleischer stepped down in May after having served in that position for more than 25 years. However, on Sept. 1, the Battery Park City Authority announced that it has appointed Anne O'Neill to be Director of Horticulture, Sustainability and Landscape Design.

Anne O'Neill
She is responsible for overseeing and managing the highly specialized plantings, gardens and public art in Battery Park City's 36 acres of parkland and open spaces, utilizing the "green" techniques, design, and vision the neighborhood has pioneered.

O'Neill leads a team of more than 20 staff members and seasonal employees. Ryan Torres, who has led Battery Park City Parks Horticulture Department while the search for a new Director was under way, has been promoted to Assistant Director of Horticulture.

O'Neill said that it was "an honor to join such an amazingly dedicated team of professionals to continue what has been my life's work for more than two decades."

She brings to BPCA extensive experience in managing large budgets, grounds and gardens. Over the course of her 25-year career, she has worked closely with landscape architects, implemented landscape designs, and designed landscape plantings, with several notable innovations in the management of large, complex garden spaces.
After working as a head gardener in her native Ireland, O'Neill came to New York in the early 1990s as a community horticulturalist at the New York Botanical Garden. From there she moved to Fordham University, where she was responsible for all the gardens in the Rose Hill Campus and for introducing horticultural best practices throughout.
Next she went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where she served for more than a decade, first as curator of the Cranford Rose Garden - where more than a thousand kinds of roses are cultivated in one of the largest collections in North America - and then as curator of both the Shakespeare Garden and Fragrance Garden - the first garden in the country designed for the sight-impaired.

Most recently, O'Neill developed and maintained the gardens and grounds of a 70-acre estate including design and installation functions, as well as management of a multi-million dollar budget and team of professional gardener and grounds maintenance staff.

In her spare time O'Neill has volunteered at Pratt Institute for more than a decade. Beginning in 2007, she oversaw and directed the restoration of Pratt's Rose Garden, a treasured resource open to the public year round. In this capacity she selected, placed and planted new roses, conditioned and treated the soil, and trained Pratt's gardening staff on pruning and general care of the roses. She also served as an advisor to Pratt's president and executive staff on questions about the roses and the campus grounds in general.
O'Neill, who holds a bachelor's degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, lives in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Bits & Bytes

A steel beam being hoisted into place at the World Trade Center construction site on Nov. 20, 2009. To date, the estimated cost to rebuild the site has been somewhere between $14 billion and $16 billion. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Long-vacant Wall Street landmark sold to retail developer," New York Post, 8/30/16. "Wall Street's long-vacant 'ghost' building is being sold to a local real estate player, raising hopes that the 101-year-old landmark will finally be brought back to life," says the New York Post. "The former home of JP Morgan at 23 Wall St. is being sold to retail developer Jack Terzi. The pricing is yet unclear, but sources told The Post it is 'less' than the $150 million paid by mysterious, Singapore-based China Sonangol in 2008 to previous owner Africa-Israel. The six-story, marble-fronted building is being sold without brokers and has been the subject of much speculation." For the complete article, click here.

"The new downtown: Lower Manhattan reborn 15 years after 9/11," Crain's New York Business, 8/31/16. "Fifteen years after the Sept. 11th attacks, Lower Manhattan has been reborn," says Crain's New York Business. "The revitalization of the city's downtown, powered by $30 billion in government and private investment, includes not just the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, but also two new malls filled with upscale retailers, thousands of new hotel rooms and dozens of eateries ranging from a new Eataly to a French food hall, Le District. The statistics alone are stunning. There are 29 hotels in the neighborhood, compared to six before 9/11. More than 60,000 people live downtown, nearly triple the number in 2000. And last year, the area hosted a record 14 million visitors, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York." For the complete article, click here.

"Foundation Work Under Way For 49-Story, 483-Unit Mixed-Use Tower At 118 Fulton Street, Financial District," New YorkYIMBY, 8/31/16. "Foundation work is well under way, now that concrete has been poured, for the planned 49-story, 483-unit mixed-use tower under development at 118 Fulton Street, in the Financial District," says New York YIMBY. "The new building will eventually encompass 510,928 square feet and stand 574 feet above street level." For the complete article, click here.

"Recreation and Commerce Collide on New York's Crowded Waterways," New York Times, 8/31/16. "The three siblings, two brothers and their sister, were on a kayaking trip on the Hudson River on Tuesday, celebrating the younger brother's high school graduation with a sunset paddle," says The New York Times. "Suddenly, they noticed a boat bearing down on them." The Times goes on to say that "the ferry plowed into a group of 10 kayakers on an excursion" and that "four of the kayakers were injured, two seriously. To many boating experts, the accident was a frightening and almost inevitable consequence of the growing perils on waterways around New York City, where commercial needs and recreational desires are struggling to coexist." For the complete article, click here.

"Researchers use cellphone data to gauge New Yorkers' exposure to air pollution," Metro, 9/4/16. "You might be able to get some fresh air in Manhattan - if you hang out in Central Park all day," says Metro. "Otherwise, the hazards of breathing city air change just about as quickly as it takes for your Uber to arrive at your destination, according to a new study from MIT Senseable City Lab. The MIT team came up with a new tool for determining the air-quality conditions and exposure hazards of different areas of the city: cellphones. Using cellphone data collected from New Yorkers over 120 days, and focusing on the prevalence of PM2.5 (a specific noxious particle) at different times of day, the researchers found that New Yorkers who live and work in Manhattan are exposed to more toxic pollution than residents who leave their Manhattan jobs and go home to the far reaches of the outer boroughs." The article explains that, "PM2.5 is a fine particulate matter of diameter less than 2.5 micrometers. These tiny dust particles, when inhaled, lead to numerous health conditions including early death, and heart and lung related illnesses." For the complete article, click here.

"New WTC doc asks: Was rebuilding the site worth the cost?,", 9/2/16. "Fifteen years after the World Trade Center attacks, the estimated cost of rebuilding the entire site remains somewhat of a mystery, hovering somewhere between $14 billion and $16 billion - or maybe more," says The Real Deal. "The site is mostly complete, with One World Trade Center, the memorial and the transit hub open, and 3 World Trade Center nearing completion. During CNBC's new documentary, 'Ground Zero Rising: Freedom vs. Fear,' which aired Thursday night, 'Mad Money' host Jim Cramer discussed the ambiguity of rebuilding costs, which he said fell between $14 billion and $16 billion, plus even more in private investment. At one point, he asked developer Larry Silverstein if the end result has been worth the price tag." Silverstein replied, "Economically, I don't know. From the standpoint of a New Yorker, yes." For the complete article, click here.

"A TriBeCa Duplex for $22.2 Million," New York Times, 9/2/16. "The head of a company that sells ads emblazoned on billboards, kiosks and transit shelters has quietly traded a penthouse in SoHo for a larger, brand-new one in TriBeCa, with lots of outdoor space and cityscape vistas," says The New York Times.  "And at $22,210,782.50, the new purchase was the most expensive closed sale of the week, according to city records. Drew Katz, the chief executive of Interstate Outdoor Advertising of Cherry Hill, N.J., bought the duplex, PHB, the largest of three penthouses at the Sterling Mason condominium, at 71 Laight Street, about 15 months after selling a co-op, also PHB, at 420 West Broadway for $17 million." (The article notes that Bruce Ehrmann, who serves on Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee, was one of the listing brokers.) For the complete article, click here.

"Families of 9/11 victims fight to get back recovered belongings," New York Post, 9/4/16. "The city is still holding on to more than 3,500 personal items found in the World Trade Center wreckage, stirring anger and anguish in relatives who have tried for 15 years to claim anything their slain loved ones left behind," says the New York Post. "The families of those killed are begging the NYPD to let next-of-kin see the remaining jewelry and other sentimental objects sitting in storage, saying the city has needlessly shrouded them in secrecy for too long." According to the New York Post, "The objects were dug up by 9/11 responders who searched for remains on the Ground Zero pile and sifted debris at Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Some items were found in Medical Examiner morgues. The NYPD started with 26,000 'invoices,' each containing at least one object but some with multiple related items. It has since returned 87 percent of the haul to rightful owners, officials said." For the complete article, click here.

"A Shopping Mall at Ground Zero, Uninformed by Its Sacred Land," New York Times, 9/5/16. On Sept. 12, 2001, Rudolph W. Giuliani, then mayor of New York City, advised people to "Take the day as an opportunity to go shopping, be with your children. Do things. Get out. Don't feel - don't feel locked in." In an article in The New York Times about the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall, David W. Dunlap says that, "Mr. Giuliani's common-sense counsel on the day after a terrorist attack killed 2,753 people in Lower Manhattan was quickly stripped of context and turned into caricature - retail as opiate. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. I don't think he meant that shopping would solve the problems of a city struggling to awaken from an unparalleled nightmare. But it was the first thing that came to his mind. The role of retailing at ground zero came to mind again last week on my first visit to the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall, which opened in August. The experience was at once heartening and dispiriting. Heartening, because Santiago Calatrava's soaring Oculus now teems with people. The cantilevered 'diving boards' over the great hall have instantly become downtown's version of the crowded balconies at Grand Central Terminal, the ideal spot to take that perfectly symmetrical architectural panorama." But says Dunlap, the experience was "Dispiriting, because there is little to suggest that Westfield World Trade Center occupies consecrated ground. Apart from the bravura of Mr. Calatrava's design, and the snow-white marble floors, this mall could be just about anywhere. And unlike the concourse-level mall of the original trade center, there seems to be no place yet to get your shoes shined or a key copied." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
 The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place is festooned with ads for Saks Fifth Avenue, which will open at 225 Liberty St. on Sept. 9. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Stories and Songs for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers: Battery Park City Parks presents a program of lively musical performances each Wednesday from Sept. 14 to Dec. 14  with a roster of professional musicians who introduce music to young children through participatory music and stories. Stories & Songs is for children ages six months to 3.5 years (accompanied by an adult). It develops active listening, socializing, and cultural literacy in a joyous, warm environment. Place: 6 River Terrace. Three sessions: Wednesdays, 9:40 a.m.-10:20 a.m.; 10:30 a.m.-11:10 a.m.; 11:20 a.m.-12 p.m. Cost: $335. To register, call (212) 267-9700 ext. 9363 or email For more information, click here.

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. 

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. The 24th annual North River Tugboat Races in which she is scheduled to participate were postponed from Labor Day weekend to Oct. 9 because of weather concerns. On Sept. 7, she will go to Newtown Creek 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
Battery Park City Parks Fall Events Calendar:
For a complete list of events and classes taking place this fall 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, on Saturdays the Downtown Boathouse runs a free public kayaking program on Governors Island where the pier officially opened 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 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.

PekingLetters to the editor

Steering wheels on the stern of the Peking. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

(A note from the editor: In response to two recent articles in Downtown Post NYC about the Peking and her imminent departure from New York City, Charles Deroko wrote to DPNYC with some more information about the ship. As he recalls, "I was living and working in New England doing a variety of marine jobs when I heard Peking was on her way to New York.  I came to the city and tracked her down where she was being painted in Brewer's Shipyard on Staten Island. To my good fortune I was hired on the spot. Three of us were hired for that first stint in 1974.")

To the editor:

Peking's wheels, shown in the Downtown Post NYC masthead photo (DPNYC, 8/30/16), were actually the secondary or emergency steering station located in the stern. The primary steering station, also fitted with two wheels that were placed immediately forward of the teak charthouse, was atop the midship house, the raised structure in the middle of the ship. These wheels, 150 feet from the stern, were connected to the rudder through a system of wires, rods and chains. Large buffer springs, fitted to the rudder quadrant atop the rudder, dampened the rudder's swing making it more manageable. Four men, two on each wheel, were needed to steer the vessel under arduous conditions. The system was geared to provide mechanical advantage and also fitted with a foot brake that steadied the wheel from backlash and gave added control to the steersmen.
That Peking is finally going home is great news indeed. She has spent over four decades in a port very foreign to her trade and deserves to return to Germany. The South Street Seaport Museum gets credit for keeping the ship afloat and alive for future restoration work. In addition to the original work performed when Peking arrived in 1974-1975, the museum entirely replaced thousands of feet of the vessel's heavy wire standing rigging - the largest job of its kind undertaken by a maritime museum in the United States - something for which the museum can justifiably be proud.
Peking's transit to Hamburg is the culmination of many years of persistent work, marked by various ups and downs.  Those who faithfully persevered to make this happen deserve praise for their good efforts.
Charles Deroko

(A note from the editor: Downtown Post NYC wondered how many in crew the Peking carried. This is the answer.)

To the editor:
In Peking's last years of commercial service she had a very large crew. Most members of this "crew" were actually merchant marine cadets from other shipping lines that wanted their sailors trained in traditional sailing methods before they continued working for steamship companies. These other shipping companies paid Peking's owners, F. Laiesz Co., for this. To house these cadets extra bunks were installed in an area under the poop deck.

William B. Roka
Historian/Operations Associate
South Street Seaport Museum

From the editor:
Peking was supposed to leave the South Street Seaport on the morning of Sept. 6, but because
Peking as she looked on Sept. 6 with her masts tethered to prepare her to be towed across New York harbor to dry dock on Staten Island.
of high seas and winds, her departure was delayed. She is now scheduled to leave on Sept. 7 at 8:50 a.m., subject to weather conditions.

The best place from which to see her leave will be the Seaport esplanade between Piers 15 and 16 or the upper deck of Pier 15. It will take two or three tugs to guide Peking into the East River and across the harbor to Staten Island.

(Check the Downtown Post NYC website at for the latest information on the day and time of Peking's departure.)

"There is no formal ceremony planned," said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum. "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.

cocoaFrom the South Street Seaport Museum Collection
A 19th-century trade card for van Houten cocoa.
(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 seventh in a regular feature in Downtown Post NYC highlighting artifacts from the collection.)

That warming mug of hot chocolate that many people relish during the cool days of fall and the cold days of winter owes its ready and inexpensive presence in our lives to the van Houten family of Amsterdam. In 1828, Casparus van Houten received a patent from the Dutch King William I for a mechanized method of pressing the fat from roasted cocoa beans, something that previously had to be done by hand. A few years later, Casparus' son, Coenraad Johannes,
invented Dutch process cocoa that used alkaline salts to create a less bitter and more soluble form of cocoa powder than had previously been available. The combination of the inventions by father and son van Houten were key steps in the popularization of drinking hot cocoa.

In 1865, Coenraad's son, Casparus, entered the family business and proved to be adept at marketing. Trade cards such as the one for the van Houten firm in the South Street Seaport Museum collection might have been slipped into the bag with a cocoa purchase at a grocery store.

By the mid-19th century, Coenraad van Houten was exporting chocolate from The Netherlands to England, France and Germany - perhaps on ships similar to those on this trade card. The back of the card is an anthem to chocolate. "The best beverage to take with your food is cocoa, and the best cocoa is Van Houten's Cocoa," it says. "It does not retard digestion, it assists it. Easy of assimilation and digestion." 
[Image: Collection of the South Street Seaport Museum)  

communityCOMMUNITY BOARD 1 MEETINGS: Week of Sept. 5 
Morning traffic on South End Avenue. At its Sept. 6 meeting, Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee will discuss the Battery Park City Authority's proposals to make South End Avenue narrower. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

All meetings of Community Board 1 take place in the conference room at 1 Centre St., Room 2202-A North, starting at 6 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. Members of the public can attend and comment. A photo ID is needed to enter the building. 

Sept. 6: Battery Park City Committee - 6 p.m.
      Location:  Metropolitan College of NY
      60 West St., 1st floor community room
* BPCA Permit Request - Lauren Beam Foundation, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016
* 200 Vesey St., application for restaurant liquor license for Del Frico's Grille of New York LLC - Resolution
* 250 Vesey St., application for liquor license with live music for S.S. Beacon - Resolution
* BPCA permit - The Quad Preparatory School 5K - Oct. 26, 2016 - presentation by Kimberly Buis, Founder
* Pier A Taste New York Store -Presentation by Peter Poulakakos, HPH
* West Thames Bridge - NYC EDC (Invited)
* Allied Universal Ambassadors - Update
* Battery Park City Authority - Update
* South End Avenue Study - Update
* Asphalt Green Community Center Senior Programming - Update by Jennifer Coccia, Director, Asphalt Green Battery Park City

Other permit requests for 2016 received from BPCA:
* Plus One, Nov. 16 and 17, 2016

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 22 Battery Place, application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for Pier A Battery Park Associates LLC
* 345 South End Ave., application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for 301 South LLC d/b/a SouthWest NY/Black Hound

Sept. 7: Financial District Committee 
* The Quad Preparatory School 5K Fun Run - Report by Kimberly Busi, Founder/ Director
* Governors Island Cube & Survey- Report by EDC (Tentative)
* Board of Standards and Appeals, application for enlargement and change of ownership for an existing physical culture establishment at 30 Broad Street - Resolution
* 140 West St., application for a waiver of the rooftop recreation space - Resolution
* 1 World Trade Center, application for alteration of an existing liquor license for Legends Hospitality LLC d/b/a OWO World Observatory - Resolution
* 108 Greenwich St., application for alteration of an existing liquor license for Suspenders and Belt LLC d/b/a Suspenders - Resolution
* 185 Greenwich St., application for liquor license for Slow Food LLC d/b/a Market Lane NYC - Resolution
* 185 Greenwich St., application for liquor license for Fine Casual LLC d/b/a Little Hunter Burgers - Resolution
* 8 Park Place, application for a liquor license for Five and Dime Hospitality LLC - Resolution
* 84 William St., application for hotel liquor license for 84 William Street Property Owner LLC d/b/a aka Wall Street - Resolution
* 15 Stone St., application for liquor license for Nebraska Steakhouse - Resolution
*  25 Broadway, 9th and 10th floor, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 25 Broadway LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 25 Broadway, 5th floor, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 25 Broadway LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 110 Wall St., 8th to 10th floor, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 110 Wall LLC d/b/a We Work - Resolution
* 110 Wall Street, 2nd to 6th floors, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 110 Wall LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 200 Broadway, 3rd floor, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 11 John LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 222 Broadway, 24th to 27th floors, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 222 Broadway LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 222 Broadway, 18th to 22nd floors, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 222 Broadway LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 85 Broad St., 16th and 18th floors, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 85 Broad LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 85 Broad St., 28th and 29th Fl, application for tavern/bar wine and beer license for WW 85 Broad LLC d/b/a WeWork - Resolution
* 1 Wall Street, application for restaurant liquor license for Haru Wall Street Corp. d/b/a Haru - Resolution 
* 1 World Trade Center, 34th floor, application for catering facility liquor license for Convene at Conde Nast, LLC d/b/a Convene at Conde Nast - Resolution

Sept. 8: Landmarks Committee
* 51 White St., application to remove 20th Century stucco façade - Resolution
* 11 Harrison St., application to repair and replace building parapet and penthouse bulkhead - Resolution

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 Sept. 5

A Guatemalan weaver with a backstrap loom. On Sept. 10 and 11 at the National Museum of the American Indian, Guatemalan Maya youth and weavers will share their unique traditions demonstrated through documentaries and traditional backstrap weaving. (Photo: Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian)            

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

Sept. 8: On 9/11, the impromptu response by mariners in New York harbor resulted in the biggest evacuation by water in history. A newly published book, "American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11" by Tricia Wachtendorf and James Kendra tells what happened. Aboard the historic lightship Lilac, the authors will present a summary of their research and discuss it as part of a panel also featuring Jessica DuLong, chief engineer on the fireboat John J. Harvey and Eddie Rosenstein, executive producer/director at Eyepop Productions, producer of the film, "Boatlift." Capt. Patrick Harris, owner and operator of the sailing yacht Ventura, a mariner who participated in the evacuation, will moderate the discussion. It will be followed by a reception and a book signing. Place: Lilac, Pier 25 in Hudson River Park at North Moore Street. Time: 6 p.m. Free. (Discounted copies of the book will be available for $20, cash only.) Registration requested. To register, click here.

Sept. 10: At Go Fish! join experienced anglers for catch-and-release fishing and learn about life in the Hudson River. The festival includes art projects (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), birdwatching (at 11 a.m.) and a live performance by Grammy winner Dan Zanes and Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Mitchell at noon. Place: Wagner Park in Battery Park City. Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Sept. 10: During Maya Creativity and Cultural Milieu at the National Museum of the American Indian, Guatemalan Maya youth and weavers, representing partner organizations Unlocking Silent Histories and the Maya Traditions Foundations, will share their Maya identities, illustrating their resilience, knowledge, and unique traditions demonstrated through documentaries and traditional backstrap weaving. In addition there will be film screenings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, Sept. 11. Place: 1 Bowling Green (in the museum's Diker Pavilion). Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

September weekends: The 9th annual Governors Island Art Fair brings 100 rooms of painting, photography, sculpture, installation art, video and sound art to the island. Governors Island Art Fair takes place at Colonel's Row and in Fort Jay and Castle Williams. It was produced by 4Heads, a New York City nonprofit organization created by artists. Dates: Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25. Times: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Catalogue: $20. 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" 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  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. 18, 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, "Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits 1700-1860" is at the Museum of the City of New York (definitely uptown - the museum is on Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street - but many of the people in this portrait exhibition lived and worked in what is now Lower Manhattan). Beginning in the 18th century, New York City's well-to-do citizens commissioned paintings of themselves and their loved ones to display in their homes as indicators of prestige. Drawn from the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York, this exhibition features works by some of the leading American painters of their day. Through Sept. 18, 2016. 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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