Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Enoteca on the Hudson
City Winery Prepares to Open at Pier 57
As Lower Manhattan has morphed into a residential community and dining destination, another ongoing evolution has attracted less notice: Downtown is becoming a performing arts district. The highest-profile illustration of this shift is the Perelman, which (thanks to the largesse of its eponymous benefactor) has become the shorthand name for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center that is slowly rising out of the ground near the intersection of Vesey and Greenwich Streets. But the opening of this facility is still several years away.
In the meantime, music lovers can look forward to the April debut of City Winery, at Pier 57 (within the Hudson River Park), near West 15th Street. Occupying 32,000 square feet within a 1950s steamship dock that is also being remodeled to serve as office space for Google, the new restaurant, wine bar, and music hall will replace the legendary venue of the same name that vacated its decade-old home on Varick Street last summer, forced out by Disney’s purchase of the entire block, with plans to build a massive new headquarters there.
The new City Winery will seat 100 in its restaurant space, with room for 350 in its concert venue. All rooms will have views of the nearby Little Island Park (which consists of undulating, tulip-shaped platforms) now being constructed at Pier 55. Another amenity likely to draw passersby into City Winery is the two-acre park now being laid out on the roof of Pier 57.
Founder Michael Dorf (who made his reputation as the creator of the Knitting Factory music venue) opened City Winery in 2008, and quickly built it into a musical and viticultural powerhouse, with branches in Nashville, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The venues are noted for an eclectic roster of musical acts, and for a diverse selection of wines — made possible by a custom-developed tap system that dispenses fine reds and whites from a dozen-plus aluminum tanks and more than 300 wooden barrels. A large part of the wine list comes from blends made on the premises, for City Winery is one of the small handful of functioning wine-making facilities in the five boroughs of New York. Mr. Dorf’s passion for wine may also be familiar to Lower Manhattan residents who have visited his other restaurant, City Vineyard, located on Pier 26 (near North Moore Street), also in the Hudson River Park.
Like the Knitting Factory before it, City Winery became famous as an “intimate” venue, where headline acts performed for audiences numbering in the hundreds, rather than the thousands. Among the artist that City Winery will welcome to Pier 57 after its April opening are Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sinead O’Connor, and the Mountain Goats.
Mr. Dorf, who is the father of three children, has lived in Tribeca since 1994. In addition to running a successful restaurant empire, he has built a reputation as a philanthropist in recent years. He created the Tribute series at Carnegie Hall, which has partnered with artists like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Sedaka, Elton John, REM, The Who, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon to raise more than $1 million for charitable causes. Mr. Dorf is also the founder of Tribeca Hebrew (an after-school Hebrew program in Lower Manhattan) and Downtown Arts Development (which oversees the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival).
Trinity Church will host a Mardis Gras celebration for kids and parents at St. Paul’s Chapel (209 Broadway, at the corner of Vesey Street) on Tuesday, February 25, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Families are welcome to share in a festive supper with a multicultural Mardi Gras theme, enjoy lives music, and partake in children’s activities. Admission is free.
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Sunday, March 1
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 5:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm
Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Inbound 6:15 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 passenger and propulsion problems, tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
Aversion to Immersion
CB1 Skeptical about New Performance Venue in FiDi
In a preliminary vote, the Licensing & Permits Committee of Community Board 1 has enacted a resolution calling upon the State Liquor Authority to reject an application by Ermusive, a production company that wants to open a new performance venue in the basement of 20 Exchange Place, in the Financial District.
Multiple New Bikes Lanes Coming to Lower Manhattan
A network of new bike lanes is planned for Lower Manhattan’s streetscape, with implementation for some of the project slated for later this year.
The first addition to Downtown’s bike grid will consist of dedicated cycling lanes on Broadway and Whitehall Street, extending from City Hall southward to Bowling Green and the Staten Island Ferry, where this route will link with the existing Waterfront Path, which connects the Battery to bike easements on the East River shoreline and in Battery Park City.
Tuesday February 25
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. 6 River Terrace.
National Museum of the American Indian
Battery Park Book Club
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
New York Public Library
CB 1 Monthly Meeting
PS 234 292 Greenwich Street, Auditorium
Happy Birthday Charlie Parker, Peggy Lee, Carmen MacRae, Dave Brubeck, and More
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
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Render Unto de Blasio?
Municipal Think Tank Urges City to Weigh BPCA Takeover
The City’s Independent Budget Office, a publicly funded agency that provides nonpartisan information on critical issues confronting the City, is proposing that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio consider a municipal takeover of Battery Park City.
This recommendation hinges upon the unique, hybrid nature of the community, which was built on acreage newly created from landfill in the 1970s. To read more…
‘Blinded by Greed’
Tenants at Another Financial District Building Seek Class-Action Status in Suit Against Landlords
The wave of Financial District tenants going to court to demand restitution from years of illegally high rent gathered further momentum last week, when tenants at 90 West Street filed court papers arguing that they are entitled to rent stabilized leases for as long as they live in the building, because the landlord did not provide this benefit (as legally required) in the past. In a story first reported by the Real Deal, the same suit also asks the court to appoint an independent monitor with the power to audit and amended leases (without the landlord’s consent) to conform the legally allowed rents.
Today in History
1336 – Four thousand defenders of Pilėnai commit mass suicide rather than be taken captive by the Teutonic Knights.
1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.
1856 – A Peace conference opens in Paris after the Crimean War.
1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull – human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.
1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.
1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.
1919 – Oregon places a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.
1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.
1941 – February strike: In the occupied Amsterdam, a general strike is declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.
1664 – Thomas Newcomen, English pastor and engineer (d. 1729)
1713 – Frederick I of Prussia (b. 1657)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
A Plan to Warm Up the Frozen Zone
Alliance Readies First Steps in Master Plan to Balance Beauty with Security Around Stock Exchange
The Downtown Alliance is preparing to implement the first phase of a master plan unveiled in May, 2018, which aims to transform the “frozen zone” — a 3,000-feet security perimeter surrounding the New York Stock Exchange, which has enclosed (and limited access to) 19 acres of the Financial District since shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. To read more…
Higher, Wider, Handsomer
City Council Announces Design Competition to Improve Pedestrian Access to Brooklyn Bridge
The City Council has partnered with the Van Alen Institute (a New York nonprofit architectural organization, dedicated to improving design in the public realm) in sponsoring a contest to incubate fresh ideas for better pedestrian access to the Brooklyn Bridge. To read more…
City Plans to Raise Esplanade in the Battery to 11 Feet Above Waterline
Among the myriad of resiliency projects that are now in the planning stages for various parts of Lower Manhattan, the City is planning to raise the level of the waterfront Esplanade in the Battery to an elevation 11 feet above the current waterline. To read more…
Longtime Residents, Neither Rich Nor Poor, Face an Uncertain Future Downtown
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has released an updated version of its Where We Live NYC affordable housing plan, which contains some striking insights about Lower Manhattan.
The report finds that between 25 and 30 percent of all local rental units are rent stabilized, while market-rate apartments comprise between 35 and 42 percent of all units. To read more…
Ars Gratia Communitas
Battery Park City’s Annual Art Exhibit
Battery Park City’s annual art exhibition opened on Sunday, January 26.
The art will be on view at
75 Battery Place, weekdays,
January 27 to March 27,
2PM to 4PM (no viewing on 2/17).
People visiting should check in with our security desk on the ground floor, where they will be directed to the elevators to the 4th floor. The receptionist will direct them to the show.
The Greek Calends
After Two-Year Hiatus, Work to Resume at St. Nicholas Church
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…
They Didn’t Get the Memo…
Much-Touted Crackdown on Placard Parking Not All It Was Cracked Up to Be
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.
Recalling Five Points
Epicenter of a Notorious Slum Proposed for Commemoration
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…
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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