Port Authority Interprets Governor’s Order Littorally
A Port Authority planning document details the stops and route of a potential ferry line between Lower Manhattan and the East River
Lower Manhattan residents could soon have a new option for accessing LaGuardia Airport, if planners at the Port Authority approve an option to launch ferry service between the Wall Street pier and the aerodrome in northern Queens.
The Port Authority has been compelled to take a fresh look at ways to access LaGuardia after Governor Kathy Hochul killed plans formulated by her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, to build a new AirTrain. That proposal would have connected the airport to both the Long Island Rail Road and the subway’s 7 train—in both cases by moving passengers eastward for those transfers, when the vast majority of users would likely be headed to destinations west of the LaGuardia (such as Manhattan). This scheme was slated to cost several billion dollars.
Above: A rendering of a planned docked in Bowery Bay, alongside LaGuardia Airport, to travel time to which could be less than 40 minutes. Below: Pier 11, at Wall Street, would be the point of embarkation for Lower Manhattan riders.
Governor Hochul has ordered Port Authority planners to consider a broad range of lower-cost alternatives. One of these, according to a presentation given by the agency earlier this month, is to extended existing East River ferry routes to either of a pair of proposed docks alongside the airport—one in Bowery Bay (near LaGuardia’s Terminal A) and another in Flushing Bay (east of the airport).
Both options would require a shuttle bus to connect the ferry wharf with the airport’s various terminals, but such jitneys already operate between terminals within LaGuardia, which means that adding an extra stop would entail relatively minor expense.
For Lower Manhattan residents, the point of embarkation would be Pier 11, at the foot of Wall Street. A current ferry route that runs between Pier 11 and Soundview/Clason Point (in the Bronx) takes 49 minutes. Because a dock near LaGuardia would be approximately three miles closer than the Soundview terminal, such a trip would likely be significantly faster—and could perhaps be completed under 40 minutes.
This travel time compares favorably with options currently available to Lower Manhattan residents, such as car (which can take more than an hour during peak travel times) and subway (which requires at least one change between trains, plus a bus connection).
If the service were managed by NYC Ferry, the firm that currently plies all the East River routes, the fare would presumably be limited to the price of a subway ride, as is the case for all of that company’s operations. Such a levy would be a small fraction of the cost of a taxi, or even the tolls for a private car driving between Lower Manhattan and LaGuardia.
The Way We Live Now
Census Analysis Indicates Downtown Has Become a Lot Younger, Quite a Bit More Crowded, and Slightly More Diverse
The population of Lower Manhattan has grown by almost 20,000 residents in the decade preceding the 2020 Census, according to an analysis co-authored by James Wilson-Schutter, a Community Planning Fellow affiliated with the Fund for the City of New York, who is consulting with Community Board 1 (CB1), and Diana Switaj, CB1’s Director of Planning and Land Use.
At the March 17 meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee, Mr. Wilson-Schutter noted that, “a lot has changed in the district since 2010,” referring to the catchment of CB1, a collection of neighborhoods encompassing 1.5 square miles, bounded roughly by Canal, Baxter, and Pearl Streets, and the Brooklyn Bridge. “CB1 has grown just tremendously over the past 10 years. There are a lot more people, a lot more youth, and a lot more housing.” To read more…
Down in the Depths on the 50th Floor
Elevator Outages Have FiDi High-Rise Tenants Out on a Ledge
Months of chronic elevator problems at a historic skyscraper in the Financial District have left tenants at 20 Exchange Place hiking dozens of flights to and from their apartments each day. At a Monday rally called by elected officials to show support for the plight of residents in the building, City Council member Christopher Marte said, “this is the worst-case scenario for any resident. The first incident was in late October, almost six months ago.” Since then, he said, “there has been neglect from Con Edison and the management office. This is unacceptable. Enough is enough. Let’s get this fixed.”
Local Rates of Infection with BA.2 Version of COVID Among Highest in City
In a sharp reversal of previous trends, four Lower Manhattan neighborhoods are ranking among the top five anywhere in the City for rates of infection with the new BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron mutation of COVID-19.
In data released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday (covering the period from March 18 through March 24), southern Tribeca, two areas of the Financial District, and southern Battery Park City all placed among the five communities with the highest percentage positive test results for COVID infection. The four local zip codes with the highest level of positive test results were:
Beatrice Nasi, who would come to be known as Doña Gracia, one of the richest women in the world, was born in 1510 in Portugal. Join the Museum for a program exploring the incredible life and legacy of Doña Gracia on the 530th anniversary of the Alhambra Decree. The program will consist of a conversation with Andrée Aelion Brooks, author of The Woman Who Defied Kings: The life and times of Doña Gracia Nasi, and Howard Tzvi Adelman, Associate Professor of History at Queen’s University. The program willl be moderated by Josh Nathan-Kazis, a reporter at Barron’s and a former staff writer at the Forward.
During the coronavirus pandemic, a queer disabled woman bikes through a locked-down NYC for the ex-girlfriend who broke her heart. In pandemic-era NYC, Orpheus just manages to buy a bike before they sell out across the city. She takes to the streets looking for Eurydice, the first woman she fell in love with, who broke her heart. The city is largely closed, devoid of touch, connection, and community. But Orpheus hears mysterious news of an underground bar, Le Monacle, fashioned after the lesbian club of the same name in 1930s Paris. Can she find it?
Jazz at the Poster Museum
Grammy Award-winning drummer Robby Ameen has lived in Tribeca since the early 90s and has established a recording and touring career stretching from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon to Ruben Blades. See Robby and his band at Philip Williams Posters, 52 Warren Street. $20, $10 students; with complimentary wine. For reservations, 212-513-0313 or email@example.com
Thomas Cooley, tenor; Jonathan Woody, bass; The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Youth Chorus; The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys; Trinity Baroque Orchestra; New York Baroque Inc.; Dana Marsh, conductor. Trinity ensembles join forces with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and New York Baroque Incorporated to present Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, one of the quintessential masterpieces of western classical music. The Passion According to St. Matthew, BWV 244, is a dramatic integration of scripture, new poetry, and great hymns of the Lutheran tradition.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose.
For the Birds
A Guide to our Feathered Friends in Lower Manhattan
Gail Karlsson is a local writer and photographer who recently began focusing on New York City birds. She has put together a photo book called A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor. Most of the text is written from the birds’ point of view.
In 2017, she began going on morning bird walks in The Battery led by Gabriel Willow, a naturalist working with New York City Audubon. “One day he told me that not very many birders went to The Battery, and it would be good to document what we saw there. I didn’t know much about the different birds, but I did have a new telephoto lens, and Gabriel helped me identify ones I didn’t recognize. I was amazed at how many different types of birds we found there.I decided to put them together in a book – which turned into a much bigger project than I imagined. But a really fun one.”
‘Downtown Birds’ is now on display in the ground-floor window gallery at the former Western Union building (60 Hudson) located on the northwest corner of West Broadway and Thomas now through May 1
The book A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor is available on Amazon.com.
Local Legacies Lionized
Three Downtown Preservation Projects Cited as Exemplars of Landmark Protection
Three of Lower Manhattan’s architectural masterpieces have been singled out for the prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, conferred each year by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a highly regarded non-profit organization (itself based in Lower Manhattan, on Whitehall Street) that seeks to protect New York’s architecturally significant buildings. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
March 21 – April 3, 2022
Equinox Sun, Spring Star Arcturus rising, Solar Orbiter’s closest approach
We are several days past the Vernal Equinox (aequus = equal and nox = night), the astronomical first day of spring in the northern hemisphere when the rising Sun (due east on the horizon) and the setting Sun (due west) trace an arc in the sky that brings about equal day and night. Our star’s equinox trajectory is halfway between the winter and summer solstices, the shortest and longest days of the year, respectively.
Historic, Publicly Owned Battery Maritime Building Has Reopened, But Only for Paying Customers
Community Board 1 (CB1) is raising questions about the use of what was supposed to be public space at the Battery Maritime Building, located at Ten South Street.
The publicly owned structure, located next to the Staten Island Ferry, is a landmarked Beaux Art ferry terminal built in 1909. It served for three decades as the gateway for boats taking passengers across the East River, but after commuters and vehicles gained direct access to Manhattan with the advent of bridges, tunnels, and subways, ferry usage declined and the building fell into disrepair.
Folk dance group seeks empty space of 400+ sq feet for 2 hours of weekly evening dance practice.
Average attendance is 10 women. This is our hobby; can pay for use of the space.
Call 646 872-0863 or find us on Facebook. Ring O’Bells Morris.
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
Esplanade or Espla-Nada?
City Says Planned Improvements to East River Waterfront Are On Hold
The February 22 meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) included an update about long-planned improvements to the East River Esplanade, some of which are being cancelled.
Paul Goldstein, the chair of CB1’s Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee, said, “we got a report from Economic Development Corporation [EDC] regarding some of their waterfront assets and projects that are ongoing—or not.” (The EDC is a not-profit corporation controlled by City government, which oversees development of assets, such as publicly owned property.)
“Unfortunately, a lot this project is not moving ahead for a variety of reasons,” Mr. Goldstein explained, “the biggest one being that the City is focusing much more on resiliency, and they don’t want to go ahead with improvements that may interfere with that.” To read more…
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
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.