Lower Manhattan’s Local News
A Cup of Good Cheer Among Neighbors
Gateway Tenants Group to Host Holiday Get-Together Tonight
The Gateway Plaza Tenants Association will host a holiday get-together tonight (Tuesday, December 10) at Le Pain Quotidien (395 South End Avenue), from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The event — at which wine, soft drinks, and snacks will be served — is open to all Gateway residents, who are encouraged to join (or renew their membership with) the organization that represents renters in the 1700-plus apartments of Battery Park City’s largest residential complex.
“As we quickly approach the holiday season,” reflected GPTA president Rosalie Joseph, “we are so pleased to have the chance to gather with our neighbors. This is all about community, and we are grateful to Le Pain Quotidien for opening their space to us.”
Robin Forst, first vice president of GPTA, noted that this is the second year that Le Pain Quotidien has hosted the holiday event, adding that, “it is always so gratifying when an area business demonstrates a real commitment to the members of the surrounding community through their generosity.”
GPTA Secretary and longtime board member Jeff Galloway observed that negotiations regarding the extension of rent stabilization, which offers affordability protections to may hundreds of Gateway households, are ongoing. “We have been working, and continue to work very closely with, our elected officials and the Battery Park City Authority.” He added that a number of elected officials plan to attend this evening’s party, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou.
The agreement between the BPCA and the LeFrak Organization (the landlord at Gateway Plaza) that guarantees these protections is slated to expired in June, 2020. Recent signs of mounting official support for preserving and expanding affordability at Gateway include a July letter from a coalition of five elected officials (Ms. Brewer, Ms. Niou, U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and City Council member Margaret Chin) urging the BPCA and the LeFrak Organization to urge, “a prompt conclusion to the negotiations, and that you finalize a deal that renews and strengthens the existing agreement.”
That letter also observed that, “since 1987, rent stabilization agreements for Gateway Plaza have helped Battery Park City to grow into a dynamic community where middle-class families can lay down roots and thrive. As rents in lower Manhattan have climbed to levels that most New Yorkers cannot afford, the rent stabilization agreement at Gateway Plaza has become increasingly important in ensuring that residents are not displaced and the community remains stable and economically diverse.”
In August, Community Board 1 (CB1) responded to calls from GPTA’s leadership by enacting a resolution urging the BPCA, “to set a high priority on preserving the affordability status of Gateway Plaza… and returning the scope of the Stabilization Agreement to its original coverage of all tenants of Gateway.”
Plan Floated to Span East River with Arch Containing Thousands of Apartments and New Transit Portal
To those who claim that the age of monumental public works and historic pieces of civic infrastructure has ended in New York, Scott Baker has a succinct answer: “Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Mr. Baker is the brains and the propulsive force behind an audacious new proposal to span the East River with a hybrid structure that would be part building, part bridge, and part mass transit conveyance, connecting the Dumbo/Vinegar Hill section of Brooklyn to the Manhattan neighborhood of Two Bridges.
Mr. Baker calls his plan, “RiverArch,” and describes it as, “a way to transform the skyline and the City with a structure like no other in the world, while also housing thousands of people and generating hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new tax revenue.”
EYES TO THE SKY
December 9-22, 2019
Venus and Saturn, Full Cold Moon Winter Solstice
Yesterday’s sunset, earliest of the year, down to the second, was at 4:28:30pm. Sunset time is seconds later beginning today, until it is nearly one minute later, 4:29:27 on December 15. Afternoons will be noticeably lighter by month’s end. Sunrise today, 7:08:02, is 12 minutes earlier than the latest sunrise, 7:20:13 on January 6. To read more…
What If All This Is Not Enough?
Pondering Whether $300 Million and 16.5 Feet of Protection Will Matter
At the October 29 meeting of the Battery Park City Authority board, Catherine McVay Hughes raised a potentially troubling question. As BPCA management reviewed plans to spend some $300 million on resiliency measures designed to protect the community against future sea-level rise, extreme-weather events, and climate change, she questioned one of the key assumptions upon which these plans are predicated.
“I think a lot of folks are looking at the depth-to-design elevation flood line,” Ms. McVay Hughes began. “And there was a report that was recently issued… [in which] this technical expert suggested that the 16.5 feet needs to be raised another two to three feet. So I just wanted to make sure that what the Battery Park City will be planning to do will be adequate, as well.”
The metric to which Ms. McVay Hughes was referring comes from the lower end of the mid-range of predicted coastal flood heights for Lower Manhattan by the 2080s. A 2014 report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, entitled “Climate Change in New York State,” noted that middle range for such predictions at the Battery was 16.5 to 18.3 feet. (The lowest bracket was 16.1 feet or less, while the most extreme scenarios ranged up to 19.9 feet.)
How a Nazi Sympathizer’s Tribeca Garage Could Become a Luxe Mansion
Community Board 1 is pushing back, in unusually emphatic terms, against a builder’s plans for a new mansion in Tribeca. The property in question is located at 11 Hubert Street, near the corner of Collister Street.
The existing structure at 11 Hubert Street has a tangled pedigree. It was built in 1946 by Dietrich Wortman, who was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1884, and emigrated to the United States, where he studied architecture at Columbia University.
Today in History
1508 – The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.
1520 – Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domineoutside Wittenberg’s Elster Gate.
1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.
1684 – Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley.
1868 – The first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1877 – Russo-Turkish War: The Russian Army captures Plevna after a 5-month siege. The garrison of 25,000 surviving Turks surrenders. The Russian victory is decisive for the outcome of the war and the Liberation of Bulgaria.
1884 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published.
1901 – The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm on the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
1902 – The opening of the reservoir of the Aswan Dam in Egypt.
1906 – President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.
1907 – The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals that have been vivisected.
1953 – British PM Winston Churchill receives the Nobel Prize in literature.
1968 – Japan’s biggest heist, the still-unsolved “300 million yen robbery”, is carried out in Tokyo.
1993 – The last shift leaves Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marks the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.
1452 – Johannes Stöffler, German mathematician and astronomer (d. 1531)
1610 – Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch painter (d. 1685)
1787 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, American educator, founded the American School for the Deaf (d. 1851)
1815 – Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. (d. 1852)
1830 – Emily Dickinson, American poet (d. 1886)
1908 – Olivier Messiaen, French composer and ornithologist (d. 1992)
1911 – Chet Huntley, American journalist (d. 1974)
1956 – Rod Blagojevich, lawyer and politician, 40th Governor of Illinois and convict # (BOP) 40892-424
925 – Sancho I, King of Pamplona
949 – Herman I, Duke of Swabia
1113 – Radwan, ruler of Aleppo
1310 – Stephen I, Duke of Bavaria (b. 1271)
1896 – Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and engineer, invented Dynamite and founded the Nobel Prize (b. 1833)
1909 – Red Cloud, American tribal chief (b. 1822)
1968 – Thomas Merton, American monk and author (b. 1915)
1990 – Armand Hammer, businessman, founded Occidental Petroleum (b. 1898)
1993 – Alice Tully, American soprano (b. 1902)
2005 – Eugene McCarthy, American poet, academic, and politician (b. 1916)
I have nothing against the Tribute Museum and I was angered when I heard that they were losing their lease. It is a good institution and should survive.
However, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum doesn’t deserve to be put down in comparison to the Tribute Museum.
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.
CB1’s Youth & Education Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
The Rational Creature Volume 6 Launch Party: The Lust Issue
Join The Rational Creature for the launch of Volume 6: The Lust Issue. Contributors from the issue will be reading their work. There will also be food, beverages, and copies of the magazine for sale. 10 River Terrace.
Charles Duff Book Talk: North Atlantic Cities
For 150 years the word “Downtown” meant a central district where people worked and didn’t live. A product of the first half of the 19th century, especially in the cities of the US and the UK, Downtowns responded to the unprecedented volume of trade in the Industrial Revolution and depended on a series of innovations in architecture, construction, and municipal transport. In his new book, The North Atlantic Cities, developer and historian Charles Duff, highlights the the vibrant centers such as the Victorian examples of Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the birth of the New York skyline. Join us for a talk that explores the birth of the all-business Downtown. Reservations are required. 39 Battery Place.
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Friday, December 13
Inbound 9:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
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.
Arts and Minds
Highly Regarded Local Arts Education Group Stays the Course
To stroll in Tribeca in 2019 is to apprehend what is happening throughout Lower Manhattan. Buildings – along with their occupants and uses – are in perpetual flux. Amid this tumult is a symbol of local continuity: the Church Street School for Music and Art.
Recently, the Broadsheet asked Dr. Ecklund-Flores, who has been the sole proprietor of CSS for many years, to reflect on the move north and the challenges faced in relocating to a new neighborhood. To read more…
CB1 to Consider Cutbacks in Number of Stops on Free Bus Service
Tonight (Tuesday, December 3) the Transportation Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) will hear a presentation from the Downtown Alliance about planned cutbacks to the number of stops on its free Downtown Connection shuttle bus.
The plans include the elimination of six stops within Battery Park City.
Gotham Girls Winter Futsal League & Formativo Training
Gotham Girls F.C. – the only NYC all-girls soccer club is running our Winter Futsal League for girls ages 7 to 16.
(Our foundational development soccer – Formativo – is available for girls ages 7-10).
Our dedicated coaches ref the fun, active 50-minute 4v4 indoor futsal games, and provide coaching to develop girls foot skills and knowledge.
Games are on Saturdays or Sundays (depending on age)
at PS276 and PS234 gyms.
Cost is $210 for 12 games.
To register for Winter Futsal or Formativo, please go to http://gothamgirls.org.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AVAILABLE
FOR BABYSITTING OR TUTORING
17 year old young man, lifetime resident of Tribeca and BPC.
Went to PS 234, Lab Middle School and currently attending Millennium HS. This summer was a Councilor at Pierce Country Day Camp. Excellent references.Very experienced with kids under 10.
Available for weeknight and weekend baby-sitting and tutoring middle-schoolers in Math or Science.
Please contact Emmett at 917.733.3572
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Train to the Plane
A Convenient Connection to the Airport Visible from Lower Manhattan Rooftops May Be Less Than Ten Years Away
The Regional Plan Association (RPA) recently partnered with the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association (DLMA) to build support for a proposed rail connection between Lower Manhattan and Newark Airport. A report the two organizations produced together, “Taking the PATH to Newark Airport,” summarizes the potential and the prospects for such a link, which local leaders have long pushed for.
A Tale of Two Museums
Community-Focused Cultural Center Faces Uncertain Future, as Tourism Magnet Thrives
The 9/11 Tribute Museum, a highly regarded local cultural institution, is grappling with a precarious outlook, according to a story first published in Crain’s New York Business, which says that the space housing the facility, located at Greenwich and Rector Streets, may be sold out from under the organization by its landlord.
Aggregation and Promulgation
Council Member and Borough President Push for Transparency in Development
Community Board 1 has endorsed a proposed new law — sponsored by a City Council member representing the Upper East Side and supported by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer — that would require City government to notify local officials whenever development rights are transferred between building lots. Such transfers are often used by developers to maximize the zoning potential for the site of a planned skyscraper.
Putting the Art Back into an Artifact
A Living Remnant of a Vibrant Culture Comes to Battery Place
Written in 1878, “The Sorceress,” is one of the earliest works of Yiddish theater and the first formal theatrical production presented in America by the legendary Boris Thomashefsky, who emigrated to the United States in 1881, two years before the thriving Yiddish theater industry was banned in his native Imperial Russia.
He went on to found, almost singlehandedly, what became a vibrant genre in American theater — productions catering to Jewish immigrants from all the countries in the diaspora, presented in the one language they all spoke: Yiddish.
Your Next Neighbors Might Be Vastly Less Interesting, But Better Able to Pay High Rents
A new report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer documents that Lower Manhattan is undergoing an exodus of artists and other “creative economy” workers, who are being driven away primarily by skyrocketing costs for housing.
Quid Pro No?
FiDi Renters Seek Recompense for Years of Rent Overcharges; Landlord Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Overrule Tenants’ Victory
More Financial District tenants are going to court to demand restitution from years of illegally high rent, on the heels of a June ruling by New York State’s highest court, which found that as many as 5,000 Lower Manhattan apartments had been illegally deprived of rent stabilization benefits.
The first to file suit in the wake of this decision were Bruce Hackney and Timothy Smith, tenants at Ten Hanover Square, who brought their complaint in October.
At issue is the 421-g subsidy program, which was designed to encourage Downtown’s transformation into a residential district, by offering rich incentives (chiefly in the form of tax abatements) to developers who converted former office buildings — south of a line connecting Murray Street to City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge — into apartment towers.
Where the Streets Are Paved with Gold
Decades of Savings Needed to Purchase on Lavish Lanes
A trio of new analyses points to the self-evident conclusion that Lower Manhattan is a mind-numbingly expensive place to reside.
Tribeca’s Murray Street was calculated to be the third-most expensive anywhere in the five boroughs, with a median sales price of $5.4 million, and a volume of sales in excess of $364 million. To read more…
Nadler Sponsors Legislation to Make Lower Manhattan Heliopolis No More
Support is building among decision-makers to heed a decade long call by Lower Manhattan community leaders to enact a comprehensive ban on non-essential helicopter flights in New York’s airspace.
Preservation, Renovation, Elevation,
and a Donation
Seaport Structure Reborn as Flood-Proof Food Emporia as Owner Celebrates with Support for Local Charity
The South Street Seaport’s historic Tin Building reached a milestone on Wednesday, when the last and highest structural beam was placed (after being ceremonially signed by dozens of well-wishers) within a reconstructed edifice, following an unprecedented, years-long effort to preserve it.
“A Fraudulent Scheme”
FiDi Renters Seek Recompense for Years of Rent Overcharges
In the wake of a June ruling by New York State’s highest court that tenants in Financial District rental buildings had been illegally deprived of rent stabilization benefits, a pair of apartment dwellers is litigating to recoup the money they lost by paying inflated, market-rate rents for years.
In October, Bruce Hackney and Timothy Smith, tenants at Ten Hanover Square, filed suit against their landlord, alleging that the owner’s, “failure to follow rent regulations was part of a fraudulent scheme to deregulate apartments in the building.” To read more…
Eighteen Years Later, What about the Children?
Schools Agency Begins Belated Outreach Effort to Former Lower Manhattan Students at Risk of 9/11 Illness
The City’s Department of Education is partnering with the United Federation of Teachers union for an unusual mission: tracking down former New York City public school students who were pupils at Lower Manhattan schools on September 11, 2001 (or in the months that followed) and informing them that their health may be at risk. The project will also seek to put these students in touch with the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. To read more…
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?
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.
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. To read more…
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.
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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