VOLUME 27, NUMBER 8
SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 8 2014
A TREE GROWS IN THE SEAPORT? NOT SO FAST OR SLOW BY JOSH ROGERS “This is what happens when you take so long to build something,” John Fratta told Lawrence Mauro last week, drawing knowing laughter in the room. Perhaps it was gallows humor — they were after all talking about the South Street Seaport Historic District, namely the plaza area at Peck Slip between South and Water Sts. The half-acre spot in the middle of the wide street has been slated to be a public gathering place for just over a decade. What sort? A park, a piazza, a reflecting pool have all been ideas kicked around. The west end of the plaza opened earlier this year on a temporary basis with tables and chairs and a Citi Bike stand, and the larger east end Continued on page 12
Downtown Express photo by Scot Surbeck
Like a bird in flight On Tuesday, workers at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub were putting up some of the final 114 rafters that give the hub its distinctive wing-like look. The $4 billion design by Santiago Calatrava is expected to serve 200,000 daily commuters on 11 subway lines. It’s currently scheduled to open sometime next year.
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DIVISIVE & DISRUPTIVE
It turns out Maggie Siena, Peck Slip School’s principal, who has been the most concerned about dividing the large rooms in the school’s temporary spot in the Dept. of Education’s Tweed headquarters had every reason to be worried. Lower Manhattan school advocate Paul Hovitz, who has been the most bullish about dividing the rooms, took a break from his fight against privatizing Southbridge Towers coming to a vote this Sunday, to tell us he recently took a tour with Siena to see that the room dividers are not working Hovitz said they are only about six-
feet high. It is a problem that he and his colleagues on Community Board 1 anticipated, which is why they passed a resolution a few months ago asking for dividers that go to the ceiling. Those calls apparently fell on deaf ears. Hovitz also tells us that Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has rejected the Downtown advocates’ idea to create another classroom in the chancellor’s conference room, just as Fariña’s predecessor, Dennis Walcott did. We did try to get a comment from Siena, but were not hurt when she didn’t return our call. Even curmudgeonly UnderCover might have gone into worship mode had Siena been willing to figuratively talk out of school with her big boss potentially within earshot at Tweed. Who knows how the echoes work in that building?
We’re not sure if the city’s worst landlords “give a damn about their bad reputation” (as Joan Jett or “Freaks and Geeks” fans might say), but Margaret Chin apparently thinks they do.
The City Council on Tuesday passed legislation co-sponsored by Councilmembers Chin and Jumaane Williams that would double the penalties against landlords guilty of harassing tenants (fines go up to $10,000 per apartment). The bill also requires the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development to list these bad boy and girl offenders on its web site — the part of the bill Chin emphasized in her press release. “Council passes bill to publicly shame landlords…” was the headline on Chin’s release whereas the Council notice went with “…to curb tenant harassment,” in its headline. We hear Mayor de Blasio is likely to sign the bill Sept. 30.
FiDi resident Chelsea-Lyn Rudder was volunteering on Julie Menin’s campaign for borough president in February of last year, when she met a few women at an event who were impressed with all she had learned about navigating the dating and job world in the big city.
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The conversation sparked the idea for a book, and by the end of the year, Rudder, 29, had written “Ladylike Lessons, A Guide to Feminine Empowerment, Elegance and Etiquette,” which has had a respectable showing on Amazon. She will be visiting her local church’s community space, Charlotte’s Place owned by Trinity Church, 107 Greenwich St. on Sun., Sept. 28, at 1 p.m., with a reading starting at 1:30 p.m. She tells us she’s honored to be the featured guest at one of the last events before the space closes for new development. As for the book, Rudder, who grew up near Detroit, said one of the biggest adjustments in New York is realizing how much more people emphasize their career over their romantic life. “A lot of friends back home are getting married and having children,” she said. “I have very few friends in New York who are married — many are not dating someone seriously. That timeline is definitely different in Michigan.” IN PRINT OR ONLINE
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I N PROU D COLLABORATION WITH
September 25-October 8, 2014
Bogardus Plaza design unveiled
Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic
BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC The Friends of Bogardus Garden is moving forward with plans to improve the plaza at Hudson St. between Chambers St. and Reade St. and presented its preliminary design at the Wed., Sept. 10 Tribeca Committee meeting. “One of the major impetuses of this project is how do we take a street and a garden and make a place?” said Signe Nielsen, a landscape architect with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, who presented the plan. Presently, the plaza has seven trees, a street bed, a sidewalk with three trees and a subway station, businesses, residences and a restaurant located on one side of it. Nielsen called the southern end of the plaza a movement hub — bus stops and people crossing — and the design keeps it as open as possible. The plaza, now 1,800 sq. ft., will increase by 870 sq. ft. The new design includes adding more trees and a variety of fixed and moveable seating, and the reconfiguration of the lighting. Currently, street lighting illuminates the plaza, which lies in a historic district. Included in the new design, more historically appropriate light poles, which can be seen on parts of Greenwich St. and also throughout Battery Park City, will be added, and have been approved by the City of New York and will be maintained by them. DowntownExpress.com
There will be two tiers, and the second tier could serve as a platform for local events, or as a perch for people to sit. It will be quite narrow to deter people from sleeping on it and wood has been placed on its edge to discourage skateboarders. The community expressed a desire to experience the garden, said Nielsen. Currently the garden area is surrounded by a 4-foot fence, which will remain but will be lowered. “By virtue of the garden and the trees that exist, we really think we can make more of [a] tranquil — more of a respite, an oasis kind of space,” she said. Also, because the water flows northward down the street, Nielsen explained, the new design includes planters that will clean storm water before it enters the sewer. A drinking fountain, a Department of Transportation way-finding sign, a freestanding clock that was donated and possibly a new plaque elaborating on the contributions of the plaza’s namesake James Bogardus, an architect who worked with cast-iron, will be added. Also, “eggs” that can be sat on. “We have chosen to celebrate the history of the butter and egg district in Tribeca by having a playful element in the site, which are rather oversized eggs,” said Nielsen. This was a nod to many in the community who expressed that they wanted something fun for children. The plaza received a $2 million grant from the D.O.T.’s Plaza Pro-
gram, because Bogardus Plaza “lies at such a critical nexus in our neighborhood, such a huge crossroads of transportation and destinations for many different kinds of folks,” said Nielsen. In addition to the D.O.T grant, the organization raised over $300,000 and received public funds from elected officials: $300,000 from Borough President Scott Stringer and $135,000 from Councilmember Margaret Chin. The organization will continue to fundraise and has about $75,000 more to go, said president Tory Weil in a phone interview. “This is a place for many more people than just us in the neighborhood,” said Nielsen, who has lived in Tribeca for more than 40 years and recalled when art was placed randomly at the traffic triangle in the ‘70s before it was a plaza. The design was the result of two community workshops and suggestions from those meetings were integrated into the design. After her presentation, Nielsen noted comments and wrote down suggestions from those attending the meeting. “We’re excited about this,” said Weil at the meeting before the presentation began. “This is a long-term process. This has been supported by the community from the get-go. We have hundreds of letters of support about making the plaza permanent. It became permanent because the community loved it so much as a temporary plaza.” “All of the efforts of the Friends
of Bogardus Garden are 100 percent voluntary,” said secretary Annie Tirschwell. “I think [it] really underscores how much community support we have.” However, some One Hudson Street residents expressed criticism and concerns about a proposed kiosk, the new design that would increase the lighting of the plaza, the maintenance itself, and the fact that access to their front door has been limited. Jonathan Schrag, a One Hudson resident, said that he had concerns about the kiosk, the addition of the egg seating, the sidewalk liability outside of his building, and garbage maintenance. “I think there should be consideration for the 10 floors,” said Schrag. The kiosk, which is not part of this design and project, has yet to be determined and would have to go through an approval process, but it could be a flower stand or a food vendor. Revenue earned from the kiosk would go towards maintenance of the space itself. A possible kiosk that would sell food worried residents, who fear it would exacerbate Tribeca’s rat problem. “I think the meeting got a little off course,” said Weil later in a phone interview. “We are doing everything we can to address the issues.” The Landmarks Preservation Commission will also vet the design and, pending further approvals, construction should begin by the summer of 2016. September 25-October 8, 2014
MOTORCYCLES BOOSTED Last weekend, a 22-year-old Queens man parked his motorcycle at the corner of Spring St. and Washington St. in Hudson Sq. and went to work. When he returned the next day, on Sun., Sept. 21 at 6 a.m., his 2009 white Yamaha motorcycle, valued at $7,500, had vanished. The man still had his keys and police say there was a license plate recognition on the Williamsburg Bridge. Another Yamaha motorcycle, this one a gray 2008 model worth $6,000, was stolen from the front of a building on John St. near Nassau St. The victim parked his motorcycle at 10 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 17, and spent the night as his girlfriend’s apartment. The next morning, at 8 a.m., he realized the bike was gone.
13 GRAND STOLEN FROM CAR A witness saw someone break into a vehicle in the Financial District last weekend. The 25-year-old man from Brooklyn saw the suspect bust the lock on the front passenger side at noon on Sat., Sept. 20, and steal property from the back seat — computers, iPads, clothes, bags, American cash and Chinese yuan worth $13,199, police say. The suspect was last seen on Water St. with three bags. The three victims returned to the car at the corner of Maiden Lane and Water St. Two of the men,
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aged 52 and 50, were from China, and a third was a 25-year-old Queens resident.
BROOKLYN’S CREDIT CARD REVENGE Police arrested four Brooklyn men last week in two different incidents for suspected credit card fraud. At the Apple Store at 103 Prince St. in Soho, police say the arresting officer saw two men making $3,000 in purchases with two stolen credit cards at 3:15 on Thurs., Sept. 18. Two suspects — a 28-year-old East New York resident and a 20-year-old from Brownsville — were arrested. One of the victims of the fraud was a 73-year-old Staten Island woman, the other a man, 63, from Troy, New York. Also on Thurs., Sept. 18, a suspect was observed using a forged credit card at the American Eagle at the corner of W. Houston and Broadway in Soho at 6:30 p.m., police said. The man was in possession of six forged credit cards, a driver’s license that was not his, and marijuana. Two men were arrested, one from Boerum Hill, 25, the other, 26, from Park Slope.
COMPUTER & CUFFLINKS TAKEN A 26-year-old New Jersey man made sure all his doors were locked on his 1997 black Toyota Corolla when he parked it at the corner of South St. and Dover St. in the Seaport at 5 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 18. The caution was for naught. When he returned the next day at 11 a.m., he
Nine years ago, the residents of Southbridge Towers voted to study the merits of leaving the Mitchell-Lama middle class housing program, and next week they will decide whether or not it will happen. Voting at the 1651-apartment complex begins Sun., Sept. 28 and runs until Tues., Sept. 30. The residents of each apartment get one vote, and if 2/3 of them vote yes, they will be able to take full ownership of their units. Proponents argue that obtaining an asset with no money down will provide financial security regardless of whether they want to sell it, use it as collateral for a college or business loan, or leave it to an heir. The first sale of each apartment has a 28
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September 25-October 8, 2014
DID THIEF HIT THE JACKPOT? On Fri., Sept. 19, at 11:40 a.m. at a newsstand in front of 25 Park Place in the Financial District, a man grabbed about $1,400 in scratch lottery tickets, $500 in cash and $200 in cigarette candy gum for a total of $2,100. Police say the man fled on Park Place toward Broadway. No word on whether the thief made any more on the tickets.
— DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC
percent flip tax, which will provide revenue to the complex for capital improvements or unexpected costs. Opponents say there are too many risks including the added real estate taxes, and the possibility that too few people will sell to provide enough flip tax revenue to make it a good deal. As beneficiaries of a subsidized housing program, they also feel a moral obligation to preserve the same chance for future generations. To read more about the arguments of each side, visit downtownexpress.com and search “Should we privatize” to read dueling op-eds we published on the subject in June.
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TRIBECA HEIST Over $10,000 worth of construction tools, which included lasers, drills and grinders, was stolen from a Tribeca storage area that had been unlocked for four months. The theft occurred on the third floor on Mon., Sept. 1 at 7:30 a.m., but was not reported until two weeks later. Police said that multiple people and companies had access to the construction site at 28 N. Moore St. and that the company and the building owner are engaged in a financial dispute.
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discovered the doors unlocked and his Apple MacBook Pro swiped along with other electronics, clothes and a set of Burberry silver cufflinks worth $200. Over $3,600 worth of his property was filched. Police say there was no forced entry observed on the vehicle.
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Climate change protesters hit Wall Street B Y Z A CH WI L L I A MS In response to rising sea levels and the other effects of climate change, more than 100 activist groups converged in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 22 to promote environmental justice as part of what they call Flood Wall Street. The N.Y.P.D. pre-emptively blocked streets leading to the New York Stock Exchange, but about 1,000 activists succeeded in blocking Broadway for about eight hours at its intersection with Morris St. before extending the demonstration to include the intersection with Wall St. as well. Many chanted: “People gonna rise like water. We’re gonna calm this crisis down. I hear the voice of my great granddaughter saying shut down Wall. St. now.” In contrast to many past protests, N.Y.P.D. officers largely left the demonstrators alone while at the same time preventing them from penetrating further into the Financial District. Some demonstrators suspected that Mayor Bill de Blasio was behind the surprisingly reserved police presence. “I think people seem happy and engaged. The police don’t seem to be too bossy,” said Joanna Burgess, a Battery Park City resident and supportive observer of the protest. She said she saw neighborhood residents that morning seemingly dressed for Flood Wall Street. In B.P.C., support for Flood Wall Street is tied to location, she joked. “I think it depends what floor you live on.” About 100 arrests — including an activist dressed as a polar bear
— were made at about 7 p.m. after police moved in to clear the street, according to activists. The event followed the People’s Climate March the day before which drew tens of thousands of activists, political leaders and celebrities to Midtown. Most involved with Flood Wall Street took part in that demonstration, some remaining in town one more day in order to participate in direct action against the financial industry which they said enables a global system of inequality as well as global warming itself. “I’m very concerned about climate change and Wall St. is part of the problem. This is where the financing comes from for oil and pipeline extraction so we have to convince Wall St. to solve the climate problem,” said Cara Jennings, a Florida resident who came to NYC for the protests along with her toddler. The group assembled in the morning at Battery Park to the tunes of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, a local marching band. Before moving to Broadway, speakers linked social, political and economic inequality with the dangers of rising sea levels. Activist Naomi Klein told the crowd that the consequences of climate change must continue to inspire activists who came together three years ago for Occupy Wall Street. “We are powered by the knowledge that the same system of shortterm profit and de-regulated greed that deepens inequality and forecloses on homes is the very same system that is foreclosing on our collective home,” Klein said. “We never went away, we were organizing in our
Downtown Express photos by Zach Williams
About 100 environmentalist demonstrators were arrested Downtown Monday, the day after the larger climate change rally in Midtown.
communities and now we are back with the power of water behind us.” At about 11:45 a.m. they left the park via the intersection of Bridge and State Sts. and began marching to the Charging Bull at the northern end of Bowling Green. Upon arriving there, they found the path towards Wall St. blocked by the N.Y.P.D. While activists originally planned to stage a sit-in in front of the stock exchange, they improvised by doing so on Broadway instead. Several vehicles would be caught within the critical mass for at least an hour before being let through. “I didn’t plan on it, but it’s a good cause,” said Sean Vander from an automobile stalled at the intersection of Morris St. and Broadway just a few doors down from his destination at 25 Broadway. Residents trying to enter Wall St. were told by police to walk several blocks north in order to go home. As the sit-in continued, some activists grew weary with the tedium of occupation. Their numbers dwindled by about half by the late afternoon hours. Scuffles with police broke out when some protest-
ers tried to swarm the N.Y.P.D. defense of Wall St. Police pushed back, smacked hands holding onto metal crowd control barriers and pepper-sprayed several protesters and a journalist before the situation settled down. Demonstrators for the most part remained seated, discussing environmental issues amongst themselves. Later, some would draw chalk doodles on the street and play soccer. One demonstrator watching a game said that such activities promote more free usage of public space within a city known for its consumer culture. “This is a space we don’t see relaxation very often,” said Jason who declined to give a last name. “That creates an energy that is helpful.” But some protesters, and onlookers, said hours of sitting on Broadway were not productive enough to inspire more people to pressure Wall St. “I thought it was supposed to be about economic inequality and laying some plans for some kind of coherent action... but there’s nothing being discussed here as far as I can see on a political level at all,” said Eric Rassi, a resident of E. 10th St.
Free ‘Go Bags’ at session to prepare for emergencies
Downtown Express photos by Zach Williams
A citizen preparedness training program will be held on Tues., Sept 30 at 7 p.m. at P.S. 276, Battery Park City School at 55 Battery Place. The training will last for two hours “for residents to have the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster,” according to the New York State website. Each participating family will receive a free citizen preparedness corps response starter kit, a.k.a. a “Go Bag.” Participants must register in advance for the free program at www.prepare.ny.gov. September 25-October 8, 2014
Rowdy discussion about new & old Tribeca bars BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC Tribeca residents were as united as a Greek chorus last week in voicing concerns about the hours of operation for bars and restaurants, karaoke rooms and the congregation of (possibly) inebriated patrons outside of establishments and on their streets. The tension started at the beginning of the crowded Tribeca Committee meeting, which focused mainly on liquor licenses, on Wed., Sept. 10, and didn’t stop. Tribeca residents vented frustration about past and present neighborhood joints — and were wary of new establishments. First up was Sazon at 105 Reade St. Owner Genaro Morales wanted to add his wife’s name to their license, but the discussion quickly turned to noise and congregation complaints. Sazon’s neighbors have lodged several complaints since it opened in May of 2009. “I have videos on my phone with the excessive noise that are dated,” said Frank Massino, who lives
across the street from Sazon. When he calls to complain, he said, “they recognize the number, they don’t pick up the phone.” “The weekends are punctuated by frequent disruption, noise and shouting, and we’ve even had fights there, which the police have been called to,” said another Reade St. resident Bob Moore. “The situation hasn’t materially changed over the year.” Morales said that there was another bar nearby, Ward III, but Massino disputed that it was the source of the noise, and for a moment they talked over one another. “There’s a bar next to us, that there’s people outside all the time. If you check you’re phone, you don’t have them on your phone, do you? ” Morales asked Massino. “We need to see some improvements,” said Noah Pfefferblit, the community board’s district manager. The issue of when Sazon was closing their windows was also brought up. Sazon’s liquor license has a stipulation written by C.B. 1 requiring the
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Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
Construction has begun on a new Korean restaurant at 67 Murray St. Its liquor license was debated at a recent community meeting.
windows to be closed by 7 p.m. The Sazon owners stressed that there are signs outside to encourage courteous behavior towards the neighbors. “We cannot keep our windows open on a nice night because of the noise,” said Massino. “On evenings when Sazon is closed the street changes. Period.” In the end, C.B. 1’s Tribeca Committee recommended approving the name addition to the license. Morales tried to make amends by giving Massino his business card. Next was Joseph Crotty, who was applying for a liquor license for an upscale Irish bar on 20 Warren St., which used to house the club 20/20. He said he wanted to keep the pub open until 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. during the weekend to cater to late-shift workers such as nurses and cops. For side streets, the committee said, the closing hours should be midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends. Crotty said that there will be no problems and asked several times for later hours. Each time a chorus of a resounding “no” was heard from the Tribeca residents at the meeting. “I wouldn’t have signed a lease if I knew there were such restrictions,” said Crotty. “I live at 25 Murray and our windows are on Warren,” said Michael Steinberg, who doesn’t want to be in the same situation as Sazon’s neighbors. “We can ease into it and see
what happens.” “It was a zoo every night,” said David Weiss, referring to 20/20. “To have this happen all over again is just terrifying.” Crotty got the closing hours of midnight and 1 a.m., but the hours can be revisited six months from the bar’s opening. Community board resolutions are advisory, but the State Liquor Authority does consider them before making decisions on licenses. At the Sept. 10 meeting, Crotty agreed to the hours, but has since declined through his attorney to sign the stipulation sheet, said committee member Jeff Ehrlich at the monthly C.B.1 meeting on Sept. 23. C.B.1 then passed a new resolution opposing the granting of a liquor license. Haus owner Paul Horowitz wanted an extension of hours: noon on Sat. and Sun. for brunch, and Tues. and Wed. until 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m. “We’re been keeping a very tight ship,” said Horowitz. “We’re trying to be good citizens in the neighborhood.” Haus has only been opened for three months in the former Canal Room space at 285 W. Broadway. Although there have been no complaints so far, there was another issue: dancing. “My problem — and you know it I think — is what you told us iniContinued on page 17
World Trade Center Cancer Deadline Approaching National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has linked 67 cancers* to the toxic dust
OCTOBER 12, 2014
IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER A CLAIM Please tell your friends and neighbors who lived or worked south of Canal Street between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02. Donâ€™t let anyone diagnosed with a WTC cancer miss the deadline to register with the Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. *The most common cancers linked by the NIH and the WTCHP are cancers of the lungs, esophagus, kidneys, prostate, lymphoma, leukemia, and thyroid. Get yourself checked out!
If anyone you know were in NYC after the 9/11 attacks and have been diagnosed with any of the 67 WTC-linked cancers, there is a presumptuon by NIOSH and the WTCHP that your cancer was caused by the toxic dust. You may be entitled to compensation for your illness and lost time. Learn your legal rights. Please call us today.
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September 25-October 8, 2014
Stop sign coming to dangerous part of William St. BY YAN N I C RA CK A new stop sign is coming to busy William St., an area that has prompted serious safety concerns among residents and visitors alike. Councilmember Margaret Chin announced on Sept. 15, together with State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel Squadron, that the sign would be installed at the corner of William and John St. within the next two weeks. Just two months ago, a traffic study of the surrounding area by Pace University students pointed out a number of issues, such as confusing signage, countless traffic violations and fading crosswalks. The sign at William St. was one of the measures proposed in the study, which was presented to Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee in July. “I’m proud that we were able to work with concerned residents and the Department of Transportation to take this positive step to improve street safety in the Financial District,” Chin said in a statement. “Every step counts, but this was also particularly important because of the burgeoning residential population in this neighborhood, which necessitates heightened scrutiny regarding the safety
of pedestrians and cyclists.” The traffic survey, which was initiated by concerned C.B. 1 board members, found several other issues at the seven intersections it studied – along William St. where it crosses at Beaver St., Liberty St., John St. and Maiden Lane and along Nassau St. where it crosses at Maiden Lane, Beekman St. and Spruce St. It showed regular traffic violations, eroding crosswalk and vehicle stop lines, as well as dilapidated or confusing street signs, the latter often caused by scaffolding from ongoing construction works. The survey recommended posting traffic guards on Nassau St. and Beekman St., repainting faded crosswalks in the area and installing more visible street signs. Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of C.B. 1, acknowledged that the sign was an important first step, but that there were other hotspots addressed in the survey. “We’re thrilled that one sign is being installed, but clearly there’s room for more improvement,” she said last week. C.B. 1’s committee passed a resolution in July to reach out and work with city agencies to make the surveyed area safer for vehicles and pedestrians alike, and the city Dept. of Buildings confirmed that they would be inspecting the street signs
The obstructed signs at the northeast corner of William and John Sts. Picture from Pace University’s Traffic Safety Survey in Lower Manhattan.
on William and John Sts. “Specifically regarding additional plans for the area around Nassau and William Sts., Councilmember Chin will continue to listen to feedback from residents in that area to see what street safety improvements should be made, just as she did in the case of this new stop sign for William and John Sts.,” a
spokesperson for Chin’s office said this week. The New York Post recently reported that, according to the NYPD, road fatalities all over New York have gone down seven percent in the nine months since Mayor de Blasio announced his ‘Vision Zero’ program to curb traffic deaths.
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
September 25-October 8, 2014
Where do Lower Manhattan schools rank? town schools once again did relatively well and that Spruce Street School was ranked 26 out of 732 schools citywide in just its first year of taking the fourth grade tests. Spruce was the highest ranked school in the C.B. 1 neighborhoods (Tribeca, B.P.C. and FiDi) but all of those schools finished
Lower East Side SPRUCE STREET SCHOOL (P.S. Financial Dis397) trict P.S. 89 Battery Park City P.S. 234 Tribeca P.S. 130 Chinatown SHUANG WEN Chinatown P.S. 276 Battery Park City P.S. 150 Tribeca P.S. 124 Chinatown P.S. 1 Chinatown P.S. 126 Chinatown
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2014 LV 3&4* %
2013 LV 3&4* %
30 43 45 57
118 132 84 84
85 88 55 52
72.03 66.67 65.48 61.90
47 45 32 16
59.64 60.00 62.86 68.33
62 71 247 418
28 143 64 69
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60.71 59.44 35.94 21.74
26 31 199 346
66.67 63.19 35.21 23.21
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ThURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1pm Concerts at One New Orchestra of Washington performing Mahler & Wachner, Alejandro Hernandez, conductor. Trinity Church
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— JOSH ROGERS
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him the ranking remains a labor of love. “As a C.P.A., I love screwing around with numbers all day,” he said. “No one else likes it but we do.”
2014 DOWNTOWN SCHOOL 4TH GRADE READING SCORE RANKINGS
All Are Welcome
high. In the broader Downtown area, NEST (New Explorations into Science Technology and Math) continued to shine once again, ranking third overall in the city. Goodkind’s children, 17 and 25, are far away from worrying about middle school admissions, but for
SUNDAY, SEpTEMBER 28 & OCTOBER 5, 10am Sunday School for Children and Youth Trinity’s Sunday School offers progressive and engaging education for children and youth ages 2-18. 14 Vesey Street SUNDAY, SEpTEMBER 28 & OCTOBER 5, 10am Discovery: New Every Morning Parables of the Kingdom Sept. 28: Parables and the Kingdom of God, Deirdre Good, General Theological Seminary.
Oct. 5: Parable of the Dishonest Manager (Luke 16) Sathianathan Clarke, Wesley Seminary, and Kathryn Tanner, Yale Divinity School. Trinity Church Multipurpose Room SUNDAY, SEpTEMBER 28 & OCTOBER 5, 10am The Gospel, Times, Journal, and You A discussion group that reads the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the assigned Gospel for the day. Led by the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones. 74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl, Seminar Room
SUNDAY, 8am & 9:15am St. Paul’s Chapel · Holy Eucharist 9:15 service followed by Sunday School 8pm · Compline by Candlelight SUNDAY, 9am & 11:15am Trinity Church · Preaching, music, and Eucharist · Child care available MONDAY—FRIDAY, 12:05pm Trinity Church · Holy Eucharist MONDAY—FRIDAY, 5:15pm All Saints’ Chapel, in Trinity Church Evening Prayer; Evensong on Thursdays Watch online webcast
FRIDAY, SEpTEMBER 26, 6pm Family Friday Yoga and Veggie Night Practice with your children in this family-focused yoga class! Charlotte’s Place
For each of the last 13 years, community activist Tom Goodkind has spent about eight hours calculating the reading score rankings of Lower Manhattan schools, so you’d probably be surprised to learn he’s not a big fan of the tests. “I would personally like to do away with these tests and just have good schools,” Goodkind said. “But tests matter. We get a good indication of how we are doing in this horrendous rat race for better education.” Goodkind, a longtime Battery Park City resident and Community Board 1 member, said the competition for space in Manhattan’s better public middle schools is so fierce that it is important for parents to know how the local schools are doing on a key factor — the fourth grade English Language Arts or reading tests. On what he now calls the Annual Goodkind Ranking of NYC Public Elementary Schools, he ranks the percentage of fourth graders who score passing grades, 3 or 4. Although scores are lower citywide and in Lower Manhattan as students and schools continue to adjust to new tests tied to the Common Core Curriculum, Goodkind was pleased to see that overall the Down-
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 7:30-9pm Blessing the Animals with Dance: A Concert for St Francis Trinity’s Movement Choir presents a concert of live and animated video dance. Three pieces - “Dance for the Extinct Animals”, “The Phoenix” and “Native American Myth: The Dog” - make up the program.
September 25-October 8, 2014
All 10 apartments slated to be affordable at Fulton St. site BY DUS ICA SU E M A L E SE V IC A new 10-unit building at 92 Fulton St. between Williams St. and Gold St. in the Financial District will be 100 percent affordable housing — and will be permanently so. The news was received with clapping and an audible “yay” at Community Board 1’s Planning Committee meeting Sept. 8. The building will be zoned with very specific requirements in regards to size, distribution of the units and incomes, said Ken Lowenstein, lawyer for the building developer, the Fisher Organization. The site, now a vacant lot, will have a 17-story building with one three-bedroom, six two-bedrooms, one one-bedroom, and two studio units available. It will have community, laundry and bike rooms. The incomes and rents depend on the size of the units and the number of the persons in the household, said Lowenstein. Rent may range from $833 to $1,460. The city Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development sets these rents, he said. The units, Lowenstein said, are siz-
able and larger than the minimum standards for affordable units. The minimum for a two-bedroom, for example, is 775 sq. ft. A two-bedroom at 92 Fulton St. will be anywhere from 820 to 1,020 sq. ft. These ten affordable units will be part of 158 units projected to be added in C.B. 1’s district in the next five years, said Julien-Pierre A. Schmitz, who researched housing in the district for a report for C.B. 1. There are 933 affordable units in the district, he said at the meeting. Out of those, 194 units are in danger of becoming market rate, many in Battery Park City, including 70 Battery Place, 400 Chambers St. and 41 River Terrace. All of these buildings are up for sale, said Schmitz. Schmitz also said there are 6,817 rent-stabilized units in the district. The architect of the building, Mark Ginsberg, with Curtis+Ginsberg, said that the front will be a combination of two colors of metal panels. The panels will wrap around the side and then a stucco material takes over and will be used around the side and the back. He said that the building will have a very small footprint.
Downtown Express photo Dusica Sue Malesevic
Now a vacant lot, a 10-unit affordable housing building will be constructed at 92 Fulton St.
H.P.D. will supervise the lottery and Community Board 1 residents will get preference for 50 percent of the units. “H.P.D. has a very elaborate process to guarantee that these units are rented fairly and equitably,” said Lowenstein. A not-for-profit will confirm and verify the lottery, said Lowenstein, to make sure “everything’s kosher.” After adding amendments, which included that C.B.1 will be notified when
the lottery will take place, the resolution recommending approval for the developer’s inclusionary housing program application was passed. If Fisher is approved for the program, the developer will be able to build a larger building and apply for tax breaks. The Financial District Committee also passed a resolution for a zoning waiver to construct and both were passed at C.B.1’s meeting on Sept. 23.
THE SHO W C A N ’ T G O O N I F T H E LI G H T S D O N ’ T . Three months of rehearsals. Two weeks of ticket sales. One performance. Talk about pressure. Not just on the kids, but on the electricity. That’s why Con Edison spends $2 billion a year improving its energy systems. But if you ever do lose power, please report the outage online at conEd.com or call us at 1-800-75-CONED. And, to learn more about our work backstage, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
September 25-October 8, 2014
TRANSIT SAM Thurs., Sept. 25 – Wed., Oct. 1 ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED THU RSDAY AND FRIDAY FOR ROSH HASHANAH President Obama leaves town Thursday, but the U.N. General Assembly continues on and will have some impacts on Lower Manhattan traffic. There will be domino traffic as drivers avoid the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and opt for the Williamsburg Bridge adding traffic to Delancey St. For up-to-the-minute updates on street closures, demos, and motorcades follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam. Good news: Rosh Hashanah means traffic volumes will be lighter Thursday and Friday. The Jets take on the Lions 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Fans heading to and from the game will slow down the Lincoln Tunnel, sending more drivers south to the Holland Tunnel and onto Canal St. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run & Festival closes the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel starting at 8 a.m. The run will also close a
swath of Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Expect closures on the following Manhattan streets: Battery Park Underpass in both directions, West St. between Battery Pl. and Warren St., West Thames St. between West St. and Battery Park Esplanade, South End Ave. between West Thames and Liberty Sts., Liberty St. between West St. and Battery Park Esplanade, Murray St. between North End Ave. and West St., Warren and Vesey Sts. between West St. and River Terrace, North End Ave. between Warren and Vesey Sts. The festival portion will close Vesey St. between West St. and North End Ave. and North End Ave. to Murray St. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chambers St. between Broadway and Church St. will be closed Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. FROM THE MAILBAG: Dear Transit Sam, Are electric bikes legal for delivery men
to use in Manhattan? If they are legal must they obey the traffic regulations such as stop lights, traffic directions and not driving on the sidewalk? Bret, Manhattan Dear Bret, Electric bikes are completely illegal in Manhattan and all of N.Y.C. While the laws about “e-bikes” have been confusing in the past, the New York City Council passed a law last spring that made
all motorized bikes illegal, regardless of their speed. The ban went into effect last November. I guess they can also be slapped with traffic infractions for violating traffic rules. The N.Y.P.D. must crack down on this relatively new type of bike. Otherwise we will see e-bike-pedestrian fatalities. 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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September 25-October 8, 2014
Peck Slip Plaza debate rises once again
Downtown Express photo by Josh Rogers
The east end of Peck Slip Plaza is supposed to open on a temporary basis Oct. 6, above left. A rendering of the current design for the plaza, above right. Continued from page 1
all of the places that have piazzas.” He said scaling back the design would not only better serve the neighborhood, it would also save on maintenance costs as well as some of the almost $4 million committed to the project. Mauro from Parks had been hoping to have a final design soon, contracts signed early next year and construction starting in the summer. He cautioned that any changes now, even building fewer things, would mean a drawn-out redesign and approval process. “I would have to negotiate that back through my own agency,” he said. “It would have to go back to Landmarks [Preservation Commission], back to SHiPO.” And the tree support is far from dead, just a little less intense. Board member Joel Kopel expressed concern about providing another space for
changing Peck Slip would be a “mistake of historic proportions. We should maintain the last open slip on the East River.” The slips numbered about a dozen and were all in Lower Manhattan along the East River, including on Wall St. They allowed vessels to pull in closer to unload cargo and were all paved over by 1859, according to several online historical accounts. Peck Slip stopped taking ships about 1810. Others that remain include Coenties, Catherine and Burling Slips. Jason Friedman, a newer board member who enjoys sitting in the plaza with his son, is also an architect who has experience with SHiPO. “A lot of times they get things wrong, but here it is absolutely most appropriate both financially and aesthetically that this park not receive trees and these crazy lights from the future,” he said. “It should just be more cobblestones, bollards just like piazzas in Italy, Paris and
Continued on page 13
PE CK SL
is scheduled to reopen Mon., Oct. 6 after two successive Sundays of paving work, weather permitting. But what gets permanently built there once again looks to be an open question. Back in 2007, Community Board 1 concluded an “extremely painful and long process,” as Mauro recalled it, to hash out what would go there. (“Very tortuous” was another Peck Slip veteran’s memory.) Mauro, then and now, was overseeing the project for the city Parks Dept. Seven years ago, more board members favored adding lots of trees and green space to the plaza, although there was some local opposition to “cute-ifying” the rustic historic street, where trucks served the Fulton Fish Market in more recent decades, and where ships slipped in to dock with their catch until two centuries ago. Those critics were backed by the mighty SHiPO, the State Historic Preservation Office. SHiPO pushed for no trees in order to help keep the historic area’s feel. Eventually a compromise was reached to add some trees to the plaza and decorative pieces reminiscent of a ship’s ribs — an element which doesn’t seem to have much support. The proj-
ect was put on hold for many reasons, including to allow for underground work by other city agencies. Cut to last week’s meeting of C.B.1’s Seaport Committee, where lo and behold, the consensus seems to have shifted to SHiPO’s idea of a sparse open space plaza. The original tree advocates were less passionate, and those who always favored a piazza were joined in support by relative newcomers to the neighborhood, who say doing less on the plaza would not only be truer to history, it would better serve the new Seaport, which now has nearby schools open or under construction, and more families. “You can see now the great majesty of the piazza as SHiPO once advocated,” Gary Fagin, who has lived nearby for 28 years, said at the meeting. “I would implore as much as anyone who has invested a lifetime in this neighborhood can, to see if Parks Dept. can reevaluate as much as feasible the design…to maximize the open space.” Fagin has helped lead Seaport preservation efforts over the last two decades, and was on the community board in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, prior to the first Peck debate. Later in a phone interview, he said his “heart sinks” when he sees other Lower Manhattan slips that have been filled up with too many things. He said
PL AZ A This city graphic illustrates the typical changes slips along Lower Manhatan’s East River have taken from ship docking locations, circa 1850, to parking lots more recently to plazas.
September 25-October 8, 2014
Continued from page 12
skateboarders to take over, and afterwards said of the trees, “I don’t see the problem with it.” Joe Lerner, another longtime board member, who still backs the trees, said, “I don’t want the space for soccer.” The idea of children playing soccer in the plaza has reached a sort of legendary status in little time. Apparently, it happened at least a few times this year before the Citi Bike docks were installed a few months ago, according to several neighbors. The piazza proponents often cite it as an example of what can be done with more space, but it’s not clear if there are any pictures of it. The tables and chairs at the plaza’s west end are managed by the Old Seaport Alliance, a neighborhood business group which also backs more open space at the plaza. The Blue School, a nearby private school, is in favor of the piazza. Peck Slip School, a public K-8, will overlook the plaza when it opens its permanent space next year. John Fratta, the Seaport Committee’s chairperson, said, “We’ve been waiting for this park to be built forever,” he said. “If you really want to go back and start from scratch we are looking at another eight years before
we see anything over here.” But one person whose view may have changed is Paul Goldstein, who helped mediate the dispute back when he was the community board’s district manager. He was quoted in a 2006 Downtown Express article, saying, “We’ve waited this long, so if we have to wait another few months to get it right, we think that makes a lot of sense.” He still lives nearby and attended last week’s meeting as a representative of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. He said since the community has begun to use the space well, there is little harm in taking the time to scale back the design. “An interim park doesn’t look so bad currently,” he said. “It serves the community. I see kids out there playing. I see people benefitting from exactly what’s there now, so if we were stuck with a redesign that did delay things, yes, that’s not the greatest, but it would serve the community,” As for SHiPO, if the state preservation office is in a “we told you so” mood, they’re not saying. Spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment.
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Citi Bikes are staying in the plaza The city is not considering moving the Citi Bike stand at Peck Slip Plaza, a Dept. of Transportation official told Downtown Express this week. Community Board 1 had passed a resolution in July asking the city to move the stand from the plaza to the northeast corner of Peck Slip and Front St. The official, who answered questions on the condition she not be identified, said the board thought the plaza was the best location, but it’s not clear if or how that request was made. Last December, the board passed a resolution requesting a stand be placed on South St. between Peck Slip and Fulton St. DowntownExpress.com
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David Reck, political activist & Hudson Sq. pioneer, dies BY ALBE RT A M AT E A U David Reck, a Hudson Square neighborhood resident and activist and a longtime member of Community Board 2, died this summer. He was 64. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in fall 2013 and died this July 31, according to his wife, Eli Hausknecht. A registered architect, David Reck was a skilled and passionate advocate for the improvement and preservation of the neighborhood where he lived and worked in the small Greenwich St. building he bought 37 years ago. “He helped usher in a lot of changes in Hudson Square, and he became an expert in the workings of the State Liquor Authority in the neighborhood fight against noisy clubs,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a former chairperson of Community Board 2. Tony Hofmann, president of the Village Independent Democrats club, hailed Reck for using his knowledge as an architect to help the community. Reck served as district co-leader in 2010.
In the 1990s, Reck organized Friends of Hudson Square in response to rowdy clubs in the area. As a member of C.B. 2, which covers Greenwich Village, the South Village, Soho and Hudson Square, he twice served as chairperson of the board’s Housing and Zoning Committee; headed the Traffic and Transportation Committee, and also served as vice chairperson of the Waterfront Committee. Around 2000, Reck took a leading role in the rezoning of part of Hudson Square, which was passed in 2003 and was expanded two years ago under the leadership of Trinity Real Estate. When the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district was organized, Reck was former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s representative on the BID’s board of directors. “He was on our board for two years and was active on our streetscape planning,” said Ellen Baer, the BID’s executive director. “He and his wife frequently attended meetings. We considered him a partner and a friend.”
Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.
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September 25-October 8, 2014
Reck was also a member of Board 2’s St. Vincent’s Hospital Omnibus Committee, reviewing land use and landmark applications for a proposed new hospital. The hospital plan collapsed with St. Vincent’s bankruptcy four years ago. He ran for C.B. 2 chairperson in 2006, but lost to Maria Passanante-Derr. Possessed of a mercurial temperament and never one to shy away from controversy, Reck came into conflict with a few other C.B. 2 members, notably Sean Sweeney and Doris Diether. Reck’s conflict with Sweeney resulted in Reck’s breaking away from Downtown Independent Democrats and organizing the Lower Manhattan Democrats. “David was the lifeblood of the club,” said Zella Jones, an L.M.D. member. “He built it from 31 members in 2010 to more than 200. With David gone we’re in the process of reorganizing,” she added. “David was very outspoken but also very principled,” said Alan Gerson, a former C.B. 2 chairperson and a former city councilmember. Frieda Bradlow, a Board 2 member for 45 years and a friend and near neighbor of Reck and his wife, said, “David was a rarity, a sweet guy with strong opinions. He was indefatigable when working on an issue. He just wouldn’t give up. He was among the first to come up with a rezoning plan for Hudson Square, long before Trinity became involved.” Bradlow recalled Reck’s efforts to block the Department of Sanitation’s ultimately successful plan for a three-district garage on Spring St. “Contrary to the lies told about him, he campaigned against the Trump Soho hotel on Varick St.,” Bradlow said. “He was a complex person. He saw no contradiction in his starting a new Democratic club and his wife’s remaining active in Village Independent Democrats. He was also a very good architect. I lost a good friend and a good neighbor.” Reck’s devotion to local democracy started in the early 1970s when he was an undergraduate at Allegheny College, in Meadville, in northeast Pennsylvania, his wife said. He joined a grassroots agency made up predominantly of black members, who were converting abandoned buildings to community use.
He was born in Millcreek, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Erie, the son of Bruce Reck and Margaret Guerin Reck. His father was a welder who later became a supervisor in the Hammermill Paper plant in Millcreek. David went to local schools and then entered college at nearby Allegheny. He started in chemistry, switched to photography and got involved with the school’s theater productions, his wife said. After graduation Reck became active in antiwar protests as well as the volunteer group building the community center. In 1974, he and a group of friends decided to come to New York. Reck made a living taking private construction jobs, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing, all unlicensed. “There was almost nothing he couldn’t do,” said his wife. David bought the building at 512 Greenwich St. in 1977 and decided he wanted to do more than freelance construction work in 1980 after he and Hausknecht began dating. He entered Pratt, studied architecture and earned a license. Among his community board activities, he served as the Board 2 representative to the Canal Area Transportation Study, a.k.a. CATS, a program of the federally funded New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. He was an early member of the Committee to Save Washington Square and was part of former Manhattan Borough President’s Virginia Fields’s Nightlife Task Force. “He was very forward-looking and a great believer in the community board as a way for citizens to exercise hands-on democracy,” his wife said. DowntownExpress.com
Parish hopes for salvation at Vilnius church B Y YA N N I C RAC K A pending permit application could see another church bulldozed for luxury residences, even after loyal parishioners have prayed on the steps of the church since it was padlocked seven years ago. Last month, a permit was filed with the Department of Buildings for an 18-story, 30-unit apartment building on the site of the century-old Our Lady of Vilnius Church, at 568-570 Broome St., as well as the neighboring brownstone at 572 Broome St. The Catholic Archdiocese closed the church, next to the Holland Tunnel entrance, in 2007, citing a dwindling congregation and an unstable roof too costly to fix. But a close-knit group of Lithuanians and other ex-parishioners won’t give up. The church was the city’s only national parish church for the Lithuanian Catholic community. “I consider it like a terminally ill family member and I am going to sit at the bedside until the bitter end,” said Christina Nakraseive, who blogs about Our Lady of Vilnius and is the vice chairperson of the committee to save the church. “It’s been endangered since 2006 and even though we weren’t successful in court, I guess we were able to put off what was inevitable for a long time. But now that it seems to be coming to demolition, it’s really very painful,” she said on the phone, audibly tearing up. Most Sundays, summer and winter, a group holds prayer services on the small steps in front of the yellow brick church, even though their priest is long gone. On any other day, the only thing giving away the church’s fate are the Buildings Department notices tacked to the front doors, whose red paint has faded. The former congregation has fought hard to reopen their church since it was abruptly shuttered by then-Archbishop Edward Egan. “After they closed it, we found an application for a demolition permit, and in December 2007 we began to contest this demolition based on New York State religious corporation law,” Nakraseive explained. The lawsuit went all the way to the Court of Appeals in Albany — the state’s highest court — but was DowntownExpress.com
ultimately defeated in 2011. Not even a direct appeal from Lithuania’s president to Pope Benedict XVI could save the church, much less a 4,000-signature petition to the archdiocese and a landmarking application. “Sunday and Holy Day Masses were regularly attended by six to 30 persons,” read a letter from the archdiocese from the day the church was closed. “They were in English, inasmuch as the priest serving the parish for many years does not understand, read, or speak Lithuanian. “There have been virtually no weddings or funerals in the church for years. Moreover, persons wishing to participate in Mass and parish activities in Lithuanian are informed of Lithuanian parishes in the neighboring Diocese of Brooklyn and Archdiocese of Newark.” B ut M i n d aug a s “G u s” Blaudziunas, who went to the church since the early ’90s, said it experienced an influx of young people toward the end. He said that, at the time of closure, the parish membership list counted 395 persons, including Italians and Hispanics living in the area, as well as other non-Lithuanians. At the end, only the basement was still open for services. The church’s main hall had been inaccessible for years because of a damaged roof support beam. To the argument that there were no funerals or weddings anymore, he asked, “How can we do that in the basement? ” Nakraseive, whose grandparents were among the church’s first parishioners at the beginning of the last century, said she has dim memories of going to the church as a small child, attending Easter Mass and funerals. Blaudziunas doesn’t see a way to stop the impending demolition. “We’ve done a lot but now the church is in the hands of private people,” he said. “It’s a different situation.” The New York Post reported that the church was sold to Extell Development for $13 million last year. Extell then flipped the property to the current owners, SoHo Broome Condos LLC, for $18.4 million earlier this year, according to New York YIMBY, a real estate
Downtown Express photo by Yannic Rack
Development plans have been filed for the padlocked Our Lady of Vilnius Church, at Broome St.’s western end.
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September 25-October 8, 2014
Jennifer Goodstein EDITOR
Josh Rogers REPORTER
Dusica Sue Malesevic ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler EXECUTIVE V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
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Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Andrew Gooss PHOTOGRAPHERS
Milo Hess Jefferson Siegel PUBLISHER EMERITUS
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Last call to vote for Battery Park’s next chair First there were 679. Then there were 50. Now there are five. Soon there will be one. After over two years, the Battery Conservancy will crown its new chair that will be placed in Battery Park’s Oval, currently under construction. A call for chair designs rang out on July 31, 2012, and creators from 15 countries sub-
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“THE CHANGE IS REAL THIS YEAR AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER” (POSTED, SEPT 11):
Almost all visitors come on foot from the east and northeast of the site. Why can’t there be covered walkways on Fulton and Cortlandt? Commuters to and from WFC would appreciate that as well. And yes, we need Greenwich or at least the west side of Church St; the east side alone can’t handle the pedestrian density interrupted by “terror book” sellers and multiple subway entrances. Downtowner
It’s rather ridiculous to say that 2 WTC may “someday perhaps” be built. That’s utter nonsense. Of course IT WILL be built. It’s just a matter of when. Once the site is fully up and running, meaning 1 & 4 WTC and the Train Station as well as the amazing shopping cen-
September 25-October 8, 2014
mitted 679 plans. That was whittled down to 50 and then to five, which have been on display in Castle Clinton National Monument since July of this year. The public has been encouraged to vote for the chair they like best. So far, over 3,000 votes have been cast, according to the Battery Conservancy. Voting remains open until Oct. 10.
The five chairs — the Fleurt, U Rock, Maple, Pivot and South Chairs — were designed by people from the United States, Canada and Brazil, and were made from “durable, lightweight and recyclable materials.” The winner, which will be announced on Oct. 15, will receive $10,000 and see their creation produced.
ter there is no doubt in my mind that 2 WTC will find the tenants it needs to get financing and resume construction.
WTC memorial we replaced all authentic artifacts w/ giant waterfalls and trees. Nice, but its main purpose is to allow us to forget and “heal.” We built a memorial with a very short date of obsolescence. What sense does that make? See Facebook, Save the Sphere.
“A WORD FROM A FEW WHO BARELY REMEMBER 9/11” (POSTED, SEPT 11):
So the generation that has little memories of 9/11 visits the “National September 11 Memorial” at the WTC and sees nothing to act as a reminder or as a lesson. It’s great that we have the museum underground (which includes my brother Capt. Billy Burke’s E-21 damaged fire truck) but why not something — like the Sphere — on the site itself? This past anniversary, while the nation and world focused on Ground Zero, the Sphere sat forgotten in a corner of Battery Park. Imagine the USS Arizona Memorial w/o the USS Arizona; Hiroshima w/o the Peace Dome remnants; Gettysburg w/o the battlefield and Auschwitz w/o the camp remnants. What sense would that make? All those memorials include authentic artifacts. At the
LETTERS POLICY Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writ- er’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to 1 Metrotech Center North, Brooklyn NY11201. DowntownExpress.com
Parish hopes for salvation for Vilnius Church Continued from page 15
website. The developer listed on the building permit, KSK Construction Group, filed plans for the 60,800-square foot project through architects Builtd. New York YIMBY reported that the new owner bought the small walk-up next to the church for $12.3 million. The website also mentioned that the project will not have an affordable component under the Hudson Square rezoning, since “the one-third density bonus [which would raise the F.A.R., or floor-area ratio, from nine to 12] is not enough to compel the developer to participate in the inclusionary housing program.” “I think one of the things that I find hurtful, questionable, is that they’re selling the properties and it’s not like they’re building affordable housing. Where does the money go? ” said Elaine Derso, the chairperson of the Save Our Lady of Vilnius Committee. Extell also bought the former
rectory at 32 Dominick St., behind the church, although the building was landmarked two years ago along with 34 and 36 Dominick St. The rectory is now listed for sale as a single-family townhouse with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Blaudziunas said the church’s function went beyond religious services. “We used to have a lot of events in the basement there — artists, musicians, you name it — and especially for younger people, because there’s no other place to gather,” he said. “Why could we not keep our community center? They said the Hudson Square development would revitalize the area,” he added, referring to the rezoning of the Hudson Square, the area above Canal St. and west of Sixth Ave., in 2013 to allow more residential use, a move he spoke out against at a City Council hearing at the time. “If the application is submitted, of course it will be approved. So we just need to somehow say goodbye
to our effort and the history of our community… . But we’re still thinking because you never know. It’s still standing after seven-plus years, so it’s already a miracle,” Blaudziunas said. However, Derso said the committee still has some fight left. “We’re in the process of making some plans, I’m not sure exactly what or when,” she said. “But we figure, if the building is gonna go out with a bang, so should we!” Blaudziunas noted, however, that the committee has not been active since the civil court case was lost in 2011. He said a Save Our Lady of Vilnius Initiative includes him and six other members, among them Rita Stelmokiene, who also leads the prayers on the church’s steps. Their goal, Blaudziunas said, is to “save and reuse the building as a historic site of Lithuanian national heritage.” Blaudziunas said the longtime owner of the building next door to the church was another ex-parishioner and only sold after the offers became irresistible.
“It seems part of this wholesale transformation of New York by the real estate market,” said Nakraseive. The church was completed in 1910, built by Lithuanian longshoremen and their families who lived in the area before the tunnel’s construction in the ’20s uprooted them, seeing them resettle in the Bronx and suburbs. Nakraseive said she is also worried for other parishes because it seems “it’s all of the small, closely knit ethnic churches that the archdiocese is seeking to close.” Cardinal Dolan recently pushed back to late October his announcement of the next wave of church mergers and closures. The archdiocese is closing churches to consolidate underused houses of worship in an initiative called “Making all things new.” One of those at risk of demolition is the Garment District’s Church of the Holy Innocents, the city’s last church offering Mass in Latin. “I call it ‘Making all things condo,’ ” Derso said bitterly.
Conflict continues over liquor licences Continued from page 6
tially is there would not be dancing, but that you wanted a cabaret license in case someone was moved by the music and got up and danced, the articles you sent me that praised your place, called it a dance palace,” said Ehrlich. “We do not have a designated dance floor,” said Horowitz, who may apply for a cabaret license. “What you told was one thing, what you’ve been doing is something else,” said Ehrlich. “We’re having a hard time. It’s really hard to make money,” said Horowitz, referring to the high rent in Tribeca and operating costs. The committee approved earlier hours for brunch, but said Horowitz would have to come back later for an extension of the late hours. For over 45 minutes, the liquor license for a new Korean BBQ restaurant that will inhabit the former space of Lilly O’Brien’s and Bradys Tavern at 67 Murray St. was DowntownExpress.com
discussed. The 74-seat venue will have tables that will allow patrons to cook their own meat, a bar and seven karaoke rooms in the cellar. One of owners, Andy Lau, also co-owns BonChon Chicken at 104 John St. and lives on that street as well. Committee member Adam Malitz spoke to the character of the owners and praised BonChon. Initially asking for 3 a.m., the partners of the new venture acquiesced to midnight and 1 a.m. with the provision that different closing hours could be on the table at a later time. Dennis Spates, who has lived at 67 Murray St. for 22 years, was asked by his neighbors at 67, 69, and 71 Murray St. to speak on their behalf. “We had a horrendous experience with Bradys Tavern and then with Lilly O’Brien’s,” said Spates. “I welcome the new restaurant and hopefully you’ll be good neighbors. We hope that you’ll beautify that space that has been an eyesore for a
long time.” With 14 liquor licenses on Murray St. from Broadway to Greenwich St., Spates said the street “gradually and alarmingly, it’s become Bourbon St.” Spates listed concerns about the karaoke rooms, the hours, the smoke exhaust that may emanate from the restaurant, the signage, the maintenance of the sidewalk and the noise. “When Bradys and Lilly O’Brien’s had their musical events, the building shook,” he said. Tamara Downey, who lives at 71 Murray St., brought five letters from her neighbors who are worried about late closing times and the exhaust that will be expelled. Construction has begun on the restaurant, which is slated to open in March. The owners said the karaoke rooms will be soundproof and that they — not the patrons — will have control of the volume. “We never had anyone come in with seven karaoke machines. It’s a completely unique situation,” said
committee member Marc Ameruso. “I don’t see how I can vote in favor of this without having more substantial information in how these machines are going to affect — not your customers — the neighbors.” Lau has been before C.B. 1 before and said applying for a liquor license for BonChon in the Financial District had been easier. “It was a different experience,” said Lau later in a phone interview. Because Tribeca has the most active nightlife of the Board 1 neighborhoods, its committee tends to scrutinize liquor licenses more skeptically. Ultimately, the Tribeca Committee wanted a lot more information about the designs of the karaoke rooms and the restaurant itself, and the owners will come back to the next meeting. “It’s a flood that you can’t stop,” said Bob Townley, a committee member. “I’m not optimistic about the streets of Tribeca. Who owns the space? Capitalism.” September 25-October 8, 2014
THURS SEPTEMBER 25- WED. OCTOBER 8 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 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. EVERY THURSDAY UNTIL 10/30
Art & Games: Age 5+ | Free, drop in | Nelson A. Rockefeller Park | 3:305:30 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. Through Youthmarket, families in NYC have increased access to farm fresh food; youth in these areas have earned money and learned small-business skills; and farmers in the New York City region are achieving higher revenue through access to under-served markets. All ages | 12 p.m.-5:00 p.m. until November 20th 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 THURSDAY AT 11:30 A.M .
Teen advisory group: Have fun, hang out with old friends and new, and learn about books and media for teens. Questions about volunteering? This is the place! Refreshments
will be served. Ages 13-18 | Free | 4:00 p.m. Crafternoon: Bring your imagination and get creative. Listen to a story and create a hands-on project. All ages | Free | 4:00 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 FRIENDS OF THE HIGHLINE 14th Street Passage, thehighline.org/ activities/kids-construction-zone Kids’ construction zone: Join the super building sessions with the nuts, bolts, wheels, and pulleys of the Children’s Workyard Kit. Build lifesized structures you can climb in, play under, or drive. All ages | Free | 3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.
and restaurants, a bubble gum blowing contest, a pet parade and marina activities. All ages | free | 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. SEE/CHANGE South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton Street, southstreetseaport.com/ events/ Old Seaport Street Fest – The Old Seaport Alliance is throwing a party and you’re all invited! Outdoor stage featuring live music, art performances, family fun, tasty morsels, yoga and so much more. All ages | 12 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 HUDSON RIVER PARK At the Christopher Street fountain, north of pier 40, hudsonriverpark. org/events/hudson-river-park-wild1 Wild!: Hudson River Park brings attention to its vital role in creating one of the scarcest resources in all of Manhattan—wildlife habitat! Learn about Hudson River Park’s wildlife by joining experienced naturalists on guided nature walks along the Park’s esplanade. Free | 9:00 a.m.
NY KIDS CLUB: PJ PARTY 88 Leonard Street, nykidsclub.com/ Open-Play-Space-For-Kids-SingleDay-Signup/667/Tribeca NY Kids Club pajama parties: a one-of-a-kind thematic “after hours” celebration for children 2.5 - 8 years featuring gym exploration, art, story, cooking, games, relays, and more. All parties culminate in a disco dance party, and dinner is provided. 2.5-8 years | $48 for the first child $24 for each additional sibling | 6-9 p.m.
EVERY SUNDAY THROUGH 9/28
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
HUDSON RIVER PARK Pier 25, hudsonriverpark.org/events/series/ big-city-fishing Big City Fishing: The rods, reels, bait and instruction will be provided. Beyond teaching fishing, the program also provides participants with a firsthand opportunity to learn about river ecology and the many fish species that can be found in the river. 5+ | Free | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
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. BATTERY PARK CITY BLOCK PARTY Esplanade Plaza near Liberty Street, bpcblockparty.com/ This 13th annual community gathering features live music and dance performances, kids’ rides and activities, sports, a flea market, local vendors
September 25-October 8, 2014
BABY LOVES DISCO 158 Bleecker Street, babylovesdisco. com Ten years after launching Baby Loves Disco, the mom and dad co-founders will celebrate the anniversary by throwing several family dance party extravaganzas this fall. Tickets to the “Baby’s All Grown Up Now” parties this fall are available now. 6 months-7 years | $20 plus service fee | 12:00 p.m.
host a high-energy New Year celebration. Kids, parents, and grandparents are all invited to sing and dance along to Mama Doni’s original songs and her new twists on holiday favorites. Their albums include “I Love Herring,” “Chanukah Fever,” and “Shabbat Shaboom.” The music is geared toward children ages three to 10. Families are also invited to make holiday-themed crafts from 1 to 4 p.m. and take a mini-tour of the galleries at 1:30 p.m. 3-10 years | Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children 10 and under. Members pay $7 per adult and may bring up to three children for free | 1-4 p.m. (concert at 2)
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 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 first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free | 9:30 a.m. EVERY MONDAY AT 9:30 A.M.
Toddler Story Time: A librarian will share lively picture books, finger plays, and action songs with toddlers and their caregivers. Ages 18-36 months | Free | 4 p.m. EVERY MONDAY AT 4:00 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. 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, SEPTEMBER 30
EVERY SUNDAY THROUGH 9/28
MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, 646.437.4202, www.mjhnyc. org Apples and Honey in the Big Apple: Join the Mama Doni Band as they
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 neighborDowntownExpress.com
hood. Limited to 25 babies and their caregivers; first-come first-served. Ages 0-18 months | Free |11:30 a.m.
puppetry. All ages | Free | 4 p.m.
EVERY TUESDAY AT 11:30 A.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.
Picture Book Time: A librarian will read classic stories and new picture books. All ages. | Free | 4 p.m. EVERY TUESDAY AT 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. Everybody plays! 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. The children participate in drills and games and learn the basics of the sport while having a great time. Ages 7-10 | Free | 3:00-5:00 pm 3:00-4:00 p.m. 7-8 year old olds 4:00-5:00 p.m. is for 9-10 year olds
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1 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 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 DowntownExpress.com
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 2 BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Art and Art & Games: See 9/25 for info
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5 HUDSON RIVER PARK’S SUBMERGE Pier 26, hudsonriverpark.org/events/ submerge-2014 Submerge: NYC’s Marine Science Festival: This day-long festival is presented in partnership with the New York Hall of Science and focuses on ocean science while raising awareness of how people influence our local waterways. Noted marine scientists will present current research through hands-on activities and compelling presentations. Interactive demonstrations will bring marine science and engineering topics to life, inspiring audiences of all ages. Free | 11:00 a.m.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Toddler Story Time: See 9/29 for info BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Children’s
Basketball: See 9/29 for info
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers and Picture Book Time: See 9/30 for info BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play and Soccer for Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers: See 9/30 for info FRIENDS WASHINGTON MARKET PARK Children’s Tennis Clinics: See 9/30 for info.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time and Bilingual Birdies Mandarin: See 10/1 for info. BATTERY PARK CITY PARKS CONSERVANCY Preschool Play, Wednesdays at Teardrop, Drop-in Chess: See 10/1 for info.
SEE/CHANGE Seaport Youthmarket: See 9/25 for info NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Baby Laptime for Pre-Walkers: See 9/25 for info
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3 NY KIDS CLUB: PJ PARTY PJ Party: See 9/26 for info SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BATTERY PARK CITY BRANCH Toddler Story Time: See 9/27 for info BROOKLYN ROBOT FOUNDRYTRIBECA 528 Canal btwn. Washington and Westside Hwy brooklynrobotfoundr y.c om /we eke nd- classes -ma n hattan/#brush Brush Bot class. The class includes all materials and tools required to build a cute little bot. A fun, exciting and educational intro into simple mechanics, motors, and circuits. The class ends with a robot race. 7-9 years | $65 | 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade
Open House | City and Country
a child learns tolearn learnwill will HowHow a child learns to Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information and application materials. impact his or her lifeTel:forever. impact his orNew her life 146 West 13th Street, York, NY 10011forever. 212.242.7802 Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm
Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade
Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade
Open House | City and Country
OpenWednesday, Housey|, City and Country W e d n e s d aNovember N o v e m13, b efrom r 1 96-8pm , 6-8pm Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm
Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information materials. Please and visitapplication www.cityandcountry.org for information
146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 and application materials.
146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 September 25-October 8, 2014
Buhmann on Art
Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery
Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery
Michael Scoggins. “Explosion Drawing #5” (2014). Marker, prism color on paper.
Samuel Jablon. “The Poet Sculpture” (2013). Acrylic on wood.
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN (stephaniebuhmann.com)
source of inspiration, which goes as far back as far as ancient calligraphy or illuminated manuscripts. Most importantly, this installation exemplifies the manifold ways in which artists can be drawn to this particular subject. Whether language is used for emphasis, to communicate specific meaning, draw out a narrative or simply to make a joke, it always proves to be a potent means of expression. By focusing on artists
DRAWN TO LANGUAGE On view in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery, this exhibition brings together both emerging and established mid-career artists, such as Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer and Jack Pierson, whose works employ language as a structural and at times philosophical source of inspiration. Here, letters, words or phrases are
transcribed, visualized, verbalized, symbolized, morphed into patterns, scrambled, and erased to create compositional content. While the works vary conceptually and aesthetically, ranging from humorous to political and lyrically abstract, for example, each makes use of words to create a unique image. Because of its eclectic and encompassing nature, the exhibition succeeds in paying homage to language in general and as a timeless
September 25-October 8, 2014
who pursue their subject by using unusual materials, processes and techniques, “Drawn to Language” aims to encourage its audience to examine language in new ways. Through Jan. 11, 2015. At the Children’s Museum of the Arts (103 Charlton St., btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.). Hours: Mon./Wed., 12–5 p.m., Thurs./Fri., 12–6 p.m., Sat./Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Call 212274-0986 or visit cmany.org. DowntownExpress.com
Just Do Art
summer Starting June 23rd n
n n Photo by Erik Carter
Photo by Jeremy X. Halpern
A house that may or may not be for sale isn’t the only thing up for grabs, in “Mr. Landing Takes A Fall.”
Olivia Killingsworth and Quinlan Corbett, in the Metropolitan Playhouse production of “Icebound.”
Programs for students of ALL AGES! Music & Art Camps Private & Group Instrumental Birthday Parties & Space Rentals
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
MR. LANDING TAKES A FALL
74 Warren Street www.churchstreetschool.org
Chimney smoke rises from that charming little house on the hill, beckoning a young, just-married couple to bypass their honeymoon and put down roots — but first, they must dislodge the husband and wife who’ve barricaded themselves inside for 500 years, passing the time with booze, button-pushing and occasional concern for birds who flock together but can’t pull off a decent migration. It seems like all the world’s in an ominous holding pattern at the onset of “Mr. Landing Takes A Fall” — Sari Caine’s absurd, melancholy and unexpectedly violent drawing room comedy that full-throttles its four players through an evening filled with revelations from both couples, during which they consider the relative merits of stoking or extinguishing the spark that first drew them to one another. Both options come with their share of hope and dread. At 7 p.m. on Sept. 26, 27, 30 & Oct. 1–4 and at 3 p.m. on Sept. 28. At The Flea Theater (41 White St., btw. Church & Broadway). For tickets ($18), call 212-352-3101 or visit theflea.org. For artist info: slightlyaltered.org.
15 to 19
All venues in Midtown, Manhattan.
METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS “ICEBOUND” Tirelessly devoted to presenting works from America’s theatrical heritage — and especially adept at choosing ones that are both revelatory and relevant — the East Village’s Metropolitan Playhouse opens their 23rd season (devoted to “Progress”) with “Icebound.” Seen only once on the New York stage since its 1923 premiere, this revival of Owen Davis’ Pulitzer Prize-winner for Drama marks only the second effort from the author, since choosing to abandon a string of highly lucrative westerns, sex comedies and melodramas in favor of more serious fare. Set in rural Maine (where Davis was born), “Icebound” concerns the chilly reception given to a shrewish second cousin who becomes heir to the estate of a stern matriarch. Denied any inheritance, the bitter children are also frozen out by the newly powerful cousin — who hires their on-the-lam black sheep brother to help around the house. They clash as well, but also envision a better future. “But nature will out,” warns Playhouse artistic director Alex Roe, in “a play that asks whether our habits and fears will always defy our highest aspirations.” Sept. 26–Oct. 19. Thurs.–Sat. at 7:30 p.m. & Sun. at 3 p.m. (also Oct. 8, 11, 15 & 18 at 3 p.m.). At Metropolitan Playhouse (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). For tickets ($25, $20 for students & seniors; $10 for those under 18), call 800-838-3006 or visit metropolitanplayhouse.org.tickets. DowntownExpress.com
Come to any session and get a complimentary glass of Dark Horse wine*! *You must be 21 or older.
September 25-October 8, 2014
Sad and haunting, fascinating and painful Cino’s ‘quietly explosive’ family study has mythic dimensions THEATER WARM ENOUGH FOR SWIMMING Written by Maggie Cino Directed by Fred Backus Set by Daniel C. Soule Soundscape by Daniel McKleinfeld Runtime: 1hr 40min A FringeNYC Encore Series Presentation Sept. 25 & 27 at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. At SoHo Playhouse 15 Vandam St. (btw. Varick & Ave. of the Americas) Tickets: $18 Reservations: 212-352-3101 or fringenyc-encoreseries.com
BY MARTIN DENTON The family I grew up in was the iconic nuclear kind: a father, a mother, two kids, living in the suburbs in a nice house. Whatever dangers lay beyond the doors of our house were faced together. Inside the doors was always and only safety, security, and certainty. In “Warm Enough for Swimming,” Maggie Cino introduces us to a family quite the opposite of mine. Eddie and
Bridget are grown-up siblings who haven’t seen each other for a while. Eddie returns to the house near Atlantic City where they grew up when their grandmother — their only real relative at this point, and the woman who raised them — passes away. Also present are Alex, Bridget’s boyfriend who may or may not be involved in organized crime, and Viva (short for Genevieve), the privileged young woman whom Eddie has (literally) just married. (Inconveniently, to say the least, their wedding coincided with Grandma’s passing.) What transpires during this sad, haunting play is less an attempt at reconciliation between brother and sister than a series of dialogues and conversations where moments of understanding painfully push their way to the surface in hopes of, this time, not getting buried again. The style of the piece is naturalism, I guess, but there’s always something less substantial and more theatrical fomenting here. Time feels off-kilter, for one thing, even though ostensibly the story plays out in real time. And there’s an odd formalism to how Cino has structured the work — especially in how the characters so conveniently appear and disappear from the messy living room that is the play’s only set, and also in the recurring notion of characters trying to make coffee, never successfully — that brings to mind a kind of magic reality circling these people, as if these fleeting chances they have in the confines of this piece of discovering important things about themselves and each other are mystical, even mythic in their dimension.
September 25-October 8, 2014
Photo by Hunter Canning
Alex (Derrick Peterson) pays a surprise visit to Bridget (Phoebe Silva), whose grandmother has just died.
What resonates most about “Warm Enough for Swimming” — which is directed by Fred Backus and features a terrifically evocative set by Daniel C. Soule and soundscape by Daniel McKleinfeld — are the characters, and the insights we gain into these very different, very troubled individuals. Lindsey Carter stands out as (and because she plays) outsider Viva. The contrast between the over-compensating woman we meet at the beginning, when she encounters her new sisterin-law for the very first time, and the complicated, caring, controlling, insecure woman we get to know as the play rolls on is stunning. Derrick Peterson plays Alex, who is also outside the family but belongs here in South Jersey.
Though he has just as much at stake as the others in this story, there’s a weird grounding to his character that makes us more sure of his survival. As brother and sister, what Cino’s words and the actors David J. Goldberg and Phoebe Silva illuminate is how different their experiences growing up in the same household actually were. Eddie, the elder of the two, knew more about their mother (who died young) and struggled with balancing the need to protect with the need to escape. Bridget, who has never really done anything as an adult other than care for her grandmother, battles aloneness even while having known — in a way Eddie never has — unconditional love. The contrast is fascinating and painful, and really sits at the heart of this play. I’m a big fan of Maggie Cino’s work, and this is a very different direction for her as a playwright that makes me eager to see what comes next. Meanwhile, this is a quietly explosive family study that is certainly worth your time. Martin Denton is the founder and curator of Indie Theater Now, a digital library of more than 1,000 new play scripts from the world of indie theater that also houses commentary and features about contemporary American plays and playwrights. “Warm Enough for Swimming” is part of their 2014 FringeNYC Collection, which features 27 of the best new plays from this year’s NY International Fringe Festival. Visit indietheaternow.com/Subscribe/ FringeNYC.
Manhattan & Brooklyn markets still strong B Y L A U RE N PR IC E Manhattan real estate remains hot and is increasingly exclusive. That’s the message from Corcoran’s second quarter 2014 report. The average price for resale co-ops, resale condos and new developments increased 20 percent over last year, up to $1.697 million. That number topped the first quarter and sets a new record high price. Median price, however, while increasing 6 percent to $920,000, has still not rebounded to the 2008 second quarter all-time high of $975,000. Price per square foot saw a large gain, up 15 percent to $1,286 market-wide, which is also a new record. Larger units are seeing higher price gains, with annual growth at 2 percent for studios, 6 percent for one-bedrooms, 11 percent for two-bedrooms, and a whopping 23 percent for three-bedrooms. New development slowed in the second quarter, but not for lack of demand. Price increases reflect not only appreciation but also the high quality of new supply. The new development market increased 63 percent over last year and price per square foot increased 31 percent. Median price was up 16 percent, to $1.731 million.
New developments skewed larger, with 27 percent three-plus bedrooms, compared to just 14 percent of existing stock. The greatest number of new development closings took place on the Upper East Side. Douglas Elliman’s second quarter report found that consistent with a declining vacancy rate, Manhattan rents have grown steadily over the past five months. Tight mortgage underwriting standards and an increase in city employment levels were key factors. Median rental levels increased 5.4 percent to $3,205 compared to second quarter 2013, the biggest increase for that quarter in six years. The number of new rentals increased modestly by 7.2 percent to 4,938. In Brooklyn, Elliman found, the rental market is also hot, with prices up for the 14th consecutive month and smaller apartments bearing the bulk of the increases. Tenants showed a greater willingness to seek affordability elsewhere rather than renew existing leases. Price gains were seen across the studio and one-bedroom markets, with more mixed results in the larger size categories. The median rent in Brooklyn grew 6.6 percent from a year ago to $2,852, but the
Photo by Redundant Pixel
The Gluck+ Architects-designed 345 Carroll St. in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
luxury market rate increased only 1.8 percent to $4,500. The number of new rentals listed jumped 127 percent to 892 over the same period, reflecting strong tenant resistance to renewing leases at higher cost. For Manhattan buyers, new developments, particularly on the Upper East Side near the Second Ave. subway, provide great options. When Phase I of the new subway line opens in late 2016, it will carry 200,000 straphangers from 96th St.
to connections at 63rd St. and Lexington Ave. For views of the East River, there is the spanking new SixtyFour at 300 E. 64th St. at Second Ave., developed by architects Stonehilll & Taylor. A luxury condo conversion of a rental building, SixtyFour is exclusively sold through Douglas Elliman. Unit sizes runs from one- to three-bedContinued on page 24
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What’s for sale around the city? Continued from page 23
rooms, including a penthouse, all with hardwood floors and oversized or floor-toceiling windows, and square footage ranging from about 725 to 1,431. Kitchens are outfitted with Liebherr and Bosch appliances, and bathrooms have soaking tubs, Kohler Caxton sinks and marble vanities. A communal open-air penthouse, furnished and with a barbeque grill and four exposures, offers spectacular views of the river and the Queensboro Bridge. The building also includes a screening room and a gym. Prices start at about $925,000. (sixtyfourcondo.com) The Charles from Bluerock Real Estate was designed by Ismael Leyva, with interiors by David Collins Studio. A luxury condominium with private access full-floor residences — including a duplex penthouse with two large terraces, each more than 3,000 square feet — The Charles is at 1335 First Ave. near 72nd St. Prices average $2,500 per square foot. Special touches include very high ceilings, floorto-ceiling windows, and white oak Oyster Gloss wide-plank flooring that in the living rooms has radiant heat. Eat-in kitchens are
outfitted with mirror-polished, high-gloss lacquer cabinetry, Corian countertops and backsplashes, and appliances by Sub-Zero and Miele. Polished dolomite marble tile bathrooms feature radiant heat floors and Kohler tubs. Shared building amenities include a residents’ lounge, a Technogym, a game room and private storage. Exclusively marketed and sold through TOWN Residential, the Charles’s move-ins begin late this year. (charlesnyc.com) If the High Line park is your hot button, consider 505 W. 19th St. Off 10th Ave, the building was designed inside and out by Thomas Juul-Hansen and is made up of towers framing the park. With just 35 units ranging from one- to five-bedrooms, including a penthouse, square footage ranges from 1,050 to more than 5,800. A number of units include direct elevator entry and some have private outdoor space. Features include wide-plank rift-sawn white oak flooring and large windows positioned to enhance privacy for the lower-floor units and with expanded views on the higher floors. Kitchens offer quarter-sawn white oak, and cerused, limed and stained gray cabinetry trimmed
with brass. Countertops and backsplashes are absolute black granite and appliances are from Miele. Master baths with radiant heat floors offer honed Stellar White marble floors and shower walls and black lacquer vanities. All units feature Kohler cast-iron tubs and glass-enclosed showers. Community pleasures include a fitness center and private storage units. Marketed and sold by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, prices start at $2.54 million. (505W19.com) Downtown, a duplex penthouse co-op with private outdoor space has just come on the market at 430 E. 10th St., between Avenues C and D. This loft-like, four-plus bedroom unit in a meticulously renovated building merges modern amenities with original details, including exposed brick walls, wood beam ceilings and rustic wood columns throughout. Spanning more than 3,400 square feet with a private rooftop that practically matches the interior square footage, the apartment has new electricity and plumbing, central heating and cooling systems, double-paned windows and white oak “floating” floors installed with professional-grade acoustic soundproofing. The living room/dining room has six
large windows. Highlighted by a skylight and a doublewide cement sink, the open kitchen has cabinetry created from the original 19th-century flooring topped with Belgium bluestone and appliances are by SubZero, BlueStar and Miele. The 500-bottle wine storage and tasting room is also created from the original floors. The corner master bedroom suite has a walk-in closet and an en suite bath with a freestanding tub, a glass-enclosed shower, double vanities and Lefroy Brooks fixtures. There is also a separate laundry room with full-size washer and exterior-vented dryer. Listed with TOWN Residential, it’s priced at $3.998 million. Other Lower Manhattan properties include the contemporary architectural statement Ismael Leyva created at the Tribeca Royale at 19 Park Place near Church St. Developed by ABM Realty LLC, it’s made up of 24 half- and full-floor condominiums pre-wired for smart-home technology, each with floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls with frameless glass balconies, wide-plank European oak floors from Mercier, and in-home washers and dryers Continued on page 26
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September 25-October 8, 2014
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Real Estate preview Continued from page 24
by Miele. One- to three-bedroom units range from 716 to 1,336 square feet, and the mix includes a duplex and a penthouse with a gas fireplace framed in Calacatta marble. Master baths with radiant heat floors and hydronic towel warmers are done up in polished onyx porcelain slab walls by Ariostea Ultra Onici and honed walnut brown marble floors. Fixtures include a Wetstyle oval-shaped freestanding tub and a glass-enclosed shower with a slatted teak floor. Communal amenities include a second-floor outdoor landscaped terrace. Priced from $1.12 million with anticipated 421a tax abatement, this development is marketed and sold through Halstead Property Development Marketing. Occupancy is set for spring 2015. (19pptribeca.com) New developments are popping up across wide swaths of Brooklyn. According to a July report from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, there are 7,800 housing units in the development pipeline, 2,000 of which will be market-rate
condominiums. Streeteasy (streeteasy. com) recently reported that Brooklyn’s up-and-coming neighborhoods include those on the eastern edge of the borough, such as East New York and Carnarsie, plus neighborhoods near Prospect Park, such as Kensington, Flatbush and Sunset Park. Centrally located in Downtown Brooklyn and developed by the Stahl Organization, the SLCE-designed 388 Bridge Penthouse Collection is now on the market atop Brooklyn’s tallest condominium, located between Fulton and Willoughby Sts. On floors 45 through 53, there are 40 two- to four-bedroom penthouses, most of which are duplexes with private outdoor space for eyefuls of New York’s landmarks. Units range from 1,133 to 2,371 square feet. All feature wide-plank gray-wash white oak floors, ceilings as high as 11 feet, and solar shades. Master bathrooms feature white quartz walls, limestone floors, walk-in showers and custom-designed white lacquer vanities. This full-service building with a 24-hour doorman includes a 46th-floor sky lounge with a fireplace, pool table, large screen TVs, a pantry and a wet bar.
September 25-October 8, 2014
Photo by Town Residential
The rustic dining room of the penthouse duplex at 430 E. 10th St. in the East Village.
The adjacent outdoor terrace features a playground, two barbeques and a lounge area. Amenities also include a playroom, a media room, a pet spa and a two-story Manhattan Athletic Club, to which membership can be purchased. Marketed by Halstead Property, prices begin at $1.742 million. Developed by Sterling Equities and designed by Gluck+ Architects, a new boutique development at 345 Carroll St., between Hoyt and Bond Sts., begins selling units this month. The building includes 32 luxury residences, with 18 two- to four-bedroom units with square footage ranging from 1,215 to 1,973. There are also eight four-bedroom penthouses, sized from 1,847 to 2,393 square feet, and six one- to three-bedroom garden duplexes, with square footage ranging from 1,647 to 2,899. Master baths have custom herringbone Italian marble radiant heat floors, walnut vanities topped with marble, glass shower stall and tubs with marble decks. Amenities include a vegetable garden and one that is landscaped, a rooftop deck, a kids’ playroom, a dog-washing area and a bocce ball court. Lobby attendants are 24/7 and parking and storage areas are for sale. Marketed and sold through Stribling Marketing Associates, prices begin at $1.5 million with occupancy slated for fall 2015. (345carroll.com) Cliff Finn, executive vice president at Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, offered his take on Brooklyn’s rental market. “Many renters prefer the technology, design and amenities of today’s new developments, and they are usually willing to trade off a little space and often location to get it,” Finn said. “Brooklyn is no longer the big discount to Manhattan it once was. However, in most cases, there is still a bit of a discount when compared to comparable buildings in other Manhattan neighborhoods, which now may only be a
10 percent to 25 percent savings, sometimes higher or even lower depending on the location. Compared to some Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations, one will find parts of Brooklyn more expensive.” Finn offered a telling example. “An average sized one-bedroom in our new boutique rental development, 267 Pacific in Boerum Hill, recently rented for $3,600. The same unit in the similarly sized new Hell’s Kitchen development would rent for $3,900, and in a new Greenwich Village rental, perhaps $5,000. The appeal, aside from new development housing stock, is the authenticity of its neighborhoods. Renters and purchasers like the look and feel of the various intimate neighborhoods, with their small neighborhood parks, mom-and-pop businesses, and the light and air one gets from having more low- and mid-rise buildings.” The signature design feature at 267 Pacific is the 50-foot-by 50-foot “Sign Language” mural from famed street artists Chris Stain and Billy Mode, who collaborated with the Brooklyn youth arts group Cre8tive YouTH*ink. The mural, which covers the building’s entire right side, pays tribute to legendary photographer Martha Cooper. Developed by Quinlan Development Group and Lonicera Partners and marketed through Elliman, the GF55 Partners-designed project offers 60 units with wide-plank solid white oak floors, ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, some with terraces, plus penthouses with private terraces and spectacular views. Bathrooms have CaesarStone-topped vanities. Communal amenities include a large bike garage and dedicated workshop and a large rooftop terrace with entertaining space, a sundeck, a misting shower and barbeque grills. Almost ready for occupancy, monthly rents will start at $2,525. (267pacific.com) DowntownExpress.com
September 25-October 8, 2014
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DOWNTOWN EXPRESS, SEPT. 25, 2014