Event Tonight Will Honor and Remember Tribeca Teen Who Made a Difference
At her June 2017 middle-school graduation, Imogen Roche joyously throws her cap into the air.
A virtual vigil this evening (Wednesday, September 2) will recall the life of Imogen Roche, the Lower Manhattan teen who died in an accidental fall from a Tribeca fire escape in September, 2018. Her father, Theseus Roche will mark the occasion at St. Paul’s Chapel starting at 6:00 pm, in an event that will both remember Imogen and acknowledge the support her teenage friends have offered Mr. Roche in launching the Imogen Foundation, which aims to create training programs for teenagers to identify peers in crisis, provide appropriate peer support, and understand signs of mental health emergencies that require escalation and additional resources.
“This year, many of us feel a greater longing than ever to come together, but the continued need for social distancing is keeping us physically apart,” observes Mr. Roche. “So the candlelight gathering in the churchyard at St. Paul’s we have held for the past two years will take place online.”
Mr. Roche is inviting anyone who wishes to participate to, “join the live event on the @imogenfoundation Instagram page. Light a candle wherever you are. Post a picture of it to Instagram or Facebook. Please be sure to include our handle @imogenfoundation and the hashtag #ifyoumissher, as well as anything you’d like to say as a caption.”
“We’ll keep the candle burning from 6:00 to 7:00 pm,” he says, “and all are welcome to post comments in real time and be together in quiet contemplation and remembrance. This online event is designed with teens in mind, because they are accustomed to social media, and can help us have a meaningful experience of togetherness in virtual space.”
This format was planned by the organization’s Youth Advisory Board, comprised of fifteen friends of Imogen who are committed to the mission of supporting children and teens the way Imogen did in her lifetime. Part of the governing structure of the Imogen Foundation, “they are guiding the mission of the organization, both in an advisory capacity, and in the service projects they propose and implement,” Mr. Roche explains. “They have been involved in the planning and implementation of each event we have held in the past two years.”
Theseus and Imogen Roche share the podium at a 2017 ceremony marking the completion of a Manhattan Youth student film program that he founded, and in which she participated.
“Imogen was not done with the work that she was doing,” Mr. Roche reflects, “because she was showing her peers, and everyone who knew her, how to love unconditionally. And I can’t stop doing that, either.” He recalls that at the first candle-light vigil, held a few days after her passing, “I was surrounded by all of these people who loved her, and were in pain. I got to talk to dozens of her friends, and all the stories were consistent,” he notes. “The stories were that she was the one that they cried on. She was the one who put other people’s feelings ahead of her own. She was the one who looked out for kids who were suffering, or were lonely or afraid. Her teachers remembered that she would volunteer to be the first to speak or answer a question, when she knew the person next to her was afraid or nervous. One of the things that made Imogen special was her ability to connect to other people through pain. The vigil was not only cathartic and beautiful. I came away proud and inspired.”
The foundation that bears his daughter’s name will continue this work, “by developing and implementing workshops in active listening, compassion, empathy and mental health first aid to middle school and high school students,” Mr. Roche explains.
“She was grounded in a morality of compassion that was bigger than I am,” he remembers. “She really had a way of living it. For a teenager, she talked a lot about empathy. She would come home sometimes carrying that weight and would talk to me about it.”
The Imogen Foundation, “is going to be about supporting the well-being of children with programs and services. It will focus in part on humanitarian issues that she was beginning to push for as she started talking about college and a career. She talked a lot about children entangled in the legal system, whether it was kids who had been hurt, or children who needed representation because they were in the middle of family dysfunction. In all of these systems, there aren’t enough adults working to support kids in the way they need.”
On-Again, Off-Again Decision about Tribute in Light Revives Calls for National Parks to Manage September 11 Memorial
The recent controversy over the planned cancellation of the Tribute in Light (the twin beams of illumination that rise skyward from Lower Manhattan on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) has led to renewed calls by community leaders for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to be taken over by the federal government, and operated by the National Park Service (NPS).
The most recent dispute arose in August, when the Memorial announced that it was cancelling both the Tribute in Light and the annual reading of names that commemorates each life lost during the attacks. Both of these moves were characterized as public-safety measures, in the response to the ongoing pandemic coronavirus.
Appeals Panel Overturns Lower Court Decision Blocking Two Bridges Developments
Opponents of three massive real estate developments planned for the Lower East Side were dealt a setback on Thursday when the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court reversed a ruling from last year that said the projects were required to undergo a more rigorous form of public review before final approval. The Appellate Division, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio had legal authority to approve the plans. To read more…
Grotto Restaurant and Pizzeria FiDi’s hidden gem for over 35 years.
The large and diverse menu will please anyone. From Italian specialties to Hand Spun Pizza, Gourmet Salads and more,
let Grotto feed you and your family tonight.
Grotto sits between
The New York Stock Exchange and Bowling Green on New Street, steps from from the Bull at Bowling Green.
Lower Manhattan Principals and Teachers Sound Alarm about Fall Semester
Multiple principals and teachers in Lower Manhattan public schools are voicing grave concerns about the plan to reopen education facilities on September 10.
They are also raising objections to the “blended learning model” that the City’s Department of Education (DOE) plans to implement this fall, with students going to school buildings one to three days per week, while learning remotely (from home) for the remainder of each week.
A coalition of 14 principals who run elementary and middle schools in the DOE’s District Two wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on August 19, calling upon them to, “delay the launch of in-person learning until we can adequately plan for a safe and instructionally sound return to school buildings.” To read more…
Discussion about Development Highlights Local Infrastructure Challenges
At what point does a water and sewer system designed after the Civil War to support a community of five-story buildings buckle under a district of 50- and 100-story buildings?
This was the question raised by Fern Cunningham at the June 17 meeting of the Quality of Life Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1). The Committee was reviewing a presentation by Humberto Galarza, a public affairs representative with the City’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Ms. Cunningham asked, “what is the impact of CB1’s increased density on our sewage treatment and access [to drinking water]?” This was a reference to the headlong pace of real estate development in Lower Manhattan in recent years.
“Every now and then we hear about water main breaks,” Ms. Cunningham continued, “and we are the oldest part of the City. To read more…
Welcome to the Velodrome
Visionary Plans for Getting Around Downtown Focus on Two Wheels and Two Feet
A pair of new studies outlines a future for Lower Manhattan that is highly cyclical. The first of these, a report from the Downtown Alliance titled, “Bicycle Infrastructure & Commuting in Lower Manhattan,” notes that more than 20 percent of people who are employed Downtown currently walk or bike to work, while nearly one-third of people who live here get to and from their places of business in the same way.
These hardy souls are among some 49,000 New York City commuters (concentrated mainly in Manhattan and Brooklyn) who get to the office and back under the power of their own legs each day — a figure that has jumped 55 percent since 2012, and is growing by roughly nine percent each year.
Local Apartment Rents and Sales Prices Tumbled in the Second Quarter
A trio of reports quantifies the extent to which property prices in Lower Manhattan crumbled in the three months ending June 30.
A pair of analyses from Platinum Properties, a brokerage firm headquartered in the Financial District, looks in detail at Battery Park City and the Financial District.
The company’s report about Battery Park City documents that the average sales price for a condominium in the community dropped by 24.81 percent, relative to the second quarter of 2019, to $1.16 million. This aggregate figure varies by apartment size, with the worst pain reserved for sellers of two-bedroom units, which dropped by 42.4 percent from the first quarter of this year. The number of units sold fell by more than half, to just nine apartments.
Kavanagh and Niou Aim to Protect Small Businesses by Offering Tax Incentives to Landlords
Two State legislators representing Lower Manhattan are proposing to rescue small businesses with a plan that would trade tax credits to landlords for rent breaks to commercial tenants.
Inspired by the acute financial distress that small businesses are experiencing in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus (and the economic cataclysm that it has unleashed), the “COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Lease Act,” sponsored in the State Senate by Brian Kavanagh and the Assembly by Yuh-Line Niou, aims to entice property owners to renegotiate leases and offer long-term, affordable rents to small business owners.
To read more…
Following a six-month closure due to the COVID-19, the New Museum announced that it will reopen to the public on September 15, 2020. Admission will be free through September 27 as a welcoming gesture.
Upon reopening, the Museum will resume its normal days and hours of operation, 11am – 6PM every day except Thursday where the Museum is open until 9pm. It is closed on Monday.
Admission will be through timed ticketing and visitorship will be limited to less than 25% of capacity. All visitors will be required to reserve tickets in advance online at newmuseum.org, beginning August 31, 2020.
In the Galleries:ning, the New Museum’s acclaimed exhibitions will remain on view, “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,” and “Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself.” The Peter Saul and Jordan Casteel exhibitions opened on February 11 and 19 respectively, just weeks before the COVID-19 closure. The exhibitions will remain on view through the end of the year.
Whitney Museum to Reopen
The Whitney will reopen on September 3 for members and a few days later for the general public.
1. Affordability and Housing Security for 80/20 Tenants at 225 Rector Place – Discussion & Possible Resolution
2. West Thames Park, Basketball Court, & the Illumination of the Pedestrian Path Between Albany and West Thames Streets – Update by Julia Melzer, Vice President, Capital Program, Economic Development Corporation
3. Oval Lawn Construction – Updates & Discussion
4. BPCA Report – Nicholas Sbordone, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, Battery Park City Authority
5. BPC Security Update – Patrick Murphy, Director of Security, Allied Universal
6. Creative Ways to Encourage Census Completion in BPC – Discussion
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 yoga mat, water, weights, hand towel etc. Program is first come, first served, for up to 20 participants. Masks and contact information required upon arrival. Spatial parameters will be set. Participants must remain 6 feet apart for the duration of the program. Free. Wagner Park.
Fall is a special time in BPC: along with the changes in trees and gardens, Monarch Butterflies and many species of unique birds are migrating through. Celebrate this time with art and nature activities. Participants are expected to bring their own general supplies, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, watercolor paints (bring your own container of water), glue, and scissors. Pick up a “kit bag” with instructions for the project of the day. Program is first come, first served for up to 20 children with accompanying adults. Masks and contact information required upon arrival. Activity is self-guided. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. Free. Rockefeller Park.
Author Valeria Luiselli reads from Lost Children Archive and has a conversation with writer Kali Fajardo-Anstine. Free. Organized by Poets House.
Recently Reopened Businesses Downtown
Get Out on the Water
from North Cove
Need a safe and breezy break from your apartment? Several cruise operators have reopened in North Cove and are offering opportunities to get out on the water, including Tribeca Sailing, Ventura, and Classic Harbor Line. All cruise operators are adhering to social distancing guidelines; check individual websites for details.