VOLUME 24, NUMBER 21
THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN
BRUSH STROKES AND BODY SHOTS, PG. 30
OCTOBER 5 - 11, 2011
9/11 Memorial, Silver host first ‘community evening’ BY ALINE REYNOLDS Downtown residents’ wish to have their own ceremony at the National Sept. 11 Memorial for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was never granted. Instead they were given what some community members feel is an equally good opportunity for reflection: special access to the memorial on the first
Sunday of every month. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver invited an estimated 2,000 Lower Manhattan residents to the memorial’s first “Community Evening” on Sunday, Oct. 2. Starting at 4 p.m. only people who produced identification proving they lived in a Lower Manhattan zip code, were allowed into the
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Residents say ‘no’ to proposed rezoning Downtown Express photo by Cynthia Magnus
It’s been over two weeks since the Occupy Wall Street protestors first showed up at Zuccotti Park. Last week, some of them attended Community Board 1’s full board meeting in an effort to start a dialogue with local residents.
Protestors, C.B. 1 have dialogue BY CYNTHIA MAGNUS “I think we established a dialogue,” said Pat Moore, chair of Community Board 1’s Quality of Life Committee, about an informal meeting held on
October 3 with some members of the Occupy Wall Street group who are camped in Zuccotti Park. The purpose was to discuss ways in which relations between the Downtown community
and the protesters might be eased. At the C.B.1 full board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, Financial District
Mandell is opening a new pre-school in Tribeca/ Battery Park City. Probably best to line up now.
Continued on page 4
BY ALINE REYNOLDS When Tribeca resident Matthew Foster moved to the community in 2008, he never dreamed he’d have to send his two young children to a public school outside of the neighborhood. “I live in this community, and I want to send my kids to school in this community,” said Foster. The rezoning plan proposed by the city’s
Department of Education, however, would assign Foster’s kids to P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village once they reach kindergarten. “I don’t think it’s a good idea at all,” said Foster at a hearing held at P.S. 234 on Tuesday night. “I had to look up P.S. 3 on a map. I have no idea about that school.” Foster is one of a number of neighborhood fami-
Continued on page 7
more information: www.mandellschool.org (212) 222–2925
October 5 - 11, 2011
Fourth Arts Block cuts ribbon on renovated buildings BY KHIARA ORTIZ The FAB! Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, featured the ribbon-cutting “Curtains Up” ceremony for three multiarts facilities on E. Fourth St. The publicly funded projects include the Rod Rodgers Dance and Duo Multicultural Arts Center, The Shop and 64E4. Funders and supporters of the buildings’ renovations were thanked and honored, along with Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Along with the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) district in Brooklyn, E. Fourth St. between the Bowery and Second Ave. is New York City’s only other officially designated cultural district. Since 2006, the city has committed more than $20 million to the renovation of six of the arts facilities on the block. The building that is now home to the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and DUO Theatre at 62 E. Fourth St. used to be “boarded-up and graffitied,” said Tamara Greenfield, executive director of FABnyc. “Now they can be really proud and people will get a sense that things are happening.” “The renovation of 64 E. Fourth will almost triple our cultural programming offerings to our community,” added Jose Cheo Oliveras, artistic director of Teatro Circulo. “We will be able to present more than 25 theatrical productions, increase the amount of our classes and workshops, and even open a forum for local companies to use our spaces as their performing venue.” Sharing the space are the IATI Theater and Paradise Factory. The third building, owned by New York Theatre Workshop, is at 72 E. Fourth St. and is New York State’s first urban industrial cultural “green” building to meet gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
LET’S DO LUNCH
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Councilmember Rosie Mendez speaking at the FAB! Festival this past weekend.
standards. It was constructed using manufactured materials with recycled content and wood from well-managed forests to meet sustainable design principles. NYTW intends to attain the same level of green standards in its daily operations.
Greenfield is excited about upcoming events, especially the second annual East Village Eats festival on Sat., Oct. 22. For $29 Village foodies can embark on a self-guided tasting tour at 12 to 15 different local restaurants and bars.
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October 5 - 11, 2011
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-9, 12-21
V.C.F. OPEN FOR REGISTRATION The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act’s Victim Compensation Fund registry is now open. Claimants may begin to fill out basic registration information, such as their names and addresses, but they won’t be able to submit medical and other eligibility information until the end of the month, according to V.C.F. Special Master Sheila Birnbaum. Birnbaum denied other media reports alleging the process has been delayed. “There was no way we could get it up and running and be able to test the claims form and get it done in a way that would be meaningful,” said Birnbaum. “The claims section is being tested to make sure it’s understandable and easy to use.” Birnbaum is organizing clinics for early November that would guide the claimants through the application forms. In the meantime, she said, interested claimants are offered assistance through a telephone help line. A list of frequently asked questions is also available on the V.C.F. website. For more information, visit www.vcf.gov. To register, visit www.claims.vcf.gov/welcome.aspx.
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EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . 10-11 YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 - 27
premieres “Between You and Me” and “Black Ground” as part of its D.N.A. Presents Series. Splice features photographs of artists before and after taking the stage, thereby highlighting the impermanent nature of performance. The show, “brings together unique artists that share a common thread, however subtle, into a performance setting that offers insightful views into the breadth of contemporary dance,” according to D.N.A.’s Executive Director Catherine Peila.
PRET-A-MANGER COMES TO HUD. SQ. Pret-a-Manger has signed a 15-year, 3,854-square-foot lease at 350 Hudson Street. The sandwich shop is known for its all-natural ingredients. “As Hudson Square continues to attract a diverse range of tenants, it is increasingly important to build a vibrant retail community to serve and retain those companies,” said Jason D. Pizer, President of Trinity Real Estate. “Pret-a-Manger is an important step in that process and we are delighted to welcome them to the area.” The nine-story, 322,447-square-foot building houses the New York headquarters of leading international advertising and public relations firms Euro RSCG and Havas North America. The ground floor of 350 Hudson Street is also home to a signature café and retail shop from renowned chocolatier and purveyor of gourmet confections, Jacques Torres.
CLASSIFIEDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
C.B. 1 EE TING S
A schedule of this week’s upcoming Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, all committee meetings are held at the board office, located at 49-51 Chambers St., room 709 at 6 p.m. ON WED., OCT. 5: The Financial District Committee will meet. ON THURS., OCT. 6: The Planning and Infrastructure Committee will meet. ON TUES., OCT. 11: The Youth/Education Committee will meet. ON WED., OCT. 12: The Tribeca Committee will meet.
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October 5 - 11, 2011
Downtown Express photos by Cynthia Magnus
Aly, whose cart on Cedar Street sells only breakfast items said his business has been down by 40 percent since the Occupy Wall Street protest started.
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
Last Friday, protesters marched from Zuccotti Park to One Police Plaza.
Occupy Wall Street meets with C.B. 1 Continued from page 1 committee chair Ro Sheffe introduced a proposed resolution during the new business session. It suggested that the board urge the mayor’s office to address the disruptions to area residents and local businesses caused by the occupation. It proposed that park owner Brookfield Properties take measures to re-open space in the park for use by local residents and workers, for the NYPD to enforce existing noise control laws, and for the Board of Health to designate the Financial District as a noise sensitive zone. The issue was tabled until the committee’s public meeting on Oct. 5, to give members time for further discussion. A member of the Occupy Wall Street group’s community relations committee, Justin Wedes, was among those invit-
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ed to attend the informal Oct. 3 afternoon meeting. Sheffe said he raised four main issues related to the occupation: noise disruption, pedestrian and vehicular disruption, sanitation, and dual use for the occupiers and local park users. Sheffe said it was important for the protesters to understand the background of the community, which has grown by 300 percent in ten years. “They are surrounded by people who are raising families in this neighborhood, not the barons of Wall Street,” said Sheffe. The C.B.1 committee requested that the protesters remove the drummers which currently play in Zuccotti. One of the protesters suggested that the drummers might move to the southernmost area of Battery Park. At the occupiers “general assembly” session held later on Oct. 3 they voted to pass Wedes’ proposal to change
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“quiet hours” from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. They also voted to ask C.B.1 to support the group’s application to the NYPD for a sound permit that would allow the use of a megaphone in the park. At the Sept. 29 1st Precinct Community Council meeting it was explained to the several protesters in attendance that the NYPD cannot issue a sound permit without permission from the owner of the property. One protester named Katie complained about the way earlier arrests were handled, but noted that police have been “mostly helpful.” Another protester said that Occupy Wall Street is a decentralized organization and asked about the best way to have a discourse with NYPD. Inspector Edward Winski said, “My community affairs guys have gone into the crowd since day one, and can’t find anyone to speak to. When there’s a leadership structure, we sit down and work it out.” Wedes said that it is “in everyone’s interest” for the group to be approved for the sound permit, as the nightly general assembly meetings in the park would go faster, and that “a low megaphone would actually be quieter than the ‘people’s mic’ - a system in which a speaker’s statement is repeated loudly by the crowd so that everyone can hear. Ted, a member of the protester community, stated his personal opinion when asked if the need for a megaphone might be eliminated if the drummers stopped playing during general assembly. Currently participants must shout over the drums. “It doesn’t make sense for people to be disruptive during GA,” he said, “It also means that the people at G.A. are missing the drum circle.” Wedes said he does not think it is “plausible” to ask the drum circle to remove themselves from Zuccotti. “We
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POLICE BLOTTER Three times out A suspect in the Sept. 26 robbery of the Sovereign Bank branch at 2 Gold St. was arrested after he hit the place for a third time on Wednesday, Sept. 28, for a total of $26,000. Charles Burnett, 29, with a record of two previous misdemeanor arrests, was charged with three counts of robbery. At 9:20 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26 he put a brown paper bag on a teller’s counter, handed over a note saying “put the money in the bag. I have a gun,” and fled with $2,258, police said. He returned at 10:54 a.m. the next day and fled with $14,000 after threatening a teller he would shoot her in the face if she didn’t give him all the money, police said. On Wednesday, Sept.28 he came back a third time and passed a note saying “I have a gun put all the money in the bag.” Two officers recognized him from a wanted poster and him as he was leaving with about $10,000, according to court documents. Burnett was described as 6’1” and about 275 lbs. in a New York Post article, which also said he was recently released from a mental institution somewhere in the South. Burnett used the money from the Sept. 26 robbery to book a room in the Grand Hyatt on E. 42nd Street and Grand Central, according to the New York Post article.
Tickets Tickets Tickets A Queens man carrying a bag of printed tickets was getting into his car parked in
October 5 - 11, 2011
front of 224 Front St. in the South Street Seaport around 11:25 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 when a man brandishing a black handgun demanded, “Give me the bag, give me the bag, give me the bag,” police said. An accomplice on a motorcycle drove up and the gunman grabbed the bag and got on the back. The robbers made a U-urn and sped west on Peck Slip, police said. The bag had 300 Watertaxi tickets, 200 Top of the Rock tickets, 200 Tussaud’s Wax Museum tickets and 700 Intrepid Sea/Air Museum tickets, with a total value of $6,400.
Cell phones lifted Two suspects walked into the Verizon store at 102 Fulton St. around 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, took two cell phones from a display case and fled without paying for them. The phones, valued at $699 each, were store demonstration models and wee activated for use, police said.
Subway dipper A Staten Island man, 23, got on a crowded train at the Whitehall St. station around 12:20 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 and lost the wallet from his back pocket with $133 and credit cards and his cell phone to a pickpocket, police said.
Dump truck gone A dump truck parked at a construction
site on the northeast corner of Leonard and Varick Sts. at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 was discovered stolen an hour later, police said. The truck was valued at $50,000.
Booked on book theft The man arrested on Sept. 26 for trying to sell books he reportedly stole from public library branches to a bookshop in the East Village, was also charged in an earlier theft of 11 books from the Battery Park City Public Library on North End Ave. Andrew Hansen, 27, with a long record of library book thefts, was arrested on Sept. 21 in connection with the Battery Park City library theft. He is also a suspect in two other library thefts for which he has not yet been charged, according to reports. On Monday, Sept. 26, he tried to sell stolen library books to East Village Books, 99 St. Marks Pl., but the owner held him for police. Hansen, who was also arrested in July for trying to steal books from the Tompkins Sq. library branch, is barred from the library system and from Strand Books on Broadway and E. 12th Street. In September 2009 he was arrested in Union Sq. for ripping labels out of stolen library books and in November 2009 he was arrested for shoplifting in the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Union Square, according to reports.
Burglary attempt Three men in a mini van tried to beak into the Miu Miu clothing boutique at 100 Prince St. around 12:55 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 but after two tries with a crow bar, they failed to enter the place and drove off. Police
said a witness saw two men, one wearing a facemask and the other wearing a hooded sweatshirt, get out of the van. One of them smashed the front door glass with the crowbar. The van then backed up to the door, and the two men put a blue plastic garbage can nearby and tried to pry open a lock at the bottom of the door. They failed to break the lock, left the garbage can and sped away north on Greene Street. The attempt was part of a citywide burglary pattern, police said.
Comfortable seat A woman patron of Greenhouse, 150 Varick St., told police she left the place very drunk around 4:10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept.27 when a stranger told her there was a comfortable place to sit around the corner on Vandam Street. Once off Varick Street, the man took her cell phone and fled, police said. She discovered later that day that 10 unauthorized calls were made on the phone.
Scattered contents A New Jersey woman, 28, told police she was with friends at Toad Hall, the bar at 57 Grand St., shortly after midnight on Saturday, Oct. 1 and left her bag on a hook under the bar while she went out for a smoke. When she returned, she found that someone had scattered the contents of her bag on the bar. She gathered everything, put it all back in her bag, but didn’t notice until after she got home that her wallet with ID and credit cards was missing. Several unauthorized charges were made on the cards.
— Alber t Amateau
Post-St. Vincent’s debate continues on two fronts BY ALBERT AMATEAU It was all about St. Vincent’s from morning till night last Thursday, Sept. 22. At 10 a.m. the state Health Planning Council heard testimony on the conversion of St. Vincent’s O’Toole Pavilion on the west side of Seventh Ave. into a comprehensive community health center with a free-standing emergency department to be operated by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Later that day, at the 6 p.m. Community Board 2 meeting, opponents and supporters debated the Rudin Organization’s proposed redevelopment of the former hospital’s east campus into a 450-unit condo residential complex. In a joint statement to the Health Planning Council, local elected officials said that while they were concerned about certain details of the planned health center, they acknowledged that it would provide significant community healthcare to the Lower West Side. Nevertheless, the local politicians said they would continue to advocate for a full-service acute-care hospital. The joint statement by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, state Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Richard Gottfried and Congressmember Jerrold Nadler also noted that the state Department of Health had found there was a continued need for St. Vincent’s up until its closure last year. But the politicians added that, “No experienced healthcare provider has yet put forth a credible proposal to re-establish a hospital on the site.”
The elected officials, however, remained concerned about the Fire Department Emergency Medical Service protocols for delivering patients to the proposed health center and for transferring them to full-service hospitals. Although the North Shore-L.I.J. emergency department would serve more than 90 percent of the patients who received treatment at the St. Vincent’s emergency room, ambulances would have to take some patients to other hospitals. “The [Department of Health] must not approve this application until and unless North Shore-L.I.J. and the Emergency Medical Service have established ambulance protocols,” the statement said. In addition, the elected officials suggested that the proposed O’Toole health center could also accommodate a fullservice hospital at a later date. “A new full-service hospital remains our goal. If the center is approved, we will continue to urge in the strongest possible way that North Shore-L.I.J. or another provider build upon the service [the health center] offers,” the statement said. Nevertheless, most people at the Health Planning hearing called for a full-service hospital and told the department to reject the North Shore-L.I.J. center. Members of the Coalition for a New Village Hospital submitted statements contending the proposed comprehensive care center and free-standing emergency department would inevitably put patients at risk.
The coalition has submitted a petition with more than 2,000 signatures opposing the North Shore-L.I.J. center, as well as the Rudin residential project on the east side of the avenue. Both the residential project and the North Shore-L.I.J. health center are part of the same current city uniform land use review procedure (ULURP) currently underway. At the C.B. 2 meeting, neighbors of the former hospital urged the community board not to recommend the zoning required to accommodate the large-scale residential development. Al Butzel, the attorney representing Protect the Village Historic District, which was founded three years ago in response to the Rudin plan, said, “The zoning is being manipulated in this case.” Rudin is seeking a rezoning that would increase development at the site by 40 percent more than ordinary residential zoning, Butzel noted. He said the group was also against a proposed underground parking garage, which would be the fourth one on W. 12th St. between Seventh and Sixth Aves. Gary Tomei, a member of Protect the Village Historic District, said the Rudin project would set a precedent for New York University’s request for large-scale development of its two superblocks in the South Village. Philip Schaeffer, a lawyer representing the W. 13th St. 100 Block Association, said that Rudin has not shown that
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October 5 - 11, 2011
N.Y.U. official cites â€˜lack of civilityâ€™ at C.B. 2 BY ALBERT AMATEAU New York Universityâ€™s proposal that the city Parks Department take over two cityowned green strips on the east and west sides of the universityâ€™s northern superblock provoked conflicting responses from elected officials and Village civic associations. The university announced at a Sept. 15 news conference that it would modify its original proposal to acquire the strips along Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place between W. Third and Bleecker Sts. and support a Parks Department takeover from the city Department of Transportation. But the university wants easements that would allow access across the strips and permit construction beneath them in conjunction with the long-term NYU 2031 redevelopment plan for its two superblocks. Critics focused on two main issues: the easements and the fact that N.Y.U. did not confer with Community Board 2 about its new plans. Community Board 2 last week rejected the proposal saying, â€œThe easements would allow for long-term, temporary closing of the two park strips.â€? The board also wanted an evaluation of legal issues pertaining to the transfer of the strips and the granting of easements across them. The board resolution also finds fault with the orientation of the two strips. â€œWhile publicly accessible, all the new
open space included in the proposal would be inward-facing with a university campus look and feel, not befitting the character of the community,â€? the resolution says. Regarding the process, the resolution complains that N.Y.U. did not work with C.B. 2 on developing the plan or even talk to the board about it, â€œalthough they did consult with other advocacy organizations.â€? The resolution added, â€œ[The] C.B. 2 board admonished N.Y.U. for not discussing the issue prior to its announcement to the media, which could be interpreted as a cynical attempt to manipulate the wider public.â€? The resolution urged the university to work with the community on strategies to transfer a total of four park strips on its two superblocks to the Parks Department to preserve them as a much-used and cherished public open space. Councilmember Margaret Chinâ€™s Office said, â€œWhile the councilmember appreciates that N.Y.U. has been listening to what the community has set as priorities, she still feels there is a lot to talk about and will meet with the university, community board and affected community groups as the process unfolds.â€? State Senator Tom Duane said this week that he thought N.Y.U. showed bad faith making its decision without engaging the community board.
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â€œNegotiating by press release is a terrible idea,â€? Duane said. He also suggested that there is no guarantee that the public would have access to the park strips in the foreseeable future because of construction. Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. vice president for government relations and community engagement, replied that she was disappointed with the â€œfixationâ€? on process over substance. â€œWeâ€™re proposing to make the strips parkland. Thatâ€™s a good thing,â€? she said. â€œItâ€™s hard for us not to notice the lack of civility with which we are treated when we do go before the community board. We understand that, to some extent, it comes with the territory, but that doesnâ€™t make it right and it doesnâ€™t seem especially productive,â€? Hurley said. Lawrence Goldberg, president of Friends of LaGuardia Place, said, â€œIâ€™m anxious for the strips to be part of the Parks Department, but I find the current proposal with a requirement for access easements to be unacceptable because it would result in the ultimate destruction of the park.â€? Alyson Beha, of New Yorkers for Parks, a citywide parks advocacy group, said N.Y.U. has been consulting with the organization on the Mercer St. strip. â€œOur priority is to ensure that there is no alienation of park land,â€? she said.
Although the strips have been the responsibility of the city Department of Transportation, they have been used as park space for many years. The group wants to make sure that N.Y.U. reaches a binding neighborhood maintenance agreement for the strips, Beha said. â€œAlienation,â€? in terms of park property, means removing it from city ownership or public use. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, called the N.Y.U. proposal a â€œsham parks plan.â€? He said the easements would allow N.Y.U. to build under the parks, dig through them to the underground space at any time and to use the strips for construction staging. â€œBy N.Y.U.â€™s own admission, these parks would be closed to the public for years at a time,â€? said Berman. The G.V.S.H.P. director is a longtime critic of the NYU 2031 plan to add 2.5 million square feet of development to its two superblocks, bounded by LaGuardia Place and Mercer, Houston and W. Third Sts. In a letter to local and city officials, Berman urged that the universityâ€™s expansion plans not be approved. The Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, headed by Terri Cude and Martin Tessler, was equally critical.
Continued on page 21
October 5 - 11, 2011
Community not sold on city’s proposed rezoning Continued from page 1 lies that object to the proposed zoning changes for Lower Manhattan. The purpose of the rezoning is to create a zone for the new Peck Slip elementary school and to realign the sizes of the zones according to the capacity of each school. The new zones would divide the neighborhood of Tribeca, such that the Fosters and other families who live north of North Moore Street would be assigned to P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village rather than to P.S. 234, their local neighborhood school. Another notable change to the current zones is that children who live in Gateway Plaza and are currently in the P.S. 89 zone would be reassigned to P.S. 276. The proposal, under consideration by the District Two Community Education Council, will be finalized by the end of the year. “No matter where the zone lines are drawn, somebody will be in a different zone than they had expected to be,” said Elizabeth Rose, director of portfolio planning at the D.O.E. “We know that’s painful and we know that’s unexpected.” The department is doing its best, Rose continued, to retain students in the schools they’re zoned for. But that statement didn’t satisfy parents such as Melissa Goldsmith, who said she would
be considering private schools if her preschool-aged child is zoned for P.S. 3 starting next year. “There’s no way he can walk there,” said Goldsmith. “I don’t want him really crossing Canal Street during Holland Tunnel traffic hours.” At the latest school overcrowding task force meeting held by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last Tuesday, Sept. 27, Rose also announced that P.S. 1 and P.S. 126 in Chinatown have a collective capacity of 350 to 370 additional seats, and that they’ll therefore serve as alternative opportunities for waitlisted Downtown students in the coming years. P.S. 1 Principal Amy Hom, however, contended that her school could only hold one additional group of kindergarteners. The D.O.E., she noted, is counting cluster rooms, offices and even closets as classroom space into their capacity projections. “Technically, I could open one more class in kindergarten, because each year would need an additional classroom,” said Hom. “If it becomes overcrowded here, it’s not going to be pleasant.” Both proposals fail to address the longterm dilemma of the lack of elementary seats in Downtown schools, according to Eric Greenleaf, a member of the task force and a business professor at New
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Elizabeth Rose, director of portfolio planning at the D.O.E., at a public hearing held Tuesday night at P.S. 234 to discuss the city’s proposed rezoning plan for Lower Manhattan.
York University. “Their overcrowding solution is to overcrowd more schools,” said Greenleaf. “It kind of ignores a lot of long-established neighborhood boundaries, and also doesn’t solve the problem, which is that more schools are needed.”
Part of the problem, Greenleaf elaborated, is that the D.O.E. lacks the necessary projections to plan ahead. “When you do school rezoning, you have to take a look at enrollments in the future, to see if the zone is sufficient to meet the demands in the future,” he said. “The D.O.E. has absolutely no forecast for what they think enrollments will be in the next three-to-four years.” Overcrowding in Lower Manhattan schools, meanwhile, will continue to worsen every year, as the district will be short 1,200 or 1,3000 seats, according to Greenleaf’s data. “At this rate, in a few years, every single Downtown school will have a waitlist — even the incubator Peck Slip school,” said Greenleaf. Rezoning a handful of blocks in Tribeca to P.S. 3 is not sufficient to accommodate the hundreds of incoming school children, echoed P.S. 234 parent Tricia Joyce. “One cannot construct 20,000 new apartments without building new schools. It’s simple math,” said Joyce. “The outdated planning methods used by the D.O.E. have failed, over and over again for a decade. It is time to accept these failures and build new schools concurrent with residential construction.”
Continued on page 8
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 5 - 11, 2011
Women’s Healthcare Services Returns to Tribeca Following the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital, many physicians came to New York Downtown Hospital so they could continue to serve their patients on the West Side. With the opening of a new Center on 40 Worth Street, we are pleased to welcome two exceptional physicians back to the community. They will be working in collaboration with physicians from Weill Cornell Medical Associates.
Dr. Zhanna Fridel and Dr. Vanessa Pena are board certified obstetricians and gynecologists utilizing leading diagnostic and treatment methodologies across a broad spectrum of women's health issues. • • • • • • • • • •
Saying ‘no’ to rezoning Continued from page 7 The task force was nonetheless pleased to hear that more space has opened up in One Peck Slip, which they’re hoping will prompt the D.O.E. to expand the school beyond its slated capacity of 476 seats. The U.S. Postal Service has tentatively selected 116 John St. as the future site for their retail operations currently situated in the Peck Slip building, according to Hank Burmeister, manager of the Northeast Facilities Service Office of the U.S. Postal Service. The new post office, located only a couple of blocks south of Peck Slip, would be approximately the same size as the current 3,000-square-foot store and offer similar services. Burmeister said it could open as early as spring 2012. Meanwhile, the Postal Service is contemplating moving its delivery branch to 90 Church St., across from the World Trade Center site. “It’s an accommodation that we’re very happy about,” said Community Board 1’s Youth and Education Committee Chair Paul Hovitz. The additional space in the Peck Slip building, Hovitz said, “enables the D.O.E. to comply with our request to increase the new school’s capacity to 600-plus students.”
Silver echoed this sentiment in a Sept. 22 letter to NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “Given the continued dire need for new elementary school classroom seats in our Downtown community, I strongly urge you to use that extra space to expand the size of the planned 476-seat school,” Silver wrote. “We face a school overcrowding crisis in Lower Manhattan for the foreseeable future, and we must not miss this excellent opportunity to create additional school seats to help address that crisis.” The D.O.E. declined to comment. The plans, however, have yet to be finalized, according to Burmeister. While the Peck Slip building has officially been transferred to the School Construction Authority, he said, the D.O.E. has agreed to pay U.S.P.S. half-a-million dollars for renovations to its existing facilities should the company decide to stay put. “We are entitled to some type of monetary value for our improvements if we were going to go back to the Peck Slip location,” said Burmeister. “And, further discussions have to take place with the S.C.A. if we indeed move out permanently.” The agreements, Burmeister said, would be finalized by the end of the year.
Normal and High Risk Obstetrical Care Complete Well Woman Care Diagnosis and Treatment of Gynecologic Conditions Laparoscopic Surgery Osteoporosis Detection and Treatment Urogynecology (female urology) Cord Blood Banking Cervical Cancer Vaccination Menopausal Management Contraception
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October 5 - 11, 2011
Newest C.B. 1 committee is all about housing Once formed, the organization will be soliciting funding from private and government organizations, so that participating seniors receive steep discounts for the services. The services, Goodkind stressed, must be affordable. “Mayor Bloomberg wants everyone to age in place, but it’s not possible at the moment,” he said. “We want to make it possible, so that people have an option to remain at home.” The committee will be inviting neighborhood landlords to help set up satellite offices in the community, so that the seniors can have easy access to the services offered by Manhattan Seniors. The committee is currently working on a business plan, which it hopes to have prepared by the spring.
RENT STABILIZATION Downtown has more rent-stabilized units than the community thinks, according to Goodkind. The number has risen by one-third since C.B. 1 came out with its rent-stabilization guide in 2009, he reported, prompting a need to update the board’s rent-stabilization guide to include approximately 2,000 additional rent-regulated units. The revised guide, Goodkind said, will be available for distribution by the end of the month. “I think this is a very important sub-
Trinity Wall Street THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1pm Concerts at One Eric Clark, piano Trinity Church SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 10am Practicing the Presence of God: Through Stewardship This week: Rambam’s Ladder of Giving The Rev. Matthew Heyd reﬂects on generosity and why the essence of giving is loving. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parish Hall SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1pm Bible Study for 20s & 30s Seminarian Joe Mitchell leads a lectio divina (divine reading) style Bible study. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl
All Are Welcome All events are free, unless noted. 212.602.0800
ject,” said Goodkind, who said he has witnessed fellow community members being forced out of their homes due to increases in rent and other living expenses. Preserving rent-stabilized units in the area, Goodkind continued, “will keep a large part of the community in tact.” In the case of 37 Wall St., the city’s Civil Court issued a final decision in August 2010 that all of the building’s units are subject to rentregulation, no matter what the rents are. Scores of other apartments in Lower Manhattan should be stabilized but aren’t, according to housing attorney Serge Joseph, who represented the 37 Wall St. tenants in court. “One of the conditions of receiving 421G [tax exemption] is that all apartments would be subject rent stabilization, even if the initial rent for an apartment in that building is $2,000 or more,” Joseph said. “The solution is, these tenants need to enforce their rights… they need to demand that they be treated as rent-stabilized tenants” said Joseph, by filing rent overcharge complaints to the state’s division of Housing and Community Renewal. C.B. 1 might also consider taking the issue to the state Supreme Court, according to Joseph, since a ruling from a higher court might be the best way to secure tenants’ rights. “Another landlord may say they’re not bound by this [37 Wall
Let’s do something together
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1pm Poetry Writers’ Workshop Led by J. Chester Johnson, published poet & Trinity parishioner. Works will be read on Sunday, October 23 at St. Paul’s Chapel. 74 Trinity Pl, Second Fl, Parlor MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1pm Bach at One The Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra present a weekly service of J.S. Bach’s music, accompanied by poetry readings. St. Paul’s Chapel TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1pm Gospel on Greenwich A Bible study and prayer group with seminarian Joe Mitchell. Bring your lunch. Charlotte’s Place TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 6pm O God My Heart is Ready To Serve: the Feast of Saint Philip Explore aspects of being ready to serve God and one another. This week: The Rt. Rev. Andrew R. St. John, DD 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Parlor
St.] decision,” he said. “Otherwise, I’d be comfortable saying all the 5,000 apartments [in the rent-stabilization guide] are indisputably rent-stabilized.” Paul Newell, the Democratic district leader for New York’s 64th Assembly District, agreed that legal action is necessary to enforce rent regulation rules. “If we can try and get a bunch of people in the room and craft a legal strategy, it sounds to me like there is legal grounds to extend stabilization to at least 50 percent of the units in the Financial District,” said Newell. Housing Committee member Tiffany Winbush, who has been living at 37 Wall St. since 2009, said she was very relived about the judge’s ruling. “I’m benefiting, ‘cause I have a lease agreement that shows me how much my rent is expected to go up over a year or two years,” she said. “So at the end of my lease, I’m not surprised.” Winbush made it clear, however, that her rent isn’t the least bit inexpensive. Just because it’s rent-stabilized, she explained, “it doesn’t necessarily mean that your apartment is more affordable. It just means that it’s protected and can’t go up by extremes.” The committee also has plans to update and reprint the board’s senior and affordable housing guides in the coming months.
worship SUNDAY, 8am and 10am St. Paul’s Chapel Communion in the round 8pm Compline, music, and prayers SUNDAY, 9am and 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
TRINITY CHURCH Broadway at Wall Street 74 Trinity Place is located in the ofﬁce building behind Trinity Church.
BY ALINE REYNOLDS The goal of Community Board 1’s new Housing Committee, is “to allow people to have tenure in the community,” said committee chair Tom Goodkind. “It should be up to you, not the conditions you’re living in, to move out of your home,” Goodkind told the audience on Monday, Sept. 26, as they discussed ways seniors could more easily age in place and how and where tenants can obtain rentstabilization in the neighborhood. One way the committee plans to implement that vision is by opening up a center for the elderly named “Manhattan Seniors.” The nonprofit, which the committee hopes to launch by the end of 2012, would provide 24-hour affordable domestic health care, cleaning, and other services for seniors, as well as organize daytime activities for them in the neighborhood. Manhattan Seniors would serve as an alternative to displacing the elderly from their homes, according to Goodkind. Seniors, he said, tend to get disoriented — and in some cases, fall ill — when they move out of their homes and into nursing care facilities. “Maybe we should stop bringing seniors to facilities and offer them to age in place with the same kind of assistance,” said Goodkind. “It’s a new model no one has really approached yet.”
Volunteer to pack or hand out Brown Bag Lunches every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:45pm outside Trinity Church.
ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street CHARLOTTE’S PLACE 109 Greenwich St, btwn Rector & Carlisle The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar
an Episcopal parish in the city of New York
October 5 - 11, 2011
EDITORIAL Hudson Sq.: moving on and moving up
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The windy and colder weather this past weekend did not deter hundreds of parents and their kids from coming to the grand opening of the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ new location in Hudson Square on Saturday. Indeed the block of Charlton Street between Greenwich and Hudson might have been the happiest place in the entire city if happiness can be judged by the number of ear-to-ear grins on kids’ faces. Kudos to the C.M.A. for choosing such a smart location and for being so creative in transforming an old loading dock into a space that even in the winter will be a source of warmth and activity. It will also provide a blast of color to a neighborhood that has long been defined by warehouses and superblocks associated with the printing and trucking industries. Hudson Square, which is just west of SoHo, south of the West Village and north of Tribeca, is proving to be an example of how a community can embrace change and reap the benefits that diversity offers. A large part of this metamorphosis is the beginning of the switch from a 9-to-5 district to a 24/7 mixed-use neighborhood. Gone are the days when the blue collar workers who brought their lunch to the job simply packed up at 5 p.m. and jumped on a subway to head home, leaving tumbleweeds and a ghost town in their wake. Now, the area is home to media and creative companies, large and small, architecture firms, graphic designers and nonprofits that have chosen Hudson Square over Midtown or Jersey City. On October 13th at Community Board 2, and October 27th at the Dept. of City Planning, the community will have a chance to weigh in on a rezoning proposal that would essentially be the final piece of the puzzle in terms of making Hudson Square a mixed-use neighborhood. The scoping session, a mandated public input session administered by D.C.P., is the community’s opportunity to learn about and voice their opinions on the proposal. Trinity, the district’s major property owner and the major force behind the rezoning plan, has proposed allowing residential use — adding up to 3,500 new residents over 10 years — to help create a 24-hour community. By boosting residential occupancy to 25 percent, the sidewalks would no longer be desolate at night and on weekends. Retail would be attracted to the neighborhood, because with more residents, there would be a market for it. The rezoning wouldn’t allow big-box-size stores — except for a supermarket — and nightclubs couldn’t open in the district. A special permit would be needed for new hotels with more than 100 rooms. Part of the residential growth would come in the form of a 429-foot tower Trinity is proposing at Duarte Square, at Canal St. and Sixth Ave. In an important community giveback, Trinity would provide 75,000 square feet of raw space for a new 420-seat, K-to-5 public school in the tower’s bottom four floors, rent-free in perpetuity. There is much to like in this zoning proposal: modest residential use to help create a 24/7 neighborhood, height caps on new construction, restrictions on hotels and night clubs, a new school. All of this while maintaining the neighborhood’s predominantly commercial presence of media and creative companies. In our view, the proposal has been well–thought through and responsive to community concerns. If anything, we think that the proposal should make room for more residential conversions to accelerate the transition to a stable 24/7 neighborhood. We encourage residents to turn out at the upcoming scoping hearings to voice their concerns and opinions about this rezoning proposal.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Wait for the facts In light of the recent events around Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna I have thought long and hard about highly contentious cases I have covered for over 25 years as a court artist for various news media organizations. Many cases, including: John Delorean, Central Park Jogger, Raymond Donovan and others have been sensationalized and then subsequently the defendants have been exonerated. This is especially troubling because so many times the defendant’s lives have been destroyed in the wake of their cases. I recall Raymond Donovan saying after he was found not guilty, “What office do I go to, to get my reputation back”. The downtown community was familiar with Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. He was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Precinct for 5 years. When he moved on Community Boards 1 and 2, wrote resolutions that passed unanimously, commending and thanking him for his service to our community. His accomplishments were numerous, including the 30 percent drop in major crimes in the precinct over his tenure. Before the court of public opinion indicts and finds him guilty let us step back and let the due process take over, realizing this is a commander with a solid track record downtown and dedicated service to our community. It is something to bear in mind when balancing it against a single incident that we still do not completely understand. Let’s just wait until all the facts are in. Elizabeth Williams
Not a festive day for all To the editor: The circus atmosphere of the Stiller Run in the Battery Park City and surrounding area, totally incongruous near the National Sept. 11th Memorial, made Sunday Sept. 25 an awful day for me as a resident, and was a distressing sign of what a pathetic culture we have become. Plenty of unsung heroes who died on 9/11 did not require this raucous, highly commercial event with its fascist political underpinnings. The Stiller big tent circus show certainly does not honor them. The violation of resident rights was appalling. Battery Park City was held hostage so that the Stiller Run, life imitating adolescent-prime-time television, now glitzier than ever, could take over. Residents were not warned of the close down of the neighborhood, of the horrendous noise for hours under our windows, of the shut down of MTA bus service. The complete disregard of resident needs and rights for the entire day by a secret political inner circle process was disgusting to me as an American. This is exactly Occupy
Wall Street demonstrators are protesting: big Business (and the Stiller Run is making a big business out of one man’s death on 9/11) and their politicians taking over the rights of ordinary people. That the connection is not made is exactly what the “Wake Up, America” movement is trying to get across. That 30,000 people practiced their new religion of “running,” but only a few are willing to be pepper sprayed by the NYPD is a potent sign of our social and political disarray in America. I wonder what foreign tourists on Sunday thought of this demonstration of their most negative stereotype of Americans: adolescent at any age and obsessed with money. Dolores D’Agostino
Everyone should get on board To the editor, As I watch these protests on Wall Street, I am reminded of the civil rights marches of the 60s. Yes, I lived through them and saw the police response every night on the news. I listened to my father complain that “those people” should be happy they’ve got what they got. “They never had it so good,” he said. Yesterday, I bought a new phone. The saleslady behind the counter mentioned that she used to play volleyball in college. Well, now she’s got her Bachelor’s degree. And her college education got her student loans, a crappy minimum wage retail job, and no time for such frivolity as volleyball. God forbid she gets in an accident or gets sick. God forbid she gets old. These kids marching on Wall Street are heroes. To the extent that they make people wake up concerning the class warfare that has been going on in this country for decades, they should be applauded and not corralled, pepper sprayed, and sent to jail. Politicians (yes Republicans, you know who you are) need to face reality the way these protesters face it. Healthcare should and can be free (it always is when I travel to Canada, and yes, I’d consider Canadian citizenship but I shouldn’t have to). Everyone (even Republicans) should want healthcare for themselves and their neighbor. We’d all have it, if we had the healthcare President Obama wanted and Congress receives. Jobs should and can be plentiful. President Obama’s jobs bill provides jobs that bolster our national infrastructure. Considering the extent of present decay, everyone (hear me, Republicans) should be on board. Politicians need to wake up and be happy these protests are confined to Wall Street, because they may soon migrate to their district offices and (GASP!) Republicans will not want that. William Cooke
October 5 - 11, 2011
TALKING POINT Memorial’s first “community evening” embraced by residents BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER If the managers of the National September 11 Memorial were concerned that few Lower Manhattan residents would bother to show up at the memorial for the four hours on Oct. 2 reserved exclusively for them, they worried in vain. On the first of what are planned to be monthly evenings for the community, it took around 45 minutes for the crowd at the entrance gate at 4 p.m. to get inside. Rounding the corner of the barrier that separates the memorial from the security checkpoint, the visitors saw a welcoming committee of politicians. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose office had specifically invited many of those in line to attend, posed for photos with constituents. State Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney and others were there. Mayor Bloomberg made an appearance.
“The modulations of sound remind me of Maya Lin’s Vietnam memorial,” — Jeff Ehrlich
Then, because it was a community evening, there were friends and acquaintances to greet, with more talk about the demonstration in Zuccotti Park than about the memorial. “The politicians should be over there, not here,” opined one Lower Manhattan resident. It seemed like a big party. “They should be serving wine and cheese!” Community Board 1 member, Liz Williams, quipped. But the sound of the waterfalls beckoned, more powerful than the impulse to chat. People drifted toward the pools, surrounded by ledges on which the names of those who had died on 9/11 and in the World Trade Center attack of 1993 had been incised. “I pushed forward to the edge and began reading the victims’ names on the side of the fountain,” Community Board 1 member Noel Jefferson recalled afterward. “The water seemed to resonate within me. I felt as though I was walking into a sacred place.” “The pools are breathtaking and absolutely phenomenal,” said Williams. “I was awestruck by them. If allowed one could really get caught up in their very deep meaning and end up leaving in tears. Actually I saw them under construction and they did not hit me that way at the time. But to see them completed was a very powerful experience.” From her apartment window, Battery
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
At night, through the glass façade of the unfinished September 11 museum, the tridents from the Twin Towers stand watch.
Park City resident Mashi Blech had also seen the pools under construction. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “The space is much more park-like than I thought it would be. I found the memorial visually spectacular, dramatic and powerful. I thought it was fitting to have the vast amount of water flowing down into the center. To me, it felt like tears for all those lives that were lost.” The air was crisp. The sky darkened and it began to rain. Some people had brought umbrellas and continued to stroll around the edges of the pools, where the raindrops beaded on top of the names and touched the flowers that had been left by mourners — the single perfect rose that honored Thomas Paul Hannafin, the small bouquet of red roses tied with white ribbon for Jesus Sanchez, who was on United flight 175. Others took temporary shelter under a ledge of the September 11 Museum, still under construction. The rain didn’t last long. When it was over, a man in a yellow slicker with a squeegee came and wiped away the raindrops from the ledges, carefully avoiding the floral offerings. It was getting dark. Soon the lights would come on in the pools. When they did, the
water, formerly silver, now looked like finely spun gold. Lights beneath the names made them legible, even in the gathering darkness. Spotlights illuminated the giant U.S. flags draped on the World Trade Center buildings under construction. Through the glass façade of the museum, the tridents from the Twin Towers stood watch. Two men, a woman and two little girls stood beside the north pool. The men said that they were in the Rangers, the elite corps of the U.S. Army. They had served in Afghanistan and Iraq and were visiting the memorial to mourn comrades who had died. They connected the attack on the World Trade Center with their service. “We went into the military because of this,” one of them said. The father of the little girls knelt beside his older daughter so that he could look her in the face. He tried to explain to her where they were and why. Then he talked to her about firefighter Stephen Siller, who, on 9/11, had donned 60 pounds of gear and had run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to find his squad and try to help. He died, leaving a wife and five children. “I wanted my daughter to understand what a hero is,” the father said.
It was now fully dark. Most people had gone home. But Community Board 1 member, Geroge Calderaro, who had visited earlier in the day, made a point of returning to see the memorial at night. “The pools are an incredible feat of engineering,” he marveled. “Shortly after 9/11, someone commented that no memorial should be built right away, but that time should pass before we could comprehend and address the enormity of our losses that day. The 10 years that have passed have allowed for a brilliantly well-conceived and appropriate commemoration.” “The modulations of sound remind me of Maya Lin’s Vietnam memorial,” said Community Board 1 member Jeff Ehrlich. “There, the memorial is very near the sound and life of city streets, but as you descend with the wall and so many names, you leave D.C. and enter a silence. Ascending out the other end, the sounds of life meet you again. Here, in contrast, that silence is generated by the din of the waterfall. It overpowers the city and the nearby construction and then envelops you.” “I’m anxious to return,” said Noel Jefferson. “I would love to spend time reading and writing here. The sound of the water is very comforting.”
October 5 - 11, 2011
Waterfront dining with the Downtown Alliance BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER Herman Melville took a bead on the island of Manhattan and its inhabitants when he wrote in the beginning of Moby Dick, â€œGo from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip and from thence, by Whitehall northward. What do you see? â€” Posted like silent sentinels all around the town stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries.â€? The lure of the waterfront persists and was the inspired theme for the Downtown Allianceâ€™s first food tour of the 2011 fall season. The Downtown Allianceâ€™s monthly food tours from fall to spring showcase some of Lower Manhattanâ€™s most interesting restaurants and food shops, served with a liberal sprinkling of Downtown history. On Sept. 24, culinary expert and tour guide Liz Young led a group of gourmets on a path reminiscent of Melvilleâ€™s, starting at Giginoâ€™s in Battery Park Cityâ€™s Wagner Park, and then going on to Battery Gardens in historic Battery Park and from there to Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, where Sequoia and Harbour Lights overlook the East River. From there, it was back to Battery Park City, where P.J. Clarkeâ€™s has an unobstructed view of the North Cove Marina. Regardless of the conversation, a meal at Giginoâ€™s is never boring. Diners look across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and the domes of Ellis Island. Over lunch or dinner, they can watch sailboats and ferries, tugboats pushing barges up the river, kayakers and the occasional cruise ship. Coast Guard ships and fireboats pass by and vessels belonging to the Army Corps of Engineers, whose mission is to keep the harbor clean, dredged and ice free. Sunsets over the Hudson can be particularly memorable. One woman in the tour group was so pleased by the view, that she immediately booked an outside table for her 26th wedding anniversary.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Tour guide Liz Young listened as Michael Lister, a waiter at Giginoâ€™s in Wagner Park, talked to the Downtown Allianceâ€™s Waterfront food tour group on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Allianceâ€™s monthly food tours explore various aspects of Lower Manhattan dining.
At each stop during a food tour, the group samples food and sometimes a beverage such as wine, coffee or soda. At Giginoâ€™s the offering was a crisp, spicy salad of mixed greens and summer-fresh vegetables. Then it was on to
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Continued on page 14
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BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER SCAFFOLDING EVERYWHERE: A forest of scaffolding has sprung up in the southern part of Battery Park City, with more to come. The reason for this, according to Patrick O’Donovan, the super at 1 Rector Park, is “Local Law 11,” which mandates façade inspections and repairs every five years. “The buildings have to hire an engineering firm to do a visual inspection and then report any and all problems,” explained Kenny Shane, the super at 377 Rector Place. He said that the inspection report has to be filed with the Department of Buildings, and then the repair work has to be completed within a legally mandated time frame. “Since all of these buildings [in the southern part of Battery Park City] were built around the same time, you’re going to see scaffolding/ work on many of them,” Shane said. ART HISTORY FOR SENIORS: The Battery Park City Seniors group, led by the energetic Ruth Ohman, will be treated to another series of free art history lectures on Mondays at noon starting on Oct. 17. Silvia Espinosa, who
October 5 - 11, 2011
is studying for her doctorate in art history and who teaches at LaGuardia Community College, will cover art from the Fall of Rome in A.D. 400 to the rise of Charlemagne some six hundred years later. Espinosa describes this as “a period of profound and lasting changes in the political, cultural, social and religious outlook of Europe and its neighbors.” Lectures are held in the Battery Park City Authority’s community room at 386 W. Thames St. Ohman says that you don’t have to live in Battery Park City to attend. Battery Park City Seniors also organizes exercise classes and meditation groups — and on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., meets at Izzy & Nat’s at 311 South End Ave. for a get-together where everything on the menu is half price. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. TWILIGHT NATURE WALKS: As the seasons change and birds and some insects migrate south, many pause in their arduous journey to rest in Battery Park City’s gardens and to take on fuel by supping on B.P.C. flowers. On Sept. 30, Doug van Horn, an educator with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy,
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Scaffolding, like that in front of Rector Square at the corner of Rector Place and South End Avenue, has sprung up in Battery Park City as a result of “Local Law 11” that mandates building facade inspections every five years.
led a twilight walk in Wagner Park, where ruby-throated hummingbirds darted among its scarlet and orange blossoms and an osprey and a night heron flew overhead. Monarch butterflies also alight in the park at this season before continuing on to Mexico, where they over-winter. The next twilight nature walk will be on Friday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. followed on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. by bird watching in Wagner Park. Both events are free. OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK: The 9th annual Open House New York takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 with behind-the-scenes tours of hundreds of architecturally and historically significant spaces and
On Sept. 30, Doug Van Horn, an educator with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, led a twilight nature walk in Wagner Park. The next twilight nature walk will be on Oct. 14.
places in all five boroughs. The Battery Park City public library at 175 North End Ave. is on the itinerary and so are Poets House at 10 River Terrace, Teardrop Park South and the Skyscraper Museum at 39 Battery Place. When the B.P.C. library opened in March 2010, it was touted for its use of recycled materials, its abundance of Internet-connected computers, and its sunny, welcoming environment. It is the New York Public Library’s first LEEDcertified branch in Manhattan. Tours with a maximum of 20 people each will be offered on Oct. 15 at noon and 3 p.m. Like Poets House, the library opens onto Teardrop Park South — that imaginative evocation of what Manhattan would have been like when it had streams and rocky outcroppings among wooded hills. On Oct. 15, there will be tours of the park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Poets House, which was has a 50,000-volume library plus exhibition space and stunning views of the Hudson River, will be open that Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with tours at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Skyscraper Museum will have a program for kids six years old and older that day at 10:30 a.m. during which they will be able to explore skyscraper architectural engineering concepts of shape and strength and design their own skyscrapers. Reservations are required. Elsewhere south of Canal Street, Open House New York will include such places as the Broad Street Ballroom, 7 World Trade Center, the Museum of the American Indian at the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, the African Burial Ground and Castle Clinton. Open House New York programs are free, but reservations are required for some of them. Otherwise, it’s first come, first served. People who want to go to the head of the line can purchase a weekend “Passport” for two people with a tax-deductible contribution of $150. For more information, go to www.ohny.org. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@ mac.com.
October 5 - 11, 2011
Eating on the waterfront Continued from page 12
SPRUCE STREET SCHOOL, P.S. 397 PTA presents TASTE OF THE SEAPORT with The Seaport and Downtown Express
with private and public dining areas and a beer garden, the kitchen under executive chef Ari Nieminen prepares lunch and dinner daily and also caters many private parties and special events. The group ate jumbo lump crab cakes ($16 on the fall menu) before departing for the South Street Seaport. Along the way, they had a chance to see a stretch of the new East River Esplanade with its inviting, water-facing benches. Sequoia has been in the South Street Seaport for 20 years specializing in seafood but with meat, pasta, poultry and greens also on the menu. Manager Todd Birnbaum served plates of two oysters, one a small, briny shellfish from the West Coast called a “Kumamoto,” and the other a plump, meaty Easterner — a large Bluepoint. Birnbaum advised nothing but a splash of vinegar on the Kumamoto. The
Bluepoints stood up well to the cocktail sauces in which they were immersed. They were accompanied by a delicious Brancott Estate 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. At Harbour Lights with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the group sat down to fusilli pasta with Gulf shrimp and bay scallops, sauced with roasted plum tomatoes and basil — a special on the menu that ordinarily costs $21.95 — and a glass of wine. The afternoon ended with a saunter up Fulton Street and across Vesey Street to P.J. Clarke’s where sous chef Marcello Perez came out of the kitchen with plates of cheesecake topped with blueberry compote, double fudge walnut brownies and warm apple cobbler paired with vanilla ice cream. Downtown Alliance food tours cost $25. The next one will be on Oct. 22, and will focus on wine. The three-hour tours start at noon. To sign up or for more information, go to www.downtownny. com/programs/food-tours.
with support from Historic Front Street SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011 11 am to 4 pm on Historic South Street Seaport Property (Front Street and Peck Slip) Enjoy an autumnal festival of food and community with culinary tastings by more than twenty local merchants, musical entertainment, children’s activities, plus a special booth run by Spruce students for a family-fun day. All proceeds from The Taste of The Seaport go to enrichment programs for the students of Spruce Street School, P.S. 397.
ADVANCE TICKET SALES: $25 for 5 tastings available at Fulton Stall Market, October 2nd, 11-4pm and online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ TICKET SALES DAY OF EVENT: $30 for 5 tastings For our 2011 Participants and Sponsors visit The Spruce Street School PTA on Facebook and http://www.sprucestreetnyc.org
Spruce Street School, P.S. 397, Parent-Teacher Association Inc. is a Sec 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Donations made to Spruce Street School, P.S. 397, Parent-Teacher Association Inc. will be tax-deductible to the extent provided under law.
Post-St. Vincent’s debate Continued from page 5 the residential development would benefit the neighborhood. However, John Gilbert, chief operating officer of the Rudin Organization, pointed out that Rudin has guaranteed that space would be available for a 564-seat elementary school on the first six floors of the Foundling Hospital on Sixth Ave. and W. 17th St. The school space is guaranteed whether or not the residential project is approved. The Rudin-financed plan to create and maintain a 15,000-square-foot park on the triangle across W. 12th St. from the O’Toole building would be an important public benefit of the project, Gilbert added. More than 1,200 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs — including 400 healthcare jobs — will result from the development on both sides of Seventh Ave. at 12th St., Gilbert said. Moreover, the application to build 590,660 square feet represents a 13 percent reduction from the 677,360 square feet of developed space currently on the site, Gilbert said. The project also has the backing of Local 1199, the union representing the city’s hospital employees. “This comprehensive project has our support because it will restore much-needed access to emergency care for everyone who lives and works on the West Side and would provide an opportunity for more than 400 caregivers to get back to what they do best, providing quality healthcare to those in need,” said Kevin Finnegan, 1199 political director, in a Sept. 22 statement on the Rudin-L.I.J. project. Andrea Goldwyn, representing the New
York Landmarks Conservancy, told the community board that the conservancy reaffirmed its support of Rudin’s residential conversion on the east side of the avenue. Testifying in 2008 before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on the original version of the Rudin plan, the conservancy urged Rudin to lower the height of its proposed residential tower and to reuse some of its existing buildings, Goldwyn recalled. Rudin eventually reduced the height of the large tower from 266 to 203 feet and instead of all-new construction, decided to adapt and reuse four of the original existing hospital buildings on the east campus. “We appreciate the Rudin Organization’s responsiveness to both ours and the commission’s suggestions,” Goldwyn said. The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce cited the economic benefit of both the residential project and the health center in its support of the project. “The closure of St. Vincent’s has had a devastating effect on our local economy,” said Tony Juliano, president of the chamber, in a statement last week. “The proposal put forth by the Rudins and North Shore-L.I.J. will return healthcare to the neighborhood and will also help bolster many existing businesses and spur other small businesses to come to the Village,” he said. Since St. Vincent’s closure in April 2010, more than 30 small businesses have closed their doors and many of the remaining nearby businesses have seen a devastating decline, Juliano said. Steve Rogers, a chamber member and owner of a neighborhood restaurant, said, “We’re very much looking forward to both the healthcare facility and the condo across the street. Let’s move on this, so it’s not delayed five or 10 years.”
October 5 - 11, 2011
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
The Children’s Museum of the Arts held their grand opening of their new home at 103 Charlton St. last Saturday.
C.M.A. is Hudson Square’s new, shining star BY JOHN BAYLES To the random pedestrian walking by, the block of Charlton Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets must have looked like a circus last Saturday, Oct. 1. There were tents and balloons, kids with painted faces, a police barricade and a line that stretched almost the length of the entire block. It wasn’t Barnum and Baileys however; it was the grand opening of the Children’s Museum of the Arts new Hudson Square home. David Kaplan, the C.M.A.’s executive director, simply said, “Wow. This has been a long time coming.” Kaplan was making his rounds early Saturday morning checking in on the children and making sure they were enjoying the organization’s new space and all it offers. From the floor of the building’s lobby he
pointed to a huge glass window on the left. The only thing visible was hoards of children bouncing happily on huge yoga balls. “Talk about last minute,” said Kaplan. The space, on the building’s second floor, is called the Ball Pond. It is comprised of a giant pit full of bouncy, yoga balls that the children can dive into and blow off steam. The walls are padded and it is completely safe, leaving the parents with only one worry: how they will get their children to stop having so much fun. The “last minute” remark made by Kaplan did not refer to the idea of the Ball Pond. Indeed the Ball Pond was envisioned as a central space in C.M.A.’s new home. Kaplan was instead referring to how quickly his organization managed to pull off the move and the grand opening in what appeared to
be seamless fashion. The C.M.A. had previously called SoHo home since its inception in 1988. The move to 103 Charlton Street, and the transformation of a former loading dock of an old warehouse building, has all happened over the last 18 months. The museum, whose collection includes over 2,000 works of art by children from all over the world, began thinking about a move back in 2008. It was then that they reached out to WORK Architecture and to Dan Wood. “The museum’s board went on a big architectural search in 2008 based on a Wooster Street location,” said Wood. “ We designed a whole museum for that other spot, then there was the recession and the project went dormant.”
Once the economy stabilized, the museum had identified the Hudson Square location as the perfect new home. It is three times larger than their old location and Hudson Square’s new identity as a hub for media companies and nonprofits were both major factors in C.M.A.’s decision. “We started in SoHo in the 80s” said Lucy Ofiesh, C.M.A.’s director of marketing and special projects. “Now, Hudson Square feels the same way — up and coming.” And for Wood, when the project started moving again, a change in his own life gave him a heightened appreciation for the museum’s goal. “My wife and I had a baby,” said Wood. “So the whole project took on a new mean-
Continued on page 17
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October 5 - 11, 2011
Charlton Street has its very own historian BY JOHN BAYLES Philip Mouquinho’s business card says he is the “Owner/Chef” of PJ Charlton on the corner of Charlton and Greenwich Streets in Hudson Square. But anyone who has had the chance to chat with Mouquinho while dining at his restaurant would know that he could add another title to his card: Historian. It’s one thing for a restaurant to last 30 years in New York City, but it’s another thing entirely for a restaurant to last 30 years in a spot like Moquinho’s. “Staying power” would be an understatement in describing the place. “It used to be, that when people would arrive for dinner, they would come in and the first thing they would say is, ‘Where are we? We had to ask the cab driver if this was the right place,’” said Mouquinho. “For the longest time this area has been dark, drab and dreary.” And perhaps that is how the block of Charlton Street between Greenwich and Hudson Streets used to appear, especially at night. The street was once named Burr Street after Aaron Burr and then renamed following Burr’s duel with Alexander Hamilton and his subsequent arrest. It was then named after Dr. John Charlton, a trustee of Colombia University and president of the New York Medical Society and since then it has transformed from its earliest days as a residential block in the early 19th century, to the way it looks today. It
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
Philip Mouquinho in front his restaurant PJ Charlton.
was during the industrial revolution when the city tore down many of the townhouses
A showcase for creativity Continued from page 15 ing for me.” Wood, his wife and their 18-month-old baby were at the museum on Sunday. Wood said watching all of the kids running around the place really drove home the fact that C.M.A. was always stressing safety when it came to designing the new space. Beyond being safe, the new museum is notable because it allows different types of programming to occur simultaneously while reaching every age group. One example is the C.M.A.’s “clay bar.” In the old space the “clay bar” was only set up on particular days, but the demand was incredibly strong. The same can be said for the C.M.A.’s “Tech Room,” where the children take their clay figures and begin the animation process. Now, the children have a fully stocked clay bar that’s always open, where they can pull up a stool at virtually any time and start molding away. Then they simply walk into the “Tech Room” next door, which is also always up and running and they can start on their way to becoming famous film directors. There are separate spaces for every age group, and for every type of art, not to mention a gallery space on the main. There is also a “quiet room.” But it should be known that the quiet room is the smallest room in
that lined the street and built in their place large, expansive factories and warehouses
to cater to two of the city’s most important industries, printing and textile manufacturing. In addition to the printers and manufacturers, there was also the Heide Candy Company, at the corner of Charlton and Hudson, and in the building that houses PJ Charlton, a giant cardboard manufacturing company. But like so many other streets in the neighborhood, Charlton Street is changing. And Moquinho has witnessed that change everyday from the corner window of his restaurant for the last three decades. Today, Mouquinho watches tourists stroll by with maps in their hands, mothers pushing baby strollers or people walking their dogs. That makeup of pedestrians is quite different from when he bought the place in 1979. “It was nothing like it is today. Around twelve o’clock you’d see some workers on their lunch breaks, but there was really a complete absence of life,” said Mouquinho. “I was used to just seeing trucks pulling up to the loading docks on the street.” Mouquinho, who has lived in the neighborhood his entire life, remembers Charlton Street from his childhood. “It was the perfect stickball neighborhood,” said Mouquinho, “because there were no fire escapes that our ball could get stuck on. In the village, sometimes the old ladies wouldn’t let us have our ball back. We didn’t have to worry about that down here.”
We’ve Been Busy JhW\\_YcWdW][c[dj EkjZeehifWY[i Ijh[[jiYWf[fbWdd_d] Questions/Comments? Jm[[jki6>kZiedIg8_Z
Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of the Arts
The Ball Pond at the C.M.A.’s new home in Hudson Square.
the entire museum, a metaphor, one could say, for the museum’s mission, which is to provide children with an atypical museum experience and to encourage as much creativity and hands-on instruction as possible. And the new home was selected to advance that mission and more importantly to advance the museum’s programming and enlarge its audience. “The whole point of this was to reach as many children as possible,” said Elizabeth Fearon Pepperman, president of the C.M.A.’s Board of Directors.
October 5 - 11, 2011
Rodriguez and crew keep Varick Street traffic in check BY ALINE REYNOLDS When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s the motto pedestrian traffic manager Patti Rodriguez, a retired Police Department detective from New Hyde Park, Long Island, repeats in her head before commencing her afternoon shift every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the intersection of Varick and Spring Streets in Hudson Square. Rodriguez is one of five pedestrian traffic managers that work for Sam Schwartz Engineering, the firm contracted by the Hudson Square Connection (the neighborhood’s Business Improvement District) to monitor traffic along Varick Street since mid-August. It became clear that there was a need for supplemental traffic management when S.S.E. reported frequent blockage of the street’s crosswalks in July, according to the B.I.D.’s president, Ellen Baer. “For all of us who work down here, if you try to cross Varick Street between 4 and 7 p.m., you have to kind of go out around the cars and out into traffic,” said Baer. “We’ve observed just from being there that it puts a lot of people in a potentially dangerous situation.” Hudson Square pedestrians ranging from foreigners to the visually impaired have come to depend on Rodriguez to get them across the intersection safely. Once the clock strikes
Photo courtesy of Hudson Square Connection
Patti Rodriguez on duty at the intersection of Varick and Spring Streets, as part of the Hudson Square Connection’s pedestrian traffic management pilot program.
4:30 p.m., it’s indeed a “dead-on traffic jam” at Varick and Spring Streets, according to Rodriguez, who starts her shift at 3. The bottleneck continues up to 7 p.m. — particularly on Thursdays and Fridays, Rodriguez said, when the intersection becomes heavily congested with commuters headed to their weekend destinations. The intersection has become even more clogged since the fall, when many returned from vacation and resumed their daily work commutes. Rodriguez believes the traffic will only get worse around the holiday season. Policing the intersection is a different type of beast from Route 9A, Rodriguez’s other post, where traffic was more streamlined to begin with, she said. “At first, it was like New Year’s in Times Square, with everyone blowing their horns,” Rodriguez said of the Varick Street intersection. The car drivers have since grown accustomed to Rodriguez and have even started to rely on her to avoid the early evening gridlock. “Now, we don’t even have to stop them a lot of times, ‘cause they know already we’re going to stop them,” said Rodriguez. One of her main tasks while on duty, Rodriguez explained, is to regulate the passage of cars traveling southbound on Varick
Continued on page 20
Trinity rezone plan would create 24/7 neighborhood BY LINCOLN ANDERSON Trinity Real Estate is beginning the formal application process to rezone Hudson Square to allow limited residential use. Under the change, Trinity expects at least 3,000 new residential units would be added to the neighborhood, whose current M1-6 zoning allows manufacturing, commercial uses and hotels, but not residents. In addition, Trinity has agreed to provide, at its cost, a 420-seat, K-to-5 public elementary school for the neighborhood. This school, approximately 75,000 square feet, would be included in the base of a 429-foot-tall, residential tower Trinity would build on currently vacant property it owns at Duarte Square, which is at the district’s south end, bounded by Canal and Varick Sts. and Sixth Ave. Over all, the rezoning area includes roughly an 18 block area between Houston and Canal Sts. bordered by Sixth Ave. and Varick St. on the east and Hudson and Greenwich Sts. on the west. Scoping for the plan is now commencing. Community Board 2 will review it on Oct. 13, and it will then be considered by City Planning on Oct. 27. Following an environmental impact statement, the next step will be for the rezoning to go through the city’s ULURP (uniform land use review procedure) process, starting early next year and take about seven months.
A map showing the area Trinity is proposing rezoning to allow residential use. The rezoning would also add height caps for new construction.
Hudson Square’s largest property owner, Trinity owns 40 percent of the neighborhood’s built space — and closer to 50 percent if the land Trinity leases to others is included. The plan would put height caps on new
construction. Along wide streets, like Canal, Hudson and Varick Sts. and Sixth Ave., the maximum allowable height would be 320 feet, or 32 stories. For commercial use, the maximum allowable floor area ratio (F.A.R.) would be 10, with current bonuses for pla-
zas and arcades eliminated. On these wide streets, residential F.A.R. would be 9, which would get a bump up to 12 F.A.R. with the inclusion of affordable housing. Currently, the whole district’s F.A.R. ranges from 10 to 12, but there are no height restrictions on buildings, which is how the Trump Soho condo-hotel could be built 490 feet tall, equal to 49 stories, by buying air rights from adjacent buildings and using a plaza bonus. On narrow streets, like Greenwich and Spring Sts., and other east-west streets, the height cap would be 185 feet, about 18 stories, and on midblocks the F.A.R. would be lowered from 10 to 6.5, but could rise to 8.5 with affordable housing included. On Broome and Watts St., the F.A.R. would be even lower, 5.4, but could rise to 7.2 with the affordable-housing bonus. The height cap would be 12 stories. Also under the scheme, existing buildings of more than 50,000 square feet could not be residentially converted. If a commercial building of more than this size were demolished, then there would have to be a “1-to-1 replacement” in the new building — meaning it would have to have at least 50,000 square feet of commercial space. Commercial buildings less than 50,000 square feet could be residentially converted. In addition, because Trinity is concerned
Continued on page 21
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Keeping traffic in check Same Location For Over 20 Years Monday -Friday 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
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Continued from page 18 Street that are en route to the Holland Tunnel. â€œWhen the [traffic] light changes, those cars are turning [right onto Varick Street] regardless of people crossing the street,â€? said Rodriguez. â€œSo my job is to stop the cars completely and let the pedestrians cross.â€? Rodriguez also prevents cars traveling on one of Varickâ€™s three eastern lanes to cut into the line of traffic headed toward the tunnel. To keep the â€œcreepers,â€? as Rodriguez calls them, from causing accidents, she motions them to continue along Varick Street. â€œPeople come with all types of excuses [to get to the tunnel as quickly as possible],â€? said Rodriguez. â€œMy favorite is, â€˜I have to make it to the airport in 15 minutes,â€™ and I think, â€˜you couldnâ€™t get to the airport anyway, then!â€™â€? Nine times out of ten, the drivers obey Rodriguez and head to the next intersection without giving her a hard time. On occasion, however, an angry driver curses at her â€” to which she replies, â€œHave a good day.â€? â€œI just let them vent,â€? Rodriguez said. â€œAs a former detective, nothing you can possibly tell me is going to faze me.â€? As for the regulars, Rodriguez has become a familiar, welcome face in the neighborhood. Drivers who regularly pass by the
intersection purposely switch lanes to strike up a conversation with Rodriguez as they wait at the light. Some neighborhood pedestrians call her by her first name, including visitors of the nearby VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (at 500 Greenwich St.), who Rodriguez pays special attention to as they traverse the road. â€œIâ€™ll come up to them and Iâ€™ll say, â€˜I got youâ€™ â€” Iâ€™ll loop their arm around mine, and weâ€™ll cross,â€? said Rodriguez. â€œI donâ€™t know how they did it on their own prior.â€? Even the neighborhood dogs have begun to recognize her. â€œWhen they see us, they pull on the leash, wanting to come in our direction,â€? said Rodriguez. The experienced traffic manager will respond to brazen jaywalkers by letting them know that theyâ€™re crossing at their own risk. She tries her best, though, to have them stay put until itâ€™s safe to cross the intersection. â€œI try to hold them back, â€˜cause otherwise everyone else will follow, and those people will end up getting hit,â€? said Rodriguez. After her shift and â€œthe madness is over,â€? Rodriguez heads home to spend some quality time with her wife and 16-year-old daughter. â€œWe have dinner and just sit down and chat about the dayâ€Ś thatâ€™s how we end our evening,â€? said Rodriguez. â€œThen we wake up early in the morning to start all over again.â€?
Celebrating our 15th anniversary in Tribeca â€œOne of TriBeCaâ€™s fanciest Italiansâ€?, this â€œspecial-occasionâ€? Tuscan features â€œexcellentâ€? food served by a â€œfawningâ€? staff skilled in â€œold-schoolâ€? tableside preparation; â€œlow lightingâ€? , â€œprettyâ€? decor and â€œamazingâ€? gratis grappa â€œmake the hefty tabs easier to digest.â€? ~Zagat 2009 â€œA â€œtrip to Italy without the airfareâ€? offering some of the â€œbest classic Italian in the cityâ€? ; â€œexcellent food and serviceâ€? backed up by â€œfree grappaâ€? at mealâ€™s and make it â€œone of the cityâ€™s hidden treasures.â€?
Italian Restaurant One of the oldest Italian restaurants in Greenwich Village
~ Zagat 2010 The food, the service and the ambiance make you feel like you are in a scene from the Godfather. â€œWe will make you a dish you canâ€™t refuse!â€? Our unique Northern Italian Cuisine, atmosphere and impeccable service will make your dining experience ~Michelin Restaurant Guide, 2008
Celebriamo Lâ€™Eritiagio Italiano! Have a happy and safe Columbus Day weekend. â€” your hosts Sergio and Timmy ~Z
Open for Lunch & Dinner Mon. - Fri., Lunch: 12 - 3 PM Dinner: 5 - 10:30 PM, Sat: 5 - 11 10 PM Sunday: 5 - 10 PM (UDSON 3T s visit us at: www.acapella-restaurant.com
We create traditional Northern Italian to Modern Fusion cuisine â€˘ Fresh Ingredients â€˘ Friendly Staff â€˘ Excellent Wines â€˘ Catering and Private Parties Welcome
549 Greenwich Street, Corner of Charlton St.
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October 5 - 11, 2011
Hoping to turn Hud. Sq. into 24/7 neighborhood Continued from page 18 about the area’s oversaturation with hotels, hotels with more than 100 rooms would need to get a special permit from the city.
“We want to make the neighborhood as attractive as we can for commercial tenants. All over the world, we see the healthiest neighborhoods are mixeduse neighborhoods.” — Carl Weisbrod
According to Carl Weisbrod, a Trinity consultant, there haven’t been too many criticisms of the plan by Community Board 2 and Hudson Square property owners and residents. However, among the main suggestions that he noted are that residential con-
versions should be allowed for buildings of up to 80,000 square feet and that Watts and Broome Sts. not be downzoned as much. C.B. 2 members and others have also said the planned new Trinity building at Duarte Square should be lower. “We started out several years ago with a charrette,” Weisbrod said of the design process, saying Trinity has collaborated with local stakeholders. “We’ve been as responsive with the community as you could expect.” As for why Trinity wants residential use, Weisbrod said it’s because this would improve the neighborhood for Trinity’s commercial tenants, by adding more people and foot traffic, which would, in turn, help the area’s retail. “Trinity is a commercial landlord. This is a commercial strategy,” Weisbrod said. “We want to make the neighborhood as attractive as we can for commercial tenants. All over the world, we see the healthiest neighborhoods are mixed-use neighborhoods. Trinity’s been here for 300 years; Trinity’s going to be here for another 300 years. Trinity takes the long view.” Jason Pizer, president of Trinity Real Estate, added, “I hate to overuse the word, but ‘24/7.’ After 6 or 8 o’clock, there’s not a lot of life in the neighborhood. We’d love to have a supermarket in the neighborhood. A supermarket’s certainly not going to open up
in a neighborhood without residents.” Weisbrod illustrated this equation with a simple graph he sketched on a pad. A supermarket in a mixed-use neighborhood has a spike of residential shoppers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and then another spike in the early evening. During midday, workers shop there — Weisbrod sketched in another spike between the first two. Without a commercial presence, though, there’s no midday spike — the supermarket would be dead during these hours, making it unprofitable. So, a mixed-use neighborhood would provide a steady stream of customers throughout the day. Similarly, local restaurants would also fare better with a more diversified dis-
trict. For example, the Village Lobster and Crabhouse, at the corner of Varick St. and Seventh Ave. South, recently closed — just the latest in a long string of failed eateries at the spot. The Printing House condo is nearby, but otherwise there aren’t a lot of neighboring residents to patronize a restaurant at that corner, Weisbrod noted. Echoing Weisbrod, Pizer said the rezoning would make the area healthier and more vital. “We want to live with this,” Pizer stressed, “not make a quick buck and get out. We’re not flippers. We’re looking to create value in a lot of ways — make this neighborhood more walkable, add amenities — not just raise rents.”
C.B. 2’s ‘lack of civility’ Continued from page 6 “The easements mean that our parkland will be destroyed since you cannot build beneath without removing everything on top,” the alliance response says. Mature trees, parkland, play space and open green areas would give way to “construction sites, diesel fumes, dirt, noise, vermin and all that
goes with them,” the alliance says. The alliance also wants two other strips to become Parks property: the one that includes the dog run at Mercer and Houston Sts. on the southern superblock, and the other along Mercer St. between W. Third and W. Fourth Sts., just north of the north superblock, where the university built its cogeneration plant underground.
October 5 - 11, 2011
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