Landmarks Agency Mulls Protection for Chinatown Monument
Above: The Kimlau War Memorial, at Chatham Square. Below: Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau (1918 – 1944)
The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has agreed to consider a proposal to confer legally protected status on the Kimlau War Memorial, a granite ceremonial arch located in Chinatown, at the convergence of Chatham Square, Oliver Street, and East Broadway. If approved by the LPC, this designation would be New York’s first individual landmark to commemorate the role of Chinese-Americans in the City’s history.
The arch, which is designed to serve as a gateway to Chinatown, is named for Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, who grew up in Lower Manhattan and graduated from what is now known as the U.S. Army War College in 1937. He signed up for pilot training after the United States entered World War Two four years later.
Assigned to the South Pacific as part of the 380th Bomb Group (nicknamed the Flying Circus), Lieutenant Kimlau and the nine-man crew of his B-24 Liberator were ordered on March 5, 1944 to attack enemy positions on Los Negros Island, as part of the larger campaign to retake the Admiralty Islands from the Japanese. The battle was won by the Americans, but Lieutenant Kimlau and his entire crew were killed when their plane was shot down.
Above: The crew of Lieutenant Kimlau’s B-24 Liberator, who perished with him on March 5, 1944. Below: Veterans from the Chinatown post of the American Legion gather to remember sacrifices made by Chinese-Americans in defense of the United States
The monument that honors Lieutenant Kimlau (and all Chinese-Americans who have died defending the United States) was erected in 1962, as a gift to the City from the Chinatown American Legion post. It was designed by Poy Gum Lee, a renowned architect who built a career designing buildings in the Chinese community.
As the LPC notes in its profile of the monument, “the Kimlau War Memorial’s Chinese modern design reflects the diverse character of its location, situated between the oldest section of Chinatown near Mott, Pell, and Doyers streets dating to the late 19th century, and the stretch of East Broadway towards the Manhattan Bridge that has been a flourishing commercial corridor for the community since Chinese immigration increased in the 1970s.”
‘A Whimsical Oasis’
Little Island Opens to Rave Reviews
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.
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.
Exercise in disguise! Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training, and a lot of fun. 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. Free Battery Park City Authority
Today’s scientists and engineers are envisioning a future powered by renewable energy. It will take transformative technological solutions across both solar and energy storage technologies to meet the energy demands of a growing global population. These new technologies will help realize vibrant, sustainable cities and mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. $10
In June 1942, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff devised an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees in the United Kingdom. Called “X Troop,” the unit included a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes from Germany and Austria. Many had lost their families and homes, and would stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. The top-secret unit is the subject of Dr. Leah Garrett’s new book X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II, scheduled for release on May 25, 2021. Drawing on extensive original research, including interviews with the last surviving members, Garrett follows this unique band of brothers from Germany to England and back again, with stops at British internment camps, the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp—the scene of one of the most dramatic, untold rescues of the war. Join the Museum for a book launch program with Garrett. She’ll be in conversation with Kim Masters, veteran entertainment journalist, editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter, and host of KCRW’s The Business whose father Peter Masters was a member of the X Troop. $10
Currently the FDA categorizes psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin as Schedule I drugs, indicating that these substances have no medical benefits. Despite this classification, a resurgence of research has demonstrated therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for treatment of psychiatric disorders. These exciting findings have resulted in a paradigm shift for treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions, along with increased public interest and efforts to legalize psychedelics for medicinal use. This virtual conversation will bring together leading scientists in the fields of pharmacology, neuroscience, and psychiatry to discuss how psychedelics work in the brain to produce therapeutic benefits for depression and other mood disorders. The role of psychotherapy in tandem with the psychedelic experience will also be explored. $15-$35
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.
All rights reserved.
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.
567 BC – Servius Tullius, the king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.
240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
1738 – A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.
1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London.
1895 – The playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1925 – Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in Tennessee.
1961 – Apollo program: President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decade.
1962 – The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business.
1977 – Chinese government removes a decade old ban on William Shakespeare’s work, effectively ending the Cultural Revolution started in 1966.
1979 – Etan Patz, who is six years old, disappears from the street just two blocks away from his home in New York City, prompting an international search for the child, and causing the U.S. President Ronald Reagan to designate May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day (in 1983).
1334 – Emperor Sukō of Japan (d. 1398)
1803 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and philosopher (d. 1882)
1889 – Igor Sikorsky, Russian-American aircraft designer, founded Sikorsky Aircraft (d. 1972)
1929 – Beverly Sills, American soprano and actress (d. 2007)
615 – Pope Boniface IV (b. 550)
675 – Li Hong, Chinese prince (b. 652)
1632 – Adam Tanner, Austrian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1572)
1954 – Robert Capa, Hungarian photographer and journalist (b. 1913)