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The BroadsheetDAILY ~ Lower Manhattan’s Local Newspaper ~ 7/9/21 ~ God, Guns, Grits, and More in Lower Manhattan ~ Analysis and Opinion: A Personal View from a Downtown Resident
Analysis and Opinion: A Personal View from a Downtown Resident
Some years ago, I was wandering the shelves of Barnes and Noble while my daughter was picking out her latest Archie comic and I stumbled across “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,” by then soon-to-be presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Basically, and I oversimplify shockingly little, his argument is that there was the real America, like the Arkansas city he hailed from, and there are places like New York. And you could tell them apart because the real America had God, guns, grits, and gravy—and New York didn’t.
I’m not going to get sucked into the lazy argument about where the real America is, beyond just saying that if you think there is only one real America you need to get out more, or read a book—just not “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.”
What stuck in my craw was that idea that you couldn’t find God, guns, grits or gravy in New York. Heck, I figured I could walk to all those things, and began poking around to see if I was right.
God was the easiest one. Huckabee wasn’t saying that God had forsaken Gotham, but that you couldn’t really find a church around here. From my home in Battery Park City, I can walk to a mosque on Friday, a synagogue on Saturday, and a church on Sunday. I can worship Vishnu, seek guidance from Buddha, or join in a pagan ritual during the next solstice without breaking much of a sweat. So “God,” check.
Guns were a bit tougher. The nearest place I could fire a Glock would take me about an hour to walk to, but I could hop on a Citibike and get there in less than 20 minutes. “Guns,” half a check. I’m going to give it to Huckabee that New York City just doesn’t do guns very well. I can live with that (pun very much intended).
Grits—well, that was just silly. Kitchenette was still on Chambers Street at the time and they made a darn good bowl of grits. These days, I can still get grits at a number of places nearby, including Pearl Diner, just 0.6 miles from home. So, “Grits”? Check.
Gravy was pretty much the same argument as grits, which seemed lazy to me. Anyone who would repeat the same argument twice like that needs to get out more, or read a book—just not “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.”
If you are visiting from Arkansas and think our grits and gravy aren’t as good as you are used to, fair enough. Regional cuisine is a big part of America. Might I suggest grabbing a bagel from Zucker’s with a whitefish salad to die for? Or, in New York, just about anything else you can think of?
Then there are all the things Huckabee ignores about New York. Just a short walk from here is an amazing collection of just about everything. Had enough religion? Try a lecture from the New York Academy of Sciences on top of Seven World Trade Center. Do your interests run more toward filthy lucre? Check out the world’s largest collection of gold. Yes, literally thousands of tons of the stuff, right here in Lower Manhattan, in the basement of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Or just go visit the Statue of Liberty and remember that what makes America truly great is far more than four reductive signifiers. It is so many things. From so many, many places.
By Andrew Greenblatt
CB1 Weighs In on Plans for Essential Workers Monument in Battery Park City
During a five-hour meeting of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee on Wednesday evening, at which more than 100 members of the Downtown community spoke, a team from the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) presented revised plans for the controversial proposed Essential Workers Monument.
This meeting followed two weeks of protest and dialog—during which residents opposed to the original version of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan (which would have located the memorial in Rockefeller Park) camped out in tents for four nights—that have led the Authority to propose locating the shrine elsewhere within the community.
As a frequent visitor to NYC and Lower Manhattan, this publication is a must read.
To the editor,
Your reporting on this issue and the community’s engagement including the (NYPD) First Precinct give me hope for the future.
To the editor,
Much thanks to Governor Como and Battery Park City Authority Chairman Tsunis for their due diligence in protecting the Children’s Grove in Rockefeller Park.
With the ebbing of the pandemic crisis, it’s time to build back our community –– every community –– better. Here’s a list of converging shadows over our well-being on the southwestern tip of Manhattan: acknowledging and changing the 2069 property forfeiture and valuation reset terms for condo owners; coordinating a unified approach to addressing and financing Local Law 97 energy resiliency; designing for economical coastal resiliency; limiting the bond burden of the Battery Park City Authority; providing for expanded housing availability and affordability; building a new and diversified economy for Downtown and the country.
We’ve now seen how our state government, Battery Park City Authority, our civic leaders and every member of our community can come together to build a better and necessary future. The only way forward is to come together!
To the editor,
You wrote that “On Thursday, July 1, BPCA chairman George Tsunis ventured into the park to announce that the location of the planned monument would be changed. ‘It’s going to be a new site,’ Mr. Tsunis said. ‘This site is off the table.’ He continued, ‘we really did not understand the proximity and how many parents and children used this area. One mom explained, ‘I take out a picnic blanket and play with my kids here.’ That resonates. I’m a father.’
He added that the new location would be, ‘nowhere near where kids play, and not involve not taking down or replanting trees, and should be in a commercial area.'” The BPCA Chairman’s quoted statement is nothing less than damning. And this, for the information of our governor and the BPCA, is what happens when the people sitting on the BPCA are not required to live in BPC or have any personal or professional ties to the neighborhood. How can they possibly know —or care—what is important to those of us who live, work in and treasure this neighborhood and its parks and other amenities?
The people sitting on the BPCA need to have some “skin in the game” in the form of a residency requirement for a place on that authority or we will just continue to have our rights and concerns (ground rent, PILOT, spiraling property and rental costs, lack of affordable housing for seniors, and on and on and on…) overrun by Albany and Governor Cuomo’s donor class cronies. Time to stand up and take back our rights and power.
To the editor,
Just read the news article on the location of the essential workers monument.
Def not the volleyball court- it’s used by kids to ride their bikes and play. It’s where our kids Learnt to ride, roller skate etc. and Tai chi and dance in the summer on summer stage.
Especially in the pandemic, open space that is Not under control of Developers is at an all time low in NYC. During the pandemic we saw many open public spaces lost because developers decided on its fate. Kids in the city were bereft of open space at a time that it was most needed. The circle (pump house) park is an example. After renovation it’s posted with signs for no ball play etc….it’s freely used for Brookfield events, but not for open public use.
If anything as a dedication to essential workers, the governor should dedicate “NO more Memorials in BPC” dedication that stands for all times to come. And install a plaque along the waterfront at a few places to commemorate it.
Else it’s just an empty construction project that the Governor is using to reward his builder/construction buddies at the cost of real quality of life in BPC.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets are open
Greenwich St & Chambers St
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Every Tuesday & Thursday, 8am-5pm
Food Scrap Collection: Tuesdays only, 8am-11am
The Greenmarket at Oculus Plaza, City Hall Greenmarket,
and Staten Island Ferry Greenmarket are temporarily closed.
Tribeca Sailing offers two-hour private sailing charters of the Harbor, setting sail five times each day, seven days a week. Captain David Caporale, the owner and captain of Tribeca Sailing and a Lower Manhattan resident, also offers private sailing charters for a maximum of six passengers, for those having a staycation, or celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. His sailboat, Tara, is a 1964 custom Hinckley Pilot 35. Hinckleys are noted as a Rolls Royce of sailboats, based on their solid construction, the artistry of the wood trim, and other design features. For more information or to book a sail, contact David Caporale 917-593-2281 or David@Tribecasailing.com
‘This Project Will Forever Be a Symbol of Failure’
Community Leaders React to Cuomo Plan for Yet Another Monument in Battery Park City
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he plans to erect in Battery Park City an Essential Workers Monument to those who served during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the beginning of the pandemic, when people were told to stay home, essential workers went into work day after day, making sure their fellow New Yorkers were safe, fed and cared for,” Mr. Cuomo said.
The Governor attributed the decision to locate this monument in Battery Park City to his Essential Workers Monument Advisory Committee, which was announced in April. This panel consisted of 23 union presidents, and not a single resident of Battery Park City. There is no record of this Committee having held any public meetings, or having solicited any advice or feedback from the community. To read more…
On the evening of July 9, 1776, General George Washington ordered the Continental Army to gather at the Commons for one of the first readings of the Declaration of Independence. For the first time, the Continental Army heard the infamous words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That evening, as news of the Declaration spread throughout the city, a mob of soldiers, members of the Sons of Liberty, and patriot New Yorkers made their way down to Bowling Green Park. They were going to take down the largest remaining symbols of British control in the city – the statue of King George III. In this immersive walking tour, Mrs Q, a prominent merchant, will guide you back in time to relive one of the most important days in New York City during the Revolutionary War. Along the way, you’ll interact with several reenactors to revolutionary events, like a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, an address from General Washington himself, and Sons of Liberty members recounting the tearing down of the statue of King George III and Bowling Green Park. $40
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
The Battery Park City Authority asks that the public not interact with or feed the urban wildlife in the neighborhood’s parks and green spaces, and at the waterfront.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States 1784 -1850,
1540 – King Henry VIII of England annuls his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
1776 – George Washington orders the Declaration of Independence to be read out to members of the Continental Army in Manhattan, while thousands of British troops on Staten Island prepare for the Battle of Long Island.
1790 – The Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian Baltic fleet.
1816 – Argentina declares independence from Spain.
1863 – The Siege of Port Hudson ends, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi River.
1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
1918 – In Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collides with an outbound express, killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history.
1962 – Starfish Prime tests the effects of a nuclear test at orbital altitudes.
1577 – Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, English-American soldier and politician, Colonial Governor of Virginia (d. 1618)
1578 – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1637)
1686 – Philip Livingston, American merchant and politician (d. 1749)
1819 – Elias Howe, American inventor, invented the sewing machine (d. 1867)
1908 – Minor White, American photographer, critic, and educator (d. 1976)
1933 – Oliver Sacks, English-American neurologist, author, and academic (d. 2015)
1937 – David Hockney, English painter and photographer
1956 – Tom Hanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
1964 – Courtney Love, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress
715 – Naga, Japanese prince
1850 – Zachary Taylor, American general and politician, 12th President of the United States (b. 1784)
1974 – Earl Warren, American jurist and politician, 14th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1891)