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BY SAM SPOKONY any Chinatown entrepreneurs believe that the current emergency assistance programs led by the city, state and federal governments are not enough to help the small businesses fully recover from the detrimental effects of Hurricane Sandy. There is also a general consensus among business owners, politicians and community leaders that Chinatown’s economy faces deepseated problems that existed long before the storm struck and that cannot be adequately addressed by short-term solutions such as emergency loans and general relief efforts. A few of the major challenges they’re facing are attracting local customers, sustaining the interest of tourists and dealing with a shrinking neighborhood


Continued on page 31

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

THE AFTERMATH After pumping 20 feet of salt water out of the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, at 120 Warren St., volunteers gathered to gut the building.

Grassroots volunteerism emerges at Gateway Plaza BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R our days after Superstorm Sandy passed through New York City, Jennifer Hughes, an insurance broker who lives with her husband Kevin in Battery Park City’s Gateway Plaza, got a phone call from Jennifer Cannistraci, a former colleague and friend who lives on Staten Island. Cannistraci was O.K., she told Hughes. She had power and gas in her car, but Staten Island’s shoreline communities looked like a war zone. Hughes wondered if she could help. “If we were able to get together some things and take them over on the ferry,” she said. “Would you be able to pick the stuff up and distribute it?”


Cannistraci said yes. So Jenn and Kevin Hughes made some handmade signs and posted them in the lobbies of the six Gateway Plaza buildings.“I received a few calls immediately and around eight bags of items that evening,” Jenn Hughes recalled. She thought that might be more or less the end of it, but it wasn’t. Several people offered to meet Kevin and Jenn at 11 a.m. the next morning in the lobby of their residence, Gateway Plaza’s 600 building. “Little did we know that we would never be going home again and we would be receiving donations almost immediately and all day long,” Jenn said. “We had 20 to 30 volunteers throughout the day who were here collecting and sorting items and packing them.” People

dropped off clothes, toiletries, batteries, flashlights, baby formula, food, cleaning supplies and even a wheelchair. By 1 p.m., the lobby was almost filled with donations. By 5:30 p.m., no more could be accepted — the stack of donations was five feet high. “We were both flabbergasted at the outpouring of goods,” Kevin said. “The residents of this complex were more than generous — and it was by word of mouth and seeing the handwritten fliers, and then it just exploded through social media.” A car or two was not sufficient for this haul. B.P.C.’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provided $200 to rent a 15-foot-long Continued on page 18


MILLENNIUM STUDENTS RELOCATE TO THE L.E.S. BY KAI TLYN M EADE gaggle of teenage girls emerged from the F train subway platform at East Broadway accompanied by a harried-looking parent. One of the girls already had her Smartphone out, most likely searching for the address of her new school building. Miles Chapin was waiting for them by the exit, his red umbrella unnecessary for all but identification purposes. “Millennium High School?” he asked, smiling wryly at the relieved mother. “Go up the stairs,


Continued on page 20



November 14 - November 27, 2012

C.B. 1 endorses Pier 17 plan on certain conditions

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Community Board 1 is concerned about the amount of outdoor space that will be available to the public on the rooftop of the future Pier 17.

B Y AL IN E REY NOLDS Local residents have lingering worries that a developer’s current proposal to overhaul Pier 17 would deprive the public of open space and obstruct the panoramic views the Seaport is famous for. After hours of discussion, Community Board 1 has finally weighed in, officially, on developer Howard Hughes Corporation’s proposal for the historic pier. The board has voiced approval of the design but has reservations about it. For starters, the board is asking that the city deny the developer’s request for a waiver of the design and view requirements for the lot. The board is also asking for a docking layout that is flexible enough to allow ships to easily moor there, and for the pier as a whole to have at least the same amount of open, public space as is specified in the pier’s original 1985 master plan. The board has also requested that Howard Hughes take necessary measures to restore the Seaport as promptly as possible following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. The board’s resolution on the design will be sent to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who will also review the Pier 17 proposal — after which the design will be evaluated by the City Planning Commission and, finally, by the City Council. One of the greatest concerns C.B. 1 members expressed at a joint committee meeting on Thurs., Nov. 8 was the availability of the 45,000-square-foot outdoor space on the future mall’s rooftop. Joseph Lerner, a member of the board’s Seaport/Civic Center and Waterfront Committees, fretted about the space being blocked off from the public by private events. “You can have weddings, Bar Mitzvas, whatever you want up there, and we’re out

of luck!” he told Chris Curry, the developer’s senior executive vice president of development. “To me, that’s not open space — it can still be taken away.” Planning Committee chair Jeff Galloway and committee member Tammy Meltzer both sided with Lerner, asserting that outdoor public space is a scarce, precious amenity in Lower Manhattan that must be preserved for the community. “I don’t care if there are five parties up there at once,” said Meltzer, “as long as there is public access.” Curry assured the board members such private festivities wouldn’t take up the entire rooftop. “We can move the seating around to make it as open as often as it can be,” he said, adding, “You could be meandering around the green area without a ticket on the roof.” Curry and Gregg Pasquarelli, the leading architect of the Pier 17 redesign, also noted that the proposal provides more public space than is currently available at the pier — even excluding the proposed rooftop space — and that the rebuilt pier will be open to the public as soon as the project is completed in 2015. “There’s nothing there now,” Curry said of the current mall’s rooftop. Still, Meltzer brought forth an idea, which the board espoused, of recommending to the city a provision in Howard Hughes’ lease agreement with the Economic Development Corporation, the pier’s owner, that would restrict the amount of square footage of the future rooftop available for rent. “We’ll ask that the open space on the roof be maintained as available open space for a majority of the time for the public [and ask] Continued on page 19


November 14 - November 27, 2012

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

GRAND THEFTS AUTO A Tribeca resident reported his car was stolen on Sun., Nov. 11 after he had parked it right outside his own building. The man, 40, told police he parked the 2000 Audi A4 outside his apartment on Greenwich Street, between Canal and Watts Streets, at around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. When he was walking outside the next day at around 11 a.m., he realized it was gone. Later on Nov. 11, a St. John’s University student reported his motorcycle was lifted from another parking spot in Tribeca. The student, a 21-year-old Brooklyn man, told police he had parked the 2012 Honda bike on Harrison Street, between West and Greenwich Streets, at around 11 a.m. that day before going to class at the university’s Manhattan campus on Murray Street. When he returned to the spot at 7 p.m., after classes finished, he saw that an unknown perp had swiped the motorcycle without a trace of evidence. And on Tues., Nov. 6, yet another grand theft auto was reported — this one in Bowling Green. A Long Island man, 61, told police he had parked his 2004 BMW X5 on Beaver Street, between Broad and William Streets, at around 8 a.m. before going to work. After returning at 7 p.m. from his day at the office, he faced the same result as in the other two cases — no car, no evidence, no chance of catching the unknown perp. But it was even worse for this victim, because he also lost a $3,000 paycheck that was stashed in the car, according to the police report.

FERRY TERMINAL THIEF Two women were victims of a slick thief who targeted the Staten Island Ferry terminal early on Sat., Nov. 10. One of the women, 22, told police that at around 5 a.m., she left her purse with her 21-year-old friend for a few minutes while getting up to walk around the terminal’s second floor. But when she came back several minutes later, the bag was gone, and the friend said she hadn’t seen anyone pass by. It was bad luck for both of them, since both had stashed valuables in the purse, including debit cards, drivers licenses, MetroCards and cash. The perp remains on the loose, but the 22-year-old woman told police that a $12 purchase was made with her debit card in Staten Island before she was able to cancel it.

SECONDHAND SHOPLIFTERS A co-ed tag team of shoplifters hit an upscale Tribeca thrift shop on Sat., Nov. 10 and made off with two pricey purses. A female employee of Second Time Around, at 111 Thompson St., told police that a man and woman entered the store at around 6:30 p.m., quickly snatched the purses — a $500 Chanel and a $700 Dior — and fled out the door. She also said that the

perps — he was described as black, 40 years old, approximately 6’2’’ and 180 pounds, and she was described as black, 30 years old, approximately 5’5’’ and 140 pounds — jumped into a tan Lincoln Town Car to make their getaway. The employee didn’t get a good enough look at the license plate to jot down the information.

ROBBED, BUT GOT IT BACK A Philadelphia woman was robbed in Tribeca on Thurs., Nov. 8, but she was luckily — and strangely — able to recover her property after the perp left it behind. The woman, 28, told police she was walking down Sixth Avenue, between Lispenard and Walker Streets, and talking on her cell phone at around 8 p.m. when an unknown man approached her. After surprising her, he grabbed her neck, hit her in the head and ripped her purse away, she said. The perp — whom the woman described as a black man, approximately six feet tall and 180 pounds — was able to flee the scene, but when cops canvassed the area later they found the purse sitting outside a building on the same block, with no items missing. They also inexplicably found one black sneaker that they believe belonged to the perp, according to the police report.

SUBWAY SNATCHERS A violent robber attacked a woman on the subway just as their train pulled into a station in the Financial District on Tues., Nov. 6, leaving her with bloody cuts and without her cell phone. The woman, 24, told police she was riding a northbound A train, and, upon reaching the Fulton Street stop at around 3 p.m., an unknown man approached her and tried to grab the phone out of her hand. When she resisted, the perp — described only as a man, approximately 5’5’’ — used added force, tearing the phone away hard enough to cut her hands without the use of a weapon, police said. Once he had the phone, the perp fled onto the platform and up to the street. On Mon., Nov. 5, another woman was targeted on the subway by a less violent but equally successful thief, who silently snatched her wallet and a $3,000 necklace. The woman, 38, told police that she took the No. 1 train southbound from 14th Street and that all her belongings had been securely zipped within her backpack. But when she walked out of the Canal Street station, the wallet and the diamond necklace were gone. Cops found that the unknown perp tried to use the woman’s debit card to purchase a MetroCard — the report didn’t say where — but they couldn’t track the perp any farther than that. — By Sam Spokony


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Devastated merchants demand grants, not loans BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S Eleven days after Hurricane Sandy deluged Lower Manhattan, scores of South Street Seaport business owners convened at a newly formed task force imploring financial help from any agency that could provide it. Most of the few-dozen business owners who attended Community Board 1’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Small Business Task Force meeting last week raised their hands when asked how many of their businesses are in the South Street Seaport. And though agency representatives spoke of several disaster recovery loans, the merchants’ resounding request was for grant money, as some of them are still paying back their loans from damages caused by Sept. 11th. There are a variety of federal, state and city loans available to the small business owners, said the officials. The city Economic Development Corporation (E.D.C.) is offering emergency loans of up to $25,000 per small business with no interest fee for the first six months and a one percent fee per month in the 24 months thereafter, said Alejandro Baquero-Cifuentes, the agency’s vice president of development. There are two other programs — a federal disaster recovery program that offers up to $2 million to fix damages, and a sales tax exemption of up to $100,000 for building materi-

Photo courtesy of Amanda Byron Zink

South Street Seaport merchants are desperately seeking storm damage insurance and temporary locations for their businesses following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

als and equipment. Some 500 workers have been displaced as a result of Sandy in the South Street Seaport, according to Fernando Dallorso,

owner of Stella, one of the severely battered Front Street restaurants. “The faster we get up and running,” he said, “the faster we don’t contribute to the already-high unem-

ployment in this country.” Dallorso added, “These are not people that have savings. They live day-to-day, mouth-to- mouth.” Josh Bach, owner of Josh Bach neckwear store near the bottom of Fulton Street, said he is continuing to pay his employees from his wholesale business who have been out of work since the storm. “After I pay them [through the holidays], what am I going to do, fire them and say, ‘I can’t afford you anymore?’” he said. “There are federal programs as well as state programs to help cover some of those wages so that you’re not faced with laying off employees,” BaqueroCifuentes told the merchants. Ro Sheffe, who chairs the new C.B. 1 task force, suggested that the owners of the temporarily shuttered businesses apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance in recuperating lost wages. Michael Peacock, a public affairs representative of the U.S. Small Business Administration, talked about federal loans for for-profit businesses and for homeowners, renters and nonprofit organizations. Up to $2 million is available to each of the businesses and organizations, Continued on page 24


November 14 - November 27, 2012 stainless steel kitchen equipment and swabbing the tile floors. While there is an air of desperation and disbelief, there is also energy and the mindset, “We will go on.” And so will our neighborhood. We brace a few days later for the next assault: snow!



People walking around the drizzly, dark South Street Seaport, defying the mandatory evacuation order. I talk with my neighbors, and they all are staying. I hunker in with my computer for the night. Seven o’clock and “poof” — with an electric zap, the lights go off. Darkness surrounds me except for the computer screen, which is on battery power. I fumble around the loft, lighting candles and grabbing a flashlight. Out the window I see water gently lapping along Water Street. By 8 p.m. there is total blackness, Water Street is under water and the flood is surging up Dover Street. Across the street, neighbors are rushing back and forth filling black plastic bags with sand to shore up their doors, wading in water that is waist-deep. I run downstairs to my front door in my Wellies. Earlier, I rolled up the hall rug and secured it in front of the door with a can of spackle. Water is now over the second step in the hallway, deeper than my boots are high. I can’t get out the door to help. I feel awful. I finish the half jigger of vodka and go to bed. I can’t sleep. The only book with print that is large enough to read by the tea light balanced precariously on my chest is my friend’s cousin Lew Cuyler’s book, “Ernestine Bayer:

Mother of U.S. Women’s Rowing.” I have a good laugh at the absurdity. In the morning, I hike on my Wellies for a walk around the neighborhood. At John and Water Streets, a worker offers to charge my phone in his car. We stand around and talk for a while, amazed at the people who are here to see the aftermath of the disaster — the “lookies,” as one friend calls them. I am overwhelmed — and that word doesn’t seem strong enough convey the feeling — by the devastation around my sweet neighborhood, where I have lived for more than 30 years and which experienced storms and surges before (but nothing like this). I go upstairs and grab a box of plastic gloves, white kitchen garbage bags and bottles of water. Over at Salty Paw, owner Amanda Byron Zink has been sweeping out water. Her husband Rob and I continue the job, bagging up ruined dog sweaters, leashes and wet kibble. Someone stops to tell us that the surge lifted and moved the massive wooden bar inside The Paris Café. The water is still about an inch deep and even deeper outside on Peck Slip. At high tide, the water level reached the noses of the dog-and-fish sign above Salty Paw’s entrance. I move over to Meade’s Pub, where a team of staffers and friends are picking up cans and bottles of beer, scrubbing down


Saturday morning, 12 days after the surge of Superstorm Sandy washed out most the neighborhood’s basements and ground floors, the South Street Seaport was busy with tourists coming to see the damage and with shop owners, workers and residents who were picking up the pieces. At Kara and Ann Taylor, workers were loading body-sized bags of destroyed merchandise into delivery trucks. J Crew and Gap, like Brookstone and the Body Shop, had been boarded up. A sign posted onto the door of Red read: “Red is closed due to an unfortunate weather day! We’re sorry to have missed you.” No word of reopening. Inside the window at Josh Bach, which opened only six months ago at 14 Fulton St., a silver cocktail shaker and silk ties lay strewn alongside a computer printer and cables. Meanwhile, others have struggled to move on. At Made Fresh Daily bakery on Front Street, white paint was being applied to the walls where water had risen more than five feet during the storm. Manager Beth Trimble was prepping in the kitchen to open for a few hours on Sunday with a few things such as coffee, croissants and sandwiches. “The [New Amsterdam] Market will be back tomorrow, and we wanted to be here,” she said. Lee Holin of Meade’s was hanging a paper sign offering a $25 all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch. They had had a small opening the night before, serving only hamburgers. He planned to add to the menu as the week went on. Water leveled off at around five feet inside the pub, taking out everything from the ground floor but the bar. “People are showing support,” he commented. Over at Jeremy’s Ale House, Milton Amoroso was behind the bar again. “Twenty-seven years in this neighborhood and I’ve never seen anything this bad,” he said. “I’ve been here cleaning every day — everything is garbage, nothing works. Right now is my day off, this is easier.” Water was three feet deep in the pub, which is five feet up from street level. In the kitchen, the industrial refrigerator was on its side; in the basement a 300-pound freezer full of food was turned over. Packages of calamari were swimming around. Patron Peter Karsten used to live in Brooklyn Heights and was a Jeremy’s regular until he moved to Kansas City, Missouri five years ago. He’s been back a few times since and was happy to see his old haunt was open. At Barbarini across Front Street, coowners Stefano Barbagallo and Claudio Marini were cleaning bottles and packing up olive oils and vinegars to sell at the New Amsterdam Market. “We have to make some income,” explained Marini. Barbagallo’s little daughters Sofia and Valentina eagerly showed visitors the new window in the bathroom (the wall was partially blown out by water) and what was barely left (two overhead shelves) of the “really cute” office. The rest of the once-lovely store and restaurant with a Tuscan feel was in shambles.

C. B. 1

A schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at the board office, on the seventh floor of 49-51 Chambers St., at 6 p.m. ON WED., NOV. 14: The Tribeca Committee will meet; the Landmarks Committee will meet at 7 p.m. ON THURS., NOV. 15: The Quality of Life Committee will meet. ON MON., NOV. 19: The Seaport/Civic Center Committee will host a Town Hall meeting (the location has yet to be determined).

ON TUES., NOV. 27: The full board will meet at New York Law School (185 W. Broadway).

The watermark ran across the top of the refrigerator doors. “It was over my head,” said Adriana, Stefano’s wife, who was helping with the clean-up. All their equipment and surviving merchandise had to be out of the shop by Monday. The landlord said it would take six to eight months to get the space back in working order. “The insurance company said ‘F you’ — ‘F’ for flood. No flood insurance!” said Stefano. Still, there were smiles and even a few laughs. “What are we going to do? We are dealing with it,” said Marini. “You have to have faith.” Back at the Salty Paw, the handwritten message on the plywood over the blownout door read “Saltier than ever. We will be back.” Notes from staff and neighbors sounded hopeful. Sharon had drawn a dog and wrote: “Tails waggin’ again in no time”.

SOOTHE AND SUPPORT… After all this, a

day that the spa was more than in order. The Setai Club & Spa Wall Street also reopened on Saturday, offering “a place of warmth, comfort and respite following such a stressful time.” Though the end of November, the spa will donate 10 percent of all its proceeds to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. Patrons will also receive a $15 credit if they donate relief supplies such as batteries, bottled water, blankets or imperishable food.


Happy to report that the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra music library was saved, thanks to neighbors who waded into a flooded basement as water rose around them. Still, the orchestra lost a lot, including musicians’ chairs and stands, lights and office equipment. And due to the storm, its fundraising soirée, “The First Great White Way! Broadway from Bowling Green to Union Square,” was postponed two weeks. Join KCO music director Gary S. Fagin and Broadway star Elizabeth DeRosa of “Mary Poppins” at the Tribeca home of Madelyn and Steven Wils on Thurs., Nov. 29, from 6 to 8 pm, for music, hors d’oeuvres from Table Tales and wine donated by Capsouto Freres. For reservations or to make a donation, call (917) 929-8375.

November 14 - November 27, 2012

Voters swarm Downtown poll sites on Election Day BY JESS SCANLON All polling places in Manhattan opened at 6 a.m. for Election Day in Lower Manhattan, but before noon, some polling locations were already crowded with lines of voters spilling out into the streets at two Tribeca locations, New York Law School and P.S. 234, and the Tweed Courthouse by City Hall. “The wait’s 45 minutes to an hour,” said a poll worker at Tweed. Earlier, the line had stretched past the gate and into the street, he noted. Election Day came only about a week after Hurricane Sandy struck New York. The state Board of Elections scrambled to ensure access to the ballots for New Yorkers who were displaced by the hurricane. The agency moved 60 polling sites within New York City alone. A Board of Elections document showed that four Manhattan polling locations changed, two of which were based Downtown. The polling location at St.

Margaret’s House on Fulton Street was moved to the nearby Southbridge Towers, which was also crowded on Tuesday morning. Additionally the polling site at Bard High School Early College on East Houston Street was moved to either P.S. 188 or less than a block away at P.S. 196. Governor Andrew Cuomo also attempted to ease the voting process by temporarily suspending provisions of the election law regarding location, allowing residents of the city as well as the Long Island, Rockland and Westchester counties to vote using an affidavit ballot, according to a press release put out by the governor’s office Monday. Back at Tweed, the same poll worker asked a voter which election district she’s from. She answered “the Ninth” after looking down at a paper in her hand. He told her she could vote at the location but that it’s a good idea to know where it is for the next election.

Exit polls from the fourth grade BY JOSH ROGERS Mitt Romney was doing much better down on Wall Street than at a West Village polling site, fourth graders discovered Tuesday in their exit polls. “It was mostly Obama in the first [West Village] location,” said Alexa, 9, a fourth grade student who was surveying voters on the street for the Little Red School House in the Village. “It’s more Romney down here.” Asked why she thought President Obama was getting less support in Lower Manhattan, she said, “Maybe people in different locations have different views.” Her classmate and partner from Battery Park City, Aidhan, 9, was finding much the same thing. He was also discovering something that many a reporter has learned on a

chilly election day — that it can be difficult to get voters to talk. “Some of them said, ‘private,’” he explained. His teacher, Ella Moran, helped organize the poll. Later in the day the students were going to have their own election to see which Hurricane Sandy relief charity would benefit from a student fundraiser. Alexa, a thoughtful girl who expressed sympathy when she heard the Downtown Express office had been flooded, was also pleased to hear she looked to be 9 since she is often mistaken for a second grader. Told that she may reach an age where she wished to be younger, she had a quick reply: “I know, I know.”

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Obama gives Downtowners a jovial but nervous night B Y ALINE REYNOLDS An exuberant crowd burst into cheers upon President Obama’s re-election on Tues., Nov. 6 at a Downtown hub where they drank wine and beer and schmoozed for hours until the announcement was made at around 11 p.m. It was a sigh of relief for many who expressed anxiety over the outcome of what was anticipated to be a close race. Political enthusiasts from all over the city gathered at progressive group Drinking Liberally’s screening of M.S.N.B.C.’s coverage of the presidential election at the Downtown Community Television Center in Chinatown. Some of them had voted for the very first time that morning or afternoon despite hours-long lines at the local polls. Betsy Colucci, who works in capital markets on Wall Street, schlepped down from Lenox Hill in Upper Manhattan to watch the election coverage Downtown with fellow Democrats. “I didn’t want to be alone tonight…I’ve been told this is a really good group of people, and I wanted to be with kindred spirits,” she said. “I don’t consider myself incredibly liberal, but I can’t see myself living in a country under Mitt Romney and the Republican party. I’m also really worried about voter

suppression and intimidation and fraud in the polls,” she said. All eyes were glued to the screen as the projections for right- or left-wing states came in and as several swing states (Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina) were designated as too close to call. Then came Obama’s projected win in the battleground state of Pennsylvania at around 9:15 p.m., prompting the first big ovation in the crowd and the chant, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” Nervous energy pervaded the viewing room throughout the course of the evening and made those such as 31-year-old Larry Cheng anxious. “I wasn’t nervous,” he commented, “but talking to people, they’re nervous so it kind of transferred onto me.” Cheng, who chatted with fellow Democrats as he stood watching the show, was most concerned about Florida, the swing state that was the deal breaker in the 2000 battle between George Bush and Al Gore. “I think it has a pretty strong Republican base,” he said. “For the last election they voted for Obama, but if it swings toward Romney, it could change a lot of things.” Around midnight, the newscasters projected that Florida was likely going to go to Obama. The rest is history.


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Washington Street to gain public plaza B Y AL IN E REYNOLDS Downtown residents, workers and tourists will soon have a new outdoor area to hang out in. To help relieve congestion around the National Sept. 11 Memorial, the city has plans to transform the strip of Washington Street between Albany and Carlisle Streets into a sprawling pedestrian plaza. The plaza, which will be maintained by the Downtown Alliance Business Improvement District, will consist of chairs, tables and a tourism kiosk meant to encourage memorial visitors to linger in the area. The plan, an outgrowth of the Alliance’s study “Five Principals for Greenwich South,” is one of a series of initiatives to improve pedestrian mobility around the memorial’s temporary entrance, according to BID President Elizabeth Berger. The Washington Street plaza affords the BID the opportunity to launch its first-ever tourism kiosk, which will serve to direct tourists to neighborhood landmarks, she noted. “One of the things that we looked at was how to capitalize on the old-world geometry of the street plan to create a sense of destination and gathering places,” she said. “There’ll be an attractive space not only for visitors but for people who live and work in the area to congregate.” The area surrounding the memorial hasn’t realized its full potential, according to Jeffrey Mandel, a senior policy adviser for Robert Steele, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development. “We think it pushes a couple of big dominos forward by creating a place that’s not just attractive and desirable for the folks down here but that has beneficial impacts in the way of mitigation,” he said. “This is something we believe has a number of compelling virtues to enact now.” The plaza will provide respite for the daily 10,000 to 15,000 memorial visitors who are clogging Downtown’s streets, according to Josh Krauss, a spokesperson for the city Department of Transportation. “Most often after they leave, they’re looking for a place to reflect, look at the rising skyline, pull out their Smartphones or maps and take stock of what they’ve seen and what they’ll see next,” he said. “In a way, that inconveniences the people in the neighborhood [by causing congestion].” Work on the plaza, which was slated to take place this month, has been postponed

due to Hurricane Sandy, and a new start date for construction wasn’t immediately clear. However, officials said it is only supposed to take a few days in total to complete. In an e-mail Community Board 1 received during the first week of November, a D.O.T. official said, “The D.O.T.’s operational crews are currently devoted to disaster recovery work, so they will not be able to implement the plaza in November as planned. Once the work is complete, we will reevaluate the project timeline with an eye towards implementation as soon as conditions — particularly the weather — permit.” At C.B. 1’s Wed., Oct. 17 Executive Committee meeting, however, the city officials, stressed the urgency to build and open the plaza before the year’s end, since it’s difficult to lay down gravel once it turns cold outside, according to Mandel. “We’re working on a fuse — this is our window in time,” he said. “If we wait ‘till next year, we’re not sure we can do this.” The rerouting of the traffic from Washington Street to Albany Street will cause the city to increase the green time of the Albany Street traffic signal by 46 percent to help minimize traffic back-ups there. “In our observation, Washington Street is not heavily trafficked — the issue is how cars move on Albany Street,” said Berger. “That’s why we think this change in the signal is a good thing.” Several members of Community Board 1’s Executive Committee praised the plan, including the McVay Hughes, who called it “a temporary solution to a temporary problem.” “It was at the last Executive Committee that we had a five-page resolution on the lasting impact of tourism to our community,” she said. “So this is an incredible turn-around of time, energy and money devoted to improving the area.” “I think this is a great addition,” echoed committee member Roger Byrom. Others, however, expressed concern about the plan. Committee member Tom Goodkind said he is wary of pedestrian plazas in the vicinity of the W.T.C., as they create the need to close roadways. “Do we want the W.T.C. area to be, as they called it, a campus? Or do we want [streets] to run through?” he asked rhetorically.


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Scores of Downtowners still displaced by Sandy BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S A host of Downtown businesses and residents will be displaced for weeks if not months due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. This and a slew of other storm-related issues were talking points at Community Board 1’s Executive Committee meeting held at Trinity Church on Sun., Nov. 4, where board members were joined by elected officials and local residents and business owners who spoke to the ongoing problems. The board is crafting a resolution asking Congress to include Lower Manhattan in addressing the needs of small businesses, residents and other groups. Among the entrepreneurs was Tazz Latifi — the owner of Petropolis at 91 Washington St., a pet supply shop near the World Trade Center — who is desperately seeking financial backing to bring her business back. However, even with all the necessary support, Latifi wouldn’t be able to reopen her store in the near future. “There was a mandatory evacuation,” she explained. “One store was covered with oil coming from the 88 Greenwich St. basement that got into all the businesses on the street level. We don’t know when we’re going to be able to get back in.” Raymond Western, a resident of 88 Greenwich St., was told he wouldn’t be able to move back into his apartment for four to six weeks. In the meantime, he and his two dogs are staying at a bed-and-breakfast in the area. “It’s expensive and really uncomfortable,” he said. “I take a lot of comfort in my home. I feel a great deal of disappointment.” Despite the adversities, Western said he feels grateful not to have been injured or permanently lose his home as have other New Yorkers. “Other people in Staten Island and the Rockaways lost much more than I did,” he said. “We’ll all come out of this stronger and better — that’s what we’re called to do.” State Senator Daniel Squadron, last week began a blog titled “Sandy’s Aftermath Resource Page” to update the community on available resources and other recovery matters. “Please continue to tell us what’s happening — we can’t help you if we don’t know what’s happening and where the greatest

needs are,” Cooley told the meeting attendees. Jeff Galloway, chairperson of C.B. 1’s Planning Committee, said Downtown was unprepared for such a natural disaster, which didn’t hit the city by surprise. The board, he noted, passed a resolution last January urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expeditiously study storm surge barriers for the Lower Manhattan waterfront. A Category 3 hurricane in the tri-state area would generate a 30-foot storm surge, he said. Sandy was only a Category 1 and had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit New York. “This is just a taste of what’s to come. Imagine a 30-foot storm surge,” he said. “It could happen, and we need to be prepared. “If we do nothing,” Galloway added, “New York City will not be a city for our grandchildren or our great-grandchildren.” Galloway also voiced concern about lost power, weak cell phone signals and other communication gaps that occurred during the storm. “It’s astounding that half the city is dependent on a single substation,” he said, referring to Consolidated Edison’s large power plant on East 14th Street. By the morning of Mon., Nov. 12, Consolidated Edison had restored power and gas to all functioning buildings in Lower Manhattan. Sandy caused five times as many outages as Hurricane Irene, the next largest storm in the utility’s history, and required a year’s worth of supply of certain materials and some 60 miles of replacement electric cable. However, close to 200 customers in the area are currently unable to be reconnected to the utility’s electric system, and more than 20 customers are without gas for the same reason, according to John Miksad, Con Ed’s senior vice president of electric operations. “The vast majority of them have an awful lot of work to do before they’re ready to reconnect to the grid,” he said. “There was a tremendous amount of water in those basements.” Though Tribeca was largely spared by Sandy, there was one fatality and there were many hardships for residents living in highrise buildings, according to board member Jeff Ehrlich. Upper floor residents faced the hazardous situation of walking down several

flights of stairs with candles. All electrical systems should have backup generators in the event that they get flooded during future storms, he asserted. “It’s certainly going to happen again before we get a 30-foot seawall or anything else to protect us,” he said. As previously reported, the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, at 120 Warren St., was hit hard. Bob Townley, the center’s executive director and the chair of C.B. 1’s Waterfront Committee, found the building submerged in about 20 feet of water around dawn last Tuesday. The fixes, which aren’t covered by flood insurance, will amount to several million dollars, Townley noted. Rather than fork over $350,000 to a company for water pumps, the center’s staff members pumped out the water themselves for four days straight. “We’re planning to open the community center expeditiously with the help of the community,” he said, adding, “I thank God we’re alive.” Capsouto Freres, at 451 Washington St., was submerged in five feet of water from the storm. Distraught owner Jacques Capsouto said he hasn’t been able to assess the damages due to a lack of electricity. “It’s worse than 9/11 — I was helping others then,” he said. “Now, I need the help. If we don’t find the money, I’m not going to be able to make it.”

Lower Manhattan needs a better contingency plan for the next storm, according to Tribeca resident Tricia Joyce, who chairs C.B. 1’s Youth and Education Committee. “I do feel that we’re still too vulnerable,” she said. Specifically, the storm proved that Downtown is lacking the necessary child care that was also missing after 9/11. Many parents were required to be at work last week, while their children were out of school and at home. As a result, Joyce and other neighborhood families had to take turns watching the children for few-hour increments. “There was no way for anybody to communicate with their workplaces — that’s very stressful when you have children,” she said. The government must also come to the aid of local residents, according to C.B. 1 Housing Committee chair Tom Goodkind. “In many cases,” he said, “their insurance will not provide them to go to a hotel. What we’d like to do is help those without power to find shelter.” Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly announced the makings of a $100 million residents assistance program late last week, according to Assembly Member Deborah Glick. “That sounds like a lot of money,” she said, “but when you consider there are 30,000 people impacted, it won’t go as far as people might think.”


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Downtown Hospital reopens B Y A L I NE R E Y NO L D S Dozens of emergency patients were shipped out of New York Downtown Hospital prior to Sandy’s arrival in the tristate area, marking the first time in the hospital’s 60-year-history that it had to evacuate its William Street facility. The task was daunting but necessary, as the safety of patients would have otherwise been at risk, said Jeffrey Menkes, the hospital’s president and C.E.O. Menkes and his staff decided to evacuate patients the Saturday before the storm when they learned Con Edison was planning to deactivate steam service in the area to protect its equipment. He then summoned his staff at midnight to move all 125 patients to other area hospitals. “The hospital has an emergency generator, but we use steam and hot water to essentially sterilize instrumentation,” said Menkes. “Without the steam, we were severely compromised. We can’t run operation rooms [or] deliver babies.” By 2:30 a.m., all of the patients and their records had been moved out to be transferred. It was an enormous undertaking that went surprisingly well, Menkes said. The evacuation was also a first for Menkes, who has 40 years of hospital experience. “We’ve faced catastrophic events — obviously, our hospital was involved with 9/11 because we’re four blocks from Ground Zero — but

we’ve had nothing of this magnitude where our ability to maintain service at the hospital has been compromised,” he said. During the storm, the hospital continued to accept walk-in patients that required urgent care — including a woman who gave birth and who was later transferred to New YorkPresbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Downtown Hospital regained steam by 10 a.m. the morning of Sun., Nov. 4. “It took about three hours for the hospital to warm up.” Menkes reported. The next day, the hospital began accepting emergency patients and setting up its in-patient units. By Nov. 6, the hospital was fully up and running again. “It’s taking us a better part of the week to set back up again, but everything is back to normal as far as our ability to operate,” said Menkes. The evacuation of some city hospitals, he noted, demonstrated the need for health care authorities to work with government agencies to set new standards for emergencies. “The lesson we’ve learned is that hospitals have to function during catastrophic events,” he said. “We have to make sure that in an emergency, Con Edison has the ability to either switch us to a different grid or put us on different grids to begin with that can function during catastrophic events. We’re also going to need back-up generators, and we have to make sure they’re in hardened structures that are hurricane-proof.”

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

Start Here. Go Anywhere.




November 14 - November 27, 2012

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Juicy fundraiser

Manhole explosion

On Mon., Nov. 12, an usually warm fall day, schoolgirls Rose (left) and Dylan from P.S. 234 stood in front of Washington Market Park selling homemade lemonade to fundraise for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Two manhole covers blew up midday on Sat., Nov. 10 on Reade Street in Tribeca, outside of the New York Sports Club near Greenwich Street. Nobody was hurt, though the explosion caused a loud ‘boom’ and smoke.

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

Sandy can’t stop the holidays BY KAITLYN MEADE A few weeks out from the holiday season, things are looking pretty grim for the families whose lives and livelihoods were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. But a disaster has once again proven that New Yorkers are resilient and work together to support their communities. One such New Yorker, Christina Tropiano — who works in the South Street Seaport — has decided to do her best to keep Sandy from wrecking the holiday cheer in Manhattan. Her new project, a Facebook-based campaign called “Sandy Can’t Stop the Holidays in NYC�, is aimed at connecting families who will struggle to afford presents during the holidays with people seeking to contribute to a charitable cause this winter. It is based on a postSandy initiative by Tropiano’s friend and former sorority sister Lauren Van Sise that will provide toys for children in Staten Island, an area that was especially hard-hit by the storm. “I saw her do it and thought it was a great idea, and I applied it to where I was,� Tropiano said. “I didn’t want the idea to be something confined to Staten Island.� Van Sise and fellow organizer Cristina Wynn were inspired by Wynn’s father, who used to go to the post office every

year and collect letters to Santa from families whose children were worried he wouldn’t stop at their house that year. “So far we’ve found about six families with two or three children whose homes were destroyed or are unlivable right now. One mom got very emotional because she said she’d never thought as far as Christmas and presents, she was just trying to find somewhere to stay, so the fact that someone else wanted to help really touched her,� said Van Sise. Those who would like to be more personally involved can fulfill families’ wish lists by going shopping for children. They can also send in gift cards, in which case Tropiano would do the shopping for them. But the first step for her is to get in touch with the families in Manhattan who would benefit from the toy drive. Tropiano said she doesn’t need to know the families’ names, so long as she knows how many children are in the household, what their genders are and how old they are. She is also adamant that families’ details not be publicized on Facebook so as to keep their identities private. Though still figuring out how to find the families that are in need, Tropiano has already received what she feels is an “overwhelming� amount of support. She asks those who would like to donate to

get in touch with her but not to send any gifts just yet. “People already want to go shopping,� she said, “but we have to find out what is needed first.� Tropiano, a native of Staten Island, lives in Washington Heights and works as a waitress at Acqua, a South Street Seaport restaurant and wine bar that was ravaged by the storm. “It’s like going from one world to another,� she said of the difference in storm damage between Uptown and Downtown. The building, located at 21 Peck Slip, had about four feet of flooding. Tropiano estimates

about $20,000 worth of repairs, including a replacement of the floors and walls. Despite the challenges that lie ahead, she is determined to remain positive. “We were planning renovations in January, anyway,� she said. “We’ll just have to do them early — about half now and half in January.� Acqua is hoping to be one of the first neighborhood businesses to reopen, in a few weeks to a month. Tropiano urges those with information about families in need and those who would like to participate in the toy drive to e-mail her at




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November 14 - November 27, 2012



John W. Sutter EDITOR


Aline Reynolds ARTS EDITOR

Scott Stiffler REPORTERS

Lincoln Anderson Sam Spokony EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Kaitlyn Meade


Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER

Colin Gregory

A word about NYC Reconnects SINCE SUPERSTORM SANDY

hit our shores, some of you have been able to move back and continue with your lives without much change. But for some other Downtown residents and businesses, the storm has brought devastating damage that will take a long time to recover from. For these people, many questions remain about insurance and government assistance programs, to name just a few. With these concerns in mind, last week we conceived and published a new weekly paper: NYC Reconnects. NYC Reconnects ( is a joint venture of the NYC Community Media papers — Downtown Express, The Villager, Chelsea Now and Gay City News. Some of you may have noticed the new paper in Express dropoff locations. This week’s issue is inserted in this hard copy, and includes a focus on arts groups in addition to the vital nuts-and-bolts information that people recovering from the storm can expect each week from NYC Reconnects.

Downtown Express will cover the storm’s aftermath from a news perspective, and we hope NYC Reconnects will be more of a handy informational guide for people who are winding their way through the paperwork and bureaucracy tied to Sandy’s aftermath. It’s a struggle we can identify with, as we are now publishing our second poststorm Express out of our second temporary office. The Express took a similar step 11 years ago after the Sept. 11 attacks, when we published joint issues with The Villager until expanding to a weekly. There are a few similarities to that crisis, but this is a different situation. We’re not sure how long we will publish the new paper, but we will continue it for as long as it makes sense and is needed.

STORMS AND HOSPITALS Last month’s horrific storm exposed a few vulnerabilities in this city’s preparation plans for natural disasters. At the top of the list is the fragility of low-lying areas like much of Lower Manhattan, and that’s an area we will continue

to explore. Another important issue that needs attention is providing adequate health care during emergencies. As we report this week, New York Downtown Hospital evacuated its patients, not because of a flood risk but because Con Edison needed to turn off steam service in the area. There is no reason to think the utility did anything improper, but as hospital chief Jeffrey Menkes told us, there needs to be a systematic change so that Con Ed has the ability to take necessary precautions to protect its equipment while allowing hospitals to function during “catastrophic events.” After all, that’s when medical care is needed most. Downtown Hospital could have provided vital services during the storm and immediately thereafter. There were many seniors and others who felt trapped in their apartments and relied on volunteers to bring them things like medicine and batteries for medical devices. A few hundred more trained professionals sure could have helped the cause.


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Letters to the Editor Move 9/11 artifacts to higher ground To the Editor: For years, in meeting after meeting after meeting with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, I and other 9/11 family members told president and later Chairman Kevin Rampe, L.M.D.C. officials and its engineers and architects not to put the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum at bedrock level. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars more, I argued, than putting it on plaza level where, you know, common sense dictated it to go. All I got in response was blank looks, weary sighs and rolled eyes. What New York and America got was a museum whose costs shot up by over a billion dollars. The current project is so expensive that construction came to a halt in recent months as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation battled over taxpayer money. The museum’s opening had already been delayed by years — adding ever more costs and lost revenue to the project. And then we got hit by Hurricane Sandy — or Superstorm Sandy — and guess what happened to the museum that was built 70 feet below sea level just steps away from the Hudson River and New York Harbor? Every circumstance cannot be foreseen, but there was no reason for any of those objects to be at bedrock. None but the ‘Last Beam’ was ever there. They were only put there for the blatantly ridiculous purpose of ensuring that nothing remained on the plaza that would remind visitors of the 2001 terrorist attacks. In 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels’ words, there was a need to “preserve the integrity” of the memorial to 9/11. So, we have inanity following absurdity. The Memorial complex’s final cost will be well over 2 billion — maybe over 3 billion, who

knows? And it will cost at least $60 million annually to maintain. A genuine, humble memorial and plaza would have cost a fraction of that. Imagine what else we might have spent that $2 billion-plus on. Say, emergency response? How about sea walls? And here’s a lesson in humility that we can be sure will have zero impact: Down at Battery Park, the indomitable Fritz Koenig Sphere, which our Memorial officials all ignore, shrugged off the storm without a cent spent on it. And unlike our billion-dollar memorial, it is still “open” and people may visit it at any time without having to schedule an appointment or wait on line. And there is no need to remind people that “this is a sacred and historic space,” because it carries that inherently in its scars and dents. And of course, there is no accountability for any of this — there never is. It is like the final line from the 1974 film “Chinatown”: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” Massive cost overruns? Artifacts unnecessarily destroyed by floods? Endless delays? Billiondollar 9/11 World Trade Center memorials that don’t acknowledge 9/11? Two more firemen die in the Deutsche Bank fire? Forget it, folks, it’s Ground Zero. Michael Burke

Ban the trucks! To the Editor:

restaurants on Stone and Pearl Streets in the South Street Seaport. Peter Poulakakos was interviewed — his businesses have a fraction of the customers. Some of the Seaport shops will not open for years. Also, Bellevue Hospital won’t fully reopen for months. It’s like post-Katrina on Long Island and Staten Island. Steve Geller, The Healthcare Channel

Trees? What about us? To The Editor: In today’s New York Times, I can read about storm damage to trees in Queens, the fate of a Cuban restaurant on the Upper West Side and dog bordellos in Brazil. But I can learn nothing about the availability of emergency medical care in Manhattan! There isn’t a word about where I should go for emergency care if I were to need it and what hospitals are available to Manhattan residents below 42nd Street. Where does a seriously ill person in Tribeca, Greenwich Village or the Lower East Side ask a cab to take them? What are the waiting times in the open emergency rooms? This is lifesaving information that needs to be told to the public! I can walk into the 14th Street station of the Seventh Avenue subway and learn the waiting time for the next Uptown No. 3 train, but the press and the city don’t see fit to tell me where to go for the quickest emergency medical care!

Re. “Police Blotter, Week of Nov. 7: Trucks are obviously more dangerous than guns. The Army National Guard should not be permitted to drive trucks. Sidney Baumgarten

Wow, devastation To the Editor: Wow. The local CBS news station filmed the

Elizabeth Ryan E-mail letters no longer than 300 words in length to, fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Downtown Express, Letters to the Editor, One MetroTech Center, 10th flr, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Please include a phone number for confirmation purposes. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Downtown Express does not publish anonymous letters.


November 14 - November 27, 2012

On The Spot with

Liz Berger Liz Berger, 52, is celebrating her fifth year as president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the area’s Business Improvement District. In an interview with the Downtown Express, Berger spoke to the Alliance’s accomplishments, its future goals and why she is passionate about Lower Manhattan.

BY ALINE REYNOLDS Congratulations, Liz! Does it feel longer or shorter than five years? Thank you! It feels like a long time, but by the same token, I can’t believe it’s been five years. It feels like enough time to have really learned a lot about Lower Manhattan and to have worked with our board and our staff and all of our partners to really help the community move forward. What are some of the accomplishments of the Alliance since the mid2000s? The leadership of the Board of Directors has focused our efforts in four

key areas: research, service, advocacy and information. We’ve really built out our research department. We’re the go-to source of original and synthesized data about the Lower Manhattan market — that’s an achievement of which I’m really, really proud. It has really led to a growing sophistication and expansion of our field service programs, it’s led to an incredible multi-platforming of our communications program and it’s allowed us to be a lot more nimble and savvy in the economic development area, which focuses both on consumers and investors. On the investor’s side, it’s the hard data that allows brokers and owners teners to attract new ten ants. Research also so informs our advocacy — it helps us understand what’s important and it helps us quantify our arguments. ments. You’ve witnessed sed the revitalization of Downtown in many respects…which which aspect of the regrowth has been most surprising to you? What I’ve been n pleased to see is the extent of thee growth — it has exceeded ourr wildest imaginations. Fifty-seven ty-seven thousand peoplee live here, 309,000 people work here and there were virtually ten en million visitors lastt year. None of these in and of

themselves is surprising — the feeling has always been that if you build it, it will come! What is a future goal of the Alliance, and what can we expect in the coming years?

for many of the ideas that our collaborative committees generated with respect to Greenwich Street South, Water Street, the economy and technology. What brought you to Downtown as a resident?

We’re going to keep looking for ways to make daily life better for the people who live, work and visit here. We’re a constituent service organization, so we’re constantly talking, writing and trying to figure out what our constituents need. We have a variety of supplemental homeless outsanitation, public safety, homeles reach, transportation and ttourism programs, and engagement programs continue to we’re going to conti we can think about how w populations serve those popu better and better. Giving away two million pieces of printed material is one example of how we’re increasing our constantly increasin programs. We’re also als conwhat we stantly reevaluating w see more do. You’re going to se tourism, in the way of to way of more in the w promotion retail prom investors both to in consumand to co ers, and I think going to we’re go advocating be advo

I didn’t have to be convinced to move to Lower Manhattan, I did it on my own 30 years ago. It has what every New Yorker wants — the ability to walk to work, doormen and value in terms of rent. I stayed because of the tremendous sense of community, the beauty, the architecture, the proximity to the water, the ability to get anywhere in the region via public transportation and the profound sense of history.

Dear J.K, Indeed, New Jersey Transit was hard hit, and it will be weeks before it resumes full service; the PATH, meanwhile, is only running between Jersey City to 33rd Street. The good news is that there are ferries running between Jersey and New York City, and the NJ Transit is running a free bus service from Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Liberty State Park station (in Jersey City) to Liberty Landing Marina. At the marina, commuters can hop on a Statue Cruises ferry, which will take you to Battery Park for free. The ferries operate weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and they won’t be as crowded as the buses. Good luck!

a left. Do you have to signal when you enter a “left turn only” lane? I would guess not, because you’re entering a turning lane anyway.

What is your favorite Downtown hang-out? I love all my ‘children’ equally! I love what’s happened on North End Way in Battery Park City, I love shopping and dining on Front Street. Having been a Downtown Soccer League and Little League sports mom, I know there is nothing better than the sports fields on a Saturday morning. I love the chance to see and hear music at Pace University. I think there’s nothing better than being on the top story of Pier 15 over the summer — looking at the bridge, looking at the harbor, eating an ice cream cone and realizing the power and the drama of New York. It just doesn’t get better than that!


ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE IN EFFECT PATH service has been restored in New Jersey and Manhattan, stopping at 14th, 23rd and 33rd Streets and bypassing Christopher and Ninth Streets. Service will run in both directions from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The PATH won’t be making stops at the World Trade Center, Exchange Place or Hoboken. As far as bridges and tunnels go, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel has two lanes open, one lane for buses and one lane open to cars. Manhattan-bound traffic is permitted to travel from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and Brooklynbound traffic is allowed from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Queens-Midtown Tunnel is open to all traffic except trucks. Finally, in the Battery Park Underpass, one eastbound lane opens starting at 6 a.m. Wed., Nov. 14; it will remain open 24 hours eastbound. The westbound lane will be open to buses from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. Barring regular repairs, the Holland Tunnel is open to traffic, however one Manhattan-bound lane is closed from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on weekdays. Also, from Monday to Friday, one Jersey-bound lane is closed from midnight to 5 a.m.

In transit news, service has been restored on the L, the N, and most recently the A, which has been extended to the Howard Beach Station. There, a shuttle bus service will connect riders to the Mott Avenue-Far Rockaway Station. The R train remains closed. A citywide embargo on construction following Hurricane Sandy has halted regular street closures on Chambers Street, Hudson Street, Nassau Street and the Brooklyn Bridge until Thurs., Nov. 15. For updates on street closures and the status of the embargo, follow me at gridlocksam.

FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, Commuting from New Jersey into New York City and back has been a total nightmare this week with only one rail line running into and out of Penn Station, and if I go over to the Port Authority bus terminal, I see horrific bus lines into Jersey. I’ve spent long hours trying to find a way to get home — from getting a ride from a random stranger once I got back to Jersey to sharing a cab. Help! J.K., East Rutherford

Transit Sam Dear Transit Sam, I was driving near the Brooklyn Bridge when I was entering a turning lane to make

Jacob, South Street Seaport Dear Jacob, I hate to break it to you, but you guessed incorrectly. Turning lanes are implemented to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the intersection from a backup of cars trying to make a difficult turn. Signaling in a turning lane warns oncoming drivers that you may turn in front of them. There is no exception in the books to not signal in turning lanes. Therefore the law — NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1163 — which specifies turning movements and required signals, is in effect. Transit Sam


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Organizations offer grants to artists after storm BY SAM SPOKONY Arts organizations from around the city and the nation are swiftly responding to the needs of artists affected by Hurricane Sandy by making available emergency funding sources similar to those tailored to damaged businesses. The main difference between these funds and most business-related funding, though, is that the arts organizations are offering grants rather than loans — the grants don’t need to be paid back, and they’re generally given in much smaller amounts. Large nonprofits — ones that aren’t involved in actually giving the grants but that have massive networks of contacts — are aggressively reaching out to the many artists in Downtown, Brooklyn and other affected tri-state areas to inform them of what could be career-saving funding, and to encourage them to apply. For the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (L.M.C.C.), that outreach effort to Downtown artists began earlier this week, even as the 40-year-old organization remains displaced from its base on Maiden Lane. The L.M.C.C. building, at 125 Maiden Lane near Pearl Street, sustained extremely heavy flood damage from the storm, according to Kay Takeda, the organization’s director of grants and services.

Takeda said it’s unclear when the nonprofit — which provides a wide range of yearround services — will be able to return home, as the extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Brooklyn’s DUMBO, also faced some displacement issues after the storm, and executive director Michael Royce announced on Mon., Nov. 5 that the organization had returned to its home offices that day —

and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, which offers aid to avant-garde artists of various disciplines. Additionally, the PEN American Center, which has a national reach but is based in

‘One of the L.M.C.C.’s primary missions will be to connect artists with storm-related grants that accurately match their needs and qualifications.’ — Kay Takeda She explained, though, that in the meantime one of the L.M.C.C.’s primary missions will be to connect artists with storm-related grants that accurately match their needs and qualifications. “We have a huge list of artists who sign up with us, and we just sent out an e-mail to everyone,” Takeda said. “We’re one of a number of arts organizations that have been doing that. We’re all just trying to share the information.” The New York Foundation for the Arts, a statewide group that has provided financial aid and other services for just over 40 years, has taken a similar, networkbased approach. N.Y.F.A., which is based in

nearly a week after Sandy plowed through the East Coast. Between the two organizations and the e-mails they sent out to members, the list of possible funding sources is certainly expansive, and it has options for artists of virtually any discipline. Downtown-based groups that are currently offering emergency grants include the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, which provides funding to visual artists; The Artists’ Fellowship, which offers financial backing to painters, graphic artists, printmakers and sculptors;

Soho, supplies emergency grants to authors through its PEN Writers’ Fund. N.Y.F.A. is also encouraging artists across the city to fill out its new post-storm survey, which will allow the organization to better understand the damages experienced by the arts community, according to Royce. Artists who wish to take the N.Y.F.A. survey should visit HurricaneSandyRecovery. For more information and for a complete lists of sources of emergency grants for artists, visit or


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November 14 - November 27, 2012


BATTERY PLACE MARKET AIDS SANDY VICTIMS: On Sat., Nov. 10, chef Robert Sckalor of the Battery Place Market and several of his colleagues including the market’s owner, Sung Kim, drove to Midland Beach, Staten Island, with enough food to arrange a hot buffet for 150 people. Sckalor received food donations from the market’s vendors that enabled him to cook a salmon, prepare a Spanish pork stew and more. Midland Beach was flattened by Superstorm Sandy. Sckalor said he had seen pictures of what happened but he didn’t comprehend the extent of the destruction until he saw it himself. “It stretched out for blocks and blocks,” he said. Sckalor started cooking that day at 6 a.m. The Battery Place Market group left at 10:30 a.m. with their cargo of food but didn’t arrive at Midland Beach until well after noon. Sckalor said there was a lot of traffic and that it was moving more slowly than usual because so many traffic lights were out. Reportedly, hundreds of people showed up to eat what the group had brought. “They were so appreciative,” he said. “It made me feel good.” On Sat., Nov. 17, the Battery Place Market team will go to the Rockaways with their food offering. “I want to help out in any way I can,” said Sckalor. “It’s tragic, what’s happened to the Tri-State area. I don’t see this going away any time soon.”

FRUIT STAND: A fruit cart is on the corner of South End Avenue and Albany Street every day from early morning to late at night, rain or shine, with modestly priced fruits and vegetables. This past week, Erdol Atessonmez, who runs the cart with a friend, put up a sign that offers free fruit to those in need “because of Sandy.”

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Erdol Atessonmez, who runs the fruit stand on South End Avenue at Albany Street, is doling out free fruit to anyone in need.

“That’s what we do in my country when people are in trouble,” he said. Atessonmez comes from Turkey and arrived in New York City 11 months ago.

STOCKINGS WITH CARE: Battery Park City resident Rosalie Joseph, who is always thinking about how to help others, could not bear the thought of kids in homeless shelters or who are otherwise in crisis and not having a joyful Christmas. Neither did she like the thought of sad parents who were not in a position to provide a happy day for their children. Twenty-one years ago, Joseph and a friend, Tom Fontana, founded Stockings With Care to help some of these children and their families. Stockings With Care gets holiday wish lists from thousands of children each year and then finds people who shop to fill these children’s requests, donate money so others can shop for the kids or who volunteer to

wrap and help distribute the gifts that pour in. Gifts are presented to the parents of the children so that they are the ones who brighten the child’s life on Christmas morning — letting the children know that despite hardships, Santa didn’t forget them. This year, there are 1,500 children on Joseph’s list ranging in age from birth to 17. Among the recipients will be a Staten Island agency that serves families in need. Joseph said that she knows donations will be “more challenging” to come by this year than usual because of the impact of Sandy and because so many people have already donated to other charities — but, she said, “We will do our best and somehow every child will get their Christmas.” People who sign up to be a “Santa” get children’s wish lists and are asked to buy at least two items the children asked for. The average cost is $75 per child. Sometimes people team up to buy gifts for one child. Donated money is used to fill the gaps so that every child gets a coveted present. The Stockings With Care website, www., explains how one can sign up to be a Santa, make a donation or volunteer. Drop-off days for the gifts will be Fri., Dec. 7 through Sun., Dec. 9 at a location to be determined.


On Sat., Nov. 10, Robert Sckalor, the executive chef at Battery Place Market — which has stores at 77 Battery Place and in the Goldman Sachs alley — prepared a hot buffet to serve to 150 people in Midland Beach, Staten Island, one of the most hard-hit communities.

For the last five years, in the weeks before Thanksgiving, Brookfield Office Properties has hosted an ingenious design competition called “Canstruction” at the World Financial Center. After months of planning, on one very busy night, teams from some of the city’s top architectural and engineering firms plus some students under their direction would erect giant sculptures out of canned food. Most of the sculptures consisted of several thousand cans shaped into such objects as a seahorse, a sneaker, a bowling alley and the leaning tower of Pisa. The entries were judged in several categories including “Best Meal,” “Best Use of Labels” and “Structural Ingenuity.” The sculptures were slated to

be dismantled shortly before Thanksgiving so that the cans could be donated to City Harvest to stock community food programs over the holidays. This year, Canstruction has been postponed to 2013 because of Sandy. However, donations of canned food are very much welcome. Brookfield has set up a large collection box in the Winter Garden of 2 World Financial Center. Donations can be accepted until 4 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 21.

POETS HOUSE MASTER CLASSES: “Only be sure the Poet’s House is spared,” wrote the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova as translated by Stanley Kunitz, the co-founder of Poets House. “That’s how we feel,” said Poets House spokesperson Alex Mann. Poets House was spared by Superstorm Sandy. Considering that Poets House directly faces the Hudson River at 10 River Terrace, when Mann used the word “miraculously” to describe the fact that Poets House sailed through the storm without damage, her description did not seem misplaced. Poets House has a 50,000-volume poetry library, sponsors lectures and has an intimate gallery space. In addition, Poets House offers poetry classes with leading poets. For master classes, applications are required and space is limited. Though most of the Poets House offerings are free or cost $10 or less, the master classes cost $390 each. On Sat., Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 9 at 4 p.m., Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, a professor at Princeton University and Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts, will teach at Poets House. To apply, send three poems accompanied by a cover sheet with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282. Attn: Classes. Applications are due by Fri., Nov. 16. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail Terese Loeb Kreuzer at



NOV. 14 - NOV. 21 2012

Statue of Liberty still standing, still shining BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER At 305 feet 6 inches tall from the base of her pedestal to her crown, the Statue of Liberty is the tallest freestanding statue in the United States. Atop her pedestal in New York harbor, she must have taken the full brunt of Sandy’s force. Sandy knocked out the power on Liberty and Ellis Islands, which are closed indefinitely. The storm destroyed the docks and the footpath around the Statue of Liberty, but so great was the genius of the designer of the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and of her engineer, Gustave Eiffel, that the statue emerged unscathed. Dark for a few days after the storm, a team from the New Jersey contractor, Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp., worked around the clock to restore temporary lighting to the statue’s torch and crown. By early evening on Friday, Nov. 9, they shone again. By Sunday morning, the Natoli crews working with subcontractor Turnpike Electric, Inc. had restored full power to the statue. The work was complicated by the fact that the docks that service the island had been shattered. “The physical and logistical obstacles we faced with this project weren’t easily solved,” said Paul Natoli, president and C.E.O. of Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp.

The Natoli company knows the Statue of Liberty well having just spent a year working on safety upgrades to the statue for the National Park Service. That work had just been finished in the days before Sandy came ashore. Musco Lighting has provided temporary LED lights to illuminate the exterior of the Statue of Liberty until the permanent lighting on the grounds of Liberty Island can be replaced.


Statue Cruises, which normally would be running ferry service from Battery Park in Manhattan and Liberty Landing in New Jersey to Liberty and Ellis Islands, is now offering harbor cruises instead. One-hour-long cruises have a recorded narration and depart daily from Battery Park at 45-minute intervals between 10 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Ninety-minute cruises run Thursday through Sunday, three times a day at noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. with a live narrator. Both cruises have heated indoor viewing areas as well as outside decks. Snacks are available on the onehour cruise. The longer cruise has a fullservice café. For more information, go to

Photo © 2012 Jay Fine

Sandy knocked out power on Liberty Island. Temporary LED lights now illuminate the Statue of Liberty.

Help for artists sideswiped by Sandy


BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER As self-employed people who often work alone, New York’s artists were not the most visible casualties of Superstorm Sandy. Other business people were likely to have shops that were shuttered, goods that were strewn around, a horrific scar on their walls where the flood finally stopped. Artists were more likely to have waterlogged work and unpaid bills caused by sales they didn’t make, shows they couldn’t have, ruined materials they had to throw away. “It’s all so dispiriting,” one of them said. “Someone suggested grants. I don’t need a loan from FEMA, but I would be interested in learning about grants to artists or small businesses.

I wonder if there’s any help for someone like me?” The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) would have been the obvious go-to source to answer that question but Sandy darkened their office. “Thank you for the outpouring of concern about the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on LMCC and Lower Manhattan,” the LMCC says on its website, “Due to Sandy-related flooding at 125 Maiden Lane, LMCC’s office remains closed.” Working remotely, the LMCC staff did post a list of emergency resources for artists, however. Some, such as disaster

unemployment insurance and small business disaster relief loans, would be available to anyone affected by Sandy. Some were specifically for artists. The Joan Mitchell Foundation, whose offices were flooded and left with limited power and no telephones, posted a website message that said, “If you are - or know of - a visual artist who has been affected by the hurricane please contact us. The Foundation has funding allocated specifically for emergency assistance to painters and sculptors affected by natural disasters... We

UNEMPLOYMENT . . . . . . . . . . 2 TRANSIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 & 5 CLOSINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Continued on page 6

HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


November 14 - November 21, 2012

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NY Reconnects photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes in Made Fresh Daily.

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Made Fresh Daily reopens Jackie Goewey’s charming food emporium, Made Fresh Daily at 226 Front St., was soaked in eight feet of water by the time Superstorm Sandy departed, but with the help of her landlords, Christopher and Andrea White, Goewey is reopening. The Whites, who live upstairs, replaced the sheetrock walls and made some other repairs. Still, Goewey has had to replace her cooking and refrigeration equipment, her countertops and furnishings and estimates that she has lost $40,000 to $50,000 in income because of the storm. Goewey previously employed 10 people. When she reopens daily on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., she will do it with one

part-time employee, one full-time manager and herself. At first, she will be serving a limited menu of a few breakfast and lunch items and beverages. She doesn’t know if or when she’ll be able to rehire her former staff. “We’re in the middle of a block that looks decimated,” she said. “I have to be comfortable that there will be enough business before I can take on more expense.” Goewey’s phone is still not working. To contact her, email madefreshdailyny@ Her website is http://www. — Terese Loeb Kreuzer

New deadline for fed disaster insurance The deadline to apply for federal disaster unemployment insurance (DUA) has been extended from Dec. 3, 2012 to Feb. 4, 2013. Disaster unemployment benefits are available to those who lost jobs because of Superstorm Sandy and who live or work in the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties. The minimum weekly DUA benefit is $152 and the maximum is $405. This program supplements New York’s existing unemployment insurance system and expands eligibility to include people who might otherwise not be covered such as the self-employed, farmers, seasonal workers, taxi drivers and those who have not been working long enough to apply for other unemployment compensation. Some of the criteria for collecting disaster unemployment assistance include: • Injury in the disaster and inability to work, whether self employed or an employee. • Damaged or destroyed workplace. • Transportation to work not available because of the disaster. • Inability to get to work because of

travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster. • Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster. • Not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment benefits. This list is not exhaustive. Anyone uncertain about eligibility should submit a claim to the New York State Department of Labor. All applicants will be required to supply wage information and documentation supporting their application. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will help expedite the retrieval of lost or destroyed tax documents. To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance, claimants must first file for regular unemployment insurance by calling the New York State Department of Labor at (888) 209-8124 or (877) 358-5306 for those who live out of state. Questions will be asked to indicate that the job loss was due to Superstorm Sandy. For more information about the program, go to http://www.labor.


November 14 - November 21, 2012

Editorial CRISES AND ART On one side of Warren Street, the Downtown Community Center lay ruined after a 20-foot-tall surge of Superstorm Sandy water flooded its lower levels, twisting heavy metal doors like soda cans and leaving cheerful meeting rooms and studios a mass of unrecognizable rubble. On the other side of the street, a concert of Beethoven’s string quartets was about to begin on the second floor of Whole Foods. Bob Townley, executive director of the community center, opened the concert with a description of the millions of dollars it would take to rebuild. Then he turned the program over to Jim Hopkins, director of development, who introduced the music and the musicians. In a room not meant to function as a concert hall, people listened intently. A little girl intuited that she was listening to dance music and unselfconsciously stamped her feet and moved her arms in graceful circles. Usually, the quartet would have played at the community center. Now, that would be impossible for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the music seemed necessary. With everything destroyed and with every reason to be disheartened, Beethoven’s music was a resonant link from the past to the present. If there

could be a past, there could also be a future. In times of crisis, artists are often able to express what others feel but can’t articulate. Art, more necessary than ever, becomes a form of defiance. Many people still remember the cellist of Sarajevo. His name was Vedran Smailović and he had played with the Sarajevo Opera, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra and other renowned musical groups in his country. During the Bosnian War of Independence, Sarajevo was under siege for four years. Smailović regularly played his cello in the ruined buildings. Subsequently, composer David Wilde wrote a solo cello piece in his honor that was recorded by Yo Yo Ma. In this, the second issue of NYC Reconnects, we describe resources to help artists weather the destruction that Sandy dished out, and we describe a piece of art that she couldn’t destroy — the Statue of Liberty in our harbor who withstood Sandy’s violence. Though many New Yorkers have suffered so much because of Superstorm Sandy and will continue to suffer expensive and in some cases, irreparable losses, the Statue in our harbor symbolizes the determination and power that have defined this city. It is no small thing that the statue’s light still shines.

New York University’s Office of Government & Community Affairs and Lois Rakoff, Community Director of the Poe Room invite you to join us for

In the Shadows


Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Associate Editor, NYC Reconnects


Jerry Jones

Friday, November 16, 2012 • 6:00-8:00 PM NYU’s School of Law • Furman Hall, Rm 216 245 Sullivan Street, NY, NY 10012 The Village comes together to showcase an array of artistic mediums in celebration of Edgar Allan Poe. Drama, readings, songs, and artwork are just a few of the creative expressions that will highlight the life and work of this great American story teller. Reception to follow in the Poe Room. This event is free and open to the public. Please bring photo ID for entry. PLEASE RSVP

NYU’s Office of Government & Community Affairs

212.998.2400 • SPONSORED BY

NYU’s Office of Government & Community

Affairs and Lois Rakoff, Community Director of the Poe Room. NY Reconnects photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

With the Downtown Community Center in ruins, a quartet that would normally perform at the community center played at Whole Foods.


November 14 - November 21, 2012


Much progress but still large gaps in service LIMITED REOPENING OF BROOKLYN-BATTERY TUNNEL

The Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which runs under the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, reopened for limited rush-hour bus service Monday morning. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) express buses from Brooklyn and Staten Island are using a lane of one of the tunnelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two tubes for inbound service from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and for outbound service from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The tunnel will remain closed at other times as crews continue their round-the-clock work to repair extensive flooding damage. Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnel with an estimated 43 million gallons of salt water that corroded the electrical equipment, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems. Express buses are using one lane of the eastern tube, which usually carries Manhattan-bound traffic. The other lane of that tube is being used to stage repair and recovery equipment. Lighting in the tube is limited and is being supplemented with emergency illumination. The western tube, which usually carries Brooklyn-bound traffic, suffered more

extensive damage and is still being emptied of water in air ducts below the roadway surface. There is no estimate as to when the western tube will reopen. At 9,117 feet, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America. It opened to traffic in 1950.


For the most up-to-date information on New York City bus and subway service, go to In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has managed to restore some service on most of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2,047 miles of subway track. Several lines are still only partially operational, however. There are no No. 1 trains between Rector Street and South Ferry, which was heavily damaged by flooding. On the A train, service has resumed between the 207th Street station and the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station. Shuttle buses will only run from the Howard Beach Station-JFK Airport station to the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station, where customers can take the Q22 bus, which

will make nearby station stops between the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station and the Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street station. There is no train service in either direction between the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station and the Rockaways. J and Z trains are operating between the Jamaica Center station and the Chambers Street station. There is still no R service between Manhattan and Brooklyn. R trains are running in two sections between the Forest Hills-71st Avenue station and the 34th Street-Herald Square station and also between the Jay Street-MetroTech station and the Bay Ridge-95th Street station, making all local stops. The shuttle train to Rockaway Park has been suspended.

9:30 a.m. After 9:30 a.m. until the station closes at 10 p.m., passengers can both enter and exit that station. The PATH trains are also stopping at 14th, 23rd and 33rd Streets. The Christopher Street station, which dates from 1908, remains closed for reasons of safety. It was not designed to handle large crowds and has only one entrance and exit. There is still no PATH service between Hoboken, Exchange Place and the World Trade Center. An unprecedented amount of flooding damaged all of these stations, knocking out equipment used for signaling and train control. Superstorm Sandy caused more flooding in the tunnels between Exchange Place and the World Trade Center than the terrorist attack of 9/11.


To help compensate for some of the PATH closures, a new ferry service operated by NY Waterway in conjunction with NJ Transit started on Monday from the Hoboken Ferry Terminal to Pier 79 at West 39th Street in Manhattan. The ferry runs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, leaving every 10 minutes. The round-trip fare of $10 includes free NY Waterway shuttle bus

PATH is operating limited rail service daily between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Newark, N.J. and the 33rd Street station in Manhattan. On the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, stations are open at Newark-Penn Station, Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Newport. In Manhattan, the 9th Street station is open for exit only during the morning rush hours between 5 a.m. and



November 14 - November 21, 2012

NY Reconnects photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

A new NY Waterway ferry service connects Hoboken and midtown Manhattan. service for further travel in Manhattan. A special ticket booth has been set up at the Hoboken Train Terminal to sell tickets for this service. This ferry will operate until further notice. In addition to this new ferry, customers can still use previously established ferry service between Hoboken and the ferry terminal in Battery Park City. To get to Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street on the East Side of Manhattan, customers can take the

Light Rail from Hoboken, which connects with the Paulus Hook and Liberty Harbor ferries, both of which stop at Pier 11.


With the reopening of two flooded Amtrak tunnels under the East River, the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) began operating a weekday schedule on Monday, Nov. 12, on 10 of its 11 branches. The temporary repairs, which allowed

the tunnels to be reopened, reduce the number of trains that can travel through the tunnels. As a result, this schedule will include canceled and/or diverted trains during the morning and evening rush hours through the end of the year. Amtrak will continue to make permanent repairs to the signal system for the two impacted tunnels. The new weekday schedule represents an average 70 percent of the LIRR’s

regular rush hour capacity. Nineteen of the LIRR’s 143 morning rush hour trains have been canceled or diverted to another terminal. In the evening rush hour, of the 127 trains the LIRR operates, 23 have been canceled. Overall, across the entire day, the adjustments provide for 83 percent of normal weekday service capacity. Train service on the Long Beach Branch remains suspended with bus service operating beginning at 5 a.m. between Long Beach and Lynbrook, where train connections can be made. To reopen the two damaged tunnels, Amtrak is using a temporary signal sequence while the various components of the permanent signal system are removed, repaired and replaced. Amtrak estimates that the repair to the salt water-damaged signal system is not likely to be completed before the end of the year. The LIRR has been in close contact with Amtrak on the repair plan and effort. Beginning Nov. 12, new timetables went into effect and full fares were charged on all trains, including higher onboard fares for passengers who didn’t buy tickets in advance, except at stations where the ticket vending machine was not operating due to the storm impact and/or a ticket window wasn’t open. Some trains are likely to be crowded. Customers are advised to expect 10 to 15 minute delays. Weekend service is expected to be unaffected since a smaller number of trains operate on the weekends.

WE STAND WITH LOWER MANHATTAN Monday’s storm devastated Seaport homes and small businesses. We are learning what can be done to help our neighborhood. Visit our website for updates.



November 14 - November 21, 2012

Closed & reopened

Post-Sandy help for artists Continued from page 1

PASANELLA AND SON VINTNERS Pasanella and Son Vintners at 115 South St. took on more than six feet of water when Superstorm Sandy surged through the South Street Seaport. But with the help of volunteers “who just showed up,” in Marco Pasanella’s words, he and his staff managed to stow much of the inventory on the upper floors of the building and have been able to reopen. The hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 7 p.m. Call (646) 4602632 for more information. Pasanella says he estimates that he lost around 10,000 bottles of wine and is now trying to figure out how much to reorder. “We can’t just sit around with an empty store,” he says, but the problem is that so many of the Seaport’s residents are gone and many of the businesses on Water Street are shuttered. On his website (, Pasanella says, “Many of you have asked how you can help. Here’s one suggestion: buy a gift certificate!”

CIGAR LANDING In some places, smokers get a bad rap, but not at Cigar Landing, where men and a few women happily settle into comfortable lounge chairs and blow smoke rings. The cozy cigar store at 150 Beekman St. reopened on Nov. 9 with a poker night. “We’d like to express our extreme gratitude to everyone who’s come by to support us in recent days, as we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy,” said Andy Oh, one of the owners. “It’s going to be a long, hard struggle, especially since most of the other businesses in the area will not be operational for a while.” The store’s website is www. It’s also on Facebook ( and Twitter @CigarLanding150. For more information, call (917) 975-7763.

know that communication for many is very limited now, but our staff can be reached by email at:” The Pollock-Krasner Foundation was another resource mentioned by the LMCC. Like Mitchell, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock were American Abstract Expressionists whose work was widely acclaimed in the 1950s, leaving them with enough money to help the artists who came after them. “Deeply concerned for the welfare of artists affected by the Hurricane Sandy disaster, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation is currently accepting emergency requests for grants to professional visual artists, which will be expedited under the Foundation’s guidelines,” the website says. The Foundation’s website, has an online application and also lists a phone number (212-517-5400). Recognizing that artists often live financially precarious lives at best, and that the deprivations of Sandy could have left them without even the most basic necessities, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation promises that all requests will be promptly addressed. “A completed application form, cover letter, exhibition history and 10 images of your work (jpegs or photos of work will be accepted) will be needed to be considered for our

Baruch College/International Student Service Center and Council Member Rosie Mendez invite you to attend


Citizenship Application Assistance

Friday, November 16, 2012, 1pm-5 pm

emergency grants.” In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. made 95 grants totaling $1,545,000 to an international array of visual artists and organizations. The grants could be used to support the artists’ personal and/or professional expenses for one year. The New York Foundation for the Arts (, another organization from the LMCC’s file, has a section on its website called “Art Specific Sandy Recovery Resources.” Multi-disciplinary, it lists emergency assistance funds for musicians, actors and arts organizations as well as for visual artists. It mentions a Brooklyn lawyer named Sergio Munoz Sarmiento who specializes in art and entertainment law and who is willing to consult on the telephone with New York Statebased visual artists and arts nonprofits about lost or damaged artworks and damage to studios or living areas. “There are no charges for the call,” he says. “Rather, I just want to make my services available for any artist who is at a loss as to what rights they have or how they should proceed in getting compensated for their losses.” His phone number is (347) 763-2023. His website is Not everything that got in Sandy’s way need be declared a total loss, however. The New York Foundation for the Arts website also lists organizations that will consult with artists on how to salvage their watersoaked work.

You must meet the following requirements: • Reside in the United States as a permanent resident for five years (three years if living with and married to the same U.S. citizen) • Live in the United States for half of the five or three year period • You are at least 18 years old What to bring: • Green card and all passports since obtaining green card • Home addresses for the last five or three years • Children’s information (date of birth, A#, addresses)* • School/Employment history for the last five or three years* • Marital history/criminal history* *(If applicable)

To RSVP, please call on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 212-568-4679


Baruch College, Vertical Campus Multipurpose Room, 1-107 55 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10010

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November 14 - November 21, 2012


Pints and shots BLOOD DONORS NEEDED Because of Superstorm Sandy, blood is now in short supply in the New York City area, eliciting a cry for help from the New York Blood Center (NYBC). The non-profit organization, which serves more than 20 million people in the greater New York City area and in neighboring states, projects a shortfall of up to 12,000 units in the next month because of storm damage to collection facilities. According to the NYBC, one in seven people entering a hospital needs a blood transfusion. At the moment, hospital needs are continuing to be met but the NYBC is worried because previously scheduled blood drives at schools, churches and workplaces have been cancelled. The shelf life of platelets is only five days, the NYBC says. The shelf life of red blood cells is 42 days. Presently there is an urgent need for platelet donors and for donors of O negative blood. Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with appropriate written permission in New York State or consent in New Jersey from their parent or legal guardian), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors aged 16 to 18 are also subject to additional height/weight restrictions. Donors aged 76 and older can continue to donate blood if they meet all donor criteria and present a physician’s letter allowing them to donate. Some medications and medical conditions can affect donor eligibility. These are spelled out on the NYBC website at jsp?sid0=68. For more information, go to the website or call (800) 933-2566. The website lists the locations of donation centers and blood drives. In Lower Manhattan, Brookfield Office Properties, the owner of the World Financial Center in Battery Park City, has scheduled a blood drive for Thursday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the West Street lobby of 3 World Financial Center. Appointments can be pre-scheduled by calling the Brookfield management office at (212) 417-7222 or (212) 417-7180 but walk-ins are also welcome.

TETANUS SHOTS Because of widespread vaccination, tetanus is now so rare in the United States that many people may not be aware of its dangers. The bacteria that cause tetanus are present in dust, soil and manure and enter the body through puncture wounds or cuts. Inside the body, they produce toxins that cause painful muscle contractions in the neck and abdomen, which are often called “lockjaw,” and can impair breathing. Left untreated, tetanus can be fatal. People engaged in Superstorm Sandy cleanup work could easily get deep cuts or

wounds and come into contact with soil or dirty materials that make them vulnerable to tetanus. Emergency responders, volunteers and residents working on repair, construction and cleanup projects should check to make sure they have been immunized for tetanus within the last 10 years. If they are not up-to-date with the immunization or are unsure of the date of their last tetanuscontaining vaccination, they should obtain a tetanus booster. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an Executive Order making it easier for people in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy to be vaccinated against tetanus. Pharmacists will now be allowed to administer tetanus shots at their place of business, and emergency medical technicians and dentists will be able to assist city or county health departments in administering tetanus vaccines. The New York State Health Department and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene urge people to contact their primary health care provider first to receive a tetanus booster shot. If they can’t reach their primary care provider or get to that person’s office, pharmacies would be the next best alternative. New York City residents can call 311 to locate a vaccination site. In addition to following safety guidelines to prevent injuries during cleanup or construction activities, all wounds and cuts should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Medical attention should be sought for puncture wounds and lacerations. People who do sustain injuries and have not had a tetanus booster in the past five years should be revaccinated as part of treatment for the injury.

SANITATION: RECYCLING RESUMES The New York City Department of Sanitation is now, once again, picking up paper and cardboard, metals, plastic and glass for recycling. Recycling collection resumed on Sunday, Nov. 11, after having been halted in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Sanitation crews have collected more than 225,000 tons of trash, debris and trees since the storm cleanup began. Citywide recycling collections were temporarily suspended to allow for needed repairs to recycling centers and for the redeployment of sanitation workers to the hardesthit neighborhoods of Staten Island, southern Brooklyn and Queens. Collection and debris removal continues in these neighborhoods around the clock.

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November 14 - November 21, 2012


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Gateway Plaza couple spearheads volunteer effort Continued from page 1

truck, and the Downtown Alliance, the local Business Improvement District, said it would send a van to Gateway Plaza. Because of the gasoline shortage, the volunteers had to find a truck that ran on diesel fuel. They finally located one in Harlem. Shelly Mossey and his bike messengers, who have cargo bins attached to their recumbent bikes to be able to transport small loads around Manhattan, said they would take several loads of donations to Staten Island on the ferry. On Sunday morning at 9 a.m., the volunteers started loading the truck and the van. “The whole process of loading the trucks took around 30 minutes, because there were so many volunteers,” said Kevin. “People just kept coming by saying they wanted to help.” Roy Harp, a Gateway Plaza resident, drove the truck to Staten Island by way of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The Downtown Alliance van made several trips to the Staten Island ferry, where volunteers hand-carried donations to Staten Island. Jennifer Hughes, who got to the island by ferry, was carrying a very special donation.

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Kevin and Jennifer Hughes in the lobby of Gateway Plaza’s 600 Building on the morning of Sun., Nov. 4, after several truckloads of donations had been transported to Staten Island to help communities wiped out by Superstorm Sandy.

Zach Cassell, 11, a 6th grader at P.S. 276, had come in the day before with his father, Peter, with a bag from P.S. 89, his previous school. In it was his most prized possession: his favorite shirt. “He had a tear in his eye as


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he gave it to me,” Jenn said. He had worn this shirt to a Super Bowl game he had gone to with his dad. He said he wanted to give this shirt to a boy who needed it more than he did. Inside, he pinned a note

explaining where this shirt had been and what it meant to him. Zach said he didn’t want the shirt to get lost in the pile. Jenn told him she would personally carry it to Staten Island and give it to her friend to give to a boy who would appreciate it. More than one tear was shed that day and the next. On Sunday morning, Jennifer Cannistraci assembled volunteers on the Staten Island side to offload the goods and distribute them. “I told her, we don’t have bags of stuff. We have mountains of stuff that we are sending your way,” said Hughes. “She couldn’t believe it. She was crying when she saw what we had brought.” Hughes said that the Gateway Plaza grassroots effort to help Staten Islanders was not unique. They had run into other volunteer groups, she said, mentioning people she had met who had gone to Home Depot and bought things to take to Staten Island. “They were just carrying it over themselves to find a place to donate it,” said Hughes. “What was different about us was that we had someone on this side and someone on that side, so we had the ability to coordinate. I think a lot of folks were going over not being really sure where they were going to bring things — just knowing that they were needed and that they were going to find a place for them.”

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

Outdoor space, views are a must, says C.B.1 Continued from page 2

the Borough President to examine an appropriate limitation in terms of the percentage of space and time that it can be privatized,â&#x20AC;? said Galloway in summing up the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s written request. In its resolution, C.B. 1 also approved the developerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan to construct a yearround, rooftop theater, another public amenity board members said is badly needed in Lower Manhattan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have no theaters here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not one,â&#x20AC;? said Seaport/Civic Center Committee member Harold Reed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think we need more people coming down there in the summer, but we need lots more people coming down there in the winter.â&#x20AC;? The board, however, is opposed to the permanent performance stage Howard Hughes is proposing to erect along Fulton Plaza â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the area facing Fulton Street next to the Link Building â&#x20AC;&#x201D; since it would at least partially obstruct the view of the harbor from the uplands. It is backing the South Street Seaport Museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request for a restrictive declaration guaranteeing that the views be maintained from Fulton Street to the East River. C.B. 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes inquired about the possibility of incorporating the stage into a portion of the Link

Building, instead. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d still maintain your view corridor, and then you could just close the doors when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not using it,â&#x20AC;? she suggested. The views of the historic boats moored at Piers 17 and 16, she added, is what makes the South Street Seaport a historic district and not just another shopping mall. Curry didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t respond to this idea at the meeting and declined comment on it afterwards. Seaport/Civic Center Committee member Paul Hovitz, a resident of the nearby Southbridge Towers, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t convinced that the Fulton Plaza stage would give local merchants more business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think blocking the view corridor is of much greater concern,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and I think if we can have that venue on the roof, we can have the performances up there, which leaves that [plaza] area more open to the original purposes of the Seaport.â&#x20AC;? Finally, while C.B. 1 is sanctioning the rezoning of the pier and the surrounding waterfront area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which would match the zoning standards of the rest of Downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s East River Esplanade â&#x20AC;&#x201D; board members are concerned about future uses of the Tin Building and the New Market Building. Said Galloway, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re asking that any future development of [these] buildings be such that they be used as a community center and public market.â&#x20AC;?

Rendering courtesy of Howard Hughes Corp.

A side view of the future Pier 17 mall, whose exterior retail signs locals are contesting.

Paul Selver, an attorney representing the developer, assured the board that Howard Hughes would be required to craft and submit a second Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application before touching either of the city-owned buildings. Michael Levine, C.B. 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director of land use and planning, said the city is intent on approving the rezoning of the area to make it consistent with the zoning of the rest of the

southern portion of the waterfront. The alternative of rezoning individual plots of land would violate city code, he noted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we said that we wanted to zone one lot and not the whole stretch, the city could be subject to a court action for spot zoning,â&#x20AC;? explained Levine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better for us to say the [developer] should come back to us in the future and not say that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re only going to approve one lot.â&#x20AC;?

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

Sandy displaces Millennium H.S. students Continued from page 1

that street is Madison, take a left and walk until you get to Montgomery Street and take a right. There should be a parent on the corner of Clinton with a red umbrella. He was one of 10 parents who were stationed along the route from West Broadway to two Lower East Side schools Wednesday morning, Nov. 7. “The younger generations don’t know how to read maps anymore,” he said after making sure the group knew where to go. “They think they can do it all on their phones. But this area has a lot of streets that have been renamed, and some of the mobile companies haven’t updated their maps since the projects were built.” Millennium High School, which has over 700 students, is one of three public schools that were temporarily relocated last week after incurring damage from Hurricane Sandy, along with Bard High School Early College. Bard was relocated to its Queens campus in Long Island City. The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, located on Governors Island, also sustained severe damage and has been relocated indefinitely to Stuyvesant High School on Chambers St. The Manhattan Academy of Technology and P.S. 126 were originally supposed to move on Wednesday, but they ultimately opened up at their regular location in Chinatown. Substantial flooding in the lower levels of Millennium’s 75 Broad St. building during Sandy knocked out the electricity. While power in the area has since come back on, the school remains in the dark, making it difficult to determine the extent of the damage and the amount of time it will take to fix. Contingency plans are being made in the event that classes don’t resume there for some time. “Once we get the power on, the [city Education Department’s] Division of School Facilities will have to tell us when we can come back,” said Angela Benfield, the school’s parent coordinator, whose son is a junior there, last week. “They have to inspect the electrical system, make sure the water is safe and make sure the outside area is safe as well.” “Right now, there is a lot of street work,” she added. “The D.O.E. needs to make sure the students can get through it safely.” At press time, Benfield didn’t know when the school would be moving back to its building. Until then, freshmen and sophomore classes have been moved to P.S. 184 at 327 Cherry St., while juniors and seniors are a five-minute walk away at University Neighborhood High School (at 200 Monroe St.). Benfield said that the staff was working hard to facilitate the transition and praised principal Colin McEvoy, who took up the mantle in July, for his commitment to getting

things back on track as soon as possible. “He’s kept the staff together and addressed their concerns,” she said, which include working without their materials and ensuring that the students do not fall behind after the week-and-a-half-long break. “A relocation is disruptive to the school year,” said Benfield, a Battery Park City resident who was reminded of the lengthy displacement and confusion following the 9/11 attacks, when her son was in kindergarten. To mitigate the confusion, Benfield and the schools’ Parents’ Association has been contacting parents continuously to update them on the situation. “We’re trying to push for information right now so that we can make decisions,” said P.A. president Tara Silberberg. For example, a notice went out to all ninth and tenth grade parents to talk to their kids about appropriate behavior toward young students, since half the high school students are taking up residence at an elementary school. Many elementary school parents have voiced concern about the influx of teenagers, but Benfield said the teens would have limited opportunities to interact with the children, since, “they cleared off the whole fourth floor for us and gave us a dedicated entrance and stairwell,” she said. Among the other obstacles facing the relocated schools are early dismissal times, limited classroom space and the lack of after-school programs. “We’re being given a quarter of the space we are used to having,” Silberberg noted. “There’s not enough room to run all of our programs.” With 98 percent of the seniors headed to four-year colleges, it is critical that students complete their applications on time — a goal made more difficult by the fact that they can’t get into their lockers until the Broad Street building opens back up again. “My daughter is in tenth grade and can’t get into her locker. I told her that there are a lot of people down here that can’t get into their homes, so it’s her own version of that,” said Silberberg, who added, “It’s been upsetting for everyone, especially her friends on the Lower East Side.” Transportation has also proven to be a major hurdle. The city Department of Education delivered MetroCards to each of the relocated high schools so that students can get there and back via public transit for free. Most of the students come from Lower Manhattan, but some come from the Upper West Side, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Although Millennium High School was relocated to another part of Lower Manhattan, many students are unfamiliar with the new area. Benfield reported that one parent in Brooklyn decided to keep her child at home during the displacement

because the commute would be more than two hours long. Silberberg assembled parent guides to assist them in getting to the new facilities on time. On the chilly morning of Wed., Nov. 7, the students were out in force, trooping to school from the subways and carpooling from Uptown. “It’s a maze of buildings down here,” said one student as he exited the East Broadway subway station. His commute from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn was so crowded that he couldn’t get on the first

two C trains that passed. Despite the challenges, two teachers standing outside University Neighborhood High School’s entrance reported remarkably good class attendance. “They’re happy to get back and see their friends,” said special education instructor Tracy Russek. “Even the kids who are normally late are here on time,” added her colleague Bernadette Janelle. As to whether the move was going to make things difficult for them, she said, “We’ll make it work.”


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November 14 - November 27, 2012

Talking Point

With neighbors working together, Downtown’s future is not so stormy BY CAT H E R IN E MC VAY H U G H E S & E LIZ A B E T H H . B E R G E R


have proven again that the worst of Mother Nature cannot defeat Lower Manhattan. We did not face this alone. New Yorkers from all corners of the city experienced flooding, loss of power and, in some areas, devastating damage and tragic loss of life. The two of us have lived below Fulton Street a combined total of 50 plus years. We have seen the neighborhood grow and celebrate its architecture, winding streets, restaurants and shops, sweeping views, parks and, most important, the sense of community which makes Lower Manhattan a great place in which to live and work. But, being surrounded by two rivers proved a challenge amid what weather forecasters deemed an unprecedented “perfect storm,” one that brought formidable tidal surges, flooding our subways and streets, basements and storefronts. No one can deny the impact on Lower Manhattan. As the two of us walked the district this past week, we witnessed the signs of hope and resilience that are second nature here: neighbors pitching in to help each other and small-business owners cleaning and repairing shops. Remarkably, people have been arranging volunteer efforts to help fellow New Yorkers more profoundly impacted by Sandy’s blows: pitching in to distribute FEMA food and water, picking up debris and sharing

information. Neighbors lit stairwells with flashlights, pooled precious water and held impromptu potlucks. From main thoroughfares to smaller cobblestoned streets, we saw evidence of hardship and hard work: small-business owners, professional crews, city workers, residents and volunteers pumping out water, sweeping streets, patching damaged windows. Our cultural institutions were off-limits to visitors, and stores were assessing damage and slowly reopening. Every day, more stores and restaurants are reopening. We’ve seen restaurateurs Jacques Capsouto as well as the Poulakakos family — which owns many eateries in the Financial District and Battery Park City, including Financier, Harry’s Italian and Vintry – getting back to business, wine seller Marco Pasanella re-sheetrocking his South Street storefront shop, Lance Lappin and Merchants NY reaching out to customers, Drs. Bobby Buka in the Seaport and Michel Cohen in Tribeca sending alerts to patients, Trinity Church advising parishioners and other community members, owners and managing agents informing tenants, and countless other formal and informal communications. Less visible was the effect on some office and residential buildings, particularly east of Water Street and on the western edge of Tribeca into Battery Park City, where in some locations there is significant impact. For our community’s children, Halloween was not the same and the soccer season has been cut short. The spirit of the day reflected exhaustion, but also optimism and cooperation.

In the coming weeks, Community Board 1 and the Downtown Alliance will be there to help, as we have since storm warnings first aired, working with community leaders, property owners, government officials and others to bring relief to our neighborhood. We applaud our elected leaders: our president, governor and mayor, New York’s two Senators, Congressman Nadler and our own hometown team: Speaker Silver, State Sen. Squadron, Assembly Member Glick, Borough President Stringer and Council Member Chin. And, kudos to the Port Authority, M.T.A. and Con Edison. As this goes to press, most of Lower Manhattan has power, buses are on their routes, subway lines are up and running, dewatering has come to a close and repairs are well underway. The next step is to help our small businesses and others recover from unanticipated losses and delays, especially on the eve of the critical holiday shopping season. It’s time to dine and shop locally to support neighborhood stores and restaurants. We must keep the momentum that has made Lower Manhattan the place to be for businesses, start-ups, residents and visitors. All of us share a vision for Lower Manhattan that far exceeds Sandy’s temporary setbacks. Whatever is thrown at us, we have prevailed. We look forward to a Lower Manhattan that will be stronger and better than ever. Catherine McVay Hughes is chairperson of Community Board 1. and Elizabeth H. Berger is president of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

How the Roc saved Halloween

Photos courtesy of Rocco and Stacy Candolini

Rocco Candolini, owner of Roc, with former Mets pitcher John Franco, one of the parents who joined their children in a late Halloween celebration.

Tribeca shops made sure not to let Sandy be the storm that stole Halloween from young trick-or-treaters, and got a little help doing so from a man who knows a lot about saves — retired Mets pitcher John Franco, who preserved more victories than any other Met. Franco, who has made appearances at Downtown Little League games over the years, went trick-or-treating with his family on Nov. 5. He is friends with Rocco

and Stacy Candolini, the owners of Roc Restaurant, who organized the event. Rocco said he saw how disappointed his daughters still were about missing Halloween last Monday morning, so he put out the word, got about ten other businesses to participate and even wore his Fred Flintstone costume to P.S. 234 when picking up his daughter Alessia, 8. By that night, a few hundred children had joined the celebration.

Cindy, a Financial District mom who was out with her children, looked a little tired when she gave the Candolinis a heartfelt “Thank you.” As she walked to the next store with her 6-year-old son dressed as a knight and her 3-year-old banana girl, she said they had left Downtown after the storm once they lost power, but that was the least of her family’s troubles. “My parents lost their home in Breezy

Point, so we were in a hotel taking care of them,” said Cindy, who declined to give her last name. Franco, who was there earlier in the evening, said his heart went out to places that suffered worse losses but was confident they would come back. “It shows the resilience of New York,” he said. — By Josh Rogers

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

‘Yes’ to grants, ‘no’ to drowning in debt Continued from page 5

while up to $200,000 will be allocated to eligible homeowners and up to $40,000 to renters. The agency, which currently has centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island, plans to open up offices in Manhattan in the near future to assist applicants in filling out the necessary forms. The process, he said, has been streamlined since the aftermath of 9/11. The program is particularly beneficial since it doesn’t require collateral, Peacock noted, saying, “We will work with you if you do not have the collateral that’s normally required.” Incentives must also be created for the chains and other large businesses to stay in the neighborhood, according to Amanda Byron Zink, co-owner of the Salty Paw, at 38 Peck Slip, which will be closed for three to six months. “All of the South Street Seaport chains have closed, boarded up and gone,” she said. “We’ve gotta put pressure on the big guys as well to try to clean up their mess.” Byron was one of a few small business owners who recently convened at City Hall with Small Business Services director Bernadette Nation. “They had no real information to give us other than that there’s emergency loans avail-

able and all sorts of agencies you can reach out to for help,” she said. “My claim is, you need one agency where we can stop in and get all the information. There was so much misinformation going around that we didn’t know our ass from our elbow.” C.B. 1 member Joel Kopel, who lives in Hanover Square, deemed the discussions with the government officials a déjà-vu of the post-9/11 conversations — prompting cheers from the merchants at the task force meeting. A number of businesses in the vicinity of his apartment building have closed up shop after being flooded by the storm. “Loans are great, and we appreciate you guys reaching out,” he said, “but if there’s nobody down here to buy your product and your services, you can’t repay the loans back. What we really need to do is get grants. There is going to be a very big reluctance from small business owners who are finally recovering from 9/11…to go into their pocket once again and be on the hook on a personal level.” Kopel also stressed the importance of getting Verizon’s operations back in service —suggesting that the company install cables above-ground until it is able to fix the below-ground infrastructure. “The only way they’re going to come back to work is

by getting these services up and running so people can return to work and get back into the buildings,” he said. “Let them build the beehives and get it restored now instead of waiting for the underground structure to be rebuilt.” Sheffe noted that Verizon would be reimbursing its Lower Manhattan customers for cell phone charges between Mon., Oct. 29 and Fri., Nov. 16. Jon Bonomo, a spokesperson for Verizon, said that customers whose landline phones are out of service for more than 24 hours are eligible for credit-based reimbursements for the duration of the outages. One merchant complained that insurance companies are walking away from reimbursement responsibilities under the claim that the South Street Seaport businesses lack flood insurance. In his experience, the companies would only agree to cover damages that are tied to sewage problems. “The initial cause of the flooding is sewer back-up — I even have it on John Street, but they’re going to hide behind the fact that it’s a flood,” he said. On that note, Kopel — who used to work at William Barthman Jeweler’s Broadway location — advised the business owners to reach out to the state Attorney General’s office for assistance in legal action against the insurance com-

panies. “We did the same thing on 9/11,” he said. “They moved it along, and we got paid.” Additionally, the merchants bemoaned the lack of storefront and office space available to them during the displacement period. Andrea Katz from WBAI radio, based at 120 Wall St., said her organization has gone on a wild goose chase looking for space to move into. “They’re sending us to real estate agents — we can do that ourselves!” she said. “Where are the grants in terms of rent? Help us out that way. Find us spaces that we can be in rent-free.” Bach inquired about whether the E.D.C. could temporarily house the businesses in the vacant South Street Seaport properties and waive the leaseholder fees for the struggling businesses. The Downtown Alliance sent out an e-mail blast to Lower Manhattan property owners recommending that they touch base with the Economic Development Corporation and the Real Estate Board of New York about available storefront space for businesses, according to Stephanie Jennings, the Alliance’s vice president of economic development. However, she said, “We can’t strong-arm properties into making buildings available.”

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

POETS HOUSE The Poets House Children’s Room gives children and their parents a gateway to enter the world of rhyme through readings, group activities and interactive performances. For children ages 1-3, the Children’s Room offers “Tiny Poets Time” readings on Thursdays at 10am; for those ages 4-10, “Weekly Poetry Readings” take place every Sat. at 11am. Join poet Samantha Thornhill in the Children’s Room on Sat., Nov. 17 at 11am as she reads “Ode to Odetta,” about the journey of a folk music legend and civil rights leader, after which children will be encouraged to write their own odes. Explore a perfect day with Carin Berger on Sat., Dec. 1 at 11am, as she presents her book of collages to help children make their own silhouette collages of a “perfect winter day.” Filled with poetry books, old-fashioned typewriters and a card catalogue packed with poetic objects to trigger inspiration, the Children’s Room is open Thurs.- Sat., 11am-5pm. Free admission. At 10 River Terrace. Call 212-431-7920 or visit THE SKYSCRAPER MUSEUM After losing power during Sandy, the Skyscraper Museum is open again. Its “Saturday Family Program” series features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. The next workshop, “Trash Factory,” takes place Nov. 17. Kids ages five and up will learn about how buildings are reused and recycled and then construct their own buildings from recycled materials. On Dec. 1, families will get a tour of the museum and the current exhibit “URBAN FABRIC” and then children will get the chance to create a holiday postcard with their favorite skyscraper. The Dec. 15 workshop starts with a reading of “Sky Boys,” an educational children’s book about the construction of the Empire State Building written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by James Ransome. Afterwards, kids can design their own lightup skyscraper for the holidays. All workshops take place at 10:30am. Call 212- 945-6324 or email Admission: $5 per child, free formembers. Museum hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Museum admission: $5, $2.50 for students/seniors. For info, call 212-9456324, visit BOOKS OF WONDER New York City’s oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore hosts Storytime every Fri. at 4pm and Sun. at noon in their Children’s Room. Join a whole host of children’s authors at noon on Nov. 17 for the November Book Bonanza for stories about everything from Arlo, the dog that needs glasses to Cecil the pet glacier. On Tues., Nov. 20 at 7:30pm, meet Jeff Kinney, author of the best-selling series “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Books of Wonder’s “Holiday Kickoff!” begins Sat., Nov. 24 at noon with c h i l d r e n ’s a u t h o r s a n d i l l u s t r a t o r s J e r r y P i n k n e y, E.B. Lewis, Chris Raschka and Ed Young presenting new works. December’s first event is a Picture Book Bonanza, with eight authors and illustrators presenting colorful and creative picture books on Sun., Dec. 2 at 1pm. And the “Ho-Ho-Holidays!” event at noon on Sat., Dec. 8 will feature authors Bob Shea, Adele

Ursone and Lee Harper with Christmas classics such as “Dinosaur vs. Santa” and “Christmas Tugboat.” At 18 W. 18th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Store hours are Mon.-Sat., 11am-7pm and Sun.11am-6pm. For more info, call 212-989-3270 or visit booksofwonder. com. THE SCHOLASTIC STORE Held every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. Sat., Nov. 17 and Sun., Nov. 18 will feature a special all-day Holiday Preview to make your holiday shopping as easy as possible with free giftwrapping and exclusive deals. For the kids, there will be toy demonstrations, hourly story time, a Chuggington train table and a visit from Madison Square Garden’s Grinch! The screening of “Chuggington Icy Escapades,” the latest animated adventure about Wilson the train, has also been rescheduled to Sat., Nov. 17 at 11am in the Scholastic Auditorium. At 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit

Photo courtesy of Sun Productions

FANCY NANCY THE MUSICAL Fancy Nancy is getting an extra-special debut at Downtown’s Culture Project. On Nov. 24, the Vital Theatre Company (known for its world class, not-for-profit children’s programming) presents “Fancy Nancy The Musical.” It’s based on the bestselling children’s book series written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The good news: Nancy just landed a part in the school play! The bad news? It’s as a tree. Can she bring her own style into the role, even though it’s not the one she wanted? “Fancy Nancy” is a witty, educational and, of course, fancy treat for the family. At Culture Project, 45 Bleecker St. (btw. Mulberry & Mott Sts.). Performances run Sat. at 1:30pm and Sun. at noon, until Feb. 24. For tickets ($30), visit, call 212-579-0528 or visit the McGinn/Cazale box office Mon.- Fri., 9am-5pm (or the Culture Project box office one hour prior to show time).

NEIGHBORHOOD CLASSICS This New York concert series presents two December concerts to benefit their host schools. On Sat., Dec. 1 at 7pm, Contemporaneous will perform “Shut Your Eyes,” led by Neighborhood Classic Artistic Director and composer James Matheson. A New York-based collective of over 40 musicians, Contemporaneous draws on minimalism, rock and folk traditions as widespread as Anatolia and Ireland. They will play works from Conor Brown, Bryce Dessner and Donnacha Dennehy. The concert will take place at, and benefit, P.S. 142 at 100 Attorney St. (btw. Rivington and Delancey Sts.). On Dec. 2 at 3pm, “Face the Music” (an alt-classical ensemble of over 70 New York teens) will perform a concert entitled, “Why Am I Hearing Rock Music in my Classical Music?” Face the Music will be performing at and benefiting P.S. 69Q at 77-02 37th Ave. in Queens. Both concerts are the family-friendly length of one hour. For tickets ($15) and info, visit CREATURES OF LIGHT Descend into the depths of the ocean and explore the caves of New Zealand — without ever leaving Manhattan. Just visit the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit on bioluminescence (organisms that produce light through chemical reactions). Kids will eagerly soak up this interactive twilight world where huge models of everything from fireflies to alien-like fish illuminate the dark. Through Jan. 6, 2013 at the American Museum of Natural History (79th St. & Central Park West). Open daily, 10am–5:45pm.Admission is $25, $14.50 for children, $19 for students/seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or at For more info, call 212-769-5100. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR LISTING IN THE DOWNTOWN EXPRESS? Please provide the date, time, location, price and a description of the event. Send to

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade

Open House | City and Country Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from 6-8pm Please visit for information and application materials. 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802


November 14 - November 27, 2012

Theaters Plot Post-Sandy Second Acts One day soon, only the actors will be damaged BY TRAV S.D. (

THE KITCHEN 512 W. 19th St. (btw. 10th &11th Aves). Visit or call 212-255-5793 The Kitchen, one of New York’s premiere experimental performance spaces (with its location on the far west side of Manhattan), suffered some of the worst damage of any NYC venue in the aftermath of Sandy. Four feet of flooding filled the building’s theater and lobby spaces — severely damaging the floors, walls, doors, box office, lighting and sound equipment. Initial estimates of the loss are between $400,000 and $500,000. Their planned season has been postponed indefinitely, although they promise to re-mount the shows when they can (announced shows include the next installment of The Kitchen LAB, Adrienne Truscott’s “Too Freedom” (a dance show) and Camille Henrot and Joakim’s “Psychopompe” (music/performance). The Kitchen’s Benefit Auction, which was slated for Mon., Nov. 12, has been rescheduled for Mon., Nov. 26. Donations may be made at

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY 155 First Ave. (btw. 9th & 10th Sts.) Visit or call 212254-1109 In the days after Sandy hit, Theater for the New City suffered minor flooding in its First Avenue theater complex — not from rain or sea water, but from sewage. According to Jon Weber, the theater’s administrative director, TNC’s basement is below the sewer line and relies on constant pumping to keep it dry on the best of days. When the power went out, so did their pumps. An inch of water filled their downstairs cabaret space and adjacent corridors. Fortunately, they were able to get generators in short order. The basement was pumped out and the office was restored to functionality. By the time power was restored to the neighborhood on November 3, TNC was cleaned up, decorated and ready to hold their Halloween Ball — a major annual event that had been sadly cancelled on the actual holiday. Turnout for the event was 750 — low by usual standards, but surprisingly high given the short notice of their announcement that it was back on. The storm caused many other changes in their schedule. John Jiler’s “Ripe” was extended through November 11. Dance performances by the Nancy Zendora Dance Company and Su-En, a Swedish Butoh dancer, were cancelled outright. The opening of Walt Stepp’s “Skybox” (described as “Adam’s Rib” meets “Moneyball”)

Photo by Laura Barisonzi Photography

Given him a big hand, folks: Playwright Robert Askins debuts “P.S. Jones and the Frozen City,” Dec. 3-23, at the New Ohio Theatre.

Photo by © Paula Court, courtesy of The Kitchen

They’ll be cookin’ again: The Kitchen hopes to reschedule the final three performances of Richard Maxwell’s “Neutral Hero,” when the venerable Chelsea performance space reopens.

Photo by Adele Bossard

At Theatre for the New City, “Skybox” is Walt Stepp’s tale of a wealthy baseball team owner and his marital dysfunction.

was pushed back to November 15. Other shows at TNC are going on as originally scheduled: “Renovations” opened November 8, and “The Tenant” and “Garden of Delights” both open November 15. Visit to buy tickets, get info or make donations.

THE NEW OHIO THEATRE 154 Christopher St. (btw. Greenwich & Washington Sts.) For tickets, visit or call 212-868-4444 Visit In the wake of Sandy, one was prepared to hear the worst about the fate of the New Ohio Theatre, located as it is just a stone’s throw from the Hudson River. But, says artistic director Robert Lyon of Soho Think Tank, the New Ohio’s in-house company, “Fortunately, we lost power but did not flood. We are one block from the river and in the basement, so it feels like a miracle. On the other hand, we did lose a preview, and opening night, and two performances. Ironically, the play is “Coney” by David Johnston and is about the Coney Island boardwalk. Which has now washed away. Adds another layer of meaning to the whole enterprise.” “Coney” will be on the boards through November 18. From December 3-23, terraNOVA Collective, celebrates their 10th season with the world premiere of P.S. Jones and The Frozen City — a comic book superhero adventure story written by Robert Askins (“Hand to God”) and directed by José Zayas. For tickets, information, and to support the New Ohio and Soho Think Tank, go to

November 14 - November 27, 2012

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US WEATHER THE STORM Thank you to the hundreds of God’s Love volunteers who worked tirelessly last week to ensure that people affected by the storm had access to nutritious food. Despite significant obstacles, last week we delivered 8,000 meals to people displaced by Sandy and 2,300 emergency meal kits called “Sandy Bags” to our clients.

The God’s Love volunteers – simply the best!

The board and staff at God’s Love thank our incredible community for helping us weather the storm. We cannot do what we do without you! If you would like to make a donation to help us restock our shelves, please visit us today at



November 14 - November 27, 2012


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Theaters on the Mend Continued from page 26

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CANAL PARK PLAYHOUSE 508 Canal St. (btw. Greenwich & Washington Sts.) Visit or call 212-226-3040 One of the hardest hit Downtown theaters was Canal Park Playhouse, located in a 185-year-old landmark building on the far west side of Tribeca. The building stands at what was once the shoreline of Manhattan Island, before a landfill put the Hudson at a few hundred yards remove. But that’s close enough to have left this charming little theater at risk during Hurricane Sandy. According to proprietor Kipp Osborne, his “theater was full of water.” That phrase is used a lot during floods — but in Osborne’s case, it’s not hyperbole. His below-ground theater was inundated up to the ceiling, as were his basement office, storage and dressing rooms. Shows like Cardone the Magician’s “Spook Show” (which I recommend) and the about-to-open “Circuswork” are indefinitely postponed while Osborne and his staff gut the space, dry it out, rebuild and rewire. They hope to have repairs complete in January, for the third annual run of "Circus in A Trunk."

Photo by Joan Marcus

He’s a magician, not a beautician: Cardone’s “Spook Show” is on hold, while Canal Park Playhouse preps for an early 2013 reopening.

Unfortunately, the Playhouse is not a not-for-profit organization. In lieu of donations, Osborne asks that you give him your business once he’s up and running again. If you’re not a theater lover, you can eat in the waffle café in his theater’s lobby or send out-of-town friends to the bed and breakfast he runs upstairs.

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AROUND THE CORNER Open through Dec. 9 By appointment only At 143 Reade St. (btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.) Call 917-517-4929 or visit

Last December, Christopher D’Amelio and Lucien Terras dissolved their longstanding partnership in the acclaimed Chelsea gallery D’Amelio Terras. Since then, D’Amelio has taken over their formerly shared West 22nd Street space — while Terras has launched a private artist agency, focusing on special projects. The latter now includes an outstanding assemblage of works by four acclaimed Tribecabased artists: Hermine Ford, Joanne Greenbaum, Paul Pagk and Gary Stephan. Equipped with an impeccable eye for innovative contemporary abstract art, Terras’ new program promises to be worth watching. Open through Dec. 9 (143 Reade St., btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.), by appointment only. Call 917-517-4929 or visit

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November 14 - November 27, 2012

Chinatown merchants question Sandy relief

Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony

Wallace Lai, a Chinatown restaurant owner, spoke to Council Member Margaret Chin after an emergency relief forum on Fri., Nov. 9 about his dissatisfaction with the neighborhood’s economic climate. Continued from page 1

population. Following an outcry from business owners who attended an emergency relief forum held on Fri., Nov. 9 at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (C.C.B.A.) headquarters on Mott Street, City Council Member Margaret Chin called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a state emergency grant program tailored to Chinatown’s small businesses. “The thing we are hearing again and again is that our small businesses, many of whom are still paying off loans from 9/11, cannot get by with just loans,” Chin said in statement, after sending a letter to the governor on Saturday. “They need grants. It would be tragic to see our small businesses, who survived and helped rebuild our community after 9/11, wiped out by Hurricane Sandy.” As of press time, a spokesperson for Chin said that the council member’s office had not received a reply to that letter. Governor Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The primary problem most small business owners have with applying for loans — currently offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the city Department of Small Business Services — is that they cannot afford to take on new debt, especially after losing a substantial amount of revenue from being closed for a week or longer in Sandy’s aftermath. And for the many Chinatown businesses that rely heavily on the tourism industry, which to some degree was suffering long before Sandy’s arrival, the situation is looking even grimmer. A Chinatown gift shop owner who attended the Nov. 9 forum — which was moderated by U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and attended by representatives of FEMA, S.B.A., S.B.S. and the city Economic Development Corporation — explained his current state of desperation. “It has definitely cost me way over $10,000 in lost revenue from being closed

during the week after the storm, and now I can’t even make any sales because there’s virtually no foot traffic, no business,” said the man, who declined to give his name but said that his store is near the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets. At the C.C.B.A. forum, which was intended to inform residents and local business owners about how to apply for loans, the politicians — Chin included — attempted to paint the situation as optimistically as possible. “After 9/11, we were here, and we all came together — the community, the city, the state, the federal government — to help each other,” said Velazquez. “It’s not much different this time around. We’re here to make sure that the small businesses of our community become whole again.” State Senator Daniel Squadron also appealed to a sense of collective resilience and suggested that the current crisis would force Chinatown to solve some of its more deep-seated issues. “Don’t get frustrated, don’t give up,” Squadron told the merchants. “You’ve stuck with this community over the last eleven years, so stick with it again through the coming weeks and months.” But plenty of business owners weren’t buying the official’s comments. “This is bullshit,” said Wallace Lai, who owns two Hong Kong Station restaurants in Chinatown, one on Bayard Street and one on Division Street. “These people just talk in circles about everything they’re going to do for us, but they can’t see the real future that’s coming for Chinatown if we don’t act now to fix the long-term problems.” Sofia Ng, who runs Po Wing Hong, a specialty Chinese food market on Elizabeth Street, contended that politicians and other leaders must do a better job of rebranding and highlighting Chinatown to tourists, especially during the months-long recovery period. “It’s hard to articulate what to do, because this is such an ongoing issue,” said Ng, “but there’s just no really attractive part of Chinatown that brings in tourism

anymore. It’s not a place that people want to visit.” When told that those issues would be difficult to address at a forum that was principally based on short-term solutions, the business owners stressed that the long-term and short-term goals should be addressed together. Otherwise, they claimed, all the relief efforts would be virtually worthless. “They say they’re doing so much, but nothing’s actually getting better,” said Lai. “So I don’t care how much time they’re spending on loans and relief. It’s like, if you play soccer, I don’t care how good you are at handling the ball if you can’t score.” And even though politicians like Chin and Squadron have done much over the past year — at the behest of many local residents — to regulate Chinatown’s controversial intercity bus industry, Lai and others believe the buses are vital to the area’s economy. Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, has been an outspoken advocate of the intercity buses, constantly claiming that the millions of people it brings the area outweighs the stated consequences of safety and inconvenience. Chen feels his stance on the issue was validated last week, when a Philadelphia

tour bus company that had learned of Chinatown’s post-storm struggles arranged to send a busload of people to Chinatown with the specific purpose of providing an economic boost to the area. “They sympathized with our story,” said Chen. While that bus is from an independent company unlike such intercity buses as Megabus, Chen said the visit demonstrated that one of Chinatown’s best hopes for the future may be a revival of the buses and other such economic conduits. Chen also had very pointed views about the Chinatown business owners who believe post-hurricane loans won’t suffice. “The American spirit is not about asking for handouts, and instead of relying on handouts we need to be practical and work with what we have,” he said. Adding to that, he employed a characteristically offbeat analogy to suggest that business owners are better off banding together as a community than complaining about things they may never get. “In a time of crisis, there will be people who focus on danger, and those who focus on opportunity,” Chen said. “Remember what they did on the Oregon Trail. They couldn’t just wait for the cavalry. When they went out in the wagons, and the Indians started shooting arrows at them, the pioneers formed a circle to defend themselves. That’s the American spirit.”


November 14 - November 27, 2012

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Downtown Express  

Downtown Express, 11.14.2012

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