Lower Manhattan Goes Quiet in Response to Corona Virus Pandemic
Tourists on Broadway and Wall Street
The local impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to widen over the weekend. Multiple new confirmed cases of infection were reported, including at the office of the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York (One Saint Andrews Plaza, next to Police Headquarters), the Hebrew School of the Jewish Community Project (146 Duane Street, between Church and West Broadway), and New York Law School (185 West Broadway, at the corner of Leonard Street).
These are in addition to confirmed cases reported earlier last week at Brookfield Asset Management (250 Vesey Street, within Brookfield Place), Meridian Capital Group (One Battery Park Plaza, at the corner of State and Pearl Streets), and an employee 100 Church Street (at the corner of Barclay Street), a building that houses multiple City and State agencies.
In a related development that may affect Lower Manhattan indirectly, an employee at the corporate gym of the Goldman Sachs office in Jersey City has also tested positive. Whether this will result in further exposure for Lower Manhattan (because Goldman Sachs is headquartered in Battery Park City, and large numbers of the firm’s employees take ferries between the two buildings each day) remains unclear.
In response, local cultural institutions, educational facilities, and gathering places have suspended operations. Multiple colleges and universities in Lower Manhattan (including Pace University, New York University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Nyack College, Kings College, Metropolitan College of New York, and New York Law School) have all announced the cancellation of classroom instruction, and a shift to remote learning.
Local cultural institutions that have temporarily closed their doors include the South Street Seaport Museum, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the Museum of the American Indian, the Skyscraper Museum, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Houses of worship that have closed until further notice include Trinity Church (along with its preschool) and St. Paul’s Chapel, St. Peter’s Church, and Our Lady of Victory Church.
Dozens of local restaurants have temporarily suspended operations, while those that remain open are subject to an order requiring that they admit only half the number of patrons the space would ordinarily accommodate.
All remaining meetings of Community Board 1 (CB1) have been cancelled for the month of March, with two possible exceptions: the Waterfront, Parks, and Cultural Committee session scheduled for Tuesday (March 17) and the full, monthly meeting CB1 (slated for Tuesday, March 24) are now considered tentative.
Government health officials are asking that non-urgent cases avoid showing up at hospital emergency rooms, which are already overburdened, and may present a risk of infection to people who have not already been in contact with Covid-19. Instead, they ask that patients who have concerns consult with their personal physicians. Those in need of non-emergency medical help can also call (or walk into) one of Lower Manhattan’s five non-emergency clinics. They are:
• NYU Langone Medhattan (106 Liberty Street). No appointment necessary. 646-461-2544.
• CityMD Financial District (24 Broad Street). No appointment necessary. 646-647-1259.
• CityMD Fulton (138 Fulton Street) No appointment necessary. 212-271-4896.
• NYU Langone at Trinity (111 Broadway). Appointment needed. 212-263-9700.
• One Medical (30 Broad Street, 45th floor). Appointment needed. 212-530-0630.
That noted, anyone experiencing dangerous symptoms (such as trouble breathing or dangerous spikes in body temperature) is encouraged to go to a hospital emergency room.
Downtown Community Notices
Battery Park City Authority
In an effort to limit crowding in public spaces, the Battery Park City Authority is implementing the following measures with regard to COVID-19 beginning today Monday, March 16, 2020:
BPCA programming is canceled until further notice
The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School is closed until further notice
All Battery Park City parks and BPCA offices remain otherwise open for business.
(Parks lawns, currently closed for winter, are scheduled to re-open next month.)
The health and well-being of our community is of utmost importance to us and we apologize for any inconvenience. For the latest Coronavirus information, click here or call 888-364-3065.
Church Street School of Music
Dear Church Street School Community,
I am writing today about Church Street School’s plans for the coming weeks, in light of the exponential spread and associated health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus. I have been monitoring the information coming from government and health officials and consulted with other community schools for the arts and local service providers. Out of an abundance of caution, and in adherence with the requests for social distancing from authorities, the decision has been made to close Church Street School’s in-person programs at both onsite and offsite locations through the end of March, when we will reassess the situation.
All of the staff and faculty at Church Street School are currently involved in preparing to shift all of our lessons, classes and programs to an online format. We are excited about the new possibilities for art and music making that this presents!
We are planning to initiate our online program offerings beginning Monday March 23rd, and you will hear more about that in the coming days. During the coming week (March 16-22), classes will be cancelled (with the exception of the two programs mentioned above). We are planning to make up missed lessons and classes later in the semester.
The most important thing right now is for all of us to stay calm and stay connected.
The Church Street School community of families is a wonderfully warm and mutually supportive group. Even though we won’t be able to be together physically, our commitment to our community remains forever strong, and we will find amazing ways to stay connected virtually. Our faculty and staff are resourceful and creative, and we are passionate about the power of the arts as a connector of people in the face of challenge. We are in this together.
Lisa Ecklund-Flores, PHD
Executive Director, Founder
Church Street School for Music and Art
As news has developed over the day, our leadership team has determined that the best course of action for the immediate future is the following:
Beginning Monday, March 16th our building will be open from 9:00am – 6:00pm daily. This will allow us to provide critical care for families that need it during this time.
Our Community Center programs will continue to be here for you. Please make the choice that is best for you and your family in determining your visits to the Center.
Please understand that we may ask anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness to return home until they are feeling better.
We want to reiterate that your health, and the health and safety of our employees are of primary concern. We know that families count on what we do, and we want to be open for those services that are most critical.
Founder and Executive Director
New York Public Library
After carefully considering a multitude of factors and the rapidly changing situation in New York City around novel coronavirus (COVID-19),all New York Public Library locations will be closed to the public beginning on Saturday, March 14 through at least Tuesday, March 31.
We know the Library is a critical resource for New Yorkers of all ages, so we are taking steps to support our patrons as much as possible during this temporary closure:
All late fees will be suspended and due dates extended during the closure period.
The Library is working to expand access to e-books and increase awareness of our vast array of online resources.
Patrons can access the Library’s Census resources online.
All branches will be sanitized before they reopen.
Anthony W. Marx
President, The New York Public Library
In support of efforts to diminish the spread of COVID-19, Poets House is postponing all public programs scheduled throughout the rest of March. For the time being most workshops will go forward as planned since they are smaller gatherings and do not entail crowding. Participants who feel anxious about attending may request a refund for the sessions missed.
The library will be closed, as of Saturday, March 14, until further notice.
We send support and warm wishes to you and thank you for the ways you build community by protecting each other. We will remain agile and continue to post information about our openings & closings, and be active online.
The decision was made to be responsive to current conditions and suspend march programs. We are setting up live-streaming options for programs moving forward and we already have online learning options for adult language and literature classes for our spring semester starting on April 6. Kids classes will follow.
South Street Seaport Museum will temporarily close to the public beginning March 13, 2020 for at least two weeks.
Capt. Jonathan Boulware, President of the South Street Seaport Museum said, “We’ve been planning for this possibility. It’s painful to do, but we must take care of our staff and visitors. We have a duty, too, as a civic organization, as a convener of people, to do our part to help stem the spread of this virus. When and at what pace the Seaport Museum will reopen to the public will be determined through thoughtful consideration of this rapidly evolving situation. We continue to follow guidance from our City and State governmental partners as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).”
Suspension of public operations follows:
● All public access at the Museum’s locations including 12 Fulton Street, Bowne & Co. on Water Street and the ships,
Ambrose on Pier 16, including the previously announced Pi Day Celebration
● Volunteer workdays previously scheduled for March 14 and 21
● Onsite K-12 education programs
● miniMates early childhood program (a new start date will be scheduled)
● In-school residency programming
Fraunces Taven Museum
The Museum is proactively following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and protocols outlined by the City of New York, including frequently cleaning all public spaces and surfaces, instructing staff who are ill to stay home, and reducing our visitor capacity.
As of today, public hours at the Museum will remain the same.
Out of an abundance of caution, and to ensure that as many of our members and supporters as possible will ultimately be able to attend, the following March public programs have been postponed:
All Guided Tours, including Women of the Revolutionary War
Thursday, March 19 Evening Lecture: The Founding Fortunes
Friday, March 27 Tavern Trivia Night: Colonial Outpost to Concrete Jungle
We plan to reschedule these programs and look forward to seeing you then. If you have purchased a ticket for an affected event, you will receive further information via email.
National Museum of the American Indian
To our visitors and supporters,
I wanted to reach out to you and let you know directly that as a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the National Museum of the American Indian will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14.
We are diligently focused on ensuring the continued health and safety of all our visitors, employees, and volunteers. We are in close communication with local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a re-opening date at this time.
We will provide updates on a week-to-week basis via our website.
We appreciate your understanding at this time. The museum staff and I look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen.
Kevin Gover (Pawnee)
Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
It is with an abundance of caution that we have decided to postpone the majority of our public programming, including the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art’s gallery hours, until March 31.
Snug Harbor’s main outdoor grounds and gardens will remain open to all. We hope that despite the disruptions to daily life that this situation presents, you will still be able to enjoy the beauty and comfort of springtime at Snug Harbor.
The following events and attractions in March will remain scheduled as planned:
• New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden – Regular operating hours in effect
• Signs of Spring Tour: March 19 and 21, 1:00 PM
• Choose the Right Bin for You (NYC Compost Project): March 14, 11:00 AM
• Turn & Learn Compost Work Day (NYC Compost Project): March 14, 1:00 PM
• Turn & Learn Compost Work Day (NYC Compost Project): March 24, 1:00 PM
As this situation is constantly evolving, please continue to check snug-harbor.org/covid19 for news and updates of postponements and cancellations at Snug Harbor.
Eyes to the Sky
March 16 – 29, 2020
Scroll down this link FOR VIDEO > SET-UP TO RUN
Find Orion and tell “Globe at Night”
Tonight’s waning last quarter (half) moon rises at 2:19am, well positioned for moonlight not to interfere with evening stargazing. From today, March 16, through next Tuesday, March 24, when the moon is dark, known as new moon, there will be only morning crescents during the early hours before sunrise. This period is optimum for stargazing and for contributing in a small but significant way to astronomical research. Astronomers need eyes in the field all over the world to learn about stargazing conditions beyond their observatories – including hearing from cities. This is an easy and enlightening assignment. It can be fun to share with family and friends, too.
During the ten days from March 16 – 24, we are asked to look at the constellation Orion and compare what we see to the Globe at Night schematics accessed on your computer or smartphone. https://www.globeatnight.org/webapp/ Globe at Night is the international organization that has created a way for individuals to report the stars we see in just one constellation in the cycle you choose. March seems to be the optimal month for the program at our location. Stargaze for a few minutes during the timeframe between an hour after sunset until about 11pm, when Orion is visible in our skies. When accessing the report page on the app, it may show Gemini as your choice. In the bottom right corner of the schema you may switch to Orion, which is preferable for the researchers this cycle. Also note, should you need this information, that our latitude is roughly 40 N, longitude 70 W.
Data entry form on computer or smartphone.
Mostly in the words of GAN, “The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but affects energy consumption, wildlife and human health.”
This short video (4 minutes) from the International Dark Sky Association is well worth viewing
Wall Street’s Bear Market Extends to Condominium Prices
The pandemic Covid-19 virus and stock market meltdown are accelerating a trend that was already gripping Lower Manhattan: declining property values. The prices for condominium apartments Downtown peaked in late 2017, and have never since recovered their previous highs.
Local kids help break ground for the Battery Playscape
Joined by elected officials, Lower Manhattan leaders, and a couple of excited Downtown kids, the Battery Conservancy broke ground on March 12 for the Battery Playscape, an unusual playground for children of all ages and abilities. To open in Spring of 2021, the Battery Playscape will feature resilient design that evokes five geographical zones created when water shapes land: bluff, marsh, dune, meadow, and riverbed. Each of the zones will offer unique play elements, such as large granite slides; multilevel, interconnected playhouses, including an ADA-accessible treehouse; and an improv/puppet theater.
The Battery Playscape is designed by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, and is located across from the SeaGlass Carousel. On March 12, three-year-old James Callegari and his one-year-old friend Cecilia Petrilli, helped shovel dirt at the construction site. “James didn’t want to stop shoveling!” noted his mom Angela Callegari before she whisked him off for a thrilling ride on an iridescent fish in the SeaGlass Carousel.
Photos courtesy Angela Callegari
CB1 Mulls Tolling Plan, While Albany Feuds with Washington
Dr. Betty Kay: “The bottom line is tolls must generate $1 billion per year. The idea is to encourage people not to bring their cars in.”
A recent meeting of the Transportation Committee of Community Board 1 became the forum for a heated discussion about the merits of the congestion pricing plan that is slated to bring tolls to vehicles entering Lower Manhattan (including those of residents) as soon as next January.
Committee chair Dr. Betty Kay began by outlining the rationale for the plan, saying, “there are some benefits to doing this. The State’s Climate Leadership law requires that we reduce carbon output to 40 recent of 1990 levels by 2030. And the Department of Transportation says that the transportation sector is responsible 35 percent of the State’s carbon. It’s transportation that has been lagging, while buildings and waste have already made cuts. So we need a lot of cuts to transportation carbon.” Other projected benefits of congestion pricing, she noted, “would include reductions in air pollution and noise pollution.”
I usually never, and I mean NEVER read the paper which is common for a teenager like myself, but today was different. I was working as a security guard in Tribeca today, and a guy came in to deliver your papers to the residents and to my surprise he handed me a paper for myself to read.
I opened the paper and a section immediately caught my attention and this section was called “Affordability Elsewhere” by Matthew Fenton. To start off, I do not live in Manhattan, I live in the Bronx and while living in the Bronx for so long you become very aware that it is way easier to find an affordable apartment there than in Manhattan, but nobody would look at statistics or the facts to back up this statement.
With that being said, I want to thank Matthew for his section in your paper and I hope he and the Broadsheet overall continue to make more sections like this and continue to shine light on the problems in finding affordable housing especially in Manhattan; Although I am unsure if the Broadsheet cares about who reads and doesn’t read their papers, I want them to know they have gained a new reader, a young one at that!
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 Battery Park City on their way to and from the midtown passenger ship terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from docks in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate Clock 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.
Today In History March 16
44 BC – Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.
856 – Michael III, emperor of the Byzantine Empire, overthrows the regency of his mother, empress Theodora (wife of Theophilos) with support of the Byzantine nobility.
1493 – Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.
1783 – In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. The plea is successful and the threatened coup d’йtat never takes place.
1819 – French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel wins a contest at the Acadйmie des Sciences in Paris by proving that light behaves like a wave. The Fresnel integrals, still used to calculate wave patterns, silence skeptics who had backed the particle theory of Isaac Newton.
1874 – France and Vietnam sign the Second Treaty of Saigon, further recognizing the full sovereignty of France over Cochinchina.
1906 – Rolls-Royce Limited is incorporated.
1916 – President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.–Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.
1922 – After Egypt gains nominal independence from the United Kingdom, Fuad I becomes King of Egypt.
1927 – The first Women’s Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place on The Isis in Oxford.
1931 – SS Viking explodes off Newfoundland, killing 27 of the 147 on board.
1985 – The first Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).
1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union.
1611 – Jan Fyt, Flemish painter (d. 1661)
1767 – Andrew Jackson, American general, judge, and politician, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
1835 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer and conductor (d. 1916)
1854 – Emil von Behring, physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1917)
1878 – Reza Shah, Iranian king (d. 1944)
1887 – Marjorie Merriweather Post, American businesswoman and philanthropist, founded General Foods (d. 1973)
1932 – Alan Bean, American captain, pilot, and astronaut
1943 – Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer
493 – Odoacer, first king of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire (b. 433)
1959 – Lester Young, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b. 1909)