Lower Manhattan’s Local News
BPCA Taps Engineering Firm to Design Resiliency Measure for Neighborhood’s Northern Section
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has hired an engineering firm the begin designing resiliency measures for the community’s northern border, and extending into Tribeca. At the Authority’s March 26 board meeting, Gwen Dawson, the BPCA’s vice president for real property, explained, “this project will address the area that runs essentially from the North Promenade, just west of Stuyvesant High School, eastward across Route 9A and eastward from there to about West Broadway.”
This is one of four separate (but related) resiliency plans the BPCA is in various stages of implementing. The others cover the community’s southern border(around Wagner Park and Pier A), its western waterfront (the length of the Esplanade, from Wagner Park, to Rockefeller Park), and the ballfields (along with the adjacent Asphalt Green community center).
Ms. Dawson continued that the BPCA issued a request for proposals last December, and received eight responses, which it winnowed down to four viable bids. This group was then narrowed to a pair of proposals, which seemed to adhere most closely to the BPCA’s goals.
“Those two proposers scored very close to each other in terms of their technical proficiency, according to the criteria that we had set,” Ms. Dawson observed. “When we then evaluated the cost proposals we found that [engineering firm] AECOM’s cost proposal was significantly lower. There was about a $2.7 million or 38 percent difference between the two.”
AECOM is already leading the design effort for BPCA’s southern resiliency project. As with the northern section it will now help to design, that phase also pushes beyond the boundaries of Battery Park City, extending eastward across Battery Place to Bowling Green. Both of these expansions are deemed necessary to connect Battery Park City’s planned resiliency measures with high ground outside the community, to prevent floor waters from future extreme-weather events from skirting around more localized barriers.
BPCA board member Catherine McVay Hughesasked, “since there seems to be successful engagement with AECOM on the southern portion of Wagner Park, we’re going to get the same level of community engagement on this key component as well?” This was a reference to a series of public meetings at which AECOM staff have explained their design approach to the Wagner Park resiliency project to residents, and fielded questions.
Ms. Dawson answered that there would be a similar outreach for the northern section of the project.
When this discussion concluded, the BPCA board voted to approve a 33-month contract for AECOM to design resiliency measures for the community’s northern section, for a fee of $7.1 million.
EYES TO THE SKY
May 13 – 26, 2019
Corvus the Crow eyes Virgo’s jewel star, Spica
The Crow’s bill is pointed toward the Virgin’s jewel, Spica, as if it were waiting for a chance to grab it. H.A. Rey*
At nightfall, Corvus the Crow, wings outstretched, glides in the sky above the cityscape to the south. Latin for crow, or raven, Corvus’ four main stars form a diamond that is easily seen as a soaring bird, kite or sail. In Greek mythology, the Crow, Apollo’s sacred bird, got into trouble that resulted in the god catapulting the offender and his companions into the sky.
This evening, the waxing gibbous moon appears above and to the right of Corvus.
Tomorrow, Corvus is directly below the moon. On Wednesday, Luna is positioned above bright star Spica, which is to the left of the Crow. Spica is the most reliable guide to locating the Crow when there is no moon to guide us to the constellation.
If Corvus is not visible due to a haze of pollution, find Spica. The Big Dipper is our perennial guide to Spica, Alpha Virginias, the brightest star in Virgo the Virgin. Spica’s apparent magnitude (m) is 1.0 in a system that ranks the brightness of astronomical bodies by numbers from the smallest, representing the brightest, to the dimmest, that bear increasingly larger numbers.
When darkness falls, around 9:30pm, find the Big Dipper overhead and to the south. Follow the arc of its handle to the orange colored star, Arcturus, -.06m, the brightest star in our summer sky. Trace the curve of the arc to the next brightest star, Spica. Continue on a short distance to discover Corvus the Crow.
Hither the Hippodrome
Concert Venue Big Enough to Host 3,000 People Planned for Financial District
Plans are under way to develop an 80,000-square-foot concert and performance venue on the former trading floor of the American Stock Exchange building, in the Financial District.
Representatives of Live Nation Entertainment, a firm that owns or operates more than 200 venues throughout North America and Europe, including the outdoor concert space on the roof of Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, came before Community Board 1 (CB1) on Wednesday evening to explain their plans.
Run Silent, Run Deep
BPCA Awards Underwater Contract to Firm That Promises Peace and Quiet
The Battery Park City Authority 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.”
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.
ARLENE ROSE KALFUS MEMORIAL
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22ND, 2019
2:00 PM TO 4:30 PM
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.
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
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.
Senior Group Exercise
Battery Park City Parks
Strengthen the body through instructor-led rhythmic movement and aerobics, balance and coordination exercises, as well as strength training. Join this fun and vigorous session for a great workout! 6 River Terrace. FREE
Bach + 1
St. Paul’s Chapel
This series features one Bach cantata each week paired with a complementary work from composers early to modern. Today, listen to Johann Sebastian Bach Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10; Johann Friedrich Fasch Concerto in D for Trumpet, Two Oboes and Strings, FaWV L:D1.
Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
Touch, investigate, inquire and learn. Objects and images tell profound stories. Join Cultural Interpreters as they share objects and narratives in our galleries. Gain a deeper understanding of history, culture, and art from hundreds of Indigenous nations in North, Central, and South America. One Bowling Green
Land Use, Zoning & Economic Development Committee
Manhattan Borough President’s Office 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor – South
1) 121 Chambers Street, Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for a special permit to modify height regulations – Resolution
2) Borough Based Jail System Plan & Manhattan Detention Complex Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application – Resolution
‘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.”
Today in History
609 – Pope Boniface I turns Pantheon in Rome into a Catholic church
1110 – Crusaders march into Beirut causing a bloodbath
1497 – Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola an Italian Dominican friar and an influential contributor to the politics of Florence. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Rodrigo Borgia.
1559 – Exhumed corpse of heretic David Jorisz burned in Basel
1607 – English colonists, led by John Smith, land near James River in Virginia
1643 – Heavy earthquake strikes Santiago Chile; kills 1/3 of population
1940 – Churchill says I have nothing to offer but “blood, toil, tears and sweat”
1950 – Diners Club issues its first credit cards
1950 – The first round of the Formula 1 World Championship is held at Silverstone.
1965 – Rolling Stones record “Satisfaction“
1979 – Shah of Iran and family sentenced to death in Teheran
1981 – Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City
1992 – Three astronauts simultaneous walked in space for the first time
1729 – Henry William (Baron) Stiegel, early American glassmaker
1856 – Peter Henry Emerson, First to promote photography as an independent art
1882 – Georges Braque, Argenteuil, Val-d’Oise, French cubist painter and sculptor
1914 – Joe Louis, world heavyweight boxing champion (1937-49)
1931 – Jim Jones, Leader of Peoples Temple cult, (Jonestown Massacre)
1939 – Harvey Keitel, actor (Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs)
1950 – Stevie Wonder, Michigan, singer-songwriter
1961 – Dennis Rodman, New Jersey, NBA forward (Chicago Bulls)
1835 – John Nash, British town planner/architect (Regent’s Park)
1884 – Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor
1882 – Jules-Nicolas Crevaux, French explorer, murdered at 35
1930 – Fridtjof Nansen, Arctic explorer/diplomat (Nobel 1922), dies at 68
1962 – Franz Jozef Kline, US expressionist painter, dies at 51
1962 – H Trendley Dean, doctor (introduced fluoridation into water)
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
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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
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.”
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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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