New Arts Colony Emerges Half a Mile from Lower Manhattan Shoreline
“Open Orchard,” on Governors Island, is a living sculpture that recalls New York City’s vibrant agricultural past.
Governors Island no longer has a “season,” in the sense that Lower Manhattan’s equivalent of Central Park is now open year-around. But spring, and the prospect of summer, are still the highpoint in the annual calendar of this treasured public amenity, and a growing collection of public art has become one of the principal reasons to visit.
Today (Friday, April 29) marks the debut of “The Open Orchard,” an installation that consists of 102 trees planted throughout the island, which serve as a living archive for antique and heirloom fruit varieties that were grown in and around New York City over the past 400 years, but have mostly disappeared due to climate change and the industrialization of agriculture. Using a unique grafting process, multidisciplinary artist Sam Van Aken has combined multiple varieties of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries and apples into single trees, so that different varieties grow alongside one another and the trees blossom in a rainbow of white, pink, and crimson.
Above: The Collective Retreats “glamping” resort on Governors Island, where artists are being invited to live as guests. Below: The Historic Building Nine, which is also offering working artists free residential space.
Also opening today is an outdoor sculpture exhibit, “In Defense of the Human Spirit,” which features pieces from more than a dozen artists, each of whom has twisted or bent strong materials (such as steel), in a pointed commentary on the nearby fortresses that were built on Governors Island in the early 1800s to protect New York Harbor from foreign invasion.
And Governors Island is becoming a home to the arts in more ways than one. NYC Culture Club (operators of a gallery space in the World Trade Center, which allows curators and artists to exhibit work, free of charge) has partnered with Collective Retreats (the “glamping” hospitality service that offers luxurious accommodations on Governors Island in tents with a view of New York Harbor). Together, they want to host up to half a dozen working artists (for one month at a time) as live-in guests. The artists selected for this residency program will get receive free lodging and meals, plus a stipend of $1,000 to cover materials and expenses.
In a separate initiative, the arts advocacy group Shandaken Projects is offering working artists rent-free, indoor residential space (for up to six weeks) at the historic Building Nine, an 1839 Greek Revival structure where Ulysses S. Grant once lived.
For more information about these programs and events, please browse: GovIsland.com.
To the editor,
[Re: Anti-Inundation Perambulation, April 28, 2022]
The anti-inundation works will only displace floodwaters towards the residential areas of Battery Park City. Remember Archimedes and his bath. We do not need a 30-foot levee with more buildings for the museum and restaurant. Keep the wonderful architecturally designed and prize-winning pavilion and trees.
Resiliency Walking Tours
In a few months, construction will begin on the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, a flood barrier system that, within a couple years, will extend from the north side of the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Wagner Park and across Pier A Plaza. The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) is making efforts to educate the public about its resiliency plans. One of the best ways to understand the changes in store for the Battery Park City landscape is to take a BPCA-led resiliency walking tour.
Controversial Homeless Shelter in FiDi Slated to Close
The administration of Mayor Eric Adams has decided to close a homeless shelter in the Financial District that was opened by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio as an emergency measure during the COVID pandemic. In a story first reported by Gothamist, the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel (located at 52 William Street, near Pine Street) will cease to operate as a facility for homeless people by the end of June.
Niou and CB1 Push Longer Leases, Caps on Cost Hikes, and a Voice for Residents
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou has introduced a pair of bills in the Albany legislature that closely track recent resolutions by Community Board 1 (CB1), and address a trio of issues that have long vexed local leaders.
Local Leaders Consider Pragmatic and Aesthetic Aspects of Cobblestones
Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing whether to recommend that the City tear up historic cobblestone streets in Tribeca and resurface them with asphalt. A resolution debated at the Board’s March meeting notes that the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) rebuilt seven local cobblestone streets more than a decade ago, and observes, “it almost immediately became apparent that the cobblestone work on these streets was poor, as they began to deteriorate, including loose blocks, disintegrating mortar, and emerging depressions.”
Recognizing the Inevitability of Climate Change Impacts, Battery Park City Action Plan Aims to Make Neighborhood Carbon-Neutral by Mid-Century
The Battery Park City Authority has released its Climate Action Plan, which aims to transition by 2040 to 100 percent of the community’s electric power coming from renewable energy sources, along with a 99 percent reduction in transportation emissions by 2050.
Fanciful and mythic, timeless and of the moment, this celestial tableau depicts early morning harbinger of summer constellations with planets on the move in late April through early May, 2022. Notice the two unlabeled dots on the lower left of the diagram, above the horizon near the “E” and under the Great Square of Pegasus. The smaller point of light represents planet Jupiter, the larger is Venus. They are approaching each other. Find details below.
Illustration: Judy Isacoff/StarryNight 7
Enjoy spectacular morning stargazing: refer to the diagram, above. Radiant planet Venus appears in the east as if a great star rising in the darkness at daybreak, captivating as the rising Sun but without the need to look away from its steady light. Venus and Jupiter appear closer to one another each day. Look as often as possible to see the distance between them shrink. Be present especially on the mornings of April 29 through May 2. Their closest approach occurs April 30 and May 1, a spectacular planetary conjunction not to be seen again until the year 2039.
Open the following resources for ways to be a part of assuring a healthy Earth Day every day, and protecting dark skies for the vitality of all living beings.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose.
What does it take to build the world’s tallest skyscraper? Teamwork! Who were the architects and engineers who designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai? How did they tackle the problems of constructing a tower more than twice the height of the Empire State Building? After a tour of the SUPERTALL exhibition, kids will collaborate to build the tallest tower they can using the principles applied in the Burj Khalifa. All ages welcome. RSVP required.
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturday 11:30am-5pm, May through Thanksgiving
Today in History
This is the route of the second voyage of the HMS Beagle, which lasted from December 1831 to October 1836. On board was the young Charles Darwin, who wanted to see the world before settling down as a parson. His detailed observations of plants and animals led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.
1429 – Joan of Arc arrives at the seige of Orleans
1623 – 11 Dutch ships depart for the conquest of Peru
1715 – John Flamsteed observes Uranus for sixth time
1784 – Premiere of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat, K454 (Vienna)
1834 – Charles Darwin’s expedition reaches the Andes
1852 – First edition of Peter Roget’s Thesaurus published
1894 – Commonwealth of Christ (Coxey’s Army) arrives in Washington, DC, 500 strong, to protest unemployment; Coxey arrested for trespassing at Capitol
1930 – Telephone connection between England and Australia goes into service
1945 – US liberates 31,601 in Nazi concentration camp in Dachau Germany
1974 – President Nixon says he will release edited tapes made in White House
1990 – Wrecking cranes began tearing down Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate
1991 – Croatia declares independence
1992 – Jury acquits LA police officers of beating Rodney King, riots begin
2004 – Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testify before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.
1863 – William Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher (d. 1951)
1899 – Duke Ellington, bandleader, composer and pianist (d. 1974)
1901 – Hirohito, Emperor of Japan (1926-1989; d. 1989)
1936 – Zubin Mehta, New York Philharmonic conductor
1951 – Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver (d. 2001)
1954 – Jerry Seinfeld, comedian/actor
1970 – Andre Agassi, tennis star
1864 – Charles-Julien Brianchon, mathematician and chemist (Brianchon’s theorem), dies at 80
1937 – William Gillette, American actor (b. 1853)
1951 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (b. 1889)
1980 – Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, British director, dies at 80