Alliance Acknowledges Excellence in Service by Five Downtown Leaders
Chef and author Rocco DiSpirto, Susan Nitahara (widow of late CB1 chair Anthony Notaro), Jessica Lappin (president of the Downtown Alliance) and Wellington Chen (executive director of the Chinatown Partnership) at the Downtown Alliance’s 2022 Exceptional Service Awards.
The Downtown Alliance honored five Lower Manhattan leaders and public servants on June 22 with its annual Exceptional Service Awards. “This year’s recipients have devoted themselves to making life better and brighter for everyone, in both good and challenging times,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. “They’re part of the collaborative spirit that makes Lower Manhattan one of the most dynamic and resilient neighborhoods in the City.”
Sadly, one honoree was not present. Anthony Notaro, a Lower Manhattan community leader for decades and chair of Community Board 1 (CB1) from 2016 to 2020, died in December 2020 after a years-long battle with cancer. A resident of Battery Park City since the late 1990s, Mr. Notaro joined CB1 shortly after moving to Lower Manhattan. In 2002, he helped to organize the annual Battery Park City Block Party, which served as both a celebration and an affirmation of the neighborhood’s rebirth after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2003, he helped to found the local Community Emergency Response Team. He was one of the leaders of the Battery Park City Homeowner’s Coalition, which in 2011 negotiated a $279 million rollback in future ground rent increases for condominium owners. He also helped start Battery Park City Cares, a local charity, and served for years as a leader of the First Precinct Community Council, which facilitates dialog between the local police command and the community. (He additionally served on the board of the Downtown Alliance.) As a member of CB1, Mr. Notaro not only chaired the Battery Park City Committee (before being elected to chair CB1 as a whole), but also served on panels that focused on planning and infrastructure, redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, the future of the Battery Park City ball fields, the successful effort to bring a branch of the New York Public Library to the neighborhood, and the development of the community center that became Asphalt Green.
Susan Nitahara, who accepted the Alliance’s Exceptional Service Award on behalf of her late husband, said, “Anthony was one of the smartest, most loving, and humble people I have ever known. It was an honor to have been his wife. I miss him so much, but have so many lovely memories.”
In some ways, Mr. Notaro (at right) may have written his own epitaph when he told The Broadsheetin 2019 that, “as with most things in life, showing up and rolling up your sleeves will always be the best way to advance, and empowering others will get results.”
Also honored by the Alliance was Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation. As the Alliance citation notes, Mr. Chen’s leadership, “made an important difference during a time of crisis not only for the small businesses that are the backbone of Chinatown, but also during a disturbing rise in violence against Asian Americans. His determination and passionate defense of his community have been instructive and inspiring.” Mr. Chen, an architect by training, worked for renowned architect I.M. Pei early in his career. He now serves on a dozen boards, including those of the City University of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Queens Economic Development Corporation.
Celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito, who has served as volunteer host of the Alliance’s Dine Around Downtown: Cooking At Home Edition for several years was honored for his role as a vocal champion of Lower Manhattan’s thriving food and restaurant culture. During the pandemic, he helped lead efforts to aid local restaurants and additionally hosted this summer’s Dine Around Downtown community food festival, when it returned to an in-person format. Mr. DiSpirito is the author of 13 books (including the James Beard award-winning “Flavor”) and is a staunch supporter of food security charities.
Police Officer Brian Nelsen, who is assigned to the Community Affairs Unit of the NYPD’s First Precinct, was honored. He has been assisting the Downtown Alliance with quality-of-life issues and is responsible for facilitating cooperation between the Police Department and other government agencies to address conditions that concern residents and businesses on a daily basis.
Andrew Damico, who serves as a supervisor in the City Department of Sanitation, was honored for going “above and beyond to maintain the neighborhood. He worked hard with the Alliance to squash illegal dumping, ensure trash removal and find new garbage drop locations. He showed a passion for his job and concern for the safety of others.”
Call for Contamination Custodian
Elected Officials, Local Leaders Push for Environmental Overseer at Jail Demolition
Community Board 1 is pushing for an independent monitor to keep watch over environmental toxins that may be released by the demolition of the Manhattan Detention Complex. This deconstruction of the existing jail is part of larger, controversial initiative to build the world’s tallest penal facility at the same site, in order to facilitate the planned closure of Rikers Island.
Museum of Jewish Heritage Launches New Exhibit Tracing History of Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage has opened a major new exhibit, “The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do,” which brings together more than 750 artifacts from more than 30 different nations (many on public view for the first time) in a 12,000-square-foot gallery. The result is a narrative tapestry of devastating emotional impact.
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, and artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media. Free.
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.
Embolden your artwork amidst the flower-filled and seasonally evolving palette of BPC’s verdant gardens. An artist/ educator will provide ideas and instruction. Materials provided; artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media. Free.
Strengthen the body and cultivate awareness in a relaxed environment as your instructor guides you through alignments and poses. All levels are welcome. Bring your own mat. Free.
Thursday, July 7
Pick Up Pickleball
An exciting fusion of badminton and tennis, pickleball has been proven to strengthen muscles, boost cardiovascular health, and enhance brain function. BPCA is proudly working with NYC Pickleball to offer beginner pickleball classes to the community. All equipment will be provided. Registration required, please email: email@example.com
Curator Talk: “The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do”
Take a deeper look at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s newest exhibition The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do, a presentation of Holocaust history told through personal stories, objects, photographs, and film. At a time when Jewish heritage is becoming more precious as antisemitism rises, the exhibition reminds visitors about the extremes of hatred, as well as the ability of the Jewish people to endure. $10 suggested donation.
This tour focuses on the commercial core with its 1980s skyscrapers of the original World Financial Center (now Brookfield Place) designed by architect Cesar Pelli, as well as the expansive North Cove Marina and its public realm. This walk investigates how the planning concept of public-private partnership was both the principle and economic engine of the Battery Park City project and how the goals of opening the waterfront to public access and recreation were realized over three decades. Registration is required; each tour is limited to 25 people. Free.
The powerhouse New Jersey-via-Nashville singer and songwriter, Nicole Atkins blends rock, soul, and psychedelic rock into into her own unique contemporary sound. Her impeccable songwriting and emotive voice shine on her latest release, Memphis Ice. Free.
Reading. In this riveting spiritual memoir, the writer, scholar, and commentator tells the story of his struggles with mental illness, explores the void between the Christian faith and scientific treatment, and forges a path toward reconciling these divergent worlds.
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: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Today in History: July 6
This is the Marsha P. Johnson State Park, on the East River waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was dedicated to Johnson two years ago, on what would have been her 75th birthday. On this day in 1992, she was found dead in the Hudson River. Marsha P. Johnson was a pioneering advocate for gay rights who participated in the Stonewall uprising of 1969 and co-founded the Gay Liberation Front. Born Malcolm Michaels in New Jersey, she changed her name when she got to New York, chancing on “Johnson” when she saw a sign for the Howard Johnson’s restaurant on 42nd Street. She always said the “P” stood for “pay it no mind.”
1189 – Richard I (the Lionheart) is crowned King of England, upon the death of King Henry II.
1483 – Richard III is crowned King of England, after deposing Edward V.
1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed for treason against King Henry VIII of England.
1699 – Captain William Kidd, a notorious pirate, is captured in Boston
1777 – In the Revolutionary War, after a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreat from Fort Ticonderoga, NY
1885 – Louis Pasteur gives an anti-rabies vaccine to 9-year-old Joseph Meister and saves his life.
1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
1944 – Future baseball star Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a military bus and is court-martialed, and then acquitted. Three years later he would break the color barrier in major league baseball.
1947 – The AK-47 goes into production in the Soviet Union.
1957 – Teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet when Lennon’s band Quarrymen perform in Liverpool. Three years later, they form the Beatles
1983 – Supreme Court rules retirement plans can’t pay women less
1747 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American captain in the Revolutionary War (d. 1792)
1937 – Vladimir Ashkenazy, Russian-Icelandic pianist and conductor
1946 – George W. Bush, American businessman and politician, 43rd President of the United States
1975 – 50 Cent [Curtis James Jackson III], American rapper and businessman, born in Queens, New York
1189 – Henry II, king of England (b. 1133)
1553 – Edward VI, king of England and Ireland (b. 1537)
1893 – Author Guy de Maupassant dies at 42, four days after cutting his own throat.
1962 William Faulkner, author (Nobel Prize for Literature 1949), dies at 64
1971 – Louis Armstrong, American singer and trumpet player (b. 1901)
1992 – Marsha P. Johnson [born Malcolm Michaels Jr.], gay liberation and AIDS activist, drag queen, and transgender pioneer, dies under suspicious circumstances at 46
2009 – Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense, dies at 93