City Moves Forward with Plan to Make Sidewalk Dining Permanent, Despite Objections from Downtown Leaders
Above: Outdoor dining in the Financial District. Below: State Assembly member Deborah Glick: “The focus must be on working to ensure that the parameters of any new program do not continue the negative impacts we have experienced with the current emergency plan. New York has always had sidewalk cafes without the current problems. Let’s work to see that the program design fits in with mixed-use neighborhoods.”
On Monday, the City Planning Commission moved toward making permanent the temporary measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed restaurants to take over sidewalk and street space for outdoor dining. The agency voted to enact a zoning text amendment (a change to the wording of the New York City Zoning Resolution) that will enable the Mayor and the City Council to formulate a program to perpetuate the expansion of restaurants into public space that was started, as a emergency stopgap, last year. This plan would have a particularly significant impact in Lower Manhattan (where narrow sidewalks and winding streets are the norm), which has sparked opposition among local elected officials.
The Permanent Open Restaurants Text Amendment seeks to make sidewalk cafés an as-of-right option for restaurants and bars. Critics argue that this would effectively cede public space to one industry (restaurants) with no compensation to taxpayers, while also indirectly subsidizing another industry: the landlords who lease space to bars, and will be able to demand more in rent as the space available to serve customers expands.
The same plan would eliminate review by local Community Boards (currently required), thus preventing area residents from weighing in issues such as hours of operation, amplified sound, outdoor television screens, trash disposal, and rodent control. At the local level, many community leaders are worried that Lower Manhattan’s narrow, winding street grid and pinched sidewalk clearances will magnify each of these concerns.
State Assembly member Deborah Glick, who has led local opposition to the plan, said of Monday’s decision, “the City Planning vote authorizes an outdoor dining program for sidewalks after a full plan for outdoor dining is passed by the City Council. The Council will have 37 new members in January. The focus must be on working with the Council to ensure that the parameters of any new program do not continue the negative impacts we have experienced with the current emergency plan. New York has always had sidewalk cafes without the current problems. Let’s work to see that the program design fits in with mixed-use neighborhoods.”
Above: Outdoor dining on Pearl Street. Below: A map from the City Planning Commission illustrates the Lower Manhattan streets on which outdoor cafes would be made an as-of-right option for restaurants under the new plan.
Monday’s vote was the culmination of a process begun on October 6, when the Department of City Planning began consideration of this proposal at its headquarters, at 120 Broadway. During that session, Ms. Deborah Glick led a protest rally that included Community Board 1 (CB1) chair Tammy Meltzer, and local activists, who voiced reservations about the proposal.
At the October 6 rally, Ms. Glick called the plan, “just plain wrong.” She added that, “while New Yorkers accepted temporary measures during the worst parts of the pandemic in order to support restaurants which are vital to our economy, it is wrong to bypass local community review and give up public spaces which will be difficult to get back. I call on the City Planning Commission to deny this measure.”
Ms. Meltzer said, “this process is inherently flawed, as it forces Community Boards to vote on eliminating decades of time-tested zoning regulations, to replace it with a process that hasn’t yet been determined. City Planning and the Mayor’s Office are asking the public to have faith they will figure out the program framework and how to enforce the rules, but they have not been able to demonstrate this with any consistency during the temporary program, which is extended until at least 2022.”
She added that, “planning changes of this scale should have started on the community level for maximum public engagement, instead of with lobbyists behind closed doors. This application is being rushed forward with untoward urgency. Removing large swaths of zoning is a drastic measure, and we must be certain about what will replace it before moving forward.”
In a separate, but related development, CB1 enacted a resolution at its September 30 meeting opposing the initiative. This resolution notes that, “there are far too many unanswered questions and a desire for greater detail,” and raises, “concerns over the removal of years of carefully crafted zoning regulations meant to guide the presence of outdoor dining, particularly in the unique areas of Lower Manhattan that are increasingly mixed use/residential with streets and sidewalks that are more narrow than the typical grid-style streets in most of Manhattan.” The same resolution also voices, “technical concerns and questions regarding issues such as: clearance and clear path requirements, obstructions, requirements for spaces to be level, driveways, and curb cuts.”
A Seawall for the Seaport
City Poised to Reveal Plans for East River Landfill as Bulwark Against Flooding
In its waning weeks, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is adding new momentum to a Bloomberg era proposal to protect a section of Lower Manhattan’s coast from extreme weather events and rising sea levels, by using landfill to create new waterfront acreage at higher elevations than the current shoreline.
A story first reported by The City, the nonprofit, online digital news platform, notes that City Hall is considering a scaled-back version of the project that would stretch from the Brooklyn Bridge south to the Battery Maritime Building, and extend into the East River between 90 and 200 feet. To read more…
‘I Want to Amplify These Voices and Bring Them to Albany’
District Leader and Community Activist Vittoria Fariello Launches Campaign for State Senate
A highly regarded Downtown community leader has announced her candidacy for the State Senate seat representing Lower Manhattan. On Sunday afternoon, Battery Park City resident Vittoria Fariello, who has served for five years as the elected District Leader for the community, said, “I have lived in this district for over 20 years. We have raised four amazing kids and run our own business here. We have lived through September 11, the great recession of 2008, superstorm Sandy and now COVID. And we never left.”
Battery Park City Hotel Operator Implodes Amid Allegations of Fraud
Even by the standards of the distressed hotel industry, the spiraling adversity faced by the owners of the Wagner Hotel in Battery Park City is remarkable.
In October, lenders and investors filed suit against Los Angeles-based Urban Commons, the firm that bought the hotel in 2018 for $147 million, some $100 million of which was in the form of a loan from the seller, Westbrook Partners. The suit alleges that executives of the company accepted $1 million from an investor, which was intended to finance hotel acquisitions that never took place, and then refused to return the original funds. To read more…
Statue of Limitations
Local Leaders Want ‘Fearless Girl’ to Go Through Channels Before Becoming Permanent
An array of Lower Manhattan community leaders are mobilizing to lobby the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to comply with legally required procedures before authorizing the continued presence on Broad Street of the “Fearless Girl” statue, a bronze likeness of a young female striking a jaunty, audacious pose.
A resolution enacted at October 26 monthly meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) notes that the sculpture, “was originally placed at a nearby public site without authority in 2017.” To read more…
Wednesday November 17
Elements of Nature Drawing
With its gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay, Wagner Park is the perfect setting to practice art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper . Masks required. Free.
As the founder of financial futures and initiator of Globex, the world’s first global electronic trading system, Leo Melamed revolutionized the finance industry. Join us for a conversation with this commodities pioneer moderated by CNBC Senior Markets Correspondent Bob Pisani. Free.
1:30 – 2PM
9/11 Memorial Bagpipe Tribute
A weekly bagpipe tribute honors those who died on 9/11 as well as those who are sick or who have died from exposure to toxins in the aftermath of 9/11. Free.
Join us for a conversation with Zhang Yang, China’s most successful independent filmmaker, who will discuss his acclaimed work, Shower, with producer Peter Loehr, and film expert Richard Peña! Our experts will talk about China in the 90s, the impact of the reform era on film, the and the important legacy of Shower, more than two decades after its release. Set in a public bathhouse in an old neighborhood of Beijing, the film is a light-hearted comedy-drama about a family and their business caught up in the changes sweeping China at the dawn of the 21st century. The country’s struggle between tradition and modernity is played out between two brothers, against the backdrop of a cast of bathhouse patrons. $10.
There are countless ways in which a work environment can be toxic and all of them can take a massive toll on your mental and physical health. So how do you report these incidents? How do you find your way out of a toxic environment? And what are the steps you can take to survive until you’re able to put an exit strategy in place? At LMHQ’s November Women’s Breakfast, you’ll hear from a panel of experts across industries who will share their lived experiences, lessons learned, and recommendations for navigating your way through a toxic workplace. Free.
Caryl Stern, the renowned human rights activist, is the third generation of women in her family whose lives were shaped by the Holocaust. Her grandmother, Mignon Langnas, was a nurse in Vienna when the Nazis invaded. Facing an agonizing decision, she sent her two young children to the US, opting to stay with her ailing parents and to take care of her patients in a Jewish children’s hospital. Caryl’s mother, Manuela Stern, crossed the ocean at the age of six and once here, lived in an orphanage on the lower East side of Manhattan. Manuela’s experience contributed to her becoming a passionate civic activist and educator. For these three women, “tikkun olam” (Hebrew for, “to heal the world”) is now part of their DNA. The program will be moderated by NBC’s senior legal and investigative correspondent Cynthia McFadden. $10
Launched during the height of the pandemic and hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef and New York Times bestselling author Rocco DiSpirito, the series features chefs from Lower Manhattan restaurants cooking up signature recipes and sharing tips. All donations go directly to a food-security charity of the restaurant’s choice. Today, cook with Malibu Farm executive chef Amy Sur-Trevino. Free Downtown Alliance
Providing Companion and Home Health Aide Care to clients with dementia.Help with grooming, dressing and wheelchair assistance. Able to escort client to parks and engage in conversations of desired topics and interests of client. Reliable & Honest
78 year old refined intellectual gentleman having a passion for cruises and travel seeking a male or female caregiver/companion in exchange for all expense paid venture on the ocean. Only requirement is relationship comfort between us and ability to help with physical care regarding the limitations and restrictions of COPD.
Reliable, trustworthy and caring Nanny looking for full time position preferably with newborns, infants and toddlers. I have experience in the Battery Park City area for 8 years. I will provide a loving, safe and nurturing environment for your child. Refs available upon request. Beverly 347 882 6612
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC. Call Tenzin
SEEKING LIVE-IN ELDER CARE
12 years experience, refs avail. I am a loving caring hardworking certified home health aide
Schedule Changes: Market closed 12/25 for Christmas Day and 1/1 for New Year’s Day.
The loyal community of neighborhood residents who shop at the Tribeca Greenmarket show up each Wednesday and Saturday year-round to get their fix of locally grown produce, sustainably raised meat, seafood, sheep’s milk cheese and yogurt, orchard fruit and berries, herbs, live plants and cut flowers. Cooking demonstrations, raffles, and educational activities make the market a hands-on experience for shoppers of all ages.
American Pride Seafood Wild-caught fish and shellfish from Suffolk County, NY
Dipaola Turkeys Turkey and turkey products from Mercer County, NJ
Francesca’s Bakery Breads and baked goods from Passaic County, NJ
Hudson Valley Duck Farm Heritage breed ducks and duck products from Sullivan County, NY
Jersey Farm Produce Vegetables, herbs, orchard and small fruit from Hunterdon County, NJ
Lani’s Farm Vegetables, eggs and prepared foods from Burlington County, NJ
Millport Dairy Eggs, cheddar cheese, beef, pork, pickles and baked goods from Lancaster County, PA
Prospect Hill Orchards Fruit, some certified organic, granola, and baked goods from Ulster County, NY
Tucker Farms Cut Flowers from Burlington & Monmouth County, NJ
Westmeadow Farm cow and goat milk cheeses and cows butter from Montgomery County, NY
Yellow Bell Farm Chicken and eggs from Dutchess County, NY
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
Fulton Stall Market participants include farmers and agricultural producers from New York and adjacent states as well as small-batch processed food producers from NYC and the region.
Indoor market participants’ products can be purchased Monday – Saturday 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM from the indoor market store’s shelves and coolers.
Outdoor Sunday Market participants sell directly to consumers at open-air stalls and vary from week to week.
INDOOR FARMERS MARKET STORE:
91 South St., bet. Fulton & John Sts. Open Monday – Saturdays 11:30 AM – 5 PM
OUTDOOR SATURDAY MARKET:
Fulton St. bet. South & Front Sts. Every Saturday 11:30 AM – 5 PM to November 20.
Fulton Stall Market is a non-profit farmers public marketplace for local foods connecting farmers and producers with the growing Lower Manhattan community.
91 South St., bet. Fulton & John Sts.
Indoor Market Hours: Monday – Saturday
11:30 AM to 5:00 PM, year round
Outdoor Market: Saturday 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Fulton St. at South St., May through Thanksgiving.
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
Six Figures for Every 12 Inches
City Announces $110 Million for Resiliency in Seaport
Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is resiliency protection for Lower Manhattan appeared to fall into place on October 26, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced $110 million in funding for protective measures covering a small stretch of the South Street Seaport waterfront. The Mayor’s announcement said, “the proposed project, which will be subject to appropriate review, will rebuild and raise the existing bulkhead and improve drainage in the area from approximately the Brooklyn Bridge to Pier 17.” To read more…
What’s Up, Dock?
Planning Moves Ahead for Elevating Battery Waterfront
With the ongoing design process for the Battery Wharf resiliency project now 50 percent complete (and construction slated to begin in late 2022), Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing in with concerns and ideas about how to refine the vision for raising the level of the waterfront esplanade in the Battery to protect the historic park against future sea-level rise and extreme-weather events.
1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook.”
1511 – Henry VIII of England concludes the Treaty of Westminster, a pledge of mutual aid against the French, with Ferdinand II of Aragon
1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.
1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason
1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica.
1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated.
1939 – Nine Czech students are executed as a response to anti-Nazi demonstrations prompted by the death of Jan Opletal. All Czech universities are shut down and more than 1,200 students sent to concentration camps. Since this event, International Students’ Day is celebrated in many countries, especially in the Czech Republic.
1947 – The Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath.
1947 – American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain observe the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th century.
1962 – President John F. Kennedy dedicates Washington Dulles International Airport, serving the Washington, D.C., region.
1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai Massacre.
1970 – Luna programme: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and is released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook.”
1997 – In Luxor, Egypt, 62 people are killed by six Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut, known as Luxor massacre.
2013 – A rare late-season tornado outbreak strikes the Midwest. Illinois and Indiana are most affected with tornado reports as far north as lower Michigan. In all around six dozen tornadoes touch down in approximately an 11-hour time period, including seven EF3 and two EF4 tornadoes.
2019 – The first known case of COVID-19 is traced to a 55-year-old man who had visited a market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
AD 9 – Vespasian, Roman emperor (d. 79
1749 – Nicolas Appert, French chef, invented canning (d. 1841}
1901 – Lee Strasberg, Ukrainian-American actor and director (d. 1982)
1904 – Isamu Noguchi, American sculptor and architect (d. 1988)
1942 – Martin Scorsese, American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor
1943 – Lauren Hutton, American model and actress
1944 – Rem Koolhaas, Dutch architect and academic, designed the Seattle Central Library
1188 – Usama ibn Munqidh, Arab chronicler (b. 1095)
1776 – James Ferguson, Scottish astronomer and instrument maker (b. 1710)
1796 – Catherine the Great, of Russia (b. 1729)
1917 – Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and illustrator (b. 1840)
2013 – Doris Lessing, British novelist, poet, playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1919)
Credit to Wikipedia and other internet and non-internet sources