Monthly Cost of Local Apartments Jumps by More Than 25 Percent Since Last Year
Lower Manhattan apartment rentals have reached their highest ever median level.
A new analysis by real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman indicates that in May, Lower Manhattan apartment rentals have reached their highest-ever median level, at $4,495. This plateau represents at 28.6 percent increase from May of last year, when the median rental price for a Downtown apartment was $3,495.
At the same time, the vacancy rate for local rentals has plunged, from 9.92 percent to 2.21 percent. The higher prices and reduced inventory also appear to be suppressing the number of new lease signings in Lower Manhattan, which 2,247 apartments in May of this year, compared to 4,234 new leases in the same month, one year ago. This represents a decline 46.9 percent.
Median rents, as tracked by the Douglas Elliman report were higher than any other local market analyzed by the firm. For context, apartments on the Upper East Side were going for $3,750 per month, while those on the Upper West Side are being leased at a median rent of $4,200 per month. The number of new leases for Downtown apartments also exceeded the combined total for those on the Upper East and Upper West Sides.
In a separate development, a new report from leading housing advocacy organization recently found that Lower Manhattan ranks among the top ten most at-risk neighborhoods by three pivotal metrics. The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), an umbrella organization of 100 non-profit affordable housing and economic development groups that serve low- and moderate-income residents in all five boroughs of the City, noted that Lower Manhattan housing affordability is threatened by the number of apartments where rents are regulated by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program (which offers developers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on affordable housing), but where such protections are slated to lapse in the next five years. The total for Lower Manhattan is 440 such units, which is the seventh-highest tally for any community throughout the five boroughs.
The second metric is the number of newly built non-affordable dwellings built in the previous calendar year. The total for this indicator is 2,898 apartments (a tally that only slight exceeds the number of new leases signed in May, as cited by the Douglas Elliman report). Also placing in the top ten category of most alarming indicators is that 16.9 households among every 1,000 dwellings were the subject of a foreclosure filing by lenders in the previous calendar year.
EYES TO THE SKY June 13 – 26, 2022
Peak Sun, Full Strawberry Moon, morning planets
The Summer Triangle, ascending in the east on June evenings. Chart via Chelynne Campion, Courtesy EarthSky.org. Look for the three bright stars high in the east at midnight and at zenith in the south-southeast at dawn.
In early evening twilight, near the top of an azure sky, a singular golden point of light appears to the inquisitive sky gazer. It is Arcturus (-0.07magnitude), the brightest star in the summer sky, high in the southeast at about 9:10pm. A waxing gibbous moon floats below Arcturus each evening through the 13th.
Gazing in a northerly direction, one other ray of starlight penetrates Earth’s dimming blue atmosphere: it is the second brightest star, bluish-white Vega (0.00m), not quite as high, in the east-northeast. Mark the astronomical beginning of summer in the night sky by finding the Summer Triangle of stars (see illustration), visible in the east to northeast at nightfall and traveling the sky all night. Altair (0.75m), the last vertex of the Triangle to come into view, clears the eastern horizon by 9pm this evening.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn… that’s their order outward from the sun, and it’s the order you’ll see June’s planetary lineup, stretched across our morning sky, beginning around June 10. And don’t forget the sixth planet, the one you are standing on: Earth. You’ll be able to see all five planets with the unaided eye until Mercury slips away in the morning twilight in early July. Chart via John Jardine Goss. Courtesy of EarthSky.org.
Enjoy sunset in the northwest at 8:28pm this evening, the 13th. Tomorrow, Tuesday the 14th, the Full Strawberry Moon rises at 9:16pm in the southeast. Super moons occur when the moon swings close to Earth in its orbit, making it seem larger and brighter than the typical full moon. This is the second super moon of 2022; the next one will occur in July.
Summer Solstice, June 21, marks the Sun’s northernmost and highest point in our sky. The latest sunsets of the year in our locale, within about a minute of 8:31pm, take place from June 18 through July 6. Civil twilight begins half an hour after sunset; astronomical twilight, genuine darkness, roughly two hours after sunset.
Earliest sunrises of the year, within a minute of 5:25am, began on June 11 and continue through June 23. The longest days of the year, which we are basking in right now, culminate next week when, from the 20th through the 23rd, there are 15 hours and 6 minutes from sunrise to sunset. The remaining 8 hours and 54 minutes includes morning and evening twilight.
In closing, for early morning (4:15am) astronomy enthusiasts, I am including an illustration of the current five planet extravaganza, offered courtesy of EarthSky.org.
Young stewards explore the wondrous ecosystem of the Hudson River. Practice the skills required to operate a rod and reel and experience the thrill of catch-and-release fishing. Identify our native fish for data submission to research groups to help monitor the health of our local waters. Water testing and other fun projects will augment the study. Registration required, email: email@example.com
Memorial Museums emerged in response to traumatic events, particularly those involving mass murder carried out on an unprecedented scale or by previously unimaginable means. Meant to commemorate, educate, and activate empathy to forestall similar atrocities in the future, memorial museums attest to the history of specific events and the individuality of those affected. Yet, current events have challenged memorial museums: should they remain solely focused on the particularity of their subject matter or should they use their moral authority to address contemporary tragedies? 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald is joined by President and CEO of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Kari Watkins to discuss these challenges.
The film Maiden tells the true story of Tracy Edwards who assembled the first all female crew to compete in the 1989 Whitebread Around the World Race—considered to be one of the most dangerous sailing competitions in the world. Along their journey, Tracy and her crew not only conquered 50-foot waves and icebergs, but also battled a storm of sexism, doubts, and attacks from their male competitors and press. Maiden is a film about guts and the power of determination. Come early for a panel discussion with Tracy Edwards; her daughter, Mackenna Edwards-Mair; and members of Maiden’s crew. Free.
Live performance activation of Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born’s new video and sound installation that focuses on a young Black girl who, as she is coming of age, rejects imposed beauty standards. She stops straightening her hair in refusal of the pain and damage created by chemical straighteners and hot irons used to tame unruly curls. In this video installation, Okpokwasili draws connections between Adaku’s hair and tree roots. Stories and seeds are passed on through multiple generations of humans and vegetation, refusing trauma while reproducing and celebrating resilience. Free.
Tuesday, June 14
World Trade Center Greenmarket at the Oculus Reopens
Every Tuesday through the fall. Expected today:
1857 Handcrafted potato vodka from Schoharie County, NY
Francesca’s Bakery goods from Passaic County, NJ
Meredith’s Country Bakery goods from Ulster County, NY
Riverine Ranch water buffalo meat, beef and dairy from Warren County, NJ
Samascott Orchards & Nine Pin Ciderworks Orchard fruit, strawberries, cider, vegetables, baked goods, hard cider from Columbia County, NY
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 encouraged to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel etc. Proof of vaccination required.
Holocaust survivors can have a difficult time talking about what they experienced during World War II. This can leave their descendants wondering what happened to their relatives and how it impacted them. This is what happened to Jessica Shaw. She had been told that her father Henri had escaped France as a child by climbing over the Pyrenees Mountains with his mother and younger sister into Spain, where he reunited with his father. The family journeyed through Spain, Portugal, and Cuba before they ended up in the United States. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Shaw made the decision to recreate her father’s journey, which she wrote about in The New York Times. Along the way, Jessica discovered that most of what she knew of her father’s escape from France was wrong. Join the Museum for a program exploring Shaw’s journey. Jessica will be in conversation with her sister, Dr. Laura Shaw Frank, the American Jewish Committee’s Director of Contemporary Jewish Life. They will discuss the broader history of the Holocaust in France, what it means to be the children of a Holocaust survivor, and the cost of not asking difficult questions about family history. Free; suggested $10 donation
Unconscious bias is a “normal,” omnipresent tendency we all possess. It’s also something we have the capacity to identify and rewire. Not only is it an ethical business imperative to be aware of and counteract bias to welcome diversity and strive for inclusion, but it’s also an opportunity to strengthen our relationships and increase collaboration. And, of course, identifying your biases and cultivating diversity is just one step towards true inclusion — as Vernā Myers once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” In this interactive workshop, GoldJam Creative founder Jen Jamula will walk participants through these important processes.
Play the popular strategy game while getting pointers and advice from an expert. Chess improves concentration, problem solving, and strategic planning — plus it’s fun! For ages 5 and up (adults welcome).
The reimagined Gibney Company presents the first iteration of its new series, Up Close, featuring world premieres by internationally recognized choreographers Rena Butler, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and Yin Yue. The program reflects a range of contemporary choreographic styles and explores present-day concerns around reconfiguring and maintaining identity, while navigating personal and shared spaces. Get an intimate look at Gibney Company’s newest commissions and don’t miss a special post-performance reception with the Company on opening night! Check website for times. $35-$75.
Observe and sketch the human figure. Each week a model will strike short and long poses for participants to draw. An artist/educator will offer constructive suggestions and critique. Drawing materials provided. Free.
Thirty-five years before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British colonies in North America raised a regiment to serve in the British Army for an expedition to seize control of the Spanish West Indies. The expedition marked the first time American soldiers deployed overseas. In this lecture hosted by Fraunces Tavern Museum, Craig Chapman will discuss the Americans’ role in the conflict, their terrible suffering, and the awful results of the expedition. Free.
In today’s renaissance of Chinese cooking, the food of Chinatown is often overlooked. Tonight, Chris Cheung, owner of East Wind Snack Shop, joins China Institute to discuss his newly published book, Damn Good Chinese Food, where he shares 50 recipes inspired by life in Chinatown, including the technique for making his renowned dumplings. From take-out orders at tiny hole-in-the wall teahouses to the lush green vegetables piled high at the markets, celebration dinners at colossal banquet halls to authentic home-cooked meals, Chinatown’s culinary treasures and culture laid the groundwork for chef Cheung’s career as a chef. Free.
Celebrate Pride Month with a silent disco dance party featuring Gotham Cheer and queer DJ’s from QuietEvents. Breath-taking sunset views and Lady Liberty will serve as our backdrop as we dance to the hottest beats pumped through light-up headphones. Headphones are free; deposit is required.
With Can We Dance Here?, three storytellers offer percussive conversation. Celebrating and elevating their survival amidst the barriers that diminish collective liberation, Soles has bottled this synergy into an enticing evening of rhythmic exchange. Also Friday and Saturday. $15-$20.
Take a self guided tour of the tall ship Wavertree, and visit the 12 Fulton Street galleries to view the exhibitions “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionares aboard the Great Liners.” Free. Also Saturday and Sunday.
Singer/songwriter Terre Roche leads this weekly singing program with the beautiful backdrop of the setting sun in NY Harbor. Open to all. Free.
Between the Waters
River to River Festival Offers Free Dance, Music, Theater, and Open-Door Museums
The 21st annual River to River Festival, Lower Manhattan’s annual, free summer arts celebration, began Sunday, June 12, and will continue through Sunday, June 26. The 15 days of live dance, music, theater and visual arts will present nine separate performances and events, at venues spread across the length and breadth of Lower Manhattan venues, to an audience of tens of thousands spectators.
Newly Formed Union Stages Walkout at Private School in Seaport
Teachers and staff at a prestigious private school in Lower Manhattan, the Blue School, mounted a one-day strike on May 24, to protest what they see as the school’s “unlawful refusal to recognize and bargain with our union.”
Gender Requirements for Some Elected Offices Sparks Calls for Reform
Ever wonder why New York State has legal quotas limiting how many women can be elected as district leaders? Blame Eleanor Roosevelt. Some background: A district leader is an unsalaried, elected official who represents an Assembly District, and essentially ensures that a political party is being governed democratically. Usually, there is one district leader for every Assembly District. But the Democratic party mandates two district leaders per Assembly District: one male and one female. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found