Would Floating Filtration System That Doubles as a Swim Facility Be a Net Plus?
A rendering of how +Pool would appear moored along the East River waterfront of Lower Manhattan.
A decade of grassroots advocacy may be gradually bearing fruit, as community leaders prod the administration of Bill de Blasio into serious consideration of a proposal to create a floating pool in the East River.
The idea, styled as “+ Pool” (and verbalized as “Plus Pool”) began in the summer of 2010, when three friends — designers Jeffrey Franklin and Archie Coates, along with architect Dong-Ping Wong — wondered why there was no facility that would allow the public to swim in the Hudson or East Rivers.
Researching the idea, they realized that 150 years ago, New York had more than a dozen such accommodations. Called “floating baths,” they consisted of decks mounted on pontoons, surrounding a large water hole, with safety nets beneath. The river water passed through the nets, and the floating baths could be towed to almost any shorefront location in the City. By the 1920s, however, environmental despoliation had made bathing in local rivers unsanitary, and the vessels were scrapped.
This idea was resurrected, in modified form, as the Floating Pool Lady, in 2007, when a foundation purchased a barge and retrofitted it to enclose a 100,000-gallon swimming pool. In this case, the pool has a solid bottom and the water within is fresh, never coming in contact with the river in which it sits, and floats above. This vessel — currently the only one of its kind in the United States — is parked along the Bronx waterfront each summer.
But Mr. Dong, Mr. Franklin, and Mr. Coates were interested in a plan that would bring swimmers into contact with the actual water that surrounds this city of islands, albeit in a way that was posed no risk of drowning or disease.
The project takes is name from the cruciform shape of its outline.
They came up with +Pool, named for its cruciform outline. Like the floating baths of the 19th century, it features a webbed underside, rather than a solid hull. But the new design would include a water-filtering membrane, which would act like an enormous strainer, catching and retaining impurities. As a bonus, the system would disgorge half a million gallons of freshly decontaminated water back into the surrounding river each day.
Last November, Community Board 1 (CB1) enacted a resolution calling upon the de Blasio administration to move ahead with multiple amenities planned for the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade. Among these, the resolution said, “CB1 supports efforts to locate +Pool into the East River in the area between the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 17 and the design of the Esplanade should allow for the future incorporation of +Pool.”
Also last fall, the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) issued a request for expressions of interest from organizations willing to, “provide the public with a swim facility which is capable of filtering the waters of the East River to enable safe recreational access to clean water.”
The same document cautioned, however, that, “a successful Respondent will demonstrate that the construction, installation, and operation of a swim facility in the East River is possible without funding from EDC or the City.” This may prove to be a considerable hurdle, in that the estimated budget to build the +Pool prototype is $25 million. But the +Pool team is continuing to build public support, while also attracting both corporate and philanthropic sponsors, and raising money via a crowd-funding campaign.
To the editor:
Re: Trestle Tussle The BroadsheetDAILY, January 7
Five members of the Transportation Committee voted against 3,700 community members to advance the demolition of the Rector Street Bridge rather than explore the possibility of community engagement to save it.
CB1 had repeatedly passed resolutions over the years on the Rector Street Bridge, but would not recognize alternative community resolutions beginning in 2014.
A survey, noted in local publications, was conducted of bridge users that determined that the Thames Street Bridge was not a replacement for the Rector Street Bridge and that they would be crossing West Street at the Albany intersection despite the danger. The safety of all is compromised.
District 1 Council Member Margaret Chin issued a letter calling for community engagement to consider preserving the Rector Street Bridge in August 2019. The Council Member’s representative presented a statement for community engagement at the Transportation Committee meeting that went unaddressed.
The community sent many correspondences to agencies, contractors and public officials — almost all went unanswered. Last spring a request was made by the Battery Park City Committee for an evaluation of keeping the bridge which was never provided. Every request to learn about the decision-making process or gain access to original agreements and waivers concerning the Rector Street Bridge went unanswered.
Now that the Rector Street Bridge is gone, we see that many commuters have diverted away from the Rector Street corridor and local businesses have begun to suffer.
All appeals to the electeds (including the Comptroller and the Public Advocate) were unsuccessful because their first point of reference on local issues is the community board — and here, the unchallenged string of resolutions had their force. Although the Transportation Committee resolution recommended that demolition be held up until safety precautions were taken at the Albany Street intersection, demolition commenced within days afterward.
Losses: The destruction of the bridge turns a cold eye on the blind man who uses the bridge to get independently to work; on the family that bought an apartment next to the bridge for the safety of their children; on the classroom students that cross the bridge to play in the sports field; on the person who is afraid of the turning traffic at West Thames Street; on the people who are forced to cross the glaring parking lot alone late at night; on the Battery Park City night laborers who cross the Rector Bridge directly to their subways after midnight; on the executives, lawyers, secretaries and workers whose lost time will never be calculated.
It is important that the public and the community board remember that the contract for the West Thames Street Bridge was awarded for an $18 million bid. The last available completion estimate was $45.5 million. At a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board Meeting ion 2018, a Deputy Mayor was quoted in Crain’s as saying, “We will make sure that all resources are thrown at this to make sure that we move expeditiously.” The Rector Street Bridge cost $3 million to build. The demolition along with the restoration will run to $12 million. It is highly important that the public and the community board track expenditures on local projects on a regular basis.
In the end, the Rector Street Bridge is being demolished, but at what immeasurable loss to the community?
Bright spot: The people of the bridge came together as an open and aware community with a cause, and now they know each other as neighbors and are familiar with their community board.
You Won’t Have John Catsimatidis to Kick Around Anymore
Gristedes Shuts Southern Battery Park City Location Amid General Retrenchment in Supermarkets
The Gristedes at 71 South End Avenue will shudder the space has occupied for decades.
The number of grocery stores in Battery Park City is shrinking by one. In a story first reported by the Tribeca Citizen website, Gristedes Supermarket, a fixture at the corner of South End Avenue and West Thames Street for decades, is slated to shut down today.
Two Gristedes employees told the Broadsheet that they believe the store will reopen in several months, after an extensive modernization. But this narrative is contradicted by multiple reports that John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the grocery chain, wants to put the 10,000-square-foot space to more lucrative use. To read more…
Bowling Green station
Zumba Jumpstart 6 River Terrace
Join a fitness dance party with upbeat Latin music of salsa, merengue, hip-hop, and more! Enthusiastic instruction creates a fun community of dancers who learn new steps each week. Bring your friends and share in this fit and fun dancing community. Free
Battery Park Book Club: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kanter
New York Public Library
Join the Battery Park Book Club for a lively discussion of a great book. This month’s book is Andersonville by MacKinlay Kanter Summary: The 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning story of the Andersonville Fortress and its use as a concentration camp-like prison by the South during the Civil War. New York City Public Library, Battery Park City branch, 175 North End Avenue.
The Art of Chinese New Year China Institute
The Art of Chinese New Year is a vibrant, interactive experience where visitors of all ages can explore the Chinese New Year holiday and the traditional visual and performing arts related to it. The installation captures the sights and sounds of the holiday through displays, artist workshops, and hands-on activities, leading visitors to a deeper experience, and a greater understanding, of traditional Chinese culture. In the visual arts, visitors will learn about nianhua (New Year pictures), spring couplets, and papercutting. A showcase on the art of shadow puppetry will feature antique puppets, a traditional shadow puppet theater, and a theater where children can create their own puppet shows. At a lion dance display, visitors can try on real lion dance costumes. 40 Rector Street. FREE
Assembly Member Niou to Host Constituent Symposium This Weekend
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou will host a Town Hall meeting this weekend, at which Lower Manhattan residents are invited to ask question and help set priorities for the Albany legislative session that recently began.
This Sunday, Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou will host her annual Legislative and Budgetary Town Hall to discuss priorities for the Albany lawmaking session that began earlier this month.
“Our annual legislative and budget Town Hall is one of our biggest events we hold every year. It’s another opportunity for our community to engage our government and play an active role in advocating for the changes we want to see in our state,” Ms. Niou says. “Inviting constituents to speak with me, our panelists, and each other is so important. The Town Hall promotes engagement and transparency in politics, which is critical in our political climate. We give our constituents information about the budget and our legislative plans and promote discussions on the issues that matter the most to them.”
City Announces Agreement to Expand FiDi’s Millennium High School
City Council member Margaret Chin (center), Community Board 1’s Youth and Education chair Tricia Joyce (center left) and Millennium High School principal Colin McEvoy (right) look on as the City’s Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, announces that the school will expand to an additional floor (now under construction).
On January 15, jubilant elected officials, community leaders, and education officials toured the new space into which the Financial District’s Millennium High School will expand over the next two years. This was the culmination of a multi-year campaign to win approval and funding for the school’s growth. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
After Two-Year Hiatus, Work to Resume at St. Nicholas Church
Work is slated to resume soon on the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church within the World Trade Center site. The striking design (shown here in a rendering) by architect Santiago Calatrava, who also created the nearby Oculus, has made the structure one of Lower Manhattan’s most eagerly anticipated new buildings.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on January 2 that a newly formed non-profit organization will raise funds and underwrite the completion of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, within the World Trade Center Complex.
The building, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava (who additionally created the nearby Oculus, also in the World Trade Center) is slated to replace the histo precious parish church that fell among the victims of September 11. To read more…
Vicinage with Vigor
Lower Manhattan Ranked Among Healthiest Districts in New York
Two Lower Manhattan neighborhoods rank among the healthiest communities anywhere in the five boroughs of New York City, according to new research by RentHop, an online listings database.
The analysis gauged overall healthy by three criteria: the proportion of overall space within each community set aside for parks, the number of gyms (and other fitness facilities) in each neighborhood, and the tally of vegetarian restaurants in each area (relative to its number of households).
Hundreds of Local Storefronts Remain Rented to Corporate Brands
Forlorn mannequins populate the window at the former Saks Fifth Avenue space within Brookfield Place, shortly after it closed, in December, 2018.
A new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a public policy think tank that uses data-driven research to bring attention to overlooked issues, documents that the proliferation of chain stores in Lower Manhattan has decreased slightly during the past 12 months, but at a slower rate than for the City as a whole.
NASA lost seven of its own on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, when a booster engine failed, causing the Shuttle Challenger to break apart just 73 seconds after launch.
In this photo from Jan. 9, the Challenger crew takes a break during countdown training at NASA, Christa McAuliffe and astronauts Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Mission Commander Dick Scobee, astronaut Ronald McNair, pilot Mike Smith, and astronaut Ellison Onizuka.
814 – The death of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, brings about the accession of his son Louis the Pious as ruler of the Frankish Empire.
1077 – Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, is lifted after he humbles himself before Pope Gregory VII at Canossa in Italy.
1547 – Edward VI, the nine-year-old son of Henry VIII, becomes King of England on his father’s death.
1724 – The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented by Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.
1754 – Sir Horace Walpole coins the word serendipity in a letter to a friend.
1813 – Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.
1855 – A locomotive on the Panama Canal Railway runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).
1902 – The Carnegie Institution of Washington is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
1909 – United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish-American War.
1938 – The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).
1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.
1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
1977 – The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 which dumps 10 feet (3.0 m) of snow in one day in Upstate New York, with Buffalo, Syracuse, Watertown, and surrounding areas are most affected.
1986 – Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.
1706 – John Baskerville, English printer and typographer (d. 1775)
1841 – Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh-American explorer and journalist (d. 1904)
1855 – William Seward Burroughs I, American businessman, founded the Burroughs Corporation (d. 1898)
1887 – Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-American pianist and educator (d. 1982)
1900 – Alice Neel, American painter (d. 1984)
1929 – Claes Oldenburg, Swedish-American sculptor and illustrator
1940 – Carlos Slim, Mexican businessman and philanthropist, founded Grupo Carso
814 – Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor (pleurisy; b. 742)
1547 – Henry VIII, king of England (b. 1491)
1938 – Bernd Rosemeyer, German race car driver (b. 1909)
1939 – W. B. Yeats, Irish poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
1976 – Marcel Broodthaers, Belgian painter and poet (b. 1924)
1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger crew
Gregory Jarvis, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1944)
Christa McAuliffe, American educator and astronaut (b. 1948)
Ronald McNair, American physicist and astronaut (b. 1950)
Ellison Onizuka, American engineer and astronaut (b. 1946)
Judith Resnik, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1949)
Dick Scobee, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1939)
Michael J. Smith, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1945)
1988 – Klaus Fuchs, German physicist and politician (b. 1911)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Church and Murray
Eyes to the Sky
January 21 – February 2, 2020
Cygnus the Swan Soars as Summer Triangle sets
From south-southwest to northwest, stars and planet Venus
on January 21 close to 6pm.
The Summer Triangle’s long season in the evening sky ends this week, although one of its remarkable stars, Deneb, lingers for another month. The Summer Triangle is a star pattern known as an asterism; three outstanding stars shape it, one from each of three constellations. It is a commanding sight from its emergence in the evening sky in May through summertime and autumn. Now, stretched out on the skyline from west to northwest as darkness gathers, the great triangle is particularly impressive, but fleeting. To read more…
Cuomo Announces Planned Expansion of Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Museum of Jewish Heritage
At his annual State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo included on his list of dozens of proposals an announcement that he was directing the Battery Park City Authority to develop an expansion plan for the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located within Wagner Park, on Battery Place.
Much-Touted Crackdown on Placard Parking Not All It Was Cracked Up to Be
In spite of a putative crackdown on placard parking abuse that was slated to begin Monday, dozens of illegally parked cars bearing law enforcement placards remained on River Terrace this week.
Amid much fanfare, multiple City agencies recently announced that they would take part in a crackdown on illegal parking by government employees, whose personal vehicles bear placards that allow them to leave their cars blocking bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants, bike lanes, and lanes needed for use by fire trucks and ambulances.
By Tuesday, it appeared that dozens of law enforcement personnel who work in Battery Park City hadn’t heard, or perhaps knew better.
Renewed Victims Compensation Fund Extends Cutoff Date for Registration
Following last summer’s passage of a new law that extends (and expands funding for) the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), the Fund will be accepting claims until it sunsets in 2090. Another benefit of passage is that the cutoff date by which current claimants must register for the VCF has been pushed back to July 29, 2021.
Kimberly Flynn, the director of 9/11 Environmental Action
Kimberly Flynn, the director of 9/11 Environmental Action, a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to ensure that those who were affected by September 11 (physically or emotionally) get the specialized health care they need, commented, “the best possible news is that on July 29, 2019, the ‘Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act’ was signed into law.
Epicenter of a Notorious Slum Proposed for Commemoration
The Five Points gang, a criminal organization that drew its members from the ethnic immigrant populations that inhabited the neighborhood.
In 1831, the City government considered a petition that warned, “that the place known as “Five points” has long been notorious… as being the nursery where every species of vice is conceived and matured; that it is infested by a class of the most abandoned and desperate character.”
A decade later, Charles Dickens, visiting New York, wrote of the same Lower Manhattan neighborhood that had inspired the petition, “what place is this, to which the squalid street conducts us? A kind of square of leprous houses, some of which are attainable only by crazy wooden stairs without. What lies behind this tottering flight of steps? Let us go on again, and plunge into the Five Points…. To read more…
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Sunday February 2
07:00 ~ 17:00
10:00 ~ 16:00
07:00 ~ 17:00
07:00 ~ 17:00
10:00 ~ 16:00
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 passenger and propulsion problems, tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
In an instant, both wagon and horse were vaporized, and the closest automobile was tossed twenty feet in the air. Incredibly, the iconic bronze of George Washington surveys the devastation from the steps of the Sub-Treasury without so much as a scratch.
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920, a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive.