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to last week’s Community Board 1 meeting to voice opposition, and will undoubtedly be at the board’s next Tribeca Committee meeting, Wed. Feb. 13, at 49-51 Chambers St., 6 p.m. The committee’s chairperson, Peter Braus, is a member of the NID’s sponsor, Friends of Hudson River Park, and defended the proposal at last week’s meeting. “I am certainly opposed to the public paying for a park,” said Braus. “I’d love nothing more
BY KAITLYN MEADE pplications poured into Downtown schools in the last two days of kindergarten registration, leaving four with waitlists. Parents have faced overcrowding for years in Lower Manhattan, but even with new schools opening, there is not enough space to accommodate zoned students. In the last two days of registration, P.S. 234’s list increased by ten students, and Peck Slip’s by eight. And while P.S. 276 had fewer register than predicted, it is still 40 students over capacity, prompting the D.O.E. to move a 276 Pre-K class to the Peck Slip School to make space for incoming kindergartners. P.S. 276 will only have one Pre-K classroom in the coming year (a total of 36 students for half-day sessions) as part of a recent proposal by Battery Park City School’s principal Terri Ruyter, who suggested halving the Pre-K program in 2013 and removing it completely the following year. But not even closing a Pre-K class will alleviate the need for more seats in the fall. Parent coordinator Erica Weldon said that there were 140 students registered for the 100 seats made available by opening a fourth kindergarten class, though the school is only designed to take three. “Pre-K is not mandatory yet, kindergarten is,” she said of the decision. “We have to find seats for them first.” The proposal was not met with approval at Community Board 1. “The creation of the Pre-K for the Peck Slip School, we believe, is a precursor to the elimination of the Pre-Ks at P.S. 276 so that they could use these rooms to go forward with the five kindergartens, which would devastate the school,” Paul Hovitz cochairperson of C.B. 1’s Youth and
Continued on page 16
Continued on page 27
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Hudson River Park was full of debate and activity the last week. SomeTribecans voiced opposition to the proposed park tax or Neighborhood Improvement District. This week, we also have two opinion pieces on the NID, P. 19, and a look at the debate over developing Pier 40, P. 16.
What’s next, Hudson River Park? Tribeca rises against park tax BY J OS H R O G e R S o one would ever confuse liberal Tribeca with a hotbed of the modern Tea Party movement, but nevertheless some neighbors are beginning to use phrases like “no taxation without representation,” more and more. The west side of the neighborhood is objecting to a proposed tax that would help fund maintenance of the Hudson River Park. The business improvement district, the Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement
District or NID, would be roughly within three blocks of the park, and extend well beyond Tribeca, from Chambers St. up to 59th St. One of its opponents, Nicole Vianna, does not buy the argument that waterfront property is more valuable, particularly in light of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. “They all had damage from Sandy,” Vianna said of western Tribeca. “Are people saying ‘oh please, can I buy in an area that’s been flooded twice in two years?’ ” Vianna and many of her neighbors came
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Verizon is hoping to win back some Downtown friends after it took many months to restore phone and internet service to many of its Lower Manhattan customers hit by Hurricane Sandy — it’s still not done. The info giant has just started a new video P.R. campaign to thank customers for sticking with them. “We realize that any number of our impacted customers could have left us, but some didn’t. For that, we’d like to thank them,” Verizon said in the campaign. Eddie Travers, owner of Fraunces Tavern restaurant, is one of the first people featured. But he just talks about his business and does not mention the V–word.
SANDY’S SILVER LINING
Hurricane Sandy of course wreaked lots of destruction in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere, but it apparently also drove some rats out of Downtown. Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1’s chairperson, said the Health Dept. says rat sightings are down Downtown because of the storm, although they did not have final numbers. She and the Health Dept. recommend calling 311 when the less than lovable creatures are spotted.
Andy Breslau, a veteran of city government and journalism, has just joined the Downtown Alliance as its new vice president of communications and marketing. Breslau has had stints with CNN, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, City Limits, and with former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.
STAFFER AT LAST
Community Board 1 has finally been able to get Diana Switaj on staff as its part time deputy director of land use and planning. The city has had a too-good-to-betrue deal with Switaj, who joined the board as a planning intern in Sept. 2011 while she was a graduate student at Columbia University, where she studied with Michael Levine, Board 1’s planning director. Switaj has remained with the board unofficially ever since, helping with a multitude of projects. After C.B. 1 leaders went through a few months of talks working through city red tape, she was able to join the staff and will at least be getting paid a salary for her work. We suspect it’s somewhere between Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s salary, and what all the work she has already done is worth.
We’re wondering about what irks us most about the digital arrow signs on the World Trade Center stop’s E platform. Is it that the M.T.A. spent money on useless info like whether you’ll have to walk a few feet to the left or right once you’re already on the platform? 88 Fulton Street (Corner of 33 Gold St.) Is it that the sign could have had helpful info New York, NY 10038 like whether it makes 212.587.8930 sense to walk up and 212.587.8935 down stairs to wait for the A or C instead? Is Free Delivery! it that the sign pointed Min. $10 in the wrong direction when we were there last Tuesday night? We think it’s the second one. To be fair to the M.T.A., the arrow did switch to the right direcAuthentic Thai tion after the train had already pulled into the & Vegetarian station.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
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Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade
Michael Macko, son of William Macko, who died in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, after the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary.
Commemorating the first people killed at the W.T.C BY Ka i t ly n M e a d e The water was loud and the wind sent fine spray from the North Memorial pool over the assembled crowd, with no trace of the memorial fountain that originally marked the spot of the World Trade Center terrorist attack — not on Sept. 11th, but 20 years ago. The crowd on Feb. 26 included family members of the six victims and one unborn child killed in the 1993 parking garage bombing, who laid flowers on the new memorial pool into which their relatives’ names are engraved along with those lost in 9/11. A Catholic Mass was held in St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church at Barclay and Church Sts. near the World Trade Center. The Port Authority also commemorated the victims at the 9/11 Memorial with a moment of silence at 12:18 p.m., the time when the explosives detonated, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. “I think it’s important that people remember that that 9/11 began on Feb. 26, 1993,” Michael Macko, whose father was killed in the attack, said immediately after the ceremony. “The most important thing is that my father and the other fallen people are remembered.” Michael, one of William Macko’s four children, said it’s still shocking to consider the event, even 20 years later. William, 57, was a mechanical supervisor and one of four employees of the Port Authority killed that day. The other employees were Bob
Kirkpatrick, 61, Stephen Knapp, 47, and 35-year-old Monica Smith, who was Macko’s secretary and due to start her maternity leave the next day. Also killed were Wilfredo Mercado, 37, and John DiGiovanni, 45, a dental salesman who was in the garage when the bomb exploded. More than 1,000 people were injured and the buildings took 11 hours to evacuate after the blast under the North Tower ripped a hole five stories deep. “It was devastating,” said Macko, who was 29 when he lost his father. “We didn’t find out until a day later.” In 1994, four men were convicted of the attacks and two more, mastermind Ramzi Yousef and the truck’s driver Eyad Ismoil were convicted in 1997. A rose granite memorial with the six names was erected in 1995 but was almost completely destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks. The only piece recovered was a fragment of the name John DiGiovanni. This year, the Port Authority presented a plaque to the 1993 victims’ family members which will be moved to the P.A.’s headquarters in Tower 4 when the building opens. “This tragic event, in which six people were senselessly murdered, is a day that will be forever etched in the memories of all Port Authority staff,” Port Authority Chairperson David Samson said in a statement. “It is fitting that, as time goes on, we continue to stop and reflect on this terrible tragedy and the lives that were needlessly lost.”
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A man frequenting the Roll and Go $1 Pizza paid more than he bargained for when his laptop was stolen out from under his nose. The man, 29, stopped by the 386 Canal St. establishment for a late-night snack at 9:30 p.m. Fri., on Feb. 22. He told police that he got out his laptop, set it on the counter and then turned away to grab some napkins. When he turned back, the laptop, a $1,500 Macbook Pro, was gone. He did not even see the thief and could not immediately provide his computer’s information.
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Over $7,000 were stolen from the car of a C.E.O. of a successful concierge company and former assistant to Jay-Z while she was at a Downtown photo-shoot. The woman, 36, reported to police that she had parked her car outside of 60 Greene St. while she was at a photo-shoot at 12:15 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 21. When she returned to her car, she found it had been broken into and a bag containing $7,369 in property was gone, including a $4,000 black diamond bracelet and a $1,200 gold Chanel belt.
TRIO BUSTED FOR SELLING POT AT THE W.T.C.
The World Trade Center transportation hub briefly became a center of crime when three construction workers were arrested Friday morning for selling pot, the Port Authority said. The workers were arrested as they arrived for work at the W.T.C. Transportation Hub between 6:20-7:15 a.m. Brian McDermott, 34; John Fama, 30; and Cesar Rivera, 25 are facing five counts of drug sale and possession. They are also banned from the W.T.C. site. The three men, employed by Long Island-based Sorbara Construction Corp. were arrested after previously selling marijuana to several undercover officers, a Port Authority spokesperson confirmed. The arrest is part of a seven-month investigation into drug sales and usage on the W.T.C. site, conducted by the Port Authority Inspector General’s office. “Sometime in August, we had an integrity monitor on the scene when he smelled the aroma of marijuana and he checked it out and it was coming from the porta-potties. He reported it to us and we launched an investigation,” said Michael
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Nestor, director of the office of investigations. Nestor said they had made numerous buys over the past 5-6 months, told Downtown Express. “The investigation is moving in another direction now,” he said. “We’re looking for the suppliers.” He also said that it was the first time the W.T.C. had had a narcoticsrelated incident, though there had been several related to smoking and drinking alcohol over the past few years.
FIREFIGHTERS STOP CLEAVER ATTACK ON WOMAN
Chinatown fi refi ghters intervened to stop a man from attacking his wife with a cleaver on the street Sunday morning. Police arrested Ming Guang Huang, 28, who was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment after injuring his wife, 24, with a cleaver in the middle of Canal St. The incident occurred around 10:20 a.m. on Feb. 24 on the sidewalk at Allen and Canal Sts., according to a police spokesperson. A security video from a nearby Fong’s Trading store shows a woman rolling on the ground while a man stands over her before he is pushed to the side. Jose Ortiz, a firefighter who was stationed at the firehouse across the street from where the incident occurred, told NBC New York that he saw a woman crying and screaming while being dragged by a man. As he crossed to intervene, he saw the man pull out a long-bladed knife and swing at her several times. “He hit her in the head. That was the first shot,” Ortiz said. Ortiz managed to subdue Huang with the help of his fellow firefighter Shane Clarke and notified the police. Meanwhile, the woman had fled the scene still bleeding. Clarke caught up to her with a trauma kit, but had difficulty persuading her to calm down due
to a language barrier. Police confirmed that she was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center by E.M.S. with lacerations to her back and neck but was reportedly in stable condition.
SECURITY’S CAR STOLEN
A security guard at a Soho bar was watching everything but his car, which was stolen during his shift on Feb. 18. The guard, 29, reported to police that he left his 2004 Nissan Altima car parked to warm up in front of Sway Lounge at 305 Spring St. while he cleared out the bar at about 4:15 a.m. that morning. He had left the keys inside the vehicle and the doors unlocked, and within five minutes, it was stolen. The car is a tan, four-door Sedan with New York plates, valued at about $4,000.
FIGHT OVER THE STREET
Two men were attacked in Soho by an angry driver wielding a box cutter as they got into their car on Thompson St., police said. A 37-year old man, accompanied by his wife and a relative, 40, said he was getting into the passenger side of his car at 2:45 a.m. outside 54 Thompson St. on Sun., Feb. 17 when a white van rolled up beside them. A bald, mustached man yelled out the window for him to get in his car and stop blocking traffic. The two got into an argument and shortly after, the mustached man jumped out of his vehicle, and pulled out a box cutter and cut both of the men. The 37-year-old received a cut to his face under his left eye and the relative sustained a small cut to his arm. Both were taken to Beth Israel for treatment. The man got back into the car and drove away. The first victim said security footage could be obtained from the Thompson Hotel, which was near where the incident occurred.
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Fire broke out at 10 a.m., spewing smoke into Greenwich St. as those with cars in the garage looked on.
BY KAITLYN MEADE WITH TEQUILA MINSKY The blocks around Greenwich and Desbrosses Sts. were barricaded by fire trucks and ambulances when a fire broke out at a Tribeca garage and workshop. The only reported injury was to a firefighter, who was not hurt badly, according to a deputy chief on the scene. The EZ Park at 456 Greenwich St. went up on Fri., Feb. 22 at 10:08 a.m., a New York Fire Department spokesperson said. Smoke poured from the upper floor of the garage at Greenwich and Desbrosses, said Elvis Jacquez, manager of the building across the street. “I smelled smoke and came outside and heard a ‘boom’,” he said. “I heard the explosion. It was a pretty loud pop,” said Fred Hill, who was on the terrace of his Hudson St. residence, about a block away, when the blaze broke out. Witnesses said the garage’s manager got many of the cars out before the smoke became too intense. Neighbors also saw one woman and her child escorted out of the next door Greenwich St. apartment by fire personnel. No civilian injuries were reported and there’s only one minor injury to a firefighter so far, said Deputy Chief Jim Hodgens. Fire
marshals on the scene were investigating the cause. Hodgens did not confirm the report of an explosion in the building or rumors that there were several vehicle fires in the garage as well. The “two-alarm” blaze began on the second floor, which contains a welding workshop, and was mostly contained to the roof. F.D.N.Y. responded with 25 units and a total of 106 firefighters. They managed to get the smoke and fire under control by 10:51 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., the majority of the trucks were packing up clearing the streets. Firefighters vented the building by cutting holes in the side and roof. “You can see where they cut through the roof with the buzz saw,” said E.M.S. personnel Victor Leone. About ten ambulances also responded to the scene. Hodgens said the response was standard. He said there was no propane found in the garage, but there was mechanical equipment such as torches, which necessitates extra caution. An emergency van from Con Edison was on the scene and said electricity had been shut off. The building’s owner was also on the scene but could not be reached for a response.
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Restore focus on housing & parks, some on C.B. 1 say By Ka i t ly n M e a d e Three months after Community Board 1 Chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes made a surprise announcement to close a few committees, some members are still upset by the decision. Diane Lapson, a tenant leader at Independence Plaza North and former member of the Housing Committee, which was axed, said she felt that housing was being treated like “a stepchild,” passed off to one committee or another over the years with no clear commitment to its members. “From my perspective, it just seems like the process was confusing or perplexing,” Lapson said at the board’s Executive Committee meeting Feb. 20. “There didn’t seem to be any discussion; it just seemed like, ‘Oh, the committee’s been disbanded,’ the members of the committee didn’t receive a reason at the time.” Hughes appointed Anthony Notaro and Michael Connolly, Board 1 Executive Committee members, to look into the issue after Borough President Scott Stringer requested the board consider the matter further. “Let’s be clear about one thing,” said Connolly, “The authority for establishing and appointing members to committees is solely with the chair. That’s clear from the charter, that’s clear from what the Manhattan borough president’s office said.”
Stringer, who appoints all Manhattan community board members, confirmed that he had asked Hughes to take another look at shuttering some of the committees. “I think it’s important we have those committees,” he told Downtown Express a few weeks ago. “I believe the chair [Hughes] will work collaboratively with the others to get a good result.” At a February meeting of Downtown Independent Democrats, Board 1 member Jean Grillo thanked Stringer for his support of the housing committee. Grillo later said that there were ongoing discussions about creating a separate entity to deal with housing. “If Ms. Hughes thinks there are too many committees and that attendance is hurt because full board members have so many others committees to go to, then call us something else, and don’t force us to meet every month. Fine with me. But keep our group together. Let us work on our key issues: Affordable housing and seniors and let us meet when we need to meet, then let us report to the Executive Committee,” Grillo said in a recent email to Downtown Express. Hughes has not said much during two board discussions of her decisions, and she declined to comment for this article. When she made the announcement in a Dec. 20 email to board members she wrote,
“As you all know, we have limited resources to deal with an incredibly high volume of activities, and as a consequence, I believe we have to streamline our committees to maximize the efficiency of these resources.” The Waterfront Committee was dissolved and its responsibilities divided into geographic committees, while Housing was funneled into the Planning Committee and its
‘Let us work on our key issues: Affordable housing and seniors.’
senior issues handled by Quality of Life. World Trade Center concerns were also given to Planning. C.B. 1 includes more neighborhoods than most boards in the city and as a result, has more geographic committees: Tribeca, Battery Park City, Seaport/Civic Center and the Financial District.
Notaro said the board also had more committee meetings and actions than others in Manhattan. “The point is, this staff is working like crazy,” he said. Even after the streamlining, Notaro said that C.B.1 still has the highest number of meetings per month in Manhattan. The only official change announced before the full board was the closing of the Arts and Entertainment Committee, which was headed by Harold Reed, who passed away in January. But at the Executive Committee meeting, Notaro also suggested eliminating the Battery Park City Community Center task force, which has been the main group dealing with Asphalt Green’s long-overdue recreation center. “The only thing that [the task force] needs to finalize is, I hate to say it, the M.O.U. [Memorandum of Understanding] that is still outstanding with the authority,” he said. “Which is just an update of our existing 2001 M.O.U. But that work can be done elsewhere.” One suggestion for recreation concerns was the creation of a task force or committee dedicated to parks and recreation. Peter Braus, chair of the Tribeca Committee, opened the discussion with his concern for the defunct ball fields task force. Continued on page 20
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Hospital chief resigns as Presbyterian takeover looks imminent BY Ka i t ly n M e a d e March 1 was the last day for New York Downtown Hospital’s chief executive officer. Jeffrey Menkes, 63, had announced his resignation in a letter to staff four days before — not long after a proposal for New York-Presbyterian Hospital to take over the cash-strapped facility. The former C.E.O. of New York Downtown Hospital was positive about the upcoming merger, but wrote Feb. 25, “The new leadership needs to be focused on the final alignments needed to get us ready for merger with New York Presbyterian once the certificate of need application is approved by the New York State Health Department. That leadership needs to come from within New York Presbyterian to guarantee the best transition.” The certificate of need was filed in January by New York-Presbyterian, stating that the takeover was the only way to save New York Downtown Hospital, which became the only functioning hospital below 14th St. with the closure of St. Vincent’s in 2010. The center had been struggling for years, downsizing from 254 beds to 180 in 2006, according to the certificate. When Menkes was promoted to C.E.O. in May 2007, Robert Hunter, chairperson of the Downtown Hospital said in a Downtown Express article, “His impressive talents will
lead Downtown Hospital to an even more financially secure and successful future.” But it was not to be. St. Vincent’s finally shut down in 2010, leaving Downtown Hospital to cover all of Lower Manhattan, part of which includes a Medicaid-heavy population. In 2011, the hospital closed its sevenstation dialysis unit due to cash-flow problems. In September of last year, the hospital was embroiled in scandal and ordered to pay $13.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that they conspired to operate an inappropriately licensed detox program and filed false reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid. That was shortly followed by Hurricane Sandy in October, which forced the hospital to temporarily shut down and move all 125 patients to other area hospitals. The storm also brought the two hospitals, which have been affiliated since 2005, closer together, according to Menkes. “The way NYDH and NYPH worked together during ‘Hurricane Sandy’ further cemented the relationship and demonstrated to all of the constituencies in Lower Manhattan that the relationship with New York Presbyterian was needed to keep the mission of our hospital alive,” Menkes wrote. Steve Corwin, New York-Presbyterian’s C.E.O., estimated in an interview with WNYC that the group would invest about $125 million in NY Downtown over the next few years, including taking on $40 million in debt.
Jeffrey Menkes, who just resigned.
Officials with both hospitals declined to comment for this article. While the takeover has yet to be approved by the health department, the final transition may come as early as July of this year. Already, the certificate of need states that New York Downtown has employed outside vendors “to prepare for the anticipated transition of its systems to that of NYP Hospital.”
The transition would likely include an expansion of beds and services, and extending to the eighth floor of the Gehry building at Spruce St. “I leave the Hospital in good hands, and I wish all of you the best in your efforts to serve all the members of the downtown community with quality medical care,” he wrote.
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March 6 - March 19, 2013
Chinatown bus firm slammed BY l e Sl e y S U S S M a n The new year got a bit worse last week for the Chinatown-based Fung Wah Bus company when, on Tuesday, Community Board 3 voted to recommend denial of an application by the troubled carrier to create a bus stop in front of 139 Canal St. outside the company’s storefront. Although Fung Wah has for years been using this location for curbside loading and unloading for its intercity route between New York City and Boston, the carrier had wanted the city’s Department of Transportation to make it an officially licensed bus stop and
sought C.B. 3 support in its effort to do so. However, at C.B. 3 full board meeting, David Crane, chairperson of the board’s Transportation and Public Safety/Environment Committee, told board members that a vote on the application would be delayed. “Based on what has happened to the company recently, this needs to go back to the committee,” he said. “We won’t act on this application until we can discuss these recent developments.” The previous day, Massachusetts regulators had ordered Fung Wah to remove threequarters of its 28-bus fleet from service after inspectors found cracks in the frames of many of the company’s aging buses. State officials also asked federal regulators to intervene and remove the remaining seven buses in Fung Wah’s fleet from service. That action came from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration a leading esl school, looking for homestay families to host french teenagers. Feb. 26 when the entire fleet of buses was suspended. However, the F.M.C.S.A. Pay uP to $500 Per week for stopped short of shutting down hosting two teens Fung Wah completely, allow(bed, breakfast and dinner). ing the company to continue to provide passenger services with buses it is chartering from July 7-27, July 13-27, august 4-24 tel. 212 732 0288 or firstname.lastname@example.org other providers.
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Real petition on counterfeits Grab your fake purses and shoes, because City Councilmember Margaret Chin is hawking counterfeit legislation. A petition from Chin’s office was sent to local representatives in support of a hearing for a legislation to curtail counterfeit commerce by making it a criminal offense to purchase fake trademark goods. The legislation was introduced in April 2011, but a hearing did not result in the City Council. Local residents suggested starting an online petition to bring attention to the proposed bill, which would make it a Class A misdemeanor to purchase counterfeit goods, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/ or up to a year in jail for repeat offenders, far more than one would save on bogus brands. The petition says the ban would improve quality of life in neighb o r h o o d s l i k e Tr i b e c a , S o h o , Chinatown. “Counterfeit vendors clog our sidewalks and streets; intimidate and harass local residents; destroy private property; and create a negative image of our
neighborhood,” it reads. But it seems there are ulterior motives as well: “The illegal counterfeit good trade costs New York City an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue each year. At a time when our city’s services are being slashed, it is irresponsible for our city to forgo such much-needed revenue.” Some argue that the law would have a negative effect on business, especially on Canal St., where the lure of a knockoff handbag pulls NYC tourists from more scenic routes. When the legislation was first proposed, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s David Louie objected to the method, saying that the first step should be enforcing the law against selling counterfeit goods that is already on the books. “Some people have questioned whether the police would be able to implement it,” said Kelly Magee, Chin’s spokesperson, “But the local precincts are behind it.” To view the petition, visit signon. org/sign/make-it-illegal-to-buy.
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Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Manhattan Youth executive director Bob Townley, left, with Dennis Gault, a Community Board 1 member at the group’s fundraiser last week.
Sandy, high-school student Yuri Kennelly played Bach on her cello. The food was donated by a number of restaurants and shops including Bouley, Super Linda, The Palm Tribeca, T. Edward Wines, Maslow 6, Reade Street Pub & Kitchen, Brushstroke
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 & 13, 1pm Pipes at One March 6: Bogna McGarrigle, Music Director and Organist, Church of the Epiphany, NYC; March 13: Daniel Kirk-Foster, Director of Music and Organist, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Bronx St. Paul’s Chapel THURSDAY, MARCH 7 & 14, 1pm Concerts at One March 7: New York City Master Chorale; March 14: Contemporary American Art Song/Joy in Singing; Trinity Church SUNDAY, MARCH 10 & 17, 5pm TENEbrae: A Lenten Early Music Series Featuring TENET. Tickets $25 at trinityearlymusic.com Trinity Church St. Paul’s Chapel, 7pm
THURSDAY, MARCH 7 & 14, 5:30-7pm Trinity Yogis Explore the spiritual realm of body movement through yoga. Meets every Thursday. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parlor
Restaurant, City Hall Restaurant, City Winery, Locanda Verde and Whole Foods Market. Bobby and Mary Taylor, former parents at the center, donated furnishings and decorations for the party from their business, Taylor Creative, which usually supplies rent-
TUESDAY, MARCH 12 & 19, 12pm Soul Care for Parents A Lenten lunch group for parents that will help you reflect on what really matters in your life – and your faith. 74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl, Meeting Room 1 FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 6pm Family Friday Pizza and Movie Night Relax with your kids and meet other downtown families for free pizza, children’s movies, and community. Charlotte’s Place
SUNDAY, MARCH 10 & 17, 10am Discovery Lenten Dialogues: Economic Repentance Look with theological and social justice perspectives on hot-button issues that require self-examination and discernment. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall
als for photo shoots, movie premieres and product launches. “People have been unbelievably generous,” said Townley. “More than 700 people have donated money and in-kind support. It’s amazing.”
worship SUNDAY, 8am & 10am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist SUNDAY, 8pm St. Paul’s Chapel · Compline – Music & Prayers SUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Sunday school and child care available MONDAY – FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY – FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer, Evensong (Thurs.) Watch online webcast
BY t e Re Se lO e B K R e U Z e R On Feb. 28, more than 300 people partied at the Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St., in space that had been flooded and turned to rubble by Superstorm Sandy. As guests descended two flights of stairs to the level where food was served, they passed a blue line painted on the wall showing the height of the water and a photograph of executive director, Bob Townley, looking at it in dismay. After the 20-foot storm surge receded, Sandy left behind an estimated $2 million in damage. Manhattan Youth had no flood insurance and does not yet know how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute toward the cost of rebuilding. So far, work on the mechanical systems and restoration of the upper floors of the community center has cost $750,000 The party netted around $75,000 plus ongoing sponsorship for the capital rebuilding program. Using this money plus bank loans and some of Manhattan Youth’s assets, work started on March 4 to repair the community center’s classrooms. Townley said that he was pleased at the turnout for the party. It was “to celebrate community and the spirit of Downtown,” he said. Bands played in every room as some people danced. Next to the swimming pool, whose mechanisms had been damaged by
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Young writer wins a valuable scholarship B Y Ka i t ly n M e a d e When Newbery Award and Printz Honor Award-winning author Jack Gantos told eighthgrader Chantelle Roulston that he had exciting news for her mom, he was probably not expecting a reaction most 13-year-olds reserve for concert tickets. “My eyes went really wide,” Roulston said. “And I then I was jumping up and down, screaming and yelling. Afterword, my sister reminded me he hadn’t told me I won first place. It would have been really embarrassing if I hadn’t,” she laughed sheepishly. “And Pawel.VV.12:Pawel.TONY.04 2/25/13 4:05 PM then I realized he was still on the phone! My
mom said, ‘take the phone...breathe...talk.’” This was how Roulston found out she had won the Jack Gantos Writing Contest and along with it a four-year scholarship to her “number one” high school, the Léman Manhattan Preparatory School in the Financial District. It’s quite an accomplishment, as only 30-40 students make up the ninth grade class out of hundreds of interested eighth-graders. It’s also quite a reward: high school tuition at the Broad St. school is $36,400 per year. Roulston will be the Jack Gantos Scholar for four years, after Page 1 which, another scholar will be chosen.
L a u r a P aW E L D a N C E C O M P a N Y at the chen dance center 70 mulberry street, 2nd floor chinatown
Chantelle Roulston, whose family was displaced from Rockaway Beach after Hurricane Sandy, wrote a story about it which earned her a full high school scholarship to Léman Manhattan. With her is Drew Alexander, head of the school.
thursday, friday & saturday march 14, 15 & 16 at 7:30 pm
A celebrated author of children’s and young adult novels, Gantos is a member of Léman’s advisory board and hand-selected Roulston’s short story, “The Droonovarseen,” which is a symbolic story about the stress of applying to high school after Hurricane Sandy had flooded her home in Rockaway Beach, Queens with seven feet of water and separated her from her mom. “I wanted to get it out and express it in a
live music : barebones, phil stone and the cecilia coleman quartet tickets $20 seniors / students $15
reservations ( 212 ) 349 - 0438
Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade
way that most people don’t,” she said. Roulston and finalists Ryan Ruscitto and Alei Rizvi were honored Feb. 16 at a writing workshop with Jack Gantos and a family lunch with Léman Manhattan’s Head of School, Drew Alexander, who presented them each with a certificate signed by the award-winning author recognizing their participation and accomplishment.
Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.
Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email email@example.com.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
BY J a n e l B l a d O w Those prognosticators of changing seasons, furry rodents named Phil and Sam, say spring is around the corner. As residents of the South Street Seaport, we sure hope so — maybe warmer weather can help speed up construction on our streets.
Our own Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra celebrates its Season 5 with an opening concert of American and world premiere performances. “Music for a Changing World” features two works from the period when jazz began transforming classical music. Celebrated pianist Harumi Hanafusa performs the jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G by Maurice Ravel. And the orchestra’s music director Gary S. Fagin marks the world premiere of his “Suite from Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny”. He notes that “smoky saxophones will transport you back to 1920s Berlin.” The concert, Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., is at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, 3 Spruce St. Seaporters and other Downtown residents can get a 25 percent discount on the $35 ticket at www.knickerbocker-orchestra.org.
The South Street Seaport Museum recently kicked off its first film series with classic tales of the sea. Upcoming monthly movie nights include: 1935’s “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Tuesday, March 12), starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and 1958’s “A Night to Remember” (Tuesday, April 23), the riveting tale of RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage, regarded as the most historically accurate of the many accounts of this great sea tragedy. Tickets are $8 for non-members and $5 for museum members. Details: w w w. s o u t h s t r e e t s e a p o r t m u s e u m . o r g .
Rumblings abound of a March New York City Council meeting to debate the future of the South Street Seaport. Visit saveourseaport.wordpress.com for updates.
LooKIng bacK 40 years…
Jeremy’s Ale House (228 Front St.) rolled back the prices on a few of their favorite seafood baskets last month to 1973 prices to celebrate their 40 years in the South Street Seaport. Hard to believe that “the oldest established permanent floating saloon in New York,” as owner Jeremy
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
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.
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
Holin has dubbed it, has been a neighborhood staple so long. Holin believes it’s the people, the atmosphere and the vibe that makes this off-the-wall, holein-the-wall watering hole such a hit with neighbors, nearby workers and tourists alike. Congrats Jeremy and team. Lifting a Styrofoam 32oz cup of brew to you and another 40 more!
A moving, mystical and fun memorial was held last month at the Seaport Museum for our late Water Street neighbor Harold Reed. An SRO crowd of family, friends, cocommittee members and truth-seekers joined his son Bradford in celebrating Yogi Harry’s 76 years on earth and his too soon transcendence to another astral plane. There were tales of shopping for suits, road trips to Yado, an overnight in a shabby Chicago hotel and weekends around the pool as the perfect houseguest. One thought rang true through all the memories: Harold was not only the most pleasant and most interesting man in the world but also one with a wry sense of humor. He will be missed. Namaste.
One of the greatest chroniclers of New York City – its streets, its people and its eccentricities – Joseph Mitchell, author of the largerthan-life “Up in the Old Hotel”, was writer for the New Yorker from 1938 until his death 58 years later. He left
many manuscripts started after 1964 unfinished. Last month, the magazine published what would have been the first chapter in a planned memoir. It is an interesting look at the city and his growing disassociation, and included a wonderful photo of him in 1952 standing in front of South Street’s once famous fish house, Sloppy Louie’s. He was talking about all the things he liked to do in the city, including: “I am also strongly drawn to certain kinds of subterranean places and to certain kinds of towers. I have been down in the vaults under Trinity Church and I have been down in the vaults under the Federal Reserve Bank and I have been down in the dungeony old disused warehouse vaults in the red brick arches under the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge, which still smell mustily but pleasantly of some of the products that used to be stored in them – wine in casks, hides and skins from the wholesale-leather district known as the Swamp and now demolished that once lay adjacent to the bridge, and surplus fish held in cold storage for higher prices by fishmongers from Fulton Market, which is nearby.” Sadly, he never wrote again about the city he loved and just as sad, is that those musty old vaults under the bridge have been shuttered and unused so many years.
POLy PrEP SUMMEr PrOGraMS 2013 SWIMMING LESSONS fOr chILdrEN aGES 2 aNd UP, caMP PrOGraMS fOr chILdrEN aGES 4–16
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open houses Saturday, February 9, 2013, 9am – noon • Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9am – noon Programs from June 10 – august 23, 2013: Summer academic Program • PSaT/SaT/ISEE Prep courses • Summer Experience day camp Swimming Lessons • Performing arts camp • Tech camp Sports camps: Basketball Camp, Lacrosse Camp, Squash Camp, Baseball Camp, Soccer Camp, Sports Performance Camp, Girls’ Running and Wellness Camp
Poly PreP Country Day SChool 9216 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228 To request a brochure, call (718) 836-9800, ext. 3220, or visit: www.polyprep.org
March 6 - March 19, 2013
FEMA releases new flood zone maps
NEWS AND FEATURES
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In Lower Manhattan, the narrow Zone V, which stands for velocity, runs along the Hudson and East Rivers and also includes some of the area on West St. It does not appear to include any residential buildings in Lower Manhattan. Beyond this flood zone, the maps show that large parts of Lower Manhattan are in insurance Flood Zone A, with a lesser, though still substantial, risk of flooding. The A Zone has been extended to include all of the World Trade Center site and more of Downtown’s East Side, with a little more of the Seaport area, the Lower East Side and the East Village included. A small part of Battery Park City — an area near Little West St. from the southern tip up to W. Thames St. remains in Zone A. The previous map based on 1983 water elevations only put a tiny sliver of the W.T.C. in the flood zone, but the new map is unlikely to alter construction plans at the site since Port Authority and 9/11 Memorial officials have been insisting since Sandy that the vast underground area with the museum, transit hub and large mechanical equipment will be able to be sealed off before heavy storms. FEMA’s Vick said there will be a long consultation and appeals process before the map is finalized and it will ultimately be up to New York City to decide whether it wants to remain part of the National Flood Insurance Program.
ON LT FU
BY J O SH R O G E R S & TE RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R Hey Battery Park City, it may get easier to get flood insurance, although you’ll still probably have to evacuate before the next storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency released a preliminary map of Lower Manhattan last week placing almost the entire neighborhood out of the two highest risk areas for floods. Some of the neighborhood was taken out of Flood Zone A, the second riskiest area. The map is for insurance purposes only and does not relate to the city’s evacuation maps, which designate their own Zone A, an area that still includes all of Battery Park City and much of Lower Manhattan. A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Emergency Management said the FEMA map will not affect the evacuation map. Hannah Vick, a FEMA spokesperson, told Downtown Express that the agency has been preparing the flood elevation maps for awhile and “we didn’t want to sit on that data.” The preliminary map (www.region2coastal.com/sandy/abfe/ )is interactive and allows users to enter an address to find out of they are in a high insurance risk area. For those not in the highest risk area, Zone V, or in FEMA’s insurance Zone A, there “wouldn’t be any requirement to elevate or strengthen their home or structure,” Vick said.
FEMA Effective and Advisory Base Flood Plain Comparison TH
FEMA Effective 100-Year Flood Plain (2007) FEMA Advisory Base Flood Elevation 100-Year Flood Plain (2013) Areas where flood plains overlap 0
Map of Lower Manhattan that New York City officials have prepared based on the latest information released by FEMA. The blue indicates areas that are proposed to be added to the flood zone, the orange indicates areas that are likely to be removed. Red areas would remain in the flood zone if the new map is approved.
At a briefing Feb. 26 with FEMA, Dep. Mayor Cas Holloway said it would take about two years to finalize the new map. The new maps are based on studies that were already under way before Superstorm Sandy. Until finalized maps are available, Advisory Base Flood Elevations can help communities, home and apartment owners and businesses better understand flood risks so that buildings can be modified and constructed to reflect the new reality. Buildings with reduced flood risk because they have been elevated or otherwise modified will have significantly lower insurance premiums. The maps show the probability of a flood in any given year. Advisory Zone V could be flooded by high velocity, breaking waves of three feet or more. Buildings in this zone must be elevated over an open foundation so that waves can break under them. In Zone A, flooding from storm surges can be expected. The lowest floors of buildings in this zone should be used for parking and building access, with utilities raised above the base floor elevation or otherwise flood-proofed. Every flood zone on the FEMA maps has a base flood elevation (BFE) assigned to it which identifies the level to which floodproofing is required by FEMA guidelines. For each location, the guidelines describe a one percent chance of water rising above the coastal water surface elevation in any given year, and a 0.2 percent chance. The elevations that would be protective in the event of a flood are expressed in feet. In the narrow part of Battery Park City, for instance, in Flood Zone V, structures would have to be elevated by 16 to 21 feet above sea level to be safe from anticipated flooding. In Flood Zone A, they would have to be
12 to 16 feet above sea level. The protective elevations vary from building to building and block to block. Flood damage is not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies however the federal government has set up a National Flood Insurance Program, which is available from private insurers, but which the federal government backs and supervises. This insurance can protect homes, businesses and belongings. A home can be insured with NFIP for up to $250,000 for the building. Renters and homeowners can take out up to $100,000 worth of insurance on contents. Up to a total of $1 million is available for non-residential buildings. This coverage would consist of $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for its contents. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Regardless of flood risk, most people can buy NFIP coverage if they live in a community that participates in the program. All five boroughs of New York City participate. Policies are available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters and business owners. However, according to Howard Slatkin, director of sustainability for the New York City Department of City Planning, “Premiums for many properties in New York City are expected to increase substantially until they reach market rate. Buildings that once had preferential rates because they were built before FEMA’s current flood elevation maps and were grandfathered in, will no longer be eligible for those rates. So if you’re constructing a building today, it’s important to use [the new] information in order to prevent being hit by increased flood insurance rates.”
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Quinn still bullish on storm protections BY TER E S E L O E B K R E U Z E R At a Real Estate Board of New York forum on Feb. 28 mayoral candidate and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn left no doubt about her priorities. “Responding to Hurricane Sandy in a comprehensive way is the largest infrastructure challenge of our time, in my opinion,” she said. “It’s about barriers. It’s about materials, how we build, where we build, the building codes, the flood maps.” She also mentioned the need to reevaluate telecommunications and energy systems and gasoline availability, all of which suffered when Sandy came calling on Oct. 29, 2012. Quinn asserted that the city can’t wait a year or two to deal with these issues. “We need to seize the urgency of this moment so that we move forward comprehensively,” she said. The forum, co-sponsored by the Downtown Alliance, which administers a business improvement district in Lower Manhattan, focused on the Lower Manhattan real estate picture. The building in which the forum was held, 100 Water St., was among the large office buildings in the area that had their electrical and communication systems destroyed by flooding and had to close for many months. According to information presented at the forum, 99 percent of these buildings have now reopened. But, said Quinn, “this is a citywide conversation because what we do to protect Lower Manhattan will create more resources in the next storm that don’t have to be here — that can be somewhere else.” She said it was time “to move beyond the endless academic discussions about hardening the exterior of New York City” and make a commitment to creating “a comprehensive network of barriers.” Unlike Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been skeptical about the efficacy of storm surge barriers, Quinn believes that they should be studied with urgency by the Army Corps of Engineers
and if found feasible, deployed along with a network of natural barriers such as large sand dunes, oyster beds, reefs and a bluebelt like the one that has been created in Staten Island. A bluebelt preserves natural drainage corridors including streams, ponds and wetlands, allowing them to convey, store and filter storm water. Quinn commended New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his expressed willingness to buy up properties on Staten Island that will help to expand the bluebelt that protects Staten Island significantly. She also commended U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for pushing the Army Corps of Engineers to embark on a study of manmade sea walls to help protect New York City. Quinn said that immediately after Sandy struck New York City, she and Mayor Bloomberg reconvened the Building Resiliency Task Force — a group of experts in real estate, climate change, environment and building who had previously worked with the city to come up with recommendations about building codes and flood zones. At the end of six months, the task force is supposed to deliver a comprehensive report, but has also been charged with delivering rolling recommendations so that, in Quinn’s words, “we know what we have to change about the building code, we know what we have to change about what we build, how we build and where we build.” Nothing could be 100 percent effective, Quinn acknowledged, but these measures taken together should place New York City in the strongest possible position to prevent future storm-related disasters. Some of the other candidates vying for the Democratic mayoral nomination have been less enthusiastic than Quinn about broad-brush protection for New York City. Former City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., believes that the money isn’t there — and won’t be there — to implement ambitious proposals, any one of which could cost billions.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loab Kreuzer
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said it was time “to move beyond the endless academic discussions about hardening the exterior of New York City.”
Bill de Blasio has said that many of the proposals are disproportionately weighted toward protecting Manhattan, leaving the other boroughs exposed. But in Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is running for City Comptroller, Quinn has an ally. In his final State of the Borough speech on Thursday, Feb. 7, he proposed an East River Blueway between the Brooklyn Bridge and 38th St. with wetlands and a newly constructed pedestrian bridge that could help to serve as a flood barrier. Even before Sandy, he had advocated for a study by the Army Corps of Engineers on the feasibility of storm surge barriers to protect Manhattan. Despite skeptics, Quinn was upbeat that New York City would recover fully. “When we fully turn the corner, we will be an example to cities all across America,” she said.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
y’s t i n u m m o C T B The LG ratic
c o m e D 3 1 0 2 m u r o F l a r o y a M r from: a e h d n eet a lbanese m A l e a m S o n C ma Council r e m r o e Blasio d •F l l i B e t Advoca • Public iu r John L e l l o r t p e Quinn n i t s i • Com r h C son Speaker l i c n u l Thomp l o i B •C r e l l ro r Compt e m r o F •
The fight for equal rights for the LGBT community has witnessed triumphs and progress on marriage equality, adoption, funding for LGBT homeless youth, and more. How will a Democratic mayor continue that progress as well as address the broader community issues facing LGBT New Yorkers? The debate’s sponsors are the Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, and the Stonewall Democrats of NYC, with Gay City News as the media sponsor and GCN editor Paul Schindler as moderator.
Baruch College’s Mason Hall 17 Lexington Ave. at 23rd St. (entrance on 23rd)
Wednesday, March 20 • 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 • Free and open to the public
RSVP at Facebook: NYC Mayor Candidate Forum 2013 Democratic Primary, LGBT Forum
iMAGE CoUrTEsy oF K.C.wiLsEy/FEMA
S.B.A. employees Karen G. Mills and Michael Peacock announced additional Sandy funding for homeowners and small business owners in early February.
FEMA extends deadline to apply for federal assistance B Y teReSe l OeB KReUZeR New Yorkers who haven’t yet filed with FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) for grants or loans to help recover from Sandy damage now have an extra month in which to file. The deadline, previously Feb. 27, has been extended for 13 counties in New York State to March 29, 2013. This is also the new deadline to complete and return applications for low-interest disaster loans to the U.S. Small Business Administration (S.B.A.). The designated counties are the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. FEMA advises people living in these counties to register for disaster aid even if they have insurance. Insurance coverage may not be sufficient or there may be additional damage that was not immediately apparent. Federal grants via FEMA may help to cover such disaster-related expenses as rent for those displaced by Sandy, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious needs not covered by insurance. The S.B.A. may extend low-interest loans for up to $200,000 to repair or replace a storm-damaged primary residence. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 to replace loss of personal property. Businesses and private non-profits
may be eligible to borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace property damaged by Sandy. Individuals can register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device, tablet or smartphone at fema.gov. Follow the link to “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance.” Applicants can also register by phone by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 or TTY, 800462-7585. The line is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice. FEMA representatives at Disaster Recovery Centers can help with the application process, check the status of an application and explain available disaster assistance programs. To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center, go to www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or text DRC and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) and a text message will be sent back with the address. SBA loan applications can be completed online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. All New York State Disaster Recovery Centers have S.B.A. representatives on hand to issue or accept low-interest disaster loan applications and to answer questions. This information and help are also available at S.B.A. business recovery centers and Disaster Loan Outreach Centers. To locate the nearest center, go to www. sba.gov or call 800-659-2955 or TTY, 800877-8339.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Lady Liberty and Ellis Island reopenings still uncertain BY TE RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R Against the backdrop of a relentlessly gray sky, on Feb. 26 Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar stood in Battery Park and delivered some grim news about Liberty and Ellis Islands. Both have been closed since Superstorm Sandy blew through on Oct. 29, 2012. Salazar had just spent around 90 minutes on Liberty Island. “What I found is that there’s a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done,” he said. “The piers have to be replaced, the walkways around the statue have to be fixed and importantly, security and security screening all need to be addressed.” He said that until a decision is made about where security screening will take place, no decision, or even tentative announcement could be made about when the islands will reopen to the public. He did say, however, that Liberty Island might be able to open before Ellis Island. The closures have cost Statue Cruises and other concessionaires that service the islands 300 jobs, Salazar said. In addition, New York City has lost tourism revenue. Previously, screening was done in Battery Park in a tent that many Downtowners criticized for blocking harbor views. It was damaged by Sandy and will be removed in March. The National Park Service has proposed moving security screening to Ellis
Island, however the N.Y.P.D. remains adamant that screening should take place before visitors board the ferry. Salazar said that a decision would be made in consultation with the United States park police, Jonathan B. Jarvis, the director of the National Park Service, the N.Y.P.D. and the Mayor’s Office. He also said that the sequester mandated by Congress “is creating havoc for us across the entire system of the Department of the Interior.” Because of budget restrictions, he said that even after Liberty and Ellis Islands reopen, they may have to go to a five-day-aweek schedule. “We’ll have to furlough employees, we’ll have to keep from hiring the many seasonal [workers] who help us maintain our parks,” he said. “[The sequester] means a hiring freeze where we have many vacancies as we do here at Liberty Island.” The sequester could also affect the timeline of repairs to Liberty and Ellis Islands, Salazar said. Contracts for this and other Department of the Interior work have to be processed by a facility in Denver, Colo., which handles thousands of contracts a year. Cutting staff at that service center will slow down the processing of contracts, which are needed in order to move forward with the docks and with the security measures.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar, speaking in Battery Park on Feb. 26, said Liberty Island could reopen before Ellis Isle, but he did not have a opening date for either.
“The sequester is a mechanism that makes no sense,” Salazar said. It will impact all of the national parks as well as all of the 560 units of the national wildlife refuge system, some of which may have to be closed. If they do stay open, it could be with reduced services. “At the end of the day, [this] has a huge impact on tourism and outdoor recreation,”
Salazar said. “We estimate that around 6 and a half million jobs come from outdoor recreation alone.” Salazar is slated to step down from the Department of the Interior at the end of March. Should she be confirmed by the Senate, his proposed successor, Sally Jewell, will have to deal with Sandy cleanup and with the sequester fall out.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Crowds cheer and jeer plans for Pier 40
By L i n co ln A nd e rso n More than 400 people turned out for a public forum on Pier 40 last Thursday night, to hear presentations on two competing plans for the crumbling structure — including one that would add a pair of 22-story residential towers at the foot of the pier. The standing-room-only 42nd Street crowd packed the ground-floor meeting space at the Saatchi & Saatchi building, just two blocks east of the sprawling but dilapidated 15-acre pier near Houston St. The Pier 40 Champions plan would convert the pier into primarily a sports center, doubling upon its existing, generous athletic field space. To fund sorely needed repairs for the aging pier, the proposal would include two high-rise towers located within Hudson River Park, just east of the pier. However — a critical requirement — a legislative change to the Hudson River Park Act of 1998 would be needed to allow housing in the park. The plan is also backed by the Downtown Little League and the Downtown Soccer League, which are both looking for more field space beyond Battery Park City. The rival plan, by the Durst Organization, is an adaptive reuse of the current pier-shed structure, but would also require a change in law because it requires a long-term lease. The pier’s parking operation would be consolidated into less space via parking stackers, while new commercial uses would be added
to the pier, including a mix of high-tech offices and retail. Sporting their blue soccer training jackets as they filed into the meeting, about 20 members of The zum Schneider FC came to support the Pier 40 Champions plan. “We hold five permits at Pier 40. We’ve been playing there about ten years,” said Joseph Roubeni, the 150-member soccer club’s director. Asked about the two 22-story towers, Roubeni said, “I think it’s a bit of a tradeoff, but if it could help push the financials at Pier 40, then I’m for it.” Meanwhile, standing nearby, Maria Passannante-Derr, a former chairperson of Community Board 2, was lobbying people to oppose the Champions plan and asking them to sign a petition. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Derr said, “I think it’s impractical to build on the water right now.” Tobi Bergman, president of P3 (Pier, Park & Playground Association) — a member of the Pier 40 Champions coalition of youth leagues — said that, as of this Tuesday, they had received more than 5,000 signatures on their own petition in support of their plan. The leagues also did a good job turning out people for the meeting, judging by the strong applause levels at various times during the evening. Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Senators Brad Hoylman and
Daniel Squadron have all made it clear that they have serious issues with the idea of housing in the park. This Tuesday, a spokesperson for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Downtown Express that Quinn also opposes housing in Hudson River Park. “The Speaker supports a set of principles
for the development of Pier 40 including a commitment to no residential development,” the spokesperson, Justin Goodman, said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to work together to expand park space, and add more playing fields at both Pier 40 and Continued on page 26
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Workers moved a plastic climbing “boulder” on Pier 25, March 4 as part of the repair work to the Sandy-damaged playground. The Hudson River Park Trust hopes to have the playground open by April 30.
NID riles some in Tribeca Continued from page 1
than if Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo opened up their checkbook tomorrow and paid for the whole thing. But guess what
folks? It ain’t going to happen.” He pointed out that the tax, 75 cents per square foot of property, would work out to be only about $100 a year for a 1,000 square foot condo when you include a building’s common areas.
Proposed Boundaries Hudson River Park Area Under Discussion
e Stre n o uds
Map of the Tribeca and Hudson Square sections of the proposed NID.
“For a lot of people who live in this neighborhood — $100 per year is not a hardship… If you could say to everyone who uses the park, ‘you kick in a $100… and the park will be in better shape,’ I don’t know too many people who would say, I’m not going to do that.” One may be his neighbor and colleague on the board, Tricia Joyce. “Maybe there’s a box we all drop a dollar in and there’s your $17 million,” she said, referring to the estimated number of visitors. She called it “capricious” that only some visitors would pay for the upkeep. “This is a park that people bike through that live in Brooklyn and Harlem and Staten Island,” she said. “This is a destination park now. It does not only serve the people in the community.” A.J. Pietrantone, who is leading the NID effort as executive director of the Friends group, said about half the park’s visitors live nearby and “we have to draw the boundaries somewhere.” Opponents point out that the proposed district excludes much of Hudson Square because that is already part of a different BID, and that commercial and home renters would pay the tax indirectly. A co-op building would only get one vote toward representation, but condo owners would each get one vote.
Pietrantone said that’s tied directly to the legal differences between the two types of buildings. He said the NID would generate $10 million to help with the park’s upkeep. About $1 million to $1.5 million would be used to improve and maintain the plantings that are technically just outside of the park — along the bikeway and in between Route 9A. Overall, about 40 percent of the funds would go to projects outside the park. Community Board 1 gave initial approval to the plan in December, but it will get a more formal presentation later in the year, assuming the proposal is certified by the city Departments of Small Business Services and City Planning. In addition to Joyce, a few C.B. 1 members voiced skepticism about the proposal last week, so it’s not clear if the board would endorse the plan again. The affected community boards and the borough president will have advisory votes before it heads to the City Council for final approval. Pietrantone said he thinks the plan will get to the Council by fall. Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents Tribeca, has supported BIDs in Chinatown and Soho, but has not yet taken a position on the NID.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
B Y teReSe lOeB KReUZeR
NEW EATERIES FOR BROOKFIELD PLACE:
Eight restaurants have signed up with Brookfield Office Properties, owners of Brookfield Place (formerly called the World Financial Center), to open eateries in the dining terrace now under construction at what used to be called 2 World Financial Center. The tenants have signed ten-year leases with Brookfield. The dining terrace will be located above a food marketplace run by the Poulakakos family. Non-food tenants will be located primarily in the Winter Garden and what is now the Courtyard on the Vesey Street side of the building. Most of the eight restaurants have other outposts in New York City. One is coming to New York from California. Chop’t Creative Salad Company has ten New York City locations where it sells salads topped with 25 homemade, small batch dressings. Also from New York, the Dig Inn Seasonal Market sells health food made from vegetables primarily sourced from local growers. Little Muenster specializes in “super fancy grilled cheese,” and currently has locations on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn. Num Pang is a Cambodianinspired sandwich shop, which now has stores on Union Square and in midtown Manhattan. Skinny Pizza hails from Long Island, serving whole wheat and gluten-free slices and pies. Dos Toros, originally from the San Francisco Bay area of California, will be opening its fourth Manhattan location when it sets up shop in Battery Park City. Dos Toros serves Mexican food such as burritos, tacos and quesadillas. For Sprinkles Cupcakes, which originated in Beverly Hills. Battery Park City will be its second New York outpost. It already has a store in Midtown Manhattan where it sells 20 kinds of cupcakes. Umami Burger, another California import, will be brand new to Manhattan. It arrives from its native Los Angeles preceded by a stellar reputation. Brookfield is looking to sign up six more restaurants. All are scheduled to open in January 2014.
BALL FIELDS UPDATE:
The Downtown Little League hopes to hold its Opening Day on April 7, but the date is still tentative, according to Diane Rohan, who planned the opening day events for the D.L.L. in 2011 and 2012. “We only know that the Battery Park City Authority is replacing the ball fields turf and hopes to open the fields in ‘early April,’ but they have not given us any specific dates,” she said. “We’ve still not heard if the fields will be ready by then. This year, a recordbreaking number of Downtown kids registered to play baseball in the 2013 season.” The opening day activities entail closing part of Warren St. This closure has been
approved by Community Board 1. Rohan said that if the ball fields don’t open on April 7 as planned, she will have to go back to the community board to arrange a new date. There are many other arrangements that would have to be renegotiated as well.
BATTERY PARK CITY IN BLOOM:
In the third week of February, ice sculptors from the Okamoto Studio in Long Island City, Queens were demonstrating their craft on the plaza next to the Winter Garden while elsewhere in Battery Park City, witch hazel was already in bloom. Shintaro Okamoto said that he first started ice sculpting when he and his family lived in Alaska. Now he and his craftsmen largely exercise their art form to create centerpieces for weddings, bar mitzvahs, parties of all kinds, fashion events and other special occasions. In Battery Park City, on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, they created a forest of ice vegetation that Okamoto called “Fantastical Botanical.” The weather was very cold — a good thing for ice sculptures — but happily Brookfield provided free cups of chai tea and cupcakes for the crowd that watched the sculptures emerge. As Okamoto and his crew finished their work, the Hungry March Band entertained with music and dancing. At the same time that the ice garden was under way, Battery Park City sported its usual assemblage of winter blooms. In South Cove and Teardrop Park, witch hazel burst into flower. The witch hazel in South Cove at the Third Place cul-de-sac is called Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise.’ A different kind of witch hazel blooms in Teardrop Park — Hamamelis ‘vernalis,’ with small, orange flowers. The Teardrop Park witch hazel is native to the Ozark Plateau in central North America. It grows wild in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It blooms from mid-winter to early spring (“vernalis” means “spring-flowering”). Its flowers tend to be strongly scented. The South Cove witch hazel is a hybrid that was developed by the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and introduced in 1928. One of its parents, H. japonica, came from Japan, the other, H. mollis, is native to China. The extracts of some species of witch hazel have medicinal uses as an astringent and to help heal acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions, but Battery Park City’s witch hazels have been cultivated for their ornamental value.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
On Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, members of the Okamoto Studio demonstrated ice carving on the plaza next to the Winter Garden of what is now called “Brookfield Place” (formerly, the World Financial Center). The forest of ice sculptures was entitled “Fantastical Botanical.” Fortunately, the weather was cold so that the sculptures didn’t melt. Brookfield treated the audience to hot cups of chai tea and cupcakes.
The Solaire, the nation’s first LEED Gold-certified residential building, is owned by The Albanese Organization, which also owns the Verdesian and the Visionaire in Battery Park City. Both of these buildings also have electric charging stations. It takes three and a half to four hours to charge a car. Two cars can be charged at the same station at the same time. New York City is one of the leaders in
electric vehicle adoption rates with 2,598 registered vehicles as of January 2013. To attend the unveiling of the new electric charging station at The Solaire, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408-481-4580. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb10@ gmail.com
One way to cut automobile gasoline bills is to purchase a vehicle that runs partially or entirely on electricity. The newest thing in electric charging stations for automobiles will be unveiled at The Solaire, 20 River Terrace, on Monday, March 11 at 11 a.m. It is part of the ChargePoint network, which offers 11,000 charging locations — the largest network of electric vehicle charging spots in the world. With the help of a $1 million investment from NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), it is expanding its network in New York State. The Solaire has had an electric charging station since it opened in 2003. The newest iteration is able to charge more models of automobiles. For people with monthly parking in the Solaire garage, there is no cost for the service.
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March 6 - March 19, 2013
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Quinn’s middle way It’s become de rigeur for our top city officials to all give annual State of the City addresses. As it turns out, these speeches are about more than simply raising one’s profile, and, in fact, offer many good ideas. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in her State of the City address last month, laid out an ambitious proposal for preserving and increasing the city’s stock of affordable and middle-class housing. Under her plan, 40,000 new middle-income apartments would be built over the next ten years. The money for this, Quinn said, would come from finding “increased efficiencies” in city government, basically reallocating money from wasteful programs. It’s not as if nothing is being done now on the affordable-housing front: Under Mayor Bloomberg, 4,000 low-income units are being created per year. Yet it was refreshing to hear an official of Quinn’s caliber speaking forthrightly about helping keep this city a place where the middle class can still live. Despite his creation of low-income units, Bloomberg is thought of as a mayor who has focused on big-ticket development projects, such as the Hudson Yards. Under his administra-
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She cited Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Throgs Neck as places on the tipping point of becoming fully gentrified, though, surprisingly, not any areas right in her own Third Council District. (Then again, she is, after all, running for mayor.) Of course, the proof will be in the pudding as to how many of her ambitious proposals come to fruition. But it was uplifting to hear her focus so exclusively on the middle class and affordability. People of lesser economic means strive to rise to become a part of the middle class; so it’s also about ensuring that those who work hard and improve their lot in life will have a place here, as well. The late Mayor Ed Koch produced more affordable housing — 180,000 units — than anyone, and it was one of his proudest achievements. It’s an achievement not lost on Quinn. “The dream and promise of the middle class — that’s the dream that Mayor Koch was thinking about,” the speaker said. She ended with a pledge to the middle class: “New York was — New York is — and New York always will be your city.” Let’s hope so, that the Big Apple won’t increasingly be a heartless place of empty pied-à-terres, but a place with a healthy mix of income levels and strong middle-class backbone.
Letters to the Editor Ed & Ike
Arnold Rozon Contributors
tion, there’s finally been movement forward on the long-dormant Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Of course, these mega-projects are essential for the city to move forward and keep pace. And Bloomberg deserves credit for jumpstarting them — and, let’s not forget, SPURA will have a healthy amount of affordable housing. Admittedly, Quinn has, in fact, often been criticized for being cozy with big developers. Nevertheless, her promise not to forget the middle class and New Yorkers of even less means was heartening and refreshing — and needed. She noted that the Mitchell-Lama program created 100,000 middle-income rentals and co-ops in the 1960s and ’70s, but that many of these have been lost as Mitchell-Lama owners have converted to market rate. So, Quinn said, her plan would create a Permanent Affordability Act to give property owners new tax incentives for not converting their units to market rate. What’s more, Quinn added, her plan could be applied to existing affordable units. The Council speaker said, while some neighborhoods around the city have already gotten out of reach of the middle class, “we’re not giving up on any communities.”
To The Editor: A few words in tribute to Mayor Koch’s evolved “liberal with sanity” political philosophy. When he appeared on “Hardball” a number of years ago, Chris Matthews reviewed his political life. Matthews mentioned that Koch received his political baptism in the Adlai Stevenson campaign of 1952, and then in 1963 beat the leader of the Village’s Tamawa Club, Carmine DeSapio, as part of Village Independent Democrats’ retribution for Tammany Hall not supporting Adlai in 1956 against President Eisenhower. Mayor Koch, to my amazement and absolute delight, responded, “Thank God Eisenhower became president.” Thrilled (as a very young member of Citizens, then Students for Eisenhower), I called two “Madly for Adlai” friends and they too were stunned. So I say, more power to Koch’s “liberals with sanity” (and even more importantly nowadays, “conservatives with sanity”) too.
May both philosophies survive and guide us. I l-IKE-d Ed! Walter Silverman
In search of hard copy To The Editor: I first started to read my copy of Downtown Express when I began to work in a city government building on Water St. Every Thursday I looked forward to picking up my copy and reading about Downtown New York City, which I knew little about. In 2012, I moved to Hanover Square and picked up my copy inside the building near the mailboxes. After Hurricane Sandy, our copies of the newspaper stopped arriving. No one knows why. The only contact I have with the paper is online. My husband does not receive a copy. What has happened to the hard copy of the paper? Today, I took a walk and I could not find one box for copies of Downtown Express.
Your paper is a valuable resource to residents in this area. We need to read your paper. Everyone needs to know what is happening to the takeover of land to build yet more high-rise apartment buildings. Everyone needs to know about Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to take over a wonderful historic building in this area, and turn it into, you guessed, another high-rise apartment building. This area does not have room for more residents, let alone the people and tourists who overcrowd it now. Please return our paper to us so we can be informed about what is going on in the Seaport/Wall Street area. Without your paper we know nothing.
Letters Policy Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clar-
Diane Wintering Fabrizio Editor’s Note: Thanks for letting us know about this and for your compliments about the paper. We are working with our distributor to improve distribution in the Financial District. Anyone who notices a similar problem should call 212-229-1890 or email Letters@DowntownExpress.com.
ity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to 515 Canal St., New York, NY, 10013.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
A better park or an unfair tax? Debating the NID Pro By H . C l a u d e S hos ta l As a residential property owner within the boundaries of the proposed Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District, I fully support the formation of the H.R.P. NID. Hudson River Park and the other waterfront parks that have been developed over the past few years have brought us back to our harbor roots, improved our quality of life and vastly upgraded nearby neighborhoods and their property values. I have had the good fortune to be involved in many of these efforts. Beginning as the general manager of the State Park Commission for New York City, I helped start the planning and construction of Riverbank State Park, and opened Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx, the first state park in New York City. In that role and then working for the City, we helped to bring the South Street Seaport into being. Then, as president of the Regional Plan Association, I served on the board of Riverside South with the creation of that waterfront park space as out highest priority. At R.P.A., we also led the efforts to create Governors Island as a great public open space and helped in the advocacy for Brooklyn Bridge Park and the evolution of the conservancy on whose board I still serve. I also served on the steering committee with Al Butzel that spearheaded the creation of the Hudson River Park Trust. The lessons from this experience are clear. First, the value of these parks to neighbors, users and the city as a whole is immense. Second, since the new state park investments of the early 1970s, all of the new waterfront parks came into being only as the result of a new model of public/private partnership. In this model, state and city government has come up with all or most of the capital funding and private revenue streams account for most or all of the operating funds. They would not have happened if government had been locked to bear the ongoing maintenance costs. Third, waterfront parks are uniquely costly to maintain. The upkeep of bulkheads and piers built out into the water combined with exposure to waterfront weather, which is growing ever more severe, require ongoing costly capital maintenance to keep these investments from crumbling in
their difficult environments. Finally, looking to government to be responsible for this capital maintenance sentences these great new parks to a life of deterioration and decay. The budget shortfalls facing Hudson River Park have been well documented and are alarming. Filling the gaps will require a variety of new revenue sources and probably state legislation to permit some of them. The proposed Neighborhood Improvement District takes a proven tool that has served many commercial and residential areas extremely well and adopts it imaginatively to the needs of Hudson River Park. It is a
Con B y Lyn n El l sworth If you live near the river, watch out: a new tax is coming. The tax will be managed by an undemocratic organization called a “Neighborhood Improvement District.” Only the few who live near the river will be in the NID and pay its tax, raising $10 million a year. Sixty percent of that will go for Hudson River Park maintenance, 40 percent is a slush fund that the NID board will dole out. Bad idea. I already live in two taxing entities more democratic than NID’s: the City of New York and the State of New York. Those entities already have a process to distribute my tax
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Tribeca section of the Hudson River Park.
tool that other parks would be wise to investigate. The Hudson River Park NID proposal has been diligently researched and exhaustively vetted. It is reasonable, it is prudent and it is necessary. Government has done its part. It is now time for us — local residents and businesses — to do our part and support the creation of the Hudson River Park NID. H. Claude Shostal is a residential property owner within the boundaries of the proposed Hudson River Park NID. Information on the plan is at HRPNID.com.
dollars. So why create a private government for Hudson Park? Inside that private government, why deny people the right to vote on the basis of one-person, one-vote? Supporters sniff that the tax will be small, aren’t I rich enough to ignore it, don’t I love parks? The answer is simple: I love many public goods, not just parks. I also believe in democratic ways of doing things: NIDS (and BIDs) create private governments that undermine democracy. Hudson River Park is a textbook case of a broad public good, as close to a public roadway as a park can
be — 17 million people use it. The Hudson River Park Act even says so: “The planning and development of the Hudson River Park as a public park is a matter of state concern and in the interest of the people of the state.” NID marketers point to a selffinanced study that says buildings near the park gain in value from proximity to it. But statistical models like these are just marketing ploys. There are too many confounding variables that affect property values such as sea levels, hurricanes or historic district status. What is really going on is this: they want to tap into a guaranteed revenue stream without having to go mano-a-mano with the city and state legislatures every year. Wouldn’t every city agency love to have a guaranteed budget every year? NIDs are undemocratic and inappropriate for residential areas. Here’s how. “Tax-lots” — not people — get the right to vote in a NID. Market-rate renters get zero votes but they still pay in: the landlord votes for them, then raises rents. The structure is bad for co-ops. My 30-unit co-op is a single tax-lot with one vote, but my neighbor’s five-unit condo gets five votes. In the long run, our city and state legislators need to revisit legislation so the park can be like Central Park or Jones Beach. It will then compete with all the other public goods, city or state, for a limited supply of money under the control of elected officials. It will end up part of our city or state parks systems. There are other problems with this proposal. The Orwellian process of “balloting” for NIDs merits a separate essay. NIDS create an incentive to overbuild — not good for historic districts. NIDS also divide communities through an unaccountable board that will make non-profits from Chambers to 59th Sts. dance to their tune: they’re hinting at $600,000/ year in slush to get us to ignore the bigger picture. If you are against the NID, you can contact email@example.com to get a ballot to use to vote against it. You can also sign a petition, the link to it can be found at Facebook/ TribecaTrust. Lynn Ellsworth founded the Friends of Duane Park in 1994 and is now involved with the Tribeca Trust.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
transit sam ALTERNATE SIDE PARKIN G IS IN EFFECT ALL WEEK In case last weekend’s toll and fare increases didn’t make your commute sluggish enough, daylight savings time kicks in 2 a.m. Sunday. This means that Monday morning will be an Accident Alert Day: Drivers will battle collective sleep deprivation, making roads more dangerous. Crash and fatality rates are likely to increase by around eight percent the week after daylight savings time takes effect, so make sure you’re fully awake before hitting the road. On the Brooklyn Bridge, all Manhattan-bound lanes will close 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. After the Nets play the Wizards 7:30 p.m. Friday and the Hornets 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, fan traffic will be diverted to the Manhattan Bridge, adding congestion on Canal St. all the way to the Holland Tunnel. At the Lincoln Tunnel, all lanes of the New Jersey-bound helix (the spiral approach road to the tunnel) will be closed 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to 4:30 a.m. Thursday. All lanes of the Manhattan-bound helix will be closed 10:30 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Expect increased traffic in the Holland Tunnel. Basketball is taking over at the Garden: The Knicks play 8 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Big East college tournament will begin Tuesday and run through next Saturday. Hudson St. access to the Holland Tunnel will be restricted again as construction continues. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends, you may be forced to take Spring St. to Varick St. to the tunnel, so plan accordingly. The Canal St. entrance will remain open. A reconstruction project at Peck Slip began last week and will bring roadway closures through the summer. One eastbound
lane of traffic on Peck Slip will operate between Pearl and South Sts., and there will be no parking in the project area, bounded by Peck Slip, Pearl, Dover and South Sts. Gouverneur Lane will completely close between Front and South Sts. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The ongoing closure of the north lane of Chambers St. between Greenwich St. and Broadway will extend to Elk St. 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Chambers St. runs one-way westbound, with eastbound M22 buses rerouted to Warren St.
From the mai lbag: Dear Transit Sam, Do you know when the Battery Park Underpass will fully reopen? The lane closures are obtrusive and I drive through every day and never see anyone working. Tim, New York Dear Tim, I’d say no earlier than June. The state D.O.T. just released an update on the B.P.U. closures. The south tube (from West St. to the F.D.R.) will completely close every week from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturday until late June. During the closures, state D.O.T. workers will replace equipment damaged in Sandy. For readers who take the B.P.U. to the Brooklyn Bridge during weeknight closures, try cutting across West St. further north. If you take Chambers St., you’ll find it closed at Greenwich where you’ll be forced to turn right. Make the next left on to Warren St., continue three blocks to Broadway, and make a right. Stay in the left lane and just after City Hall Park, follow the road and you’ll see the Park Row ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge on your left. Transit Sam
C.B.1 committees Continued from page 6
“I do think the ball fields task force was eliminated prematurely. I think that was vividly illustrated by what happened with the ball fields and Sandy. If we’d had a task force that could have jumped on that, we could have been even more effective. The lack of green space in the neighborhood is acute,” he said. While Tricia Joyce’s Youth and Education committee took on the Battery Park City ball fields after Sandy along with Mark Costello of Downtown Little League, Joyce said that it was “way too much for any of these committees to take on.” She also had similar concerns about the Waterfront Committee. “One or the other,” she said, referring to the reinstatement of a committee or task force dedicated to park space.
Jeff Galloway, chair of the Planning Committee, also supported the idea but again reminded members that the decision fell to Hughes; all they could do was make a recommendation. “One reason you elect a chair is that you have trust in the chair to make those decisions,” he said. Tom Goodkind, former chairperson of the Housing Committee, however, thought there was not enough discussion. “I happen to believe in shared decision making and I happen to believe in shared consultations,” he said. “Whether or not it’s the decision of all the members, I think it would be a very generous approach to consult them.” At the Executive Committee meeting, Notaro encouraged those who wanted to be involved in housing to join the planning committee, noting that only one former Housing member, Adam Malitz, had joined so far.
With Reporting by Josh Rogers
March 6 - March 19, 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 16, “Greening of the City” celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by 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 Comm e r c e ” e x p l o r e s h o w t h e Wo o l w o r t h t o w e r u s e d the architectural vocabulary of medieval cathedrals. On April 27, “Woolworth’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 m o n k e y, d r a g o n o r l i o n ( h i n t : i t h a s s o m e t h i n g t o d o w i t h r a i n w a t e r a n d t h e r o o f ! ) . A f t e r t h e t o u r, participants will design 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 212-945-6324 or email 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 (btw. First Place & Little West St.). Regular museu m h o u r s a r e We d . - S u n . , 1 2 - 6 p m . A d m i s s i o n i s $ 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. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily S t o r y t i m e . A t 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 Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit scholastic.com/sohostore.
FACE TO FACE: AN EXHIBIT AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS T h e C h i l d r e n ’s M u s e u m o f the Arts celebrates its quarter century of promoting self-expression and esteem — 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 child r e n ’s a r t f r o m o v e r 5 0 c o u n t r i e s , d a t i n g b a c k t o t h e 1 9 3 0 s . “ W h e n v i e w e d t o g e t h e r, ” s a y s C M A Deputy Director Lucy Ofiesh, “the exhibit represents the diversity of self-expression and identity across the world and through the years.” To incorp o r a t e C M A’s p h i l o s o p h y o f h a n d s - o n - a r t - m a k i n g , the exhibit will be accompanied by a variety of interactive installations that examine the texture, shape and sound of portraits. Hands-on stations will encourage 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 t h e m u s e u m ’s P e r m a n e n t C o l l e c t i o n . C M A w i l l accept 25 original works, in honor of 25 years of operation, to be selected by the museum’s curator i a l t e a m ( w i t h o n e c h o s e n b y a n o n l i n e v i e w e r ’s choice campaign). At the Children’s Museum of the Arts, in the CMA Gallery (103 Charlton St.). Hours: M o n . & We d . , 1 2 - 5 p m ; T h u r s . & F r i . , 1 2 - 6 p m ; S a t . & Sun., 10am-5pm. Admission: $11 (Seniors and 0-12 months, free). Thursdays are pay-as-youw i s h . F o r i n f o , c a l l 2 1 2 - 2 7 4 - 0 9 8 6 o r v i s i t c m a n y. org. For Twitter: twitter.com/cmainnyc.
TRINITY CHURCH PRESENTS FAMILY FRIDAY PIZZA & MOVIE NIGHT Every so often, every family should get together for pizza and a movie. To help make that noble goal a regular thing, Trinity Wall Street hosts this third-Friday-of-the-month event for kids who are hungry (for food and entertainment) and adults who are too tired to cook (or even dial for delivery!). The March edition of “Family Friday Pizza & Movie Night” features “Wall-E” — Disney’s not-too-distant future tale of a robot who collects garbage from an abandoned planet (ours) that has been overrun with trash. As he sorts through the rubbish, he finds forgotten treasures that he keeps for himself. Love and adventure soon follow — and following “Wall-E,” Movie Night offers up “Kung Fu Panda” on April 19 and Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” on May 17. “Wall-E” screens Fri., March 15, 6-7:30pm. At Charlotte’s Place (107 Greenwich St., rear of 74 Trinity Place, btw. Rector & Carlisle Sts.). For more info, call 212-602-0800 or visit trinitywallstreet.org/calendar. For Twitter: @CharlottesPlc. For Facebook, facebook. com/CharlottesPlaceNYC. Charlotte’s Place is a free space. Open to everyone, it is supported and operated by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in the city of New York.
AVNER THE ECCENTRIC, IN “EXCEPTIONS TO GRAVITY” Canal Park Playhouse welcomes to its previously warped boards a thoroughly warped performer who bends the rules of gravity, and logic, to his will (for your viewing pleasure). Known on the stage as Avner the Eccentric, Avner Eisenberg has toured the world performing everything from Shakespeare to Brecht — and in this latest incarnation, (“Exceptions to Gravity”), the recent inductee into the International Clown Hall of Fame returns to the classics, so to speak, in the form of timeless physical comedy. On weekends, brunch at the theater’s Waffle Iron Café is available before and after the show. The menu includes hot-off-the-waffle-iron frittatas, French toast, traditional Belgian Waffles and two famous house specialties: The Playhouse Pink Waffle (a pink waffle with strawberries and whipped cream) and the Decadent Dark Chocolate Waffle. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Really? Well, then, entree salads are also available! “Avner” appears through March 25, at Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). Fri. at 7pm, Sat. at 1pm/7pm, Sun. at 1pm/4pm. For tickets ($20), call 866-811-4111 or visit canalparkplayhouse.com.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
South Street Seaport Museum exhibits evoke the past Tranquil galleries document folk art, Florida, NYC Streets THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM
12 Fulton St., btw. Front & South Sts. Open daily, 10am-6pm Admission: $10, free for children under 9 Call 212-748-8600 or visit southstreetseaportmuseum.org
BY TE RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R Like a stout ship that was buffeted by a severe ocean storm, the South Street Seaport Museum came through Superstorm Sandy battered but fundamentally intact. The museum’s elevator and escalator no longer work. To see the exhibits, it’s necessary to climb the stairs of the early 19th-century buildings on Schermerhorn Row that house the galleries. But happily, the museum’s collections weren’t damaged — and some special exhibits that would have closed by now, had Sandy not intervened, are still on display. “Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions,” an exhibit drawn from American Folk Art Museum’s 19th-century paintings, sculptures, carvings and other artifacts related to the maritime history of New York City, was supposed to have closed in early October. Now, the closing date is March 31. Another exhibit, “Romancing New York,” of watercolors by Frederick Brosen, was also supposed to have closed by now. It was held over from its original closing date of Jan. 6, 2013 and will close on March 10. For the “Compass” exhibit, four galleries are arranged around the themes of exploration, social networking, shopping and the environmental conditions that affected ships and the men who worked on them. Voyages aboard commercial sailing ships often took three to five years. The exhibit depicts the men who went to sea, the women who waited for them to return and the children who grew up — and in some cases, died — while their fathers were away. It also shows some of the fancy goods that the ships brought to New York City from all over the world and the comfortable life that this commerce enabled, at least for some. One room of the exhibit contains portraits of fashionably dressed women, children with expensive dollhouses and other toys and handpainted furniture embellished with gold leaf. As sailing ships gave way to steam, the workshops that had formerly carved ships’ fig-
ureheads had to find new sources of revenue. Larger-than-life statues that once stood outside tobacconists’ shops display the craftsmanship of some of these late 19th-century carvers. One of the most prominent artisans was a man named Samuel Anderson Robb, who had studios first on Canal Street and later on Centre Street. Several pieces from his workshop are in the “Compass” show, including a Sultana dating from around 1880 who stands with her right hand held aloft — reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty, but holding a bunch of cigars instead of a torch. Much of the last gallery of “Compass” revolves around the wind and weather that were the linchpins of maritime life. Weathervanes were an important addition to the rooftops of many buildings. Though a necessity, they were also frequently decorative. One in the exhibit is particularly elaborate, depicting a horse-drawn fire engine. It was made around 1880 of copper and zinc with traces of gilding. The description notes that early structures in the seaport and Wall Street areas of Manhattan were usually made of wood rather than bricks, which were expensive. “Firefighting equipment was of paramount importance but did not prove effective on a winter’s night in 1835, when the water froze in the hoses and fire swept through lower Manhattan, destroying more than 600 structures,” says the descriptive sign next to this weathervane. On the floor above “Compass” is a gallery holding an exhibit of the woodcarvings of a selftaught artist named Mario Sanchez who lived in Key West, Fla. and who portrayed the world of his early 20th-century childhood in his carvings. “A Fisherman’s Dream: Folk Art by Mario Sanchez” was supposed to open on Nov. 8, 2012 and run through Dec. 31, 2012 — but the South Street Seaport Museum’s shaky electrical and heating systems, severely damaged by Sandy, delayed the opening. Finally, the exhibit opened on Dec. 14 and will be in place through March 31. The show was mounted by the South Street Seaport Museum in partnership with the Key West Art & Historical Society (where Sanchez worked as a janitor) and the American Folk Art Museum. The 43 bas-relief carvings in the show sketch out a sunny world where women stood on a street corner and gossiped, fishermen sold their catch directly to local residents and a horse-drawn ice wagon passed by, carrying blocks of ice delivered by a sailing ship that came to Key West from Maine. One carving shows the grocery store that belonged to Sanchez’s grandfather. In that same carving, he depicted his mother, Rita, sitting on a porch with himself and his older brother next to her. On the back of that picture, he noted that when he created it in 1971, she was still alive and 85 years old. In this tranquil world, there were intimations of change. One carving shows a train from the Florida East Coast Railway belching smoke as it passed above a little island where men sat around a card table, a woman tended
Photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
The 19th-century Manhattan waterfront was an exotic olio of wares shipped from all over the world, imaginative shop signs and carved, wooden statuary placed in front of stores so that passers-by would know what goods were available within. These artifacts are part of the “Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions” exhibit, on view through March 31.
This weathervane in the shape of a horse-drawn, steam fire engine was made in Boston around 1880. Although weathervanes were a necessity in 19th-century port cities, they were often highly decorative as well. The “Compass” exhibit includes several weathervanes that show a high degree of imagination and craftsmanship.
her chickens, a man fished with a pole and a child and dog raced along the beach. The trains brought people from New York City to Key West. When the tracks were washed away by a hurricane in 1935, they were replaced by a highway that allowed cars to access the island for the first time. The most famous of Sanchez’s works is called “El Galano” — a depiction of an old fisherman alone in his boat. Sanchez based it on Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Spencer Tracy, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the old
fisherman in the 1958 film of the book, once owned this carving and gave it to Katharine Hepburn. On the back of it, Sanchez wrote a poem about the old man. In fact, several of the carvings have notations on the backs and they are very much worth reading. One of them provides some information that is not on the descriptive card in the front of the carving. Called “The Lucky Fish Rhumba,” it shows some strangely clad people in black hoods and cloaks on a Key West street. Continued on page 23
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Battered by Sandy, but still intact Continued from page 22
“This is an initiation dance of Nanigos, a secret voodoo cult which customarily held it ceremonies on Whitehead Street, Key West,” says a typed note on the back of this carving (spelling and grammar, as written). “The participants used a half-dead chicken or fish in their rites and their gesticulations became more and more Afro as their native music rose to a high pitch.” The carving had a price tag of $350. Next to Sanchez’s gallery of memories is another gallery with the remarkable watercolors of Frederick Brosen. In these pictures, he shows historic structures of Lower Manhattan and the kitsch of Coney Island, creating a world of complete stillness. Nothing moves — not a person, not a car, not a leaf, not a bird. Nothing. These paintings might seem photographic at first glance, but they are not. Brosen works on his pictures with meticulous care, studying his subjects carefully over a period of time, then drawing them and finally applying the paint. They envelop the viewer as they must have enveloped him in the making of them. He has said that a single painting may take him 10 weeks to create. Also on this floor of the museum is an exhibit of photographs called “Street Shots/ NYC” with images from 125 professional and amateur photographers of the city’s kaleidoscopic street life. A red dress hangs from the fire escape of a tenement. An enormous American flag is draped over a building on Mott Street. A baby howls as its mother tries to take a picture. In a photo called “NYC Morning Walk Home,” a woman in a short, tight skirt and high heels passes an elderly, white-bearded Jew with his prayer books under his arm, who looks at her askance. “Street Shots” will be at the museum through April 5. Finally, on this fl oor, visitors can
glimpse one of the most intriguing parts of the South Street Seaport Museum — the remnants of the old hotels that the Schermerhorn Row buildings once housed. By the time these buildings had been turned into cheap hotels, they had definitely come down in the world. That the six buildings of Schermerhorn Row were built of brick and not wood says something about the affluence of their builder and the importance of the project. Peter Schermerhorn erected them in 18111812 to serve as counting houses for the seaport merchants. At the time, they were among the largest and most imposing structures in the city. Over the ensuing decades, they were repurposed as warehouses with stores on the ground floor. Several hotels for seamen and traveling salesmen opened in the buildings in the latter part of the 19th century. On the fourth floor of the museum, visitors can see what remains of an elevator shaft through which the writer Joseph Mitchell and the restaurateur Louis Morino (owner of Sloppy Louie’s on the ground floor of 92 South Street) ascended in 1952 to the boarded-up third floor of the building, formerly occupied by the Fulton Ferry Hotel. There they discovered discarded iron bedsteads, bureaus, seltzer bottles and signs reading, “All Gambling…Strictly Prohibited” and “The Wages of Sin is Death.” Mitchell wrote about this in his famous article, “Up in the Old Hotel.” Visitors can still see the hotel’s laundry room with its racks for drying linens, its large tubs, and its mangle for pressing excess water from the wash — and they can also see the cubicles in which the guests slept, with strips of faded wallpaper still hanging from the partially exposed laths. No exhibit in the museum is more evocative than the very structure of the building itself.
Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
The South Street Seaport Museum on Schermerhorn Row once housed several hotels for seamen. In 1952, the writer Joseph Mitchell and Louis Morino — who owned a restaurant called Sloppy Louie’s on this site (92 South St.) — used this old elevator shaft to enter the boarded-up Fulton Ferry Hotel (in operation from 1874 to 1935), where they found iron bedsteads, bureaus and a sign reading “All Gambling... Strictly Prohibited.”
Photographed in 2010, Matt Weber’s “Coney Island” is part of the “Street Shots/ NYC” exhibit, on view through April 5.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Tours take you up stairs and through NoHo A TRIBUTE TO THE TREDWELLS’ IRISH SERVANTS Sun., March 17 at 12pm, 2pm & 4pm Included with regular admission; reservations not required
GLAMOUR & GREED, MONEY & MURDER TOUR OF NOHO Sundays at 1pm $15 ($20 includes museum admission) At Merchant’s House Museum 29 E. Fourth St., btw. Lafayette& Bowery Regular Museum Hours: Thurs.-Mon., 12-5pm Admission: $10, $5 for students/seniors For info, call 212-777-1089 Visit merchantshouse.org
BY SCOTT STIFFLER On St. Patrick’s Day, climb the deep and very narrow stairway of the Merchant’s House Museum — to find a faithfully restored fourth floor servant’ quarters and hear how its Irish inhabitants lived and worked. As it turns out, domestic life in New York City from 1835-1865 as lived by the Tredwells and their servants was every bit as complex and fraught with class distinction dynamics as their “Downton Abbey” counterparts. Merchant’s House has more bygone intrigue to serve up, every Sunday, in the form of their new walking tour of 19th century NoHo (which harkens back to a time gloriously bereft of such snazzy monikers). “Glamour & Greed, Money & Murder” takes you on a journey back in time to the elite Bond Street stomping grounds of the wealthy mercantile families whose grand Federal mansions once lined the area’s tranquil cobblestone streets. The well-known homes of the Astors, Vanderbilts and Delanos may be gone — but the Tredwell home still stands, frozen in time, waiting for you to explore. That can be done at your leisure, once the NoHo tour has given you the historical skinny on Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, The Cooper Union, Astor Place (site of 1849’s bloody Opera House riot) and the site of
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the scandalous, still-unsolved 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell. The Irish Servants tribute is included with regular admission. The NoHo “Glamour & Greed” walking
tour is approximately 50 minutes. Promenaders will return to the museum in time to take the 2pm Guided Tour, if they wish. For both events, reservations are not necessary.
March 6 - March 19, 2013
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March 6 - March 19, 2013
Pier 40 plans Continued from page 16
throughout the park.” Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust — the state-city authority that operates the 5-mile-long riverfront park — outlined the greensward’s dire financial situation. The park is supposed to be financially self-sustaining, but with 70 percent of it complete, the park’s operating budget has grown to $16 million per year. Every day something new is going wrong with the infrastructure of the 50-year-old building on the pier and needs to be fixed, Wils said. “Pier 40, historically, supported 35 percent of the park’s revenue,” she noted. “Now the park is funding Pier 40 — it’s costing $2 million [per year] for the Trust to keep up Pier 40. “We’re looking at well over $125 million to fix the pier — and we just don’t have the money,” she said. So, the Trust is now mulling a “managed shutdown” of Pier 40, she said, and this year will consider shutting down the parking on the pier’s south side, where the roof is in bad shape. Wils indicated the Trust’s plan is to put out a request for proposals, or R.F.P., for the pier in a few years. But, unlike previous R.F.P.s that failed in 2003 and 2005, she said, this time the park act should be opened first, to allow a wider range of legal uses. Douglas Durst, chairperson of the Durst Organization, one of the city’s biggest developers, gave the opening remarks about his proposal. Durst was until recently chairperson of Friends of Hudson River Park, the park’s leading fundraising group, but resigned last December over differences with the Trust about Pier 40. Differing from Wils’s assessment of Pier 40, he said, “The building is in good condition and can be used to support the park. Adaptive reuse of the pier would be the fastest way to stabilize it while minimizing the impact on existing uses,” clearly referring to the popular sports fields. Durst said Pier 40’s current layout is just what today’s tech firms are looking for: large floor plates and high ceilings. His plan would avoid “the demolition and disruption of building two, 300-foot towers and razing half of the pier shed,” he added. On the other hand, the Pier 40 Champions plan calls for opening up the pier by removing the middle segments of its eastern and western walls. Durst’s project cost would be $384,000. Partnering with Durst in the concept proposal is Ben Korman, who used to run the parking at Pier 40. Until now, Durst and Korman have said they are just “putting the idea out there” to be helpful. But last Thursday, Korman hinted they might be interested in actually doing the project. The Champions plan, like Durst’s, also features a running track. By removing the middle part of the pier shed on Pier 40’s eastern and western sides, Bergman explained, “The idea is to connect the park to the pier and the pier to the river.” Bergman took a shot at Durst’s concept plan, saying that its retail space would necessarily attract large-sized retailers, and that it would take years to locate a good one.
“You can’t have mom-and-pop shops, Murray’s Cheese, in 400,000 square feet of space or even 100,000 square feet of space,” he maintained. “You need an anchor tenant.” Due to Lower Manhattan’s population boom, the Champions’ idea calls for adding even more playing-field space to Pier 40 than there is now. “The same amount of fields is not enough,” Bergman asserted. “We’re going to have conflicts between one community and the next.” As to the towers’ height, he said it would roughly be the same size as the Saatchi and Saatchi building in which the forum was being held. The Champions total project cost is slated at $691 million, including $493 million for the two towers and $197 million for pier repairs and renovations. The Trust recently commissioned real estate consulting firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to do financial models for both the Durst and Champions plans. Newmark recommended that the best scenario for the Champions plan would be one 280-unit residential condo building paired with one 326unit “80/20” rental building, with 80 percent market-rate units and 20 percent affordable units; the developer would get a property-tax break for creating the affordable units. In Newmark’s analysis, rents for the market-rate units would range from $3,580 for studios, to $4,500 for one-bedrooms, $6,500 for two-bedrooms, and $8,645 for three-bedrooms. Meanwhile, the affordable studios would rent for $647 per month, onebedrooms $812, two-bedrooms $1,175, and three-bedrooms $1,560. The Newmark report concluded that Durst’s numbers were overly optimistic. Each team claimed that their proposal during construction would be less disruptive of the ball fields’ use than the rival plan. A convert to the idea of housing in the park, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said he felt the park act should be opened up to allow new types of uses for both Pier 76, at W. 36th St., in his district, as well as Pier 40. Gottfried co-authored the park act along with former state Senator Franz Leichter, who was seated in the front row, next to Bergman. However, new State Senator Hoylman took a hard line on residential use in the park. He also emphasized that the city and state need to allocate more money “to keep up the park,” especially given that the city recently allocated $260 million for Governors Island and has given $130 million to the High Line. So far, over the years, the city and state have given Hudson River Park $350 million to fund construction costs. For her part, Glick said, “The pressure for development on the waterfront will never change. The easiest thing to do is say, ‘Let’s take a chance on high-rise development.’ ” “I appreciate the effort of the Champs,” she said. “They were given financial targets by the Trust. But two 22-story buildings right in front of Pier 40 would have your kids playing in shadows in the morning, and in the afternoon — with the pier shed down on the west side — winds coming in. “The only thing that keeps [the Trust] from making bad decisions are the protections in the legislation,” she stressed. Also, she asserted, “You don’t need $120 million right at the beginning. You can fix the pier in phases.”
March 6 - March 19, 2013
Waiting lists return to most Downtown schools Continued from page 1
Education Committee, said at the community board’s meeting Feb. 26. “This would serve to dismantle programs, jeopardize upper grade sections from opening or continue with the sections they have, and force class sizes near or over 30 for the first grades,” Joyce wrote in an email. The school opened five K classes in Fall 2012, but cannot do so this year as it expands to higher grade levels. Last November, P.S. 276 parents started an online petition to limit kindergarten classrooms to three, fearing that extra classrooms would jeopardize the school’s music, art and science classrooms, as well as its celebrated Pre-K program. To alleviate the need for Pre-K seats, the D.O.E. announced that the Peck Slip School will be opening a half-day Pre-K program. Principal Maggie Sienna called it a “one-shot deal,” for this year, which will accommodate 18 Pre-K kids in the morning and another 18 in the afternoon. Whether Pre-K will be available at either
‘These children aren’t going to leave. And they are going to need more middle school seats as well.’ school the year after is a mystery. The Peck Slip School, which was on target with 53 registered kindergartners two days before registration closed, now has 61 zoned students and another 17 unzoned. They will be opening a waitlist only a year after they opened for incubation at the Tweed Courthouse. The school is scheduled to move to the old Peck Slip Post Office building in two years, but until then is only mandated to take two kindergarten classes per year, which will fill their six classrooms in the final year before they move in 2015. P.S. 234 in Tribeca and P.S. 89 in Battery Park City will also have to open waitlists for zoned students, and the Spruce Street School will again open a third kindergarten class though originally set to have two. Spruce Street, with 72 seats, is “right where we want to be” said parent coordinator Julie Lam, who reported that they had 70 kindergartners register for 2013-14.
However, P.S. 234 is now almost two classrooms over their 125-seat capacity, according to the school’s parent coordinator Magda Lenski. There are 173 kindergartners signed up for Fall 2013, with ten of them registering in the last two days. The school at 292 Greenwich St. is slated for five kindergarten classes this year. Like P.S. 276, they were able to open an extra class for waitlisted students last year because of the way the classrooms were set up, but it will not be possible this year. “We don’t have the physical space,” said Lenski. P.S. 89’s parent coordinator Connie Schraft said that at last count, there were 110 zoned and 22 unzoned applicants to the school for only 75 seats. The unzoned applicants will not be considered. Waitlist numbers will be announced to parents in April. Registration is not first come first served, so zoned students who signed up the first day will not have an advantage over parents who sign up before the deadline. Zoned children with siblings already in the school will be given first priority. “It’s amazing, but not unexpected, if you look at births and construction,” Eric Greenleaf said of the situation at Peck Slip. Greenleaf, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business who has two children in Downtown schools, has been closely tracking Lower Manhattan’s school population numbers for years. “The first step is admitting there’s a problem,” he said of the growing population. Greenleaf said that about 471 kids entered kindergarten Downtown in the current school year, but in 2015, even with the opening of the Peck Slip School in its final location, there will only be 475 for a pool that is expected to increase by several hundred. “These children aren’t going to leave. And they are going to need more middle school seats as well. We have proved this year after year and important time is being lost,” said Joyce.
With reporting by Josh Rogers
Downtown Express File Photo
P.S. 276 students last year.
Kindergarten Registration K Seats
Peck Slip www.
School Spruce St. School .com
*As reported by the school’s parent coordinators or principals
March 6 - March 19, 2013
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