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Serving Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Seaport and the Financial District VOLUME 31, NUMBER 9

MAY 17 – MAY 30, 2018

Happy Holi-day!

Hundreds celebrate Hindu festival of colors on Governors Island Page 9 Photo by Milo Hess

Hundreds of participants gathered on Governors Island on May 12 to enjoy great musing food, dancing, and of course throwing brightly colored power at each of that the island’s ninth-annual Holi Hai festival of colors. For more on the fun, see page 9.

Meet the new Also in this issue 1st Pct. CO Silver convicted — again Page 7 Page 10 1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 18 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C

New look for the NYSE Page 4


Church of the resurrection Trinity closes for two-year, $100-million ‘rejuvenation’ and expansion project BY COLIN MIXSON Lower Manhattan’s oldest church closed its doors last week for a twoyear, $100-million renovation, which will expand and modernize the historic house of worship to accommodate a growing flock of latter-day pilgrims, according to the church’s rector. “We’re excited that this will provide more space for people Downtown and visitors from around the world to worship, and to attend concerts and lectures,” said Rev. Dr. William Lupfer of Trinity Church. “The whole point of doing this is for the community to gather around things we all value, and come together Downtown.” The 172-year-old Episcopal church, which first opened on Broadway at the foot of Wall Street in 1846 as the third incarnation of the 321-year-old parish, will benefit from some longoverdue renovation work which will mostly pass unseen among worshippers, consisting mostly of electrical, plumbing, and plaster work, although the aging stained-glass windows lining the church’s clerestory will be

replaced with new designs, according to Lupfer. A far more noticeable aspect of the multi-million-dollar project will be the redesign of Trinity’s chancel — where the choirs sing and the reverends preach — that will see the section more closely resemble architect Richard Upjohn’s original vision for the church, before it was expanded sometime in the ’70s to “capture the style of worship at the time,” according to Lupfer. “It brought the liturgical action closer to the people,” the reverend said. “What we’re doing is bringing the people closer to the liturgical action.” The new work will see the chancel cut down in size to permit the enlargement of Trinity’s knave, which should be able to accommodate an additional 140 congregants at a parish that sees about 850 worshippers every Sunday, or about twice as many people as the church served in 2008, the reverend said. “Downtown is a much more vibrant community now, so we’re going to bring it back to the original formation and

Associated Press Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architect

In this undated artist rendering, clergy walk beneath the new canopy at Trinity Church planned as part of the two-year, $98 million renovation of the church getting underway this week.

we’ll have many more seats than we did,” said Lupfer. A new pipe organ will replace the digital one currently in use, which itself replaced a previous traditional organ destroyed by the dust that settled over

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phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

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May 17 - May 30, 2018

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Warming up the frozen zone Downtown Alliance unveils plan to make NYSE security area a welcoming plaza BY COLIN MIXSON They want to make Wall Street’s forbidding “security zone� feel as comfortable as a security blanket. The business boosters at the Downtown Alliance unveiled plans on May 14 for transforming the notoriously prickly high-security area protecting the New York Stock Exchange into a lively pedestrian plaza more welcoming to locals and tourists alike. First and foremost, the proposed redesign aims to configure the streetscape to how it’s actually used, now that car traffic has been largely banished. “This is a largely pedestrian-ized zone,� said Alliance president Jessica Lappin. “If you were to design it today, you would never design it like this,� she said, indicating the narrow sidewalks, curbs, and empty, unused roads. The Alliance showed off renderings of a Wall Street area without roads or sidewalks, in favor open space, ample seating and greenery — one of several alterations proposed to make the highsecurity zone surrounding the New

York Stock Exchange a more friendly place for area residents, workers, and tourists. The security zone — three-square blocks of dense urban real estate bounded by police checkpoints, barriers, and interdiction devices — was hastily cordoned off in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and its architects’ concern for safety over comfort is evident in the lack of seating, poor lighting, sparse greenery, and inadequate signage throughout the area, according to Lappin. In response, Alliance bigwigs and local property owners collaborated on a nine-month study to devise a master plan for reworking the streetscape around the stock exchange at Wall and Broad streets, with a focus on improving the pedestrian experience and easing freight deliveries, while also making sure the area still feels like the beating heart of America that it is, according New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. “This is truly one of the most historic spots in the entire world,� said

Downtown Alliance

A report commissioned by the Downtown Alliance proposes the installation of new signs and outdoor furniture, which would support growing beds for foliage.

Farely, noting that George Washington was sworn in at nearby Federal Hall, and that Alexander Hamilton wrote the country’s financial plan in his office, also located within the security zone. The Alliance proposed eliminating

sidewalks as a way of creating additional space to accommodate the area’s everincreasing throngs of pedestrian visitors. Researchers recently found the pedestriZONE Continued on page 18

 

  

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Cops busted a man after he allegedly tried to swipe a guy’s camera on Canal Street on May 11. The victim told police the suspect grabbed onto the pricey Fuji camera he was holding between Church Street and Broadway at 6:46 pm, and punched him a few times in the head as he attempted to wrestle away the gadget. But the 28-year-old target proved more than a match for this would-be robber, according to police, who said the cameraman managed to hold onto his property throughout the ordeal until the alleged mugger gave up and fled. The suspect was busted later that day with help from the victim, who pointed him out for police, cops said.

THROWN PHONE Some goon hurled a cellphone at a man waiting for an A train at Fulton Street on May 11. The victim told police he became embroiled in an argument with the attacker on the A train platform at the station near Nassau Street at 5:12 pm, as the wacko blathered about how the victim was too close to him. The middle-aged man attempted to walk away from the nutcase, and that’s when the lunatic threw his cellphone at him, striking him in the back of his head, cops said. The victim was treated by paramedics, who took him to Lower Manhattan Hospital for further treatment, according to police. The cellphone assailant remains at large, cops said.

CYCLE SWIPE A thief rode off with a man’s bicycle that he had chained up on Front Street on May 11. The victim told police he locked his bike near John Street when he stepped into a nearby restaurant for some supper at 7 pm, and that he returned about an hour and a half later to find that his ride, valued at more than $1,345, was gone.

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A scribbling robber nabbed $1,000 from a Broadway bank on May 7. A bank teller told police the crook entered the business between Fulton and Ann streets at 2:10 pm, and passed over a note that read, “Do not press alarm! $3,000 large bills. I will shoot! Move quickly.” The teller met the robber just shy of the middle, and handed him a cool grand

before he fled, cops said.

PICK-PURSE A thief made off with a woman’s wallet he nabbed from her purse aboard a 4 train near Bowling Green on May 14. The victim told police she boarded the crowded train at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall station at 9 am, but that when she checked her bag 15 minutes later at Bowling Green, she discovered her wallet had been stolen. The woman was later notified by her bank that several unauthorized charges at an MTA vending machine were billed to her card, cops said.

BEAUTY CRIME A pair of thieves stole more than $1,400 worth of makeup from a North End Avenue drug store on April 30. An employee told police the crooks waltzed into the pharmacy between Warren and Murray streets at 3:33 pm, and proceeded to snag no less than 70 bottles of foundation and face cream before fleeing past the register with their ill-gotten beauty products.

CUTTING REMARK A shoplifter pulled a knife on the employee of a Fulton Street department store on May 5 after the worker tried to stop him from sneaking off with stolen clothes. The employee told police he caught the crook making his way past the checkout at the store between Water and South streets with a sweater and pair of pants at 2:50 pm. When he moved to intercept the thief, the goon pulled out a silver blade. “Do you want to get cut?” the reprobate growled before fleeing towards the Hudson on Fulton Street.

JOY RIDE A thief drove off with a man’s car that he left running outside a Pearl Street parking lot on May 5. The victim told police he left his 2015 Ford sedan purring outside the garage between Peck Slip and Beekman Street at 7:50 am, and returned five minutes later to discover some crook had hopped in and taken it for a ride. Police found the car near the intersection of John and Pearl streets about 20 minutes later, and recovered surveillance footage the showed the thief hightailing it away from the car on foot, still in possession of the victim’s keys. — Colin Mixson

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There’s a new sheriff in town BY COLIN MIXSON The city’s fastest-growing neighborhood is now protected by one of the NYPD’s fastest-rising officers. Lower Manhattan’s First Police Precinct got a new commanding officer earlier this month, and it turns out he’s something of a prodigy. Captain Angel Figueroa has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks, which took him from patrolman to the upper echelons the NYPD brass in little more than a decade — and if that’s not a record, it’s got to be close, the precinct’s new CO said. “It’s very fast,” said Figueroa. “In total it was 10 years, three months. It’s not the fastest ever, but its definitely one of them.” Figueroa started out as a patrolman in 2005, but he wouldn’t attain the rank of sergeant until 2011, after scoring well on a highly competitive civil service exam to qualify for the supervisory rank, he said. And after that, Figueroa rose through the ranks at a blistering speed. He made Lieutenant two years later, and by 2015 he was toting a captain’s insignia and began serving as second in command

Community News Group / Colin Mixson

Captain Angel Figueroa took over command of the First Precinct on May 3.

in a succession of Manhattan precincts, including the 9th and 10th precincts, and at Midtown South before taking over as leader of a special police unit tasked with protecting Times Square. And while Figueroa benefits from an academic mind — he taught courses on police science and criminal justice at John Jay College as an adjunct profes-

sor before making captain — the First Precinct’s new CO says there’s another, better reason to explain his quick ascent through the ranks. He wanted to make a difference. “The biggest drive was me being a family man and knowing what I wanted,” Figueroa said. “Being a supervisor in the NYPD, to have the most effect on peoples lives, not only on the community, but to have a positive effect on my officers and subordinates, that was the driving factor. It’s the ‘want’ factor.” Figueroa, who started at the Downtown police precinct on May 3, has spent the past few weeks getting to know his new command, beginning with the officers serving under him, before moving on to study issues affecting the community, he said. In Lower Manhattan, the criminal landscape is dominated by grand larcenies, which is the theft of any property above $1,000, and is a criminal enterprise fueled largely by the relative ease in shoplifting small, but pricey items from the many upscale fashion boutiques and other high-end stores throughout the area. “It’s definitely a precinct that’s driv-

en by grand larceny, there’s no doubt about it,” the captain said. “Mostly out of retail stores and pharmacy chains — high-cost property that’s being stolen, that can be easy to conceal. You walk out with a belt that’s over a $1,000, it’s a grand larceny.” But Figueroa said he wants to pay special attention to the precinct’s recently launched neighborhood policing program, a department-wide attempt to put a new spin on the classic beat cop, and which the captain became familiar with during his service at the 9th Precinct, where he presided over the program’s rollout in the Lower East Side. Figueroa described the program as a potent tool for gathering intelligence from shopkeepers and residents, especially when it comes to combating everyday quality-of-life issues that plague the fastest growing residential community in New York City. “I’m definitely looking to address quality of life issues,” Figueroa said. “My NCO’s are going to be tasked with doing graffiti cleanups, they’re going to be tasked with addressing a various quality of life issues, which could include unlicensed vendors.”

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BY LENORE SKENAZY Little Red Riding Hood went into the woods to take a basket of bread and jam to her ailing grandmother. On her way there she met a wolf, who asked where she was going and when Red Riding Hood told him, the wolf replied, “Oh my God, I haven’t visited my grandmother in, like, a month!” Guiltily he slunk off to gather some nuts for his vegan grandmother, who was delighted to see him, and asked him why he was still single. On the way home the wolf and Red Riding Hood ran into each other again and agreed: Visiting grandma is something you should do. And that, my friends, is how some people, somewhere, are introducing their children to the fabulous world of fairy tales. A study of 2,000 parents commissioned by a British website called “musicMagpie” found that one quarter of moms and dads change parts of the story when they read them to kids. Generally, this is because they think the original tale is too disturbing for tots to handle. And at the top of their “to alter” list is Little Red, because in the original version, the wolf runs ahead, gobbles granny up, and dons the lady’s clothing. Little Red Riding Hood comes by and marvels, “Why grandmother, what big arms you have!” and feet, and eyes, etc., etc., right down to the big teeth, which are, of course, the issue at hand. Depending on which version you read, quick-thinking Little Red Riding Hood dives into the closet and stays there until a passing woodsman saves her, or, slower-thinking, Little Red gets gobbled, but then a woodsman slices the wolf open to liberate both the girl

Posted To CITY WANTS TO MOVE CHARGING BULL TO NYSE ALONG WITH FEARLESS GIRL, BUT ARTIST STANDS GROUND (MAY 10) This exposes precisely why DeBlasio is such a fan of regimes like Castro and the Sandinistas — he shares their tyrannical impulses. I’m right, you’re wrong and consequently shut up and go away. Democracy: not really a thing for him and his ilk. Michael

and her grandmother (both miraculously unchewed, despite said teeth). Or if you read the version I grew up with — “The Blue Fairy Book,” by Charles Perrault — Little Red gets devoured and that’s the end of the story. And her. What does it mean when parents find this too cruel a fate to expose their kids to? After all, this same study found that about a fourth of all parents abhor the Gingerbread Man for the same reason (being eaten alive) even though the Gingerbread Man is, well, gingerbread! Three in 10 hate on Hansel and Gretel because the kids are left alone in the forest. (Without cellphones!) And 25 percent feel the Ugly Duckling encourages body shaming. Which, of course, it does — if you are a duck. What’s galling is not that parents ad lib. What’s galling is that they think fairy tales are not supposed to be disturbing. Obviously, a tale where a child gets devoured was never meant to be sweet. It was meant to scare the crackers out of any kid who doesn’t do what mama says. (Little Red Riding Hood begins with her mom instructing her to go straight to grandma’s. Instead she not only talks to the wolf, she picks flowers and generally dawdles her way to disaster.) Aside from basic “Listen to your parents” instruction, telling our kids scary stories is the bedtime version of letting them go outside — another classic childhood activity being curtailed

I call Bull* on DiModica. The City should charge DiModica rent for the space. I read that DiModica makes sure he gets the money off every sale of souvenirs or use of images of this sculpture that he originally dumped Downtown as a publicity stunt. Some years ago it seems he tried to sell it for $5 million, but the buyer would have to donate it to the City and there were no takers. Why buy his “poor abused artist” shtick? Certainly, he has a right to the images, etc. But to claim the City has

for “safety’s sake.” Fairy tales, like life, are sometimes surprising, and sometimes a little frightening, but the more that kids encounter them, the braver they become. Or think of climbing a tree. Kids go up a little higher each time, as they acclimate to the challenge. Reading and re-reading fairy tales, they acclimate to fear. Then they triumph over it. Once upon a time, humans understood that. The original version of Little Red Riding Hood can be traced to about 1000 A.D. What does that say about us that only this latest generation of kids can’t handle it? Or rather, that we think our kids can’t handle it? Should every fairy tale start out with a boy and a girl going into the woods, accompanied by a background-checked nanny, wisely avoiding the candy house (Cavities! Sugar rush!), gathering some leaves for a class project, and hurrying home so they have time for homework and lacrosse before a dinner of braised quinoa? How didactic do we have to be? I recently read about a children’s bible that tells kids, “And then Jesus went away.” To where? Paris? Acapulco? A cruise? Did he enjoy the trip? If parents find an age-old story so traumatizing that they don’t want their kids to read it — fine. Tuck it away for a later date. But treating this generation as more fragile than any other is insulting and untrue. Kids are as fragile as we make them. If generations have heard a story and turned around and told it to their own kids, it’s probably a tale that should live happily ever after. Lenore Skenazy president of Let Grow, and founder of Free-Range Kids.

no right to move it from a City Park to another location? Hubris. Griz Downtown The main thing is that the Bull is beloved by people. It’s like the Lipstick Building, or the knoll in the middle of Tompkins Square park. When something is “accidentally good” it should become protected. DeModica may be raking it in now, but his original intent was good, and it cost him bundle at the time. Paul J. Bosco DowntownExpress.com


Cacophony of colors brings harmony

Photo by Erica Price

Photo by Milo Hess

Festival of colors on Governors Island BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The East Coast’s largest Holi Hai festival took over Governors Island on May 12. The traditional Hindu festival was a hit for thousands of New Yorkers — and the drizzling rain and chilly temperatures didn’t stop the music, dance and powdered colors for the 9th-annual NYC Holi Hai celebration. “Even in that weather, it was a fully packed event, which was a surprise,” said Himani Dudeja, who moved from Delhi, India to New York three years ago. This year’s Governors Island Holi Hai festival was the first Holi celebration she celebrated in the U.S. — attending with husband and 2-year-old daughter, Akira. “She loved playing with the colors,” Dudeja said of her daughter. “She loved throwing colors at me and my husband. She enjoyed it the most out of the three of us.” Dudeja and her family nearly didn’t go on Saturday morning due to the threat of nasty weather. But when they arrived, they stayed for over five hours, enjoying a spectacle of dance, music, food, and, of course, colors. Their experience was exactly what one of the festival organizers was hoping to share. “My idea is to bring world dance and music together with colorful festivities of Holi for a unique cultural celebration,” said Megha Kalia, founder and producer of the festival representing NYC Bhangra Dance Company. Indian, DowntownExpress.com

African and Latin dance styles took the stage at the festival. Kalia herself led a dance workshop to Punjabi drum beats. Performers also included classical Indian dancers from the Kathak Ensemble and Friends dancing to Indian Raga’s Irish Malhar and an interpretation on Jason Derulo’s song, Swalla. “I go to the festival every year,” said Vishally Ahmed of Staten Island. “It’s part of tradition — the Hindu tradition — to represent our culture. So we had a lot of fun — enjoyed the food, the fun, the people. I grew up doing that all of my life.” Ahmed grew up celebrating Holi in Guyana, in South America, and said the festival brings people together for a time of happiness and prosperity. The host of the Governor’s Island Holi festival, Kalia, does a “beautiful job for us,” Ahmed said. “She did a phenomenal job,” Ahmed said. “We got in there for free. We enjoyed ourselves. It was all about the music, the food, the colors.” Indian street food, American burgers, tacos, and vegan crepes were among the variety of local food vendors. The Chaat Company and North Indian midtown restaurant Bukhara Grill were also serving food. As great as the food, the music and the dancing was, the main event was celebrating the arrival of spring by dousing each other with brightly colored powders. Though essentially a Hindi ritual,

Photos by Milo Hess

(Above) Himani Dudeja and her husband brought their 2-yearold daughter Akira, who loved the colorful celebration. (Right) Vishally Ahmed, at left with friends Amanda and Mina, grew up celebrating Holi in Guyana, in South America.

the “festival of colors” appeals across ethnicities and culture, drawing people of all backgrounds to the Governors Island panoply of pigment for a truly satisfying experience. Another attendee, Meena Anand, last went to a Holi festival in Ohio back in 2016. And she said that Saturday’s celebration at Governors Island was

her first in New York and among the best Holi festivals she’s attended in her life. The Holi festival is incredibly symbolic for Anand, and the celebration of a variety of cultures and ethnicities was a “fantastic experience.” “It means more to me when I see the whole world celebrating,” she said. May 17 - May 30, 2018

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Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on multiple corruption charges for a second time on May 14

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BY COLIN MIXSON He had one Shel of a ride! Disgraced Downtown power broker Sheldon Silver was convicted on corruption charges — for a second time — on May 14, after a jury found him guilty — again — of engaging in a quidpro-quo racketeering scheme that netted him millions of dollars in return for political favours. The once-powerful former Assembly Speaker serving Lower Manhattan for three decades was first convicted of accepting some $4 million in kickbacks from real estate developers and a mesothelioma doctor in 2015, but “Shelly� managed to buck the jury’s guilty verdict on appeal thanks to a Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the definition of corruption. An appeals court ruled in 2017 that jurors had received improper instructions on what does and doesn’t constitute corruption, but former Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said the court’s decision was not based on lack of evidence,

and vowed a retrial. Silver’s second trial lasted a brisk five days, and resulted in a unanimous verdict from jurors, according to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “Sheldon Silver ... took an oath to act in the best interests of the people of New York State,� Berman said. “As a unanimous jury found, he sold his public office for private greed.� Governor Cuomo, who once ruled the Empire State alongside Shelly as one of the so-called “three men in a room,� condemned the former Assembly Speaker’s corruption in a one-line press release. “The justice system shows no one is above the law,� he said. On his way out of the courthouse following his second conviction, Silver vowed to fi le yet another appeal, according to a New York Times report. “I’m very confident the judicial process will play out in my favor,� he told the Times.

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District with proposed Special Permit for new hotel development M1 district where new hotel development would be exempt from hotel Special Permit due to Proposal Zoning district or overlay where new hotel development would still be permitted; no Special Permit proposed

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Reggie Thomas. “So I think that concern will be included in the resolution.” A large chunk of tony Soho includes M1 zoning, for example, and making hotel development more cumbersome there would make it more likely for new projects to locate a few blocks south below Walker Street, where building would require no special permits or public review. Record-breaking tourist numbers are fueling a city-wide hotel boom, with most growth concentrated in M1 zones. One in 10 existing hotel rooms are located in M1 zones, as well as a third of all new hotel rooms under construction. To manage this hostel takeover, the Department of City Planning wants to change zoning rules to require getting a special permit to build hotels in M1 zones through a lengthy public review process called the Uniform Land Use

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BY SYDNEY PEREIRA The city is pushing a zoning change creating more hurdles for hotel developer in the outer boroughs and parts of Manhattan, but Downtowners fear the move would just push even more hotels into Lower Manhattan. The zoning amendment would require hotel developers to obtain a special permit through a lengthy public review process before building in manufacturing districts known as M1 zones, where hospitality development has boomed in recent years. But making it harder to build hotels in those zones will likely have a “spillover” effect on Downtown, where hoteliers can build as of right, according to the co-chair of Community Board 1’s land-use committee, which is crafting a resolution on the city’s proposal. “Hotel developers will prefer to develop in as-of-right districts, which is most of Community Board 1,” said

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Very few areas in Downtown would be directly affected by proposed rule changes for M1 zones (orange) but hotel developments pushed out of M1 zones would likely flock to the many as-of-right areas Downtown (light blue).

HOTELS Continued on page 18

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Wave vs. glacier Slow pace of resiliency plans set to leave Downtown at risk for many years to come BY SYDNEY PEREIRA Nearly six years after Hurricane Sandy devastated swathes of Lower Manhattan, doing billions of dollars in damage, Downtown is no better protected from the next superstorm than it was the day after according to city officials tasked with disaster preparedness. And the situation isn’t going to improve anytime soon, according to the latest update Community Board 1 got from city agencies in charge of disaster response and resiliency efforts. Reps from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency and Office of Emergency Management outlined plans for short-term and long-term fixes aimed at protecting Lower Manhattan from floods and storm surges, and the upshot was that nothing is going to happen soon. The short-term fixes — temporary barriers to hold back flood waters — won’t even be in place until 2019, seven years after Sandy. And the more ambitious long-term adaptations of

Downtown’s landscape and infrastructure to better resist flooding are barely even on the drawing board, much less in the budget. Members of CB1’s resiliency subcommittee, formed back in January is hoping to educate Downtowners about the looming impact climate change will have on their community and press the city for answers about future preparations, were underwhelmed by what city officials offered as an update. The short-term measures would include a line of barriers running along South Street from Wall Street to Catherine Slip, according to Emergency Management’s design. Two types of barriers — Hesco barriers and Tiger Dams — would be installed. Hesco barriers are wire mesh containers around four-feet high lined with fabric and filled with sand, designed to stand for five years after installation. Tiger Dams are more temporary barriers — large, water-filled tubes that would be deployed within a few days of an incoming storm, once an

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More than fi ve and a half years after Sandy devastated Lower Manhattan the city still has no idea how to fund its massive Downtown storm-protection project known as Manhattan Tip meant to wrap the Downtown waterfront with elaborate infrastructure to mitigate catastrophic storm surges.

rier is the longest installation planned under the Interim Flood Protection Measures program, she said. The temporary barriers are meant a relatively inexpensive stop gap measure until more permanent, long-term, and expensive solutions can be designed and funded. Hesco barriers cost around $200 per linear foot, and Tiger Dams are around $100 per linear foot, though the latter can vary because they are made in various lengths and diameters, according to Rosen. The long term study found that over the next 80 years, 11 percent of buildings in Lower Manhattan overall will be at increased risk of monthMayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (Right) Tiger Dams are sturdy tubes that can be quickly ly tidal inununfurled as needed and filled with water to create an instant dation, which barrier against storm surges. (Left) Hesco barriers are semi- amounts to permanent structures fabric-lined wire mesh filled with some $4 bilsand which are meant to stand for fi ve years. lion worth of properties at “It takes a considerable amount of risk. Considering the Financial District review from various agencies and vari- alone, the percentage of at-risk buildous stakeholders,” said Suzan Rosen, ings nearly triples. At the April CB1 meeting, Justin mitigation program manager in the city’s Schultz of HR&A, the real estate conOffice of Emergency Management. The Seaport is an interesting site sulting firm that conducted the study for in particular, she said, because of its city, also brought up a lesser-known risk place as a tourist attraction. There is known as groundwater table rise. As sea more traffic, businesses, developments, levels rise, saltwater beneath the ground museums — not to mention residents pushes up the fresh groundwater table — forming a host of stakeholders who under the land. As the water table rises, the ground will become less stable, have concerns about the barriers. “It is such a large concept that we which is expected to destabilize buildhave to take into consideration so many ings and underground infrastructure. more of these stakeholders,” added Rosen. Not to mention, the Seaport barRESILIENCY Continued on page 18

incoming storm reaches tropical storm force winds of 39 miles-per-hour. As of now, 11 sites are operational around the city with these barriers or similar ones, including a site in Red Hook. But the Seaport won’t see any Hesco barriers until the 2019 storm season, starting around August 1 that year. One reason for the delay, according a city official, is the complex web of interests there that have to be reconciled before any plans can be finalized.

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Learn to Take Tea Like a Duchess in Time for the Royal Wedding A Yank’s guide to fanciness without faux pas BY CHARLES BATTERSBY Any time there’s a royal wedding, a royal birth, or even a Brexit, Americans suddenly embrace their colonial roots and develop an obsession with all things British and fancy. Nothing is more regal than a tea party, complete with extended pinkies and refined manners. So, in preparation for the impending royal wedding (May 19!), I took it upon myself to learn the correct way one should comport oneself when “taking” tea. Although I fancied myself quite the refined lady at the start, my education in tea etiquette was swift and brutal — but delicious nonetheless. I immediately learned that Americans know nothing about tea parties. When calling Downtown tea parlors about their “high tea” service, I was informed that “high tea” is a hearty, hot meal served as an early supper. The fancy tea service with the multi-tiered tray full of sweets is actually called “afternoon tea.” I wanted to avoid further faux pas, so I consulted New York’s own etiquette experts. I began with Myka Meier, the founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette. She specializes in business and social etiquette, but also has a “Tea for Two” class on how to take afternoon tea. Meier’s school gets a massive surge in business when a royal event comes up. “We call it the Super Bowl of etiquette,” she joked, citing the additional “Duchess Effect” classes that had to be added to her school’s schedule. I asked Meier just how far one extends one’s pinkie when sipping their afternoon tea, and was surprised to learn that one does not extend one’s pinkie when drinking tea! As Meir told me, “The joke when I was teaching in London is that you can spot the Americans a mile away because they have always their pinkies out.” I also spoke to Patricia NapierFitzpatrick, founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York. She also has an entire class just on afternoon tea. Although there is a long list of rules to follow, she assured me that there are tangible benefits to knowing them. “Etiquette is the rules DowntownExpress.com

Photo by Clare Deegan-Kent

At Alice’s Tea Cup, the author peers from their perch behind a traditional threetier tray piled high with goodies.

Via beaumontetiquette.com

Beaumont Etiquette founder and director Myka Meier cited an upsurge in business when a high-profile royal event is on the horizon, calling it the “Super Bowl of etiquette.”

of socially acceptable behavior,” she said. “When we know the rules, we’re more confident. When we follow the rules, people are more likely to want to be around us.” When I asked her if people will be silently judged on their behavior when taking tea, she didn’t hesitate. “They will absolutely be judged,” she laughed, but clarified: “Just like they would when they go for a dinner. They’re always judged... On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with asking.” TAKE TEA continued on p. 14 May 3 - May 16, 2018

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Photo by Charles Battersby

Lady Mendl’s five-course service begins with a hearty soup.

Via etiquette-ny.com

Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York, gave our author the confidence to take their first afternoon tea.

TAKE TEA continued from p. 13

Once properly educated on how to dress for the affair (yes, a lady may wear a decorative hat at the table), and how stir sugar into my tea (back and forth, not in a whirlpool circle), and how to cool it (wait and make conversation, rather than blowing on it), and how to sip it correctly (look into the cup, not over the rim), I felt ready to take my fi rst afternoon tea — and yes, one “takes” tea, rather than “has” it. I searched the Downtown neighborhoods for places to modestly fl aunt my new manners. An exquisite location for afternoon tea is Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, which is discretely nestled in Gramercy Park. Ladies will defi nitely need to loosen their corsets before the end of this fivecourse meal. The affair begins with a soup course, before proceeding on to the traditional fi nger sandwiches, scones, cake, and cookies. Our server also had a separate pot of tea for each course, with a selection intended to compliment each dish. The fi nger sandwiches came in a wide assortment of styles, and the scones were particularly delightful. The historic building and furnishings made the experience feel like I was living a scene from a Jane Austen novel. For those celebrating their un-birthday, and who prefer their tea parties a bit mad, there is Alice’s Tea Cup. This chain has three restaurants in New York, but a white rabbit led me to their E. 64th St. and Lexington location. At Alice’s, things are bit less formal — the staff will sprinkle glitter on customers, and diners can even wear fairy wings at the table (and bloody well should). Alice’s “Mad Hatter” Tea for Two service came on the traditional three-

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May 3 - May 16, 2018

Photo by Lizzie Pepper

The exquisite detail at Lady Mendl’s extends right down to sugar cube art.

Photo by Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett

Tea & Sympathy’s vestibule is designed like a British phone booth. It’s bigger on the inside.

tier tray, along with two bottomless pots of tea. It’s not only a photogenic affair, but the meal proved to be another corset-loosener. The three courses of sandwiches, large scones, and sweets left us with a surprisingly heavy doggie bag of cake and cookies. I also visited Tea & Sympathy, a West Village restaurant that serves

English comfort food, in addition to their afternoon tea service. It was early on a weekday, but the restaurant was already boisterous and busy. Their gift shop was rapidly selling out of Royal Wedding gifts even two weeks before the wedding. Over some toast and scones, I spoke with the owner, Nicky Perry. She

assured me that I needn’t put on airs in terms of etiquette at her restaurant. “It doesn’t matter if you drop the beans on the side of the table. It doesn’t matter if you scrape the plate and eat every single mouthful,” she said. “The only manners I expect in here, I expect you to have respect for us, and to not be rude or pushy or entitled. Because if you are, you don’t get in.” As proof of their liberal views on etiquette, I was not only was permitted to dunk my biscuit in my tea, I was actually encouraged to do so! The most important lesson learned is this, as Meier noted: “Etiquette is not about being fancy. It’s not about being stuffy. It’s actually all about warmth, and to show respect to the person you’re eating with... People think it’s for the one percent of the world, but anyone can learn it.” For more information, visit beaumontetiquette.com, etiquette-ny.com, ladymendlsteasalon.com, alicesteacup. com, and teaandsympathy.com. DowntownExpress.com


This Work in Progress Really Works ‘‘Prelude’ performers set tantalizing tone for programming at The Shed BY RANIA RICHARDSON It was a beautiful evening — warm enough to hint that summer is on the way. I had reserved free tickets online for a couple of events at “A Prelude to The Shed,” the public introduction to a performance space that will open next spring as part of the Hudson Yards development on the far west side of Midtown Manhattan. Exiting Penn Station, I could see booming construction everywhere. Cranes and towers in progress blocked the view of the blue sky. What will the area be like when the buildup is finished? Will it feel energetic and exciting, or cramped and crowded? I walked along W. 31st St. to 10th Ave., and found a corner lot as yet undeveloped, where a smaller, temporary version of The Shed stood, while the real one was under construction — one block away on the High Line. There was no mistaking this space for anything permanent. From the gravel groundcover to the trailers and tents, the set up was raw and unadorned. Up a few stairs there was a seating area and a shipping container housing a snack bar. A pretentious (albeit mouthwatering) menu included a roast beef sandwich with truffle mushroom aioli, and fruity macarons with cream cheese buttercream. According to a server, this was a representative menu of the one to come. Tufted, padded benches encircled the mock Shed. A “Prelude Ambassador” stood at the doorway and directed audience members inside, warning us to be careful. I walked through the short tunnel and into the nightmarish scenario of a warm, pitch-black, enclosed space. There was a one-inch slit of light pouring in from the corner but it didn’t help. I heard chanting and running, then singing “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. But where were the performers exactly? We, the audience members, kept bumping into each other. A few minutes later, my eyes had adjusted and I could see at least a dozen black silhouettes of bodies against a dark grey background, dancing freestyle. It was a beautiful sight. I walked the perimeter of the room to get a sense of the whole space, as I had realized that the audience was on the outside and the performers in the middle of the room. More dancing and singing ensued, and what seemed to be an improvisational discussion on the DowntownExpress.com

Photos by Rania Richardson

Dancers in the ring battle performed astonishing feats.

meaning of success. When I got back to the entrance, something unexpected happened. The performers and others began spinning the wall panels and opening sections to allow the audience members outside. The panels were on wheels, so they moved easily. Like this temporary venue, The Shed will be a flexible space, physically transforming to support different types of artistic work. It will have a telescoping outer shell. Very soon a crowd gathered outside, as the same group of performers continued their avant-garde work, “This variation,” by Tino Sehgal. Next up, an MC took over and a DJ rolled out his turntables. The MC, programmer Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray, introduced a series of young dancers competing in the “D.R.E.A.M Ring” dance battles. With eye-popping twists and turns, the participants performed “flexn,” a dance style with roots in Jamaica. One appeared to have no bones in his body, one turned into an alien through facial expressions, and another bent in half backwards. They bested each other individually and then expanded their repertoires in groups. As they sprung and contorted to an enthusiastic crowd, SHED continued on p. 16

The Shed is still under construction on the High Line, and will open next spring. May 3 - May 16, 2018

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Photos by Rania Richardson

Putting aside all fears, the audience entered the pitch black performance space through a short tunnel.

Performers moved tufted seats to reconfigure the space.

The Shed’s Kevin Slavin presented slides, including one of bees in a maraschino cherry factory.

SHED continued from p. 15

smartphone cameras were out in full force. At times, fans jumped up and down and screamed in approval. After seeing so much talent, many in the audience were eager to participate in some instruction themselves, stepping to the beat as the dancers demonstrated easy moves. The dance lesson put us in a great mood. Teri-Ann Carryl, a stage manager at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), told me that she

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loved the performance. “It recreated the atmosphere of club dancing in an open space and involved an audience that might not experience it otherwise,” she said. Later, with folding chairs set up and the benches spun inside, the now brightly lit interior space was ready for speakers. Dan Doctoroff, chairman and president of The Shed, explained that the venue needed to be unique and on the leading edge of culture. Besides visual art and performance, it would include

A crowd of fans expressed their exuberance during a dance battle.

other disciplines. To that end, he introduced Kevin Slavin, the organization’s officer of science and technology, who spoke on the makings of healthy environments. He relayed an incident from a few years ago in which bees mistook syrup at a maraschino cherry factory for nectar and produced a gooey red substance instead of honey. On that note, I exited the space, still listening to Slavin from the outside speakers. I crossed 10th Ave. and ascended the stairs to the High Line,

where The Shed, shiny and silver, stood before me, next to Vessel, the steel observation tower that resembles a skeleton. Many structures in the area are spectacular, even as works-inprogress, and tourists were busy taking photos. Like Dumbo in Brooklyn, with such an array of visuals, the area is a big lure for Instagram users who are fans of architecture. They will have even more to capture next year, indoors and outdoors, with performances and events at The Shed. DowntownExpress.com


His Show Will Only Go ‘Up’ If You Help Peter Michael Marino’s latest is a kid-friendly free-for-all BY SCOTT STIFFLER When a press release from Peter Michael Marino comes across your desk, it’s tempting to speculate that having a name with such awesome alliteration is all one needs to establish the appropriate rhythm a multidisciplinarian’s busy schedule demands — but the truth is, it’s not easy to accomplish every task at hand, especially when the very act of showing up presents its own challenges. The above-mentioned writer, director, producer, teacher, and all-around well-rounded performer was hoofing it back to his reportedly groovy pad in Chelsea when he answered the phone and spoke with us about a new project, one of several plates he’s committed himself to spin over the span of a three-day period. On the night of Friday, May 18, he’ll be in the wings — or at least on deck — for the premiere of a solo show he’s directing (Mindy Pfeffer’s triathlonthemed “There’s Iron in Your Future”). On Saturday night, Marino presides over an allstar reading of “Desperately Seeking the Exit,” his acclaimed comedic account of mounting a 2007 West End musical flop based on “Desperately Seeking Susan.” But it’s the middle ingredient of this show business sandwich that especially piqued our interest: On Saturday afternoon, Marino launches a kid-friendly version of the improvised performance this publication saw, to great enjoyment, at The PIT Loft (a W. 29th St. hub for every conceivable form of comedy). That 2017 production, “Show Up,” had Marino in disarming and breezy conversation with the audience, during which elements of their personal history and prior events of that particular day were summed up on very large PostIt notes tacked to the theater’s back wall — which eventually became plastered with plot points for an improvised satirical solo show that obligated DowntownExpress.com

Illustration by Eric Sailer

The illustrated man: Peter Michael Marino is poised to deliver a highly animated performance.

Photo by Peter Michael Marino

Audience members gather for a group photo at the end of the show they had a hand in creating.

the cheeky and capable Marino to incorporate every suggestion into an increasingly absurd narrative (audience members had a hand in directing, by creating the set and providing music/lighting cues that took the performer in even more unexpected directions). Which

brings us to his new project: “Show Up, Kids!” “I had this notion,” Marino recalled, “that ‘Show Up’ would be fun for kids, because, like the adult show, it puts them in charge of the content.” Marino noted that his own experience with social anxiety — a the-

matic undercurrent of the adult show, is also a component, albeit an age-appropriate one, of the family-friendly version. Youthful audience members, he said, will be contributing to the show’s content by sharing “things they are scared of.” The premise of the show, he told us, “is that the performer they came to see is not there, and I have to fill the time. To do that, I’m going to have to face my fear and create a show, using them as the inspiration for the settings and costumes and plot. So I get examples of their own issues. It starts off with things they’re afraid of or don’t like to do, and transforms into things they love or want to accomplish.” Gently plucked from the crowd (Marino excels at getting what he needs in a nonconfrontational, audience-empowering manner), two kids, he noted, will be in charge of

moving the set, and another kid will be tasked with choosing props “from a bin of things like ridiculous wigs and hats… and I have one parent and a kid running the iPad, to pick out the sound effects.” Marino said his first inkling of how “Show Up” might translate to a younger demographic came when he was on the street selling his show to potential audience members just prior to a performance at the 2017 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. A mother wanted to take her 14-year-old son, but, Marino recalled, “I wasn’t sure they should see a show talking about adult issues and using adult language. But the kid told his mom after the show, ‘I have social anxiety, and that guy has social anxiety — and if he can do a show about it in front of people, I can do anything.’ ” That comment came to Marino in the form of a social media post from the mother, and “kept me afloat for, like, six months,” Marino recalled. “It was the best gift I could get from a show, and I think — I hope — that ‘Show Up, Kids!’ will do the same thing. I hope they [kids in the audience with social anxiety] see this guy who’s never done a kids’ show and think, ‘I can do something like that. I can do show and tell. I can do public speaking.’ ” “Show Up, Kids!” has a running time of 50 minutes and is appropriate for kids ages 4-10 and their guardians. Semi-written and performed by Peter Michael Marino. Directed by Michole Biancosino and the audience. At 12pm on Sat./Sun., May 19 & 20; Sat., June 16; and Sat./ Sun., June 30 & July 1. At the Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($15 for adults, $5 for under 10-years olds), visit tinyurl.com/kidskrainetix. For the show website, visit showuptheshow.com. For artist info, visit petermmarino. com. May 3 - May 16, 2018

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at Wall and Broad streets, while also classing up the place with new cable lighting strung between buildings, and the installation of spotlights highlighting the security zone’s nine landmarked structures, with a specific emphases on Federal Hall and the stock exchange. Alliance researchers worked with the NYPD and the city’s Economic Development Corporation to create a new security plan for the area, which

the study noted currently suffers from unnecessary redundancies that developed over the last 17 years. Not only would security procedures be simplified under the new plan, but the imposing, brass “No Go” bollards would be replaced by slimmer versions, and more attractive fencing would replace some barricades lining the zone, according to the report. Finally, the report proposes ways for improving freight and parcel deliveries at residential, retail, and office buildings within the zone, which has suffered as a result of cumbersome traffic restrictions that prohibit vehicles on parts of Broad Street and Exchange Place. The report suggests reworking some aspects of the traffic layout, including installing additional parking on New Street and adding bollards on Broad Street to delineate the boundaries of vehicular and pedestrian areas. One of the more interesting proposals is the Alliance’s request that delivery companies, retailers, and property owners pool resources and identify a central

location for package drop-offs, which would host most, if not all package deliveries before they’re sent to different buildings within the security zone. The overall plan, which Lappin said would cost taxpayers about $30 million, has the support of some city officials, including Manhattan transit commissioner Luis Sanchez and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Alicia Glen, who both offered statements backing the scheme in a press release announcing the study’s publication. Currently, however, no funding exists for the project, which Lappin currently describes as merely “a vision and a plan,” and when asked about a possible timeline for implementation, the BID honcho pointed to the seven years it took following then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that the city would remake Times Square before the project was actually completed as an example of the glacial pace these efforts sometimes take. “And he was the mayor,” said Lappin. “I am not.”

elevate their vital infrastructure above the inevitable inundations — and even elevating street’s and sidewalks — to more ambitiously compressive protects such as surge-proof seawalls to keep whole areas dry, and deep-reaching “seepage barriers” stretching all the way down to the bedrock to keep rising seal levels fro pushing up the inland water table. The resiliency studies these planning experts presented to CB1 nearly six years after Hurricane Sandy were unable to determine what combination of approaches and mitigation would

work best for Lower Manhattan, or what such a massive and comprehensive long-term resiliency infrastructure might cost. But it’s obvious to even a casual observer that, whatever the cost, the money simply isn’t there. The city’s post-Sandy drive to stormproof Downtown — the Manhattan Tip Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project — finally received $108 million in funding in 2015, but the most conservative cost estimates for the projects it envisions came to at least $324, and the city doesn’t seem to have a clue where the rest of the money will come from.

The long-suffering leadership of CB1 has learned to be sanguine about the slow pace of resiliency policy, with board chairman Anthony Notaro acknowledging the obvious point that the money is “going to have to come from a combination of different places,” but also expressing the resolute confidence of a civic leader who has persevered through not only Sandy, but also 9/11. “We have solved many difficult problems in the past, and I believe we’re up to this task,” said Notaro. “But it will take time, money and teamwork.

HOTELS Continued from page 11

CB2 and CB3 also include waterfront M1 zones in Two Bridges, the West Village, Chelsea, and Stuyvesant Town where new hotels would be subject to ULURP, and one committee member saw a possibility to leverage the additional approval process to garner some elusive funding for Lower Manhattan’s ambitious resiliency projects. Laura Starr, said any hotel development in M1 zones along the waterfront should be a part of a “wider integrated resiliency effort,” and perhaps put money into the flood-protection effort. And Thomas thinks the idea is worth raising with the city. “Something my mother taught me is that you don’t get what you don’t ask for,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t hurt to ask and make it clear that we want to make sure that the city focuses on resiliency.”

ZONE Continued from page 4

ans outnumbered vehicles by as much as 26 to 1 on some streets in the zone. Cars would still be able to commingle with foot traffic under the Alliance’s proposal, but would be subject to the same extra-low speed limits as they are in the Department of Transportation’s Shared Streets program, which the agency piloted Downtown last year. The Alliance report also suggests installing “distinctive architectural features” at the entry points of the security zone, giving visitors something besides bollards and fencing to signify the boundaries of the zone. These specialized signs, dubbed “Interactive Gateway Markers,” would be outfitted with digital maps, historical trivia, information on notable sights, and other useful tips tailored to prevent confusion among the hordes of sightseers, according to the report. The Alliance’s study advocates local landlords teaming up to produce more cultural events centered on the plaza

RESILIENCY Continued from page 12

The saltwater intrusion that causes the groundwater table to rise is somewhat like flooding from below — but with no rainfall required. The study estimates the 167 buildings in Lower Manhattan will be vulnerable to such destabilization by 2100, and 39 percent of underground utilities will be impacted — not least our vital subway lines. Proposals to deal with such longerterm risks range from the rather fatalistic strategy of flood-proofing buildings by sealing off their foundations or

TRINITY Continued from page 2

lives of so many first responders and Ground Zero workers. “It was destroyed by the same thing that killed the first responders — dust,” said Lupfer. “An organ is like a lung, and the dust just took it out of commission.” And the reverend stressed that the new instrument will be tailor-made to suit the church, being neither too quiet, nor too loud. “We’re not going to put a 20-horsepower engine in a go kart,” said Lupfer. Another major cornerstone of the project is bringing the church into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and the parish will install ramps, along with other accessibility features, at

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Downtown Alliance

Shared streets: The Downtown Alliance is proposing eliminating sidewalks within the New York Stock Exchange Security Zone, where pedestrians outnumber vehicles by 26 to 1 in some parts.

all entrances throughout the house of worship, making it completely accessible, according to Lupfer. Trinity’s so-called “rejuvenation” project features numerous other bells and whistles, including a new sound system, new lighting, a moveable alter, gender-neutral bathrooms, a renovated choir room, and a glass canopy located on the church’s south-side, which will keep processionals dry during inclement weather. The parish hopes to wrap up work on the project sometime in spring of 2020, with worship continuing at Trinity’s Chapel of All Saints, located just north of the church, except for Sunday’s, when the 11:15 am service featuring the Choir of Trinity Wall Street will be moved to nearby St. Paul’s Chapel at 209 Broadway.

Review Procedure (ULURP), which entails public hearings and approvals from the local community board, the Borough President, the City Council, and finally the mayor. The head of the Real Estate Board of New York, John H. Banks, testified against the additional special permit requirements last November, likening the proposal to effectively “banning hotels” from M1 zones, bolstering concerns that developers would divert future projects to as-of-right areas such a Downtown. In terms of direct effects the zoning changes would have within CB1, one of the only three M1 zones in the area that would be affected includes an small swathe of waterfront near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, but

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