VOLUME 27, NUMBER 9
OCTOBER 9-OCTOBER 22 2014
DOWNTOWN SUBWAYS AWASH IN CASH FOR FLOOD PROTECTION
BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
resents the broader Chinese snack tradition that often relies on the innovative use of ingredients and a cultural fixation on eating, he said. A common Chinese vernacular greeting includes a question: have you have eaten? Acquiring the necessary permits to sell bubble tea is relatively easy compared to other business types, Chen added. “They do recognize one thing,” he said about Chinatown business owners. “Bubble tea has a nice profit margin to it.” Innovation accompanies the increasingly competitive local tapioca milk tea market, he said.
he Metropolitan Transportation Authority has received $301 million in federal money to fortify Lower Manhattan subways. More than 500 street openings — stairwells, elevators, escalators, sidewalk vents, access hatches and manholes — will either be capped by fixed or deployable covers, according to an announcement last month by Governor Cuomo’s office. These necessary street openings are where water can flood in, which is what occurred during Superstorm Sandy, Oct. 29, 2012. Lower Manhattan was deluged with water when Sandy hit and its stations were among the last to reopen. The M.T.A. is considering several different prototypes of manhole covers and deployable covers for elevators and stairways, M.T.A. spokesperson Kevin Ortiz wrote in an email. Possible options include a deployable sidewalk vent cover and two different manhole covers, one that has depth like a round baking pan and another like a solid tire with a handle jutting out, pictured in an M.T.A. report to Community Board 1 from late last year. Other protective measures, said Ortiz, include $112 million for substations, which houses the machinery that powers the subways, $20 million for internal stations, $ 64 million for equipment and $24 million for pumping capacity. The money will go primarily to
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Downtown Express photo by Zach Williams
Renata Anorsdottir with a cup of bubble tea.
Bubble Tea: No bursting the drink’s popularity BY ZACH WILLIAMS
nne Pappenheim of Oxfordshire, England came to Chinatown for a different kind of tea Monday afternoon. She took it with milk, sugar and plenty of black tapioca balls at the bottom of her domed plastic cup. She had never drunk bubble tea before this week, but a classmate from her university days would change that by bringing her to Ten Ren’s Tea Time on Mott St. “I’ve been told it’s an experience not to be missed,” she said as she turned her attention to the matter at hand. “That’s lovely,” she said of the cold, vanilla-flavored drink in her
right hand. Call it tapioca milk tea, bubble milk tea, boba (pronounced “ball [without the L sound] bah”) or zhenzhu naicha (“jen jew nigh cha”) . Within the last 30 years, the drink has spread from its native Taiwan to Chinese communities throughout the world. A dozen or so businesses devoted to it are within a few minutes walk from Columbus Park in Manhattan’s Chinatown. While their products taste quite similar, businesses distinguish themselves through ambience and the pace of life patrons desire as they satisfy their sweet teeth. Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, a local business group, said boba business is hot. The phenomenon rep-
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CHEERS THROUGH ROUGH WATERS
Technically speaking Michael Fortenbaugh, president of North Cove Management. got a standing ovation Tuesday night but the words of support were more genuine. You see the only reason so many people were standing this week in the Battery Park City library at Community Board 1’s B.P.C meeting was that there were not enough places to sit. Over 100 supporters of Fortenbaugh’s efforts came to voice their support for him to continue running the marina. He has run a sailing school at there for 20 years (he opened in at the South Street Seaport in 1987 before moving west) and has been the marina’s man in charge since 2004, in addition to living in B.P.C. His 10-year lease at the marina is about to expire and he is going to submit a bid to the Battery Park City Authority to continue.
He didn’t appear worried that he would get kicked out, but a source told us there are three other likely bidders including Brookfield Properties, which overlooks the marina and owns what is now called Brookfield Place, although it is still better known as the World Financial Center. The source said the other likely competitors are Island Global Yachting based in Fort Lauderdale and Sun Tex Marina based in Dallas. The bids are due Oct. 24, and it will likely be at least a few months before the authority picks a winner. Fortenbaugh is hoping to add to the 50 or so letters he has collected in order to submit them as part of his bid. The C.B. 1 committee appeared to be unanimous in its support for the work Fortenbaugh has done the last 10 years. Jeff Galloway said before 2004, the marina was “not part of us.” Tammy Meltzer and others on the committee pointed to their children who benefited by learning to sail with Fortnbaugh’s youth program. The committee sounds poised to pass a resolution praising the work Fortenbaugh has done, but is not expected to recommend a selection since it’s unlikely they will be told who the contenders are.
ALMOST FULL BAKED
goods to come: sweet and salty cupcakes, dolly’s doughnuts, peanut butter krispy bars and caramel candy popcorn balls. “I can’t wait to see who the regulars will be,” said Poliafito, who added that their Red Hook customers come in many times during the day. The Baked Tribeca location will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Head baker Molly Marzalek-Kelly is also excited to get to know the customers. She and head decorator Veronika Matunin are relocating to the Tribeca location. Matunin said that all the icing for the goodies and cakes was made from scratch. The 3,400 sq.ft. Tribeca location was a former “Burlesque” (wink wink) boudoir run perhaps most famously or infamously by Madeleine D’Anthony, and as a nod to that history and the bakery’s name, a huge glowing red letter “B” graces the back wall at the end of the shop. Wood floors offset gray exposed walls and the area where the baking will take place is enclosed in glass so patrons can see the magic at work. Red and white wine, Sixpoint beer and Stumptown Coffee was served to the soignee crowd and will also be served when the bakery opens. Downstairs, there will be a champagne room decorated with real vintage wedding pictures lining the walls.
The highly anticipated opening of the new Baked Tribeca at 279 Murray St. is imCLOSE BUT NO TARGET DATE minent. At least, close — probably opening June 26 of course came and went and at the end of this month. At a Tuesday night the Fulton Center is not fully open. The preview and cookbook launch, the second much-touted date was used for some genbakery of founders Matt Lewis and Renato tle ribbing at Community Board 1’s FinanPoliafito gave a taste of the glorious bakedT:8.75”cial District Committee meeting Oct. 1.
“I thought the last [time] was the last one, but I think this is pretty much the last one,” said Uday Durg, a senior vice president for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, about presenting to the committee. Durg was reminded of the date to some laughter. “You had a grand opening scheduled for last June, right?” said chair Ro Sheffe. “We’re a few months late, yes,” he said. Durg, who started on the project in 2002, said that there are few final things that need to be done but that the $1.4 billion project is 99.9 percent complete. An estimated 300,000 people will use the Fulton Center daily. “From William St. to the A,C mezzanine to the J,Z platform to the 4,5 platforms to the R platforms, everything has to work as one system,” he said. “That’s where the difficulty is.” Durg didn’t say exactly when it would open. “In the next couple of weeks I think you will know an exact date,” he said. “But I’m telling you, we’re very, very close to that date.” He said there are more than 300 cameras located throughout the center and that a person who traverses it will be photographed six or seven times. On the day the Fulton Center opens, Durg said, so will the Dey St. Concourse, an underpass that will connect the 4,5 to the R at Cortlandt St. “That’s a huge announcement,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B.1’s chairperson, who led the applause.
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October 9-October 22, 2014
Sweet reward for school that evaded city eviction BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Tribeca elementary school P.S. 150 — a school that at one time was in danger of relocating to Chelsea — has just won the National Blue Ribbon Award. The award, administered by the U.S. Dept. of Education since 1982, is for schools that have “overall academic excellence” or “progress in closing achievement gaps” among students, according to the U.S. D.O.E.’s website. “I really find this a Cinderella tale,” Wendy Chapman, current P.T.A. member and former co-president for two years, in a phone interview. Chapman was one of the many parents who fought to keep P.S. 150, a pre-K through 5th grade school, open at 334 Greenwich St. after the city D.O.E. announced a plan to relocate it to Chelsea in April of 2013. The city cited the
costs of running a school with only one class per grade. “We banded together to save our school,” said Chapman, whose three children all attended P.S. 150 with the youngest currently in the fifth grade. “Winning the Blue Ribbon award, an academic achievement, is all the more sweet.” Sweets were on hand on Oct. 1 as the school celebrated the award with blueberry muffins. P.S. 150 is the only elementary school in Manhattan to be awarded the honor this year and is one of 17 elementary schools that received the award in New York State. Chapman credited Principal Jenny Bonnet for her effort to fill out the involved application. “She’s a great principal,” she said. “The good news is P.S. 150 is alive and kicking,” said Chapman. “It’s a very special school.”
Photo courtesy of Wendy Chapman
Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Two of the Tribeca homes that will be on the Oct. 19th tour: 5 Collister St., left, and 140 Franklin St.
Tour will take a peek at 4 Tribeca lofts The 15th annual Inside Tribeca Loft Tour to benefit Duane Park and Bogardus Plaza will take place on Sun., Oct. 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $60 in advance and $65 the day of, but with 400 tickets available, they are often sold out by the event. The first of the four residences on the tour, 18 Desbrosses St., has 3-bedrooms and natural light pouring in from everywhere — skylights and huge windows. “The reason we love to work in Tribeca is the light you can get,” said the architect Michael Tower DowntownExpress.com
during a press preview of the event. The white walls gave a clean sleek contemporary look to the loft, which also had an outdoor space. The second stop, 5 Collister St., is a mix of traditional and modern with deep blues, red and oranges in the living room and dining room. Tucked into the white-walled kitchen was a dining nook with a green banquette. The master bedroom has a carpet made of a silk and suede on the walls. “This [room] was all about texture,” said Sara Gilbane, the designer. Kids rooms were joyful with
color and flowers. The outside area was a green oasis and designed by Lauren E. Loscialo. Columns reminiscent of an ancient structure pepper the palatial space of the third loft, with a huge open area that encompasses a kitchen, living room, dining room, and banquette nook at 140 Franklin St. The six-bedroom apartment also had an office and a karaoke room. “We liberated the theater,” said Mitchell Owen, the designer, who explained that the former owners had used part of the space as a personal home theater.
The last stop on the tour at Duane St. is the home of artist and designer Deborah French. The style draws on French’s travels, and is influenced by cultures from Africa to Italy to Uzbekistan to Morocco. The inviting soft gold low couch was strewn with vibrant red, blue and flowered cushions. Sculptures, one female, one Egyptian looked over the electric apartment. Visit www.duanepark.org for tickets and information about the tour.
— DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC October 9-October 22, 2014
PANTY RAID Like a ‘50s-era trope by a frat house, a male-female team stole 200 pairs of underwear worth $2,700 from a Victoria’s Secret at 591 Broadway in Soho last week. Police say the woman stole the panties and shoved them into her bag while her partner played lookout. The whole thing was caught on tape from 6:20 to 6:30 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 4 and police are looking for the two suspects.
SOHO PARTNERS IN CRIME Another female-male team hit a different Soho shop, this time stealing a $2,785 Louis Vuitton suitcase from Paris Stations at 347 W. Broadway between Broome and Spring Sts. last week. Police say the pair worked together to steal the suitcase from the store, which buys, sells and trades high-end accessories such as purses and shoes. The suspects, a 54-year-old man and 45-year-old woman, entered around 2 p.m. on Thur., Oct. 2, but police arrested them the same day.
‘LUSH WORKER’ STRIKES While taking the N train from Astoria Blvd. stop in Queens last weekend, a 26-year-old man fell asleep and awoke at the Whitehall station in the Financial District — missing his $750 iPhone 6. The Midtown West resident had entered the train at 2:30 in the morning on Sat., Oct. 4. It was the work of what the police term a “lush worker,” a thief who looks for
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drunk or sleeping people on the train to steal their stuff. Police arrested a 36-year-old man from the Bronx who was found with the iPhone 6 on him.
store at 103 Franklin St. Tues. Sept. 23rd, grabbed a black leather jacket worth $2,900 from the rack and shoved it into her bag. She then fled north on W. Broadway around 2 p.m. A 31-year-old male employee reported the theft.
DAYTIME CHAIN RIPOFF A thief ripped a $200 yellow nameplate rope chain from a woman’s neck when the doors opened at the Financial District’s Wall St. stop on the 2 train at 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 4. The 39-year-old Queens woman was not injured and the suspect fled by running up the stairs. Police conducted a canvass of the area and broadcast a description of the suspect over police and transit radio, but no arrest was made.
PRINTS & BAG LIFTED A tag team of two thieves walked into the Saint Laurent Paris store at 80 Greene St. in Soho last month. While one of the men distracted an employee, the other took a $1,190 handbag from the display case and hid it underneath his shirt, police said. He then wiped down the case with a cloth. Police say the whole operation took two minutes, from 4:39 p.m. to 4:41 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 24. The two men left together. No fingerprints were found at the scene. The police say both men are in their 30s, are 5’10” and about 200 pounds.
ALL WORK, NO IPHONES A man entered The Dubliner, an Irish pub at 45 Stone St. in the Financial District on Tues., Sept. 23 at 12:23 p.m. and stole over $1,200 worth of the staff’s belongings, police said. The thief made his way to the waitresses’ workstation and soon left with two iPhones, one iPad, bank cards, and an Arizona driver license. They belonged to two women, 22 and 31. Police say the devices were turned off so tracking couldn’t be used. The thief got away with $1,200 worth of electronics.
THIEF STEALS SAFE On 1:30 a.m. on Fri., Sept. 26, a man pried open the side door of Distilled restaurant and went to the manager’s basement office where he stole a metal digital combination safe. He then exited from the same side door of the Tribeca restaurant at 211 W. Broadway between Franklin and White Sts. The thief got away with $4,775 in cash and $750 in gift certificates. The suspect was captured on video tape, but police have not made an arrest.
COAT GRAB IN TRIBECA — DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
A woman in her 20s went into a Steven Alan Annex
Watercolors of 9/11 responders After 9/11, Aggie Kenny was “compelled to visit the site, sketchbook in hand,” she wrote on her website, aggiekenny.com. The reportorial artist, whose work has appeared in The Washington Post and Newsday, will show her watercolors at the New York City Police Museum at 45 Wall St. in the Finan-
cial District. One watercolor depicts men searching for their fallen brethren. Another shows a firefighter washing off toxic materials. The show, “Artist as Witness: 9/11 Responders Watercolors,” opened on Tues., Oct. 7. It will run until Oct. 25, the last day that the museum will be housed at its current address.
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Southbridge Towers votes to go private BY JOSH ROGERS Southbridge Towers residents last week voted overwhelmingly to privatize their homes, and almost every vote counted because the supporters only got 10 more than they needed. The thousands of residents living at the middle income housing complex by the Seaport will be able to sell their apartments on the open market, perhaps by the middle of next year. The vote to leave the subsidized Mitchell-Lama housing, which ended Sept. 30, was 1,082 in favor to 373 against. The proponents needed 1,072 votes to get to the required 2/3 threshold of the occupied apartments. Officials determined that exactly 1,607 of the 1,651 homes at Southbridge had eligible voters. “I think it provides financial security for a lot of residents,” Wally Dimson, president of Southbridge’s board of directors, said of the results. “We’re really pleased.” Dimson began organizing for this day back in 2005 when residents first voted to study the privatization question. “It was a lot harder than we imagined,” he said. “The bar is so high, but we were able to do it.” The vote count will be added to the complex’s “black book,” which detailed the particulars and risks of going private. The state attorney general, which allowed the black book to come to a vote after Southbridge made many revisions over five years, must certify the vote. After that, each home will have 90 days to decide whether to take full ownership of their apartments or become renters subject to rent stabilization increases. A spokesperson for State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Two thirds of the homes must decide
Photo courtesy of Google Maps
the ownership option in order for the privatization to take effect, but there is little doubt about that since even some of the leaders who opposed privatization, said they were likely to choose that option if their efforts failed. Residents have always owned their homes, but under Mitchell-Lama were prohibited from selling it on the open market. The official appraisals for Southbridge apartments range from just under $300,000 to over $1 million depending on the size and location. The first sale of every apartment will come with a 28 percent flip tax that will go back to the complex and will insure funds for capital improvements, and provide financial security, proponents argue. Opponents maintain that the risk of higher taxes and other fees will force people to leave.
“If the vote really stands after a full review of the verification of the voting process… what was once 40+ years of limited-equity Mitchell-Lama Coop of stable, affordable resident life, will now be a private corporation filled with coop apartments free to be sold in the market place,” Victor Papa, a privatization opponent and former president of Southbridge, wrote in an email after the vote. “What was once a neighborhood will now be like any other place which New York City is becoming just another place to invest… “What is most remarkable is that elected officials...who espouse affordable housing...have been awfully silent while 1650 affordable units, probably the last substantial vestige of affordable housing units in Lower Manhattan, are now forever lost.” Dimson and other proponents
have always countered that the original Mitchell-Lama law was written to give residents the right to leave, and residents owe it to their families to provide them with financial security regardless of whether they hold on to their apartments for the rest of their lives, as he plans to do, or try to sell right away. Both sides acknowledged the fight at times was ugly. Dimson, said one person falsely accused him of owning a home in Arizona, where he would move after the vote. Paul Hovitz, a leader of the opponents, said that someone told him, “’I can’t be your friend, you’re trying to take money from my pocket.’ ” It’s impossible to say if the vote will heal any, but one person tried in a comment posted to DowntownExpress. com: “To all the opponents of this effort you won too.”
Hughes firm apologizes for floating balloon at the Seaport BY JOSH ROGERS The hot air balloon that floated over the Seaport Sept. 28 and triggered mistaken fears about terrorism, was hired by the area’s biggest developer Howard Hughes Corp., and not the city — contrary to other media reports. “Several residents of the South Street Seaport expressed alarm, having received no prior notice and fearing the worst,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who represents the neighborhood, wrote in a letter to the city’s Economic Development Corp. the next day, Mon., Sept. 29. “As is well known, residents of this community lived through the awful trauma of 9/11…and many are jusDowntownExpress.com
tifiably concerned by the possibility of future terrorist attacks, particularly from the air.” The New York Post had reported that the city hired a company, Digital Design and Imaging, to take photos for future development plans. But the balloon was in fact commissioned by Hughes Corp., a firm spokesperson, Jeremy Soffin, told Downtown Express. He said the firm’s contractor had all of the necessary permits including from the N.YP.D. to conduct the flyover. “We apologize to anyone who was alarmed by the photo balloon and will work closely with community leaders to provide notice of any future aerial photography,” the com-
pany said in a prepared statement last week A spokesperson for E.D.C., which manages the neighborhood’s city-owned property, also said the balloon was not hired by the city. Hughes operates the Seaport’s mall and is currently rebuilding Pier 17. It also has proposed building a 600-foot tower on the site of the New Market Building, as part of its plan to redevelop the area, but the idea was almost unanimously rejected by local politicians and community leaders, and the firm is currently revising its plans. These leaders were hoping that Hughes would present its revisions Oct. 8 at a private meeting of the
Seaport Working Group, and at a public Community Board 1 meeting Oct. 18, but a company spokesperson said those presentations would be rescheduled. The firm is scheduled to appear before the Landmarks Preservation Commission Nov. 18, but it’s unlikely they would appear then unless they had already presented to the working group and C.B. 1. Presumably the Sunday photos will be used at all of those meetings. A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Emergency Management did not respond to a question about why the city did not issue a Notify NYC alert as it often does to alert citizens to upcoming aerial activity. October 9-October 22, 2014
Community space reduced from city building sale BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC The city has cut one third of the promised community space at a building that it sold to a developer. “I feel like I got the rug pulled out [from under] me,” said committee member Tammy Meltzer. “As a community member I feel that already I’m not getting what I was promised. I understood — and I apologize I’m not a real estate maven — I thought we were getting 15,713 square feet of usable space for the community.” Community Board 1, the new mayor and the building developer are left to handle and haggle over the details of the $160 million sale of 346 Broadway by the Bloomberg administration —with the fallout evident at the Mon., Oct. 6 Planning Committee meeting. C.B. 1 did not initially support the sale but eventually did with the promise of a 16,000 sq. ft. media center that would serve the community’s youth. But it turns out that 16,000 was really 15,713 sq. ft. of rental space, which actually is 10,000 sq. ft. of space that can
be used. “What the city offered to us, which was something less than we wanted anyway, was 15,700 square feet of a space that would serve youth in some way or another,” said C.B.1 member Tricia Joyce. “Never once in one of these discussions did the idea of gross and net space come up.” “That is what the community is due, is 16,000 square feet,” said C.B. 1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes. “That’s not our problem if someone miscalculated usable, rental or not.” “It’s not mine, either,” said Don Peebles, chairperson of the Peebles Corp., 346 Broadway’s developer. “We were very transparent, we used the city’s floor plan, the city’s survey, we attached it so there is no ambiguity.” Peebles is renovating 346 Broadway, also known as 108 Leonard St., with the El Ad Group. He began his presentation by giving an overview of his company and emphasized its many years of
Downtown Express file photo by Aline Reynolds
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renovating landmark buildings and working with communities. “We were attracted to these buildings because of their landmarked status and the opportunity to restore them,” he said, also referring to 49-51 Chambers St., which his company is not developing. “[We] make sure that our building is an improvement to the community and not a detriment. We are committed to continuing that tradition here.” Originally, the community space was to go to the east of the lobby. Peebles showed diagrams of the proposed space and then another of the new community space, which will be divided between two floors. The second part of the community space will be in the basement. “The area that was circled, which is I understand part of the deed was pretty clear, that’s the space,” said Anthony Notaro, committee member. “Yet the changes that have talked about in your slides are very significant. It seems to me that this was made maybe not in good faith.” Peebles reiterated several times that he was working with the city’s
measurements. “We didn’t create this, this was provided to us based on the city’s survey that D-CAS had done,” he said, referring to the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services. There was also a question about the percentage used to calculate the loss of usable space, which was 37 percent. “I’ve held a commercial lease in Manhattan since 1996, I’ve never heard those kind of percentages,” said Joyce, who’s also chairperson of the board’s Youth Committee. “Regardless of that, this was not a business lease when D-CAS spoke to the Youth Committee. The community board is not in favor of this sale at all because they forgot to plan infrastructure with the building of 25,000 apartments in Lower Manhattan,” she said. “From the administration’s perspective, we understand the frustration,” Ashley Thompson, from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, said at the meeting. “It should have been very clear from the beginning what Continued on page 13
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October 9-October 22, 2014
Dead but classified: Pier 40 deal released with many edits B Y L I N CO L N A N D E R S O N For a while, five months at least, it ranked among the great mysteries. Right up there with: How did they build Stonehenge? Where did they bury Jimmy Hoffa? And...why does that kooky guy dance around in a diaper in Union Square anyway? The mystery is now over — well, make that...sort of. Last week, in response to a Freedom of Information Law request by The Villager, sister publication of Downtown Express, the Empire State Development Corporation e-mailed the newspaper a copy of the so-called “secret M.O.U.” which no one had seen — the memorandum of understanding between the Cuomo administration, the Hudson River Park Trust and Atlas Capital Group. The conditional agreement outlines a proposed scheme under which the Trust would sell unused development rights from Pier 40 to Atlas for its redevelopment of the St. John’s Center site on the other side of the West Side Highway.
Large sections of the ‘secret M.O.U’ have been redacted.
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October 9-October 22, 2014
Word of the existence of the “secret M.O.U.” was first uttered in May by an E.S.D.C. official who blurted it out at meeting at Borough President Gale Brewer’s office. Local politicians, having heard growing rumblings that the governor was supporting a General Project Plan involving Pier 40 and the St. John’s Center, had called the meeting, seeking more information. Galling the politicians, just the day before, a New York Times article had indicated that Cuomo was indeed potentially considering a G.P.P. Whereas a G.P.P. would place the project firmly under the state’s control, local elected officials stressed they wanted to see a city-led Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for any project involving Pier 40 and the St. John’s Center. A ULURP includes more public review than a G.P.P., they argued, plus, importantly, would empower the City Council to modify the plan with binding changes. Following local politicians’ united uproar, E.S.D.C. backed off, saying the process would now be what it called an “expedited ULURP.” Long eyed as a development site, the St. John’s Center property stretches from Clarkson St. southward about 850 feet, ranging from
about 220 to 280 feet wide, bounded by West and Washington Sts. The property is currently covered by a three-block-long, four-story-high commercial building, dating from the 1930s, when it was constructed as a terminal for the High Line. The agreed-upon price for Atlas to buy Pier 40’s unused development rights was a very large sum, reportedly $100 million — though the actual figure, like much else, was redacted from the document. Indeed, the agreement released in response to the FOIL request has large sections blacked-out, leaving key questions about the M.O.U. unanswered. Labeled “Exhibit C,” an attached “city support letter,” from former Deputy Mayor Robert Steel to Kenneth Adams, president of E.S.D.C., is dated Dec. 24, 2013, from the last days of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s third and final term. However, the M.O.U.’s first sentence states the M.O.U. itself was “dated this __ day of February 2014,” meaning under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, during the transition phase at City Hall. No dates are penciled in anywhere on the document, though, to indicate when the signatures were actually made. The discussions leading up to the agreement’s crafting were ongoing under Bloomberg. As for Adams, he has led E.S.D.C. — the state’s development agency — since 2011, and so has spanned Bloomberg to de Blasio. The M.O.U. is signed by Adams; Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust; and Andrew Cohen and Jeffrey Goldberger, Atlas’s founding partners. Atlas is referred to in the document as “SJ Owner LLC, Delaware limited liability company, having an office at c/o Atlas Capital Group, 505 Fifth Ave.” (In fact, Atlas is a part owner of the St. John’s Center, along with Westbrook Partners and Fortress Investment Group. Mike Novogratz, a principal in Fortress, was a former director of the Trust and is currently chairperson of Friends of Hudson River Park, the Trust’s private fundraising wing.) The M.O.U. states on its first page, “Pier 40 needs structural improvement that would require substantial funding that neither H.R.P.T., E.S.D.C. nor the State of New York can currently provide.” Under the proposed plan, those “substantial funding” needs of the 14-acre W. Houston St. pier were to have been met through the developContinued on page 16
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October 9-October 22, 2014
$300 million pledged to protect Downtown subways Continued from page 1
five vulnerable stations close to the water: two on Rector, for the N, R and 1; Broad St. (J); Bowling Green (4,5); and Whitehall (N, R). Ortiz said that these five remain critical and will all receive the same protections. “The M.T.A. bounced back quickly after Sandy,” Daniel Ackerman, chief of staff for the Downtown Alliance, sad in a phone interview. “[It is] taking the necessary steps to make the subway more resilient. I don’t think they can ever stop water from going into the tunnels and stations but to slow it, to decrease it and to sort of lower that vulnerability will help them bounce back even quicker next time.”
SOUTH FERRY The new South Ferry station was also hit hard by Sandy two years ago. The M.T.A. spent $545 million to expand and renovate the station in 2009 and now the old South Ferry station, which has a short platform, is in use. The initial estimate to reopen the station was about $600 million, although Ortiz said it will be less but did not specify by how much. The M.T.A. is currently doing work to protect the old and new stations, but Ortiz would not say how much has already been committed. South Ferry was completely flooded and almost everything
inside was destroyed, said Zachary Campbell, assistant director for the M.T.A., at C.B.1’s Financial District Committee meeting on Oct. 1. The platform was strewn with debris, an escalator totaled, rust on the tracks and electrical equipment destroyed, he said. The recently allocated $301 million is strictly for the fixed and deployable emergency flood covers for the five other stations, said Ortiz, when asked if any of the funding will go to South Ferry. The M.T.A. has three contracts to get South Ferry up and running again. The first is for near-term flood mitigation, said Campbell. Entrance one, which is in use, has bee-like yellow brackets with black stripes that can be used with deployable storm logs. Both entrance two and three are closed and two is currently capped. Storm doors in the interior of the entrances and glass on the doors and elevators will be thick and reinforced to be able to prevent it from breaking under water pressure. Campbell said that the flood mitigation measures at the entrances are designed to withstand a category two hurricane plus three feet, which is approximately 13 feet. Currently, the interior of the station is being gutted and parts that were ruined due to waterDOOR — wall MARINE MARINE DOOR panels along the tracks, tiling, ducts and ceilings — are being pulled out. Work began in June and should be completed by this November.
Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Rector St. is one of the Lower Manhattan subway stations slated for protection. Damage at the station, below.
Another contact will be awarded at the end of October to reconstruct the station and “bring the interior back to the level” it was before, said Campbell. A new station, he said, which “can improve the connectivity that the old loop station that is currently in service there can’t provide. It’s a very important, critical station for us to bring back.” Work on South Ferry can only be done in non-hurricane season, which means from December to May, he said. The new estimate for
SANDY RESILIENCY SIX SANDY RECOVERY RECOVERY AND ANDContinued RESILIENCY SIX CRITICAL CRITICAL LOC LOC on page 11
NDY RECOVERY AND RESILIENCY SIX CRITICAL LOCATIONS
OVABLE STAIR COVER
DOOR DOOR OPEN OPEN
M.T.A. images of possible storm protections under consideration for Lower Manhattan subways. Above, are stairway covers, and at right, are marine doors, that could seal off stations.
October 9-October 22, 2014
DowntownExpress.com DOOR CLOSED
Continued from page 10
completion is now the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.
OTHER FUNDING The funding was part of $1.915 billion allocated by the Federal Transit Administration to New York State: $1.6 billion will go towards M.T.A. projects, $212 million to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the New York Department of Transportation is expected to receive $200 million, according to a press release issued by Cuomo’s office last month. Catherine McVay Hughes. Community Board 1’s chairperson, wrote in an email that “the funding for these important hardening of key transportation initiatives are critical for Lower Manhattan and we would like to thank Governor Cuomo very much for supporting these state agencies to prevent costly damage moving forward.” Fifty-seven percent of the total area of C.B.1 district is in zone
one, which is most at risk for flooding, according to a C.B.1 September 2013 report.
MONTAGUE TUBE The M.T.A. closed the Montague Tube, the R train between Whitehall St. in Lower Manhattan and Court St. in Brooklyn, in August 2013 to repair damages from Sandy — about 27 million gallons of water rushed into the 4,000-foot tunnel. For it to be functional again, the M.T.A. had to replace 11,000 feet of track, 75,000 feet of power cable and 200,000 feet of communication cable, said Campbell. To increase the tunnel’s storm resiliency, a critical relay signal room was repositioned higher, submarine-quality doors were installed in certain portions of the tube to protect facilities from water, and pumping capacity was increased, said Campbell. It cost approximately $250 million for the project and R train service resumed on Sept. 15. “[With] the R train reopening slightly ahead of schedule, slightly under
Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Current entrance to the old South Ferry station. The newer station, which opened three years before Hurricane Sandy, will be closed for another two years, at least.
budget, the M.T.A. really seems to be making progress, working to learn from the issues that they encountered under Sandy,” said
the Alliance’s Ackerman, who is also Lower Manhattan’s co-chairperson of NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program.
WEDNESDAYS • 1PM • ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL Broadway and Fulton Street
Enrich your Wednesday with the timeless cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra perform these works in historic St. Paul’s Chapel. Julian Wachner, conductor. For a complete schedule, visit trinitywallstreet.org/bach FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC DowntownExpress.com
October 9-October 22, 2014
Bubble tea, ever ‘yummy,’ gets even bigger in Chinatown Continued from page 1
“We didn’t used to see this variety,” he said in a phone interview. “That is new.” Some businesses offer long lists of available flavors. Others tempt passersby with accompanying snacks. There are places to drink boba and relax whereas other joints offer no place to sit. A sculpture of Marge and Maggie Simpson meanwhile attract attention to Vivi Bubble Tea at 2 East Broadway where the interior and menu options alike resemble snack shacks in China itself. There is the popcorn chicken — something
that added two pounds to my frame in Xi’an, China eight years ago. The gleaming counters and steel sidings at Vivi juxtapose with the grimy sidewalk. This place would be quite at home near any Beijing university campus. Tapioca milk tea appeals to the younger folks for two reasons, according to Vivi employee Bai Xun. “There’s lots of flavors and it is cheap,” she said in Mandarin Chinese. A cup usually goes for about $2 or $3. Taro flavor did not disappoint me there as I completed a five-round binge of Chinatown’s zhenzhu naic-
A sample of Bubble Tea places Dragon Land Bakery 135 Walker St. Open everyday 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Teariffic Café 51 Mott St. Everyday 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Fay Da Bakery 83 Mott St. Everyday 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Ten Ren’s Tea Time 79 Mott St. Sun.-Thurs. 10 a.m. - 8:20 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Kung Fu Tea, 234 Canal St. Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m. - 10:30 p.m., Mon. 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Vivi Bubble Tea 2 East Broadway Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.
Downtown Express photos by Zach Williams
“The Simpsons” statue adds some American flavor to the scene outside Vivi Bubble Tea on E. Broadway.
ha. While Vivi offers salty deep-fried confections, at Dragon Land bakery on the corner of Baxter and Walker Sts., the mixtures of sugar and salt come within the pastries. French chef Armelle Giriot has come there for the food as well as ample seating for 25 years. However, she had never tasted bubble tea until a friendly reporter offered her a sip last Friday afternoon. She was under the initial impression that blueberries were at the bottom of the drink. “Not bad,” she said, but it was a bit too sweet for her taste. Fay Da Bakery on 83 Mott St. keeps the sugar to a minimum. Ovaltine is on the menu but their real specialty was speed. Within 30 seconds, ordering and preparation were completed. Efficiency and technological sophistication coalesce at Kung Fu Tea on 234 Canal St. where 21st-century Chinese culture reveals new culinary heights amidst pop music ballads. There were lots of people and racket inside the shop on Oct. 3. The custom-
er queue moved swiftly through as one machine shook the orders while another applied tops with a seemingly never-ending ease. Shop employees rushed to fill orders. Half the clientele occupied themselves with smart phones as they waited. They evidently had little time to lose as they retrieved their drinks and re-entered the N.Y.C. bustle outside. When Donza Knight came to New York City a few years ago there weren’t so many places in Manhattan selling bubble tea, though she first tried it in her native Buffalo. “Then all of a sudden, they were everywhere,” she said. Not so much though in Iceland, said Renata Anorsdottir who is currently studying classic ballet in the U.S. A classmate’s mother brought her to Chatime at 240 Canal St. for her second taste of cultural diffusion. She did not go for a classic flavor though, preferring a bit of the familiar instead. Imbibing chewy tapioca Continued on page 13
Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email email@example.com. Customers check out the menu at Ten Ren’s Tea Time.
October 9-October 22, 2014
Less community space at 346 Broadway Continued from page 6
the 15,713 square feet actually amounted to.” “For [the Bloomberg administration] not to be crystal clear with C.B.1 was one failing,” Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who was opposed to the sale of 346 Broadway, told Downtown Express Oct. 1. “I do think the community deserves to get the space it was promised. A deal is a deal is a deal.” Downtown Community Television Center, at 87 Lafayette St., will be in charge of the new media center. “None of us asked for a media center,” said committee member Adam Malitz. “Frankly, there are plenty of other needs in the community that outweigh a need for a media center.”
The need for more schools and classroom space has been a continuing issue for Lower Manhattan. The city contends the new space is less valuable, and Peebles negotiated with the New York City Economic Development Corporation for a compensation price of $2.5 million. “That two and half million dollar payment really represents about 70 to 75 percent of a recouping of the cost of the space,” said Jeffrey Nelson, executive vice president, real estate transactions, for the E.D.C. “Don’s view is he should pay zero, our view is he should pay some premium. And the number two and a half million is where we landed.” He said there were many components when determining the value of the space. The issue of whether that $2.5 million
would be committed to C.B. 1’s district was also raised. “It was determined that we want this money to stay in C.B.1 to the best of our ability,” said Thompson of the mayor’s office. “To the extent that we can work with the board to develop some parameters for the funding.” “That’s the language that we’ve been hearing, with all due respect,” said Joyce. “It’s a new administration and I know that you mean as well as you can. It’s the same situation where we’ve been hearing that kind of language for a decade. And then what happens is, everything backpedals, ‘oops, someone made a communication mistake and oh we can’t really do it now.’ “This is infrastructure. This isn’t an amenity. We are at a loss for infrastruc-
ture. I don’t fault [the Peebles Corp.], the city should have done diligence on this space,” she continued. “Now we have this really complicated problem and we can’t hear from you even that those funds can be committed to for this community.” The committee passed a resolution asking for the city to get the best deal possible for the adjustment of the community space, and for it to commit to spending the money to benefit the C.B. 1 area. “This community through the last 13 years, we have major ULURP coming before us, we all know about the South Street Seaport,” said Hughes, referring to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. “Depending how this goes will send a clear signal on what’s going to be happening as any other ULURP decision with the city.”
found in Chinese snacks can be attributed in part to a tumultuous history. Famines and wars made his ancestors consider foods as well as combinations that people elsewhere in the world might have overlooked, he said. “We care a lot about eating,” he
said. “We haven’t always had it easy.” Now Chinese people enjoy foods as diverse as scorpions, duck intestines and green pea ice cream in the booming night markets of China, Taiwan and Singapore. Nostalgia for these markets runs strong in Chen’s office, he said. With bubble tea there
is a fun outlet for this and a “winwin” for local businesses and their customers, he said. “They are perfecting these little goodies,” he said of Asian night market snacks gaining increasing prominence stateside. “They are absolutely yummy.”
Bubble tea Continued from page 12
through an oversized straw might just be peculiar enough. “The texture of the bubbles is really strange and fun,” she said. The Chinatown Partnership’s Chen said the strange ingredients
SUNDAYS AT ST. PAUL’S
Relaxed. Participatory. Joyful.
NEW45-minute service Sundays at 9:15am St. Paul’s Chapel
Broadway and Fulton Street This church service is great for families with kids and those new to church. Chat and enjoy coffee and snacks before and after the service.
October 9-October 22, 2014
Liberal challenger takes on Deborah Glick B Y L I N CO L N A N D E R S O N Alexander Meadows officially announced his campaign for the 66th Assembly District two week ago. He’ll be challenging longtime incumbent Deborah Glick on Tues., Nov. 4. The 66th District includes the West Village, Hudson Square, Tribeca, Soho, Noho, the East Village west of First Ave. and a small part of Battery Park City and Union Square. Meadows, 37, is running as the candidate of the Progressive Party, a line he created specially for the election. As such, his name will be at the far right-hand side of the ballot. A resident of the West Village for seven years and a member of Community Board 2 for six, Meadows ran for City Council last year against Corey Johnson and Yetta Kurland. However, he ultimately dropped out of the contest. He is openly gay. Glick, 63, was a pioneer as the state Legislature’s first openly gay member. Meadows said that, if elected, he wants to take the long view on issues. “Everyone’s reactive,” he said. “I think it’s time we had someone who is proactive. I want to look beyond the old guard — and [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver — and look 10, 15, 20, 30 years down the road. “She was great when she started,” he said of 24-year incumbent Glick. “I don’t think she has used the power that has been given to her to be effective for the district.” Meadows intends to attack Glick on the legislation that was secretively passed last year — without any public notice or review — to allow the transfer of development rights from the Hudson River Park across the West Side Highway. “We’re going to have another Superstorm Sandy, and there is someone in Albany who just wants to put more housing over there,” Meadows scoffed. “All she did was take the problem from the park
October 9-October 22, 2014
and move it across the street. Now we’re going to be in litigation for the next 10, 15, 20 years for every project.” Meadows supported the long-shot upstart Zephyr Teachout for governor, while Glick — like other elected officials — backed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who won the primary and continues to be the prohibitive favorite. Meadows said he hopes to have at least one and possibly two debates with Glick. He added that, if elected, he would speak out strongly against sexual misconduct in the state Legislature — charging that the Assembly’s current leadership has enabled it — and said Glick has not done enough to condemn or change this culture. “They allowed women to be sexually harassed,” Meadows said of Silver and the Assembly leadership. “I would be speaking up a lot louder than she is,” he said of Glick, who he accused of being “afraid of rocking the boat” of Albany’s “good old boy network,” which he charged she is, in fact, a part of. “She has to say, ‘Look, Sheldon, this is where we part ways.’ “ Meadows even went as far as to blast Glick’s prolific tweeting about football, her favorite sport, stating that she should be using her Twitter handle more forcefully to condemn the National Football League’s epidemic of domestic violence. “It’s great that you want to tweet that someone made a great play,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, transgender — you should just speak up for zero tolerance of violence against women.” Domestic violence is something Meadows said he knows first-hand from having grown up with an abusive father. “I grew up with domestic violence,” he said. “As soon as that Ray Rice incident came up — that was my mom. “On my birthday, my dad broke my mom’s nose and set her clothes on fire. … Once he held a gun to my head.” At the same time, he conceded of Glick,
Andrew Meadows, left, is running against Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
“I would love for her to be an NFL sports announcer or ESPN announcer.” Meadows acknowledged that Glick is a staunch opponent of violence against animals, such as feral pigs and even squirrels. Glick has condemned Upstate “canned hunts” of feral pigs, as well as “killing contests.” As for whether Meadows stands a chance in the “big game” against Glick in November, who knows? He said he has raised $30,000 so far toward his run. “This is going to be a grassroots campaign that’s built on community support,” he said. Isn’t his announcement, well, coming a bit late with only a little more than a month left in the race? “As for the timing, it’s perfect, everyone really starts to pay attention to the races from now until Election Day,” he said. Asked to respond to Meadows’s opening salvos, Glick said, “I’m going to go directly to the voters and tell them — remind them — what I’ve done and ask for their support. And I’m confident that at the end of the day, I’ll be re-elected overwhelmingly.” “I’m not going to be negative in my campaign. I think we’ve had enough negative campaigning,” she said, adding, “My opponent should probably spend more
time talking about what he’s done and what he has to offer.” As for debating Meadows, she said, “That’s not a discussion we’ve had. He just announced.” On Meadows’s saying she hasn’t adequately condemned sexual harassment in the Legislature, Glick retorted, “I have an excellent record of speaking up and out for women on a wide range of issues, including sexual misconduct.” She also defended herself against Meadows’s attacks on the Hudson River Park development rights-transfer legislation, saying the new law is a good thing — and that it won’t damage both the park and the Village, as he contends. “Absolutely, I’m proud that I protected the park from luxury high-rise development, and at the same time provided a potential source of revenue to maintain the park,” she said. How about her opponent’s criticism that she hasn’t used her tweets to put an all-out blitz on the N.F.L. on domestic violence? “Oh, please,” she said, exasperatedly. “It’s grasping at straws on his part. If this is what he has to offer people of the 66th as a representative in the Assembly, I’m even more confident.
TRANSITSAM Thur., Oct. 9 – Wed., Oct. 15 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED MONDAY FOR COLUMBUS DAY
SUMMONS ALERT DAY! Monday is Columbus Day and notoriously confusing for parking. Here’s the low-down: alternate side parking rules and school parking rules by public schools and many private schools are suspended. All other rules, including meters, remain in effect. Good news: the holiday means traffic will be lighter than usual. For more gridlock updates throughout the week follow me @GridlockSam. Special alert for the Brooklyn Bridge! All Manhattan-bound lanes will close for 54 consecutive hours, midnight Friday through 6 a.m. Monday. That will send drivers over the Manhattan Bridge and onto Delancey St., as well as down to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and onto West St. The Hudson River crossings will get hit too, with the Jets taking on
the Broncos 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Expect extra traffic in the Holland Tunnel as drivers avoiding the Lincoln Tunnel jet down Seventh Ave. onto Varick. The Bowling Green Association Street Fair will close Broadway between Liberty St., Battery Pl. between Morris and Stone Sts., and Whitehall St. between Stone and Water Sts. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. The Sukkot Block Party will close Duane St. between West Broadway and Church St. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Dear Margaret, Typically there are four muni meters per street, placed 20-30 ft. from the intersection on either side. If the closest meter isn’t working, the driver is expected to cross the street. The circumstance you described of four inoperable meters on one street would be rare to encounter. If you were to come across this and you received a ticket, your case for appeal would be strengthened by referencing a Dept. of Transportation record of the broken meters. So, if the nightmarish scenario described happens to you: write down the location of the parking spot and the nearby meters. Check
FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, If the muni meter nearest to me isn’t working, I’ll go across the street to find a working meter. But what if that one is broken too? Or what if there aren’t any muni meters installed on the other side of the street? Margaret, New York
with the D.O.T. that these meters were in fact inoperable, and present all this information at your hearing. If you come across one broken muni meter or the unlikely four, be sure to report the malfunction to 311 online. Transit Sam Have a question about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, or street cleaning rules? If so, send me an e-mail at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001.
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Saturday, October 18, 2014 10 A.M.– Noon | Rain or shine Bowling Green Park The Downtown Alliance is greening Lower Manhattan! You bring family and friends, and we’ll bring the plants and gardening tools. Complimentary refreshments and activities for kids
October 9-October 22, 2014
Only parts of Pier 40 deal is released Continued from page 8
ment rights sale, which would be permissible under last year’s park legislation, which was passed — again, secretively, without public notice or review — in the final hours of the state legislative session. The agreement “would facilitate a mixed-use development site,” the M.O.U. states, referring to a mix of residential units, plus likely commercial space and possibly at least one hotel. The project was to be built with an “override” of certain provisions of the city’s Zoning Resolution, according to the document. However, a section subheaded “Pier 40 Funding” — which would confirm whether the agreedto sale price was, in fact, $100 million — is redacted. Under the park legislation passed in Albany last year, any revenue from the sale of Pier 40’s development rights is mandated to be funneled back into the crumbling Lower West Side pier for its repair and maintenance. Another section of the M.O.U., subheaded “Proposed Development Plan for the Development Site,” was also heavily redacted by E.S.D.C., so that specifics about exactly what would be built on the St. John’s site are not viewable. “The Proposed Development Plan would set out the proposed uses for the Development Site and include a set of design guidelines for the Proposed Project, mutually satisfactory to E.S.D.C. and S.J.,” the M.O.U. states. “These guidelines
would be developed prior to the completion of the draft E.I.S. and adoption of the draft G.P.P., through discussions among the Parties and with elected officials and through the community consultation process outlined below.” More than half a page is blacked out in a section subheaded “Zoning Overrides.” Subheaded “Community Engagement,” a full page of the M.O.U. is taken up describing a multi-step “community consultation process” that S.J. (Atlas), in signing the document, agreed to engage in. Under this process, Atlas would first request that Community Board 2 create “a designated task force” to participate in meetings regarding the project’s design “and other related issues.” The task force would make a recommendation on the proposed St. John’s project at a C.B. 2 full-board meeting, and C.B. 2 “would have the opportunity to vote and issue a recommendation to E.S.D.C.” The M.O.U. continues, “Following this initial consultation process, S.J. would continue to consult with the task force on an ongoing basis.” Submitted as a supporting letter for the M.O.U. is former Deputy Mayor Steel’s Dec. 13, 2013, letter to E.S.D.C.’s Adams. Steel writes that the Trust — of which he was at the time board vice chairperson — had determined that the park needs “in excess of $50 million to achieve a state of good repair.” Steel further writes that the Trust’s “mission” is for the park to be “financially self-sustaining on an oper-
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October 9-October 22, 2014
ating basis,” but that this is being seriously hampered by the decaying condition of Pier 40 — which is a designated revenue-generating, commercial node for the 5-mile-long waterfront park. Steel goes on to indicate that the city would support a G.P.P., if done right. “If a G.P.P. were planned consistent with City interests and concerns, and developed with outreach to and input from affected stakeholders, this would complement our current work on the develContinued on page 17
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Downtown Express file photo
Continued from page 16
opment-rights transfer program; it could also provide, potentially, a faster path to generating new private investment for immediately needed Pier 40 repairs,” he writes. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, has been a leading critic of the park development-rights legislation. “It’s deeply disturbing to read the document and to see how far along this was,” he replied after this paper sent him a copy. “It’s certainly a good thing that this is not happening, but of course there still is the possibility of many other bad things happening with Pier 40 and the St. John’s site.” The redacted parts “were significant and what most people would be most interested in knowing,” he noted. Berman said, “We always knew that a G.P.P. would include some sort of public review. But there wouldn’t be any public role in the decision-making process. That was what was so frightening — the G.P.P. would ultimately be decided by the ‘Three Men in a Room’ in Albany,” he said, referring to the governor, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the leadership of the State Senate. Regarding the “zoning override” mentioned in the document, Berman said, “Anything that goes beyond the existing zoning allows creating an enormous potential for an oversized development.” As for the M.O.U. having been created without local politicians’ knowledge, both Assembly-
member Deborah Glick and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried previously said that Fran Reiter, Cuomo’s local point person on the project, told them that sometimes some things need to be done quietly — or nothing would ever get done. Tobi Bergman is chairperson of C.B. 2’s Land Use Committee and one of three candidates running to be elected the board’s new chairperson next month. He is also a member of the Pier 40 Champions group, which has worked hard to find a way to safeguard the pier and ensure it continues as a youth sports mecca into the future. In late 2012, the Champions even drafted a design plan for two luxury high-rise towers to be located in the park, just east of the pier, whose revenue would finance Pier 40’s repair. But their plan lacked political support, particularly from Glick, in whose district the pier is located. Bergman said, in one regard, the M.O.U. on the now-defunct St. John’s G.P.P. proposal did offer a positive. “I know people were concerned about a G.P.P. and getting the state involved. And I’m not entitled to an opinion because I have no experience with G.P.P.’s,” he said. “But the community process promised in this document actually appears to exceed anything we usually get in a ULURP.”
A page from the agreement between E.S.D.C., the Hudson River Park Trust and Atlas Capital Group, showing a large section redacted by E.S.D.C.
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Problem Gone October 9-October 22, 2014
Why pink matters PUBLISHER
Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR
Josh Rogers REPORTER
Dusica Sue Malesevic ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler EXECUTIVE V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
SENIOR V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
Jack Agliata Allison Greaker Jennifer Holland Julio Tumbaco
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter
BY JENNIFER GOODSTEIN October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a time for all of us to redouble our efforts to eradicate the second-leading killer of women in the United States. When my husband and I bought NYC Community Media in 2012 and, in June of this year, added the Brooklyn-based Community News Group to our media company, we realized we were taking on a big responsibility. Our publications reach more than a million New Yorkers each week, offering us a broad platform to support causes that can impact our readers and wider communities. My husband and I are also a family that lives and works in New York City, and we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve. Our company’s support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is just one step toward meeting that goal. Like most people, we have had friends and family who have battled cancer, including a close friend who has survived three bouts with breast cancer. Anyone who has watched the impact of this terrible disease on sufferers and their loved ones understands the urgent need to find a cure. The good news is that better early detection and treatment therapies are
boosting survival rates. We are pleased to note that some of the best work against breast cancer is being done in the metropolitan area. Our medical institutions are pushing the limits of possibility with their surgical excellence, playing pivotal roles in discovering the genes that cause breast cancer, leading to surgical techniques that are now treatment gold standards. At the grassroots level, a groundswell of community support is financing critical breast cancer studies with innovative fundraisers around town. Thanks to the support of our advertisers, our media group is donating $7,500 — and will provide free promotional services — to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign (makingstrides.acsevents.org), whose annual October walk at locations in each of the five boroughs raised nearly $6 million last year to help battle the disease. Community News Group is proud to partner with Maimonides Medical Center, Eastchester Center for Cancer Care, Aviator Sports and Events Center, Coney Island Hospital, Estée Lauder Companies, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens County Savings Bank, Winthrop
NYC Community Media Publisher Jennifer Goodstein.
University Hospital, and all of this week’s advertisers in honoring and recognizing the Pink Ribbon campaign founded by the Estée Lauder Companies, now recognized as a worldwide symbol of breast health. We hope our embrace of the pink message will encourage our readers to turn to their families and friends and ask if they have been screened or offer to go with them for this critical, life-saving examination. Jennifer Goodstein is the publisher of Downtown Express and the president of Community News Group.
Posted To “PARISH HOPES FOR SALVATION AT VILNIUS CHURCH”
PUBLISHED BY NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC ONE METROTECH CENTER NEW YORK, NY 11201 PHONE: (212) 229-1890 FAX: (212) 229-2790 WWW.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM Downtown Express is published every week by NYC Community Media LLC, One Metrotech Center North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (212) 229-1890. The entire contents of the newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2014 Community Media LLC. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.
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October 9-October 22, 2014
“CITI BIKES ARE STAYING IN PECK SLIP PLAZA”
(POSTED, SEPT. 25):
(POSTED, SEPT. 25):
As a Lithuanian and longtime Downtown resident, I get so angry when the official Catholic Church response is that the priest didn’t speak Lithuanian. After all, it is the Catholic Church who assigns priests to parishes in the first place — parishioners have no say. (The Catholic Church is not a democracy.) If the Church had paid to replace the roof on the lovely sacristy, as for years Lithuanians petitioned them to do, weddings and Mass attendance would certainly have risen. The Church is selling a cultural and religious place of heritage and history. Fine. Line your pockets as you will, but don’t blame the victims.
Why does DOT continue to ignore the simple and reasonable requests of community boards to re-locate the bike stands where the community feels they would better serve their purpose? Who knows the area better, DOT bureaucrats in their ivory towers or the people who live and work here? Not only CB1, but throughout Manhattan rational requests have been rejected, often leading to expensive lawsuits for the residents and businesses, as well as the City and its taxpayers, who foot the legal bill for the agency’s intransigence. This agency is the worst.
Milda DeVoe Thank you, Milda…. I don’t think that any of the “reasons” for closure in the archdiocesan press releases were actually causal in their decision to close the church. Christina Nakraseive
“BOGARDUS PLAZA DESIGN UNVEILED” (POSTED, SEPT. 25):
thanks to Signe Nielsen and the
Bogardus folks for doing this for the community. Dan Alterman Reade St
“DAVID RECK, POLITICAL ACTIVIST & HUDSON SQ. PIONEER, DIES” (POSTED, SEPT. 25):
I am very glad I got to know David. He was a great neighbor. Sharp and hip and warm and affable. He was always willing to provide his valuable perspective on tenant issues, the parks or art displays on the streets etc. I had not seen him for a couple of years but his name would always come up during discussions about Soho, Hudson Square or Lower Manhattan. My expectation is that his name will continue to come up for a long time to come. He was a remarkable fellow. Lawrence White DowntownExpress.com
BY JANEL BLADOW After a bit of a summer break, I’m back with Seaport Report. While our little neighborhood gem has had plenty of news and events – the daily papers offered plenty of details – while S.R. was on hiatus, we’re back with the things that are important to us neighbors.
NO NEWS IS…
The Howard Hughes Corporation continues to hype its plans for developing South Street/ Fulton Street/Pier 17 as a commercial mecca for shopping and entertainment. While they push forward with their ideas, presentation of those plans has no date in sight. H.H.C. was originally to go before the Seaport Working Group in September, then present at a special meeting with Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee on Oct. 22. That’s also been postponed. H.H.C.’s only scheduled appearance is Nov. 18 before the city Landmarks Preservation Committee for a decision. Mark your calendars!
Anyonelivingnorth of Fulton St. in the Seaport may be interested in attending the Seaport/ Civic Center Committee meeting Tues., Oct. 21, 6 p.m. C.B. 1 member Jason Friedman is making a presentation on “the possible resolution” of Peck Slip Plaza. As of now, the debate continues – trees or no trees. Having done my own informal survey around the ‘hood, the consensus is “no trees.” Residents would like to see Peck Slip turned into a plaza for strolling and sitting, much like those in European cities. That would be in keeping with the design of plazas at the time our neighborhood was created and would preserve the feel of a working seaport. And, I’d like to shout out – whoever decided to put the Citi Bike stand in the plaza has no sense of taste or style. That’s just plain ugly.
Nowinits5thyear, Taste of the Seaport continues to grow. This year the food fest takes on a whole new perspective. Parents of the Spruce Street School (P.S. 397) and Peck Slip School (P.S. 343) join forces to make the event “bigger, better and more enriching to our broader community.” Proceeds will be split between the schools for art, music and other enrichment programs. DowntownExpress.com
The event this year – Sat., Oct. 18, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. ($35 for 5 tastes/$120 family pack for 20 tastes) – has more vendors than ever, ranging (A to Z) from Acqua Restaurant at 21 Peck Slip with fresh Italian specialties to Zaitzeff Burgers (72 Nassau St.) with Kobe beef and veggie offerings, there’s something for every palate. Restaurants from Stone St. such as Ulysses, and John St. like The Trading Post to Water St.’s Mark Joseph, will all serve little plates. “This year we have more than 45 restaurants from the Downtown community, an expanded Kids Zone, beer garden and live music,” said organizer Tami Kurtz, a Seaport resident.
weeks away. Have you picked up a costume yet? As has happened for 25 years now – can you believe our little neighborhood started its Trick or Treat parade in 1989??? Last year, it grew to more than 200 marchers, some of the them the walking dead. Bigger and buggier plans are in the works. The fright fun ramps up on Friday, Oct. 31. This year the party changes a bit. Little tricksters and their parents will gather at 6 p.m. at the east end of Peck Slip Plaza (near South St.), the newly paved portion — thanks to those treatsters from the Parks and Transportation departments. Trick or treaters will meander around to shops and residential buildings that have agreed to hand out treats. Jacqueline Goewey, owner of Made Fresh Daily on Front St. and one of the organizers, is baking an array of “Halloween themed sweets like marshmallow ghost mini cupcakes and camfire s’mores. She’ll have hot cider for kids and adults but, as we all know, many of the adults do their trick or treating at Pasanella & Son on South St.! She’s heading up the event this year along with Bellavia Mauro, Ashley Elitt and Amanda Zink. They are looking for others to help with signing up treat givers, decorating the park beginning at noon the day of and cleaning up the day after Halloween. Email them at email@example.com.
Meanwhile the fright night continues. Again the Salty Paw (38 Peck Slip) kicks up the pup party with its 7th Annual Doggie Howl-O-Ween party! Even though the
Downtown Express file photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Last year’s Taste of the Seaport, which benefits Spruce Street and Peck Slip schools. The fair returns Oct. 18.
parade will be passing by at the same time, canines and their parents will be giving one paw up at the most fun costume contest in town. Raffles, prizes and treats…oh my! All fun for the furry ones in your family. The barkfest is from 6 – 8 p.m.
Onamusical note, Trinity Church holds a Halloween and all Saints Day concert/showing of the 1925 silent movie “The Phantom of the Opera,” accompanied with a live organ and choral improvisation. Members of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street add their vocal and individual instrumental expertise to the fun, Friday, Oct. 31, beginning at 5 pm.
Our own Knickerbocker Chambers Orchestra gives five free concerts this month. Kicking off the Lower Manhattan fall arts season, the free concerts will be every Monday from noon to 2 p.m. at Albany Plaza, a new public space facing the W Hotel on Albany St., just south of the World Trade Center. This week, their string quartet performed, next week (Oct. 13) is a brass quartet, followed by K.C.O. woodwind trio (Oct. 20) and winding up with a K.C.O. string quartet (Oct. 27). In between, everyone is invited to a fee public forum “FDR & NYC: Bold, Persistent Experimentation,” on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 2 pm. It will be a discussion of the interaction between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses and their work in creating the
N.Y.C. we know today. Afterward, about 5 p.m., the K.C.O. will hold a special hour-long performance. Featured music will be the latest installment of K.C.O. Music Director Gary S. Fagin’s “Robert Moses Astride New York,” and a selection of F.D.R.’s favorite songs. Call (845) 486-7745 to register.
SoAccordingto AM New York’s City Living section, a new neighborhood grows among us. Who knew? “Nestled between the East River and the Financial District is the high-rise-filled area of Fulton.” Huh? It pinpoints: “The Fulton area is technically in the eastern part of the Financial District, between Frankfort Street and Park Row to the north and John Street to the south. It goes from the East River west to Nassau Street.” And, the article says Fulton doesn’t have a ton of nightlife (it suggests you go to Battery Park City or Tribeca) but does have “easy access to the South Street Seaport, the city’s historic port at the end of Fulton.” First, FiDi is along the East River and south of Fulton St. and the area they describe would be north and west of it. And second, technically speaking, the South Street Seaport goes north to the Brooklyn Bridge, Dover St. and from the East River west to Pearl St. And Fulton St. east is the main thoroughfare of the Seaport. If you want to create a new neighborhood, get your bearings first. October 9-October 22, 2014
Activities THURS OCTOBER 9- WED. OCTOBER 22
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Art: Come learn art with paper, clay, wood, and paint. Ages 4 and under | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park| 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
DOWNTOWN NEW YORK GHOST TOURS Meet at Wall Street (Exact location given once tickets are purchased) Get in a spooky Halloween mood by exploring cemeteries, haunted sites and the dark back alleys of the oldest neighborhood in New York. Walk with the restless spirits of those driven to madness after the Great Stock Market crash. Don’t lose your head as you try to spot the famous horseman of Kipp’s Bay. Finally, to prove you “ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” drop into one of the filming sites of “Ghostbusters 2”. The tour lasts approximately 90 mins. All ages | $25 – adult, free for kids | Tours 5:30 and 7:30 pm
EVERY THURSDAY UNTIL 10/30
Art & Games: Age 5+ | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park| 3:30-5:30 p.m. EVERY THURSDAY UNTIL 10/30
SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton Street, southstreetseaport.com/events/ Seaport Youthmarket: Youthmarket is a network of urban farm stands operated by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers, and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities throughout New York City. All ages | 12 p.m.-5 p.m. until November 20th NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, ny pl.or g / lo c at ion s / b at te r y-p a rkcity Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers : Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; firstcome first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m. EVERY THURSDAY AT 11:30 A.M.
Music Makers and Story Shakers: Listen to a story and create a hands-on musical project. In this four-week series we will “travel” to four different points on the globe and create musical instruments from those countries.. Limited to 15 children, first-come, firstserved. Ages 4-8 | Free | 4 p.m.
October 9-October 22, 2014
NY KIDS CLUB: PJ PARTY 88 Leonard Street, nykidsclub.com /Open-Play- SpaceFor-K ids- Single-Day- Sig nup / 667/ Tribeca NY Kids Club Pajama Parties: A one-of-a-kind thematic “after hours” celebration for children featuring gym exploration, art, story, cooking, games, relays, and more. All parties culminate in a disco dance party and dinner. “Peter Pan” theme on 10/10. 2.5-8 years | $48 for the first child $24 for each additional sibling | 6-9 p.m. EVERY FRIDAY
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Toddler Story Time: A librarian shares lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 12-36 months | Free |10:30 a.m. SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton Street, southstreetseaport.com/events/
Fulton Stall Market: The Fulton Stall Market marks a return of its local farmer and artisan market to Fulton Street at the Seaport. All ages | Free 12th ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK Citywide, ohny.org/weekend/overview Celebrating the city’s architecture and design, the 12th Annual Open House New York Weekend will once again unlock the city, allowing New Yorkers and tourists alike access to hundreds of sites, talks, tours, performances and family activities in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. From private residences and historic landmarks, to hard hat tours and sustainable skyscrapers, OHNY gives you rare access into the extraordinary architecture of New York City. All ages | Free | various times
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12 OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK WEEKEND FAMILY FESTIVAL See 10/11 for info
MONDAY, OCTOBER 13 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | EVERY MONDAY
Children’s Basketball: Adjustable height hoops and fun drills to improve skills. Close-toed shoes required. Ages 5 – 6 | Free | Drop in | Rockefeller Park | 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., 5-6 year olds, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., 7 & older EVERY MONDAY UNTIL 10/27
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city
Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: Enjoy simple stories, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come firstserved. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m. EVERY TUESDAY AT 11:30 A.M.
“Sesame Street” Party: Dress up like your favorite “Sesame Street” character and join us for a story and crafts followed by an Elmo movie. All ages, but 2-5 will have most fun. | Free | 4 p.m. BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: Have fun passing, shooting & dribbling! Parks programming leaders facilitate the fun. Closed-toe shoes required. Free | Drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park 2:30 – 3:15 p.m., 3-4 year olds 3:30 – 4:15 p.m., 5 to 7 year olds 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., 8 to 11 year olds EVERY TUESDAY THROUGH 10/28
FRIENDS WASHINGTON MARKET PARK Greenwich Street between Duane and Chambers, washingtonmarketpark.org/events/ childrens-tennis-clinics/ Children’s Tennis Clinics: Grouped by age, children receive instruction from the tennis pros — this year from Super Duper Tennis. Ages 7-10 | Free | 3 -5 p.m. 3- 4 p.m. 7-8 year old olds 4 -5 p.m. is for 9-10 year olds
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH 175 North End Ave, 212-790-3499, nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city Toddler Story Time: A librarian will DowntownExpress.com
share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 10:30 a.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 A.M.
Bilingual Birdies Mandarin: This Fall Bilingual Birdies takes you on a journey to honor the changing colors of the leaves, celebrate different fruits for the harvest, explore the sun and the moon, and learn about various modes of transportation. Bilingual musicians teach theme-related vocabulary through live music, dance, and puppetry. All ages | Free | 4 p.m. BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Wagner Park, 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Preschool Play: Interactive play on the lawn. Toys, books, and play equipment provided. Ages 4 and under | Free | Drop in | Wagner Park | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesdays at Teardrop: Come enjoy lawn games and art projects. Art supplies provided. Ages 5 and up | Free | Drop in | Teardrop Park | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
sions kids, build awareness and control of their body, develop social and coordination skills — all while singing, dancing and having fun. Ages 1-4 years old | $15 | 10:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. DOWNTOWN NEW YORK GHOST TOURS See 10/10 for info NY KIDS CLUB: PJ PARTY See 10/10 for info
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time: See 10/11 for info BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Wagner Park, 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org Bird watching: Join a birder/naturalist to learn about the birds that nest and rest in the parks. Binoculars and field guides for adults and children are available. Novice and experienced birders welcome! All ages | Free | Wagner Park | 11 a.m.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21
PICKLE DAY Orchard Street between Delancey and E. Houston lowereastside.org /special- events / pickle-day/ LES Pickle Day will be returning to the Lower East Side for another fun and fascinating year of pickles, pickles, pickles and more pickles! Orchard Street between East Houston and Delancey Streets will be covered in 20+ picklers, 30+ local food and fashion vendors, activities, DJs, live music and our fabulous friends over at Fantasy Grandma! All ages | Free | 12-5 p.m.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Picture Book Time: See 10/14 for info
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Toddler Story Time: See 10/13 for info
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time and Bilingual Birdies Mandarin: See 10/15 for info
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Children’s Basketball: See 10/13 for info
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: See 10/14 for info FRIENDS WASHINGTON MARKET PARK Children’s Tennis Clinics: See 10/14 for info
BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play, Wednesdays at Teardrop and Drop-in Chess: See 10/15 for info
EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/29
Drop-in Chess: Play chess and get pointers from an expert. Ages 5 – 15 | Free | Drop in | Rockefeller Park | 3:30 – 5 p.m. EVERY WEDNESDAY UNTIL 10/24
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Art and Art & Games: See 10/9 for info NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Music Makers and Story Shakers: See 10/9 for info
HARVEST FEST AND SQUARE DANCE Battery Urban Farm, State Street and Pearl Street thebattery.org This event will feature lots of games, a potato sack race, cooking demonstrations and tastings from Whole Foods Market and the Chefs Consortium, a community bake-off, live music from New Carolina and the Calamity Janes, and a big square dance with NYC Barn Dancing’s Dave Harvey and the Calamity Janes! Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Shore Soup, GoGo Grill, and Table Green. All ages | Free | 12 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
LAVENDER BLUES MUSIC: MUSIC & MOVEMENT FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS 28 Washington Street, lavenderbluesmusic.com/home.html,
SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton Street southstreetseaport.com/events/ Taste of the Seaport: A downtown festival benefitting Spruce Street School and Peck Slip School. All ages | $40 for 5 Tastes, Family pack of 20 tastes for $125 | 11 a.m.4:00 p.m.
Lavender Blues is an intimate music & movement session for babies and toddlers. During the 40 minute ses-
DOWNTOWN NEW YORK GHOST TOURS See 10/10 for info
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
CLOTHING & TEXTILES a t GR E ENM A RK E T
Weekly collections at more than 35 Greenmarkets citywide including 57th Street, Abingdon Square, St. Mark’s Church, Tribeca, Tompkins Square, and Union Square. We accept clean and dry textiles like clothing, paired shoes, coats, linens, scarves, hats, bags and belts. Materials will be sorted for reuse or recycling.
www.GrowNYC.org/clothing 212.788.7964 GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education is a NYC Department of Sanitation funded program
October 9-October 22, 2014
The radiant center of all things
ROCOCO ROUGE Presented by Company XIV Conceived,Directed&Choreographed by Austin McCormick Runtime: 90 min. 21 & over admitted Through November 2 Tues.–Sun. at 8 p.m. Oct. 25 show at 10 p.m. only No Oct. 28 show At XIV 428 Lafayette St. (btw. Astor Pl. & E. Fourth St.) Tickets from $55 to $125 Visit companyxiv.com Call 212-677-1444 Facebook.com/CompanyXIV Twitter: @Company_XIV Instagram: CompanyXIV
BY TRAV S.D. (travsd.wordpress.com) Company XIV has single-handedly spoiled it for all of the other New York indie theatre companies as far as I am concerned. They are so bloody good, they speak to me on so many levels, that the bar is too high for most of them to clear, and I’d just as soon stay home. I first learned about the company when assigned to write a feature about them for this very paper back in 2010. Since then I’ve seen them about a half dozen times in venues ranging from the Minetta Lane Theatre to their former headquarters, which was unpleasantly situated near the headwaters of the Gowanus Canal. (Those waters are the very reason the company is no longer based at the Brooklyn location. They were among the unlikely victims of
October 9-October 22, 2014
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
“Rococo Rouge” presents a succession of numbers, jaw-dropping in their beauty, rigorous precision, and illusion of effortlessness.
floods caused by Hurricane Sandy). The displacement had a happy long-term result however, for now they have a splendorous new home. In early September they unveiled their new combination lounge and 100-seat theatre, simply called XIV, fortuitously located on Lafayette Street across from the Public Theater, and a couple of doors down from the Astor Place Theatre, long-time home of Blue Man Group. This little stretch of road is brimming with historical resonance and meaning — it’s been a center for theatrical activity for well over 150 years. The building they’re in on Colonnade Row dates to the 1830s. A symbolic location like this is the perfect place for Company XIV to make their home base. The clue as to why is embedded in their name. The moniker is a nod to the pleasure-loving French monarch Louis XIV (1638-1715), affectionately known to posterity as the “Sun King,” because he aspired to be the radiant center of all things. The resident Sun King of Company
XIV is Austin McCormick, the company’s founder, artistic director and choreographer. McCormick was trained in the archaic art of Baroque dance, and that is the core of what he does, although he incorporates later artistic movements that resonate and productively speak to that original aesthetic, mixing in ideas from the Second Empire, Orientalism, the fin de siècle, Weimar, burlesque, and contemporary pop and hip hop. The bottom line is a striving for the beautiful and the sensual, and McCormick invokes all of the arts to achieve a kind of helpless intoxication: ballet and other types of dance, opera as well as more folkish song forms, poetry, costume, and lighting design all serving the same end. A marked feature of their work is the crossing of boundaries, the mixing together of many notions and ideas. Gender bending plays a strong role, as does the harmonious blending of black and white and the tongues of many lands — Spanish, Italian, German and French are spoken and sung almost as much as English in Company XIV
productions. Darkness and light, humor and pain, fantasy and real-life spectacle are all swirled together. In the tradition of masque and Carnival, Company XIV’s ritual of art is especially well-suited to holidays, and I’ve seen them do Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s shows. Their aesthetic serves them all equally well. In fact, if you were to add the three holiday traditions together you might arrive at something like Company XIV. One has always regretted the lack of an appropriate setting for this elegant troupe; now they have one. The new space reflects the company’s decadent aesthetic, sporting chandeliers, large ornamental gold crowns suspended from the ceiling (evoking their namesake), a blow-up of a poster for a Moulin Rouge show called “Follements,” and a theatre curtain featuring erotic images including depictions of both sex organs. Victorian waiter-girls in silk top hats and ribbons take your drink order. They appear to enjoy their work. Their inaugural show in the new venue — “Rococo Rouge” — is a smasheroo, a kind of solid restatement of the kind of work the company has always done, but also an ambitious announcement about the kind of work they intend to do going forward. Essentially it’s a complex, highly thematic variety show with song and dance being a common denominator, but articulated in so many clever, different ways, it is essentially a vaudeville. Shelly Watson is our hostess, streetsinger, Virgil, madam and opera diva, equal parts Texas Guinan, Sophie Tucker and Marian Anderson. And she guides us through a succession of acts that feels every bit like a menu of some sumptuous repast with nothing but lobster, oysters, caviar, chocolate and champagne. (And something forbidden: say, live monkey’s brains). It opens on an elaborate court dance, the company decked out in carnal red, waving fans, and then a succession of Continued on page 23
CompanyXIVinvokesallofthearts Continued from page 22
numbers, each fairly jaw-dropping in their beauty, rigorous precision, and illusion of effortlessness. Every single artist in the collaboration is extraordinary. Many of the numbers remind one of the acrobatic roots of early ballet; and we come close to the artistry of the circus with an aerial act, a pole dance, and a show-stopping cyr wheel. The latter is done by a female dancer in male drag as a macho Italian man (later to be balanced out in the show by a male dancer in female drag who lip-syncs). One vignette is set to the “Habanera” from “Carmen.” Watson closes out the show with the old Peggy Lee classic “Is That All There Is?” (which Mistress Astrid used to use at a closer at the now defunct Va Va Voom Room). Achingly beautiful scenic effects are achieved: a never-ending snow of shimmering red glitter flutters to the ground, where it seemingly vanishes. A can-can dance demonstrates the amazing effects that
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
“Rococo Rouge” opens on an elaborate court dance, the company decked out in carnal red, waving fans.
can be achieved by moving colored fabric in dim light — it made me realize how the “Serpentine” dances of Loïe Fuller must have evolved. I only caught a couple of names. Katrina Cunningham is a gorgeous chanteuse. Rob Mastrianni is a kick-
ass classical guitarist and electric sitar player. (He even got me clapping to his difficult rhythms, and I never clap with crowds in time to music!) But as I said, every single person in the cast is extraordinary, and they all feed into this almost cosmic sense of true collaboration, a
group of people coming together to make something that is somehow a part of all of them. And when the show was over, people were audibly bummed. In sum, I propose that you get there as quickly as possible. The night I went, the audience was a mix of tourists and bold-faced names like Nolé Marin from “America’s Next Top Model” and former Village Voice dance editor and critic Elizabeth Zimmer. Reigning royalty of New York’s burlesque scene are to be found there every night. And mysterious characters. In the audience behind us was an amazing trio of African American gents decked out in matching grey top hats, tails, scarves and KILTS. We predict that in the wake of the buzz that’s already circulating, the audience will be composed entirely of people like THOSE guys — and those tourists in their kickin’-around clothes won’t be able to get within five miles of the place. “Rococo Rouge” plays through November 2, to be followed no doubt by something equally breath-taking.
15 to 19
All venues in Midtown, Manhattan.
Come to any session and get a complimentary glass of Dark Horse wine*! *You must be 21 or older.
October 9-October 22, 2014
Just Do Art play when The Ann Hampton Two hands would be more Callaway Trio performs (witty than enough in most towns, between-song banter includbut it won’t get the job done if ed in price of admission). you want to count the number The winner of our of Village jazz venues offerGIVEAWAY will receive ing classic, contemporary two tickets, compliments and cutting-edge music until of this newspaper and the the wee small hours of the morning. A half-decade ago, Photo by Bill Westmoreland Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. To the Greenwich Village-Chelsea enter, send an email to Jazz@TheVillager. Chamber of Commerce began to recognize iconic jazz artists by hosting Village com, along with your phone number (only enter once, please). A winner will Jazz Alive. This swanky, swinging, fall destination event pays tribute to singers, be selected at random, and contacted by phone on Oct. 20. If you want to guaranmusicians, and composers who contribtee attendance, visit bit.ly/VillageJazzAlive, ute to Greenwich Village’s enduring music where your purchase of VIP tickets will culture. This year, Ann Hampton Callaway include a meet and greet reception with joins the ranks of past honorees Odetta, Ann and a signed CD. Regular admission Art D’Lugoff, Randy Weston and Arturo includes free drinks, appetizers and a Sandoval. Admired throughout the world performance by the Trio. The event takes as a singer, composer, arranger, lyricist, place on Wed., Oct. 22, 7–9 p.m. at the producer and educator, Callaway’s distinct Metropolitan Room (34 W. 22nd St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). voice and impressive range will be on dis-
summer Starting June 23rd n
Programs for students of ALL AGES! Music & Art Camps Private & Group Instrumental
From the stunning Greek revival parlor to the modest fourth floor Irish servants’ quarters to their extensive collection of clothing, housewares and furnishings used by the Tredwell family over the course of nearly a century, it’s easy to sing the praises of the Merchant’s House Museum — NYC’s only family home preserved intact from the mid-1800s era. Not so easy to sing are the vocal pyrotechnics of The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. This foursome with fearsome pipes will soon return to the abnormally paranormal Merchant’s House, for “Chant Macabre: Songs From the Crypt.” It’s their annual program of ghoulish music by 19th-century composers Schubert, Carl Loewe, Schumann, MacDowell, Liszt, Debussy, Mussorgsky, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, and Strauss — as well as somewhat lighter (yet fittingly dark-themed) ballads and vaudeville selections from the same period. They’re all performed in
the aforementioned Victorian parlor — where museumgoers have reported phantom notes from the non-functioning piano and snoring from an unoccupied sofa (past BSESS audiences have sworn they saw a ghostly concertgoer dressed in period attire). This event always sells out (proceeds benefit the Museum), so reservations are strongly recommended. Call 212-777-1089 or visit merchantshouse. org — where you’ll find info on other “spirited” October events, including their spine-tingling late-month Ghost Tours and an Oct. 21 Ghost Hunting 101 lecture by frequent Merchant’s House paranormal investigator Dan Sturges. “Chant Macabre” happens Fri., Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Tickets are $25, $15 for Museum members.
—S cott Stiffler
YOUR FOOD SCRAP at Greenmarket
Drop off household fruit and vegetable scraps at 38 Greenmarkets citywide including
Abingdon Square, St. Mark’s Church, Tribeca, Tompkins Square & 57th Street www.GrowNYC.org/compost | 212.788.7964
Birthday Parties & Space Rentals
74 Warren Street www.churchstreetschool.org 24
CHANT MACABRE: SONGS FROM THE CRYPT
October 9-October 22, 2014
GrowNYC and DSNY Food Scrap Compost Program A program partnership between the City of New York, the NYC Department of Sanitation, GrowNYC, and community partners.
To market, to market with more Downtown homes
BY LAU R E N P R IC E Lower Manhattan in recent decades has established a strong record of land use conversions. Since 1995, 16 million square feet of office space have changed use, creating nearly 14,000 residential units and 350 hotel rooms. Most of that shift was spurred by the city’s 421-g Tax Incentive Program, which provided a real estate tax exemption and abatement for conversion of commercial buildings, or portions of buildings, into multiple dwellings. The program applied to much of Manhattan south of Murray St., City Hall, and the Brooklyn Bridge. In the wake of 9/ 11, $1.6 billion in triple-tax-exempt Liberty Bond financing also ensured the revitalization of a district many city leaders — unnecessarily, as it turned out — worried could spiral into a serious slump. According to the second quarter 2014 report from the Downtown Alliance, residential inventory continues to expand south of Chambers St. The area is now home to an estimated 61,000 residents who live in 30,500
units in 323 mixed-use and residential buildings. That population represents a near tripling since the attack on the World Trade Center. In the pipeline of upcoming residential projects are 2,200 new residential units in 10 buildings currently under construction. They include 70 Pine near Pearl St., which will be completed by the end of this year, the final phase of 20 Exchange Pl. which will be ready for moving in next spring, The expected completion of the nine-story penthouse known as the Woolworth Residence at 233, in the iconic tower on Broadway, and the Four Seasons Residences at 30 Park Place, near Church St., in 2016. Lower Manhattan’s median rent has reached $3,550, rising three percent since the previous quarter and six percent year-over-year, according to data provided by Miller Samuel/Douglas Elliman. Also, according to the same report, the number of new rentals increased 11 percent. Total unit sales jumped 26 percent since the previous quarter and 14 percent year-over-year, making the current market the most
Photo by Platinumpropertiesnyc.com
The living and dining space of a 4,500-square-foot loft at 88 Franklin Street.
active since 2011 and besting trends seen elsewhere in Manhattan. The average price per square foot increased a strong 16 percent year-over-year to $1,271, ahead of the pace seen across
Manhattan as a whole. According to Zillow, the median price for available homes in Tribeca Continued on page 26
New Homes Personalized Just For You Starting From $279,900
October 9-October 22, 2014
More real estate coming to Lower Manhattan’s market Continued from page 25
is $4.45 million, with a median listing price per square foot of $2,157. Median rent in the second quarter stood at $6,711 versus $2,178 for the city overall. By comparison, the Lower East Side, despite its rapid gentrification and proliferation of chic restaurants and nightspots, is a relative bargain. There, the median list price per square foot is $843, a number that is still a good bit higher than the citywide average of $507. The median price of currently listed homes on the Lower East Side is $650,000 and median rent stands at $2,995. Originally converted from a public elementary school to a condominium two years ago, the School House at 371 Madison St. near Jackson St. on the Lower East Side is offering rental units with seven-foot-high sleeping lofts, some with an extra room that would be perfect as a home office or additional sleeping space. Square footage ranges from 542 to 1,810 square feet. Standout amenities include an
indoor swimming pool that is nearly Olympic-sized, a resident’s lounge, two landscaped courtyards with fountains, and doorman services. Marketed and leased by Modern Spaces, currently available no-fee monthly rents starts at $2,900. One of the tallest residential towers in New York, 50 West, at Rector St., is slated for completion next fall. A curtain wall development from Time Equities, it will feature one- to five-bedroom units, including a duplex penthouse, ranging from 1,045 to 9,000 square feet and floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of New York Harbor and the Hudson and East Rivers. Sold through the Marketing Directors, prices range from $1.665 million to $18.63 million. (50westnyc.com) A loft apartment with about 3,300 square feet to roam around in, located at 28 Laight St. between Hudson and Varick Sts., is currently on the market. This residence boasts four exposures and includes original details such as whitewashed ceiling joists, exposed whitewashed brick, a wood-burning fireplace, and wide-plank maple floors.
Photo by Modern Spaces
A converted public elementary school on the Lower East Side now has rental units available.
It also features three bedrooms, including a double-size master suite with a sitting room. Priced at $5.995 million, it’s listed with Town Residential. Another loft, this one with about 4,500 square feet, is being marketed at 88 Franklin St. at Church St., an 1880 building originally engineered as a sewing factory. The residence includes 50-foot south-facing frontage
adorned with energy efficient double-paned custom milled solid windows and 10-inch-wide hickory floors. This five-bedroom loft was restored, maintaining much of the original details, including wood beams, 11-foot ceilings, and a steel wheel mounted on an exposed brick wall that was used in the old freight elevator. The asking price is $8 million.
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October 9-October 22, 2014
Arverne By The Sea
October 9-October 22, 2014
OUR BRAND-NEW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT IS NOW OPEN. AND WE HOPE YOU NEVER GET TO SEE IT. INTRODUCING THE RONALD O. PERELMAN CENTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES. 570 FIRST AVENUE AT 33RD STREET. We’ve completely rebuilt our emergency department since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. State-of-the-art improvements have been made, and it’s now triple the size of the former ED, with treatment areas that have room for families at bedside. We provide experts in virtually every specialty to handle emergencies for both adults and children, and specialized teams on call for stroke and heart attack. But to truly appreciate our new emergency department at Tisch Hospital, you have to see it in person. And we hope you never get to do that. To learn more, visit nyulmc.org/emergency
October 9-October 22, 2014
DOWNTOWN EXPRESS, OCT. 9, 2014