Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Looking Backward and Moving Forward, A Dozen and a Half Years Later
Eighteen years later, the scars on the local landscape have mostly vanished, but the internal wounds persist for those who survived the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. For this constituency, Lower Manhattan resident Helaina Hovitz Regal (author “After 9/11: One Girl’s Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning”) and her father, veteran community leader Paul Hovitz, are teaming up with the Howard Hughes Corporation to host “Hope & Healing We Were There on 9/11 and We’re Still Here,” this Sunday (September 8), starting at 5:00 pm, at Eight Fulton Street.
Ms. Hovtiz Regal, whose 2016 book recalls September 11 through the eyes of her 12-year-old self (attending middle school three blocks away from the site of the disaster), and goes on to chronicle the community’s rebirth, as well as her own struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and recovery, says, “for me, this evening is meant to show how recovery is possible over time, and to offer hope in a world where tragic things continue to happen. Storytelling and sharing our experiences is a crucial part of moving forward and thriving in the face of change, both good and bad. The post-September 11 revitalization of Lower Manhattan has been ongoing, and it’s been moving forward even more rapidly in recent years. This neighborhood is a destination, now, whereas it was once so ‘under the radar’ that the police forgot to evacuate our apartment complex on September 11. We’ll reflect on how far we’ve come as a community, and as individual survivors who make up that community — families who chose to stay, to help one another, and to rebuild after living through some of the worst pain and most awful physical conditions imaginable.”
Mr. Hovitz reflects that, “this event is part of the healing that we experienced and continue to feel moving forward. We literally rose from the ashes. It is important that we share both the tragedy and the herculean efforts of our families, neighbors and friends. It took a days, weeks, months and years to recover. However, it began the very next day, when we went to work with the Fire Department, the Police Department, our elected officials, our local hospital, and most poignantly our neighbors, to lift ourselves out of the debris, the dust and the air filled with smoke, and rise like a phoenix. I am most proud of my daughter who had to run for her life from I.S. 289 to avoid being engulfed in the dust cloud as the south tower fell. She was damaged, but pulled herself up and is a symbol of our recovery. Her book tells the story of so many of our children, who lived through the tragedy, witnessed unspeakable horrors, but came back to be vital members of our community.”
Sunday’s event will include a panel discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session, and reception. The discussion will be moderated by CNBC’s Contessa Brewer, and panelists will include Manhattan Youth’s Bob Townley, the Broadsheet’s Robert Simko, and Downtown Hospital responder and Southbridge resident Steve Vince.
Admission is free, but guests are asked to register in advance. R.S.V.P. by browsing: bit.ly/2NxMPXx.
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Garden Gets Going
Ground Broken on New FiDi Park, After a Decade of Planning
A planned new public space that Lower Manhattan community leaders have been advocating for since 2009 took a significant step closer to being realized on August 23, when ground was broken for Elizabeth Berger Plaza Park.
At the ceremony, New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said, “the new park will feature a contoured lawn, raised berms, paved pathways, plantings, new seating, and open space for gatherings and programming. This project will reroute traffic and remove excess roadbed. To read more…
The Fraunces Tavern Museum and Restaurant will observe its 300th Anniversary on Tuesday, October 1, starting at 7:00 pm, with a gala soirée featuring hors d’oeuvres, drinks, a champagne toast, live 18th-century music on genuine colonial instruments, and (of course) a birthday cake.
The event will commemorate 1719 construction of the building at 54 Pearl Street, which was transformed into a tavern by Samuel Fraunces in 1762 — just in time to become a popular gathering place for George Washington and other leaders of the American Revolution.
Fraunces Tavern Museum director Jacqueline Masseo calls the occasion, “a great way to share this historic moment,” and “a birthday party to celebrate the building’s constant presence in the Lower Manhattan community with those who have supported the building and its history, such as school children, locals, tourists, and foodies.”
Tickets are priced at $175. To register, or for more information, please browse: www.frauncestavernmuseum.org.
Across the Harbor
While Greta Thunberg was sailing across the Atlantic to the shores of Lower Manhattan, we ventured across the Upper Bay of New York Harbor to the Island of Staten, to visit what’s becoming an engaging destination.
A few years ago, a minor league baseball stadium was build for the Staten Island Yankees farm team near the St. George Ferry Terminal. In the recent past, a giant wheel (as in ferris) nearly got spinning before the project crashed (though there is talk of its revival to some degree).
Steps south of the ferry terminal, the National Lighthouse Museum is on the site of the United States Lighthouse Service General Depot, once the national headquarters and east coast machine shop for all things related to lighthouses. Boat tours, lectures and excellent exhibitions are the result of some very hard work by the staff of the museum.
Now add to this eclectic mix the opening of Empire Outlets, a mall that’s just steps away from the ferry terminal.
Last week, Empire Outlets executive Travis Noyes welcomed a crowd on the outdoor terrace over looking the Upper Bay with the Manhattan skyline on the horizon, when a rainbow appeared, a double, in fact.
Polling the crowd, he asked how many had traveled to Staten Island before.
A lot of hands went up.
Then, knowingly, he asked, “how long was your visit, maybe three minutes (enough time to exit and reenter the ferry for the ride back)?”
The same amount of hands shot up.
Well, now maybe that’s changing. Shopping for discounts, captivating maritime history, plazas for ship and tug watching, benches and terraces for noshing, and a free ferry are helping to shorten the distance between the island of Manhattan and the Island of Staten.
Federal Court Dismisses Suits Against BPCA By September 11 Cleanup Workers
United States District Court judge Alvin Hellerstein has dismissed more than 100 suits against the Battery Park City Authority, brought by rescue, recovery and cleanup workers who were made sick by exposure to toxins while laboring in the community during the weeks and months that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. To read more…
Networking for a Cause
LMHQ (150 Broadway, near Liberty Street) will partner with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network to host a happy hour event on Monday, September 9, starting at 6:00 pm.
A fee of $10 buys admission for one, plus two drink tickets, as well as a presentation from the Nonprofit Learning Lab.
Refreshments and lights snacks will also be served. For more information, click here.
Annual Fall Yard Sale at Southbridge Towers
The Annual Fall Yard Sale at Southbridge Towers will take place on Thursday-to-Saturday, September 12, 13 and 14 from 10AM-6PM.
Great bargains on interesting bric-a-brak, one-of-a-kind finds and lots of jewelry.
Enter via Fulton St.-next to Key-Food or on Pearl/Beekman Sts.
Note: Rain dates: Sept. 19, 20, 21 (same times-same place).
Contact: Ms. Jill Zilker, G.M. – Southbridge Towers 212-267-6190
To the editor:
Re: Preserving the Rector Street Bridge
I would like to take this opportunity to report progress on saving the Rector Street Bridge to the Battery Park City Community.
Early in July, the majority of residents, workers and tourists crossing the Rector Street Bridge did not know that it was threatened with demolition. Realizing that they might lose their bridge, and few seeing the West Thames Bridge as a replacement, residents of the neighborhood rallied together to collect over 1,500 signatures to support the preservation of the Rector Street Bridge.
On August 9, Council Member Margaret Chin wrote a letter urging community engagement. “I write to join residents of Battery Park City to call on the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Battery Park City Authority and Manhattan Community Board One to reconsider the demolition of the Rector Street Bridge. …
With the West Side Highway remaining one of the most heavily utilized thoroughfares in New York City, this bridge has dramatically reduced the safety risk for pedestrians-especially the seniors and children who cross it every day to go to school or their neighborhood community center. If New York City is to achieve its Vision Zero goals, then the Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge should be preserved and renovated, not demolished. …
While I understand, that the demolition of the Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge was part of the discussion around the construction of the West Thames Bridge, I urge you to delay the demolition and join my office in starting a community engagement process that weighs all options and alternatives.”
And now, the local community is engaged — people are taking action and choosing to make a difference.
If you want to keep crossing the Rector Street Bridge, you can make you voice heard by writing to the Economic Development Corporation (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Battery Park City Authority (email@example.com), Department of Transportation (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Manhattan Community Board One (email@example.com) — Or you can stand up and take the opportunity to speak out for 2 minutes during the public session of the next Community Board Meeting at 6pm at the Southbridge Towers Community Room, 90 Beekman Street on September 24th.
To the editor:
As a former member of Tom Goodkind’s CB1 Affordable Housing Committee, I’m so saddened that he didn’t live long enough to see 90 West and 50 Murray Streets win their cases for Rent Stabilization.
But as I read 125 Greenwich Street is about to enter bankruptcy, perhaps the City can reclaim it, turn the entire horrid needle monster into affordable units and name it for Tom.
One can dream! Tom sure did. R.I. P.
To the editor:
I totally agree with Jean Grillo and in fact, brought up 125 Greenwich to the Community Board in July.
I wished that some agency in NYC could take it over and create realistic housing. My thought was to accommodate minimum wage workers who serve our city, but can’t afford to live anywhere near their jobs. They are our nannies and home health aides; they serve in our retail stores and restaurants. We rely on them, but don’t notice that many spend three hours a day commuting.
And wouldn’t a change like this help integrate our schools at the same time – another goal this city struggles to meet?
As an alternative, WTC building #5 also might be used for this purpose.
We need more affordable housing downtown!
Maryanne P. Braverman
To the editor,
The July 30 article (BroadsheetDAILY July30 “A Shore Thing HRPT Plans Beach and Historic Sculpture for Gansevoort Peninsula”) about the proposed design for the park on the Gansevoort Peninsular included the following statement: “The beach will be more for viewing the water than public bathing, owing to concerns about hygiene and safety”. In fact, the beach will have no direct contact with the water. The Hudson River Park Trust calls it an “upland beach”, which is just a fancy name for a glorified sandpit.
The arguments provided for not having a true beach are dubious, given that is there is a very popular public beach almost directly over the Hudson River in Hoboken. Thus it is unlikely that the harbor water in Hoboken is clean, while the water flowing past the Gansevoort Peninsular is not. Nor is it likely that the residents of Lower Manhattan are less safe when active on beaches than those in Hoboken.
The kayak launch proposed for the south side of the Gansevoort Peninsular is a shallow ramp, which means that persons launching or landing a boat will almost invariably have direct physical contact with the water in the Hudson River. It is unlikely that kayakers are somehow less sensitive to polluted water than the general public.
When the design for the proposed Gansevoort Peninsular Park was presented to CB2 on July 24 it was said that a beach would be hard to build on the south side of the peninsular because, absent a cove, any sand would quickly get swept away by incoming waves. It was not possible to dig into the land to create a cove because the nearby Spectra gas pipeline (coming from New Jersey and crossing the peninsular) needed to be protected by a certain amount of land.
The gas pipeline could easily have been positioned twenty feet to the north when it was installed a decade ago, but this did not happen. It is unfortunately too late to change the location now.
September Storm Passing Over Staten Island
Governor Taking a Shrine to
Battery Park City
Budget, Possible Locations, and Deadline for Designs Announced for Hurricane Maria Memorial
The administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo has narrowed down its initial list of six possible sites for a Hurricane Maria Memorial in Battery Park City to just two: The Esplanade Plaza (at the southwest corner of South Cove Marina) and the Chambers Street Overlook (at the intersection of Chambers Street and River Terrace).
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Greta Arrives, Carbon Free
On August 28, Lower Manhattan turned out to welcome 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to the U.S. after her voyage across the Atlantic fueled by solar cells, hydro-generators and the wind.
She is in town to attend the United Nation’s Climate Action Summit on September 23, and also to participate in events during Climate Week (September 23 – 29). Beloved by people of all ages for her plain-spoken commitment to address climate change, Greta has galvanized young people in particular.
In Battery Park City, many children from around the world gathered to meet her-hoisted onto their parents’ shoulders, chattering in different languages, chanting demands for social and political change.
Greta and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres are calling on world leaders to produce immediate, practical plans to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Welcome, Greta, and thank you.
This year’s outdoor Fall Film Series at 28 Liberty Street (between Nassau and William Streets) will focus on uplifting athletes every Thursday, with a screening of A League of Their Own on September 12. Shows begin at 7:30 pm and admission is free. And so is the popcorn.
More movies under the stars are on tap on Saturdays at Tribeca’s Washington Market Park (enter on Greenwich Street, near Duane Street), where Crazy Rich Asians will be shown on September 7 and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse will be screened on September 14. Shows begin at 7:30 pm and admission is free.
The Seaport Cinema series of rooftop films at Pier 17 continues with The Waterboy on Monday September 16. Show begins at 6:30 pm and admission is free, but an R.S.V.P. is required. To register, please browse: www.seaportdistrict.nyc.
Finally, the Battery Park City Authority will present Moana
on Wednesday, September 18 in Rockefeller Park (enter at River Terrace and Murray Street), starting at 7:00 pm. Admission is free.
Soccer Practice at the Battery Park City Ballfields
Where Figs Ply
A Fig Aficionado’s Fest
Fig Fest, an annual gathering of local fig growers and aficionados, will take place at the National Lighthouse Museum (200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island), steps away from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at St. George on Sunday, September 15, starting at 4:00 pm.
A $5 donation is requested. For more information, please email
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Today in History
1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)
1803 – British scientist John Dalton begins using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.
1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.
1916 – The first self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders.
1946 – Secretary of State James F. Byrnes announces that the U.S. will follow a policy of economic reconstruction in postwar Germany.
1962 – Archaeologist Peter Marsden discovers the first of the Blackfriars Ships dating back to the second century AD in the Blackfriars area of the banks of the River Thames in London.
1972 – Munich massacre: Nine Israeli athletes die (along with a German policeman) at the hands of the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group after being taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day.
1983 – The Soviet Union admits to shooting down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, stating that its operatives did not know that it was a civilian aircraft when it reportedly violated Soviet airspace.
1991 – The Russian parliament approves the name change of Leningrad back to Saint Petersburg. The change is effective October 1, 1991.
1997 – The Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place in London.
2007 – Israel executes the air strike Operation Orchard to destroy a nuclear reactor in Syria.
1666 – Ivan V of Russia, Russian tsar (d. 1696)
1888 – Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., American businessman and diplomat, 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (d. 1969)
1921 – Norman Joseph Woodland, American inventor, co-created the bar code (d. 2012)
1930 – Charles Foley, American game designer, co-created Twister (d. 2013)
1625 – Thomas Dempster, Scottish historian and scholar (b. 1579)
1972 – Perpetrator and victims of the Munich massacre
◦Luttif Afif, Palestinian terrorist (b. 1945)
◦David Mark Berger, American-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)
◦Ze’ev Friedman, Polish-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)
◦Yossef Gutfreund, Israeli wrestling judge (b. 1931)
◦Eliezer Halfin, Russian-Israeli wrestler (b. 1948)
◦Amitzur Shapira, Russian-Israeli runner and coach (b. 1932)
◦Kehat Shorr, Romanian shooting coach (b. 1919)
◦Mark Slavin, Israeli wrestler (b. 1954)
◦Andre Spitzer, Romanian-Israeli fencer and coach (b. 1945)
◦Yakov Springer, Polish-Israeli wrestler and coach (b. 1921)
2007 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor (b. 1935)
2019 – Robert Mugabe (b. 1924)
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
EYES TO THE SKY
September 2 – 15, 2019
Seasonal change written all over the sky
As September begins, it seems abrupt that the dark of night comes early, the light of day comes late and a new chill in the air reverses embedded routines for how to respond to summer heat. All the while, when looking up to the universe of familiar stars and star patterns, sky watchers respond to the age-old markers of the passage of the year. The progress of the seasons is written all over the sky.
At nightfall the Great Square of Pegasus, harbinger of autumn, is sketched on the heavens above the eastern skyline. It is a star pattern, or asterism, shaped by four nearly equally spaced stars, three from the constellation Pegasus and one from Andromeda. The Great Square may be difficult to see with the naked eye in light polluted skies, however, the celestial lights that follow are yours to enjoy, city or countryside.
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Friday, September 6
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm;
New England/Canadian Maritimes/Quebec City
Saturday, September 7
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm;
Sunday, September 8
Inbound 7:30 am Bayonne; 4:00 pm;
New England/Canadian Maritimes/Quebec City
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Maine/Canadian Maritimes
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.
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
No part of this document may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher
The Tale of the Ticker Tape,
or How Adversity and Spontaneity
Hatched a New York Tradition
What was Planned as a Grand Affair became a Comedy of Errors
While the festivities in New York Harbor didn’t go as scripted that afternoon, the spontaneous gesture it generated from the brokerage houses lining Broadway famously lives on more than a century later.
On October 28, 1886, Liberty Enlightening the World was to be unveiled to New York City and the world as it stood atop its tall base on Bedloe’s Island. But the morning mist had turned to afternoon fog, blurring the view of the statue from revelers on the Manhattan shore and the long parade of three hundred ships on the Hudson River.