Financial District resident Janet Fish was walking home from her morning shift volunteering at the Bowery Mission recently when she found herself face to face with a local aristocrat. As she passed a pizzeria at the intersection of St. James Place and Madison Street, she was confronted by a stately red-tailed hawk, perched on a post.
“This is the closest I have ever been to such a large, beautiful bird without a fence around it,” she recalls. “I was fortunate to have occasionally seen Zelda”—the majestic wild turkey who lived in Battery Park from 2003 through 2014—“who was an amazing sight to behold, but I never glimpsed her close up.”
Red-tailed hawks are noble creatures who mate for life, sharing child-rearing duties with their companions. They have made a spirited comeback in the skies over Manhattan, with more than a dozen mating pairs having established local roosts in recent years. But because these creatures spend relatively little time on the ground, especially around humans, Ms. Fish deduced that something was amiss.
This was confirmed when, “a man from the pizzeria came out and had his apron in his hands, ready to capture the hawk,” she recalls, “but before he got too close, the bird swooped to a low branch in the trees of the housing complex across the street.”
“Although it was able to fly across the street,” Ms. Fish remembers, “it flew so low that, if there had been traffic, it could have been hit. The bird appeared to have an injured left wing,” which could handicap its ability to hunt for the pigeons, mice and squirrels it lives on.
Concerned, she called several animal-rescue groups that specialize in aiding birds in distress. “They told me that, even though it may be injured, the bird’s status would need to deteriorate to the point where it became unable to fly, before it could be captured and rehabilitated,” she says.
February is the month when red-tailed hawks begin building nests, in anticipation of the spring breeding season. In March, they lay eggs and a few weeks later begin tending their hatchlings. Here’s hoping the red-tailed hawk discovered by Ms. Fish recovers sufficiently to navigate the challenges of parenthood.
Studio BFPL returns in partnership with New York Chinese Cultural Center. Experience intimate, one-of-a-kind, live performances that are socially distant, within the indoor spaces of Brookfield Place. Up to six people who have traveled together can expect to be entertained for up to 15 minutes. Registration opens on the Monday before each show at 10 AM.Free
What games are traditionally played in Africa? What games are played today? Join a park ranger from the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York in this presentation on African games. The program will include an introduction on the African Burial Ground, history of games played in Africa, and conclude with a game for participants to play. Free
Studio BFPL returns in partnership with New York Chinese Cultural Center. Experience intimate, one-of-a-kind, live performances that are socially distant, within the indoor spaces of Brookfield Place. Up to six people who have traveled together can expect to be entertained for up to 15 minutes. Registration opens on the Monday before each show at 10 AM. Free
Virtual explorations of the buildings of McKim, Mead & White (and architects associated with them) in New York, south of Canal Street, such as the Municipal Building, the Bowery Savings Bank, and 55 Wall Street. We will also look at works by architects—such as Carrère & Hastings and York & Sawyer—who began their careers with McKim, Mead & White. In the early 20th century, McKim, Mead & White was New York’s most successful architectural firm, and their deep understanding of classical forms and the constructional quality of their buildings has made them, in many people’s view, New York’s greatest architects. $15
Appeals Court Focuses on Meaning of Four-Letter Word to Block Suit Against Two Bridges Development Plan
A coalition of community groups opposed to three massive real estate developments planned for the Lower East Side were dealt a setback on Tuesday, when the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court reversed a trial-court ruling from last year that said the projects were required to undergo a more rigorous form of public review before final approval.
Downtown Lags Five-Borough Averages for COVID Vaccination
Lower Manhattan is lagging behind the City-wide averages for rates of vaccination against COVID-19 among adults, according to data released by public health officials on Tuesday. To read more…
To the editor,
I wonder if NYC DOH is tracking city residents who receive their vaccinations outside the city.
Since the State website seemed less cumbersome, and I could sign up for an earlier date, I got my first vaccine upstate, actually, way upstate, and I’ll get the second vaccine there too.
Media have carried stories about downstate people traveling to Utica, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, etc. to get vaccines earlier. Maybe that’s the explanation. Or, maybe, downtown people are just younger on average. This would explain why northern BPC, home of Brookdale Assisted Living, has more completed second vaccines.
To the editor:
I’m writing in response to a recent letter in your publication that decried the idea of a dedicated bike lane over the Brooklyn Bridge as, essentially, woke craziness.
As a bicycle commuter from Battery Park City for more than 20 years, let me give an alternative view.
I’m a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, and bike over the bridge frequently to get there. At least pre-Covid, this was a nightmare. The bridge is -always- overrun with tourists, who do not notice the (not very prominent) signs asking pedestrians to stay on one side, and cyclists on the other. Consequently, there are always pedestrians straying ignorantly into the cyclist side, and getting across the bridge on your bike is a matter of ringing your bell constantly, moving slowly, and sometimes coming to a complete halt so someone can take a selfie.
Cyclists avoid the bridge for this reason, but in my case, the alternative (the Manhattan bridge) would add two miles to my journey, which on 60-something legs, is not desirable. And if the Brooklyn Bridge were more easily navigable by bike, I’m sure the number of cyclists using it would soar.
I’ll note that only a minority of lower Manhattan dwellers own cars; and, at least judging by the number of bikes locked in racks in Gateway Plaza, more own bikes than cars. A Brooklyn bridge bike path would benefit thousands of people a day, reduce risks to pedestrians on the bridge, and get us one inch closer to making New York a world class city for cyclists — and one inch closer to our necessary carbon-free future.
The letter to which I am responding decries already high traffic on the bridge (by which they mean car traffic, because cyclists and pedestrians evidently don’t matter). To which I can only say: Then get out of your ecologically catastrophic death machine, and take the subway like a normal person.
The Larceny of the Commons
City Planning Commission to Consider Endorsing Privatization of Public Space in Tribeca
On Tuesday, February 16, the City Planning Commission considered a request by the owner of large bank building in Tribeca, seeking to privatize in perpetuity a space it originally created as a public amenity. Community Board 1 (CB1) has strongly denounced this move.
Nine-Hundred Foot Tower Will Include 300-Plus Affordable Units
The boards of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) have both approved the proposal by a development partnership that wants to erect a 900-foot-plus tower at Five World Trade Center, a now-vacant lot that occupies the three-quarter-acre square block bounded by Liberty, Greenwich, Albany, and Washington Streets. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
No judgment for those of you who will want to drop those new year’s resolutions (or whatever other health kicks you’ve got going on) after reading this PSA:
NYC Restaurant Week launched this week, as hundreds of hot spots citywide have been lining up special delivery deals through February 28.
Promotions include lunch or dinner with a side for $20.21, two-course brunches and lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42), mostly Monday through Friday. (Some participating restaurants are honoring those prices on weekends.)
Dozens of restaurants south of Chambers Street plan to take part in NYC Restaurant Week, including Brooklyn Chop House, The Fulton, Crown Shy, Stone Street Tavern, The Dead Rabbit and more.
The Restaurant Week website lists several more tempting options to treat yourself — even if it means playing it a little fast and loose with your commitments to fitness. (We won’t tell.)
Transit Hub Becomes Venue for Multiple Violent Crime
The Fulton Center subway and retail complex (at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street) has been the scene of several violent assaults in recent days. On Friday, January 29, shortly after 11:00 pm, a gang of six young people (four male and two female) quietly entered the Dunkin Donuts location within the facility, and crept up behind a man who was placing an order at the counter. To read more…
TODAY IN HISTORY
The 2001 Mars Odyssey mission is NASA’s longest-lasting spacecraft at Mars. The spacecraft launched on April 7, 2001, and arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. Its mission includes making the first global map of the amount and distribution of many chemical elements and minerals that make up the Martian surface. It successfully completed its primary science mission from February 2002 through August 2004. The orbiter’s extended operations continue today.
356 – Emperor Constantius II issues a decree closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire.
1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.
1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.
1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
1884 – More than sixty tornadoes strike the Southern United States, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
1942 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.
1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique reawakens the feminist movement in the United States as women’s organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.
1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave the hospital.
2002 – NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (d. 1543)
1876 – Constantin Brâncuși, Romanian-French sculptor, painter, and photographer (d. 1957)
1896 – André Breton, French poet and author (d. 1966)
1917 – Carson McCullers, novelist, playwright, and essayist (d. 1967)
1414 – Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1353)
1709 – Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shōgun (b. 1646)
1997 – Deng Xiaoping, First Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1904)
2016 – Umberto Eco, Italian novelist, literary critic, and philosopher (b. 1932)
2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)
2019 – Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer (b. 1933)