City Agency Plans to Fence Off Five Thousand Square Feet of Battery for Storage
Above: The site of the former Beer Gardens at the View restaurant is slated to become a parking and equipment storage facility. Below right: The current configuration of this space (which is larger than two regulation tennis courts) could lend itself to multiple public uses, and provide precious open or recreation space in a community that suffers from a dearth of both.
The City’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) plans to commandeer more than 5,000 square feet of formerly public space in the Battery, the historic park at the southern tip of Manhattan, for vehicle parking and equipment storage. The space was previously used as an outdoor beer garden, adjacent to the View at the Battery restaurant.
In a resolution enacted at its July meeting, Community Board 1 (CB1) expressed approval for the larger design of the overall Battery Resiliency Project, “save for the area that would be reconfigured for DPR storage in service of parks maintenance within the district that includes the Battery and the rest of [CB1’s] parks.” An examination of the site on Google Maps indicates that the proposed facility will take up approximately 5,300 square feet.
The resolution noted that “this storage area is in the former footprint of a food & beverage kiosk type structure that will be eliminated with the reconstruction of the park,” adding that “the rendering depicted a storage area that consisted of high fencing with low plantings surrounding three sides, which for the most part the committee agreed was not optimally aesthetically pleasing.”
The same measure noted “the Committee questioned the need to create a district-wide storage facility with parking for [DPR] employees who do not necessarily work in the Battery and recommended DPR consider other locations and opportunities to work with another agency to site storage containers within the confines of [CB1].”
The design proposed by the CIty’s Department of Parks and Recreation has been called, “not optimally aesthetically pleasing,” by Community Board 1.
The measure concluded by urging the City’s Public Design Commission (which has authority over architecture, landscape architecture, and art on City-owned property), “to encourage DPR to consider options to mask the storage area fencing and improve the proposed storage area in the final design.”
This pending forfeiture of publicly accessible space is a reprise of a similar, nearby occupation of an open parcel in front of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. In that case, a triangular plot of more than 14,000 square feet (within the South Ferry Bus Loop) has been fenced off by the City’s Department of Transportation for more than five years, during which it has been used for parking and equipment storage.
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To the Editor,
At the beginning of its recovery from the Covid plague with climate change and inflation upon us, New York faces many formidable challenges and opportunities. The city needs a plan to sustain its reputation as a world culinary and food leader and to provide for quality, economical food production and security. The city needs an agriculture-based organization with the power to ensure a climate-resilient food system with logistics for the long-term reporting directly to the mayor. We need a year-round, indoor-outdoor public farmer’s market of New-York-scale with a healthy eating, cooking and learning center. The time is at hand to expand and enhance the Fulton Stall Market and its related Public Farmers Markets. The Translux building is available in the Seaport as an excellent potential venue. It’s time for all of us to come together and INVEST.
In 2013, Christine Quinn, then Speaker of the New York City Council, set out on a civic mission of environmental sustainability to restore food systems with Stephen Dima, of the Fulton Stall Market; Robert Lewis, of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets; and many others. The goal was to promote food access in underserved neighborhoods and enact policies to ensure environmental justice across the city through public farmers markets to support local food production and community development.
Part of this initiative was re-zoning Pier 17 for the Howard Hughes Corporation, providing a minimum of 10,000 square feet for a specialty food marketplace and furnishing a seven-day a week fresh food for local producers—the Fulton Stall Market. With the full opening of the upscale 53,000 square foot Tin Building in September of this year, there remains the fundamental need for a full-scale Fulton Stall-Public Farmers Market.
Public Farmers Markets are a realization of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia’s vision of advancing health and community. They are essential to national and New York City infrastructure and to public well-being. We call upon the City Council and the Mayor to plan with a green and healthy vision for the future–to Build Back now, to Build Back Better, to Build Back Best.
Eyes to the Sky, September 13-20, 2022
Great Bear, Little Bear, and North Star
As darkness gathers on early September evenings, the Big Dipper appears in the northwest, about 30 degrees above the horizon. Composed of the brightest stars of the Great Bear, Ursa Major, an ancient constellation, the Big Dipper is an asterism, a star pattern made up of stars of one or more constellations.
The Great Bear’s tail is also a guide: follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to “arc to Arcturus,” a red giant star with an orange hue. Read more…
Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Free.
Rally for 100% Affordable Housing at 5WTC
Coalition for 100% Affordable 5WTC is holding a rally between 3 and 4 World Trade Center at Cortlandt and Greenwich Streets to challenge state agencies’ determination to push forward with a luxury building at 5 World Trade Center despite enormous need for affordable housing and broad public opposition.
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). Free.
In this online lecture hosted by the Skyscraper Museum, Annemarie Sammartino tells Co-op City’s story from the perspectives of those who built it and of the ordinary people who made their homes in this monument to imperfect liberal ideals of economic and social justice. Free.
China has been on the spotlight for its rapid urbanization and tremendous economic growth. Big cities form a major theme in the mainstream Chinese film industry. But the post-1980s generation of auteurs, many from regional China, have focused their cameras squarely on China’s backwater towns, helping to shine a light on social concerns that are often missed in under-represented communities where tens of millions of Chinese still live. $10.
Raise a glass to freedom and sing along to traditional songs from the colonial era performed by Anne Enslow and Ridley Enslow. These songs, performed on authentic 18th-century instruments, would have been heard in taverns across the colonies throughout the colonial era.
Livestream of Sarah Cameron Sunde’s ninth and final performance in the series, 36.5/A Durational Performance with the Sea, in which the artist will stand in a tidal bay in Lenapehoking (Queens, New York) for a full tidal cycle to draw awareness to water, time and rising sea levels. The Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place will be one of many livestream locations on this day, throughout New York City and the world. Free.
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.
Onlin talk, hosted by the Museum of American Finance, with UCLA Law Professor James Park, author of The Valuation Treadmill: How Securities Fraud Threatens the Integrity of Public Companies. Prof. Park will discuss the history of securities fraud regulation from the 1960s to the present. Free.
Cash bar with beer and wine, so 21+ only. Peter Zummo & Friends return with grooves, vibrations and song on the Buoy Deck. Sets at 6:30 and 7:45. Artist Graciela Cassel will discuss her work in the current on-board exhibition.
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.
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
Today in History
Pop artist Robert Indiana, who was born on this day in 1928, created the iconic image of four stacked letters spelling LOVE. It became the Museum of Modern Art’s 1965 Christmas card, was made into three dimensional in sculpted versions, and, in 1973, was issued by the U.S. Postal Service as a first class postage stamp.
1609 – Henry Hudson reaches the river that would later be named after him – the Hudson River.
1788 – The Philadelphia Convention sets the date for the first presidential election in the United States, and New York City becomes the country’s temporary capital.
1814 – In a turning point in the War of 1812, the British fail to capture Baltimore. During the battle, Francis Scott Key composes his poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which is later set to music and becomes the U.S. national anthem.
1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage.
1971 – State police and National Guardsmen storm New York’s Attica Prison to quell a prison revolt, which claimed 43 lives
1989 – Largest anti-apartheid march in South Africa, led by Desmond Tutu.
1993 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing the Oslo Accords granting limited Palestinian autonomy.
1819 – Clara Schumann, German pianist and composer (d. 1896)
1851 – Walter Reed, physician and biologist (d. 1902)
1860 – John J. Pershing, general and lawyer (d. 1948)
1904 – Alberta Williams King, civil rights organizer, mother of Martin Luther King, Jr. (d. 1974)
1918 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter and conductor (d. 2015)
1928 – Robert Indiana, American painter and sculptor (d. 2018)
1956 – Alain Ducasse, French chef
1977 – Fiona Apple, American singer and songwriter
1488 – Charles II, Duke of Bourbon (b. 1434)
1996 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper, producer, and actor (b. 1971)
1998 – George Wallace, lawyer, politician, 45th Governor of Alabama (b. 1919)
2006 – Ann Richards, educator and politician, 45th Governor of Texas (b. 1933)