Local Small Business Swims Against the Tide by Reopening
Elizabeth Lind of Inatesso Café Casano
In Italian, the word “inatteso” means “unexpected”—which is an apt adjective to describe what a small business in Battery Park City is doing. At a time when large enterprises, from the Century 21 department store to the restaurant, bar, and catering facility at Pier A, are shuttering, a spunky upstart is voicing optimism by reopening.
Inatteso Cafe, located at the corner of Little West Street and Second Place, temporarily closed in July, 2019 for renovations. “Our contractor originally told us that our new design would take a month or two,” says Elizabeth Lind (a partner and manager at Inatteso), somewhat ruefully. “In fact, he wasn’t done until February of this year.”
“And that was just about the time that COVID hit New York,” she says. “So we decided to stay closed, even after the renovation work was done.” After months more of waiting, they finally slated a “soft” opening for July.
“Everything is completely new,” says Ms. Lind. “We are selling La Colombe Coffee, and we have installed a draft system.” This device, similar to the pressurized tubing that dispenses beer at taverns, “charges the coffee with gas, to give it a foamy texture,” she explains.
“The coffee we used to serve was good,” she allows, “but this is much better. All of our baristas had to be trained by La Colombe, because there’s a precise art to doing this just right. So now we have a broad range of exciting espresso-based drinks, as well as non-espresso coffee options.”
“We are also selling a special type of pizza by the slice,” she adds, “which is not available even at our sister restaurant, Inatteso Pizzabar, next door.” This is “Roman-style” pizza, which is unusual in New York. “It’s a hybrid between focaccia-based pizza and the traditional, ‘grandma’ style that is common in Italy. We make it in a rectangular pan, cut into square slices, with thicker crust than the usual New York City-style.”
The pizza is dressed with Lioni Latticini mozzarella, “a family-owned, artisanal cheese maker that is regarded as the best in America,” Ms. Lind says. “We make all of our savory foods in-house,” she notes. “And one of the very few things we source from an outside supplier is our breakfast pastries, which come from Balthazar.”
“We’re facing a tough business climate,” Ms. Lind admits. “But we’re already seeing regular, repeat customers. The one thing that is the opposite of what we would normally expect is that we have more repeat customers on weekends, than between Monday and Friday. They all live or work nearby, but many have told us that they spend the week outside the City, at second homes, working remotely. And they have been coming into Manhattan on weekends.”
Bandwidth for the Dispossessed
Downtown Advocacy Group Prepares Lawsuit Over Lack of Connectivity for Homeless Kids
A non-profit based in Lower Manhattan is threatening to sue the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio over the lack of Wi-Fi service in City-operated homeless shelters that house thousands of public school students living below the poverty line. To read more…
Votes Aren’t All That’s Still Being Counted…
Lower Manhattan Contributed Almost $20 Million to Political Campaigns
Individuals, businesses, and organizations domiciled in nine zip codes spread across Lower Manhattan contributed $18.7 million to various political campaigns this election cycle, data from the Federal Election Commission shows.
The modern Chinese Orchestra, a large ensemble of Chinese instruments consisted of at least 80 members that adapted the structure of the western symphony orchestra, is designed to be at the crossroads of cultural exchange between the West and China. Since its appearance in the early 20th century, it has been continuously changing with inventions, adaptations and innovations on music, instruments, and compositions. With conductor Jindong Cai and composer JunYi Chow, this music chat will connect the history, present to the new trend of Chinese Orchestra, and discuss its forever evolving relationship between the confluence of its tradition and the cultures across the globe.
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
New York’s first ticker-tape parade erupted spontaneously from bad weather
and an over-zealous stockbroker.
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.
What was planned as a grand affair-with President Grover Cleveland as the main speaker-became a comedy of errors. The fog prevented efficient communication between the dignitaries on the island and the ships awaiting orders to fire their salutes and blast their horns at the given signal.
Even the dramatic unveiling moment itself went awry. To read more…
TODAY IN HISTORY
447 – A powerful earthquake destroys large portions of the Walls of Constantinople, including 57 towers.
1217 – The Charter of the Forest is sealed at St Paul’s Cathedral, London by King Henry III, acting under the regency of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke which re-establishes for free men rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President of United States.
1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.
1865 – American Civil War: CSS Shenandoah is the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 37 unarmed merchant vessels.
1913 – Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
1928 – Herbert Hoover is elected the 31st President of the United States.
1943 – World War II: The Soviet Red Army recaptures Kiev. Before withdrawing, the Germans destroy most of the city’s ancient buildings.
1944 – Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
1947 – Meet the Press, the longest running television program in history, makes its debut.
1956 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is reelected President of the United States.
1971 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians
1984 – Ronald Reagan is reelected President of the United States..
2012 – Barack Obama is reelected President of the United States
2013 – Several small bombs explode outside a provincial office of the Communist Party of China.
AD 15 – Agrippina the Younger, Roman empress (or possibly AD 16) (d. 59)
1494 – Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman sultan (d. 1566)
1814 – Adolphe Sax, Belgian-French instrument designer, invented the saxophone (d. 1894)
1851 – Charles Dow, American journalist and economist (d. 1902)
1854 – John Philip Sousa, commander, composer, and conductor (d. 1932)
1892 – Harold Ross, American journalist and publisher, co-founded The New Yorker(d. 1951)
1893 – Edsel Ford, American lieutenant and businessman (d. 1943)
1931 – Mike Nichols, German-born American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2014)
1940 – Ruth Messinger, American politician and activist
1948 – Sidney Blumenthal, American journalist and activist
1562 – Achille Bocchi, Italian humanist writer (b. 1488)
1816 – Gouverneur Morris, scholar, politician, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to France (b. 1752)
1928 – Arnold Rothstein, American mob boss (b. 1882)
Downtown Dowager Gets Her Due
First Lady of Lower Manhattan Recognized, Half a Century On
If you live in Lower Manhattan, and are even remotely fond of the community, you owe a debt of gratitude to the woman who saved it from slum clearance and multiple highway schemes. The late Jane Jacobs (she died in 2006) was recognized last week with a plaque outside her longtime home at 555 Hudson Street, in the West Village. To read more…
Validating the Vision
CB1 Offers Qualified Endorsement to Plans for Brooklyn Bridge Revamp
The August designation of two winners in the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge design competition has spurred Community Board 1 (CB1) to weigh in about the pragmatic implications of the vision contained in the proposals. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
November 2 – 15, 2020
Big sky, long night
Night is fast overtaking day. During the course of November, day length will shrink from 10 hours 26 minutes to 9 hours 30 minutes, when there will be only 15 minutes left to lose in December. Earth-centered celebrations of the harvest and fellowship in November quickly lead into preparations for winter solstice holidays, when light is foremost in our cultural festivals.
For our ancestors, oil lamps, candles and open fires lit the darkness. To make light was a triumph. Natural materials, gathered from the wild and farmed, were the hard-earned fuel for creating light. Living by the radiance of the Sun, moon and stars was optimized, both physically and spiritually. To read more…
Howard Hughes Corporation Proposes Scaled-Back Towers for Seaport Site, Along with Package of Amenities
The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) has unveiled its plans for 250 Water Street (a 1.1-acre parking lot in the Seaport District), including high-rise towers, more than 100 units of affordable housing, and a plan to build a new headquarters for the South Street Seaport Museum. This announcement has inspired both enthusiastic support and fierce criticism. To read more…
Contract One, Station One
The Jewel in
Just below the surface of City Hall Park sits one of New York’s architectural gems. Built during the City Beautiful movement, its design sought to uplift the spirits of New Yorkers on their daily commute.
City Hall Loop station—Contract One, Station One—was the flagship of New York’s first subway and the focus of the international press on October 27, 1904, when Mayor George McClellan connected the Tiffany-designed motorman’s handle to propel the first train north to its endpoint on 145th Street and Broadway.
The design of the other twenty-seven stations it stopped at that afternoon was dictated by the practical needs of subway efficiency—the architect’s only role was to choose the tile work that would cover the structural columns and walls. But the station below City Hall Park is different. Here, design and structure are one in the same.
City Hall subway station, was designed to be the showpiece of the new subway system with its elegant platform and mezzanine featured Guastavino tile, skylights, colored glass tilework and brass chandeliers.