City Hall Hopeful Arrested Blocking Traffic in Lower Manhattan to Mark George Floyd Anniversary
Mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan knelt with fellow protestors, blocking traffic at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.
Mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan was arrested Tuesday afternoon on Canal Street, after participating in a non-violent protest, which blocked traffic at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. The demonstration was intended to commemorate the first anniversary of the killing of George Floyd, who was murdered by the Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.
Mr. Donovan and roughly one dozen other protestors assumed kneeling positions across the ramp to the Holland Tunnel located at Canal and Hudson Streets, preventing traffic from entering for approximately eight minutes and 46 seconds—originally said to be the length of time that Mr. Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, causing his death. Later, the time was corrected to nine minutes and 29 seconds. On April 20, the former officer was convicted two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the killing of Mr. Floyd.
At the conclusion of this observance, Mr. Donovan and several other protestors were handcuffed by officers from the New York Police Department’s First Precinct, which is located three blocks from the site of the demonstration. Those arrested were issued desk appearance tickets, and then released.
As he walked out of the First Precinct, Mr. Donovan said, “a year ago today, we lost a son, a father, we lost someone that we should always remember, who should be here with us today, a year later.”
“I am gratified that Derek Chauvin was held accountable,” he continued, “but I want to be clear that accountability is not justice. Real justice is what we were kneeling for today. Real justice means that fathers of black children in this City, mothers of black children in this City, do not have to worry that their children will not come home when they walk to the store, when they go for a drive. As someone who has not had to worry about that for my sons, my 21- and 19-year-old boys, I am grateful, but I am also angry.”
After kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds, Mr. Donovan and other demonstrators were handcuffed and taken to the nearby First Precinct.
Mr. Donovan continued by quoting the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who “reminded us 60 years ago this week, when he set out for the Freedom Rides, that, ‘sometimes you gotta make good trouble.’ And that is what we did today, together. We made good trouble. And we sent a message that accountability is not enough. We need justice.”
He added that, “you can still predict the life chances, even the life expectancy, of children in this City by the zip code they grow up in. And that must change. Every New Yorker must stand up to say, ‘we will not accept the destiny of our children being determined by the zip code they grow up in, by the color of their skin.’ And every New Yorker—black, brown, white—needs to stand up together and say ‘enough is enough.’ We need accountability and we need justice. We need to invest in every child, in every community, to create the opportunity that John Lewis fought for 60 years ago.”
Mr. Donovan served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the first five years of the administration of President Barack Obama, and then as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the remaining three years of Mr. Obama’s tenure. Prior to his time in the nation’s capital, Mr. Donovan was Commissioner of the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (from 2004 to 2009) under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
River to River Festival Is Back: Don’t Miss These 5 Acts
As we come out of covid, it’s clear the city’s thriving cultural scene is on its way back — and Lower Manhattan’s leading the way.
In May, the Downtown Alliance teamed up with En Garde Arts and + The Tankto present Downtown Live, a multi-weekend festival stocked with live performances ranging from music to theater to spoken poetry. The revival of Downtown’s cultural scene continues into June, with the return of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival.
The festival, which runs June 10–June 27, joins the explosion of post-vaccine outdoor events and art exhibits that are set to take over the city this summer. Here are five acts you won’t want to miss, and visit lmcc.net/river-to-river-festival for the full schedule.
Opening Concert featuring Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Leo Genovese (June 10)
Spalding is a jazz musician who made waves when she beat out Drake and Justin Bieber to win the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011. Since then she’s won three other Grammys and has been labeled the “21st century jazz genius” by NPR.
Processions with Miguel Gutierrez, Okwui Okpokwasili and The Illustrious Blacks
(June 13, 20, 25)
Artist Okwui Okpokwasili is following up her recent piece on the High Line called “On the way, undone” with another processional performance, which means you get to participate in the art. Okpokwasili’s performance will happen at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City on June 20, followed by processions led by choreographer Gutierrez and musical duo the Illustrious Blacks will also conduct processions on June 13 and June 25.
Kamau Ware, Land of the Blacks (June 10-27)
Black history scholar and co-found of Black Gotham Experience Kamau Ware is writing an original piece on “Land of the Blacks,” 28 Black-owned farmsteads that once covered a swath of Lower Manhattan. It will debut on the River to River website.
Womxn in Windows (June 15-27)
Womxn in Windows is a multi-part video installation installed in Windows across the Seaport District. They’ll focus on the confluence of culture and society in an exploration of the multi-faceted female identity, created by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Mariana Valencia, Futurity (June 25-27)
Choreographer and performer Mariana Valencia brings a 2021 version of Futurity, a dance performance that will transmit the queer stories of elders in Greenwich Village from the 1960s to the present.
Landmarks Agency Mulls Protection for Chinatown Monument
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.
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 12 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.
Wagner Park, with its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay, is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. 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
Meeting of the Investment Committee
Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority
200 Liberty Street, 24th Floor New York, New York 10281
Get moving with a series of classes aimed to help you build strength, relax, and unwind. All cardio classes are 45 minutes long, with a focus on high-intensity rhythmic cardio. Classes also feature sprint intervals, sculpting, and a stretch cool down. Free
Namaste! Unwind from the day with outdoor yoga. Immerse yourself in this meditative practice- surrounded by the Hudson’s peaceful aura. Strengthen the body and cultivate awareness in a relaxed environment as your instructor guides you through alignments and poses. All levels are welcome. Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: yoga mat, yoga blocks, water, 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.
A screening and discussion series, Sorry I Missed Your Show highlights dance works from the recent past to explore their relationship to the dance canon and contemporary practice. For May’s Sorry I Missed Your Show, Christopher Rudd will share insights into his Witness: Part I – Yesterday. Witness is a three-act contemporary ballet at the intersection of art and activism that serves as a mechanism to open a dialogue on the challenging issue of race. Witness mixes different genres of dance with contemporary circus, film, & theatricality to put America’s racial landscape into historical context, combat systematically taught racial biases, & imagine hope for a more equitable future. Free
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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…
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.
A toy designer from Queens, George Willig climbed up the northeast side of the South Tower in three and one half hours on the morning of May 26 1977.
47 BC – Julius Caesar visits Tarsus on his way to Pontus, where he meets enthusiastic support, but where, according to Cicero, Cassius is planning to kill him at this point.
451 – Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sasanian Empiretakes place. The Empire defeats the Armenians militarily but guarantees them freedom to openly practice Christianity.
1328 – William of Ockham, the Franciscan Minister-General Michael of Cesena and two other Franciscan leaders secretly leave Avignon, fearing a death sentence from Pope John XXII.
1637 – Pequot War: A combined English and Mohegan force under John Masonattacks a village in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Pequots.
1805 – Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan Cathedral, the gothic cathedral in Milan.
1830 – The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
1879 – Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamakestablishing an Afghan state.
1897 – Dracula, a novel by the Irish author Bram Stoker, is published.
1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford’s history, “Of Plymouth Plantation” is returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.
1923 – The first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held and has since been run annually in June.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing.
1972 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
1977 – George Willig climbs the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
1998 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
1998 – The first “National Sorry Day” was held in Australia, and reconciliation events were held nationally, and attended by over a million people.
1264 – Prince Koreyasu, Japanese shogun (d. 1326)
1478 – Pope Clement VII (d. 1534)
1566 – Mehmed III, Ottoman sultan (d. 1603)
1667 – Abraham de Moivre, French-English mathematician and theorist (d. 1754)
1669 – Sébastien Vaillant, French botanist and mycologist (d. 1722)
1886 – Al Jolson, Lithuanian-American singer and actor (d. 1950)
1907 – John Wayne, American actor, singer, director, and producer (d. 1979)
1926 – Miles Davis, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (Miles Davis Quintet) (d. 1991)
1928 – Jack Kevorkian, American pathologist, author, and activist (d. 2011)
1941 – Jim Dobbin, Scottish microbiologist and politician (d. 2014)
1954 – Alan Hollinghurst, English author and poet
1966 – Zola Budd, South African runner
604 – Augustine of Canterbury, Benedictine monk and archbishop
1421 – Mehmed I, Ottoman sultan (b. 1389)
1799 – James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, Scottish linguist, biologist, and judge (b. 1714)
1943 – Edsel Ford, American businessman (b. 1893)
1955 – Alberto Ascari, Italian race car driver (b. 1918)
1999 – Paul Sacher, Swiss conductor and philanthropist (b. 1906)
2008 – Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1934)
2010 – Art Linkletter, Canadian-American radio and television host (b. 1912)