Residents are Urged to Brainstorm About How to Protect FiDi and the Seaport from Climate Change
A conceptual rendering illustrates the general look that more than 100 acres of new landfill along the East River might resemble.
As the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio formulates the FiDi-Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan, it is seeking community input about which options, among a raft of competing proposals, make the most sense, within the broader context of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency plan.
To that end, the public is invited to participate in a virtual open house tonight (Thursday, February 25), from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, to learn more and collaborate on the vision for the future of Lower Manhattan.
Among the subjects slated for consideration are the area’s low-lying topography, dense infrastructure, and complex waterfront and maritime uses, all of which make for a complex interplay of priorities and opportunities.
Both the hazards and the opportunities are greater than perhaps anywhere else in New York. Unlike other neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, the shoreline in the Seaport and the Financial District is too low-lying, constrained, and complex to accommodate the resilience tools being implemented in other parts of the City. This is why the City is considering a plan to extend the shoreline with an in-water barrier, so that space will become available to integrate the protective measures these areas need.
The preliminary outlines of such a plan came into focus in March, 2019, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City intended to embark on a massive building project along the East River shoreline of Lower Manhattan to create a bulwark against floods, like the one that inundated Lower Manhattan after 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which sent an eight-foot surge of water into the Seaport District. That proposal called for creating new land, at a higher elevation than the current waterfront, using landfill to extend the riverbank by a margin of between 50 and 500 feet, from the Brooklyn Bridge down to the Battery Maritime Building.
“We will initiate an effort that is estimated to cost $10 billion to extend the shoreline of Lower Manhattan into the East River to protect the Seaport area and the Financial District and all the people who live and work there,” Mr. de Blasio said two years ago. “This is a very, very big undertaking. Nothing has been done like this in the history New York City. But it is needed. And I want to give you the plain facts that make clear why we have to do this. In the City with four and a half million jobs, one in ten jobs is located in Lower Manhattan; 75 percent of the subway lines in New York City run through Lower Manhattan; there’s $60 billion worth of property in Lower Manhattan, and hundreds of thousands of people who live or work there.”
Mr. de Blasio added that the initial planning studies for the project, expected to cost between $5 and $10 million, would take more than two years, which meant that the proposal would begin to take shape in the wake of last November’s upcoming presidential election. “If after 2020, there’s very different reality, and something like the Green New Deal moves forward, there will be a huge amount of federal funding and that would allow us to do these kinds of barriers.” If such federal support does not materialize, he said, “we’ll have to get some private money and there will have to be some development.”
An architect’s rendering of development on the newly created landfill could look like.
The audacious vision outlined by the de Blasio administration represents the potential to transform Lower Manhattan in perpetuity. Extending the shoreline by 500 feet for nearly one mile would create land the width of two new city blocks, with at least one longitudinal avenue between them, intersected by more than a dozen cross streets. Development on such acreage might include affordable housing, schools, community centers, arts and cultural hubs, and vast stretches of parkland—along with for-profit construction like office buildings, retail, and market-rate apartments.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency are leading development of the FiDi-Seaport Climate Resilience Plan, with input from other city agencies, coordination with state and federal regulatory agencies, and extensive community engagement. An interdisciplinary team of engineers, designers, and technical advisors is supporting the work, led by the Dutch engineering firm Arcadis. EDC expects to release conceptual design options, recommendations for implementation, pathways toward permitting, and suggestions for funding in late 2021.
At that point, look for a conceptual design of coastal defense infrastructure; a drainage strategy to manage stormwater and wastewater; and, as the website for this huge plan promises, “the foundation for an intergenerational coalition to carry this project forward.”
Crips and Bloods Exchange Gunfire at FiDi Hotel, But Hit Nobody
The Artezen Hotel, at 24 John Street, was recently the scene of a shootout between two rival youth gangs, who fired multiple rounds at each other, all of which missed their targets. The February 7 incident resulted in the arrests of nine individuals and the confiscation of eight guns by officers of the NYPD’s First Precinct.
These details were relayed by Captain Thomas P. Smith, the newly assigned commanding officer of the First Precinct, during a February 18 meeting of the Quality of Life Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1). To read more…
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Not many Americans have actually flown a small plane in China. But James Fallows, national correspondent and former Beijing correspondent for The Atlantic, has, and it was a hair-raising experience. A life-long aviation aficionado, Fallows will share the harrowing flight he co-piloted on the Cirrus SR22, a four-seat prop plane, from Hunan province’s Changsha to southern Zhuhai. Along the way, he will talk about China’s aviation ambitions and what they tell us about China’s prospects as a technology superpower. Free
Hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef and author Rocco DiSpirito, the series features chefs from Lower Manhattan restaurants to cook up signature recipes and share tips for crafting everything from complex gastronomic delights to go-to comfort foods. The series is FREE, and all donations go directly to a food-security charity of the restaurant’s choice or the restaurant’s employee relief fund.
Join in a community discussion about the vision for the future of Lower Manhattan. The area’s low-lying topography, dense infrastructure, and complex waterfront and maritime uses, all of which make for a complex interplay of priorities and opportunities are among the subjects to be discussed.
Join the Museum and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for a simkhe (celebration) in honor of Purim. The evening will feature a lively reading of the Meglies Ester (Book of Esther) in Yiddish, as translated by the great poet Yehoash, followed by a festive musical performance. The reading will include English subtitles so all can follow along. Wear a costume at home! The program will also include a presentation of historic artifacts from the Museum’s collection illustrating Purim and its role in 20th century European Jewish communities. $10
Today Thursday, February 25, the Jewish Learning Experience (JLE) will host a socially distanced Purim Under The Stars at the Rooftop Garden of 128 Pearl Street, featuring music, a pre-packaged sushi buffet, and Megillah reading, along with, “hamantashen and all the Purim Shtick.”
(There will be plexiglass partitions for dining and plenty of room for distancing.) Admission is $26 per person. For more info please browse: thejle.com/purimstars.
Tomorrow (Friday, February 6, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm), JLE will host a family-friendly Purim at The Carnival (also on the rooftop of 128 Pearl), featuring music, a pre-Packaged Carnival Dinner, and Lechaim. Attendees are asked to come in costume. For more information, or to register, please browse: thejle.com/familypurim.
CB1 Decries Expanded Free Parking for Scofflaws with Badges
For years, cars bearing law enforcement placards have parked illegally on the west side of River Terrace each day. More recently, they have begun commandeering spaces on the east side of the street, once used to drop off and pick up school children, who must now venture into traffic.
Community Board 1 (CB1) is urging that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio remove what appears to be an unauthorized (and possibly illegal) parking sign on River Terrace, which has been used to broaden the already rampant problem of illegal parking by government employees whose cars display official credentials.
In a resolution enacted at its January 26 meeting, CB1 noted that the River & Warren condominium (located on River Terrace, at 212 Warren Street) had for years used “for safe drop-offs and pickups” a length of curb in front of the building, which was designed “No Standing Anytime.” To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
February 22 – March 7, 2021
Sun’s return north, Lion springs tonight
It seems that we are born knowing that we can tell the time of day by the position of the Sun in the sky. The time of year is evident when we observe the changing location of the rising and setting Sun along the horizon, the trajectory of the Sun’s arc on the sky dome, and the length of day. In the illustration, February is represented by the third line. The whole image reflects our experience of the Sun’s northerly movement on the horizon from winter to summer solstice. We observe our star, the Sun, climb higher in the sky each day. On the vernal equinox, March 20, the sunrise point is due east on the skyline. To read more…
To the editor:
People concerned about law enforcement parking at River Terrace (or elesewhere) might follow and post on this twitter account – @placardabuse
The person behind it has been fighting this issue for some time and seems to have made a bit of headway with the Mayor though there is a long way to go. I live on Franklin Street where we have a lot of this, even parking on the sidewalk.
A lot of the placards are fake by the way, and many are used improperly in situations where they should not be used (like when a cop just wants to park his car, as opposed to official duty). Changing the sign at River Terrace is a new twist!
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.)
628 – Khosrow II, the last great king of the Sasanian Empire, is overthrown by his son Kavadh II.
1336 – Four thousand defenders of Pilėnai commit mass suicide rather than be taken captive by the Teutonic Knights.
1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.
1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull – human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.
1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.
1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.
1919 – Oregon places a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.
1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.
1956 – Cold War: In his speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.
1964 – North Korean Prime Minister Kim Il-sung calls for the removal of feudalistic land ownership aimed at turning all cooperative farms into state-run ones.
1994 – Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors.
1664 – Thomas Newcomen, English pastor and engineer (d. 1729)
1670 – Maria Margarethe Kirch, German astronomer and mathematician (d. 1720)
1841 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter and sculptor (d. 1919)
1873 – Enrico Caruso, Italian-American tenor (d. 1921)
1888 – John Foster Dulles, 52nd United States Secretary of State (d. 1959)
1918 – Bobby Riggs, American tennis player (d. 1995)
1928 – Larry Gelbart, American author and screenwriter (d. 2009)
1929 – Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 2007)
1943 – George Harrison, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2001)
1713 – Frederick I of Prussia (b. 1657)
1723 – Christopher Wren, English architect, designed St Paul’s Cathedral (b. 1632)
1920 – Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy, French archaeologist and engineer (b. 1844)
1970 – Mark Rothko, Latvian-American painter and academic (b. 1903)
2013 – C. Everett Koop, 13th Surgeon General of the United States (b. 1916)