Lower Manhattan’s Local News
City Council Votes to Okay Controversial Senior Housing Proposal
The City Council voted to approve the Haven Green proposal on Wednesday, bringing the controversial plan for a senior housing facility on the site of the Elizabeth Street Garden, in Little Italy, a step closer to reality. The vote in favor of the project was unanimous, except for one abstention from Rafael Espinal, a Council member from Brooklyn.
The strong majority in support of the proposal reflected the City Council’s tradition of deferring to a member in whose district a project is located. Because Council member Margaret Chin, who represents Lower Manhattan, supports Haven Green, its passage was viewed as a fait accompli.
The Council’s approval marks the fifth milestone in the City’s legally required Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which entails six steps in reviewing any proposed use of publicly owned land, such as the Elizabeth Street Garden. The first four of these were certification by the City Planning Commission of the application, review by Community Board 2 (CB2), approval by Borough President Gale Brewer, and approval by the City Planning Commission. After being okayed by the Council, the final remaining requirement is approval by the Mayor.
CB2 rejected the plan in January, reflecting the hotly debated trade-off involved in shrinking a much-treasured open space in exchange for affordable housing for seniors. But CB2’s opposition was not enough to stop the project. The ULURP process requires only that the Board be given an opportunity to weigh in on such a plan — not that it agree.
In February, Ms. Brewer gave the plan her qualified endorsement, attaching conditions to her support, such as preserving more open space than was envisioned in the plan’s initial iteration.
Ms. Chin responded by brokering an arrangement under which an adjoining courtyard would be conflated with the open space planned for Haven Green, doubling the total square footage of outdoor area planned for the project, and nearly maintaining parity with the amount of open space in the existing Elizabeth Street Garden. (The same deal also contains provisions to extend affordability provisions at a nearby apartment building.)
These developments set the stage for a combative City Council hearing in May, in which supporters and opponents of Haven Green squared off for an hours-long shouting match. Both sides clung to absolutist stances, focusing either on the urgent need to preserve open space, or the compelling priority of creating affordable housing for the elderly. Few participants (if any) appeared to come away from this session having budged from their original position.
That hearing was the precursor to Wednesday’s vote, which Ms. Chin called, “the result of a bold collective effort to provide housing justice for vulnerable older New Yorkers. From the beginning, this project aimed to balance the desperate need for senior affordable housing in Little Italy — a neighborhood where only 70 units of affordable housing were created over the last decade — with the community’s desire for open space. We continued to work to create even more space, and secured an agreement with the adjacent building to add thousands more square feet of green space accessible to the community. As part of this agreement, 152 units of Section 8 apartments at this neighboring building will also remain affordable.”
The current version of the plan for Haven Green, originally announced by City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in 2017, includes 123 units of senior housing, a headquarters for Habitat for Humanity New York City, and a flexible community activity space. The “deeply affordable” apartments (with monthly rents ranging from $331 to $761) will be set aside for seniors with incomes ranging between $20,040 and $40,080 per year, with about 30 percent of the apartments reserved for seniors who were once homeless.
In recent years, the lack of affordable housing for the elderly has burgeoned into a slow-motion crisis in New York City, where one in five seniors lives below the poverty line. There are more than 100,000 elders on waiting lists for senior housing, and the average wait for a home on these lists is seven years. Many die before reaching the head of the line.
The new building will also be constructed to “passive house” standards, which will significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption. (The project is expected to use 60 to 70 percent less energy than a standard building of its kind.) The structure and the public open space will also be designed to manage and reuse storm water, relying on a rooftop rain-harvesting system and permeable surfaces covering the majority of the open space.
But even as the ULURP process moves toward a conclusion, Haven Green’s ultimate fate may not yet be decided. In March, two groups opposed to the project filed separate lawsuits seeking to block it. One of these enlisted support from two elected officials, State Assembly members Deborah Glick and Yuh-Line Niou, who have signed on as co-plaintiffs. Both legal actions are expected to begin arguments in front of a judge this fall. So the final verdict may be rendered by the courts.
Thursday June 27, 2019
School’s Out For Summer!
10AM – 1PM
BPCA Community Field Day
Battery Park City Parks
School’s out for the summer! Celebrate at Community Field Day in Rockefeller Park. Fast break to the basketball court for a trick shot show featuring NYC’s own Harlem Wizards. Kick back with some ice cream, and listen to beats by a live DJ. Engage in classic field day games like potato-sack races, relays and tug-of-war. Don’t miss out on face painting, giant lawn games, water play and spinning the BPC Big Wheel for prizes! Rockefeller Park.
Fraunces Tavern Museum Guided Tour
Fraunces Tavern Museum
Sixty minute guided tour of Fraunces Tavern Museum. 54 Pearl Street.
Free with admission ($4, $7)
Tour the Battery
The Battery Conservancy
Learn about Battery Park’s rich history, many important landmarks and monuments, the Seaglass Carousel, 195,000 square feet of beautiful perennial gardens designed by renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, and much more. Meet at 12:50 p.m. at the Netherland Memorial Flagpole located at the entrance to the park near the intersection of Broadway, Battery Place, and State street. It is across State Street from Bowling Green.
Creative Writing Circle
New York Public Library
If you like to write and like to meet people who like writing, bring your creativity and personality to this creative writing workshop. All writers of all styles are welcome to participate in writing and editing exercises. Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library. 175 North End Avenue.
Opera on Tap
Battery Park City Parks
Opera on Tap brings its signature casual approach to opera performance to BPC with an immersive concert for all ages. Get ready to be blown away by up-and-coming singers and instrumentalists who relish the direct contact with audiences not inhibited by formal halls or opera houses. Irish Hunger Memorial.
27th Annual Poets House Showcase Opening Reception and Reading
Glimpse the freshest crop of new poetry! After browsing the exhibition, listen to poets Ross Gay, Tina Chang & Tommy Pico. 10 River Terrace.
Carol Becker + Mark Epstein: The Agitated Now
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
The Agitated Now is an invitation to explore our presence in these fast-paced contemporary realities. Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts, and Mark Epstein, renowned author and psychotherapist, offer an evening of reflection around the idea of slowing down to reflect and imagine.
The evening will lead to an understanding that awareness is transformational, affording an empowerment, acceptance and surrender that opens space for calm, reflection, rational thought and effective action. Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street.
“Still Life, by Our Women Before Us”
Our Women Before Us is a collective composed of Megan Pinto (playwright and poet), Danielle Muzina (painter and poet), Sonja Petermann (printmaker and dancer) and Kathleen Dalton (choreographer). “”Still Life”” examines the profound opportunity inherent in authentic connection. Through visceral movement, musical landscape and art installation, the artists seek to discover how we might inspire each other in the face of poignant loss. How can we honor the narratives of those who have loved and lived before us while seeking out our own truths? 280 Broadway. $15-$20
BPC Running Club
Battery Park City Parks
Jog the 2.4 miles down and back along the Battery Parks City Esplanade. Guided with warm-up and cool-down and a favorable pace for all participants. Meet inside the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School at 345 Chambers Street.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
In culmination of Ernesto Pujol’s Listening School, artists trained in the art of listening will sit in a circle as public servants providing individualized silent listening to visitors all evening at the birthplace of Democracy, historic Federal Hall Memorial. 26 Wall Street.
Photos courtesy of the BPCA
Tonight, Thursday June 27 at 6:30PM, China Institute will present a panel discussion entitled: The New Normal: The perils of being a Chinese scientist in the U.S.
Participants will address the issue of the U.S. government’s concern about alleged intellectual property theft which is driving what feels to many Chinese scientists and engineers like a witch-hunt. What is the new reality for the Chinese science and technology community? Is it okay to do research both here in the U.S. and also in China?
Join Temple University Professor Xiaoxing Xi, who was charged with spying by the Justice Department (the charge was dropped and he is suing the FBI), Peter Zeidenberg, partner at Arent Fox LLP, Aaron Wolfson, former prosecutor and current partner at King & Wood Mallesons law firm, Ruth Jin, founding partner of Jin & Koppell PLLC, Yiguang Ju, Robert Porter Patterson Professor and the Director of Sustainable Energy Program at Princeton University, and Alexander Greer, co-chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientist for a timely discussion of the new normal the Chinese science and technology community faces in the U.S.
China Institute is located at 40 Rector Street 2nd Floor.
Members $5 Non-Members $15 Students $8
Sunset Tour of Ambrose Channel
Friday, June 28, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Popularly regarded as National Lighthouse Museum’s “Signature Tour” this exciting boat tour familiarizes passengers with key lighthouses that facilitate safe passage from the Atlantic Ocean into Lower New York Harbor.
We explore a total of nine lighthouses on this boat tour: the Battery Weed Light at Fort Wadsworth, the Coney Island, West Bank, Romer Shoals, Sandy Hook and Twin Lighthouse of Navesink at the Atlantic Highlands, the Staten Island Rear Range at Richmond Hill, the New Dorp Light, and the Elm Tree Beacon at Miller Field, also located in New Dorp.
Treat yourself and your guest to a memorable evening cruise.
Refreshments are available on board.
Don’t forget your cameras. The views are incredible!
The boat leaves promptly at 6:30 pm, rain or shine, from Pier 1, adjacent to the National Lighthouse Museum located on Staten Island
Tickets are $62 Adults, $42, Children (10 & under), $52 Military
and Seniors (62+).
The Staten Island Ferry takes 25 minutes to cross from Lower Manhattan to St. George, Staten Island
Please plan accordingly.
National Lighthouse Museum
200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point
Where Affordability Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Moderate Income Rentals in Tribeca for Those Earning a Quarter of a Million Per Year
A waiting list for apartments in a luxury complex in Tribeca has opened for middle-income applicants. Washington Mews, the building at 89 Murray Street (near the corner of Greenwich Street) has begun accepting applications.
These apartments, where rent is capped by agreement between the building owner and government officials (in exchange for benefits such as tax abatements) are set aside for residents who are earning up to 175 percent of of New York’s area median income (AMI).
Anyone wishing to join the waiting list must request request an application no later than this Friday (June 28), and is required to return a completed application by July 19. Applications can be requested in three ways. They are available online at: www.affrental.com. Paperwork can we requested in person by visiting the Affordable Housing Group management office (330 West 30th Street). And an application can be requested via mail by sending a self-addressed envelope to: Affordable Housing Group, 330 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001.
EYES TO THE SKY
June 24 -July 7, 2019
Country nightlife, fleeting Mercury, celestial triangle
Stargazing begins about 4 hours later at summer solstice time than around the winter solstice! Sunset, now the latest of the year, 8:31pm in our locale, is followed by a long, lingering twilight. Nightfall is not until about 10:35. In between, an hour to an hour and a quarter after sundown, the brightest stars and planets are visible.
Albany Wants to Keelhaul Ad Barges
State Lawmakers Bark ‘Belay That’ to Water-Borne Marketing Messages
The ubiquitous advertising barges that have become anathema for Lower Manhattan residents over the past year have attracted hostile attention from members of the State Senate and Assembly.
Bills were enacted in the closing days of the legislative session that would ban the 60-foot catamaran — bearing an electronic sign capable of rendering high-definition, full-motion video, similar to the “jumbo-tron” panels that adorn multiple buildings in Times Square — from continuing to conduct its business in New York’s waters.
Very Merry Skerry Ferry
Governors Island Passengers Are Going in Style with Launch of New Vessel
Visitors to Governors Islandembarking from Lower Manhattan now have a new way to get to the beloved greensward that has become Downtown’s equivalent of Central Park.
The new vessel, Governors 1, a 132-foot-long, 40-foot-wide ferry was built over the last two years at a cost of $9.2 million in the Warren, Rhode Island shipyard of Blount Boats, from a design by Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group.
Not Ferry Nice
Concerns about Crowding and Noise Surround City Hall Plan for New Staten Island Route to Battery Park City
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to launch in 2020 a new ferry service from Staten Island that will bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, carrying as many as 2,500 passengers.
Scant Information about Radical Changes Contemplated for the Battery
City Hall is keeping mum about plans resiliency plans for the Battery, the historic park at the southern tip of Manhattan, according to a recent discussion at Community Board 1(CB1).
At a May 28 meeting, Alice Blank, who chairs that panel’s Environmental Protection Committee, recapped a recent presentation by the City’s Economic Development Corporation(EDC) by saying, “the only interesting thing about these slides was how few there were of them.”
“It was a surprisingly lean presentation,” she added. To read more…
Composting Takes Root
in Battery Park City
In a 2017 study of residential waste by the NYC Department of Sanitation, 21% of garbage was food scraps. Not only does food waste take up unnecessary space in landfill, it releases gas, which is detrimental to the environment.
Thanks to the Battery Park City Authority, Battery Park City has always been at the forefront of green living, guided by BPCA’s pioneering green building guidelines and organic park maintenance. For the last couple years, there have been two community compost bins – one at BPC Parks headquarters on Battery Place and one on Chambers Street.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
$99 Hypnosis Session
($247 value) Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss, Motivation, Sports Performance, Confidence, Stress, Insomnia…
Call Janine Today. Limited time offer! 917-830-6127
Experienced Elder Care (12 years)
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 347 898 5804 Hope
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature
Text Paula at 917-836-8802
Dishes, windows, floors, laundry, bathrooms.
You name it – I will clean it.
Call Elle at 929-600-4520
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting.
Knowledgeable in all software programs. James Kierstead firstname.lastname@example.org 347-933-1362. Refs available
Experienced with BPC residents. Available nights, days, and weekends. Will cook, clean and administer medicine on time. Speaks French and English. Can start immediately. Please call or text 929-600-4520.
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
36 Ebony, 52 Ivory, 28 Liberty
Sing for Hope Makes Music for the Eyes, Colors for the Ears
On June 3, the much-lauded public art project, Sing for Hope Pianos, returned to the streets as 50 artist-designed pianos were arrayed on Fosun Plaza, outside 28 Liberty Street.
Today in History
Thursday June 27
1542 – Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claims California for Spain
1743 – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen: in Bavaria, King George II of Britain personally leads troops into battle. The last time a British monarch would command troops in the field.
1833 – Prudence Crandall, a white woman, arrested for conducting an academy for black females at Canterbury Connecticut
1847 – New York and Boston linked by telegraph wires
1905 – Russian sailors mutiny aboard battleship “Potemkin“
1942 – FBI captures eight Nazi saboteurs from a submarine off Long Island
1950 – US sends 35 military advisers to South Vietnam
1954 – First atomic power station opens (Obninsk, near Moscow, Russia)
1967 – The world’s first ATM is installed in Enfield, London.
1969 – Police raid Stonewall Bar in Greenwich Village and about 400 to 1,000 patrons riot against police. The Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
1973 – John W Dean tells Watergate Committee about Nixon’s “enemies list” According to Dean, Colson later compiled hundreds of names on a “master list” which changed constantly. Newsman Daniel Schorr and actor Paul Newman stated, separately, that inclusion on the list was their greatest accomplishment. When this list was released, Schorr read it live on television, not realizing that he was on the list until he came to his own name. the others on the original list included, scientists, writers, bankers, advertising and public relations professional who dared act or speak against the president or his policies.
1976 – Israeli raid on Entebbe, Uganda
2003 – The United States National Do Not Call Registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on
its first day. That worked out well, eh?
1462 – Louis XII, the Just, King of France (1498-1515)
1869 – Emma Goldman, anarchist/publisher (Mother Earth)
1880 – Helen Keller, blind-deaf author/lecturer
1899 – Juan Trippe, American airline entrepreneur (d. 1981)
Juan Terry Trippe was born the son of a Wall Street banker. As a young boy, he witnessed Wilbur Wright’s awe-inspiring 1909 flight around the Statue of Liberty.
Early on he began an aviation company that started giving rides at Coney Island but soon would change its name to Pan American as the business grew. Getting government contracts to fly mail between New York and
Boston and later across the Pacific, Juan Trippe studied the voyages of the 19th century clipper ships and built up a network of strategic stop over points. He also pushed for the development of long range and bigger aircraft capable of flights on 3,000 miles Pan Am workers built air bases on Wake and Midway Islands and in Guam, and refitted ones at Honolulu and Manila.
The inaugural China Clipper, a Martin 130 flying boat loaded with 111,000 letters, took off from San Francisco in November 1935, cheered by a crowd of 150,000 people.
In 1956, Pan Am inaugurated the commercial jet age with a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. Trippe’s next project, the 747 Jumbo jet, would likewise be a success. Trippe retired in 1968, and died in 1981.
1927 – Bob Keeshan, Robert James “Bob” Keeshan was a television producer and actor notable as Captain Kangaroo, which became an icon for millions of people during its 30-year run from 1955 to
1930 – H Ross Perot, Texas, billionaire/presidental candidate (1992)
1945 – Norma Kamali, NYC, dress designer (Costumes for the Wiz)
1776 – Thomas Hickey, plan to hand George Washington to British, executed
1844 – Joseph Smith Jr, founder/leader (Mormon Church), shot by mob at 38. At the time he was the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois and was in jail on charges relating to his ordering the destruction of facilities producing the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper whose first and only edition claimed Smith was practicing polygamy and that he intended to set himself up as a theocratic king. While he was in jail an armed mob of men with painted faces stormed the jail and shot him and his brother Hyrum to death. Latter Day Saints
generally view Joseph and Hyrum as martyrs.
2001 – Jack Lemmon, American actor (b. 1925)
Edited from various internet sources
Bionomics Begins at Home
BPCA Seeks Green Bond Designation for Upcoming Debt Issue and Plans for Carbon-Neutral Future
The Battery Park City Authority(BPCA) is beginning to formulate a roadmap for shrinking the community’s environmental impact. At the May 21 meeting of the agency’s board of directors, Authority president Benjamin Jones explained that, “we’re now making a concerted effort, which we talked a little bit about at our last meeting, to further advance sustainable practices, both in our operations and throughout the neighborhood.”
He noted, “we are committing to having a formal sustainability plan,” which will be announced on the next Earth Day (in April, 2020), “which will provide a road map to get us closer to a carbon-neutral Battery Park City.”
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals and Departures
Thursday, June 27
Inbound 7:30 am (Bayonne); 4:00 pm; New England/Canadian Maritimes
Friday, June 28
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm; Bermuda/Bahamas
Saturday, June 29
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm; Bermuda
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Sunday, June 30
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Bermuda
Queen Mary 2
Inbound 6:00 am (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm; Halifax, NS/Boston, MA/Newport, RI
Many ships pass Lower Manhattan on their way to and from the Midtown Passenger Ship Terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from piers in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate clock in Jersey City, New Jersey, and are based on sighting histories, published schedules and intuition. They are also subject to tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
CB1 Wants to Contravene Convene
Local Leaders Raise Concerns about Traffic and Crowding from Planned Events Venue at Brookfield
The owners of Brookfield Place, are planning to launch an events venue that will host up to 1,000 people at a time, which has sparked concerns about traffic and crowding from community leaders.
At the June 5 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1), Mark Kostic, Brookfield’s Vice President for Asset Management, explained that Convene, a firm that develops and markets meeting rooms, event venues and flexible workspaces (and is partially owned by Brookfield) will be taking over the 86,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, at 225 Liberty Street.
A Cenotaph for the Esplanade
Cuomo Announces List of Possible Locations in Battery Park City for Hurricane Maria Memorial
At Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, Governor Andrew Cuomoannounced that his administration is pushing ahead with plans for a memorial to Hurricane Maria — the cataclysmic storm that claimed more than 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico in September, 2017 — which will be located in Battery Park City.
Mr. Cuomo’s office also announced Sunday that his administration has narrowed the potential sites for such a memorial within Battery Park City down to six possibilities.
‘A Thumb in the Eye’
Local Leaders Don’t Want One Broadway to Get Any Bigger
Community Board 1 (CB1) is resisting plans to add two floors to a landmarked building in the Financial District. In a resolution laced with unusually harsh language, enacted at its May 28 meeting, the Board called upon the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) — which can veto alterations to legally protected historic structures — to reject a proposal by the building’s owner, Midtown Equities, to build a glass pavilion on top of One Broadway (also known as the International Mercantile Marine Company Building), located at the corner of Broadway and Battery Place, directly adjacent to Bowling Green.
The resolution summarizes the developer’s proposal with the words, “to distill the very convoluted design’s description, and despite all the narrative hoopla, it is really a preposterous glass box with a mansard surround.”
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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