Lower Manhattan City Council Rep Seeks Conversion of Local Jail to Women’s Facility, In Lieu of Demolition and Reconstruction
Above: City Council member Christopher Marte: “With minor renovations, the South Tower could easily be converted to an all-female facility for the women currently held on Rikers Island. Below: The current Manhattan Detention Complex, which the administration of Mayor Eric Adams controversially plans to demolish and replace with the world’s tallest jail.
City Council member Christopher Marte is proposing to convert the existing Manhattan Detention Center (MDC), located in Chinatown (on White Street, between Baxter and Centre Streets), into a jail for women, rather than demolishing the facility and erecting a much-larger jail in its place, as the Mayor Eric Adams controversially plans to do.
In a June 2 letter addressed to Mr. Adams, Mr. Marte focuses on the 300 women currently incarcerated at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island, who are slated to be moved when Rikers Island shuts down. (This pending closure is the City’s putative rationale for closing and rebuilding the MDC.)
Noting that the majority of women imprisoned at Rikers Island are domestic violence survivors, Mr. Marte argues that the City’s provisional plan, to integrate these women into the planned facility for men and women in Queens, “has raised serious concerns among elected officials and activists,” and sparked calls for a strategy to move the women to another all-female facility.
“We urge the City to instead relocate these women to the Manhattan Detention Complex in Chinatown as the most suitable and feasible alternative,” he continues, arguing for the Lower Manhattan location based on the fact that it is currently empty and has the capacity to house more than 1,000 inmates.
Mr. Marte also cites, “reports that many of these women are sole heads of their households and that proximity to family and needed resources are essential in combating recidivism.”
“We propose that these women be granted the safest and highest-quality conditions possible,” he concludes. “With minor renovations, the South Tower could easily be converted to an all-female facility for the women currently held on Rikers Island. This move would be logistically and financially efficient, and would ensure safe and accessible living conditions in Lower Manhattan.”
June 19 is Juneteenth, a day that marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Until last year, Juneteenth had been celebrated annually but informally every year since June 19, 1865, the date that news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—signed more than two years earlier—finally got to Texas, the last state of the Confederacy to sanction slavery. On June 17, 2021, President Biden designated Juneteenth a federal holiday.
This Sunday, at 3pm, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra presents “Good Trouble,” a Juneteenth tribute concert, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Presenting music that celebrates the Black experience, the concert’s featured work will be the world premiere of KCO Music Director Gary S. Fagin’s “Good Trouble,” inspired by the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. The “Good Trouble” libretto pays tribute to Representative Lewis, and also includes texts by Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, James Baldwin, and Barbara Jordan. Soloists include Broadway performers Lindsay Roberts from Phantom of the Opera and Tamar Greene from Hamilton, Chauncey Packer (recently performing with the Harlem Chamber Players), and Rosena Hill Jackson.
Register here to see the concert live in person at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, or live-streamed.There are a limited number of tickets to attend in person and an unlimited number of tickets to view the livestream. All tickets are free, with a suggested donation of $10.
The Madding Crowd
Your Share of Space Downtown Comes to 535 Square Feet
Updated census data and demographic metrics from the Population Fact Finder compiled by the Department of City Planning (DCP) indicate that the headcount of residents in Community District 1 (CD1), a collection of neighborhoods encompassing 1.5 square miles, bounded roughly by Canal, Baxter, and Pearl Streets, and the Brooklyn Bridge, swelled from 60,978 in 2010 to 78,390 in 2020, an increase of 28.6 percent.
City Council member Christopher Marte hosted a Battery Park City Resiliency Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, June 15, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This meeting focused on plans by the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to complete the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project. That project will require BPCA to close Wagner Park, starting after Labor Day, for at least two years, in order to construct resiliency measures that are intended to make the space resistant to rising sea levels and storm surges associated with climate change that will be more severe than Hurricane Sandy.
Monthly Cost of Local Apartments Jumps by More Than 25 Percent Since Last Year
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.
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 (Earth is situated between Venus and Mars). 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.
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. 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, 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.
Summer Solstice, June 21, marks the Sun’s highest point in our sky.
Trinity Commons, 76 Trinity Place; also live streamed
Approximately 40 percent of the people in women’s prisons identify as queer. Hear from author Hugh Ryan as he shares insights from his new book The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison. This history of a prison, and the queer women and trans people held there, is a window into the policing of queerness and radical politics in the 20th century. From the lesbian communities forged through the Women’s House of Detention to the turbulent prison riots that preceded Stonewall, this is the story of one building and much more: the people it caged, the neighborhood it changed, and the resistance it inspired. Registration, masks, and proof of vaccination are required for the in-person event. It will also be livestreamed and available on-demand. 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.
After a history lesson on the celebration of Juneteenth and how African-American culture has impacted this country, kids will learn why mindfulness is important and connect to their foundations to stretch to new heights in a 30-minute yoga session! Ages 6+. RSVP required.
Livestreamed tour of Anne Frank’s Amsterdam to mark the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl. Register to watch the livestream from home, or register to watch in the Museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall. We will walk along the last 600 meters of the route Anne and her family took on their journey to their hiding place. As we walk around the local area, we’ll see the famous Westerkerk Church, the outside of the house where Anne and her family were in hiding for over two years, and the beautiful Prinsengracht canal. Using Anne’s own words, we will learn about Anne herself, the “secret annex,” what she could see from her refuge, and the influence her story has had on people in the Netherlands and the rest of the world. $36.
Celebrate Juneteenth with music and art! Also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth originated in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Take a horse ride and learn about horsemanship and history with the Federation of Black Cowboys. Make a Juneteenth flag you can take home. Music by Chaney Sims Band. Free.
The Sun Seekers is an hour-long participatory performance led by Amy Khoshbin for River to River Festival set in Amy and Jennifer Khoshbin’s (a sister duo) immersive installation at The Arts Center at Governors Island. The performance promotes healing through disconnecting with technology and reconnecting with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Free.
Celebrate the opening of the installation Lenticular Histories: South Street Seaport, on view today through June 26. Creating an immersive space made up of larger-than-life lenticular photographs, Rose DeSiano merges past and present together in an installation of mirrors, historic images, and optical illusions. Dedicated to inclusivity and equity in representation, she has worked with the photographic archives of the South Street Seaport Museum to bring to the surface lost histories while celebrating the community and workers of the South Street and the New York Harbor. Colorful images and light refracted from prisms dance in-between mirrors that reflect the idyllic cobble-stone streets, historic storefronts, and tall ships, while viewers witness their own reflection becoming part of the long illustrious narrative of the landmarked New York coastline of the South Street Seaport. Free.
Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra for a special Juneteenth concert. See story above. Free; suggested $10 donation.
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.
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturday 11:30am-5pm, May through Thanksgiving
Today in History: June 17
Harriet Robinson Scott died on this day in 1876. She was born into slavery in Virginia, and lived as a free woman briefly in Pennsylvania before being taken to the Northwest Territory by an Indian agent and slaveholder. She fought for freedom with her husband, Dred Scott, for 11 years, and saw their legal battle rise to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1857, the Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that the Scotts were not American citizens due to their race, and therefore had no legal rights. Although they failed to win their freedom through the courts, the Scotts were emancipated in 1857 soon after the Supreme Court decision. The ruling set the stage for events leading to the American Civil War, the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
1631 – Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.
1824 – Bureau of Indian Affairs established
1885 – Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC aboard French ship `Isere’
1898 – US Senate agrees to annex Hawaii
1928 – Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become first woman as a passenger to cross Atlantic in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz
1939 – Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles.
1950 – First kidney transplant (Chicago)
1967 – China becomes world’s fourth thermonuclear (H-bomb) power
1970 – Edwin Land patents Polaroid camera
1972 – Five arrested for burglarizing Democratic Party HQ at Watergate
1994 – OJ Simpson doesn’t turn himself in on murder charges, and as seen on live television, is chased in his Ford Bronco for 1½ hours by Los Angeles police. He eventually gives up.
1829 – Geronimo, Apache leader and resistance fighter (d. 1909)
1882 – Igor Stravinsky, Oranienbaum, Russia, composer (d. 1971)
1898 – Maurits C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist
1943 – Newt[on] L. Gingrich (Speaker of House 1995-97)
1943 – Barry Manilow, American singer/pianist
1945 – Tommy Franks, American general
1971 – Tupac Shakur, rapper and actor (d. 1996)
1876 – Harriet Scott, American ex-slave, who, with husband Dred Scott, unsuccessfully sued for their freedom.
1959 – George Reeves, American actor (Adventures of Superman, Gone With The Wind), commits suicide by shooting himself in the head at 45