Lower Manhattan’s Local News
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Shoot
Chin Pushes Legislation to Rein in Production Permits
City Council member Margaret Chin is co-sponsoring a package of bills in the municipal legislature to clamp down on rampant film and television production in Lower Manhattan.
Although the new laws, if enacted, will have City-wide effect, their impact would be especially significant in the square mile below Chambers Street, where dozens of movies and TV shows commandeer local streets (sometimes for days at a time) each year.
Many locations such as Reade Street and Staple Street in Tribeca, and the Battery Park City Esplanade, are used so frequently that residents and elected officials have begun calling for a cap on how many times a each year a permit can be issued for a specific site.
At a combined hearing of the Council’s Committees on Technology and Small Business Services in September, Ms. Chin cited the disproportionate number of production permits that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) issues for Downtown. Ms. Chin said, “Lower Manhattan residents are proud when they see their neighborhoods showcased in movies and TV shows, but that does not mean my constituents need to tolerate bullying from production staffers, unsafe streets and unannounced film shoots on their narrow residential blocks.”
MOME issued permits for 9,000 production shoots in Manhattan during 2018, and almost half of these were for filming in Manhattan. In one striking example, permits for shooting on Reade Street were issued 25 times last year, which means that local residents could expect disruption roughly once every two weeks.
“It is time for MOME to provide stronger oversight of the impacts of film productions and a demonstrated commitment to prioritizing sensitivity and, most importantly, respect for our neighborhoods,” she continued. “Without more accountability, the chronic disruptions and quality of life burdens stemming from these large-scale productions will continue to rest on the shoulders of regular New Yorkers. We need balance, and more efforts to make this a positive experience for everyone, including pedestrians and small businesses.”
Ms. Chin recalled one instance in which a member of the production crew on one shoot in Chinatown joked that he was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, which offended many nearby residents.
The package of legislation that Ms. Chin is co-sponsoring includes measures to create a local community bill of rights for dealing with production shoots, updates to fees and notification periods for filming on City property and filing permits to film outdoors, and establish a task force to study both the benefits and impacts that film and television production have on the City.
What’s In Store?
Amid a Booming Economy, Lower Manhattan Retail Space Languishes
A new report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that in one Lower Manhattan zip code — 10013, which covers parts of western Tribeca SoHo, and the Canal Street corridor in Chinatown — there are 319 empty retail spaces, comprising almost 300,000 square feet of unused property. To read more…
Re: Storefront vacancies
While I do not dispute any of the claims regarding the store owners’ challenges, but I was disappointed that the article did not note that all of the photographed vacant storefronts had stairs or a step that made them inaccessible to shoppers or diners with a wheeled device.
As someone who relies on a scooter for mobility, I find that Lower Manhattan, and especially the zip code that your highlight, excludes me with stairs, hard to open doors, especially if I must stop on a ramped threshold, hard to navigate indoor space and displays, inaccessible restrooms, etc.
It should not be a surprise why people like me shop online or frequent chain locations, use food delivery services and ride share apps; small businesses exclude or overly challenge those of us with wheeled devices.
I do not wish harm to the business owners or taxi drivers, but those of us who cannot climb stairs, open heavy doors, perch on inclines and are too short and curb restricted to flag down taxis are happy that we have finally been recognized as customers with money to spend and needs to meet.
As the population ages and more families bring strollers with them, business owners and city policy makers really need to rethink this issue. Encouraging businesses without encouraging accessible and inclusive spaces would be bad policy and likely to fail.
I am fully in support of Gale Brewer’s proposal to tax building owners who leave storefronts vacant for long periods.
We have too many in our own and nearby neighborhoods.
Maybe, building owners pay less tax on an unproductive property, so charging them something on unrented space could provide some necessary motivation.
I will let my CouncilMember know my opinion on this issue, and hope others in the community consider doing the same.
Maryanne P. Braverman
It All Comes Down to This Moment
In an era when monied parents are being sent to jail for buying seats at prestigious universities for their already-privileged kids, New York City’s sometimes-controversial Specialized High Schools offer one hard-to-refute virtue.
The only way past the front door is via a competitive examination, meaning that every kid gets a seat the old-fashioned way: by earning it.
One such aspirant is shown above, studying up to the last possible second, before being ushered in to take that exam, at Stuyvesant High School, an institution that has served as an incubator of achievement and engine of upward mobility for New York City kids for more than a century, producing four Nobel laureates (two in Physiology/Medicine and one each in Economics and Chemistry) since 1904.
The Battery Park City Dog Association would like to thank the following people and businesses for participating in and donating to our 18th Annual BPC Halloween Puppy Parade on October 26th:
Phil Castiglia and Judy Passer of Le Pet Spa, our Co-Hosts and the provider of the top prizes.
All of the fantastic participants in the parade, both human and canine for their enthusiasm, creativity and support for our annual community event;
Dave Casanova of Casanova Animal Care; Cove Nails; Downtown Veterinary Hospital; Gristedes; ; Inatteso Pizzabar Casano; Merchants River House Restaurant; Miramar Mediterranean Seafood Restaurant; New Fresh Cleaners; Stanley’s Cobbler Shop and The Vince Smith Hair Experience.
Also a huge thanks to our esteemed judges: Rena, Rich and Sheila.
And of course, thank you to the BPCA for issuing our permit and to Bruno Pomponio for making our judging area safe and clean.
Pictures of the winners and the event can be seen at: www.bpcdogs.org.
Paula and Jeff Galloway
Putting the Tension in Detention
City Council Approves de Blasio Controversial Plan for New Jail Complex in Lower Manhattan; Legal Challenges Likely
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio won City Council approval on October 17 for a modified version of its controversial plan to erect a new, skyscraper prison in Lower Manhattan, as part of a wider scheme to close the City’s notorious detention complex on Rikers Island, and replace it with four, large “borough-based jail” facilities-one in each county, except Staten Island.
At the session during which the plan was approved, City Council member Margaret Chin said, “to my constituents-I hear you.
Eyes To the Sky
October 28 – November 10
Worldview: Origin of our Sun, solar system, ourselves
During the dark time of year here in the northeast, our visual environment is more of the moon and stars than earthly phenomena. In this “Eyes to the Sky”, as in a post a few weeks ago, I offer you the opportunity to reflect on the natural world as revealed to us by astronomers and astrophotographers. I have the pleasure of presenting the words and images of astrophotographer and educator Terry Hancock, the creator of “Fly Like an Eagle” , the nebula image featured above. To read more…
by Judy Isacoff
October 30, 2019
Charlas Sobre la Ofrenda del Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead Altar Talks
National Museum of the American Indian at One Bowling Green
Join museum Cultural Interpreter Carrie Gonzalez as she discusses the significance of the Día de Los Muertos altar.
Figure Al Fresco
Challenge your artistic skills by drawing the humangure. Each week a model will strike both long and short poses for participants to draw. Artist/educators will offer constructive suggestions and critique. Materials provided.
Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm…’
Lawsuit Over Similarity Between One World Trade and Architecture Student’s Design Moves Ahead
One thing is reasonably certain: In 1999, Jeehoon Park, then a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, created a design for a very tall building with a large square base tapering to a smaller square top. In Mr. Park’s vision, the square formed by the roof was rotated 45 degrees relative to the one at the ground level, so that the center-points on each side of the quadrilateral below corresponded to the corners of the one above, and vice versa. And instead of four vertical walls, the structure’s facade consisted of eight elongated triangles.
That structure was never built. Or was it?
You Can Hit-and-Run,
But You Can’t Hide
Driver Alleged to Have Run Over Tribeca Pedestrian in May Indicted for Separate Manhattan Traffic Death
The New York County District Attorney’s Office has indicted Jessenia Fajardo, a resident of the upstate town of Walden in two separate incidents involving reckless driving that caused injury to pedestrians. The more serious of these took place on July 19, when Ms. Fajardo is accused of having run a red light on the Upper West Side and then slamming into an elderly couple in a crosswalk. One of these pedestrians, 62-year-old Alfred Pocari, was killed, while the second (whose name has not been released) was seriously injured.
When police took Ms. Fajardo into custody at the scene of the July incident, they discovered that she was also involved in a similar (albeit less gravely serious) incident two months earlier. To read more…
Adding Insult to Penury
Ridership Survey Indicates That Ferry Coming Soon to Battery Park City Primarily Serves Affluent Riders
An analysis of who uses the NYC Ferry service, which the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to expand to Battery Park City next year, shows that riders are primarily white passengers who earn more money than average New Yorkers.
Volleyball Players Rescued from Hudson, After Jumping Into River to Retrieve Ball
Two young men were pulled from the waters of the Hudson River on Saturday morning, after jumping from the Battery Park City Esplanade to retrieve a volleyball that went over the railing, near North Cove Marina.
The men, whose names have not been released, were playing volleyball on the court that overlooks that yacht basin at approximately 11:40 am, when a wild serve sent their ball into the Hudson. Impulsively, they both leaped in after it.
Keep It Light
Condo Boards Question Need for South End Avenue Redesign After Installation of Traffic Signal
At the October 2 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, Battery Park City Authority president B.J. Jones was apprised by the leader of a coalition of condominiums along South End Avenue of that group’s ongoing reservations about the Authority’s plan to revamp the thoroughfare.
Pat Smith, the board president of the Battery Pointe condominium (at South End Avenue and Rector Place) told Mr. Jones, “before you go too far on South End Avenue, please remember that six condo boards, representing more than 1,000 households along South End Avenue, from Albany down to West Thames, don’t want you to do this.” To read more…
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Thursday, October 31
Inbound 6:30 am (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm
Eastern Caribbean/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Friday, November 1
Inbound 7:15 am in port overnight
Inbound 2:30 am (Bayonne); in port overnight
Inbound 7:15 am; in port overnight
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 6:30 pm
Bermuda/Eastern Caribbean/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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.
Music to Our Ears
When she was ten, Julie Reumert was selected
to sing at a celebration marking the birthday of
Margrethe ll, Queen of Denmark. As a girl growing up in Copenhagen, Ms. Reumert performed with the Saint Anne Girls Choir as a soprano and a soloist.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDE SEEKING
Full-Time Live-In Elder Care
I am loving, caring and hardworking with 12 years experience. References available. Marcia 347-737-5037 email@example.com
ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE with 17 years experience seeks PT/FT work. Refs available Call or text 718 496 6232 Dian
DO YOU NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT?
I am experienced, reliable, knowledgeable and able to work flexible hours.
CHINESE AIDE/CAREGIVER FOR ELDERLY
Cantonese/Mandarin-speaking and Excellent Cook for Battery Park City.
SEEKING FREE-LANCE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL OR SMALL PR FIRM
Work with well-reviewed author of five E-books, developing and implementing outreach strategies. Includes writing, placement, research, new outlets and on-line advertising. Savvy social media skills a must. Downtown location.
Please send resume and fee schedule to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available starting September for PT/FT.
Wonderful person, who is a great worker. Reference Available
Available for PT/FT elder care. Experienced. References Angella
DITCH THE DIETS & LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD
Call Janine to find out how with hypnosis.
EXPERIENCED ELDER CARE
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 12yrs experienced 347-898-5804
Call Hope email@example.com
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature Text Paula at 917-836-8802
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
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT, PREFER NON-WORKING
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and sometimes repaired
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
Today in History
758 – Guangzhou is sacked by Arab and Persian pirates.
1831 – Nat Turner is arrested for leading the bloodiest slave rebellion in United States history.
1925 – John Logie Baird creates Britain’s first television transmitter.
1938 – Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States.
1941 – President Roosevelt approves $1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Allied nations.
1944 – Holocaust: Anne and Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they die from disease the following year, shortly before the end of WWII.
1945 – Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the baseball color line.
1973 – The Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus for the second time.
1975 – Prince Juan Carlos I of Spain becomes acting head of state, taking over for the country’s ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.
2005 – The rebuilt Dresden Frauenkirche (destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II) is reconsecrated after a thirteen-year rebuilding project.
39 BC – Julia the Elder, Roman daughter of Augustus (d. 14)
1632 – Christopher Wren, English physicist, mathematician, and architect, designed St Paul’s Cathedral (d. 1723)
1735 – John Adams, American lawyer and politician, 2nd President of the United States (d. 1826)
1885 – Ezra Pound, American poet and critic (d. 1972)
1915 – Fred W. Friendly, American journalist and producer (d. 1998)
1915 – Jane Randolph, American-Swiss actress and singer (d. 2009)
1935 – Robert Caro, American journalist and author
1939 – Grace Slick, American singer-songwriter
1466 – Johann Fust, German printer (b. c. 1400)
2000 – Steve Allen, American actor, television personality, game show panelist, and talk show host (b. 1921)
Plant It and They Will Come ~ Monarch Butterflies Pause to Refuel in Lower Manhattan
To the editor:
Thank you, kind-hearted gardeners. We must all do whatever little bit we can to hold back the wave of extinctions that is a hair’s breadth from taking the last of our monarchs.
Damascus on the Hudson
Lower Manhattan’s Old Syrian Quarter
Today, the stretch of Greenwich and Washington Streets between Battery Place and Albany Street — bisected by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel entrance — is known by the forgettable name, “Greenwich South.”
By all appearances it is an orphan of a neighborhood that never quite coalesced. But nothing could be further from the truth. A century ago, before the World Trade Center or the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (the two giant public works projects that decimated this once-thriving quarter), it was an ethnic enclave as vibrant as Little Italy or Chinatown. To read more…
BPCA’s Public Art Collection Represents Multiple Layers of Value
The Battery Park City Authority, has completed an inventory and appraisal of its public art collection. This is part of a broad effort to take stock of the Authority’s ongoing role as a patron and custodian of pieces that represent an integral thread in the fabric of the community, as evidenced by the fact that space and funding for public art were both set aside decades ago, in the neighborhood’s first master plan, before the first building was erected.
Residents Riled about Tribeca Tavern
More than a dozen concerned Tribeca residents turned out for the September meeting the Licensing and Permits Committee, which weighs in on the granting or renewal of liquor licenses.
They showed up to voice concerns about MI-5, a bar located at 52 Walker Street, which has been a source of local complaints as far back 2007.
Neighbors of the bar allege that it operates as a dance club (in violation of its current license, which is now up for renewal), and that loud music penetrates the upper floors of the residential building located above the bar as late as 4:00 am. To read more…
Sin of Omission
City Agency Leaves Cash-Strapped Local Museum Off Roster of Cultural Institutions
The City’s Department of Cultural Affairs has omitted from its list of dozens of New York-based cultural institutions that receive public support the museum that chronicles the oldest community anywhere in the five boroughs.
BPCA Puts the Brakes on Conversions of Rental Buildings within Community
Residents of rental apartments in Battery Park City who fear being thrown out of their homes as developers plan to convert those buildings to condominiums can rest a little bit easier, according to the Battery Park City Authority.
At the October 2 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, Authority president Benjamin Jones said, “I want to talk about some of the potential condo conversions that people are concerned about. We have been very clear with developers over the last year, and then some, about our position — that we want to preserve the rental housing that exists in Battery Park City.” To read more…
Costs to Rent or Own in Lower Manhattan Are Matched by Lofty Local Earnings
A slew of recent reports documents what everyone who lives or works in Lower Manhattan already sensed in their bones: This is a mind-numbingly expensive place to call home.
In September, RENTCafé issued a new analysis of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters in the United States that finds northern Battery Park City (zip code 10282) is the priciest enclave in America, with an average rent of $6,211 per month. Coming in at second place is zip code 10013, which covers western Tribeca, along with part of Soho. To read more…
From Bunker to Incubator
New Arts Center on Governors Island Will Provide Studio Space and Cultural Programming
Lower Manhattan has a new cultural hub. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Trust for Governors Island have partnered to create the LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island, a 40,000-square foot studio space and education facility, housed within a restored 1870s ammunition warehouse — a relic from the days when the island was a military outpost.
Rapport to the Commissioner
CB1 Makes Exception to New Policy; Okays Naming Street for Former NYPD Commissioner
A public figure from the 1980s may soon be honored by having a street co-named in his memory, if Community Board 1 gets its way. The panel recommended that Benjamin Ward, New York’s first African-American police commissioner, be commemorated by rechristening one block of Baxter Street as Benjamin Ward Way.
This comes on the heels of a controversial decision by CB1 in 2018 to decline such a request on behalf of James D. McNaughton, who, on August 2, 2005, at age 27, became the first New York City Police officer to be killed in action while serving in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
Onetime Non-Profit Nursing Facility Sold to Anonymous Buyer for Five Times Original Price
If there is an Exhibit A in the case of fevered speculation in Lower Manhattan real estate, it must be Rivington House
After purchasing the block-long, 150,000-square-foot structure (located at 45 Rivington Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge), the developer, the Allure Group, paid the City an additional $16 million to remove the deed restriction that limited the property to its legacy use of non-profit, residential healthcare. To read more…
Wildlife in Lower Manhattan
The dogwalking and jogging crowd on the esplanade yesterday morning had quite a show, when an unidentified Buteo (Buzzard Hawk) lazily flapped past a few heads and landed on a branch to enjoy his breakfast: a tasty pigeon.
Breaking It Down
Composting Catches on in Battery Park City
You’re probably heard of the farm-to-table movement. Thanks to the Battery Park City Authority’s compost initiative, there’s a burgeoning table-to-earth movement in this Lower Manhattan community.
What happens to the scraps after you’ve dropped them in the bin? How do your apple peels and corn husks turn into rich, beneficial compost?
The Broadsheet set out to investigate. To read more…
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
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.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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