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Volume 25, Number 19

february 20-marCh 5, 2013

constrUctIon center to cLose thIs Year, BUt worK Goes on BY KAITLYN MEADE he agency coordinating construction at the World Trade Center and nearby sites is in its last year of operation as the work winds down — but predicts mid to high levels of Downtown construction through 2016. Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (L.M.C.C.C.) officials are forecasting widespread public works and private development, resulting in over 2,600 units (and this is a low estimate) of residential housing in the next four years. Yet the Command Center is not planning to continue beyond its three-year extension to the end of 2013.


Continued on page 13


Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Chinatown celebrated the Year of the Snake Sunday with its Lunar New Year parade down Mott St. See P. 16 for more photos of the parade and the firecracker celebration a week ago.

Two plans pushed to save Pier 40 fields BY LINCOLN ANDERSON ith two competing proposals recently floated for Pier 40, Community Board 2 will hold a forum on Thurs., Feb. 28 on the ongoing, contentious issue of how best to redevelop the sprawling West Houston St. pier. One of the plans is by a coalition of local youth sports leagues called Pier 40 Champions. Their proposal calls for the construction of two residential towers sited just east of Pier 40 on parkland within the Hudson River Park. Revenue from the towers would help fund repairs and redevelopment of the 15-acre, three-story pier, which needs tens of millions of dollars to fix up its corroded steel support piles and eroded concrete roof. The payoff for the


youth leagues is that the pier would be opened up to increased use for sports fields, which now includes even more field space than it originally did. The field expansion could mean playing time for children in neighborhoods like Tribeca and Battery Park City, and parent leaders further Downtown are beginning to sign onto the Champions plan. The rival concept for Pier 40 is by Douglas Durst, former chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park, in partnership with Ben Korman, who formerly ran the pier’s parking operation. It would utilize the pier’s existing shed structure for a mix of high-tech office space and retail, along with parking. Durst is not an advocate for housing either on Pier 40

or anywhere in the park. Allowing housing in the Hudson River Park would require the state Legislature to modify the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, which prohibits residential use. Meanwhile, the Hudson River Park Trust appears favorable toward the Pier 40 Champions plan, with its residential component, as a solution for helping save both Pier 40 and the entire 5-mile-long park, yet, at the same time, is also interested in the idea of parking stackers, as contained in the Durst plan. The park is suffering a serious cash flow problem, which will only worsen in coming years, according to the Trust, as state and city


Continued on page 24

thomPson Gets Low ratInGs From B.P.c. actIVIsts BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER one but not forgotten by Battery Park City residents, Bill Thompson, now running for mayor of New York City, served as chairperson of the Battery Park City Authority between March 2010 and May 2012 when he resigned to work on his mayoral campaign. His 26 months in Battery Park City gave residents a chance to know him better than most other New Yorkers, with their views of him ranging from harsh to non-committal. Several neighborhood activists


Continued on page 7


February 20 - March 5, 2013

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Jenifer Rajkumar, the City Council candidate who has not yet announced her intention to run against Councilmember Margaret Chin in this year’s Democratic primary, continues her campaign. Last weekend, she hosted a “Be My Valentine” fundraising party in her Gateway Plaza apartment, and she told us she’s got a karaoke night planned elsewhere Downtown. We did get her to talk about an issue last week. Rajkumar, a Democratic district leader, convinced her club, Downtown Independent Democrats, to support the Save Our Seaport petition to stop or change the Howard Hughes Corp. plan to demolish and rebuild the Pier 17 mall. Rajkumar said preserving the Seaport’s historic district and expanding the plan’s public space are her two priorities for the project. But she had no recommendation for Chin, who will soon vote on the plan, which presumably will see last minute changes in an effort to win Council approval.

Silver-a Robes?

Former Democratic District Leader Adam Silvera has been a fixture in Downtown political circles for about two decades, but Silvera told us he’s looking to hang it all up to run for Civil Court judge in the Second Judicial District representing Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the East Village. Silvera said his community activism experience organizing groups like the Save Avenue A Society was an important building block to becoming a judicial candidate, but at the same time, he will no longer be able to continue in that work, and will have to be impartial as a judge. He does not know yet of any opponents to replace Judge Shlomo Hagler, now an acting justice in the state’s second highest court, the misnamed Supreme Court. Silvera may want to consult an old friend of his and ours — Kathryn Freed, the former councilmember who traded politics to don the black robes.

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April in Paris is both a deadline and a reward for the lucky artist or collaborative pair that wins a residency in the home city of the Louvre in 2014. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Bertrand Delanoë, le maire de Paris (Francophobes read: the Paris mayor) have partnered for an eleventh year to offer one NYC-based artist a six-month residency

at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. Applications for the program are due Mon., April 1, 2013. It is open to emerging and mid-career visual artists only who are residents of New York City and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Collaborative pairs may apply, but will receive a single stipend and living/working space to share. The residency program began in 2002 when Delanoë reached out to the L.M.C.C., which was based in the World Trade Center and was mourning the loss of one of their artists. Eleven New York City-based artists have been accepted into the residency since its inception. Artists are given a living stipend, quarters in the city center, access to artistic facilities, language classes and a museum pass that guarantees admission to most museums in France. The competition for such a position is stiff. The current resident, Yoko Inoue earned an M.F.A. from Hunter College before being exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, SculptureCenter, Rubin Museum, Momenta Art and Art in General in New York. Inoue has received a NYFA Fellowship, Tides Foundation Lambent Fellowship, Franklin Furnace Fund, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship and various residencies, including L.M.C.C.’s Workspace residency. The Paris Residency session is JanuaryJune 2014. For more information or to apply, visit

Pains & Gains

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer confirmed to us that he asked Catherine McVay Hughes to take another look at closing down Community Board 1’s Housing and Waterfront committees. “I think it’s important we have those committees,” he said. “I believe the chair [Hughes] will work collaboratively with the others to get a good result.” At last week’s meeting of Downtown Independent Democrats, Board 1 member Jean Grillo thanked Stringer for his support of the housing committee in particular. C.B. 1’s Planning Committee, which now has an expanded portfolio, seemed to be feeling some growing pains at its meeting this month. Michael Levine, a community board staffer, cautioned the committee not to take on too many tasks. Tammy Meltzer wanted to make sure the committee would be up to speed on the W.T.C. Committee. “Do you have access to what their set out goals were?” she asked Levine. In discussing housing, someone shouted out, “Did we ever define affordable housing?” and was told, “It changes from month to month.” As for growing gains, Stringer, the presumed frontrunner in the City Comptroller’s race, told the D.I.D. that even though he’s 52 and the father of a 1-year-old, he and his wife are expecting their second child in June.


February 20 - March 5, 2013

Discover More Online

Image courtesy of sHoP Architects

City Planning voted in early February to scrap the prominent Seaport sign for Pier 17 originally proposed by Howard Hughes.

Seaport development plan clears a crucial hurdle BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER The City Planning Commission voted Feb. 6 to approve The Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan to tear down the existing mall on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport and replace it with a glass-enclosed structure. However, the commission wants some modifications to the plan which now goes to the City Council. Howard Hughes has asked all tenants to vacate Pier 17 by April 30. The tenants, who are still grappling with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, said that this would cause them great and continuing hardship, and they need the busy summer season to recoup their losses. This week, Sal Himani, whose family owns six restaurants on the pier, said he heard from a fellow tenant that there might be a reprieve past April 30, but he received no official confirmation. At the hearing two weeks ago, Michelle de la Uz, a Planning Commissioner member appointed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, asked the Economic Development Corp., owner of the pier, to negotiate with Howard Hughes to extend the Pier 17 tenants’ leases until the fall. At the present time, under a Letter of Intent between E.D.C. and Howard Hughes, construction on the pier would have to begin on July 1, 2013 at the latest. City Planning could not make a comment about the leases an official part of the resolution because it has no legal authority to weigh in on this issue. However, “the fact that one member did mention it is good,” said Michael Levine, director of planning and land use for Community Board 1.

City Planning rejected the prominent signage that Howard Hughes had requested for the rooftop of the new mall building. Howard Hughes had gone so far as to write to City Planning asking it to reconsider its negative position on the sign, but C.P.C. refused to change its position. “The elimination of the rooftop sign will prevent the experience of the Lower Manhattan waterfront environment and the views of the Brooklyn Bridge from being compromised,” Amanda Burden, commission chairperson, said according to the official transcript.

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Help for ‘a declining shopping district within the Seaport Historic District?’ Burden, who did not comment on a lease extension, said the project will help “a declining shopping district within the Seaport Historic District” attract residents and workers in addition to tourists. The C.P.C. resolution also requires mooring for boats of different sizes at Continued on page 4



February 20 - March 5, 2013

trUnK SHoW HeiSt?

Over $8,000 worth of clothing was stolen from a man’s parked car in Lower Manhattan. The victim, a 46-year-old man, reported to police that his gray 2011 Range Rover Sport HSE had been broken into while it was parked in front of 8 Spruce St. on Sat., Feb. 9 between the hours of 8:45 p.m. and midnight. The Bronx resident had left the car while visiting a FiDi friend and when he returned to the vehicle, he discovered that the property had been taken. No windows were broken, but he said that the rear hatch door had been slightly misaligned, indicating the possibility that it had been jimmied open. There was no indication the alarm had been triggered. Video surveillance may be available from the building’s manager. The stolen property (enough to stock a small clothing store) included Coach, custom, and Brooks Brothers briefcases equaling $1,800; a $1,800 Corneliani coat; $1,700 in shirts from Bhambi’s Custom Tailors, $439 in ski apparel, $400 in swimsuits, $400 in summer

dresses, $300 Steve Madden shoes, scarves, sweaters and sunglasses, not to mention the $800 suitcase.

loUnGer loSeS Wallet

Another unattended wallet was stolen at the M1-5 Lounge, the second theft in the nightclub in recent weeks. Police stated that a woman, 28, lodged a complaint that her wallet had been taken from her jacket pocket when she left it hanging on the back of her chair at the 52 Walker St. location on Thurs., Feb. 7 at about 9:45 p.m. The wallet contained two credit cards, both of which were charged at unknown locations before they were cancelled, her driver’s license, $20 in cash and a $15 MetroCard. Less than a month ago, a 33-year-old woman contacted the First Police Precinct to report that over $1,000 in missing property, including her cell phone had been stolen when she left her bag unattended at the Tribeca club on Fri., Jan. 25. Bums more than a smoke A not-so-friendly fellow smoker took more than a light from his target. The woman, 25, told police that she was walking along John St. and smoking

a cigarette at 1:10 a.m. On Thurs., Feb. 7. She was approached outside 15 John St. by a man who asked her for a cigarette. When she reached for her pocket, he grabbed her purse from her hand and fled. The victim, who was not injured, said her bag contained her debit card and $30 in cash.

A police canvas turned up negative results but video surveillance may be available from a building across the street. Police are seeking a 30-year-old male, about 5 10”.

– Kaitlyn Meade

Pier 17 Continued from page 3

Pier 17 and increased maritime use of the pier. The resolution on Pier 17 now goes to City Council, which has about a month to approve it, alter it or dismiss it. City Councilmember Margaret Chin has been talking with Pier 17 tenants and with the Howard Hughes Corp. about the need to extend the Pier 17 leases through the fall. In a telephone conference call on Jan. 23, Howard Hughes executives told Chin that they would look into that possibility, but so far, they have not gotten back to her. Chin said that she is going to take the matter up with the E.D.C. and with New York City Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. “Margaret Chin and City Council are the last stop,” said Levine. “City Council may want to reopen the issue

of extending the tenants’ leases.” He said that in general he was pleased with the City Planning Commission vote. Community Board 1 had voted against the rooftop signage and had espoused other measures for Pier 17 that made their way into the resolution that the City Planning Commission passed. “The community board succeeded where we felt we could,” he said. E.D.C. did not comment on the City Planning Commission vote but previously had no comment about a lease extension. Howard Hughes Corp. also refused to say anything about a lease extension but released a statement saying it was happy to get commission approval to transform “the building’s iconic waterfront setting into an energetic, highly engaging destination for shopping, dining and entertainment in Lower Manhattan.”

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February 20 - March 5, 2013

M.T.A. hopes to reopen South Ferry next year BY J o s h r o g e r s South Ferry is the end of the No. 1 line and transit officials thought it could take three years to open after being ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, but transit officials said last week that at least part of the station should open in two years. “We can’t have the impacts that people are experiencing today take many months,” Thomas Prendergast, president of New York City Transit Prendergast, also interim executive director of the M.T.A., told members of the City Council’s Transportation Committee Feb. 12. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority would either open the station in stages or reopen the old South Ferry station, said Prendergast. At one point in his testimony, he said a partially opened station could resume running by this summer, but later backed away from that optimism. “In the next two, three months we want to get it up and running,” he told the Council. But immediately after the hearing, he walked the statement back with reporters saying he was “conveying the sense of urgency “of reopening the station that primarily serves Staten Island commuters and tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty, which has also

ben closed since Sandy.” He said he expected to have a plan to reopen the station within a few months. He said fully reopening the station would take about 24 months, but a staged opening would speed up that timeline. He did not have cost estimates, but initially the M.T.A. estimated it would take about $600 million to open the station. Prendergast said he expects to get about $8.8 billion in federal money from two Sandy relief funds — one to cover replacement of damaged equipment and one to take steps to mitigate damage from future storms. He said a shuttle bus to the Rector St. station is not practical because of the throngs of people who use the station after leaving the Staten Island ferry. It takes about 20 packed buses “swinging low” wih the weight of passengers to make up for one line of subway cars, he added.

Photo Courtesy of the M.T.A.

The South Ferry subway station looked very worse for wear last November, a week after Hurricane Sandy.

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February 20 - March 5, 2013

Downtown shops say federal Sandy aid may not help BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER In the months since Superstorm Sandy wiped out many small Lower Manhattan businesses, owners report that they have pursued every government financial aid program that seemed to offer help, but mostly to no avail. Now Congress has authorized $51 billion for Sandy relief, with $1.7 billion earmarked for New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that $100 million of the city’s money will go to help small businesses recover, but the qualifications have not been spelled out. “When you get down to the fine print, how effective those grants are is going to be critically dependent on the terms of the grant and eligibility,” said Ro Sheffe, chairperson of Community Board 1’s Hurricane Relief Small Business Task Force. “A lot of previously offered grants had specifically said that the money received by the merchant could only be used for build-out of destroyed spaces.” Sheffe said that he had spoken to a number of shop owners who told him that they had already used their own savings to begin the build-out because they were desperate to get back into business. “Now they need working capital to pay wages and benefits and to restock inventory,” he said. “If the [federal] money is restricted only to buildout, that grant money will do them no good.” One such owner is Amanda Byron Zink, owner of The Salty Paw, a dog grooming and pet supply boutique formerly at 38 Peck Slip. “So many of us do not own our spaces,” she said, “so all this potential money goes back into leasehold improvements and hard assets. If I am going to have a fighting chance to reopen my pet boutique (in virtually a ghost town), what I need now is money to help with my overhead, my increased rents, inventory for my shelves, and business and sales lost.” Zink estimates that her store will have been closed seven months by the time she may be able to reopen in the Seaport and that she will have lost $200,000 in revenue. Linda Marini, who formerly owned Barbarini’s restaurant and market at 225 Front St. along with her husband, Claudio, and two partners, raised other issues about how previous financial aid has been struc-

tured and why it didn’t help. It required that a business reopen at — or in some cases, near — the place that it occupied before Sandy, she said, but Barbarini’s will not be able to reopen in its old location because the partners have decided to go their separate ways. “Since we are not rebuilding in the original location, we have not qualified for any grant to date,” she said. “We also do not qualify for any loans related to disaster relief because we are not applying as a business

‘We want nothing more than to rebuild in the area…but it has been one battle after the next.’ to rebuild.” She said that Barbarini’s had sustained more than $1 million in losses. “We want nothing more than to rebuild in the area, bring some of our employees back and do what we love, giving us the means to support our family, but it has been one battle after the next,” Marini added. “We attended most of the meetings directed at disaster relief, but to date, we cannot proceed with any type of loan application or grants available.” She said that she was hopeful that the federal Sandy recovery package could bring some much needed aid, but she feared that she and her husband would still not qualify because there has not been much flexibility in the past as to eligibility requirements. In addition to these problems, both Sheffe and Byron Zink noted that rents have been rising in the South Street Seaport despite the fact that most businesses are still closed. “I personally won’t be able to get back open if I can’t negotiate a fair and reasonable lease,” Byron Zink said. Sheffe said that many of the landlords are being hit with higher property tax assessments. He said that Community Board 1 had

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passed a resolution asking the city and the state to reassess many of the properties that were damaged by the storm and to consider significantly reducing the assessment value, at least temporarily. “It’s not only damage,” he said. “It’s reduced property value because this storm pointed up the vulnerability of those buildings especially in Flood Zone A. however an assessment or rate reduction in property taxes is not necessarily going to help the merchants. It would be up to the landlords as to whether they pass that financial help along to their tenants by reducing the rents or at least leaving them the way they were instead of raising them.” Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for disbursing the post-Sandy federal financial aid includes $250 million for grants and low-interest

loans to help repair up to 12,790 units of of low, moderate- and middle-income housing in multifamily homes and rental buildings damaged by Sandy. Of this, $120 million would go to help fortify public housing against future storms. As New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver noted after the mayor’s plan had been announced, “there are many residential buildings [in Lower Manhattan] that are still uninhabitable as well as others, such as Knickerbocker Village, that sustained massive damage.” He said that these buildings should be eligible for funding. The city’s plan has to be approved by the federal government, which will take several months. Money will not be available for disbursement before April or May at the earliest.

‘Go bag’ info A few days before Superstorm Sandy struck the city, Mayor Mike Bloomberg advised residents in Flood Zone A to put together their “go bags” and stock up on first aid supplies. If you were one of those left wondering what goes in a “go bag”, don’t be alarmed — Community Board 1’s Quality of Life Committee is partnering with Pace University to bring a first aid forum to Downtown Manhattan. On Thurs., Feb. 21, certified professionals will go over everything from the Heimlich maneuver to emergency doggy “go” bags. Professor Joanne Knoesel from the Lienhard School of Nursing will give out a list of essential first aid kit supplies for homes and businesses at 6 p.m., followed by a brief information session on recognizing medical emergencies such as heart attacks, anaphylaxis and stroke. Professor Elizabeth Berro will talk about how to handle swallowed poisons at 6:30 p.m. The basics of a first aid course will

be taught as well. CPR, defibrillation and the Heimlich maneuver will be demonstrated by Professor Knoesel. At 7 p.m., Dr. Antonio Dajer, Chairperson of New York Downtown Hospital’s Emergency Department, will provide residents with info on services offered at nearby hospitals and when to use an emergency room. The Tribeca CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) will then go over that all-important information: emergency preparations and “go” bags for the family in case of emergency evacuations. Worried about leaving pets behind? C.B. 1 member Diane Lapson will outline what to put in a “go bag” for furry family members. The First Aid Forum will be hosted Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room A of 1 Pace Plaza, entrance via the Schimmel Theatre, 3 Spruce St. For more information, call C.B. 1 at 212-442-5050 or email Man01@


February 20 - March 5, 2013

Thompson’s Battery Park City reviews Continued from page 1

were asked to assess Thompson’s mayoral candidacy from their perspective of his performance as B.P.C.A. chairperson. “Although I’ve lived in Battery Park City and have been an active member of the community throughout Thompson’s tenure as chair, I cannot cite a single accomplishment of his,” said George Calderaro, vice chairperson of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City committee. “What I do know is that he brought in political and campaign cronies and fired one-third of the Battery Park City Authority’s staff, including the agency’s only licensed architect and engineer.” Calderaro said this helped send the remaining construction projects “off the rails.” On Nov. 9, 2011, 19 B.P.C.A. employees were fired around the time that the Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center at 211 North End Ave. was initially supposed to open. A year later, on Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy flooded the community center, but even before that happened, construction delays, permitting issues and contractual problems between the B.P.C.A. and Asphalt Green had kept the community center from opening. At the present time, the opening date is unknown. Pier A, at the southern end of Battery Park City, is another large construction project under the B.P.C.A.’s jurisdiction. It is being renovated by the authority with $30 million allocated by the city’s Economic Development Corp., but is now $6 million over budget and well over a year behind schedule. The historic pier, which dates from 1886, was on budget and on schedule at the time of the layoffs. Thompson, the city’s former comptroller, was appointed by former Gov. David Paterson. He made the cuts during a time when there were increasing calls from City Hall and Albany to scale back or even disband the authority because the riverside neighborhood is almost completely developed. Resident Susan J. Bridges said “his lack of communication with the neighborhood – despite B.P.C.A.’s dependence on it to provide funds – suggests that he would not be open to

listening to the various communities and other constituencies that create the city. I will be watching any Thompson campaign for evidence of these attitudes expressing themselves.” John Dellaportas, another long-time resident of Battery Park City, was less critical of Thompson than of the authority in general. “The [B.P.C.A. chairman] has no function other than as a lawful means to steer public funds to friends of the governor,” he said. “So Mr. Thompson’s tenure…wouldn’t tell me much about the kind of mayor he might be. For all I know, he could be great, or he could be terrible. He seems like a decent enough fellow, but it’s a tough job.” Liz McCabe, who worked with others to try and get the Asphalt Green community center open, said she had voted for Thompson when he ran for mayor in 2009 but would not vote for him again based on what she had learned about him over the last six months. “He was chairman during the stalling of Asphalt Green,” she said. She also mentioned that shortly after Thompson’s departure as B.P.C.A. chairperson, Gayle Horwitz, president of the authority and a close colleague of Thompson’s, hired Randy Mastro — the biggest fundraiser for Thompson’s mayoral campaign — to start legal action against Asphalt Green. McCabe called Thompson’s actions “corrupt.” However, Mark Costello, former president of the Downtown Little League, lauded Thompson for finishing the ballfields’ conversion from grass to artificial turf, also adding “he is a very nice guy.” The Thompson campaign did not respond to a request for comment for this article. At the time of his resignation, Thompson himself assessed his years in Battery Park City. He mentioned the installation of artificial turf on the B.P.C. ball fields, the repaving of Murray St. and the restoration of South Cove among his accomplishments. He also cited the long-awaited community center featuring two swimming pools and gym on North End Ave., in addition to the “transformational” renovation of Pier A. “I’m very comfortable that these projects are moving forward…quickly and that everybody will be very pleased when they’re done,” he said at the time.


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Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Bill Thompson at the opening ceremonies of the Downtown Little League season in Battery Park City last year. Some neighborhood leaders have praised him for getting the fields reopened, but others have criticized his leadership at the Battery Park City Authority. At the time, he was chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. He resigned one month later to devote himself to his campaign for mayor of New York City.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in mid-January, if the Democratic primary for mayor were held now, Thompson would lose to City Council Speaker Christine

Quinn among registered Democratic voters, 35 percent to 10 — but both candidates would handily beat the presumed Republican front runner, Joseph Lhota.

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Council learns the what & where of Hudson Square BY l i N Co lN a Nd e r s o N The City Council’s Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee last week heard four hours of testimony by advocates and opponents of the Hudson Square residential rezoning proposal. The hearing, attended by about 100 people, was held at 250 Broadway, across the street from the Council Chambers in City Hall. Many who spoke called for a linkage between rezoning Hudson Square, the area just west of Soho, and landmarking the rest of the proposed South Village Historic District as put forward by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. To date, the city has landmarked only about one-third of the proposed historic district. Andrew Berman, director of G.V.S.H.P., said rezoning the adjacent Hudson Square area to allow residential use would surely ratchet up development pressure on the historic, low-rise South Village — so the landmarking of the rest of the proposed district must come before the rezoning. If the South Village isn’t landmarked, Berman and others said, then the rezoning should not go forward. Berman later said he was disappointed that some of the subcommittee’s members didn’t appear to know exactly where the South Village, or even Hudson Square

itself, were, or to fully grasp their geographical proximity. The councilmembers’ questions were along the lines of “Is the South Village Hudson Square?” and “Is Hudson Square in the South Village?” as well as “What is the relationship between the two neighborhoods?” At one point, asking for clarification, Leroy Comrie, chairperson of the Council’s full Land Use Committee, shrugged a bit and offered apologetically, “I’m a Queens guy.” “We sent packets to all of them prior to this in order to educate them,” Berman said later. “I give credit to [subcommittee chairperson] Mark Weprin, who runs a good meeting, but too few of the councilmembers seemed to know the details of the proposal and its impact. They seemed more confused than anything. There didn’t seem to be anybody there to illuminate the other members of the committee about the parameters of the neighborhood.” A spokesperson for Council Speaker Christine Quinn — whose Third Council District includes Hudson Square and most of the South Village —said the speaker supports designating the entire proposed historic district — and will continue to advocate for this. However, landmarking is initiated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, he added.

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Meanwhile, David Gruber, chairperson of Community Board 2, testified that the rezoning — which is being pushed by Trinity Real Estate and is expected to add around 8,000 new residents to the district in the next 10 years — doesn’t adequately address the city’s requirement for public recreation space. C.B. 2 wants Trinity to include a rec center in the new tower the company plans at Duarte Square, at Sixth Ave. and Canal St. Trinity already plans to include space for a new, 444-seat public school in this tower’s base, and instead has agreed to contribute $5.6 million toward the nearby Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, which is actually just outside the rezoning area. Gruber also called for landmarking the South Village. The rezoning would also cap building heights in Hudson Square, where none currently exist. In addition, Berman and Gruber called for lower heights on large streets than what was recently approved by the City Planning Commission for Hudson Square — 290 feet. Trinity Church, one of the oldest parishes in the nation, owns 40 percent of the land in Hudson Square. Testifying on behalf of the rezoning, Jason Pizer, president of Trinity Real Estate, said, “We take a long-term view — weighing how decisions taken today will impact the years and decades ahead.

“The goal of the rezoning is to strengthen and protect the area as a flourishing center for creative companies and jobs, while invigorating and preserving Hudson Square’s special character,” Pizer said. “Allowing limited residential development will add a missing ingredient essential to promoting street life and enriching retail opportunities. The introduction of height limits and disincentives to demolition will help preserve the area’s large buildings and neighborhood character. While Hudson Square is doing O.K. today, these changes are vital for the area’s continued value as a dynamic, 24/7, mixed-use neighborhood.” This was the final public hearing on the rezoning. The Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee will next vote, followed by the Land Use Commmittee and then the full City Council, probably in midMarch sometime. Asked later on Tuesday if there’s anything to report on the Landmarks Preservation Commission possibly designating the rest of the South Village anytime soon, spokesperson Lisi de Bourbon said, “No, other than it remains under consideration.” When L.P.C. approved one-third of the South Village proposed district, it called it an expansion of the existing Greenwich Village Historic District.

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February 20 - March 5, 2013

Board knocks new bike share spot in Tribeca BY KAITLYN MEADE

let’s do something together at TRINITY WALL STREET

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Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

The new proposed location for the bike share program is at the corner of Greenwich and Duane Sts., left.

individual requests submitted to D.O.T. “That doesn’t seem like a very good location to put it,” Adam Malitz said of the new location. “I live right there, literally. The traffic patterns there, there’s a lot of kids crossing the street to go to the park.” In fact, committee member Tammy Meltzer noted that there were “so many


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traffic and pedestrian accidents, that they put a traffic light there because of volume, because it’s the major entrance to the park for the kids.” “I have a feeling you’re going to get a lot of cars hitting that,” Malitz added. “Taxis tend to go straight up and cars trying to get on Hudson St. make a

sharp left at the corner.” Stephanie Levinsky, a D.O.T. representative, said that slowing down dangerous traffic is a component of these stations, though she acknowledged there was some concern with the way cars are driving in that area. The committee was assured that the D.O.T. would consider shifting station locations if safety was compromised or if they received significant complaints after it was installed. Another station’s move in Battery Park City also caused a few raised eyebrows. The 25-dock station planned for Brookfield’s property will now be installed next to Gateway Plaza just off South End Ave. on the Battery Park City Authority’s property due to a request from Brookfield Office Properties. This would shift B.P.C.A. public bike racks that are currently located there. Gateway Plaza Management agreed to provide additional bike racks inside their building for their tenants to replace those racks, but there was no word on whether the relocated racks will be free of charge or exclusively for tenants. The Citi Bike program itself has three price options available to anyone age 16 or older. Initial costs are $95 for annual membership, $25 for a seven-day pass and $9.95 Continued on page 15

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Leah Reddy

New York City’s bike share program, the largest in North America, is slated to launch in Lower Manhattan in time for the summer, with a few relocated stations due to community concerns. The city Department of Transportation reported that Citi Bike will launch in May 2013 with 5,500 bikes at about 300 stations across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Delayed several times, most recently by Hurricane Sandy, the bike share program is opening nearly a year later than initially planned, but Community Board 1’s Planning Committee remained positive about the program coming to fruition. Instead, the committee mostly focused on changes to the proposed station locations due to various complaints from property owners and community members. The most heavily disputed was a location at Duane St. at the corner of Greenwich St. The bike station would be located across the street from the Roc restaurant’s sidewalk cafe. On the D.O.T.’s bike share website, the station is listed as “street (non-parking)” but looking at the street, the station would in fact, have to go in the parking lane, across Greenwich St. from Washington Market Park. Originally, it was set to go further down Duane St., where the street splits to accommodate the green strip of Duane Park, but was moved because of

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February 20 - March 5, 2013


The first step to a solution for Soho’s street vendors


Jennifer Goodstein Publisher EMERITUS

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At its January full board meeting,

Community Board 2 unanimously passed a resolution calling on Mayor Bloomberg and the city to take steps toward dealing with chaotic street congestion caused by the massive number of street vendors along Broadway in Soho. The board wants Bloomberg to finally convene the Street Vendor Review Panel — something he has failed to do over the course of his three terms — in order to draw up and implement sensible new regulations. We agree that convening the review panel — which would include representatives from the departments of Small Business Services, Transportation and City Planning — is the right first step toward solving the vendor and pedestrian congestion along Broadway. The mayor and city basically chose to ignore this issue for more than a decade, as inconsistent or nonexistent enforcement of current laws compounded the problem, so the ball truly is in their court at this point. The C.B. 2 resolution came out of the board’s Environment, Public Safety and Public Health Committee — and the committee chose to tackle this difficult problem because they wanted to do the right thing by responding to the concerns of Soho residents.

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Published by NYC Community Media, LLC 515 Canal ST, UNIT 1C New york, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 Downtown Express is published every week by Community Media LLC, 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2012 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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I found it very inappropriate for Jerry Tallmer to describe the late Ed Koch as a “certified ‘Hebe’” and for Downtown Express to print this hateful epithet (Notebook, Feb. 6 – 19, “From City Hall to silver screens: The Life of Ed Koch”). Even if this was meant as a joke, such offensive language is clearly unacceptable in this day and age. What were you thinking? Yehuda Shapiro Editor’s Note: It was a close call for us, but we do allow our columnists some more leeway than other writers. We felt that in context, it was clear that Jerry Tallmer, a longtime acquaintance of Ed Koch, was neither slurring him or Jews in general. We apologize to Mr. Shapiro and to any other readers who were offended.

Posted To ... “Vietnam to 9/11 to Sandy: A veteran of the three retires in B.P.C.” (News, Feb. 6): Thanks for this article on Vince. We have worked closely. At BPC and in his breakout role developing Hudson River Park! Vince worked hard and was really all about community. His

But as Committee Chairperson Bob Ely and neighborhood activist Pete Davies have pointed out, this shouldn’t be seen as a fight against the everyday people working as street vendors. These are simply people who have to make a living and feed their families. The point here isn’t to sweep hard-working people into the gutter. This is, plain and simple, a beef with the sluggishness of Mayor Bloomberg and the city. Now is the time for them to sit down and put some real effort into making Soho’s Broadway a safer, cleaner and more enjoyable place for everyone to be — whether they’re locals, tourists or vendors. These sort of street conditions might be the sort of things the proposed Soho Business Improvement District could focus on, were it ever to come into existence. However, many local residents are dead-set against the BID. Regardless of whether there is or isn’t a BID, though, there’s no reason the panel can’t be convened — now — to take a fresh look at the situation on the ground. If vendors-rights activists like Robert Lederman of ARTIST (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics) feel that any review of the current conditions will only lead to an infringe-

ment of liberties and an overstepping of authority, they are free to make their case, and should do so. Defending art as free speech is one thing. But is a chicken kabob sandwich on a pita — or a hot sausage with onions and relish, or a potato knish — free speech, especially when purchased and eaten? Lederman rarely loses in his court challenges, but if sidewalk crowding and other issues attributed to food carts are real concerns in Soho, then let the vendor panel take a good look at them and make its own, studied determination. The panel’s purpose, after all, is to achieve a positive result. But the failure to even convene the body means there’s no oversight whatsoever, except for sporadic penalties against the carts and vendors by city inspectors. And perhaps the vendors themselves have issues that they’d like to air in this sort of forum. In short, this can be a win-win for all concerned. Above all, we cannot fathom why the city blatantly refuses to respond to the pleas of Soho residents and C.B. 2 to convene the Street Vendor Review Panel. Why does this panel even exist at all if its only purpose is to remain dormant, toothless and invisible? Convene the panel.

impact was great and such a pleasant person! I can attest he spent many hours in the parks of BPC & Hudson River Park (especially Pier 25 where he had to put up with me and many others. Again, he worked hard and developed great things. He should write a book on program implementation and good government. I cannot find the words to say thanks for all you did for Downtown. Thanks Vince.

it has seemed to be a major attitude-readjustment venue at the end of the week for people employed in the financial district. I have seen the changes over the years, and it seems to me that each time primarily-local use is ignored, and some grand scheme is pursued, to the extent it is implemented, its inevitable failure just damages the Seaport as a fun place to hang out. I used to go fairly often; now I never bother, haven’t for some time...

Bob Townley Director and Founder of Manhattan Youth

R. Rassendyll

B.P.C. has lost a valiant member of the community! Vince may not have lived in BPC but he is a strong part of the fabric of the community. He gave new meaning and look to work as he always led with a smile and a wave. Everywhere the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy touches from the parks to Conservancy events or community events like the BPC Block Party...his passion, dedication and abilities contributed so much to the success of the neighborhood...he truly is a good neighbor! Vince, thank will be greatly missed! T. Meltzer “City Planning OKs Pier 17 plan with modifications” (News, Feb. 6, 2013): I have always wondered about the various shops and restaurants and the South Street complex generally. For all that it is a tourist destination, on the occasions I have been there, that has always seemed to me most used by New Yorkers. Not least,

“Smith Houses & others on L.E.S. central to NYCHA’s plan to raise more money” (News, Feb. 7, 2013): More gifts for the real estate moguls at the expense of the working class New Yorker, disgusting. Anonymous Obstructing a popular tourist view of the Manhattan Bridge as you walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. A WALK ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE is one of those MUST DOs for anyone visiting New York City. The baseball field at the Smith Project sits on the north side of the Brooklyn Bridge. And the parking lot stretches north along the F.D.R. A luxury HIGH RISE at either sites will block the northern view as everyone walks the Brooklyn Bridge. You won’t be able to see the Manhattan Bridge for the first quarter mile. Please help save the view from the Brooklyn Bridge. Seccat


February 20 - March 5, 2013

transit sam ALTER N ATE SIDE PARKI NG IS I N EFFE CT ALL WEEK Lunar New Year events continue in Lower Manhattan: a festival will fully close Market St. between East Broadway and Henry St. all day Sunday. On the Brooklyn Bridge, all Manhattan-bound lanes will close overnight 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, and 12:01 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday. Expect heavier traffic in Downtown Brooklyn and on the Manhattan Bridge, especially after the Nets play the Rockets 7:30 p.m. Friday and the Grizzlies 7 p.m. Sunday. At the Lincoln Tunnel, all lanes of the Manhattan-bound ‘helix’ (the spiral approach road to the tunnel) will close overnight 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. One New Jersey-bound lane will close Wednesday 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday. This will send traffic to the Holland Tunnel where one lane in each direction will close overnight 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Lucky for Hudson-crossers, games at the Garden fall on off-nights this week: the Knicks play the 76ers at 7 p.m. Sunday and the Rangers play the Jets at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

From the m ai lbag: Dear Transit Sam,

For more bridge and tunnel news, follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam. In transit news, crossing Midtown will be tougher with no 7 train service between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42nd St. from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Take the E, N, F or Q instead. On West St./Route 9A, one lane will close in each direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Ann St. will close between Park Row and Nassau St. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Eastbound drivers should use Spruce, John or Liberty Sts. instead. Gouverneur Lane will fully close between Front and South Sts. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. This closure will reoccur each weekend through Sunday, March 24. Ongoing utility work on Chambers St. means that it runs one-way westbound between Greenwich St. and Broadway. Eastbound M22 buses are rerouted to Warren St. Ticketed on President’s Day because of confusion about parking rules? Order Transit Sam’s 2013 Parking Calendar ( and fret no more!

Suppose a muni meter is broken: is a driver obligated to find a muni meter across the street or on an adjacent block to purchase a ticket to park? Or is the driver allowed to park up to the allotted time for free? This, to me, is a big drawback to the new system, as opposed to the single meter. But times have changed. Please advise. Paul, Brooklyn

Dear Paul, Yes, if a muni meter is broken, you should buy your ticket at a nearby meter and report the broken one to 311. With the old single meter system, you used to be able to park for free for an hour at a broken meter, and for the length of time on the posted sign at a missing meter. The new system of metered parking doesn’t give away any freebies! Transit Sam Questions about parking or traffic? Email me at

Aging seminar A free seminar Feb. 27 will offer aging New Yorkers advice on how to “Cross Train Your Brain” from aging experts and authors as part of a new, free seminar series in Battery Park City. The lecture is the first installment of the “Optimal Aging in Manhattan” series offered by Brookdale Senior Living’s Hallmark in Battery Park City. Brookdale’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kevin O’Neil, will present new research findings on the brain’s ability to grow and change over a lifetime. O’Neil, a published author, will also offer practical aging strategies. Author Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., will be discussing and signing his 2011 book, “30

Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.” A collection of savvy senior advice on everything from children to money, the book was called a “refreshing, smart wakeup call about getting your priorities straight and living right” by Publisher’s Weekly. Attendance is free and lunch will be provided. An intergenerational dance group, “Tuesday @ 4,” will provide entertainment. The Feb. 27 event takes place at the Brookdale Senior Living retirement community at 455 North End Ave., from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m. Space is limited and must be reserved by Feb. 20, by calling 1-888-811-2961 or emailing mborrero@


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February 20 - March 5, 2013

Downtown Express Photos by Sam Spokony

Mardi Gras bash raises cash for L.E.S. Girls Club The Village boasted a mad Mardis Gras bash last week at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St. This year, the Two Boots Fourth Annual Mardi Gras Ball doubled as a benefit for the Lower East Side Girls Club. Along with some traditional brass band fanfare and festive stilt dancers, colorfully masked revelers were treated to funk, blues and a star-studded crowning ceremony. Left: Bassist Doug Burns went berserk as he and the 11-piece band EMEFE blasted out afrobeat jams to get the crowd moving. Right: Roots drummer Questlove and pop queen Cyndi Lauper looked out from their thrones after an L.E.S. Girls Club member crowned them king and queen of the ball.


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February 20 - March 5, 2013

Construction center to close in 2013 Continued from page 1

“At this point we have every reason to believe we will sunset at that time [Dec. 31, 2013],” said deputy executive director Robin Forst, who sees it as an accomplishment of the bulk of the work the agency was created for. Despite that, the community board will be sorry to see them go, said Michael Levine, C.B. 1′s director of planning and land use. “They’ve done a wonderful job coordinating traffic flow. They’ve been indispensable to the rebuilding process in Lower Manhattan.” He also said that while Downtown construction might not be on the scale of years past, it will certainly not go away. “We have been asking every year for their continued funding, and we plan to keep asking,” he said. Originally established in 2005 to coordinate W.T.C. construction by Port Authority as well as projects from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and state Department of Transportation, the organization has begun to keep track of a wider range of activities as Downtown construction decentralizes. There was an agency realignment in 2011, said Joe Simenic, acting executive director of L.M.C.C.C. HalfPageAd_3-13.pdf 2/12/13 6:45:57 “We sort of looked back and said, ‘hey,’

the World Trade Center site and Fulton St. Transit Center and some of the other state projects have come to a point where focus really needs to be more about offsite activity, the private building projects throughout Lower Manhattan, and the other city-based infrastructure projects,” Simenic said at a Feb. 7 meeting of C.B. 1’s Planning Committee. It is the Command Center’s job to coordinate construction of permitted projects, monitor air quality and noise levels around Downtown using four stationary and several mobile units, and connect to the community. The good news: Lower Manhattan is recovering from Sandy slowly but surely, and the hazards of diesel generators and water pumps are rapidly diminishing. “For the most part, we’re returning to some semblance of normalcy in terms of where we were before the storm,” he said. Their numbers show a constant use of recovery equipment throughout November and December, but a third assessment in late January showed a marked decrease. Area generators, for example, dropped from 136 in November to 52 by the January assessment. We’re also returning to “pre-construction levels” of air quality in the greater Downtown area, he said. There were only seven instances air quality exceeding the mandated limit out of 626 PM readings in the last half of 2012 and

only six noise exceedences, though he cautioned that the state Department of Environmental Conservation may have different levels for the last half year because they placed their equipment closer to Sandy recovery machinery. If Lower Manhattanites expect a decrease in construction, however, they may be disappointed. Instead, numerous projects in the Financial District and Tribeca look to be the next construction-bound zones. Especially of concern to the Planning Committee was the projected street repair work at South St. and Peck Slip that would take place at the same time as the Economic Development Corp.’s expected Pier 17 overhaul, construction of dormitories at 33 Beekman St. and continued work on the Peck Slip School in 2014. The predicted timeline for Pier 17, said C.B. 1’s Levine, “is for them begin fall or spring of this year bringing them into spring of next year.” The heavy construction around the pier will clog the area with equipment and large trucks. Combined with street closures and other large area projects, traffic flow may be impacted. “That will make the east side virtually impassible at many points,” said committee member Tammy Meltzer. It was a surprise for many of the members to see how much large scale development will be going on residentially in com-

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ing years, Levine noted. At least 2,630 new housing units will be built in the next 4 years, according to the Construction Command Center, who warned that it included only those projects with some kind of permit. These units can range from studios to two- or three-bedroom apartments, meaning a significant rise of population along with family size. “We’re probably talking about 7,000 additional people at a minimum in Lower Manhattan by 2020,” said Levine. On top of that, over 2,400 hotel units will also open, with about 1,000 estimated for 2014 alone. The committee reflected that there is a pressing need for underlying infrastructure to support expected population increases, such as more schools and transportation options. “We’re interested in both aspects of this,” said committee chairperson Jeff Galloway, “One is the disruption and the coordination which is within your jurisdiction, but we’re equally concerned about what happens to the community when people move into all of these units and how it impacts the infrastructure, in terms of schools and other things, as well as the beneficial effects of hopefully reviving retail and various other things that would bring amenities to the community that we’ve been seeking for a long time.”


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February 20 - March 5, 2013


Allan Kornblum at Poets House:

In 1970, a young poet, Allan Kornblum, moved from New York City to Iowa City, taking the first steps in a 40-year career as editor and publisher of contemporary poetry. “His work has modeled behavior for a whole sector of our field in terms of bringing poetry to wider audiences,” said Poets House executive director, Lee Briccetti when she introduced Kornblum to a Poets House audience on Feb. 9. At a time when small presses sprang up like daisies and faded just as quickly, Kornblum and his wife, Cinda, founded Toothpaste Press and its successor, Coffee House Press, which is still publishing the work of some renowned poets to whom Kornblum made a promise decades ago that he would be their lifetime publisher. Over the years, many new poets have been added to the fold, as were writers of fiction. In July 2011, Kornblum became publisher emeritus, turning the reins of the Coffee House Press over to Chris Fischbach, a young man who he had mentored since Fischbach’s days at the press as an intern. In two back-to-back lectures at Poets House, Kornblum talked about a publisher’s responsibility “for the selection, refinement, presentation, promotion and preservation of works of literature.” He also talked about technological change from the days of the mimeograph machine, which is how small-run books were “published” when he started, to the Internet and about commercial considerations and pressures. He also gave advice about how poets and other writers need to prepare their manuscripts for successful consideration by a publisher. “None of us will live to see all of the changes the Internet has begun to make to our daily lives and to the world,” Kornblum remarked, “nor will we see all the ramifications of the e-book on publishing, booksell-

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For 15 years, photographer George Steinmetz has been visiting deserts, taking pictures from a paraglider of these majestic landscapes and of the people and animals that manage to live in them. "Desert Air," an exhibit of his photographs, is at the Winter Garden in Battery Park City through March 15.

ing, reading and writing.” He said that change was inevitable, but, he added, “the desire, the need and the pleasure of communicating through literature will always continue because it’s part of what makes us human — it’s part of what defines us as a species.” An exhibition of broadsides, chapbooks and important first editions published by Toothpaste Press and Coffee House Press continues at Poets House through June 4. Poets House ( at 10 River Terrace is open Tues. - to Fri., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.

Desert Air at the Winter Garden:

The exhibit of George Steinmetz’s photographs at Battery Park City’s Winter Garden through March 15 astonishes both because of his images of deserts in 27 countries and Antarctica and because of a video showing the photographer in action. Strapped into a motorized paraglider that weighs less than 100 pounds including fuel, Steinmetz has hovered over desert landscapes

at altitudes of more than 14,000 feet to almost 1,400 feet below sea level. He maneuvers his aircraft by leaning to one side or the other and by pulling on its Kevlar lines. Steinmetz has said that he is obsessed by deserts. For more than 15 years, he has photographed their undulating sands, their icy pinnacles, their camel caravans, their wildlife and the hardy humans who make their home there. His award-winning photographs have appeared numerous times in National Geographic and GEO magazine in Germany, and now in a book called “Desert Air.” Though Steinmetz has had a few mishaps, like landing in the ocean while photographing whales, getting dragged across a dry lake in a sandstorm and colliding with some trees that necessitated 19 stitches in his face, he says that he flies “prudently,” avoiding large forests, big cities, volcanic rocks and large expanses of water without a safety boat. The exhibit does include a few shots of the crater of an active volcano, however, as well as pictures of people floating in the sunny Dead Sea, whose salinity would make it impossible to sink had the photographer inadvertently joined them. “I do this kind of flying because it gives me the opportunity to photograph remote areas in a way that they have never been seen before,” Steinmetz said, “and in a way impossible with any other kind of aircraft. I’m a photographer who flies, not a pilot who takes pictures.”

Team Bubby cancer fundraiser:

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

In the 1970s and 1980s, Allan Kornblum blazed the way for small, independent publishers who wanted to bring poetry to wider audiences. An exhibit from Kornblum's Toothpaste Press and Coffee House Press will be at Poets House through June 4.

Battery Park City residents who have lost loved ones to cancer, or who have survived it themselves, are mounting their bicycles on March 2 to raise money for cancer research. The relay-style team cycling event, Cycle for Survival, raised more than $17 million last year for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Of that, $14,000 came from Battery Park City participants. Calling themselves “Team Bubby,” the Battery Park City contingent was organized by Cecily Braden, who lost her mother, Joan Forman — nicknamed “Bubby” — to cancer. On Feb. 21, Team Bubby will hold a fundraising party from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Regis Royal Upstairs Lounge, 21 Rector St., with a

silent auction, raffle prizes, drink specials, appetizers, live music and dancing. All are welcome. Among the Battery Park City residents riding this year are Andrew and Rosemary Forman, Denise DuBois, Lisa YounesPowers, the Raskin family, Ava Garrett, who survived stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and Patti Sietz-Honig, whose mother-in-law had breast cancer, whose husband, Michael, has had three kinds of cancer in the last five years, and whose two-and-a-half year-old grand nephew, Jake, has brain cancer and just completed his last chemo treatment. “‘Cycle for Survival’ is a way for me to fight back,” Sietz-Honig said. “I’m in awe of the strength and the courage it takes to get to the other side,” said Braden, “and I ride with the goal of passing that along to the individuals and families who continue their battle.”

Asphalt Green update:

Though enticing advertisements for the Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center are prominent on the multimedia screen in the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, there’s still no word as to when the Battery Park City Authority will complete post-Sandy renovations so the community center can open. At the February meeting of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City committee, Paul Weiss, chief program officer for Asphalt Green, said that after the B.P.C.A. finishes its work on the facility, it would take six to eight weeks to open the center. “We have to rehire and retrain staff,” he said. Before it became clear that the community center could not open in November 2011 as originally scheduled, or even within the next few months thereafter, Asphalt Green had conducted a membership drive offering significant discounts to those who signed up in advance of the opening. At the C.B. 1 meeting, Weiss said that because of the delays, around 250 to 300 people had asked for their money back. Others, he said, were still hopeful that the center would open soon. Weiss said that their money is being held in escrow in a bank account separate from Asphalt Green’s other funds. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@


February 20 - March 5, 2013

Changes at bike share spots in Tribeca, B.P.C.

Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade

The original location for the bike rack was outside Duane Park, above.

Continued from page 9

for a 24-hour pass. The privately funded, $41 million program was recently delayed by two months (from March to May 2013) when Sandy flooded the storage warehouses, damaging some of the bike and station electrical components.

Asked if there were contingency plans for another such storm, the D.O.T. responded the system would be locked down on the street. The bikes are not likely to float away as they are very heavy, weighing 43 pounds each, and they lock into 1,000-pound For more information on the bikeshare program, visit

Getting stolen cellphones & iPads returned B y KAITLY N MEADE Cell phones are the most common type of stolen property in New York City. Every week brings a new case of electronics theft, usually from an unattended bag on the back of a chair or snatched from a commuter’s hand in the subway. Mobile devices accounted for about 40 percent of robberies in the city in 2012, the New York City Police Department reported last year. And cell phone theft is on the rise with increases in grand larceny by nine percent citywide and a three percent increase in Manhattan South. The N.Y.P.D. launched the Operation ID program in 2011 to combat this, and would like to remind residents that the program, which registers electronic devices, is an important part of protecting personal belongings. On Feb. 18, 2013, they brought it to the South Street Seaport. The free program registers the serial number of portable electronics in a police database along with the owner’s name and contact information. Devices can also be engraved with an NYC serial number specific to the database. This makes the property more difficult to sell if it has been stolen. It also allows the police to identify stolen property and to trace

it back to its original owner. When police make an arrest, they will then run the serial numbers of electronic devices to see if any of them match a number is the database. If so, they will be able to return the device to its rightful owner. Police are urging residents to register not only their cell phones but also iPads, E-readers and G.P.S. devices. The next Manhattan Operation ID drive is Feb. 20 at the N.Y.U. Medical Center at 400 East 34th St., followed by the Verizon store at 2818 Broadway on Feb. 21 from 1-3 p.m. Drives are ongoing all year round. For more information, contact the Crime Prevention Section of Community Affairs at 646-610-5323.




February 20 - March 5, 2013


Year of the Snake The Year of the Snake started off with a bang, as revelers took to the streets to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Chinatown. This year, (4711 in the Chinese lunar calendar) was celebrated with smoke and lights as firecrackers were set off on Sun., Feb. 10, middle. This past weekend, the annual parade shut down streets from Little Italy to Chinatown as gigantic dragons, snakes and other symbols of good luck wound their way Downtown. Colorful confetti showers deluged the crowd and families gathered to watch dancers and acrobats perform, dressed in red for good luck.

We Need Your Attendance to Save Pier 40 Pier 40 is at risk. The Hudson River Park Trust cannot afford the repairs needed to keep it open. There is a consensus among elected officials that the Hudson River Park Act needs to be changed so that commercial use of the pier can pay for the repairs and bring income to the Trust. This may be very good, if the amendments to the act allow the kinds of uses that will encourage excellent proposals for the pier. It's a great opportunity to increase the number of fields and create a beautiful big riverside park. But if the uses are limited, or unrealistic ideas are pursued, the legislation change may bring the worst kind of development to the pier, including retail and entertainment malls. Pier 40 Champions will make a public presentation of our concept for how to save Pier 40 and build a 9-acre open green park with more fields at the pier. Developer Douglas Durst will present his plan for commercial development of the pier, one that doesn't improve the park or add more fields. THURSDAY FEBRUARY 28TH 6:30 PM. Saatchi & Saatchi. 375 Hudson Street.

We need you there to show your interest and express your concerns about the pier, the park, and the need for more places for children to play sports.

Save and Green the Pier. Protect and Grow our Fields.

Downtown Express Photos by Milo Hess


February 20 - March 5, 2013


l e a D e r S S H a r e W H at ’ S G o i n G o n D o W n t o W n

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

getting ready for 9/11 museum & the Next storm by Joe daNiels On Feb. 26, the 9/11 Memorial will have a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in which six people were killed. The names of those victims are inscribed on the memorial among the names of 9/11 victims. As we look ahead into the new year, we recall that the past 12 months have come with great challenges as well as sev-

eral significant milestones for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The 9/11 Memorial, which has had more than six million visitors worldwide since its opening in September 2011, continues to welcome thousands of people every day. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is back on track after having spent the better part of last year at the center of a dispute. Since then, museum construction has advanced with an agreement forged between the memorial and museum foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New

Jersey. We are grateful for the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie. We stand together and understand the importance of preserving this history and the memory of every man, woman and child killed in the attacks. With a slated museum opening in 2014, preparations continue with new acquisitions to the permanent collection, fabrication of exhibitions and ongoing developments in content and design planning. A glimpse of this work was publicly unveiled for victims’

families on the eve of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 when we shared a preview of the In Memoriam exhibition, which is dedicated to commemorating the lives of the 2,983 people killed in the attacks of 2001 and 1993. We were overwhelmingly touched by the kind words from the family members who have entrusted us with personal stories and belongings that are very much an integral part of the In Memoriam exhibition. Continued on page 23


February 20 - March 5, 2013



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Rendering of the Fulton Center, which is expected to be finished next year.

By Elizabeth H. Berger DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE A bouquet of flowers, a quick bite, a literary journal: These are the kinds of little things that make so much of a difference in today’s fast-paced world. Underground connections, soaring architecture, interactive signage and wayfinding: These are the hallmarks of a 21st century transportation network. What do they have in common? Both are coming to Lower Manhattan in 2014 with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s long-awaited Fulton Center, which I believe will transform the transit passenger experience in Lower Manhattan. Lower Manhattan’s past, present and future as an international capital of commerce depends on mass transit. This is as true today as it was a half century ago, when David Rockefeller founded the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association to maintain Lower Manhattan as a thriving central business district. More than 50 years later, Lower Manhattan is home to 312,000 employees, 8,540 firms (the most in a decade), 60,000 residents and 11.5 million visitors from across the globe. In fact, in just the last eight years, 391 companies have relocated

here. Many Lower Manhattan businesses say that access to mass transit is the reason they started, stayed or relocated here, and for good reason: 90 percent of Lower Manhattan employees take public transportation to work. This should come as no surprise because, as the recent Downtown Alliance “Brain Gain” report revealed, the 30-county New York metro region has experienced a profound population shift in the past ten years, as high-value knowledge workers are opting out of a suburban lifestyle in favor of urban living and shorter commutes via subway, PATH, ferry, bike and foot, in communities that surround the Lower Manhattan business district. It’s easy to see why. We have 12 subway lines, 30 bus routes, the PATH to New Jersey, six ferry landings and extensive bike paths in Lower Manhattan. That means more time at home, more time at work, and less time commuting. What we don’t have is an architecturally significant, 21st century transit station which acknowledges that Lower Manhattan is at the center of a regional, multi-modal transportation network, our own “Grand Central.” Fulton Center will Continued on page 22

February 20 - March 5, 2013



February 20 - March 5, 2013



Progress All Over Our Downtown Community By Catherine M c Vay Hughes COMMUNITY BOARD 1

Last year, the 9/11 National Memorial, the heart of the World Trade Center, had over five million visitors. The Memorial Museum will open in 2015, along with Liberty Park, a new public space atop the Vehicular Security Center. The W.T.C. Performing Arts Center (PAC) took an important step forward as it was recently funded with $1 million by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to hire staff and develop building plans. The PAC will rise where the temporary PATH station sits now. One block east of the W.T.C., the Fulton Transit Center will open in June 2014. It will improve connections between six existing Lower Manhattan subway stations and 11 subway lines and serve 300,000 customers daily. It will connect to the W.T.C. site, PATH trains and Hudson River ferries at Brookfield Place. The construction underway at the W.T.C. site and the M.T.A. Fulton Center will be green and add to Lower Manhattan’s ten LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings and ten Energy Star buildings, according to the Downtown Alliance. Now that we have weathered Superstorm Sandy, and most of Lower Manhattan is open for business, work still needs to be done. The federal recovery package has passed and the

In the coming two years, our vision of Community Board 1 as New York City’s premier live-work neighborhood will take important strides forward. This community, whose strength is founded on our working together, has many reasons to be optimistic. This year and next will be big years for us as we see major achievements in the re-integration of the World Trade Center into the surrounding neighborhood. These coming years will show that this neighborhood is not defined by what happens to us but that we define it ourselves by the choices we make, and the work we do, to build our own future. This spring, we hope to cross the West Side Highway at grade level on Vesey St. Later in 2013, the east-west pedestrian connector under the West Side Highway will open into Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) where a dining terrace will open. Also in 2014, W.T.C. Towers 1 and 4 will be completed and, as their interior spaces are built out, tenants will move into Tower 1 (including Conde Nast) and Tower 4. The W.T.C. retail and the Santiago Calatrava PATH Transportation Hub will continue to be built and open in phases.

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resources need to go quickly to the victims of Sandy. This includes grants to small businesses so they can reopen and recover losses that business insurance did not cover. Mayor Bloomberg created a taskforce to develop a long-term plan for the city based on expected future climate change, severe weather occurrences, and how to rebuild better. This taskforce has taken our input and will issue a report in May. Last month, C.B. 1 released a report, “Emergency Preparedness: Lessons Learned from Superstorm Sandy.” The utility outage was due to a source outside of C.B. 1, but it impacted us. The generation and distribution of electricity and steam need to be made redundant and resilient.

The upside of the damage to the copper phone and data services is that most of Lower Manhattan has been rewired with fiber, which is much more resistant to climate change and salt water. Conversations are moving back to preSandy issues. Parents’ number one concern continues to be school overcrowding. Since 9/11, due to many people working together to envision a 24/7 community, our population tripled from roughly 20,000 to over 60,000. Downtown has great schools, so people want to settle down and have a family here. At February’s C.B. 1 Planning Committee meeting, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center projected 2,805 new residential units — which does not include Tribeca and Seaport and stalled construction sites — coming on-line in the next several years. This is the time for the infrastructure to catch up to residential development growth. In the future, I hope to present future updates on the improvements of the Water Street Arcades, plans for new development on Governors Island and progress on negotiations on the Civic Center Plan. Recently, the Scent of Resilience, a signature scent created by a renowned perfumer for the ScentWorld 2013 Conference was released to honor the city’s spirit of strength, community and optimism in the face and aftermath of Sandy at the Marriott Downtown. Just walk around Lower Manhattan where New York began and be inspired by our history. Walk our waterfront and you will smell resilience as we adapt to a changing world and embrace the latest. Catherine McVay Hughes is chairperson of Community Board 1 and is a member of several boards including the Downtown Alliance and the Trust for Governors Island.

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Part of the W.T.C. retail area under construction.


February 20 - March 5, 2013

W.T.C. Under Construction

Construction on 4 World Trade Center will be complete in Fall 2013, says Silverstein Properties, the building’s developer. Once complete, the tower will house 1.8 million square feet of office and 146,000 square feet of retail space. Top left: Renderings by Maki and Associates show how the entrance to Tower 4 with an open lobby and glass façade will look from Church St. Top right: the curtain wall installation is nearly complete, over 69 of 72 floors. Fireproofing, masonry underway and below-grade mechanical work is still underway. Bottom: On the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, 75 percent of Memorial Plaza was opened to the public. More than 225 trees have been planted on the site so far. The 9/11 Museum, still under construction, is set to be unveiled in 2014.

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February 20 - March 5, 2013



New look & Name for the world financial Center by matthew Cherry BrooKFIeLd oFFIce ProPertIes Brookfield Place/World Financial Center is less than a year away from bringing exciting new additions to Battery Park City and Lower Manhattan. Brookfield Office Properties, Lower Manhattan’s largest landlord, is investing $250 million to renovate the eight-million-square-foot complex to transform the shopping and dining experience. In addition, access to Brookfield Place for commuters is being streamlined via a connection to the Fulton St. and World Trade Center transit hubs. The entry pavilion on West St. is the most visible change to Brookfield Place and for the past year, two spiraling steel basket structures have been seen rising 55 feet from the ground. Glass panels will soon be installed to create a transparent jewel box that will serve as the grand entrance. The new glass pavilion was designed by the original architect of the complex, Pelli Clarke Pelli. When the new Downtown transit hubs open, commuters will be able to make the trip to Brookfield Place swiftly and directly via the new underground connection, emerging f r o m e s c a l a t o r s i n t o t h e Wi n t e r Garden. The entry pavilion is scheduled to open this fall. The new restaurants will offer New York City’s finest chef-inspired concepts for fast casual cuisine. A stunning dining area, overlooking the Hudson River and designed by AvroKO, will open in 2014 with 14 eateries and 600 seats. In the meantime, the Food Truck Court on Vesey St. at North End Ave. continues to thrive with new trucks being added to the schedule on a regular basis. Toum Lebanese and La Bella Torte

Rendering of the new entrance to Brookfield Place.

are new additions to #DispatchNY, formerly known as the NYC Food Truck Association. On the retail side, a “curated” fashion collection with world class shops, such as Michael Kors, will open a new location at Brookfield Place with similar retailers to follow suit. Brookfield Place’s Class A office space, its waterfront location and the exciting new amenities make the complex a place that draws workers, families and visitors from New York and around the world. Matthew Cherry is director of investor relations & communications for Brookfield Office Properties.



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fulton Center Continued from page 18

change that, with an iconic structure filled with retail above ground, and an underground connector linking Lower Manhattan east to west. Given what’s in store for shopping and dining at the South Street Seaport, the World Trade Center and Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, it will be an important and exciting new way to traverse Lower Manhattan’s walkable one-square mile. With exterior construction almost complete, it’s hard to believe that the future of Fulton Center was once uncertain. But the Downtown Alliance joined forces with local elected officials, business leaders and community activists to get the project back on track. And here’s why: Fulton Center will be transformative for businesses, residents and visitors alike. It will be a gateway to the fourth largest central business district in the United States, a new place for shopping and dining and a meeting place for more than 300,000 transit riders a day. Looking forward requires a glance back too. A decade ago, many said that Lower Manhattan would never recover

Elizabeth Burger

from the attacks of September 11.They were wrong, big time. Thirty- billion dollars of public and private reinvestment has brought the newest, greenest, highest tech office space in the region; triple the number of hotels; more than double the residents and close to 400 new firms to Lower Manhattan. That’s progress! New Yorkers love train stations. We mourn Penn Station, venerate Grand Central and now, let’s celebrate Fulton Center! Elizabeth H. Berger is the President of the Downtown Alliance and the DowntownLower Manhattan Association.




February 20 - March 5, 2013

9/11 Museum


Continued from page 17

{ back }

Joe Daniels

great moments at the 9/11 Memorial. The memorial led the nation in a day of remembrance with a ceremony commemorating the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Numerous foreign dignitaries and public leaders visited the 9/11 Memorial in the last year, underscoring its global significance. Citizens from 175 different nations also came to visit. On April 21, we will have a ceremony recognizing the anniversary of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, and we will spread awareness about the 9/11 Memorial and the importance of public service through a 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk and Family Day. We hope you and your family can join us. We look to build on all that was accomplished in 2012 as we get closer to the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Joe Daniels is president and C.E.O. of the 9/11 Memorial.

W.T.C. Progress Update Signs of progress at the World Trade Center site have been visibly mounting over the past year. As of Feb. 1, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center reported that 1 W.T.C., expected to open late 2013, will have the glass facade installed in floors 90-100. The first piece 408-foot-tall spire (which will bring total height to 1776 feet) was installed this January and will take 2-3 months to complete. Construction of the observation deck, elevator installation and utilities is underway. At 4 W.T.C., the construction which began in Feb. 2008 will wrap up in fall of this year. Tower 4 topped out at 72 stories, and the curtain wall installation which began in April 2011 is now above floor 69. Some belowgrade mechanical work in ongoing as well as fireproofing, masonry and elevator installation. The towers will connect via the W.T.C. Transportation Hub, set to open in 2015.

It will unite the $1.4 billion Fulton Center’s 12 subway lines with the PATH train, ferries and World Financial Center (to be renamed Brookfield Place in fall 2013) The Fulton Center is on track to open in 2014, after some equipment damage and construction delays by Superstorm Sandy. Construction on the Cortlandt St. R Station platforms ended in 2011. The Dey St. entrance opened to 4/5 Train passengers in October 2012 and will connect to the Dey St. underground concourse, which still has no announced opening date. The A/C to J/Z connection and A/C to 4/5 connections were renovated in spring and summer of 2012, as well as the A/C mezzanine. The 4/5 platforms are under currently renovation. Installation of the main building’s glass panels and completion of the historic Corbin building exterior is scheduled for early 2013.

We are thrilled to announce that NYU Langone Medical Center has reopened – with enhancements to many of our programs and services, alongside a new Urgent Care Center. Our unwavering commitment to our patients and to the community has been the inspiration and motivation that drove a timely and safe reopening. We are back, stronger than ever – and taking excellence to a new level. To find the right NYU Langone specialist for you, call 888.769.8633 or visit


A month later, we persevered after facing the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. Before the storm, we took a number of preventive measures, including draining the twin reflecting pools and water-harvesting tanks. As a result, the 9/11 Memorial fared well; however, river surges caused flooding in the museum construction site. The flooding came from other areas of the World Trade Center site that are still under construction. We are confident that the flooding would not have been as extensive had the museum been complete, and we are continuing to work with our partners at the Port Authority to ensure something like this won’t happen again. Thankfully, the majority of the museum’s collection is stored offsite during this period of construction and was unharmed by flooding. We already have plans for ensuring the protection of artifacts based on certain risks or emergencies, as other museums do. After a weather event like Sandy, we are further developing plans to mitigate flooding, including enhanced training for staff that will be working in the museum to ensure they are well-versed in protocols for protecting and removing artifacts under various emergency situations. We are also incorporating redundancies like water-tight doors and multilayered waterproofing. Lower Manhattan is recognized as a place of resilience. Through the heartfelt efforts of the Port Authority, the city, the state and our dedicated staff, we were able to make a full recovery after Sandy, with construction on the museum advancing forward. I’d like to especially thank our supporters, 9/11 family members and contributors to our collection who personally contacted us and expressed their support after the storm. Over the past year, there have been many



February 20 - March 5, 2013

Hudson Park gets new Friends to raise cash for Pier 40 Continued from page 1

funding have tapered off. The Hudson River Park is supposed to be financially self-sustaining, and Pier 40 is one of its primary designated commercial “nodes.” However, under the Park Act, 50 percent of the pier’s footprint also must remain open for park use. Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city authority that operates the park, and Michael Novogratz, the new chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park, recently sat down for an interview. Novogratz, formerly a board member of the Trust, switched over to the Friends — the park’s leading fundraising arm — after Durst bailed from the Friends at the end of last year, saying he disagreed with the Trust’s direction on Pier 40. Wils and Novogratz are sending the message that — after the fallout with Durst — things are now “kumbaya” between the Trust and Friends, that they’re on the same page regarding the park and, especially, Pier 40. Wils noted that the Trust has retained a leading commercial real estate advisory firm, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, to crunch the financials for both the Champions and the Durst plans to assess their feasibility in terms of generating the needed millions in revenue for the park.

“What we’re looking for is the most risk averse plan for the pier,” Wils said. Asked if she supported the Pier 40 Champions plan, she responded, “I’m not signing onto any project, but the residential on the upland [part of the park, as opposed to on the pier itself] gives more parkland on Pier 40… I’m a parkie.” She added that more options for Pier 40 are needed, and that, “The best way to get more options is to open the act up,” as in modify the legislation to allow currently illegal uses, such as housing. Novogratz, president of Fortress Investment Group, said that there are a lot of “wealthy, creative people” who live along the park from Tribeca up through the Village and Chelsea, and that he’s confident they’ll be able to tap into that pool to fundraise for the park. “If we haven’t raised substantially more money over the next five years, I would see our tenure as a failure,” he said, referring to the previous five years of fundraising by the Friends. “This is not being done to make a half a million dollar donation to the park each year,” he stressed. “This is the richest city in America and a ton of people use this park.” He was joined at the sit-down by Scott Lawin, the new vice chairperson of the Friends, replacing Korman, who resigned from the group along with Durst last

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December. Novogratz and Lawin — who is the managing director of Moore Capital Management — noted they had just hosted a fundraiser in Tribeca for the park the previous night that netted a cool $200,000. Novogratz, Lawin and Wils all live in Tribeca. The Trust and Friends are also pushing a plan for a neighborhood improvement district, or NID, that would extend two or three blocks inland from the park to assess property owners a small tax each year. The revenue would be used to help with the park’s maintenance and even capital costs and would also fund upkeep of the highway median and create safer highway crossings, among other things. Wils added, “The park needs the NID, the park needs private funding and the park needs to generate funding from the revenue nodes [designated piers].” As for the ideal plan for Pier 40, Novogratz said, “There’s a great line a judge had about pornography — ‘I know it when I see it.’ That’s what I think it’ll be like with Pier 40 — when there’s a good plan, we’ll know it when we see it: Someone comes up with the idea of residential on the upland… Stacking cars might be a piece of it,” he said, referring to automated parking stackers, which are featured in the Durst plan as a way to consolidate the pier’s parking operation to free up space for other revenue-generating uses.

Asked how any plan with residential use would be O.K.’d if all the local legislators oppose it — which currently appears to be the case — Wils downplayed the issue. “I don’t think asking our opinion about what the elected officials will do is very useful,” she said. “At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a 15-acre piece of infrastructure that’s severely debilitated — and it’s getting worse,” she emphasized. “If a fairy godmother gave us infinite sums, would I put residential on the pier? No,” Novogratz said, adding, “I wouldn’t put parking on the pier either. I wouldn’t put anything there. You gotta try to figure out the Rubik’s Cube — and it’s complicated.” Asked about the Durst plan, Wils indicated she’d simply like to see more options, in general. The problem, she said, is really that there hasn’t been a comparison of “three or four plans” for the pier. However, she did say, “Intuitively, stacking parking seems like it would work.” To get a comparison of a larger number of concept plans, Wils continued, it’s necessary to put out a request for proposals, or R.F.P., to developers. However, the Trust can’t cast a wide net for uses if so many of these uses are illegal, she noted. Hence, the need for modifying the park’s legislation. Continued on page 25


February 20 - March 5, 2013

Continued from page 24

“We’re pushing to get the legislation done as soon possible,” she said, assuring, “We will get legislation. “If the local youth leagues came up with that with their architects,” she said, referring to the Champions plan and WXY Architects, the firm they worked with, “what other plans are we not seeing?” Novogratz — a major booster of U.S. wrestling, who was wearing a Princeton Wrestling windbreaker during the sit-down — said he could envision some sort of recreation center on Pier 40, with the funding for it raised privately. “Just a big jock,” he said, describing himself after being asked about wrestling. “It’s very difficult to go up to someone and say, ‘Give me $10 million to fix the piles,’ he noted, contrasting that with the attractiveness of ideas like a rec center or other conspicuous uses. How about the idea of transferring air rights from Pier 40 across the highway to the St. John’s Center building? they were asked. This is an idea that reportedly has been kicking around in real estate circles, and could conceivably generate revenue for the park, though undoubtedly would be controversial. Wils said, in fact, they have been looking at this, but the idea would be to see if they can transfer all of the park’s air rights to one single site — she didn’t say where that might be — for a development project. Novogratz said that a key part of the Friends’ fundraising ability — as for any fundraiser — is being able to convey “excitement,” and that’s something he clearly feels. He has four children and numerous brothers and sisters, and all their nieces and nephews, living Downtown, and they all use the park, he noted. Lawin is married with two children, and they, too, are all big park users. In related news, Fortress, his firm, recently purchased a controlling share of the St. John’s Center, across from Pier 40. But Novogratz is more on the investment side of the company — not its real estate division — and he and Wils shared a laugh, saying that he didn’t even know about the connection until Wils notified him about a news article she read. Returning to residential use at Pier 40, local elected officials remain opposed. New State Senator Brad Hoylman said “I have serious reservations about residential development in the park. These concerns have heightened considerably since the aftermath of Sandy. “I’m confident that through a robust public process that involves all the stakeholders, public officials and the community, we’ll find a plan for Pier 40 that is financially viable, expands fields and open space, and has the least possible impact on the park and the surrounding neighborhood.” State Senator Daniel Squadron said “Whether we’re talking about Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park or any public park, I’ve had longstanding concerns about housing on public parkland. Over time, those who live there have a fundamentally different relation-

Image courtesy of Howard Hughes

The Pier 40 Champions plan by WXY Architects includes an elevated jogging track over the pier’s courtyard.

ship with the park than the broader public. “We must continue to work together to find sources of funding to stabilize Pier 40 and support Hudson River Park for the long term,” Squadron added. “Each of these visions [Pier 40 Champions and Durst plans] represents a broad concept and will help inform legislative and funding decisions; none are proposals that could be accepted or rejected today.” Assemblymember Deborah Glick has been a staunch opponent of residential use in the park. She said the Champions plan “is a very intriguing picture, but has no details. And the Trust, which alleges — Madelyn alleges they have no money — is about to spend money on doing an analysis of it, which I do not really understand because it is not a legal use, and none of the relevant legislators that represent the area support it. “So, I’m mystified,” Glick said, adding — in a reference to the Durst proposal — “and I think we could have gotten further along if the Trust cooperated on an adaptive reuse plan.” A recent article in Crain’s about the Pier 40 Champions plan, referring to the opposition of Hoylman and Squadron to housing in the park, was headlined, “Key politicians shoot down new Pier 40 plan.” However, Tobi Bergman, president of P3 (Pier, Park & Playground Association), a member of the Champions group, said he was confident in the youth leagues’ eventual success. “We don’t feel shot down,” he said. “I know [Squadron and Hoylman] both understand the importance of providing more sports fields for our growing communities, finding the best solution for Pier 40 and finding a way out of the crisis the park is in. “We don’t expect elected officials to just

say yes,” he noted. “We do expect them to support the needs of their constituents, to respect the hard work we have done, to

problem-solve with us, and keep their minds open to all possible solutions, as we are confident they will.”


February 20 - March 5, 2013

SATURDAY FAMILY PROGRAMS AT THE SKYSCRAPER MUSEUM E x p l o r e t a l l b u i l d i n g s a s o b j e c t s o f d e s i g n , p r o d u c t s o f t e c h n o l o g y, s i t e s o f c o n s t r u c tion and places of work and residence at The Skyscraper Museum. Their winter/spring “Saturday Family Program” series (taking place from 10:3011:45am) features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. On March 2, “Stack ‘Em High Woolworth” challenges kids ages 4-10 to construct a miniature version of the Woolworth Building (subject of a current exhibition). On March 16, “Greeni n g o f t h e C i t y ” c e l e b r a t e s S t . P a t r i c k ’s D a y b y exploring the possibilities for greening NYC. Kids ages 7-14 will work together to create a model green building. On April 6, also designed for ages 7-14, “Cathedral of Commerce” explores how the Wo o l w o r t h t o w e r u s e d t h e a r c h i t e c t u r a l v o c a b u l a r y o f m e d i e v a l c a t h e d r a l s . O n A p r i l 2 7 , “ Wo o l worth’s Gargoyles” takes kids ages 3-10 on a quick tour of the exhibition “Woolworth Building @ 100,” then reveals why its design includes sculptures carved to resemble a monkey, dragon or lion (hint: it has something to do with rain water and

t h e r o o f ! ) . A f t e r t h e t o u r, p a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l d e s i g n skyscrapers with visual stories of their own. All workshops ($5 per family) are for ages 7+ and take place at 10:30am. Registration is required. Call 2 1 2 - 9 4 5 - 6 3 2 4 o r e m a i l e d u c a t i o n @ s k y s c r a p e r. o r g . A t 3 9 B a t t e r y P l a c e ( b t w. F i r s t P l a c e & L i t t l e We s t S t . ) . R e g u l a r m u s e u m h o u r s a r e We d . - S u n . , 12-6pm. Admission is $5 ($2.50 for students/ seniors). THE SCHOLASTIC STORE H e l d e v e r y S a t u r d a y a t 3 p m , S c h o l a s t i c ’s i n - s t o r e a c t i v i t i e s a r e d e s i g n e d to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. On Sat., Feb. 23, meet Stephen Savage — who’ll read from his new book, “Polar Bear Morning” (a follow-up to the popular “Polar B e a r N i g h t ” ) . A f t e r m e e t i n g t h e a u t h o r, m a k e your own pom-pom bear to take home. This event is perfect for ages 3 and up. At 11am every Tu e s . , W e d . a n d T h u r s . , t h e S c h o l a s t i c S t o r y teller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. At 5 5 7 B r o a d w a y ( b t w. P r i n c e & S p r i n g S t s . ) . S t o r e hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit scholastic. com/sohostore.


The NYC Board of Standards and Appeals has scheduled a public hearing on the following application: Variance (§72-21) to increase the maximum permitted floor area to facilitate the construction of a new 34story, 760-bed dormitory for Pace University in a C6-4 district in the Special Lower Manhattan District. Address:

29-37 Beekman Street aka 165-169 William Street, northeast corner of block bound by Beekman, William, Nassau and Ann Streets, Block 92, Lot 1, 3, 37, 38, Borough of Manhattan.


Jay A. Segal, Esq./Greenberg Traurig LLP, for 33 Beekman Owner LLC c/o Naftali Group, owners; Pace University, lessee.


The Children’s Museum of the Arts celebrates its quarter century of promoting self-expression and esteem though visual and supporting arts — by presenting a new exhibit that offers a fascinating exploration of self-identity through still, moving and living portraits, as portrayed by children using traditional methods of painting and drawing as well as technology. “Face to Face” features 40 portraits selected from CMA’s Permanent Collection of children’s art from over 50 countries, dating back to the 1930s. “When viewed together,” says CMA Deputy Director Lucy Ofiesh, “the exhibit represents the diversity of selfexpression and identity across the world and through the years.” To incorporate CMA’s philosophy of hands-on-art-making, the exhibit will be accompanied by a variety of interactive installations that examine texture, shape and sound of portraits. Hands-on stations will encour-

age visitors to become part of the exhibit, including reimagined versions of a typical self-portrait station. At the CMA Media Lab, visitors can take photos that will be projected on the wall. These photos will stream into a montage that will be accessioned into the collection and will also serve as a fascinating time-lapse of the exhibit as a whole. “Face to Face” also offers aspiring young artists the opportunity to submit their own works for a chance to become part of the museum’s Permanent Collection. CMA will accept 25 original works, in honor of 25 years of operation, to be selected by the museum’s curatorial team (with one chosen by an online viewer’s choice campaign). At the Children’s Museum of the Arts, in the CMA Gallery (103 Charlton St.). Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs.& Fri., 12-6pm; Sat. & Sun., 10am-5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free.) Thursdays are pay-as-you-wish. For info, call 212-2740986 or visit For Twitter:

Community Board No.: 1M This application, Cal. No.: 312-12-BZ, has been calendared for Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 10:00 A.M. session, in Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, Borough of Manhattan. Interested persons or associations may appear at the hearing to present testimony regarding this application. This application can be reviewed at the Board offices, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This notice is published by the applicant in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Board of Standards and Appeals. Dated: February 15, 2013 Jay A. Segal, Esq., Applicant

FOR MORE ON THIS and other stories visit:


February 20 - March 5, 2013


Their eyes focused on witness accounts Exhibitions draw upon interviews, intimate snapshots BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN

Open Sesame

In this exhibition, organizer Ola El-Khalidi revisits the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which happened on August 2, 1990. The Gulf wars that ensued contributed to the violence that is still very much a part of the region today and which shaped the lives of a whole generation. El-Khalidi refers to the latter as the Open Sesame generation and discusses how the thenteenagers experienced a sudden loss of youth. Gathering witness accounts and mementos, the assembled artists in the exhibition — Ganzeer, Jeanno Gaussi, Rheim Alkadhi and Makan Collective — provide a moving voice for this lost generation. Through March 2, at apexart (291 Church St., btw. Walker & White Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Cal1 212431-5270 or visit

Alexandre Singh: The Pledge

Curated by Claire Gilman, this first North American museum exhibition of Singh’s work presents a new series of Assembly Instructions. This project takes interviews that the artist conducted throughout 2011 with noted scientists, artists, writers and filmmakers, and transforms them into fictional dialogues visualized according to Singh’s signature format of collaged photocop-

ies connected by hand-drawn pencil dots on the wall. Filling the entire Main Gallery, Singh’s “interviews” explore drawing not only as a form of physical gesture, but also as a graphic conduit for the intellectual process. Through March 13, at The Drawing Center (35 Wooster St., btw. Grand & Wooster Sts.). Hours: Wed., Fri., Sat., 12-6pm; Thurs., 12-8pm. Call 212-2192166 or visit

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Who could imagine a better look at the Beat Generation than through the lens of Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997). Although known primarily for his poetry, Ginsberg was also an avid photographer, capturing the individuals and places around him in a series of intimate snapshots. The black and white photographs on display include portraits of William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, as well as several selfportraits. Conveying a glimpse of the unique lifestyle and spirit of the Beats, Ginsberg’s images tell of a generation in which spontaneity and a lust for life began to boil. Through April 6, at Grey Art G a l l e r y ( 1 0 0 Wa s h i n g t o n S q u a r e East, btw. Waverly & Washington P l a c e ) . H o u r s : Tu e s . , T h u r s . , F r i , 11am-6pm; Wed., 11am-8pm; Sat., 11am-5pm. Call 212-998-6780 or visit

© 2012 Allen Ginsberg LLC. All rights reserved. Gelatin silver print, printed 1984–97 (9 7/8 x 14 7/8 in., 24.9 x 38 cm). National Gallery of Art, Gift of Gary S. Davis.

Neal Cassady and his love of that year the star-cross’d Natalie Jackson conscious of their roles in Market Street Eternity: Cassady had been prototype for Jack Kerouac’s 1950 On the Road saga hero Dean Moriarty, as later in 1960’s he’d taken the driver’s wheel of Ken Kesey’s psychedelic-era day-glo painted Merry Prankster crosscountry bus “Further.” Neal’s illuminated American automobile mania, “unspeakably enthusiastic” friendship & erotic energy had already written his name in bright-lit signs of our literary imaginations before movies were made imitating his charm. That’s why we stopped under the marquee to fix the passing hand on the watch, San Francisco, maybe March 1955. —Allen Ginsberg

Courtesy Sprueth Magers: Berlin and London; Art: Concept: Paris; Metro Pictures: New York; Monitor Gallery: Rome.

Alexandre Singh: “Assembly Instructions (The Pledge-Leah Kelly).” 2011. Framed inkjet ultrachrome archival prints and dotted pencil lines, 18 x 24 inches, #6 from a set of 37.

Image courtesy of the artist and apexart.

Ganzeer: “Utopia” (2013). See "Open Sesame."


February 20 - March 5, 2013

The festival that came into the cold Horse Trade’s FRIGID is a fine cousin of CAFF THEATER

THE 2013 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL Feb. 20 through March 3 At The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th St., btw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery) And at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place., btw. 1st Ave. & Ave. A) Tickets: $10-$16 Visit Call 212-868-4444

CANUCK CABARET At UNDER St. Marks Midnight: Wed-Sat., Feb. 20-23 & Feb. 27-March 2 Tickets: $5 Photo by Rhys Harper

FRIGID HANGOVER At The Kraine Theater March 4-5 & 7-9 Schedule, TBA Tickets: $18

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Taking its cue from our always chilled and frequently cool neighbors to the north, the 30 shows featured in this year’s FRIGID New York Festival are — literally — random acts. Not as large in number of participants, or as physically sprawling (or as prone to crippling humidity) as August’s FringeNYC, FRIGID was founded in 2006 by Horse Trade Theater Group and EXIT Theatre. East Village mainstay Horse Trade brought to the table their three theaters (two of them housed in the same building as KGB Bar), and EXIT brought the wisdom accumulated from having run The San Francisco Fringe Festival since 1992. They also introduced Horse Trade to The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals’ nurturing mission statement and fair, if somewhat dice-rolling, curation process. Unlike FringeNYC, which has taken some flak from purists for choosing its participants through a juried process, FRIGID embraces the risks and rewards that come from CAFF’s open call for submissions — as well as its guiding principle

“Bathtub Jen and the Henchmen” is a steampunk collaboration of prohibitionistic proportions that thrusts audiences into a world of slapstick, stand-up and vaudeville — when Jersey’s finest speakeasy entrepreneur and her curmudgeonly ex-con husband embark on a series of poorly judged money-making schemes, erotic escapades gone awry, run-ins with the fuzz and vignettes that include accordion, ukulele, clarinet, spoons and trumpet.

to “provide all artists, emerging and established, with the opportunity to produce their play no matter the content, form or style and to make the event as affordable and accessible as possible for the members of the community.” “We jury, adjudicate and check out shows all year round,” says Horse Trade Executive Director Erez Ziv of how performers usually get booked for gigs at the Kraine Theater, The Red Room and UNDER St. Marks. “We go to scout shows and we read scripts, reviews and references…but this is the one time of the year we get to throw things out and see what happens. So we end up with some phenomenal shows we would have never picked if we were jurying.” This year’s festival garnered around 80 applicants. Booking half of the 30 participants, notes Ziv, takes less than two seconds. “The application is online starting sometime in August,” he explains, “then there’s a countdown clock. You can fill out the application any time, but you can’t press the button until Labor Day.” As the clock strikes Midnight, the first 15 trigger-fingered applicants score an invite to FRIGID. In a nod to the festival’s Canadian roots, the remaining 15 acts are chosen from scraps of paper “pulled out of a beaver fur top hat. We normally do that at UNDER St. Marks, on Halloween night. This year, courtesy of Sandy, we did it in

Brooklyn…and we pulled the names out of a plastic pumpkin.” Residents of The Great White North need not feel slighted at this year’s abandonment of the beaver fur hat, since the land of universal health care and hockey is well-represented during FRIGID. The Midnight series “Canuck Cabaret” is a raucous variety show featuring Canadians living in New York, talent fresh from a border crossing and NYC-based artists who’ve agreed to be “honorary Canucks” for the night. Ziv was evasive when repeatedly pressed for details regarding the rights and responsibilities of such a classification — and eventually managed to throw us off the trail of potential scandal by noting that in addition to the aforementioned talent roster, “We sprinkle on top of that FRIGID performers. It’s a great chance for them to let loose, hang out with each other and let everyone see what they are, as artists, beyond the one show they have in the festival. “Cabaret” is hosted by Paul Hutcheson, who “did a show with us in the second year of the festival called ‘On Second Thought.’ The material looked awful [beforehand], but it ended up being one of the highlights of the festival, and we’ve had a relationship with him ever since. Horse Trade considers establishing relationships with new talent to be the real reward of FRIGID — which is good,

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Presented by Toronto, Ontario’s The Theatre Elusive, “Love in the Time of Time Machines” is the once-upon-a-time tale of Klein and Gabrielle. When they broke up, that was the end of that…or was it? Taking place in a “world where time’s arrow spins like a compass needle at the North Pole,” this love story asks whether the actions of two people amount to a hill of beans…then ponders what a hill of beans amounts to.

since there’s no actual coinage to be had by hosting its 150 performances. “Participants keep one hundred percent of the box office,” says Ziv, who adds, “The shows are the intellectual property of the

Continued on page 30


February 20 - March 5, 2013


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February 20 - March 5, 2013

The morning after, and after, ‘Hangover’ features FRIGID’s best


BRINGING COMMUNITY BUSINESS DOWNTOWN Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 6 - 8 pm


Continued from page 28 performers. We keep no part of them when the festival ends.” For producers, there are advantages beyond a performance slot in FRIGID. “There’s quite a bit of overflow,” says Ziv of the content sharing between February’s FRIGID and August’s FringeNYC. “Almost every year, somebody from our festival also does the [NYC] Fringe. Few shows leave with less than three reviews, and some have gotten as many as nine. They can emerge with a well-reviewed, successful show that’s already proved itself, and parlay that into a platform to show up at other festivals.” In a mirror image of that trend, one of this year’s FRIGID performers arrives fresh from a well-reviewed and wellattended run in 2012’s FringeNYC. “Sassy senior” and longtime Village resident D’yan Forest — whose autobiographical “I Married a Nun” was a decade-spanning yarn of bi-attraction — returns with a tale of how to keep the home fires burning at 78 and beyond.

With a philosophy as solid as its title is salty, Forest says her new show (“My Pussy is Purrin’ Again”) delves further into the price we pay for denying, and obeying, our deepest yearnings. “As time passes,” she says, “I’ve become acutely aware of the lies we tell ourselves in order to get the love we long for, even if it is not the love that feeds our soul.” Lest you think “Purrin’ Again” is strictly a two-hanky weeper, rest assured there will likely be a good deal of the ukulele, trumpet and the glockenspiel-accompanied tunes that made “Nun” such a crowd-pleaser. If Forest pulls in respectable numbers and impresses management, she may be one of five to eight shows featured in the “Hangover” series. Set to run the week immediately following FRIGID, Ziv notes it marks a return to business as usual for Horse Trade: “Those ‘Hangover’ shows are curated. We pick them based on the quality of the show and their potential to get an audience. We’ll announce about half of the roundup on the first Tuesday of FRIGID, then pick the remainder towards the festival’s end. We try to do the out-of-town shows on Monday and Tuesday, take Wednesday off, then feature local shows Thursday through Saturday.”

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In “The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular,” mustachioed Professor Penelope Vindlevoss discovers Edward the Zombie on her anthropological expedition, and takes it upon herself to domesticate him. Edward’s final lesson: put on a circus! Physical comedy and undead logic collide in this quirky fable about how to be truly human.

Photo by Rene Ferrer

Tokyo-based clown Shoshinz (whose name translates into “shy timid people”) performs “A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup” — a mysterious figure whose solitary existence is accompanied by a raucous cast of sounds and music that make her life an absurd adventure.

February 20 - March 5, 2013

Photo by Paul Steftel

On March 9, meet Paul Steftel at PSProject Space studio (548 W. 28th St., Studio F3).


Home to more private art galleries and studios than any place in the world, the West Chelsea arts district is a destination for art lovers every day of the year — and on one of those days, every year, a destination event affords casual observers and serious collectors alike the rare opportunity to access a multitude of styles and mediums, purchase works directly from the artists’ inventory and lay claim to the discovery of new talent before their work appears on gallery walls. As sprawling and visually appealing as the elevated park its name invokes, “High Line Open Studios” is a selfguided tour of work spaces normally open by appointment only — allowing visitors to gain unique insights into the creative process through a dialogue that strips away the layers between artist and enthusiast. “This year,” notes organizer and participant Scotto Mycklebust, “we are able to take the event to a new level with over 50 artists opening their studios to the public and potential buyers.” Free. Sat., March 9, from 12-6pm. Self-guided tours begin at the West Chelsea Arts Building (526 W. 26th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.), where you can pick up a map of nine buildings with open studios. For info, visit


DwntnExprs 9.5x12.75



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February 20 - March 5, 2013

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