More than 130 concrete “tulips” (each a unique shape, size, and elevation) merge to form an undulating meadow that soars as high as 60 feet, and dips as low as 15 feet above the Hudson’s surface.
The Lower West Side of Manhattan officially has another stunning public space: On Friday morning, the Hudson River Park Trust debuted Little Island, the new park located just off the shoreline, at 13th and West Streets. The park offers more than two acres of gardens, glades, lawns, performance spaces and picnic grounds.
All of this greenery is hoisted above the water by 280 slender concrete columns, driven hundreds of feet down into the riverbed, and supporting 132 flower-shaped masonry “tulips”—pods that appear to be separate platforms from outside Little Island, but form a continuous, undulating surface when seen from the inside. Each of these structural bulbs is a different size, shape, and elevation.
Above: A schematic view that details the 280 slender columns that support the structure, descending hundreds of feet to the riverbed and the solid ground beneath. Below: Visitors line up for free admission to Little Island, which has proved so popular that timed reservations (obtainable online) are necessary
The rolling meadow they form soars as high as 60-feet-plus over the Hudson’s surface, and dips as low as 15 above the water, perching it safely out of reach in even the direst predictions for climate change and sea-level rise.
Nestled among more than 350 species of plants (along with 66,000 individual flowers), and 114 trees (some of which will grow to more than 60 feet tall), Little Island offers a broad range of amenities, including a third of a mile of walkways, a 687-seat amphitheater (“The Amph”), a central plaza with seating and serving food and beverages (“The Play Ground”), an intimate stage and lawn space (“The Glade”), three boulder scrambles, and dazzling views of the park, New York City, and the Hudson River. The unique structure was designed by Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio (who also created the Vessel sculpture at Hudson Yards), with landscape design by Signe Nielsen of MNLA (who has helped conceive and build numerous highly regarded public spaces in Battery Park City and elsewhere in the Hudson River Park.
All of this splendor is a benefaction of the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, an effort spearheaded by technology and media mogul Barry Diller, who funded more than $250 million in construction costs, has pledged to pay for maintenance and programming for another 20 years.
“I hope Little Island will serve as a whimsical oasis for everyone who visits,” Mr. Diller said, in announcing the park’s opening, “a place to wander around and be happily surprised at every turn, to lounge and graze the landscape, and to be entertained, educated and stimulated by our programming.”
An aerial view of Little Park, which offers a third of a mile of walking paths, three boulder scrambles, a 687-seat amphitheater, and more than two acres of of gardens, glades, lawns, performance spaces and picnic grounds.
Beginning in June, Little Island will host a season of programming that aims to foster and support New York City-based performers and artists. The majority of events will be free, and ticketed shows will be primarily free or low-cost. There will be performances and educational programming six days a week, with offerings from music, dance, circus, and the spoken word.
Little Island will also offer free educational programming six days a week, including creative workshops for all ages led by teaching artists, weekly programs from the Children’s Museum of Arts and New Victory Education, a Teen Night, and a Little Library that visits the park on Fridays.
The park will be open daily from 6:00 am to 1:00 am, with timed reservations required from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. All admission is free, but time reservations are necessary to manage crowds and implement social distancing. To make a complimentary reservation, click here.
Words of Hate
Bias Crime at Borough of Manhattan Community College
The window outside an art exhibit honoring the military service of African-American soldiers was defaced with graffiti containing racial epithets on Sunday evening. The exhibit is housed in the Shirley Fiterman Art Center of Borough of Manhattan Community College, located at the corner of Barclay Street and West Broadway.
The work, entitled “In the Line of Fire,” is by Mildred Howard, a prolific mixed-media and installation artist, whose work consistently draws on a broad range of historical and contemporary experiences, and emphasizes her commitment to issues of social justice and community activism. The installation consists of approximately 60 life-size figures made from cut-out sheets of plywood that have been silkscreen-printed with the image of a single repeated figure in a World War One-era uniform — a young African American man in his teens, who was a distant relative of Ms. Howard. To read more…
Be advised that more dates have been made available for the vaccination program the Conrad Hotel.
Goldman Sachs, alongside American Express, has partnered with New York City and CVS Health to offer a COVID-19 vaccination program at the Conrad Hotel. All lower Manhattan residents and employees who meet the eligibility requirements are welcome to schedule appointments for the Pfizer vaccine.
In order to qualify for the COVID-19 vaccination program, individuals must be aged 16 years or over and be a resident of New York State OR work/study full-time in New York State.
Scheduling and Location Details
All who meet the eligibility requirements can schedule appointments on the New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Finder by selecting the Conrad Hotel location or use the following links.
Strengthen the whole body from warm-up to cool-down with a variety of fun exercises. The instructor will lead you in aerobics, balance and coordination exercises, as well as strength training. Come join for a fun workout in the fresh air! Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel, etc. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Battery Park City Authority Free
During trying times, music stills our souls and provides a healing grace. Throughout the season of Lent, Comfort at One will present performances that are inspired by the Gandhi quote: “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” These concerts include improvisations by Julian Wachner, light-inspired Bach cantatas, our 2014 Lenten “Lamentatio” series featuring NOVUS NY and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, new performances from the Trinity Youth Chorus and St. Paul’s Chapel Choir, and new virtual content on Fridays from our extended family of artists. Battery Park City Authority
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jewish historian Zosa Szajkowski gathered up tens of thousands of documents from Nazi buildings in Berlin, and later, public archives and private synagogues in France, and moved them all, illicitly, to New York. Dr. Lisa Leff reconstructed Szajkowski’s story in all its ambiguity in her 2015 book The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust. Join Leff and Dr. Jonathan Brent, Executive Director and CEO of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, for a discussion about Szajkowski’s story, the documents he stole, and what it all means for those interested in preserving the past today.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Multiple New Bikes Lanes Coming to Lower Manhattan, Adding to Growing Local Network
The City’s Department of Transportation will begin this month implementing a plan—first approved in the spring last year, but delayed by the onset of the pandemic coronavirus—to add more bike lanes to the Lower Manhattan’s streetscape.
Two new physically segregated bicycle thoroughfares will be constructed in the next few weeks: a southbound connection linking Varick Street to West Broadway, and a northbound route via Church Street and Sixth Avenue.
Also coming soon is a protected section of Centre Street—a stretch that will connect Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan to Tribeca and Chinatown. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
May 17 – 30, 2021
Look west to Gemini’s Castor and Pollux and to Mars, Mercury and Venus
As twilight deepens tonight, beginning around 9:30pm, locate the crescent moon in the west mid-way between zenith and the horizon. Below the moon, a juxtaposed pair of bright stars stands out. Known as the Gemini twins, yellowish Pollux is on the left and blue-white Castor on the right. A ways to the left of Pollux find luminous Procyon the Little Dog. About the same distance to the right of Castor find Capella the Little Goat, brightest of the foursome.
Double star Castor photographed moving in space and time. Image courtesy of New Mexico-based astrophotographer Kent DeGroff.
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The Battery Park City Authority asks that the public not interact with or feed the urban wildlife in the neighborhood’s parks and green spaces, and at the waterfront.
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.
1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction. photo:Library of Congress
1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt.
1626 – Peter Minuit buys Manhattan.
1830 – “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale is published.
1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message “What hath God wrought” (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line.
1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.
1921 – The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti opens.
1940 – Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
1958 – United Press International is formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
1961 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, for “disturbing the peace” after disembarking from their bus.
1976 – The London to Washington, D.C., Concorde service begins.
1994 – Four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 are each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
1999 – The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.
2001 – Mountaineering: Temba Tsheri, a 16-year-old Sherpa, becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
1940 – Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
1819 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (d. 1901)
1868 – Charlie Taylor, American engineer and mechanic (d. 1956) The Wright Brother’s mechanic
1911 – Barbara West, English survivor of the Sinking of the RMS Titanic (d. 2007)
1940 – Joseph Brodsky, Russian-American poet and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1996)
1941 – Bob Dylan, American singer-songwriter
1956 – Michael Jackson, Irish archbishop
1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (b. 1473)
1959 – John Foster Dulles soldier, lawyer, and politician, 52nd United States Secretary of State (b. 1888)
1981 – Herbert Müller, Swiss race car driver (b. 1940)
1995 – Harold Wilson, English academic and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1916)
1996 – Joseph Mitchell, American journalist and author (b. 1908)