Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Run Silent, Run Deep
BPCA Awards Underwater Contract to Firm That Promises Peace and Quiet
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) is continuing a decade-long project to shore up the underwater columns that support the Esplanade, but has found a way to do it without keeping residents up at night.
At the April 23 meeting of the BPCA’s board, Gwen Dawson, the Authority’s vice president of real property, explained, “the esplanade of Battery Park City rests on a relieving platform which is supported by 3100 total concrete piles. We initiated a program in 2007 to perform certain remediation steps on these piles, to wrap them in fiberglass, to make sure that their lives could be extended — we are told up to an additional 30 to 50 years.”
The Authority is now beginning the sixth phase of this project, which will focus on three segments of the Esplanade: near South Cove, adjacent to the ferry terminal, and along the community’s northern edge, behind Stuyvesant High School. The current phase will repair a total of 561 piles, across these three areas. This work is done from barges that are parked alongside the Esplanade for several months, and from which divers descend into the Hudson to perform the underwater construction work.
As the BPCA board reviewed several bids for this contract, Ms. Dawson added that one of these, from Walker Diving Underwater Construction, was the staff’s recommendation, in part because, “the last phase of work that we did generated a fair number of noise complaints, because of the way that the barges were secured. The barges have to stay put once they’re there, until they finish the work in that area. The way that they were anchored involves spuds, which are metal rods in a metal sleeve, that allow the barges to float up and down with the tides. As that happened, it generates a lot of clanking, which disturbs people when they’re trying to sleep at night.”
As a result, when putting the contract for the 2019 phase of the project out to bid, “we’ve specifically asked the contractors to give us some proposals for how that noise might be controlled,” Ms. Dawson noted. “Walker demonstrated a better solution for that problem, which we think will be a great improvement for the noise issues.” The firm’s approach involves anchoring their barges to the river bottom, rather than allowing the vessels rise and fall on vertical spuds.
Ms. Dawson added that, “we also felt that Walker seemed a little more comfortable with the schedule of getting all of this work done in a proper sequence, between the start time and the end time that is allowed by the State regulations.” (Albany’s environmental rules require that work such as the BPCA’s pile remediation project be undertaken only between May and October.)
Also counting in Walker’s favor, noted Anthony Peterson, the BPCA’s director of diversity programs, is that the firm is designated by the State as a service-disabled veteran-owned business (SDVOB) vendor. Under a 2014 law, such companies are required to be awarded six percent of State contracts. Noting that Walker had served as a subcontractor on previous phases of the Authority’s pile remediation project, Mr. Peterson explained that, “as an SDVOB, they recently had an influx, because of the six percent goal. Now everyone’s using them, so they’re large enough to prime the project themselves. But they’ve been on the project since the beginning.”
On the basis of these recommendations, the Authority’s board voted to award the 2019 contract for pile remediation to Walker, for a fee of $9.8 million, which comes to approximately $17,000 for each of the underwater pilings they will repair.
A Quarter of a Century of Great Taste
Saturday (May 18) will mark the 25th anniversary of Taste of Tribeca, the street food fair that raises money for two beloved local public schools: P.S. 234 and P.S. 150.
Come to Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Streets), from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, for gastronomic wonders from 60 of Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants — including seven that have been participating since 1994: Bouley, Bubby’s Tribeca, Duane Park Patisserie, Gigino Trattoria, The Odeon, Tribeca Grill, and Walker’s.
Tickets, priced at $45 in advance and $55 on the day of the event, get you six tastes and two pours on the Beer & Cider Tour, and are on sale now at www.tasteoftribeca.com.
Teach a Kid to Fish…
Battery Park City Parks will celebrate life in the Hudson Estuary with their annual Go Fish! festival, on Saturday, May 11, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, in Wagner Park.
Experienced anglers will guide participants through catch-and-release fishing, while also imparting lessons about life in the Hudson River.
The day also features an art project and a nature walk, plus the kindie rock and reggae tunes of Brooklyn-based Father Goose.
Admission is free, and open to all.
The Wheel Deal
Manhattan Youth is partnering with Tribeca Clayworks to offer summer ceramics sessions from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, four nights each week (plus weekend afternoons), starting May 23 and running through August 5.
Classes will cover Hand-Building and Surface (for all levels) on Mondays, plus Pottery Wheel and HandBuilding (intermediate level) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Additionally, registered students may work on their own during open studio times offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays evenings, plus Saturday and Sunday after- noons (from noon through 4:00 pm).
The program is priced at $320, plus a $45 fee to cover the cost of firing.
For more info or to register, email Susan Kay: Susan@manhattanyouth.org
Farewell to a Friend
On May 22, the Battery Park City Seniors group will host a memorial service for Arlene Kalfus, who died tragically on April 4, when she was struck by a bus on South End Avenue.
Ms. Kalfus, a long-time resident of Gateway Plaza, was a longtime contributor to Battery Park City Seniors, whose loss is acutely felt, both because of her many volunteer activities and her dry sense of humor.
The service will be held in the Battery Park City Authority’s community room, located within 200 Rector Place.
(Please use the entrance on the west side of the building, facing West Thames Park.)
Anyone planning to attend is asked to R.S.V.P. to Philomena Pinto at JPinto8925@aol.com.
Do Not Pass Go
Amazon Opens High-Tech Retail Outlet in Brookfield Place, But Will Accept Low-Tech Form of Payment
New York politicians still smarting over Amazon’s decision to cancel plans for a corporate headquarters in Long Island City can console themselves that the online retail giant has at least opened a 1,300-square-foot bricks-and-mortar store in Lower Manhattan.
On Tuesday, Amazon debuted the first East Coast location of its Go chain, on the upper level of Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place. The experimental retail brand amounts to a revolutionary reimagining of the traditional storefront, by eliminating cash, cashiers, and even automated checkout kiosks.
The Price of Affordability
BPCA Hires Consultants to Advise on Measures to Control Housing Costs
The Battery Park City Authority is allocating more than half a million dollars to pay a team of consultants to advise it on measures designed to preserve affordability within the community.
At the March 26 meeting of the Authority’s board, BPCA president Benjamin Jones explained, “I’m requesting an increase of $589,000 to our fiscal year operating budget to enable us to continue our efforts with regards to analyzing and addressing lease term and lease reset concerns and to also help us in taking advantage of opportunities related to preserving, and increasing affordability, and also enhancing sustainability and resiliency in this neighborhood.”
Lower Manhattan Experiences Chain Reaction as Two Esteemed (and Non-Corporate) Booksellers Plan Local Outposts
Local connoisseurs of independent bookstores have reason to celebrate: Two highly regarded operators will be coming to Lower Manhattan soon. The first is McNally Jackson, which has confirmed that its much-delayed plan to open in the South Street Seaport will finally be realized this year.
Also coming to Downtown is the much-admired Shakespeare & Companyindependent bookstore, which already has locations on the Upper East and Upper West sides.
Thursday May 9
Sunrise Yoga in Wagner Park
Battery Park City Parks
Rise and shine to begin your morning with an outdoor yoga class that will help align your chakras and invigorate your day. Instructors focus on movements meant to enhance posture alignment and increase flexibility and balance. All levels welcome. Bringing your own mat is encouraged, as provided accessories are first come, first served. FREE
“The Panic of 1819: The First Great Depression”
Museum of American Finance
The Panic of 1819 may be the most important event in American history that no one has heard of. It was the first nationwide financial crash, ushering in the first Great Depression and introducing the world to the business cycle – the pattern of booms and busts that we have come to know so well. But the Panic of 1819 had additional dire consequences, driving wedges between East and West, North and South that would help create the Missouri Crisis that Thomas Jefferson called “”a fire bell in the night.” 48 Wall Street, 5th floor. $5
Fraunces Tavern Museum Guided Tour
Fraunces Tavern Museum
Sixty minute guided tour of Fraunces Tavern Museum. Free with admission ($4, $7) 54 Pearl Street.
Soundtrap: Voice and Digital Music Production
New York Public Library 175 North End Avenue
Soundtrap: Voice and Digital Music Production for ages 6-12.
Community Board 1’s Landmarks & Preservation Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
1) LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island approval for exterior signage – Resolution
2) 108-110 Franklin Street application for replacement windows – Resolution
3) 1 Broadway application for roof top addition – Resolution
4) 88 Franklin Street application for glass roof installation – Resolution
Epic Voices: Karen Finley on William Carlos Williams
Legendary downtown performance artist Karen Finley looks at William Carlos Williams’ long poem Paterson as a political poem and in relation to her new work in poetry. 10 River Terrace. $7, $10
‘Water, Water Everywhere…’
BPCA Plans to Spend $7 Million
Fixing Roof Leaks at Asphalt Green
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has hired a contractor to fix leaks in the roof of the Asphalt Green community center, at a cost of $6.9 million. This price is in addition to the $600,000 that the Authority allocated to hire a construction manager for this project, last October. The BPCA hopes to recover some of this outlay from the developer that originally constructed the community center, along with the two residential buildings above it.
Red Light, Green Light…
City Moves Ahead with Traffic Signal for Rector Place and South End Avenue, Ten Months After Approval
At the April 23 meeting of Community Board 1(CB1), Tammy Meltzer, chair of that panel’s Battery Park City Committee, announced that, “the City Department of Transportation [DOT] let us know this week that a traffic light will be installed at Rector Place and South End Avenue,” adding that, “it is due to be installed by the end of June.” She also noted, “we’ve worked long and hard with BPCA and City DOT to get a plan done and in place.”
She continued, “we had a death on South End Avenue this month.”
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Today in History
1386 – Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England remains the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force
1460 – Court yard episcopal palace Atrecht has witch burnings
1502 – Columbus leaves Spain on his fourth and final trip to New World
1785 – British inventor Joseph Bramah patents beer-pump handle
1788 – British parliament accepts abolition of slave trade
1868 – Reno, Nevada, is founded
1887 – Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opens in London
1896 – First horseless carriage show in London and it featured 10 models
1899 – Lawn mower patented
1904 – The steam locomotive City of Truro becomes the first steam engine to exceed 100mph.
1914 – President Wilson proclaims Mother’s Day
1932 – Piccadilly Circus, first lit by electricity
1945 – World War II: Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army
1960 – US sends U-2 over USSR
1962 – Laser beam successfully bounced off Moon for first time
1977 – Patty Hearst let out of jail
1978 – Corpse of kidnapped ex-premier Aldo Moro found
1992 – Salem Village Witchcraft Victims’ Memorial dedicated to mark 300 year anniversary of trials
1995 – Kinshasa, Zaire under quarantine after an outbreak of Ebola virus
2004 – Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a land mine bombblast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade
in Grozny, Chechnya.
2012 – Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” becomes the most expensive contemporary art piece to be sold at auction for $86.9 million dollars
1265 – Dante Alighieri, Italian poet (Divina Commedia)
1783 – Alexander Ross, Canada, pioneer/fur trader
1800 – John Brown, Connecticut, American revolutionary abolitionist (d. 1859)
1837 – Adam Opel, German manufacturer (cycling, motorcars)
1873 – Howard Carter, London, British archaeologist and egyptologist who found King Tutankhamen’s tomb
1882 – Henry J. Kaiser, Sprout Brook NY, ship builder and industrialist (Liberty Ships, Jeeps, Boulder Dam)
1939 – Watch Kenneth Warby the fastest man on water at 300 knots (345 mph)
1945 – Steve Katz, NYC, rock guitarist/vocalist (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
1946 – Candice Bergen, Beverly Hills, actor (Carnal Knowledge, Murphy Brown)
1957 – Fred Markham, First man to pedal a bike 65 mph
1079 – Stanislaus, Polish bishop of Cracow, murdered
1474 – Peter van Hagenbach, Elzasser knight/land guardian, beheaded
1657 – William Bradford, Governor (Plymouth Colony, Mass), dies
1864 – “Uncle” John Sedgwick, US Union general-major, dies in battle at 50
1986 – Tenzing Norgay, Tibetan climber (Mount Everest 1953), dies at 71
2004 – Alan King, American comedian (b. 1927)
2010 – Lena Horne, American singer and actress (b. 1917)
Community Board 1 Meeting Agendas May 2019
Authority Takes Second Swing at Ballfields Resiliency Plan
After input from residents and consultation with Community Board 1 (CB1), the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has revised its plan to bring resiliency features to the ballfields. The agency now intends to prioritize less expensive, temporary measures that can be implemented faster, and later removed when more comprehensive and more permanent devices designed to prevent flooding have been installed nearby.
Newsstand Nixed (Again)
Owner of Tribeca Kiosk Is Told Twice That Once Is Just about Enough
Community Board 1 (CB1) is urging the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to reject an application by a Tribeca newsstand operator to open a second kiosk one block away from his current location.
The applicant, Abdur Patwary, first came before CB1 in 2010, with a request to open a newsstand at thenorthwest corner of Murray and Greenwich Streets. CB1 supported this application, and it was eventually approved.
But in December, 2016, Mr. Patwary came back before the panel, asking for support in his request to open another newsstand one block to the north, at the southwest corner of Warren and Greenwich Streets.
Call It ‘Decongestion Pricing’
Chin, Nadler Announce Push to Ease Lower Manhattan Traffic By Reconfiguring Verrazzano Toll
A gaggle of elected and appointed officials gathered on Staten Island to announce their support for changing a decades-old tolling policy on the Verrazzano Bridge, which may have a significant benefit for traffic congestion in Lower Manhattan.
U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler and City Council member Margaret Chin (both of whom represent Lower Manhattan) were joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, and Patrick Foye, chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency that oversees the bridge, to trumpet the virtues of restoring two-way tolls on the span, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Meadow Manager Moves On
Governors Island Overseer Departs as Community Leaders Grapple with Future Development Prospects
Michael Samuelian, the chief of the Trust for Governors Island, the non-profit organization that administers the 172-acre park situated some 800 yards off the tip of Lower Manhattan, will be stepping down in June. His tenure, which began in 2016, will end shortly after the Island reopens for the season, on May 1.
Mr. Samuelian presided over a renaissance on Governors Island, with each year during his term setting new records for attendance, with expanded hours and a longer season.
In the season that begins next week, Governors Island will also launch a new ferry, Governors I. The 132 foot-long, 40 foot-wide vessel was built specifically to serve the Island, and can carry up to 400 passengers per trip, which will increase capacity by 1,000 visitors per hour.
From Prison Shoal to Mussel Beach
Long Overlooked Pier Becomes ‘Porch’ Overlooking East River Waterfront
Downtown’s list of great public spaces has increased by one, with the opening on April 19 of a new “Eco-Park” at Pier 35, on the East River shoreline, in the Two Bridges neighborhood. The 28,000-square-foot facility includes lawns, dunes, and a sloped concrete “urban beach,” designed to replicate the natural breeding habitat of mussels. To read more...
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
PART TIME SALES POSITION
High commission. B to B sales
We sell donor signage to non-profits,
extremely nice clientele.
Our office is located in FIDI.
Call me at 646-729-7142. Barry Silverberg, Principal
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature
Text Paula at 917-836-8802
Dishes, windows, floors, laundry, bathrooms.
You name it – I will clean it.
Call Elle at 929-600-4520
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting.
Knowledgeable in all software programs. James Kierstead firstname.lastname@example.org 347-933-1362. Refs available
Experienced with BPC residents. Available nights, days, and weekends. Will cook, clean and administer medicine on time. Speaks French and English. Can start immediately. Please call or text 929-600-4520.
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
EYES TO THE SKY
April 29 – May 12, 2019
Planets, crescent moons, Taurus’ third horn, Eta Aquarid meteors
For delight in discovery plan to observe many fleeting moments that mark the movement of the seasons and other special events in the sky this week.
Beginning with the short window of evening twilight, bid farewell to the scintillating stars of winter constellations close to the horizon in the west. Linger with Sirius, The Dog Star; Orion’s Betelgeuse and belt stars; Taurus’ Aldebaran. See planet Mars – like a unicorn’s horn marked by a red “star”– above the head of the Bull.
Sunset is at 7:50 p.m. tonight; look by 9 p.m. all week, until they disappear.
The Gold Standard
Setback in Tenant Lawsuit for Damages Arising from Hurricane Sandy
A lawsuit filed by a group of tenants in two adjoining Financial District apartment buildings, arising from harm they suffered in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, has been dismissed by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.
Two Gold Street and 201 Pearl Street, share a common basement, lobby and third floor. The lower levels of both structures were flooded when Hurricane Sandy sent an eight-foot wall of water smashing through the South Street Seaport neighborhood, and parts of the Financial District.
Within the buildings, both of which front Maiden Lane (between Pearl and Gold Streets), the basement levels were submerged beneath 26 feet of water, which caused a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel tank to detach from the footings, break apart, and disgorge its contents.
CLICK TO WATCH THE FOG OVER THE HUDSON
New Renderings for Planned Tower at 80 South Street Show Building Taller Than One World Trade Center
The on-again/off-again skyscraper proposed for 80 South Street, in the Seaport District may be on again.
Parking or Parks?
Vast Expanse of Waterfront Acreage Now Used for Cars Could Be Given Over to Community
Community Board 1 (CB1) is lobbying to recover for public use multiple acres of taxpayer-owned land that the City has monetized for decades as parking facilities. The space at issue is located beneath the FDR Drive viaduct, along the East River waterfront, in the South Street Seaport neighborhood.
The Leaning Tower of Seaport
Contract Alleges That Developer Cut Corners on Foundation, Resulting in Dangerous Tilt
A 670-foot residential building now under construction in the South Street Seaport neighborhood is leaning precipitously north and east, according to a lawsuit filed against the developer by one of its former contractors. The tower, known as One Seaport, is located at 161 Maiden Lane (on the corner of South Street) and is 58 stories tall.
In a story first reported by the Commercial Observer, a suit filed in March with the New York State Supreme Court by building contractor Pizzarottialleges that the 161 Maiden Lane, “is leaning, as a rigid body, outside of its vertical control,” and, “is now exhibiting a bowing or curve in its verticality that is due entirely to said leaning.” The suit also claims that, “the building… has settled and moved to such a degree that the structure is encroaching on a neighboring property line.”
Curating an Artifact of the Unthinkable
Local Resident Oversaw Move of Holocaust Freight Car to Lower Manhattan
In nearly 40 years of involvement in logistics, almost all of it in the field of fine art transportation, participating in this move was professionally the most significant, and personally the most emotional, project I have ever undertaken.
The rail car is on loan from the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, to an exhibition services company in Spain, which is co-sponsoring the new exhibition, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away,” with the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
All of these would be evocative and moving enough without a direct connection to the history recalled by this exhibition. But for me, this subject is not academic or theoretical. It is personal. My grandfather, born Yusel Kaganovich (which was anglicized to Joseph Cohen), set out from Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1914, coming ashore at Ellis Island as a boy of 15. To read more…
A Remnant Remembered
Lower Manhattan Site of First Synagogue in North America Honored by Street Co-Naming
City Council member Margaret Chin and community leaders gathered in the Financial Districton Monday afternoon to commemorate the long-overlooked site of America’s first Jewish temple, the Mill Street Synagogue, located on what is now South William Street. The thoroughfare was co-named “Mill Street Synagogue/Seixas Way,” in a nod to the temple’s first cleric, who was also a patriot leader during the American Revolution.
Time Runs Out for
Landmarked Clock Tower
New York’s Version of Big Ben
Will Be Gutted, Converted to Penthouse
At the March 26 meeting of Community Board 1, Lynn Ellsworth, chair of the Tribeca Trust, relayed somber news. “Our lawsuit against Landmarks Preservation Commission has lost on appeal,” she explained. “It came down to procedures used by Commission in their judgment calls. The Court basically told us that we have go to the legislature, because they don’t want to deal with it, it’s too messy.”
The structure in question is the 1898 Renaissance Revival building located at Broadway and Leonard Streets and designed by McKim, Mead, and White as the headquarters for the New York Life Insurance Company.
Not So Alone
in Trinity Churchyard
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