Highly Regarded Local Arts Education Group Stays the Course
Mateo Vergara, age 7 and a student at the Peck Slip School, taking his second drum lesson at Church Street School
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 (CSS).
Headquartered at 74 Warren Street for two decades, the school relocated in 2017 to the space formerly occupied by the Flea Theater at 41 White Street. (Three years earlier, the Flea had moved to new quarters, at 20 Thomas Street.)
This represented both a reprieve and a homecoming for the organization. A reprieve because it had been buffeted by series of rent increases over the previous decade as its southern Tribeca neighborhood gentrified, which called into question its very survival. A homecoming because CSS, which was co-founded in 1990 by Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores (she holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology) and Lauri Bailey in a cramped, second-floor walkup space at 311 Church Street, near Walker Street, was returning to northern Tribeca.
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.
Broadsheet: It has been almost two years since your big move. What was the biggest challenge during this time?
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: We love our new space on a landmarked block in the gallery district of northern Tribeca, but we’ve experienced attrition in our most remote neighborhoods, like the Financial District and Battery Park City. We have a long affiliation with Battery Park City that goes back to the 1990s and are committed to sustaining that relationship.
Broadsheet: While the physical location moved north a few blocks, CSS still maintains a presence in and around Battery Park City, having partnered with Asphalt Green. What is this partnership about and how does it keep you in touch with Battery Park City?
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: We are super excited that we are able to stay in touch with our Battery Park City families in our satellite location at Asphalt Green. Our acclaimed music faculty offers instrumental music lessons there every day after school from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. In addition, this year, for the first time, we are also offering our popular early childhood drop-off program in the mornings: music, art and play every day. We also run an Adult Chorus in Battery Park City every week on Wednesdays at 1:00 pm, in the Battery Park Conservancy space on River Terrace. We are very grateful to them for partnering with us on space. And this fall for the first time we are also offering instrumental lessons in FiDi, near Bowling Green, as well.
Broadsheet: Now that you’re settled in, tell us about the school and your programs.
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: We have about 700 students ranging in age from two to 92 years old on White Street and local satellite locations in FiDi and Battery Park City. We have another 300 students in our outreach programs in the South Bronx. We offer about 40 classes on any given week, in addition to private lessons on about 15 different kinds of instruments. We have 45 renowned teaching artists and musicians who teach our classes. This is our 30th anniversary year, and we estimate that we’ve served about 20,000 downtown families since our founding.
The annual gingerbread house decorating workshops
We also have many community events, like our acclaimed Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops in December, and our popular block party, The Happening, in May. And of course Church Street School is a presence at community events too, offering open art experiences and student and faculty musical performances all around the community, at events like the Taste of Tribeca, Taste of Seaport and Taste of Battery Park City.
Broadsheet: What excites this generation of children that is different from 25 years ago?
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: Clearly the extensive availability of technology on phones and computers is transforming the current generation. This sort of flies in the face of our philosophy at Church Street School. Our motto is “Make more music. Make more art.” By that we mean, engage in the physical process of art and music making, because it is good for every individual and good for the community. It is therapeutic to make music and art, and it draws people together. We don’t allow cell phone use in our classrooms. Despite the seeming distraction of technology, kids are really happy to unplug and create art and music at Church Street School.
No matter what age you are, humans are drawn to creating things, and we specialize in nurturing the creative spirit in all our students.
The most popular instruments are piano, guitar and drums. We have a lot of vocal students too. Our Creative Arts Club, for six- to 12-year-olds, meets Monday to Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and is also growing exponentially. We have other Studio Art classes for that age as well, like Drawing Technique and Textile Arts. We pick kids up from the local schools and walk them up to White Street to participate in our programs.
Broadsheet: What kind of classes do you have for the smaller children?
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: In addition to our new drop-off program for little ones at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City, every day we run a popular drop-in program called “Little Creators” for kids 16 months and older, with a caregiver, at our White Street location. Each 90-minute class includes free play, singing, rhythm instruments, movement and visual art.
And I still teach a toddler/adult music and movement class each week on Wednesday morning. It’s the highlight of my week! I love following the stream of consciousness of a toddler, and I’ve been doing this for four decades, so that class is one of our little gems. There’s also a popular toddler/adult art class that directly follows my music class on Wednesdays.
Broadsheet: At what age are they ready for actual weekly lessons? What’s the youngest age for music lessons and the age range of students taking lessons in how many and what kind of instruments?
Dr. Ecklund-Flores: We typically advise that students can start instrumental lessons at five to six years old, after they have the attention span and fine motor coordination to support that kind of activity. For those families that want their younger children to be engaged around instrumental lessons, we have Explore! Piano — a class for four- and five-year-olds that is a combination of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and group piano lessons. These classes are fun and upbeat and combine a general music class with exposure to making music at the piano. A great pre-instrument class for younger kids is Explore! Music for three and four-year-olds, which is our signature Dalcroze program for young children.
For more information about the Church Street School, please call 212-571-7290, or browse: ChurchStreetSchool.org.
National Museum of the American Indian
Touch, investigate, inquire and learn. Objects and images tell profound stories. Join Cultural Interpreters as they share objects and narratives in the museum’s galleries. Gain a deeper understanding of history, culture, and art from hundreds of Indigenous nations in North, Central, and South America. One Bowling Green.
Click to watch Pioneer
Community Board 1 Committee Meetings
Transportation & Street Activity Permits Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
1) Edgar Street Traffic Study – Presentation by NYC Department of Transportation and possible resolution
2) Downtown Connection Bus Service Changes – Presentation by Taina Prado, Downtown Alliance & possible resolution
3) City Hall to Battery Park Bicycle Connection; Broadway, White Hall Street – Resolution
Battery Park City Committee
Metropolitan College 60 West Street – 1st Floor
1) West Thames Street Bridge Completion – Update by Wil Fisher, Government & Community Relations, NYC EDC; Matt Krenek, Skanska
2) New BPCA Contract with Allied for BPC Parks and Community Center – Presentation by Eric Munson, Chief Operating Officer, Battery Park City Authority and John McArdle, Regional Vice President, Allied Universal
3) BPCA Sustainability Plan: Introduction – Presentation by Sarah Fisher Curtin, Senior Project Manager, BPCA; Robert Okpala, BuroHappold; Megan Marini, 3X3
4) Enhancing 311 to Send Specific “Boat Noise” Complaints Directly to Boat Operators and Oversight Authorities – Discussion and Resolution
5) Allied Universal Report, Year Over Year Comparisons – Presentation by Patrick Murphy, Director of Security, Allied Universal
6) BPCA Report with an Updates – Nicholas Sbordone, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, BPCA
I have nothing against the Tribute Musuem 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.
Tribute began as a way for those who lost family members and those who survived and participated in the rescue, recovery and cleanup to support each other and to share their stories with visitors.
The 9/11 Museum has a national commitment to educate future generations, to preserve artifacts related to the WTC and the attacks and to support global victims of terrorism.
It is located on the site of the attacks and memorializes those killed in all three locations by naming them around the Memorial Pools which are placed in the footprints of the Towers. The Memorial Glade specifically honors the responders, workers and residents who have been affected by illnesses related to their presence near the WTC on and after 9/11.
The Museum offers educational programs for children and adults. It is a resource in the study of terrorism — FBI classes come for training at the Museum.
A number of BPC residents volunteer at both the 9/11 Museum and at Tribute — they have become places of healing and learning for so many.
So, let’s give credit where credit is due and respect each of these institutions for the significant purposes they each serve.
Maryanne P. Braverman
Resident of BPC since 1982, former WTC worker and
National September 11 Memorial & Museum Member
Click to watch the November 12 sun set over the harbor.
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.
Dates are December 7/8 – March 21/22.
Games are on Saturdays or Sundays (depending on age)
FiDi Renters Seek Recompense for Years of Rent Overcharges; Landlord Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Overrule Tenants’ Victory
A map, compiled by New York University’s Furman Center (which advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy)illustrating the dozens of Lower Manhattan buildings — erstwhile office towers,converted to residential use — that have benefited from the 421-g program.
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.
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…
A Tale of Two Museums
Community-Focused Cultural Center Faces Uncertain Future, as Tourism Magnet Thrives
The 9/11 Tribute Museum, at 88 Greenwich Street, which is endangered by skyrocketing property values in Lower Manhattan.
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.
Council Member and Borough President Push for Transparency in Development
A proposed law now under consideration by the City Council would compel disclosure of air rights transfers that make possible “super-tall” towers, such as the one planned for 80 South Street, which would have a roof height greater than that of One World Trade Center.
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.
Southern Caribbean Queen Mary 2
Inbound 6:00 am (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm
Transatlantic (Southampton, UK)
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.
Click to watch a pair of Mallards try to catch 40 winks
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
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.
1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral opens in London
1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned emperor of France in Paris
1816 – First savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society)
1845 – Manifest Destiny: President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
1867 – In a New York City theater, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.
1901 – Gillette patents first disposable razor
1939 – La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago lands, 1 minute after midnight
1941 – Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor
1942 – First controlled nuclear chain reaction (Enrico Fermi-U of Chicago)
1952 – First human birth televised to public (KOA-TV Denver, Colo)
1954 – US Senate censures Joe McCarthy (Sen-R-Wisc) for “conduct that tends to bring Senate into dishonor & disrepute”
1961 – Fidel Castro declares he’s a Marxist, and will lead Cuba to Communism
1968 – Richard Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor
1969 – Boeing 747 jumbo jet first public preview (Seattle to NYC)
1970 – Environmental Protection Agency begins (Dir: William Ruckelshaus)
1974 – Soyuz 16 launched into Earth orbit for 6 days
1980 – 4 American Maryknoll nuns killed by death squads in El Salvador
1982 – First permanent artificial heart successfully implanted (U of Utah) in retired dentist Barney Clark; lived 112 days with Jarvic-7 heart
1986 – Dow-Jones index hits record 1,955.57
1990 – First time 12 people in space
1993 – Dow-Jones hits record 3702.11
2001 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2012 – Pier Luigi Bersani is elected Italian Prime Minister
The Train to the Plane
A Convenient Connection to the Airport Visible from Lower Manhattan Rooftops May Be Less Than Ten Years Away
Seen from Newark Airport, the spires of Lower Manhattan appear almost close enough to touch. But antiquated transportation infrastructure makes the trip to Lower Manhattan, in some cases, longer than the flights from which travelers arriving at the airport have just disembarked.
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.
Your Next Neighbors Might Be Vastly Less Interesting, But Better Able to Pay High Rents
Even as public art proliferates in Lower Manhattan (seen here in the form of a new mural at the World Trade Center), artists themselves are being driven from the area by skyrocketing housing costs, a new report finds.
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.
Mr. Stringer’s analysis, “The Creative Economy: Art, Culture and Creativity in New York City,” establishes that between 2008 and 2017, the combined footprint of Community Boards 1 and 2 (meaning Manhattan south of 14th Street, west of the Bowery and Pearl Street, and south of the Brooklyn Bridge) has lost 3,505 residents who work in the creative sector — defined any industry the primary output of which is creative or cultural (from museums and art galleries, to film and television production, theater and dance companies, fashion, publishing, advertising, and more). To read more…
Nadler Sponsors Legislation to Make Lower Manhattan Heliopolis No More
Congressman Jerry Nadler, flanked by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Brian Kavanagh at a City Hall rally, announces proposed legislation to ban non-essential helicopter flights from New York skies.
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.
On October 26, Congressman Jerry Nadler was joined on the steps of City Hall by fellow federal legislators Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney, as well as Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Brian Kavanagh, along with a coalition of activists and community leaders, to announce a new proposed law — the Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019. To read more…
Preservation, Renovation, Elevation,
and a Donation
Seaport Structure Reborn as Flood-Proof Food Emporia as Owner Celebrates with Support for Local Charity
The Tin Building as it will appear in 2021, when renovations are complete and a new food hall and market, helmed by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is slated to open.
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.
FiDi Renters Seek Recompense for Years of Rent Overcharges
A map, compiled by New York University’s Furman Center (which advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy) illustrating the dozens of Lower Manhattan buildings — erstwhile office towers, converted to residential use — that have benefited from the 421-g program.
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…
Click to 30 seconds of morning sounds on the esplanade
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Shoot
Chin Pushes Legislation to Rein in Production Permits
A late-night film shoot on
Tribeca’s Staple Street
City Council member Margaret Chin is co-sponsoring a package of bills 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.
Lawsuit Over Similarity Between One World Trade and Architecture Student’s Design Moves Ahead
Jeehoon Park’s 1999 design for a skyscraper with eight sides that taper between a square base and a square roof.
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.
Amid a Booming Economy, Lower Manhattan Retail Space Languishes
Vacant storefronts dot the landscape of Downtown
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…
BPCA’s Public Art Collection Represents Multiple Layers of Value
The Pylons, a pair of granite and stainless steel obelisks by sculptor Martin Puryear
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.
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…
Breaking It Down
Composting Catches on in Battery Park City
Jake Jacevicius and Joshua DeVoto of BPCA parks operations dump out a binful of fruit and vegetable scraps where the neighborhood’s composting process takes place.
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?
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.