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JULY 16-JULY 29, 2015

LOCAL GIRLS CHEER ON SOCCER’S WORLD CHAMPS B Y M I A RU PAN I he U.S. women’s national soccer team did more than just win the FIFA Women’s World Cup this month. They also became heroes to many young girls throughout the city, who waited eagerly to watch them in the parade along the famed Canyon of Heroes at 11 a.m. on Friday. Members of the Downtown Little League girl’s softball team — which won the state championship last year — arrived over an hour early to the parade, which honored the 23-member soccer team. It was


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DOWNTOWN WINS P.7 Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Nassau St., once a bargain haven, has seven closed storefronts.


More people, means less business for Nassau Street shops B Y D U S IC A SUE MAL ESEVIC ept. 11. Constant construction. The financial crisis of 2008. Rising rents. The small businesses on Nassau St. between John and Beekman Sts. have survived many setbacks — but the greatest challenge yet may be the neighborhood’s transition from business to residential. “People shop where they work, not where they live,” said Rafael Pink hasov, ow ner of Omega Jewelers at 132 Nassau St.


As the neighborhood becomes more residential, it is not good for business, he said in an interview at his store last week. The shop was located at the Smith Haven Mall in Long Island, but Pinkhasov decided to “give the city another shot” and opened on Nassau near Beekman St. in 2009. Since then, business has been on a “down slope,” he said. Foot traffic on the street has been deterred, first by the tearing up of the road and now by con-


struction at 5 Beekman St. — right across from Pinkhasov’s store. Work began on what will be a hotel and condos a few years ago and it is reportedly slated to finish this year. GFI Development, the developer, declined to comment. To bring in equipment and supplies, workers routinely stop pedestrians — and once they are released, people often impatiently walk past the stores. Keith Lee opened The Silk Shop Continued on page 12

GIGI LI & B.P.C. For a moment when we saw Gigi Li, chairperson of Community Board 3, last week we were confused. Were we at the wrong meeting? No, we quickly recovered, we weren’t — it was indeed Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee meeting. It’s hard to imagine Li’s appearance was coincidental to her challenging Jenifer Rajkumar for Democratic district leader — Li is not as well known in B.P.C., which is a big part of Part C in the 65th Assembly District, where they are running. As UnderCover reported last month, Li’s residency outside of Part C will be a campaign issue.

Presumably she’ll be able to get more votes in the Lower East Side section of the part. (If district leaders commanded armies instead of rallying the political troops as volunteers, Part C would be hard to defend since the part itself is separated in….well yes parts.) Rajkumar, a Battery Parker, has handily won the position twice, beating out neighbors Linda Belfer and Robin Forst, who as vice president for external relations for the Battery Park City Authority was at the meeting. Forst was doing her part last week, introducing Li around. Committee chairperson Anthony Notaro was also friendly with Li during the meeting, which had no references to the campaign. Li came prepared, giving helpful information about helicopters — the amount of takeoffs and landings for tourists spins has been a persistent problem Downtown — and offering advice about street activity permits, an issue C.B. 3 has written guidelines for. How much this will help Li remains to be seen — it wasn’t a well-attended meeting — but we’ll see come September.

To expand or not is the question at a Tribeca plaza

Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky

Hipster’s Bowtie It was Tribeca’s annual Bastille Day celebration Tuesday, but don’t mistake that bowtie for being wrapped around a dapper Frenchman. Dapper? Definitely, but Frenchman, no. It belongs to none other than the always well-dressed Det. Rick Lee, a.k.a. “Hipster Cop,” the First Precinct’s community affairs officer, who got his moniker four years ago during Occupy Wall Street.

NADLER ON IRAN The initial reaction to the Iran nuclear agreement from our man in Washington, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, is neutral. After the proposed agreement was announced Tuesday, he put out a statement saying he was studying the details, but he did not express the opposition or skepticism expressed by many Republicans and a few Democratic members of Congress. “I look forward to evaluating the agreement in comparison to the other available alternatives for preventing a nuclear Iran,” Nadler’s statement read in part. “This agreement has no influence on the other

serious issues that remain with the Iranian regime and its behavior.” He reiterated his support for Israel, which opposes the agreement, and for sanctions related to Iran’s support for terrorism This could be one of the few issues where the vote of Nadler and other Democratic House members may matter since in order to block the agreement, Congress will have to vote it down and then get a 2/3 majority to override a promised veto by President Obama. Nadler may have the largest Jewish constituency in the New York delegation, so he presumably could be a vote House Speaker John Boehner is hoping for.

BY DUSI CA SUE M ALESEVI C A request for a one-day event at Finn Square, the lush green triangle on W. Broadway between Leonard and Franklin Sts., brought up resentments over other plazas — proposed and actual — in Tribeca. Lynn Ellsworth, chairperson of Tribeca Trust, a preservation advocacy group, went before Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee on Wed., July 8 to talk about the September event, which was also held last year, and to broach the larger subject of expanding public space in the neighborhood. Ellsworth said there are 5,600 elementary school kids in the neighborhood — not counting preschool age children. Finn Square, currently part of the Department of Transportation’s Greenstreets program, was a good place to start the discussion, said Ellsworth. But some of the committee had other things in mind due to the closing of W. Broadway between Franklin and Leonard Sts. for the event. “We really do not want that street closed permanently,” said Marc Ameruso, committee member. Finn Square is situated between W. Broadway and Varick. To its north are the Franklin St. subway station for the 1 train and a CitiBike station. Ameruso asked the D.O.T. representative, Shari Glickman, if Finn Square would become a permanent public plaza. Glickman, who is the project manager for the D.O.T.’s public space unit, said, “This is a first step to the goal which is [the Trust] applying to the Plaza Program

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Finn Square at Franklin St. and W. Broadway could be expanded, but some neighbors are concerned about the traffic effects.

and potentially having a long-term temporary plaza.” Ameruso took issue with the word “temporary” and used Bogardus, the now permanent plaza on Hudson St. between Chambers and Reade Sts., as an example. “The history of temporary plazas with this community board and D.O.T. is not very good,” said Ameruso. “You guys swore [Bogardus] was going to be temporary, and of course we found out later that really wasn’t true.” To make Finn Square a plaza, several possibilities are being considered to make the space larger to accommodate chairs and tables around the garden. Closing W. Broadway for that block is one idea, but there also could be an extension of the

square to the north. Right now, there is a one-lane street between the two areas that connects Varick and W. Broadway. Alessandra Galletti, senior associate with the Project for Public Spaces, presented with the Trust at the meeting and said later in a phone interview, “We might not need to close anything.” She said Con Ed, which has a substation on Leonard St., needs access and is not in favor of closing that stretch of W. Broadway. Glickman said at the meeting that the plaza could be enlarged by a sidewalk extension or building out the triangle slightly. She stressed that a plaza would need community board support. “The idea is just to test this out with

the neighborhood, get a sense of what it would be like should D.O.T. and Tribeca Trust actually propose a plaza, which at that point would never go forward without community board approval,” she said. Committee member Bruce Ehrmann disagreed with the characterization that the community board has issues with Bogardus. C.B. 1 has passed resolutions in support of Bogardus, including two in favor of its design at its last October monthly meeting. While Ehrmann supported many plazas in the neighborhood, he said that in this case he would not be in favor of permanently closing off a street. He brought up another plaza, the Barnett Newman Triangle, at 6th Ave. in front of a controversial development at 100 Franklin St. The Board of Standard and Appeals approved a variance for DDG, the developer. Neighbors are opposed to the development and C.B. 1 passed a resolution against the B.S.A. granting the variance. He asked Ellsworth, “Why would you object to one well-funded plaza with a lane cut off and not to another?” Ellsworth cited the opposition to the development and said the Trust had contributed to a legal defense fund for the neighbors. To do a permanent plaza, she explained, $500,000 to $1,000,000 is needed for the “D.O.T. to look benevolently on your case.” “That’s a way a developer can more or less buy public space, get their way,” she said.

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Downtown Express photos by Tequila Minsky

Lower Manhattan hosted its first Independence Day parade in almost four decades last Friday, on the federal holiday. Organized by James Kaplan (2nd from right in right photo) the parade from the Seaport to Bowling Green was officially supposed to stay on the sidewalk, but police allowed the marchers onto the street. Gale Brewer, Manhattan’s borough president, (not shown) came down to wish the marchers well.

July 16-July 29, 2015


Preschool reopens in B.P.C. after leaving 1 child behind INFANT DIES AT SOHO DAY CARE On his first day in day care, a 3-month-old boy died Monday at an unlicensed operator in Soho, police say. Police were called a little after noon to Soho Child Care at 69 Greene St. and the baby, Karl Towndrow of Brooklyn Heights, was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead. During the morning of July 13, the boy had been given a bottle and was put down to nap, according to several news reports. When the owner, Maryellen Strautmanis, went to check on the baby, his lips were blue and 911 was called, according to the reports. The day care was unlicensed, according to police, which could mean that certification for emergency procedures, such as administering C.P.R., were not in place. The city closed it down Tuesday. Police say that there is no criminality suspected, although the city Administration of Children’s Services is investigating the matter, according to reports. The medical examiner is investigating the cause of death and the family has been notified.

PANHANDLER ATTACKS A rejected panhandler punched a man walking back to his office two weeks ago. On Tues., June 30, the 46-year-old was returning to work at 11:30 a.m., when he was approached by a panhandler in front of 83 Gold St., police say. When he refused, the beggar didn’t take it well — he started cursing and threatening the man. The suspect then stuck his hands in his pants and said that he would shoot and kill the Long Island man, police say. In an attempt to escape, the man shoved the suspect, who then began punching the victim. The suspect fled. Luckily, Lower Manhattan Hospital was right there and the man went in to check the scratches and bruises to his head and knees that he got in the scuffle.

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leagues sending them to Bellevue Hospital. On Wed., July 8, at 5:45 p.m. the former employee of Baba Ghanouge at 165 Church St. returned with three friends and got into an argument with his former co-worker, blaming the victim for the firing. The suspect, 30, then hit the first victim, a 24-yearold man, on the head with a beer bottle. The injury to the head caused the man to fall to the sidewalk. According to the second victim, also a restaurant employee, the four men started kicking and punching the other victim as he lay on the sidewalk. The man soon lost consciousness. The second employee, 30, was just getting off his shift when he saw the attack and ran to call 911. As he was doing so, he said the four suspects caught him, tripped him and then began to assault him. They stole his cellphone and wallet before fleeing the scene. Police arrested the disgruntled worker later that day. Police say he took full responsibility for the attacks and said his friends were there just to observe.

ANTI-MUSLIM ATTACK ON TEEN WOMAN Police said that on Sat., July 11, at about 10:40 p.m., a 19-year-old woman was approached by an unidentified man in front of 109 East Broadway, and they became engaged in a verbal dispute. The man made anti-Muslim statements and then started to spit and punch the victim in the face, according to police. He then continued walking on Eldridge St. and fled to parts unknown. The woman suffered a fractured jaw and was transported to Beth Israel Hospital in stable condition. The suspect is described as a black man, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 tall, wearing a hat, pants and shirt that were all dark colored and carrying a plastic bag. Police posted video of the suspect walking on Eldridge St. and in Chinatown after the incident, but it doesn’t have a clear view of the suspect’s face Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the New York Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site,, or texting to 274637(CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

SNATCH PHONE, THEN PEDAL A woman, 61, was walking in Hudson Square while using an $800 Samsung Galaxy phone for directions when a man on a bike snatched the cell as well as her wallet from her hand and took off, police say. The grab took place in front of 278 Spring St. between Hudson and Varick Sts. on Sat., July 4 at 2 p.m., police say. The suspect fled north on Hudson. Later, the woman, who lives near Herald Square, was notified by her bank that an attempt to use her credit cards in the East Village had been unsuccessful. In addition to the phone and various credit cards, the thief, got the woman’s weekly MetroCard. Police say there was no cash in the wallet.

SEAPORT SHOPPER OUT A MOTORCYCLE A shopping day in the Seaport was ruined for a man who had his $25,000 2014 gray custom Novelo motorcycle stolen. The Upstate man, 54, had parked his bike across from 89 South St. on Sun., July 12 at 11:30 a.m. to look around at shops in the Seaport, police say. When he returned at 3:30 p.m. the motorcycle was gone.

COP CHASES DOWN SHOPLIFTER A thief picked the wrong Duane Reade in the Financial District to shoplift from on Tues., July 7. The man, 28, stole 10 lipsticks, worth $156, two lip liners and two boxes of nail art from the Duane Reade at 67 Broad St. at 10 a.m., according to police. Unbeknownst to the thief, a police officer was watching the surveillance video and saw the snatch happen. The police officer then identified himself several times to the suspect as he chased after him for two blocks. The suspect not only ran, according to the arresting officer, but also tried to punch him and then resisted arrest. The man was arrested and all of the merchandise was recovered.

UNEASY RIDER A man didn’t take kindly to being told by a M.T.A. driver that he couldn’t board the bus with his bike — he rammed his bike at the driver, police say. The man attempted to get on the bus at the corner of Broadway and Park Row in the Civic Center on Sat., July 4 at 7:45 a.m. when the bus driver said he was not allowed on the bus with his bike. The suspect then said, “But I will kick your [butt],” according to police. He then tried to ram his bike at the driver, 41, who had scratches and minor bruises on his arm. The suspect had fled by the time the police arrived.  

BY M I A RUPANI Preschool of America in Battery Park City reopened last week after having its operating license suspended in June for losing track of a toddler who reportedly wandered into the street. Two days after reopening, it appeared to be business as usual at the school Wednesday afternoon, July 8 as parents came to pick up their children after work. Inside at Two South End Ave., the school was bustling with activity and children could be heard laughing. Many parents leaving the school with their children did not want to comment. One woman, who did not give her name, came to the defense of the school. “We’ve tried other daycares but this is the only one he likes,” she said. “The quality of teachers here is higher than anywhere else we have been to.” Another woman with a young child said, “I do not want to talk about the incident if that is why you are here.” The city Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene suspended the facility’s license on June 17 after

Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani

A student at Preschool of America’s Battery Park City location was reportedly found by a driver on South End Ave.

child who went missing were fired. The city Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, which suspended Preschool for America’s license in

Battery Park City, declined to comment on the reasons for the school’s reopening, or say if officials had any message for any concerned parents.


PRICEY BIKE STOLEN It took less than 20 minutes for a thief to clip a chain and get away with a $2,100 bike in the middle of the day, police say. A Queens man, 37, chained his bike in front of 183 Varick St. on Tues., June 30 at 1:30 p.m. and went to the nearby Marriott hotel for about 20 minutes. When he returned his Cannondale silver and white bike was gone. Video cameras from 185 Varick St. showed the suspect stealing the bike and then leaving the scene, police say.

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a child attending the school’s daycare managed to wander away from staff during an outing. A driver, Susan Bittan, noticed the boy, whose age has not been released, wandering on South End Ave. when she slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting him, the Battery Park City Broadsheet reported. Bittan brought the child back to the school. Last week, a staff member at the school directed all questions to Michele DeMizio, regional director for Preschool of America, a New York City chain with 20 locations. In an email, DeMizio refused comment about how the school has improved its safety measures since having its license revoked. The school’s attorney, Enrico Demarco, responded in an email: “Various new and additional measures are being taken to assure child safety during outings above the mandated requirements. This includes face to name headcount procedures using checklists which are performed within shorter intervals and a third staff member will attend all outings.” Demarco had previously said the two teachers responsible for the

July 16-July 29, 2015


Downtown parade for World Cup winners

Two softball teams repeat as city champs

Downtown Little League’s Senior softball team celebrated on Con Ed Field after winning the city championship 5-4 against Yorkville

Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky

Hundreds of thousands came to last week’s parade celebrating the U.S. Women’s World Cup Soccer championship, including the Downtown Little League girl’s softball team, below right, last year’s state champs, and Mayor de Blasio.

Continued from page 1

the first time in the Canyon’s history that an all-women sports team was saluted with a ticker-tape parade. Many of the Downtown Little League girls play more than one sport, including soccer, and they were

all in agreement that “girls can do anything boys can do.” “Everyone should look up to them, they are very inspiring,” Marianna Dowd, 11, said of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions. By watching these women play, the young girls’ goals of achieving the same

success seem attainable. “Anything can happen if you try hard enough,” Anabella Pelaez said. Many of the girls said that they didn’t have a favorite player, but they look up to the entire team: “It’s not just one player, it takes the whole team to win… they are my heroes, I would love to do

this someday,” Grace Kirwin, 12, said. Donning their Little League jerseys, the girls situated themselves against the barriers at the start of the parade route near Battery Park. As the players rode by on four of the parade’s 12 floats up Broadway to City Hall, the girls all began to chant “U.S.A. U.S.A.”

For the third year in a row, The Downtown Revolution girl’s fast pitch softball team won city championships Sunday. The Junior team fought off Peter Stuyvesant Little League 6-5 in nine innings July 12.  In the nightcap, in front of 200 plus fans at the team’s home Battery Park City fields, the Senior division team edged out Yorkville 5-4.

The Juniors got off to a quick start. Isabel Zelter led off with a walk, a bunt by Amy Lischin, hits by Tess Fonteberry and Paloma Rivera and the Revolution took a commanding 4-0 lead. “I knew we could use our speed and experience to blitz them. I tried to get their defense on their heels right from the start,” said the Revolution’s manager, Chris

O’Mara. Stuyvesant scored a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.  The game would stay that way until the top of the third when Kayla Albano hit a sacrifice fly, scoring pitcher Jamie Morrison, a call up from the league’s majors division. At this point, Morrison was cruising along in the circle. In the bottom of the fourth, Stuyvesant bats start-


Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess.


July 16-July 29, 2015

ed to come alive. Downtown was up to the challenge as outfield plays by Lischin (in right), Rita Feder (center) and Cate Albright (left) all made outstanding grabs on long fly balls. The score would stay 5-1 until 2 outs in the bottom of the seventh. After three consecutive two-out singles in the inning and two walks, Continued on page 8


Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani

July 16-July 29, 2015


The Revolution take 2 city titles ing five hits, four runs and 5 K’s over seven innings. Yorkville came on with the hot bats Peter Stuyvesant finally started get- early and racked up two runs in the ting to Morrison. One player’s two- top of the first. Downtown came right run tying single up the middle. back with two of their own in the botThe inning would end, but not tom of the first as O’Mara tripled to before the damage was done and the drive in Georgia Kamm and Morgan game would go to extra innings.  O’Mara. “Morrison was rattled a bit, but The score would stay that way I knew she could gather her com- until the third when Yorkville cashed posure. Ali Bianca, the team cap- in on some sloppy defense to take a tain, had her arm around her in the 3-2 lead. But again, Downtown would dugout and I knew things would be storm back. okay,” said O’Mara. After Marino tripled to right, Emily The game would go to the ninth Samar tripled to center scoring Marino when Fonteberry again singled, stole and later scoring on a passed ball second and scored on a Maya Albano’s to take a 4-3 lead. In the top of the game-winning R.B.I single. Morrison fourth, Yorkville would score its final would take the mound again in the run of the game to tie the score 4-4.  bottom of the ninth frame and this Zoe Morrison led off with a bunt time close Stuyvesant Little out for single and after a fielder’s choice by good 1-2-3.  Annalisa Valdivia, Julia Winnick douAfter 145 pitches and 11 strike- bled down the left field line to drive outs, the Downtown Revolution in Valdivia for what proved to be the Juniors won their fifth City champion- winning run. ship in a row. The game would go to the fifth As for the Seniors, the girls played inning with O’Mara in the circle under the lights to win their third and an amazing defense behind her.  straight championship. Sophia Marino 1 With George Kamm’s Downtown Exp May A 2015:Layout 5/20/15 12:51 PM diving Page 1 catch and Ava O’Mara combined on allow- in center, Naiomi Picayo made a Continued from page 7

The Downtown Little League’s Junior team went into extra innings before securing their fifth championship in a row.

spectacular play at second base, capped off by a heads up play by right fielder Ava Villalba. Downtown Little League had an unbelievable team this year. Some of the girls have played together for over six years and were strong at every position. Veterans Ava

Cutler, Brooke Kirwin and Blaise Behar helped preserved the win for Downtown Little League Revolution Sr.’s with great defense. It was a historic night all around on Sunday and amassed perhaps the largest crowd ever assembled for a B.P.C. game.









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he and his Irish Catholic father saw two men kissing each other goodbye in public. “I turned and looked at my dad, and I’ll never forget what he said. ‘Joey, they love each other, it’s simple,’” Biden recalled. (This reporter got an opportunity to tell the vice president afterwards that I had a similar experience with my father before I came out.) The point Biden drove home in his remarks is that those who worked on the issue all these years deserve the credit, not him — though video was shown of him coming out for samesex marriage in May 2012 on “Meet the Press,” widely credited with getting President Barack Obama to do the same a couple of days later in the midst of his re-election campaign. That one-two punch advanced the issue mightily and energized the Obama-Biden base. “But I know it hasn’t been simple for a lot of you,” Biden said, “especially those of you who are older. It took personal courage — physical courage.” Biden talked about taking on Robert Bork in the Senate Judiciary



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Nassau shops feel the weight of residential construction The Beekman Hotel/residence under contruction at 5 Beekman St.

Continued from page 12 Continued from page 1

also at 132 Nassau St. in 1981, and noted that construction hurts business as pedestrians are stopped several times on the street. “Maybe it’s good for the developers but not for the retail,” said Lee. He said once construction is finished, business might improve, but he still has reason to worry. Lee said the neighborhood’s changes mean there are not enough customers for his store, which sells mostly women’s clothing offering many discounts. As the Financial District has became more residential, people with higher incomes have moved in — in 2011, average household income was $203,930, according to the Downtown Alliance. Lee is now faced with trying to serve three clienteles at once — the upper income residents, tourists and middle-class city workers. Time will tell which direction he will ultimately move in, but for now, he said he hasn’t seen residents from 8 Spruce St. — where monthly rent for a studio is over $3,000 and a three-bedroom is almost $13,000 — shopping at his store. He remembers when Nassau St. was closed to cars from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There also used to be a Nassau Street Mall Association. That was dissolved in the late ‘90s and now the stores are part of the Downtown Alliance. The Alliance, which runs the local business improvement district, declined to answer questions about the old mall or measures they have in place for small businesses. At one time in the ‘80s, there were around 100,000 pedestrians who came daily to the Nassau Street Mall, according to a 1995 New York Daily News article. Small retailers did well, “just from people working in the neighborhood,” the News reported then. After Sept. 11, Lee said the city started letting cars through. Business the first year after the attacks was good as “a lot of people came to support this neighborhood,” Lee recalled, as he waved bye to a customer he has known for decades. Business declined after that, but things really started getting bad when the recession hit in 2008. “It has been worse every year after that,” he said. “We’re losing a lot of business. It’s kind of a tough time.” Rent has gone up while sales have gone down, said Lee. That was also Ali Mavruk’s lament,

Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic

Keith Lee, who opened The Silk Shop on Nassau 34 years ago, said it’s been hard attracting residents to his store. Construction on Nassau St. has also been hurting him and other shop owners on the block.


July 16-July 29, 2015

rants and will be given priority reservations. A Colicchio rep told Downtown Express his restaurant and hotel are likely to open in early 2016. At 75-83 Nassau St., according to reports, a 40-story, 498-foot tower is rising out of what once was a New York and Company, The Diner, a jewelry store, a Vietnamese sandwich and noodle shop and De Janeiro, a bargain women’s clothing store. Fred Mann, the general manager, told Downtown Express that the store was at this location for 15 years and will close at the end of the month. He said business has been good and they are moving across the street. The building will have four floors of retail and above it, 197 residences, according to reports. Also reportedly in the works is a 59-story mixed-use tower at 112118 Fulton St.


Omega Jewelers The Silk Shop

H2M Art Gallery Penguini

Tansey Tang

75–83 Nassau St. is reportedly a 40-story 498foot residential tower.

59-story residential building and hotel planned at 112–118 Fulton St.

Closed Storefront About To Close Some of the stores and development sites around Nassau St.

Gays fete Biden in Lower Manhattan

The street’s new developments A stone’s throw away from the Fulton Center and 1 World Trade Center, several mixed-use buildings are sprouting up near or on Nassau St. between John and Beekman Sts. At landmarked 5 Beekman St., a 287-room hotel will be attached to a 68-unit condo tower, with prices varying from $1.6 million to $15.3 million, according to news reports. Apartments are to offer “unparalleled” 360 views of the city, according to its website. Construction began in 2013 and is slated to be completed this year. Guests staying at the Beekman Hotel will have their room service catered by Tom Colicchio’s restaurant. Colicchio, a James Beard award winner and “Top Chef” judge, as well as restaurateur powerhouse Keith McNally will both have “signature” restaurants, according to its website. Those living at the Beekman Residences are not to be left out — they will be able to order from the restau-

him, a store was empty, but Mavruk remembers a different time. His gallery was once located on Wall St., but he moved to Nassau in 1999 because it “look[ed] like a dream here — business was very good.” Lee said the empty storefront on his block has been vacant for at least 15 years. It was once Herman’s Sporting Goods, he said, a store that started in Lower Manhattan around 1916, but went out of business in the ‘90s. Seven storefronts are empty on Nassau between John and Beekman Sts. Only one store out of seven interviewed by Downtown Express said that business was great — Pisillo Italian Panini at 97 Nassau St. Opened almost two years, Kathleen Tolentino, manager, said the sandwich shop was doing well. Mayor Bill de Blasio likes its paninis, the News reported. Tansey Tang opened her eponymous store at 93 Nassau St. in March of 2002. She owns the jewelry store with her husband, Eric Huss, who has worked in the area since the ‘90s. It was a struggle when it first opened, but eventually Tang built up a clientele with her jewelry, said Huss. Business was okay until the crisis in 2008, when it started declining and several corporations and companies moved away, he said. The influx of residents, he said, means that the store has to open earlier, close later and stay open on weekends. “It’s become more difficult,” said Huss, who noted that upscale retail has moved into the neighborhood. “It’s driving out small business owners.”

Continued from page 10

the owner of the H&M Art Gallery, also once known as the African American Art Gallery, at 105 Nassau St. Amid sample frames and art that has been marked down, Mavruk said that after 15 years on Nassau, his monthly rent was increasing from $6,000 to $10,000 and he was looking for another spot. He said he had paid rent to

his landlord right after Sept. 11 and Hurricane Sandy. Construction has also affected his business as no one can walk on his store’s side of the street. A sandwich board announcing a sale stood in front of the gallery. Across from Continued on page 13

urged the assembled to take on the next L.G.B.T rights fight — federal anti-discrimination legislation. “I am confident when we take the case to the American people, we will win,” he said. “The next door will be a hell of a lot easier to open.” Later in the evening, Wolfson, wearing a lei symbolic of his role in winning the first same-sex marriage case (later overturned when the state’s voters gave the legislature the authority to do so) as co-counsel with Dan Foley in Hawaii in 1996, said that “no one person, no one organization, no one state, no one case, no one method” brought us to this day. “It took a whole movement to bring us to this victory.” Many, many veterans of this fight were on hand. Tony Sullivan, an Australian native, legally married American Richard Adams in Boulder, Colorado in 1975, only to have an immigration official write to them that they would not recognize the marriage of “two faggots,” forcing them to leave the U.S. and hide when they returned. He said of decision morning, “I chose to spend the day alone and with Richard. All I could say is

that we never expected to see it happen so soon.” Adams, 65, died in 2012. Noemi Masliah, a longtime attorney on L.G.B.T immigration issues, said when she heard the decision she felt, “I do. I do. I’m done.” Abby Rubenfeld, a Nashville lawyer who once led Lambda Legal and represented the Tennessee plaintiffs in the case that went to the high court, said implementation of the order is going “smoothly” back home. The attitude in some clerks’ offices is “we’re not happy, but it’s the law.” Veteran activist Joy Tomchin said when she first heard about this issue 30 years ago, she thought it was ridiculous: “Why put money into this? ” But she credited Wolfson with seeing it through brilliantly. “We’re so proud of him.” (She did, however, mention being troubled by lesbians using the term “wife” for their spouse.) New York Law School professor Arthur Leonard, who has tracked every step of the legal process that led to the victory for Gay City News, a sister publication of Downtown Express, admitted to some sense of “deflation” in the wake of the decision. “I’m decompressing,” he said, noting there will now be fewer big L.G.B.T decisions to write about in the short run.

Downtown Express photo by Donna Aceto

Evan Wolfsom, president of Freedom to Marry. July 16-July 29, 2015


City orders work to stop on FedEx’s FiDi ramp BY MI A RU PA N I The discussion got heated at a Community Board 1 meeting July 1 when more than 20 residents from 20 Pine St. voiced their concern over the construction of a ramp on their building. The 74-foot long, 5-foot wide ramp is being built to accommodate Federal Express, which recently signed a lease with The Klein Group, owners of the retail space in the 20 Pine St. building, which has a mix of condos and rentals. The city Transportation and Buildings departments were both consulted prior to the start of construction on the ramp, but according to the residents, they were never approached for comment. “We believe that this project has been approved without any real community involvement or consideration for community impact,” said Stacey Haefele, who spoke on behalf of her fellow residents at C.B. 1’s Financial District Committee meeting two weeks ago. “It is also not proceeding according to the plans that were submitted.” “The ramp is massive and will

dominate our building…it is much higher than the drawings submitted indicated,” Haefele said. The residents are worried that the ramp will take up the majority of the sidewalk, leaving them no place to put out trash and limit the walkway for people with strollers and the handicapped. It is being constructed along Nassau St. toward the corner of Pine St., directly beside the 408-unit

of trucks that will be dropping off mail every day.” FedEx spokesperson Connie Avery said in a phone interview that because of congestion Downtown, using foot couriers is the easiest way to deliver mail. Trucks will transport envelopes to the facility at 20 Pine St. where employees will then use pull carts to take it elsewhere in the Financial District. “This ramp is our only viable

‘Imagine the amount of trucks that will be dropping off mail every day.’ apartment complex — where two bedrooms list for $1.9 million to buy and $6,200 to rent. Haefele said that one of the windows on the Nassau side of the building is being converted into a doorway for the ramp, which FedEx foot couriers will use when delivering mail in the Financial District. Haefele said in a phone interview. “FedEx claims only envelopes will be sorted here but imagine the amount

option,” Avery said. “We want to be a good neighbor to the residents at 20 Pine St., so we will continue to talk with them.” Jacob Klein, president of The Klein Group, in a phone interview, disputed the residents’ claims that there was no community involvement in the approval process. “There were two meetings about the ramp with the D.O.B. and D.O.T.…the condo board was

invited to both but the second time, the building manager did not show,” Klein said in reference to the departments of Buildings and Transportation. “This ramp is not only in compliance with A.D.A. guidelines, but this will help cut FedEx vehicle traffic by 50 percent in the Financial District.” Nevertheless, the residents think the ramp is unnecessary because the couriers are able to take an elevator to the ground level entrance of the building on Pine St. At the meeting, Haefele revealed that currently, construction on the ramp has been halted because of a stop work order. “The ramp is bolted to the sidewalk when it was supposed to be suspended from the building façade,” she said. The Buildings Dept. ordered the work to stop June 26 in order to verify the ramp was being built according to plan, and the order remains in effect. Haefele provided C.B. 1 with a petition of over 200 signatures regarding the construction of the Continued on page 15

ramp not only from residents at 20 Pine St., but also those living at 15 Broad St. and 40 Gold St. According to her, the ramp is also a safety concern for everyone in the building. Directly under the ramp are five transformers that cannot be easily reached if they need to be replaced. Robert Abrams, a representative of The Klein Group, tried to address the residents’ concerns at the meeting but was not well received. He did not dispute Haefele’s claim that the ramp is higher than originally proposed, but he did say that any problems could be easily corrected. “We designed the ramp to be made of lightweight aluminum so it can be deconstructed,” Abrams said. “Onethird can be removed in less than an hour and the whole ramp can be removed in a day.” The residents actively challenged him and more than once and the community board members had to silence them to keep the peace. C.B. 1’s committee voted in favor of a resolution to hold the city agencies accountable and to ask them to report

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the job was permitted to move forward,” a Buildings spokesperson wrote in an email. “The department will continue to work with the community should safety or compliance concerns arise at this work site.”


education SUNDAYS, 10-11am

The Gospels, Times, Journal, and You Parish Center Join in a discussion of the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the assigned Gospel for the day. Led by the Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones.

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 7-9pm

The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Vicar

July 16-July 29, 2015

back on why the project was approved without any community involvement. “The plans for this project were determined to be in full compliance with all applicable construction codes and the N.Y.C. Zoning Resolution, and

All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800

Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Center 2 Rector Street


under construction under the green boarding, but a stop work order was issued by the city to make sure the construction is according to the approved plan.


ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street

8015/23 13th Avenue, Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11228 • 718–331–2900 •

Downtown Express photo by Mia Rupani.

A ramp on Nassau St. for a Federal Express delivery center in 20 Pine St. had been

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Offering dinner, cocktail and buffet options

He did not reference his agency’s stop work order. Haefele said the signs on Nassau St. now read “truck loading/unloading only” and the change happened without anyone knowing. “These sign changes happened a few weeks ago,” Haefele said. “Things are happening behind the scenes…now there is going to be a row of FedEx trucks lined up outside our building.” Deciding to take matters into their own hands, the 20 Pine St. residents will also be attending the community board’s Quality of Life Committee meeting July 16 and its full board meeting July 28. “Our goal is to prevent that ramp from being built,” Haefele said. “We aren’t opposed to FedEx necessarily. They aren’t an ideal tenant but that is not our fight…if we do not speak up and raise awareness, no one will.”

Continued from page 14

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July 16-July 29, 2015


Village’s new commander gets high marks

Local dancer earns a spot with N.Y.C. Ballet

B Y LINC O L N A N D E RSO N along the wall of the former Barnes & After taking over as command- Noble bookstore and had also put up a ing officer of the Sixth Precinct last table with more books and old records month, Captain Joseph Simonetti near the corner newsstand. has been making the rounds of the Detective Jimmy Alberici, a Sixth Greenwich Village precinct, getting Precinct community affairs officer, to know the area’s conditions, mer- and Simonetti explained to him that chants and people. he was violating one or more of He comes from the Lower the myriad regulations pertainEast Side’s Seventh Precinct ing to sidewalk vending. U N O AR D where he was the C.O. for “I’m very into our officers one year. Before that he and members of the departwas the commander at the ment working as much as we Midtown South Task Force can with the community, with and executive officer (second the community boards, busiin command) at Midtown South and nesses,” Simonetti said. “Working the Ninth Precinct. with the State Liquor Authority, too Local blog Bowery Boogie said — it was very beneficial. We work Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson of him, “During his short tenure on with everyone, that’s our job.” The Sixth Precinct’s Captain Joseph Simonetti, left, and Det. Jimmy Alberici. the Lower East Side, the straightOf his stint at the Seventh, during talking (and Tony Soprano-sounding) which he focused on conditions Simonetti…focused on grand larce- around the bars, among other things, Captain Steven Hellman, who comes job is to keep the neighborhood safe.” nies at neighborhood bars (especially he said, “We had a very good sys- from Midtown South. Diem Boyd, president of the L.E.S. in Hell Square) and graffiti busts.” tem in place that helped bring down Simonetti started off his command Dwellers, praised Simonetti effusively, At the Sixth, Simonetti replac- assaults and addressed the robber- at the Sixth having to deal with one saying he “turned things around” at es Inspector Elisa Cokkinos, who ies…street robberies.” of the precinct’s biggest events of the the Seventh. retired from the force June 24. Asked about the L.E.S. Dwellers year, the Pride March on Sun., June “He is a really good guy — On a recent afternoon, Simonetti anti-bar-watchdog group, he said, 28. a straight shooter, says what he means was dealing with a vendor situation “They were very good. We worked “The parade went well,” he said. and is very sincere,” she said. “The at Sixth Ave. just south of Eighth St. with them a lot.” As for the fundamentals of police Seventh Precinct’s loss is the Sixth The man had set out old soul LP’s Taking over at the Seventh isT:8.75”work, he said, the goal is simple: “Our Precinct’s gain!”

BY ALI CI A GREEN When she was only three time there is something that When Clara Ruf-Maldonado was years old, her mother, Elizabeth will always stick with her. nine years old, she scored the oppor- Ruf-Maldonado, enrolled her in “I don’t think there is anytunity of a lifetime dancing with ballet classes at The Ailey thing that takes as much work the New York City Ballet as School. as trying to become a proUND Marie in George Balanchine’s “I remember we fessional dancer,” she said. O R A “The Nutcracker.” Now, at had to gallop around “Going in there every single age 18, the young East Village the studio,” Clara said day for that many years — and ballerina will once again join of her earliest dance not only coming in, but havthe company as an apprentice. memories. “It was a ing the motivation to work as “Oh, I cried, of course,” Rufreally simple step, but I hard as you possibly can, with Maldonado said. “I was very emotion- couldn’t stop smiling.” all the sweat and everything al. I think it still hasn’t hit me because Elizabeth — who is an that goes in with that. It’s this is kind of what I’ve been working actress and activist on commudefinitely shaped all of our toward for so long and it’s been my nity gardens, among other local personalities because it makes dream for so long.” issues — said that Clara simply us like that in our everyday Ruf-Maldonado still wonders how always loved movement. lives. We can kind of push to Photo by Paul Kolnik it all happened. “She was dancing around be successful.” “Every morning I wake up and say, all the time, and she was really Clara Ruf-Maldonado performing a solo from George Her success is far from Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15” at the School of ‘Wow! This is real.’ ” already showing a lot of talent over. But for now RufAmerican Ballet’s 2013 workshop performances. For the last 11 years, she watched as from the time that she was a Maldonado — with the goal students from the School of American baby,” she said. “Fortunately for us, S.A.B. and of one day hoping to become Ballet, at Lincoln Center, were chosen When Clara was seven, she joined N.Y.C.B. are part of the same big fami- a principal dancer — will work during as apprentices for the N.Y.C.B. School of American Ballet, from which ly, so we don’t really have to say good- her year run to prove she deserves a “When I was younger, I was like, she graduated last month. Her most bye to Clara,” she added. “We expect core contract with the company. Her ‘That’s what I’m doing to do,’ ” Ruf- recent performance was in the wed- to see her often in our classroom … next performance will be in Martins’ Maldonado said. “It happened to me ding pas de deux from “The Sleeping serving as a wonderful role model to “Swan Lake” this September. this year, and I still can’t believe it.” Beauty” for the school’s annual work- the younger students at our school.” “I can’t imagine not dancing,” RufThe ballet school and compa- shop performances. While Ruf-Maldonado is sad to Maldonado said. “It’s what I’ve always ny were both founded by Lincoln “Honestly, I’ve been a wreck for leave ballet school behind, she said the been doing, what I will be doing for so Kirstein and Balanchine, the former the past two months,” the young Ruf- dedication she has learned from her long. It’s always going to be with me.” in 1934 and the latter in 1948. Maldonado said. “I think after 11 Ruf-Maldonado was one of five years, you’re kind of past the point of people chosen by Peter Martins, the being ready to go. It’s just so second company’s ballet master in chief, to be nature. It’s so weird that I’m leaving. an apprentice. It’s definitely the biggest thing that I’ve While her major dancing break accomplished, graduating from that came with her lead performance school and being there for so long.” in “The Nutcracker,” she has addiKay Mazzo, the school’s co-chairtional dancing credits with the person of faculty, said it’s been a N.Y.C.B., including parts in “The treat to watch Ruf-Maldonado “grow Sleeping Beauty,” “Circus Polka,” into the beautiful young woman she’s “Harlequinade,” “Coppélia” and become” after having her in class for “Double Feature.” so many years.





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Clara Ruf-Maldonado at the School of American Ballet, with Peter Martins, the school’s artistic director looking on.


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NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2015 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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July 16-July 29, 2015

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

A ship to remember The year could have been 1780 on this July 4th, at least when you were looking out on the Hudson from New York Harbor. The Hermione, or L’Hermione, an authentic replica of the ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette and news of France’s support back to America 235 years ago, led a parade of commercial and pri-

vate ships from Gravesend Bay all the way up the river in celebration of Independence Day. The ship was docked at South Street Seaport’s Pier 15 in the days leading up to the parade and there were long lines of visitors to board her there. Lafayette, who fought in the Revolutionary War as a teen, and

became a close friend of George Washington. He returned to France to lobby for the American cause and finally convinced the French King to send military support. After he made his way back to America aboard the Hermione, Lafayette greeted Washington with the now-famous words “Here I am, My Dear General.”

Posted To Block that housed J & R readies for next phase (POSTED, July 2): Imagine how employees with decades of loyal service felt when they were dumped without even a handshake. No severance, the great Joe and Rachelle not even offering a word of thanks for helping making them and their children mega millionaires... Jumbybird Tenants fight for rent limits (POSTED, July 2): So I must ask the obvious ques-

tion: if CB1, and therefore the city, knew for “half a decade” that landlords are in violation of the law, why isn’t the Mayor enforcing the law? Why do the tenants have to take matters into their own hands?

Clipper, and all of the others. Carolyn City orders work to stop on FedEx’s FiDi ramp (POSTED, July 8):

Gah I believe it is because landlords are expected to do the right thing (eye roll.) They are self regulated. Nobody is watching them. It is only when they are sued does an issue like this come to light. There should be a committee formed to look over their shoulders. Kibel, Rockrose,

People will be more upset that this is going to be FedEx. They would just hope it would be something more interesting. Most of the people are not a fan of the ramp either... They would just hope they don’t build it.

BY LENORE SKENAZY Agony is not something most of us want to live through, especially when the end result is not something great, like childbirth, or learning to walk again, or recovering from cancer. Agony when it is the last stop before death—or, worse, a long layover en route—is just plain bad. So why does New York State not let doctors prescribe the medicine that terminal patients need to shorten their torment?  Right now there is a case in our state Supreme Court, as well as four bills with bi-partisan support in the New York State Legislature, that all have the same goal: Let the dying die without suffering unbearable pain. The old term for this—“assisted suicide”—got it all wrong. Suicide is when you kill yourself because you don’t want to go on living. “Aid in dying” is for folks who don’t have any choice. They are terminally ill. Many would love to go on living—like that young woman with brain cancer last year, Brittany Maynard—but they are terminally ill. Death is around the corner, but first can come a period of screaming pain or torment. A prescription can offer a quicker exit from the torture chamber.

When Brittany learned her cancer was terminal, she moved to Oregon, because that state has allowed doctors to give aid in dying since 1997. When her glioblastoma reared up for its final blow, the 29-year-old scored the only victory she could against it. She said goodbye to the world and the people she loved, then raced past the grue-

breathe. There is no medicine to stop or even slow the progression of this disease.” A doctor can’t save her life. But a doctor could save her the terrifying moment she finds herself unable to breathe, by giving her the pills to leave peacefully. New Yorker Steven Goldberg has AIDS and his case is far gone. “I’ve had to have toes amputated, I’m unable to swallow solid food,” he says.  He also has cancer of the larynx, his body is wasting away and he is in “chronic severe pain.” Is it compas-

The terminally ill should be able to get ‘aid in dying’ from their doctors. some final scene by taking pills—pills her doctor gave her. That sounds like compassion to me. In New York State, it is a crime. Currently, our law prevents doctors from even discussing the possibility of a less drawn-out ending. What that means is that people like Sara Myers, a New Yorker with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is looking at a day when “this disease will rob me of my ability to

sionate to make him linger in this state when he is going to die soon anyway? Eric Seiff, a New York lawyer, has bladder cancer. “Should I decide my dying becomes unbearable, I want my physician to be able to prescribe medication I can take to achieve a peaceful death,” says Seiff. Just knowing that this is possible would be a great comfort. Indeed, in Oregon, for every 300 people request-

ing aid in dying, only one person actually takes the pills. But knowing they can, makes the illness much more bearable. Sara, Steven, and Eric are three of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case here. When the case was filed, they were quoted as a way of making an abstract notion concrete: This is not about doctors killing people, or panels deciding who should live and who should die. It is about granting mercy. “Advances in medicine and technology have allowed people to live longer,” says David Leven, executive director of End of Life Choices New York, a group that is also part of the lawsuit, represented by the Disability Rights Law Center and Debevoise & Plimpton. But while doctors are allowed to prescribe feeding tubes for people with dementia, and invasive treatments for those with terminal cancer—sometimes without the patient’s explicit consent—they can’t prescribe the lethal dose that the patients must ask for while they are sound of mind. A peaceful death as life draws to a close is not suicide. It is the ending most of us hope for. It should not be a crime to grant our dying wish.  Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker and author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids.

TRANSIT SAM Thurs., July 16 – Wed., July 22 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED FRIDAY  AND SATURDAY FOR EID AL-FITR Another full weekend closure ahead for Manhattan-bound lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge, and then it’s back to the usual overnight weekly closures. All Manhattan-bound lanes will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, midnight Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, and then 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. This means more traffic on Canal and West Sts. during the closures due to diversions to the Manhattan Bridge and Battery Tunnel. In the Lincoln Tunnel, one tube will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. This will cause delays and send Manhattan-bound traffic down to the Holland Tunnel. In the Holland Tunnel, one New York-bound lane and one New

Jersey-bound lane will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, slowing inbound traffic. Expect delays into Canal St. On West St./Route 9A, one southbound lane will close between Vesey and West Thames Sts. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closures continue on the BrooklynBattery Tunnel where one tube is closed nightly 9:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9:30 p.m. Friday through 5:30 a.m. Monday. During those closures, one lane will be open in each direction in the remaining tube. The Stone Street Pedestrian Mall will close Stone St. between Hanover Sq. and Broad St., and Mill Ln. between Stone and South William Sts. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day this week. Remember, alternate side parking rules will be suspended Friday and Saturday for Eid al-Fitr.

FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, It has infuriated me how the West Side Highway has effectively gone from three lanes to two lanes at the World Trade Center. Despite the subtle “No Standing” signs, taxis pull over and stop to pick up and discharge passengers. I even saw a cab stop in the middle lane to pick up some tourists running out into the road. The congestion has become unbearable. What’s going on with this?

construction vehicles entering the World Trade Center site, and a vehicle check point right in that area for all cars and trucks entering the World Trade Center so you have a perfect storm of sorts. The bridge work will wrap up this summer. There are two N.Y.P.D. officers on scooters assigned to the area on weekdays, Monday through Friday, and at least one on weekends. I’ve asked them to pay attention to drivers stopping in the lane. Transit Sam

Nancy, Lower Manhattan

Dear Nancy, The southbound traffic leading into Liberty St. is backed up because of ongoing work dismantling a portion of the pedestrian bridge and returning the exit from the bridge directly onto Liberty St. where it was on 9/11. There are also

Confused about ever-changing traffic and parking regulations? Need driving tips or help navigating around Lower Manhattan? You can always e-mail me at transitsam@downtownexpress. com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Ave. Fifth Floor New York, NY 10001. And of course, be sure to follow me on Twitter @GridlockSam.

Offshore Direct

July 16-July 29, 2015


Seizing summer family fun Downtown & beyond B Y VICTOR I A G RA N T H A M Apparently summer technically comes to a close on Sept. 23, but we all know we can kiss sun and fun goodbye before that. For parents, especially, Labor Day marks the start of a new school year, back-toschool chaos and an adjustment to new, more rigid routines. All this to say: we only have a month and a half left! (Cue the horror music.) That’s just six weeks — give/take. The problem I have this year (and every year) is that there’s too much I want to do and too little time to do it in. As a parent of small children who are transforming from babies to real people before my very eyes, I feel the pressure of this prime memory making time. My summer bucket list is overflowing. I’m sure a Zen master (or even Zen amateur) would be horrified by all my backward and forward looking. Oh well. I’ll just do what I always do with my Type A self in the face of too much choice — make a list, prioritize, plan! Let’s start with location. It’s always fun to escape the city and play on a beach in the Hamptons, or swim at the Jersey Shore, but I also love summer in the city. There are so many kid-friendly things happening outdoors and they seem like secret

LIFE DOWNTOWN treats with fewer people around. Here’s what’s on my list for the last few weeks of summer: Governors Island — We actually made it over to Governors Island once already this season for a bike riding playdate that coincided with a jazz era celebration. (We were the only ones not in fab 1920s era costumes.) It was so fun and festive that I’m hoping to go again. On July 18 there’s a “Come Out & Play Family Day.” All the games will connect together with a storyline about time travel — “complete with an official Time Travel Agency, games throughout time and postcards to the future.” Forget the kids, this is right up my alley as I feel like I’m attempting to bend the space-time continuum on a daily basis. Though it’s primarily geared to ages 6-11, there will also be a separate T.O.T.S (Time travelers of Tiny Size) area specifically for preschoolers. Nerd city. Love it. Gallow Green at The McKittrick Hotel — Gallow Green, the restaurant at The McKittrick Hotel, (home by night

to Sleep No More) is hosting Children’s Potions & Planting Tea Parties on July 18, Aug. 1 and Sept. 12. Children 6-11 are invited to come along with their favorite stuffed animal to the garden for planting and potion-making. I’m sold on the mix of magic and nature and hope to make it to the August session. A concert — My boys love music, but we don’t get to listen to live music often enough, so one of my (many) summer resolutions is to head to a kids’ concert this season. Lincoln Center has a free “Out of Doors Family Day” that I’m eyeing on July 25. It’s a full day of dance and music —from Baby Loves Disco at 10 a.m. to Randy Newman at 7 p.m. A movie — Hudson River Park is hosting a movie series at Pier 46 called RiverFlicks for Kids. They’ll be featuring films — “The BoxTrolls”, “Annie”, “Paddington” and more over the next six Fridays. Shows start at 8:30, so it’s tough for the young ones, but maybe I can sneak away one night and treat my eldest. A play — This is such a great time of year to introduce kids to theater because it’s no pressure. Free outdoor options are numerous — from “Measure for Measure” in Battery Park (The Battery) and Brooklyn Bridge Park, to “The Tempest” in Marcus

Garvey Park, to “As You Like It” on the Lower East Side. Shakespeare’s probably more than my five-year-old can handle, but maybe we’ll give it a try and see how it goes. Amusement park — I love that Wollman Rink transforms from an ice skating rink in the winter to a carnival in the summer and that it’s in the heart of Central Park. The dozen rides or so are manageable for the little ones. We’ll likely head to Victorian Gardens again this year. If we’re really adventurous we’ll get on the subway and go all the way to Coney Island, but a shorter jaunt to a smaller park might just do the trick this year. A ride (or 5) on a carousel — There are so many cool carousels in New York — from Jane’s carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, to the carousel at Pier 62 by Chelsea Piers, to The SeaGlass carousel in Battery Park – which is supposed to open Aug. 20. I’m determined to get myself (oh and my kids) on at least one wooden animal or aquatic creature before the summer’s over. What’s your plan? How are you going to enjoy your last few weeks of summer? Victoria Grantham, a writer and communications professional, is raising her family in Tribeca.

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Activities JULY 16-JULY 29, 2015 LONG-RUNNING TENNIS PROGRAM: East River Park, Montgomery St. and E. 12th Street; cityparksfoundation. org/2015-summer-; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am – noon, Now – Fri, Aug. 14; Free. City Parks Foundation is again hosting tennis lessons for children as part of its Summer Sports program. Registration is required on line.  YOGA: Washington Square Park, West 7th St. and University Place;; Thursdays, 10 am to 11 am, Now – Fri, Aug. 21; Free.  Bring your little ons 2 to 7 years old for a stretching session. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Mats will be provided.  ART TIME: Nelson A Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700;; Thursdays, 10:30 am–noon, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; Free.  Young artists are introduced to paper, clay, paint and other supplies.  ACCESSIBLE ARTS INITIATIVE: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. at Hudson Street; (212) 274–0986;; Mondays and Wednesdays, Noon–5 pm, Thursdays and Fridays, Noon–6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm; Free. The museum is beginning a pilot year of the program which will enable any child with a disability and their caregiver to help strengthen museum wide programs. The initiative is aimed at making the museum more accessible for all children including special needs children. Registration is required. ART AND GAMES: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City;; Thursdays, 3:30–5:30 pm, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; Free. Create a fun project, make friends and play games. For children 5 years and older.  ARTS ISLAND OUTPOST: Governors Island, Outside Building 14; Nolan Park; (212) 274–0986;; Saturdays and Sundays, 12 pm to 4 pm, Now – Sun, Sept. 27; Free.  The whole family will enjoy making artwork inspired by Governors Island. Participants create works with natural materials found on the island, including rocks, recyclables and more. Hosted by the Children’s Museum of Art.  TRACK AND FIELD: East River Park, Montgomery St. btween E. 12th Street and the FDR Drive;; Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 am to 10:30 am and 10:30 am to noon, Now – Wed, Aug. 12; Free with museum admission.  ART AND PLAY: Robert F. Wagner Park, Battery Park City; (212) 267–9700;; Mondays – Wednesdays, 10 am–noon, Now – Wed, Oct. 28; Free.  Preschoolers drop-in and play with other toddlers, in this interactive play time on the grassy lawn. Sing and hear stories too.  PARENT AND BABY YOGA: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City;; Mondays, 1 –2:15 pm and 2:30–3:45 pm, Now – Thurs, Oct. 29; $180.  Multi-level class designed to strengthen the body after giving birth. Pre-registration required. (two sessions). 

Email info about YOUR youth activity to:


July 16-July 29, 2015

BASKETBALL CLINIC: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City;; Mondays, 3:30– 5:30 pm, Now – Mon, Oct. 26; Free. Staffers teach children of all ages the basics of the sport. No classes May 25, September 7 and October 12.  HUDSON RIVER OUTPOST: Hudson River Park, Pier 25 at North Moore Street; (212) 274–0986;; Tuesdays, 1 pm to 2:30 pm, Now – Tues, Aug. 25; Free.  Hosted by the museum and Hudson River Park Trust, families explore the environment of the JHudson through art workshops. No registration required. Drop ins welcome. All materials provided while supplies last. Weather permitting. 

Space limited first come, first served. DROP IN CHESS: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City;; Wednesdays, 3:30–5 pm, Now – Wed, Sept. 30; Free. Players of every level practice, learn and hone up on skills. For children 5 to 15 years old.  PLAYTIME: Teardrop Park, Battery Park City;; Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 pm, Now – Wed, Oct. 28; Free.  Staffers teach children the value of play and create fun projects in drawing, sculpting and murals. For children 5 and older. 

SAT, JULY 18 SOCCER CLINIC: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City;; Tuesdays, 2:30–3:15 pm; 3:30–4:15 pm and 4:30–5:30 pm, Now – Tues, Oct. 27; Free. Children learn the fundamentals of the game and pre-schoolers have fun kicking, running and being part of a team. Drop in. For ages 3 to 11 years old. 

PLAY FESTIVAL: Governors Island;; 11 am – 4 pm; Free. From 6 to 60 have fun in this event of crazy sports and kid friendly activities. Hosted by ESI Design. 


“TALES OF BRIER RABBIT”: YOUNG SPROUTS GARDENSeward Park, Essex St. and E. ING: Nelson A Rockefeller Park Broadway; (Children’s Garden), Battery Park; 10:30 am; Free. Learn, City; (212) 267–9700;; Play, Presented by Make the CityNew Park’sFriends! Classes - Indoor Playspace Tuesdays, 3:15 – 3:45 pm, Now – Foundation and the Puppet Mobile. Salon - Birthday Parties - Boutique Thurs, Oct. 29; Free.  Follow the tales of the feisty Brier Little ones 3 to 5 years old learn Rabbit who is always getting into Friends! Kids.  about simple gardening projects. Play, Learn, trouble.Make Part ofNew SummerStage Classes - Indoor Playspace

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July 16-July 29, 2015


It can be hard to get a cab in this city. How many times has a taxi refused to take you where you wanted to go? How many times have you been ignored by an empty cab during rush hour? How many times have you been stranded in the outer boroughs? But Councilwoman Chin supports a bill that would decrease Uber’s availability, increase wait times dramatically and strand millions of riders across the city. We need more access to reliable transportation options in this city, not less. Councilwoman Margaret Chin

It’s just that simple.

Contact Councilwoman Chin. Tell her Uber works for all New Yorkers.


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July 16-July 29, 2015

July 16-July 29, 2015




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