Alliance Distributes Masks at Lower Manhattan Schools
Above: Spruce Street School dismissal, pre-pandemic. Below: Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin helps deliver 4,000 PPE masks to the Spruce Street School.
The Downtown Alliance has distributed 28,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) masks to seven Lower Manhattan schools, for use by students, teachers and staff. The facilities included the Spruce Street School (P.S. 397), the Peck Slip School (P.S. 343), the Battery Park City School (P.S./I.S. 276), the Liberty School (P.S. 89), the Hudson River Middle School (I.S. 289), the Blue School, and the Bright Beginnings Preschool. Each school received a total of 4,000 masks.
Alliance president Jessica Lappin, who delivered the masks to the Spruce Street School, said, “we are pleased to be able to present our local schools with necessary personal protective equipment to help them kick off the academic year. It’s essential to help protect our students, hardworking teachers and support staff as they embark on a safe, productive and healthy semester.”
This move comes amid widespread anxiety among parents, students, and teachers about the safety of returning to public schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While preschool students and those with special needs began returning to classrooms on Monday, the City’s Department of Education (DOE) plans to bring elementary-school students back on September 29, with middle- and high-school students resuming classes next Tuesday (September 29) and Thursday (October 1), respectively.
Although the DOE plans to implement a “blended learning model” 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, the parents of nearly half of all students have instead requested that the DOE provide them with all-remote learning.
High School of Economics and Finance
The DOE announced in early September that the building housing one Lower Manhattan school, the High School of Economics and Finance (located on Trinity Place, near Cedar Street), was being temporarily closed because its ventilation system did not meet new, higher standards of air circulation deemed necessary to keep students and teachers safe. (That building’s ventilation system has since been updated, and the school has been cleared to open on October 1.)
The New York State COVID-19 Report Card (a searchable online database, compiled by the State’s Department of Health) shows no reports of coronavirus infections at Lower Manhattan public schools to date.
The Alliance’s distribution of face masks at local schools follows a similar push by that organization to distribute tens of thousands of PPE masks to hundreds of Lower Manhattan businesses. Both efforts were supported by financial donations from Fosun, the firm that owns 28 Liberty Street. The Alliance has more masks available (in batches of 90), on a first-come, first-served basis. Schools or businesses needing PPE are urged to contact Heather Ducharme (the Alliance’s Director of Storefront Business Engagement) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bionomics Begins at Home
BPCA Launches Ten-Year Sustainability Plan
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has begun implementation of a landmark plan to “achieve progressive sustainability targets over the next decade, and lay the groundwork for continued sustainability action after 2030.”
Retail Developer Wins Years-Long Struggle for Control of Legendary Bank Building
When the financial upheaval unleashed by the pandemic coronavirus begins to settle, a long-neglected local landmark may resume its erstwhile status as an iconic Lower Manhattan public space.
The building, 23 Wall Street (at the corner of Broad Street), is a former tabernacle of American capitalism. To read more…
Wednesday September 23
Elements of Nature Drawing
Battery Park City Authority in Wagner Park
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. Program is first come, first served for up to 20 participants. Masks and contact information required upon arrival. Art-making is self-guided. Participants must remain 6 ft apart for the duration of the program. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
Poets House Presents: Yona Harvey
Poet and writer Yona Harvey reads from her forthcoming collection You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love (Four Way Books, 2020), from Pittsburgh, PA.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
A weekly bagpipe tribute honors those who died on 9/11 as well as those who are sick or who have died from exposure to hazards and toxins in the aftermath of 9/11. Bagpipers play near the 9/11 Memorial Glade.
Battery Park City Authority in Wagner Park
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, 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 ft apart for the duration of the program. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
Swaps & Trades
Lost and Found
College essay and
application support available.
Millennium HS English teacher with 30+ years of experience.
City Council Backs Study of Drones to Inspect Buildings
Lower Manhattan skies may soon be slightly more crowded. The City Council on Wednesday enacted legislation authorizing the Department of Buildings to study the feasibility of conducting facade inspections using the small, robotic aircraft known as drones.
City law requires such facade inspections every five years for all buildings taller than six stories. These reviews are usually performed by contractors suspended from the roof of each structure, but the danger of such overhead work requires the installation of the unsightly scaffolds commonly known as sidewalk sheds.
The impact of such a program would likely be especially significant in Lower Manhattan. To read more…
‘How Solitary the City Has Become…’
A Downtown Photographer, Forced to Pause and Reflect, Sees New York in a New Light
A Battery Park City resident has created a haunting evocation of Manhattan in the time of COVID. His new book, a compendium of photographs entitled “Quiet in NYC: Images from a Time of Quarantine,” eloquently documents the stark beauty and forlorn grace of an erstwhile-bustling streetscape, suddenly rendered desolate.
“The project was born from the inability to do just about anything else but walk around the City in the early days of the quarantine,” says Brad Fountain, who is a graphic designer in his professional life. “No sports, shopping, concerts, or museums. The stark emptiness of the streets seemed to be asking to be photographed. I could walk for hours and see only a half a dozen people, even if I visited some of the most famous sites in New York.”
1806: Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest
1338 – The Battle of Arnemuiden was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years’ War and the first naval battle using gunpowder artillery.
1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure of over 100,000 pounds of gold (worth a pretty penny today), is lost at sea off Land’s End.
1780 – American Revolution: British Major John Andre is arrested as a spy by American soldiers exposing Benedict Arnold’s change of sides.
1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Three entries by Meriwether Lewis during the expedition:
“The musquetos continue to infest us in such manner that we can scarcely exist. My dog even howls with the torture he experiences.”
“Great numbers of the Indians pass our camp on their hunting excursions: the day was clear and pleasant, but last night was very cold and there was a white frost.”
“The weather was fine and moderate. The hunters all returned, having killed during their absence three elk, four deer, two porcupines, a fox and a hare.”
1846 – Astronomers Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.
1911 – Earle Ovington makes the first official airmail delivery in America under the authority of the United States Post Office Department
1913 – Roland Garros of France becomes the first to fly in an airplane across the Mediterranean (from St. Raphael, France to Bizerte, Tunisia).
1962 – The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens uptown.
1983 – Gulf Air Flight 771 is destroyed by a bomb, killing all 117 people on board.
2004 – Over 3,000 people die in Haiti after Hurricane Jeanne produces massive flooding and mudslides.
Born in 1899, Artist Louise Nevelson lived and worked in Manhattan most of her life. On the triangle between Maiden Lane, William and Liberty Streets, her monumental seven black sculptures define the plaza space just east of the Federal Reserve,
1215 – Kublai Khan, Mongolian emperor (d. 1294)
1861 – Robert Bosch, German engineer and businessman, founded Robert Bosch GmbH (d. 1942
1889 – Walter Lippmann, American journalist and publisher, co-founded The New Republic (d. 1974)
1899 – Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (d. 1988)
1912 – Tony Smith, American sculptor and educator (d. 1980)
1926 – John Coltrane, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1967)
1930 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (d. 2004)
1949 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1508 – Beatrice of Naples, queen consort of Hungary (b. 1457)
1939 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (b. 1856)
1987 – Bob Fosse, actor, dancer, choreographer, and director (b. 1927)
Credits include wikipedia and other internet sources
What’s Next for the Store of the Future?
As Century 21 Shutdown Looms, Opportunity Arises to Ponder New Uses for a Storied Temple of Commerce
With local shoppers still mourning the impending demise of Century 21, the renowned fashion discounter, the family that owns the soon-to-be-defunct retailer may be crying all the way to the bank.
Century 21 was founded in 1961, by Al Gindi and his cousin, Samuel (“Sonny”) Gindi, who set up shop in the palatial former home of the East River Savings Bank at the corner and Church and Cortlandt Streets, and took their new venture’s name from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, which styled itself the “Century 21 Exposition.” That event focused on the theme of how Americans would live come the millennium, but its predictions did not include an epochal pandemic, or the death of retail driven by online shopping.
Urban Squatters Stake a Short-Lived Claim to Empty Lot in FiDi
A Financial District lot with a turbulent history that has sat empty for nearly two decades briefly become the venue for an insurgent (although anonymous) effort to open the space for public use, while also making quixotic political point. The parcel in question is 111 Washington Street, at the corner of Carlisle Street.