Losses and Closures Mount Among Downtown Dining Spots
After 147 years of serving Lower Manhattan diners, the Paris Cafe (in the South Street Seaport) closed its door permanently this May, due to the economic downturn unleashed by the pandemic coronavirus.
A new report from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli documents the impact of the ongoing pandemic coronavirus on the restaurant industry in Lower Manhattan.
The Comptroller’s report is based on the “public use microdata area” (PUMA) demographic model used by the U.S. Census, which defines the community as “Battery Park City/Greenwich Village/Soho”—roughly the area below the Brooklyn Bridge, east of Broadway, and south of 14th Street, west of Broadway.
In this catchment, Mr. DiNapoli finds, there were 1,981 operating restaurants and bars before the pandemic began, which places Lower Manhattan behind only the Chelsea/Clinton/Midtown Business District PUMA area, with 2,661 such establishments. (Together, these two areas account for nearly 40 percent of the City’s restaurant jobs.)
As a share of the overall total for the five boroughs, Lower Manhattan is home to 8.3 percent of the City’s 23,650 eating and drinking establishments. Likely owing to the high local cost of owning or renting a home, however, relatively few people who work in the dining industry live here: 1,986 employees, who represent just seven-tenths of the City’s overall pool of restaurant workers.
But Lower Manhattan eclipses all other communities in New York City for the share of of restaurants approved for outdoor seating, with 1,089 establishments (or 54.9 percent of the total) obtaining official permission to serve guests on sidewalks and in streets. (The City-wide average is 43 percent.)
Downtown reverts closer to the mean, however, when it comes to restaurants receiving loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program earlier this year, with roughly 45 percent being granted some amount of government financial assistance. (This is just slightly more than the City-wide average.)
But even with roughly 1,000 restaurants receiving public largesse, the roster of local dining establishments that have shuttered permanently — among them Augustine, Bennie’s Thai Cafe, China Blue, China Chalet, Mariachi’s, Maxwell’s, Sole di Capri, Tokyo Bay, the Trading Post, and Vietspot, as well as the legendary Paris Cafe — continues to grow.
While outdoor dining has offered a partial reprieve for some restaurants, the coming of cold weather may augur more trouble ahead, as fewer patrons brave the elements in exchange for a bite.
‘This Is about Pitting One Community Against Another’
Packed Meeting Airs Concerns about Plan for Homeless Shelter on William Street
A special meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1), called to gather information and air concerns about a de Blasio administration plan to locate a shelter for homeless men in the Financial District, drew more than 1,000 online participants on October 1.
The hotel, known as the Radisson New York Wall Street, is located at 52 William Street. Housing homeless persons there is actually not a new development. The City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has used the building since March as a temporary facility, aiming to limit the spread of the pandemic coronavirus among residents of the shelter system.
The tally of great public spaces in Lower Manhattan has increased by one. Last Wednesday, the Hudson River Park Trust officially opened Pier 26 in Tribeca (near Hubert Street), the product of a decade-plus of planning and construction, and a $37-million budget.
The result is 2.5 acres of woodland forest, coastal grassland, maritime scrub, and a rocky tidal zone—all culminating in a breathtaking view of the Hudson River. Additionally included in the design are a multi-use recreation field and a spacious sunning lawn, as well as boardwalks and seating areas. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
October 6 – 18, 2020
Planet Mars Will Surprise You
A rusty-gold star-like celestial body shines suspended above the eastern skyline at nightfall. It is heaven’s celebrity of the month. Even though I knew that planet Mars is predicted to be at that location after sunset, a rush of surprise overcame me when, approaching a clear view to the east, the planet’s brilliant light pierced the darkness. Mars is brightest for the year in Earth’s skies.On the 6th, it will orbit closest to our planet since 2018 and arrive at “opposition” on the 13th.
Words Come to Life Amid New Installation in Battery Park City
Poets House—a library, creative space, and meeting place that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry, while cultivating a wider audience for the art—will celebrate its tenth anniversary in Battery Park City by launching the Poetry Path, an immersive public art installation running the northern length of Battery Park City, from Rockefeller and Teardrop Parks to the North Cove Marina. To read more…
In July 1971, a young Winston Lord—then Special Assistant to the U.S. National Security Advisor—embarked on a secret mission to China, entering before Henry Kissinger as the first American official to visit the People’s Republic since 1949. Under cover of darkness at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, he dug up a handful of dirt from the garden that he keeps as a memento to this day. On October 8, the former Ambassador to China and Assistant Secretary of State shares this unique memento, the trip that relaunched the U.S.-China relationship, and what it means today.
Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Jewish resistance during the Holocaust took many forms: spiritual resistance in the face of persecution, shared resources in a time of great deprivation, and partisan efforts like those of the Bielski Brothers, who formed the largest partisan detachment in Nazi-occupied Europe. Aron Bell (born Aron Bielski) was the youngest of four Bielski brothers who famously started a Jewish rescue movement through partisan communities hiding in the woods of German-occupied western Belorussia (now Belarus). In this program, Aron Bell, his wife Henryka, and niece Assi Weinstein (née Bielski) will be joined by Tamara Vershitskaya, a researcher and Curator of the Jewish Resistance Museum, for a discussion of the Bielski Partisans and their enduring legacy. The conversation will be moderated by Tablet Magazine European culture correspondent Vladislav Davidzon, who was recently awarded a fellowship at the Atlantic Council for his coverage of the 2020 Belarusian protests. $10 suggested donation
Fall is a special time in BPC: along with the changes in trees and gardens, Monarch Butterflies and many species of unique birds are migrating through. Celebrate this time with art and nature activities. Participants are expected to bring their own general supplies, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, watercolor paints (bring your own container of water), glue, and scissors. Pick up a “kit bag” with instructions for the project of the day. Program is first come, first served for up to 20 children with accompanying adults. Masks and contact information required upon arrival. Activity is self-guided. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Free
While historians often treat General Charles Lee as an inveterate enemy of George Washington or a great defender of American liberty, author Christian McBurney argues that neither image is wholly accurate. In this lecture, McBurney will discuss his research into a more nuanced understanding of one of the Revolutionary War’s most misunderstood figures. This lecture will take place using Zoom.
TODAY IN HISTORY
1871 – The Great Chicago Fire
314 – Constantine I defeats Roman Emperor Licinius, who loses his European territories.
1862 – American Civil War: The Confederate invasion of Kentucky is halted at the Battle of Perryville.
1871 – The Great Chicago Fire and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire break out.
The Peshtigo fire was a very large forest fire that took place on October 8, 1871, in northeastern Wisconsin, including much of the Door Peninsula, and adjacent parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The largest community in the affected area was Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
1895 – Korean Empress Myeongseong is assassinated by Japanese infiltrators.
1939 – World War II: Germany annexes western Poland.
1956 – The New York Yankees’s Don Larsen pitches the only perfect game in a World Series.
1982 – Poland bans Solidarity and all other trade unions.
2001 – George W. Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.
2016 – In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the death toll rises to nearly 900.
1150 – Narapatisithu, king of Burma (d. 1211)
1789 – William John Swainson, English-New Zealand ornithologist and entomologist (d. 1855)
1890 – Eddie Rickenbacker, American soldier and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1973)
1895 – Zog I of Albania (d. 1961)
1895 – Juan Perón, Argentinian general and politician, 29th President of Argentina (d. 1974)
1949 – Sigourney Weaver, American actress and producer
1970 – Matt Damon, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
1970 – Sadiq Khan, lawyer and politician, Minister of State for Transport, Mayor of London
923 – Pilgrim I, archbishop of Salzburg
1436 – Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut (b. 1401)
1754 – Henry Fielding, English novelist and playwright (b. 1707)
1793 – John Hancock, first Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1737)
1944 – Wendell Willkie, American captain, lawyer, and politician (b. 1892)
1992 – Willy Brandt, German lawyer and politician, 4th Chancellor of Germany, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
2015 – Paul Prudhomme, American chef and author (b. 1940)
Credits include wikipedia and other internet sources