Today in History December 21

Earthrise, taken from Apollo 8
by astronaut William Anders on December 24, 1968

69 – The Roman Senate declares Vespasian emperor of Rome, the last in the Year of the Four Emperors. 1361 – The Battle of Linuesa is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the forces of the Emirate of Granada and the combined army of the Kingdom of Castile and of Jaén resulting […]


The 225 Liberty Street lobby after being privatized for Saks, which recently announced that it will close in January

To the editor: As a homeowner in BPC, losing Saks means nothing to me or many people who live here.  Saks was always empty and a bad idea from the start. They need to put something that will appeal to the people who live here.  Trader Joe’s or more reasonable priced retail. Best regards, Maryann Peters […]

EYES TO THE SKY December 24, 2018 – January 6, 2019


The dark of night extends into morning most noticeably from today through mid-January: in our neighborhood, the Sun rises around 7:20am. It is the ideal time to observe planet Venus, the Morning Star, shining brightly high in the southeast as late as 7am. During the whole period of this post, civil twilight begins just half […]

Home for the Holidays


Gilbert Chesterton said that, “Christmas is built on a beautiful and intentional paradox — that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.” In an odd way, this restless longing to get home, or to find a place in the world to call home, is perhaps at the bottom of Christmas. Robert […]

The River Project


For 32 years, The River Project (TRP) has worked to protect and restore New York Harbor. Some of their achievements towards this end over 2018 include the following: Over the summer, “Big”, the largest oyster seen in the Hudson River Estuary in the last 100 years was found under Pier 40. TRP’s wetlab partnered with […]

Today in History December 20

Transfer of Louisiana by Ford P. Kaiser, 1904

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans. 1808 – The original Covent Garden Theatre in London is destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts. 1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded. 1924 – Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg […]

Leader of the PAC

The Perelman Performing Arts Center (shown here in an architect's rendering) was recently given an $89-million grant by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Now under construction at the World Trade Center site, the project is expected to open in 2021.

The much-anticipated Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the World Trade Center has passed several new milestones on the road from vision to completion in recent days. Last week, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) allocated an additional $89 million to cover construction costs for the project. At the December 13 meeting of the LMDC’s […]

Today in History December 19

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

1606 – The ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery depart England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States. 1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis”. 1777 – George Washington’s Continental Army goes […]

Lower Manhattan Suffers from Deficit of Saks Appeal

The 225 Liberty Street lobby after being privatized for Saks, which recently announced that it will close in January

Two years after opening amid much fanfare, Saks Fifth Avenue is pulling the plug on its three-level, 86,000-square-foot women’s store in Brookfield Place. The space, at 225 Liberty Street, was extensively remodeled in 2015 and 2016 to accommodate Saks, which was billed as the anchor retail tenant that would lead the transformation of the shopping […]

Today in History December 18

Kublai Khan on a hunting expedition

1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan”, officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China. 1499 – Rebellion triggers in Alpujarras in response to the forced conversions of Muslims in Spain. 1655 – The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England […]