Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Another Food Hall Coming to Lower Manhattan, Amid Signs That Community’s Appetite Is Diminishing
A new food hall is coming to a historic (and long neglected) Lower Manhattan building: the former First National City Bank branch at 415 Broadway (on the corner with Canal Street), which dates from 1927.
The building’s owner is the development firm United American Land, a company that has established a niche in Lower Manhattan real estate by acquiring and repositioning historic structures, often transforming former office buildings and warehouses into apartments or retail destinations). The landlord has partnered with impresario Michael Spalding, founder of the Mercato Fabbrica Group, which he describes as, “a culinary and lifestyle platform that is building the next generation of brands for food discovery, retail inspiration and digital shopping.” He envisions 415 Broadway, which will open later this year under the Mercato Fabbrica name, as, “an Italian-inspired culinary factory, artisanal grocer, street kitchenne, seasonal farm stand, dry goods boutique and slow coffee bar.”
Plans include three floors of groceries and restaurants, plus two basement levels of kitchens and indoor food-growing spaces, topped off by a rooftop bar and open-air cinema. This appears to mean that 415 Broadway will become another food hall, extending the retail trend that began in New York with the 1997 advent of Chelsea Market, and took Lower Manhattan by storm starting in 2012, when the vogue for dining at communal tables, while also shopping for produce and takeout, was sparked by the acclaimed All Good Things market and restaurant in Tribeca. Although that establishment garnered universal praise, this was not enough to sustain it in a sluggish economy, and it closed two years later. A few months after All Good Things shuttered, however, Hudson Eats opened at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, along with Le District, a French-inspired marketplace and collection of restaurants. In August, 2016, the wave gathered further momentum with the debut of Eataly in the World Trade Center complex. Since then, similar emporia, such as City Acres, Canal Street Market, the Essex Street Market, and the Bowery Market have planted their flags Downtown.
Although the food hall concept originated in Europe, it has gained increasing traction with American consumers, who prize the perceived authenticity of eating and shopping in a stage-set atmosphere, along with the variety and quality offered by a marketplace that showcases independent and artisanal producers, while catering to locavores and customers seeking organic offerings.
If has also proved expedient for real estate developers, providing a ready use for large volumes of commercial space that, in an earlier era, would have been occupied by supermarkets, department stores, or big-box retailers — all of which are under siege from online shopping.
But the mania for food halls is showing signs of having crested. Market Lane, a food hall in the Oculus shopping center of the World Trade Center complex opened in 2017, but struggled to gain traction for two years, before finally closing a few weeks ago.
Other food halls have been derailed before even opening. The much-anticipated Bourdain Market, planned for Pier 57 (on the Hudson River waterfront, near West 15th Street) was in development for five years, before celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain cancelled the project in late 2017, six months before his suicide. And plans for Sevahaus, another food hall (to be located at 205 Hudson Street, in Tribeca) were dropped in 2017, before it could debut.
The trend may yet have some life in it, however. Large food halls are currently in development at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport (where noted chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten plans a seafood-centric version of the concept for the historic Tin Building) and 28 Liberty Street in the Financial District (where the landlord promises a 35,000-square-foot food and entertainment destination).
Battery Park City Authority
Directed by Church Street School for Music and Art, the BPC Chorus is open to all adults who love to sing. Learn a mix of contemporary and classic songs, and perform at community events throughout the year. 6 River Terrace. Free
Skyscraper Museum Curator’s Tour
Skyscraper Museum Curator Carol Willis will lead a tour of the museum’s new exhibition Housing Density: Tenements to Towers. 39 Battery Place. Free
Battery Park City Committee
200 Rector Place – Community Room
Eat Drink Man Woman
Film screening. 40 Rector Street. $5
Long Table: Latina/x in Dance and Performance
What are the burning issues facing Latinx dancers and performers today? How do we bridge disciplines and geography to build stronger community? Join guest host Alicia Diaz for conversation, music and comida as we find culturally relevant ways to deepen our discourse. 280 Broadway. Free
13 Drivers’ Licenses
Museum of Jewish Heritage
In 2017, 13 drivers’ licenses that had been confiscated from Jews during Kristallnacht were discovered in a government office of a small German town. Following their discovery, the licenses were donated to a local high school as a research opportunity. In this compelling lecture and accompanying pop-up exhibition, Lisa Salko will recount how the high schoolers got in touch with her, and how she traveled to Germany to unveil a lost chapter of her family history. Lisa will be joined by David Gill, Consul General of Germany in New York, with remarks on behalf of the Consulate. 36 Battery Place. $8, $10
The Enigma of Life: Confronting Marvels at the Edges of Science
New York Academy of Sciences
Einstein famously claimed that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” This statement suggests that no amount of scientific explanation will suffice to make sense of the bizarre situation of the human mind within the universe. So what is the actual role of awe and wonder within the framework of contemporary science? How, for instance, do awe and wonder inform scientists’ understanding of the phenomena they are researching? What aspects of contemporary science are more likely to elicit wonder, and why? Is science rechanneling our innate thirst for knowledge and understanding toward more concrete and palpable realities, or is it aggravating the tension between truth and meaning by revealing the scope of our ignorance when it comes to probing the ultimate nature of reality? Physicist Marcelo Gleiser, experimental psychologist Tania Lombrozo, and physician Gavin Francis analyze the impact of awe and wonder on their own work and on the mindsets of their colleagues carrying out cutting-edge scientific research. 7 World Trade Center.$5, $7, $15
City Environmental Review of New Ferry Service to Battery Park City Springs a Few Leaks
The City’s Economic Development Corporation has released an updated version of the “draft supplemental environmental impact statement” for its plan to bring new ferry service from Staten Island to Battery Park City.
This document is meant to gauge the effect of the plan on metrics like noise, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions that will result from implementing the NYC Ferry expansion planned by the administration of Mayer Bill de Blasio, which is slated to bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, landing from 6:00 am to midnight, and carrying as many as 2,500 passengers per day.
One salient finding of the report may call into question the viability of the entire plan. To read more…
To the editor,
The deconstruction of the temporary Rector Street Bridge-upsetting to some in the community-actually has many supporters, and certainly came as no surprise. Members of the community have been discussing the removal of the bridge for years at Community Board 1 meetings, which are open to all.
The removal of the bridge will allow cherished neighborhood amenities to expand, such as Liberty Community Gardens, the well-used basketball courts and the recreational lawn. We write from the community gardens, which will gain 30% more area and allow many families, some of whom have been waiting years, to finally get a garden plot.
The Rector Street Bridge was erected in haste after 9/11 to provide access to Battery Park City at a time when West Street being reconstructed, the pedestrian bridge at Liberty Street was closed, and access to the neighborhood was very limited. The bridge was designed to be temporary. Siting a new permanent bridge took years. When ground was broken for the West Thames Bridge in 2015, CB1 sought assurances that the Rector Street Bridge would remain only until the new bridge was completed.
All this while, the Steering Committee of Liberty Community Gardens and other neighborhood groups were working with BPCA, EDC and DOT to plan and design the public space regained when the Rector Street Bridge finally came down.
We look forward to the rapid removal of the Rector Street Bridge and the expansion of community amenities in its place, and we respect and appreciate all of the thought and effort that went into this project by agencies and community members.
Susan Brady, Lucy Kuhn, Michael McCormack, Leslie Nowinski, Alison Simko
Steering Committee Liberty Community Gardens
Beginning this Friday, February 7th at 6pm, Church Street School for Music and Art located in partnership with Keyed Up! and International Contemporary Ensemble will begin a weekly concert series featuring renowned jazz musicians in the performance space at Church Street School.
February 7th – Tadataka Unno, piano; Phillip Harper, trumpet; and more!
Starting February 7th through mid June.
41 White Street 212-571-7290 churchstreetschool.org
Eyes to the Sky
February 4 – 16, 2020
Planet Venus dazzles, New York stargazers defy light pollution
While we were looking the other way, the dazzle of starry skies that we thought would always be there has been dimmed by a hazy scrim: when encountered, we feel as if a disease has overtaken our eyes. But the haze is accumulated wasted light from each of our trillions of outdoor lights – private and public – that are poorly designed and, in many instances, too bright for the purpose. The result is that the light scatters around and up to the sky, known as “light trespass” and “light pollution.” Excessive light is also wasted light and it is not only a wasted resource. While quick to light up our world, we have not only been oblivious to polluting our skies, but are discovering that light pollution is having deleterious affects on human health and the health of our environment. Look here.
‘A Complete Free-for-All’
CB1 Raises Concerns about Wave of New Event and Entertainment Venues Planned for Downtown
Members of Community Board 1 are expressing reservations about multiple new party and performance spaces slated to open in Lower Manhattan this year.
At the January 28 monthly meeting of the Board, Mariama James, who co-chairs CB1’s Quality of Life & Service Delivery Committee, described a production planned for a new theater space now being created within 20 Exchange Place, near the corner of William Street.
“It’s by a group called Emursive,” noted Ms. James, “and the show is called ‘Sleep No More,'” which draw ironic laughs from members who CB1, because the title neatly evokes their concerns for the surrounding neighborhood.
Panegyric to Paul
Veteran Community Leader Honored for Decades of Service
State Assembly member Deborah Glick has issued a proclamation recognizing Paul Hovitz, who stepped down as vice chair of Community Board 1 last June, for 27 years of effort and achievement on behalf of the Lower Manhattan community. In a pronouncement issued recently, Ms. Glick said, “Paul gained a reputation for being a powerful advocate for special education services, the allocation of funding for new school seats in Lower Manhattan, and the distribution of balanced educational programming.” To read more…
Plan for Lower Manhattan’s Highest Residential Tower Put on Hold
In what may be a harbinger of the decades-long Lower Manhattan real estate boom coming to an end, the planned “super-tall” residential tower at 45 Broad Street, in the Financial District, has been put on hold.
In a story first reported by the online architecture and design journal, Dezeen, developer Madison Equities acknowledged that, “due to short-term conditions in the Lower Manhattan market, we have decided to delay on constructing the building in the near future.”
This comes after years of delays in clearing the lot, which was acquired by Madison Equitietal worth (with more than 250 apartments, and some 13,000 square feet of retail space at its base) to be somewhere between $850 million and $1 billion, but realizing such a valuation may prove to be an elusive goal. And with fixed costs and debt topping out at more than $800 million, the margin for error on such a project is slim.
A Pooling of Interests
Would Floating Filtration System That Doubles as a Swim Facility Be a Net Plus?
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. To read more…
You Won’t Have John Catsimatidis to Kick Around Anymore
Gristedes Shuts Southern Battery Park City Location Amid General Retrenchment in Supermarkets
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…
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.
Today in History
Wednesday February 5
AD 62 – Earthquake in Pompeii, Italy.
1597 – A group of early Japanese Christians are killed by the new government of Japan for being seen as a threat to Japanese society.
1852 – The New Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, opens to the public.
1869 – The largest alluvial gold nugget in history, called the “Welcome Stranger”, is found in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia.
1885 – King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal possession.
1917 – The Congress of the United States passes the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto.
1918 – SS Tuscania is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland; it is the first ship carrying American troops to Europe to be torpedoed and sunk.
1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith launch United Artists.
1924 – The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal.
1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.
1971 – Astronauts land on the moon in the Apollo 14 mission.
2008 – A major tornado outbreak across the Southern United States kills 57.
976 – Sanjō, emperor of Japan (d. 1017)
1810 – Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist and composer (d. 1880)
1837 – Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist and publisher, founded Moody Church, Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers (d. 1899)
1840 – John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish businessman, co-founded Dunlop Rubber (d. 1921)
1840 – Hiram Maxim, American engineer, invented the Maxim gun (d. 1916)
1878 – André Citroën, French engineer and businessman, founded Citroën (d. 1935)
1900 – Adlai Stevenson II, American soldier, politician, and diplomat, 5th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (d. 1965)
1934 – Hank Aaron, American baseball player
1944 – Al Kooper, American singer-songwriter and producer
1790 – William Cullen, Scottish physician and chemist (b. 1710)
1957 – Sami Ibrahim Haddad, Lebanese surgeon and author (b. 1890)
2008 – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founded Transcendental Meditation (b. 1918)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Asking for the Millennium
City Announces Agreement to Expand FiDi’s Millennium High School
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.
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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
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 Keirstead firstname.lastname@example.org
347-933-1362 References available
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
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ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE
with 17 years experience seeks PT/FT work. Refs available Call or text 718 496 6232 Dian
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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…
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).
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…
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
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
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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