The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) began work on its Ball Fields and Community Center Resiliency Project last Thursday, kicking off a $7-million initiative that will construct approximately 800 linear feet of flood-protection barriers along three sides of the facility.
The walls to be erected along the Warren, West, and Murray Street boundaries of the ball fields are designed to enclose and protect roughly 80,000 square feet of outdoor playing surface, as well as the adjacent Asphalt Green community center—both of which suffered catastrophic damage from flooding during Hurricane Sandy, in 2012. The Battery Park City Ball Fields are located at a topographic low point, rendering them especially susceptible to flooding.
The Ball Fields and Community Center Resiliency Project is the first of three related infrastructure initiatives now planned by the BPCA, to harden and protect the community’s 92 acres against storm surge, flooding, and sea level rise. The others are the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project and the combined North and West Battery Park City Resiliency Project. The former (now in the final design phase, and expected to be completed in 2024) will create a continuous storm and flood barrier from the Museum of Jewish Heritage, through Wagner Park, across Pier A Plaza, and along the northern border of the Battery. The latter (now in the preliminary design phase) will protect Battery Park City’s Esplanade, and will extend into Tribeca. All of these projects are designed, in turn, to link up with the larger framework of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency initiative.
Construction work on the ball fields is slated for completion before the end of the year, and is not expected to interfere substantially with play on the fields, which are used by some 50,000 local children each year.
Turns Out That Fighting City Hall Is Kinda Tough
State’s Highest Court Rejects Appeal from Community Groups Battling Two Bridges Development
On Thursday May 27, the New York State Court of Appeals effectively ended the last of a group of lawsuits begun in 2018, in which elected officials and community groups sought to compel the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to subject several massive residential developments planned for the Lower East Side to the highest-possible degree of legal scrutiny. New York’s highest judicial review panel upheld a prior ruling by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, which itself had overturned a lower-court decision favoring opponents of the projects.
In its Thursday ruling, the Court of Appeals rejected, without further comment, To read more…
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. Battery Park City Authority Free
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. Free
China has witnessed a bullish growth in biotech, with a plethora of labs and biopharmas churning out innovative healthcare solutions. In 2020, Chinese healthcare startups raised $29.3 billion, almost double the 2019 funds. What factors spur the growth of biotech in China? How can companies map a strategy for tapping into the country’s growth and innovation in biotech? How will China’s biotech reshape the global biopharma landscape? What are the opportunities and continuing challenges? And how does US-China tension influence affect the outlook for collaboration? Free
1) Ground Rent Discussion with the Homeowners Coalition, Battery Alliance and Condominium Owners
2) West Side Ferry Service Updates – Radhy Miranda, Assistant Vice President, Government & Community Relations, New York City Economic Development Corporation
3) BPC Security Update – Patrick Murphy, Director of Security, Allied Universal
4) BPCA Report – Nicholas Sbordone, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, Battery Park City Authority
‘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.
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.
City and State Prosecutors Team Up on Criminal Probe of Trump Finances at FiDi Landmark
In a story first reported by the Washington Post, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance has expanded his longstanding probe of the finances of former President Donald Trump to include possible criminal charges. The office of New York State Attorney General Leticia James is also cooperating with Mr. Vance’s criminal investigation. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
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.
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…
A Fresh Perspective on a Fresh Start
Alliance Assigns Digital Anthropologist to Document Downtown’s Rebirth
In March, 2020, just as the corona-pocalypse was gathering momentum, the Downtown Alliance put out a nationwide call to recruit an Explorer in Chief, whose job would be to spend June, July, and August of last year documenting the experience of life in Lower Manhattan across a variety of media. This invitation drew more than 700 eager applicants from 40 states and more than 30 nations—all vying for a gig that was dubbed a “Dream Job.”
“When we began developing this position,” Alliance president Jessica Lappin says, “COVID-19 didn’t exist. After we started accepting applications, the world changed overnight. As a result, so did the contest. This whole experience took on a new dimension as our neighborhood started down a path of recovery, and we’re confident that Josh Katz is the right adventurous soul to help the world discover Lower Manhattan anew.”
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.
1886 – Grover Cleveland is first to wed during presidency to Frances Folsom
1763 – Pontiac’s Rebellion: At what is now Mackinaw City, Michigan, Chippewas capture Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison’s attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.
1835 – P T Barnum & his circus begin first tour of US
1851 – First US alcohol prohibition law enacted (Maine)
1875 – Alexander Graham Bell makes first sound transmission
1886 – Grover Cleveland is first to wed during presidency to Frances Folsom
1901 – Benjamin Adams arrested for playing golf on Sunday
Around the turn of the century there was great passion to preserve and honor the Sabbath by preventing any form of commerce and recreational activity. It was a Day of Rest.
In 1901 Mr. Benjamin Adams of the Saeggkill Golf Club was arrested (and acquitted) for playing golf on Sunday. The arrest was instigated by the Rev. J.E.Price, paster of the First Methodist Church in Yonkers.
A few years later the American Sabbath Union, the Rev. Dr. George Lorimer of the Tremont Temple Baptist Church of Boston put forth these words: “The desecration of the Lord’s Days has become a national sin, and is rapidly becoming a national peril as well. We need rest as a nation just as surely we do as individuals. The strenuous life may become too strenuous. And if rest was ever necessary, it is now. If the seventh day was needed as a day of rest by a peasant nation, or by our Puritan forefathers, it is certainly now, when the Stock Exchange and the corn pit are but exaggerations of the ordinary life of the times. As to theaters and concert halls, where most unsacred entertainments are given as ‘sacred concerts.’ I will say that such performances never did and never can give rest. I object to Sunday entertainments because they deprive those who take part in them from having heir rest.”
The Rev. Sanford a Methodist minister from Brooklyn wrote in the New York Tribune ( June 7 1901) ” The attitude of our church — as the leading branch of Methodism in the United States, and numbering a membership of nearly three million — is one of unchanging opposition to the invasion of the Lord’s day by secular sports of any sort, as well as by traffic and business…” ( wikipedia)
1925 – NY Yankee Lou Gehrig begins his 2,130 consecutive game streak
1935 – Babe Ruth, 40, announces his retirement as a player
1966 – US Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum; First US lunar soft-landing
1975 – First record of snowfall in London in June
1975 – VP Rockefeller finds no pattern of illegal activities at CIA
1986 – NYC transit system issues a new brass with steel bullseye token
1997 – Timothy McVeigh found guilty of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168
2004 – Ken Jennings begins his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!
New Zealander Bruce McLaren was a designer, driver, engineer, and inventor. photo: TOPGEAR.COM
1732 – Martha Washington, First, First Lady (1789-97)
1740 – Marquis de Sade, first known sadist/writer
1840 – Thomas Hardy, England, poet/novelist (Far from the Madding Crowd)
1904 – Johnny Weissmuller, actor (Tarzan)/100m swimmer (Oly-5 gold-1924, 28)
1941 – Charlie Watts, drummer (Rolling Stones-Brown Sugar)