Opponents of Plan for Homeless Shelter in FiDi Hotel Appeal Recent Dismissal
Two groups of litigants in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the plan to convert a Financial District hotel into a homeless shelter filed an appeal on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a judge’s decision issued last Wednesday, which allowed the proposal to move forward.
At issue is whether the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio can relocate more than 200 homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel, on the Upper West Side, to the Radisson New York Wall Street, located at 52 William Street.
First announced in September, this plan has aroused significant opposition, both in Lower Manhattan, as well as in the neighborhood where the Lucerne is located—where at least some community leaders argue that the homeless men are both welcome and better served. This sentiment is echoed by several of the men currently residing in the Lucerne, who have engaged an attorney, Michael Hiller, to make the case that they will suffer irreparable harm if they are moved.
On October 19, State Supreme Court Justice Debra James issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the City from implementing its plan, while she considered these arguments. Last Wednesday, she reversed herself, ruling that the request for the court to block the plan, “is denied on the grounds that this court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of such petition, and the temporary restraining order issued on Oct. 19, 2020 is hereby vacated.”
Yesterday, a Lower Manhattan-based group, Downtown New Yorkers, Incorporated, filed an appeal with Appellate Division (First Department) of the State Supreme Court, seeking to overrule this decision. Their motion alleges that City has abused its emergency authority (enacted in response to the pandemic coronavirus) to create a new permanent shelter, while misleading Community Board 1 about this plan. The motion also argues that there will be harmful consequences for the men the City plans to relocate, if the plan is allowed to proceed.
Concurrently, the group of homeless men residing at the Lucerne, who brought the original suit, have also filed a similar motion, essentially agreeing with the brief submitted by Downtown New Yorkers.
“The City has reacted recklessly by ignoring its own requirements and repeatedly uprooting these homeless individuals based on political pressure,” Theresa Vitug, a member of Downtown New Yorkers, said on Wednesday. “It has been established that the homeless men are better served by remaining on the Upper West Side, where they have access to extensive social programs—including a successful jobs program—that are not available Downtown.”
“The City has behaved horribly from the very start of this situation, playing with people’s lives for political expediency and lying to Community Board 1 by claiming there is not a permanent shelter in the district when there is,” she continued. “We will continue to fight this issue and we demand that the Department of Homeless Services engages with the community in good faith.”
It Doesn’t Hurt To Mask
Manhattan Youth is offering free masks (in packets of ten) to any who need them.
Just drop by the Downtown Community Center (120 Warren Street, near the corner of West Street) between 11:00 am and noon, now through Friday, December 4.
Build Your Dream House
The Church Street School for Music and Art will continue a decades-long Downtown tradition (albeit, in virtual form, as a concession to COVID-19) by offering Gingerbread House Decorating Kits (priced at $85), now through Christmas week.
Each take home kit includes one homemade gingerbread house, a variety of candy, freshly made icing, and one foiled round to set your house up on. In addition to offering great holiday fun, this program is one of the most important fundraisers for the highly regarded non-profit institution that has brought enrichment to the lives of generations of Lower Manhattan kids.
Imagine what it’s like to be a kid who, for some reason, isn’t on Santa’s list. Now, just imagine what a huge impact you can make in the life of a child and their parents by being their secret Santa.
Stockings with Care, a charity based in Lower Manhattan, steps in to help when parents cannot provide Christmas gifts for their children, so no child is left out. But the organization, which has benefited over 40,000 children since 1992, needs your help. The parents give the gifts that donors (such as you) provide to the child, preserving their dignity and connection, while ensuring the gifts received are the ones the child wished for. Stockings with Care has created five easy ways to contribute.
Trinity Church wants to help you make a stranger feel special this Christmas.
Purchase a Christmas gift to support children, adults, and seniors served by several of Trinity’s partner organizations throughout New York City. Your gifts will go to fellow New Yorkers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom wouldn’t receive gifts this year without your help.
Study Says Much of Downtown Will Have That Sinking Feeling by 2050
In 29 years, approximately one-third of Lower Manhattan is likely to be underwater, according to a new map that quantifies flood risk for Lower Manhattan (as well as other locations), produced by Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization that analyzes and reports on climate science.
Two separate residential towers planned for the Financial District are suffering from the local real estate slowdown. In developments first reported by the online real estate journal, YIMBY, the building now under construction at 161 Maiden Lane has undergone removal of pieces of its facade in recent weeks (the only recent activity on the otherwise-stalled project), while construction equipment has been removed from 45 Broad Street, which is the site of a planned 1,115 foot residential tower.
Acclaimed artists Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish/Cree/Shoshone) and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee) discuss their work, their distinguished careers, and their thoughts on the current state of Native American contemporary art. Free
Struggling to translate your creative practice, business or self into words? Avoiding the process of writing and editing your About page, whether for your own materials or an upcoming pitch? Face your fears at this upcoming workshop, which helps creative individuals explore how to clearly communicate who they are, and the kind of work they produce, to a broad range of audiences. Participants will walk away with tangible tips on creating effective personal narratives, modifying statements for different platforms and more. Free
In the three years since white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the violent white nationalist movement has grown and evolved. The United States now faces unprecedented levels of hate crimes and domestic terror. Just months before their landmark Charlottesville lawsuit goes to trial — seeking to bankrupt and dismantle the hate groups at the center of this violent movement — leading litigator Roberta Kaplan and Integrity First for America Executive Director Amy Spitalnick will join Slate Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick for a conversation about the fight against extremism in the year ahead. $10.00
EYES TO THE SKY
November 30 – December 13, 2020
Full Snow Moon rises this afternoon, winter stars follow, planets delight
The Full Snow Moon rises above the east-northeast horizon this afternoon at 4:48pm, nearly simultaneous with sunset in the southwest at 4:29pm. See moonrise about an hour later every evening and sunset remaining within seconds of 4:29pm until the winter solstice, which occurs on December 21.
Mornings, awake to the intriguing spectacle of moonset in the west-northwest as the Sun rises in the southeast. Tomorrow, December 1, sunrise is at 7:01am, while the great orb of the moon will be visible in the daylight blue sky until 8:08am. See the moon higher and longer in the morning sky – in waning gibbous phase – everyday this week. The Sun rises about a minute later everyday through the 26th: Sunrise is at 7:12 on 13th.
Calling all Performing Artists: Mark DeGarmo Dance Seeks Applicants for the 2020-2021 season of its Virtual Salon Performance Series: a sharing of works-in-progress with a facilitated audience response curated and facilitated by dancer, choreographer, writer, and researcher, Dr. Mark DeGarmo.
Mark DeGarmo Dance seeks applicants for the 2020-2021 season of its Virtual Salon Performance Series, a showcase of original artistic works-in-progress with a facilitated audience response session. Performing artists are invited to apply via the above GoogleForm by Saturday, December 3rd, 11:59PM ET. All Virtual Performances will be held on Zoom. Apply nowmarkdegarmodance.org
Downtown Restaurants Brace for More Closure Orders
As New York wades deeper into its second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, some local restaurants are trying to get ahead of the curve of anticipated closures by voluntarily shutting down both indoor and outdoor dining.
Among these is Blue Smoke, in Battery Park City, owned by legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which is also taking similar measures at the company’s Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern.
Distressed Downtown Real Estate Indicators Point South
The first Baron Rothschild is said to have advised, “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.” If he was correct, this may be an auspicious moment to purchase real estate in Lower Manhattan, where the distress is acute. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
1800 – The 1800 US presidential election The Electoral College casts votes for President and Vice President that resulted in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.
1904 – The Jovian moon Himalia is discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California’s Lick Observatory.
1910 – Modern neon lighting is first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.
1927 – Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel and Hardy film, is released.
1973 – Pioneer program: Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
1979 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini becomes the first Supreme Leader of Iran.
1984 – Bhopal disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.
1992 – A test engineer for Sema Group uses a personal computer to send the world’s first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
1994 – The PlayStation developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment was released in Japan
1997 – In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, representatives from 121 countries sign the Ottawa Treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines. The United States, People’s Republic of China, and Russia do not sign the treaty.
2007 – Winter storms cause the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, Washington, and close a 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.
1596 – Nicola Amati, Italian instrument maker (d. 1684)
1755 – Gilbert Stuart, American painter (d. 1828)
1826 – George B. McClellan, general and politician, 24th Governor of New Jersey (d. 1885)
1842 – Charles Alfred Pillsbury, American businessman, founded the Pillsbury Company (d. 1899)
1895 – Anna Freud, Austrian-English psychologist and psychoanalyst (d. 1982)
1930 – Jean-Luc Godard, French-Swiss director and screenwriter
1951 – Rick Mears, American race car driver
1888 – Carl Zeiss, German physicist and lens maker (b. 1816)
1919 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter and sculptor (b. 1841)
1956 – Alexander Rodchenko, Russian sculptor, photographer, and graphic designer (b. 1891)
2014 – Herman Badillo, Puerto Rican-American lawyer and politician (b. 1929)