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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 5, No. 3   Feb. 15, 2018  

"This program is the best thing I've ever found in New York in terms of community."
      -  Battery Park City resident Alok Dutt describing the free art classes offered by Battery Park City Parks.

WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.
Go to for breaking news and for updated  Downtown Post NYC bulletin board and calendar information.

MASTHEAD PHOTO: Snowdrops blooming in Battery Park City's South Cove.
 Feb. 15, 2018 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
The New York Times ran a provocative article on Feb. 7, 2018. It was called "A Crazy Idea for Funding Local News: Charge People for It." Written by Farhad Manjoo, it started by citing "Mark Zuckerberg's announcement last week that Facebook would now promote local news stories in its news feed.

"People who know what's happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference," said Zuckerberg.

Manjoo said that he appreciated Zuckerberg's "noble intentions" but felt that "There may be another way to save local news... that doesn't depend on the beneficence of Facebook or Google (which also has a new plan for local coverage)."

Manjoo said he had been talking about the financing problem with Jessica Lessin of The Information and Ben Thompson of Stratechery, which he called "two of my favorite sites for understanding what's going on in the technology business. The plan, for any would-be entrepreneur brave enough to try it, goes like this: Hire some very good journalists; just one or two are O.K. to start. Turn them loose on a large metropolitan area - try San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston or any other city going through waves of change, and whose local press has been gutted by digital disruption. Have your reporters cover stuff that no one else is covering, and let them ignore stuff that everyone else is covering. ...emphasize coverage that's actionable, that residents deem necessary and valuable for short- and long-term planning - especially an obsessive focus on housing and development, transportation, education and local politics."

Then, said Manjoo (and this is the really revolutionary part of the story), fund all of this by shunning advertising. "Instead, ask readers to pay for it with real money - $5 or $10 a month, or perhaps even more."

Would Manjoo's idea work? What do you think? If you want to read the rest of his article, click here.

So far, there are still several local news sources in Lower Manhattan including, of course, Downtown Post NYC. If you value the information that you get from these news sources, support them financially so that they can continue to exist!

HOW TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN POST NYC - If you like DPNYC and want to support it, you can do that in four ways. 1) Make a contribution to Downtown Post NYC.  Email for more information. 2) Support Downtown Post's advertisers by clicking on their ads, and if you use their services, tell them that you read about them in DPNYC. 3) Consider advertising in DPNYC if you have a business, service or event that you want to promote. 4) Tell people about DPNYC and suggest that they subscribe. They can sign up at

Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The emailed Downtown Post NYC newsletter is appearing less frequently than formerly, however, Downtown Post NYC's website ( is updated daily. That's the place to check  for urgent messages, breaking news and reminders of interesting events in and around Lower Manhattan.


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On March 3, explore the music of Puerto Rico with an interactive drum and dance performance by Legacy Women, an all-women musical group rooted in Afro-Dominican and Afro-Puerto Rican traditions. Place: 6 River Terrace. Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is required. To register, email


Nighttime on Governors Island. Starting in May, it will be possible to camp out on Governors Island overnight.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Last season on Governors Island, there were several evenings when it was possible to stay on the island as the sun set and the stars came out, with the lights and towers of Manhattan glimmering in the distance. That sorcery whetted the appetite for more - and this year, there will be more.

In May, Collective Hotels & Retreats will be setting up tents on a six-acre parcel on the southwest side of the island so that people can spend the night. Some of the tents, described as "luxury," will have their own private bathrooms and gourmet breakfasts served tent side. Other tents, called "bell tents," will share a communal bathroom with food available for purchase from a communal dining facility called "Three Peaks Lodge." It will be open to all visitors to the island, whether they are staying overnight or not and will serve breakfasts (omelets, pancakes and granola will be on the menu) plus lunches and dinners ranging from picnic boxes to three courses with table service.

The luxury tents, which resemble the fully accoutered accommodations that could be encountered on a high-end safari in Africa, will start at $600 a night. Bell tents can be rented starting at $75 on some weekdays and $125 on selected weekends.

The campsite can accommodate around 100 people per night. Check-in will be at 2 p.m. with checkout at 11 a.m.

During the evening, there will be campfires accompanied by entertainment. In addition, last season's popular Adventures at Governors Island, operated by NY Carousel Entertainment, will return on a site adjacent to the campsite with such activities as zip-lining, rock climbing and mini-golf.

The camping season runs from May through Oct. 31. Reservations can be made now by clicking here. A full deposit is required at the time of booking. Guests can cancel up to 45 days prior to check-in date for a full refund. After that, the deposit is non-refundable. Should the weather turn inclement, Collective Retreats says that it will evacuate guests from the island, if necessary, and has also identified a shelter on the island.

Michael Samuelian, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, describes the camping venture as "an important step towards realizing our vision for a year-round, 24/7 Governors Island for all New Yorkers."

Collective Retreats, which has a three-year licensing agreement with the Trust for Governors Island, currently runs similar campgrounds in the Hudson Valley and in Big Sky Mountain near Yellowstone National Park. Collective Governors Island is its first venture in New York City.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

 Bits & Bytes 
The building at 23 Wall St. across from Federal Hall was once the headquarters of the JP Morgan Bank. For years, it has been empty. A deal to buy the building recently fell through. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"Governors Island one step closer to rezoning for development," Crains New York Business, 2/14/18. "The Trust for Governors Island held its first meeting this week to rezone part of the urban oasis for 4.5 million square feet of development, the equivalent of more than three Chrysler Buildings," says Crain's New York Business. "The organization sat down with a Manhattan community board Monday as part of the trust's effort to solicit input from stakeholders in nearby neighborhoods, along with park and waterfront advocates, before settling on what it plans to seek in a public-review process by the end of the year....The rezoning must meet certain conditions. A 2010 master plan laid the groundwork for 43 acres of new parkland that was completed last year, but the island's deed stipulates that the trust must cover its own operating and maintenance costs. To that end, the master plan also set aside 33 acres along the island's northwest and southeast edges for a pair of development sites that could bring in cash through privately built hotels, dorms or office buildings for commercial tenants, academic institutions or cultural organizations." For the complete article, click here.

"Photos Revealed for $59 Million Penthouse at 100 Barclay Street, Tribeca,"
New York YIMBY, 2/5/18. "Images are out now for the redesigned penthouse in 100 Barclay Street, an Art Deco skyscraper adjacent to One World Trade Center on the southern edge of Tribeca," says New York YIMBY. "The 32-story building, originally known as the Barclay-Vesey Building, opened in 1927, designed by architect Ralph Walker. During the September 11th attack, the building suffered heavy damage on its southern and eastern facades. Tishman Realty & Construction led its repairs, with William F. Collins responsible for the restoration. The project was finished in three years at a cost of $1.4 billion, whereby all ornamental details and carving motifs were fixed, and since then, the upper floors have been converted to condominiums." For the complete article, click here.

"Developer seeking $100M to refi nearly complete Seaport hotel,", 2/8/18. "Just a couple of months until construction wraps at its new South Street Seaport hotel tower, Richard Lou's LCRE Group is searching for a financing injection of $100 million, sources told The Real Deal. The developer has been constructing the Marriott-branded AC Hotel New York Downtown at 151 Maiden Lane for more than two years. The desired bridge loan is a five-year floating, non-recourse mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of 65 percent, or $365 per key, according to marketing materials. The 33-story hotel broke ground in August 2015 and is expected to be fully constructed by April and then ready for guests in June. Plans called for 274 hotel rooms and 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail." For the complete article, click here.

"A Driver's Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy," New York Times, 2/6/18.  "The executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Ms. [Bhairavi] Desai had been a labor activist for 21 years but she had never seen anything like the despair she was witnessing now - the bankruptcies, foreclosures and eviction notices plaguing drivers who were calling her with questions about how to navigate homelessness and paralyzing depression," says The New York Times. "The economic hardship that Uber and its competitors had inflicted on conventional drivers in New York and London and other cities had become overwhelming. For decades there had been no more than approximately 12,000 to 13,000 taxis in New York but now there were myriad new ways to avoid public transportation, in some cases with ride-hailing services like Via that charged little more than $5 to travel in Manhattan....On Monday morning, Doug Schifter, a livery driver in his early 60s, killed himself with a shotgun in front of City Hall in Lower Manhattan, having written a lengthy Facebook post several hours earlier laying out the structural cruelties that had left him in such dire circumstance. He was now sometimes forced to work more than 100 hours a week to survive, he said; when he had started out in the 1980s, a 40-hour week was fairly typical." For the complete article, click here.

"Deal to rescue long-vacant Wall Street landmark stalls," New York Post, 1/29/18. "The curse of 23 Wall Street just won't go away," says the New York Post. "A deal to rescue downtown's long-vacant, black-sheep landmark from absentee Asian ownership has stalled more than 18 months since it was signed - and it's unclear when, if ever, it will be completed. The latest problem for the building, once known as the 'House of Morgan' as the original headquarters for JP Morgan bank, can be traced to a mysterious Asian billionaire who is languishing in a Chinese prison. A bid by Jack Terzi's JTRE Holdings to buy 23 Wall from shadowy, Singapore-based China Sonangol is now bogged down in court." For the complete article, click here.

"Bank of New York Mellon Plans to Move Its Corporate Headquarters in Lower Manhattan," Wall Street Journal, 1/31/18. "Bank of New York Mellon Corp. is moving its global headquarters for the second time in less than four years," says the Wall Street Journal. "The custody bank plans to relocate all of its employees from Brookfield Place, the downtown office complex formerly known as the World Financial Center, to a nearby building it owns at 101 Barclay St. The move consolidates BNY Mellon's presence in New York, bringing together some 4,500 employees under one roof, a spokesman for the bank said." For the complete article, click here.

"After worker death, construction at 161 Maiden Lane faces hurdles,", 2/2/18. "Roughly four months after a construction worker fell to his death from an under-construction Lower Manhattan tower, the Department of Buildings issued partial stop-work orders for improperly installed safety netting on the project," says The Real Deal. "Twice this month, the DOB halted work at Fortis Property Group's 161 Maiden Lane for netting that wasn't close enough to floors where work was being done, records show. Work commenced in December on the 80-unit condominium tower planned for the site, several weeks after worker Juan Chonillo fell from the building's 29th floor. Chonillo was wearing a harness, officials said, but it wasn't hooked onto anything." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
During Winter Break (Feb. 16 to Feb. 25), the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place is offering free admission to families. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Free admission for families at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: During winter break ( Feb. 16 to Feb. 25), families can visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, without charge. There will be daily tours from Sunday to Thursday at 3 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Friday. Special family programs for visitors 8 to 12 during the week include "Illustrating Your Family's Story" on Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. and on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. and "Mapping Your Family Tree" on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. Mention code FAMILIES FREE at the front desk for your free admission or use it in the online checkout area to reserve tickets ahead of time. For more information, click here.

Tribeca Meet & Greet: The next meeting of Tribeca Meet & Greet will take place on
Feb. 22 at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 291 Broadway (between Duane and Reade Streets), Suite 900. Tribeca Meet & Greet has been meeting in a different Tribeca restaurant or business about once a month for more than a decade. Everyone is invited to stop by at any time between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to exchange some ideas, do some networking and have a drink with the neighbors. (Beverages are kindly being provided by Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway.) Feel free to bring business cards, menus, flyers and other information about you and your business. David Grubb (of CMIT Tribeca) and Ann Benedetto (of A Uno) will be there to discuss their plans for Tribeca Alliance.

Fred Astaire Dance Studio Downtown New York is part of a famous franchise that was opened by Fred Astaire himself. The Studio opened in Tribeca on Sept. 1, 2017 and welcomes students of all levels, all ages and all aspirations to learn ballroom, Latin and social dancing. The owners and teachers are two Ukrainian couples - Svitlana Gliebova, Artur Sveshnikov, Mykhailo Azarov and Tetyana Makarenko.

Tribeca Meet and Greet is organized by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. For more information, call David Cleaver at (212) 220-1459.

Battery Park City Open Community Meeting: On March 5, the Battery Park City Authority will host a meeting to bring Battery Park City residents up to date on BPCA activities and plans and to provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions of BPCA management. Questions can be submitted in advance to Place: 6 River Terrace. Time: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Flu vaccinations available: With the number of reported cases of flu in New York State continuing to rise, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18. Parents and guardians should call pharmacies ahead of their visit to ensure they are ready to receive patients in this age group. Children between the ages of 6 months and 24 months would have to see their primary care provider for the vaccination, and are encouraged to do so. To receive a flu shot, contact your local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting your local health department. Flu shots can also be found through the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at In addition to getting a flu vaccination, be aware that the administration of antiviral medications within the first 48 hours of developing flu can often mitigate the illness. Health insurers in New York State have been notified that prior authorization is not needed to prescribe antiviral medications. For more information about the flu, click here.  

Nutrition workshops: Registered dietician Lauren C. Kelly will conduct a series of nutrition workshops at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City on select Tuesdays. She will teach how to increase energy and reduce sugar and salt in the diet by preparing easy, fun recipes. Each week, she will offer tastings, research findings and shopping tips plus take-home treats. The next workshop dates are Feb. 20; Feb. 27; March 6 and March 20. Place: 212 East End Ave. Time: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free for adults. Pre-register for single/weekly or multiple sessions by emailing Drop-ins are welcome. The workshops are being sponsored by Battery Park City Seniors, Asphalt Green and the Battery Park City Authority.

Community Board applications: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office is now accepting applications for Community Board membership. New Yorkers living, working, or studying in one of Manhattan's 12 community board districts are encouraged to apply. Community boards are the most grass roots form of local government, each composed of 50 volunteer members serving staggered two-year terms. The boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and they work to enhance and preserve the character of their neighborhoods. You can apply online or you can print and complete a paper application at Please note: you should read the PDF and prepare your answers in advance, since the online application must be completed in one sitting. Applications must be submitted (or postmarked) before 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

Preparing for emergencies:
Lower Manhattan is no stranger to natural and manmade disasters. Ready is a national public service campaign that was launched in 2003 to help people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies. Ready and its Spanish language version, Listo, recommend: (1) staying informed about the kinds of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses (2) making a family emergency plan, (3) building an emergency supply kit, and (4) getting involved in your community's efforts to prepare for emergencies. As we have seen in Puerto Rico, sometimes government help is not immediately available and neighbors will have to care for neighbors until other help arrives. Ready says that an emergency preparedness backpack should contain copies of important documents, non-perishable food and water, a battery-generated radio and flashlight for use if you have to shelter in place or evacuate. For more information, click here.

Most of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.

refreshingDowntown Arts 
Throughout most of the year, Battery Park City Parks offers painting and drawing classes. The annual exhibition of work done in these classes opened on Jan. 28 and will run through March 30 at 75 Battery Place.  (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
On January 28, an exhibition of paintings and drawings opened at the Battery Park City Parks headquarters, 75 Battery Place, representing some of the work that had been done in BPC Parks' art classes during the last year.

From May through October and again in February and March, BPC Parks offers classes in painting and drawing, with all materials provided. In the summer, the classes are free. During the winter, there is a $50 materials fee for nine three-hour sessions.

Some people have been coming to the classes for years. Nancy Rosing, for instance, who has four pieces in this year's show, says that she thinks she has been attending the BPC art classes for two and a half decades. Though some of the participants are local residents, others travel to Battery Park City from Brooklyn and Queens for the classes. Beata Szpura is among those who come from Queens for the art classes - a trip that takes her an hour and twenty minutes each way.

Alok Dutt lives in Battery Park City, and although he doesn't have far to travel to get to the art classes, his journey to Battery Park City started out in northern India, where he was born. He has been living in Battery Park City for five years and has been going to the art classes almost as long. He says of the classes, "They're deeply enriching. This program is the best thing I've ever found in New York in terms of community."

Here are some of the people with work in this year's show as seen on the wall behind them:

Nancy Rosing
Rosing is an artist, poet and photographer. She was born in St. Paul, Minn. and received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. "I used to do just line drawings," she said, adding that her work in the BPC Parks classes has helped her to expand her range. Her current teacher is Marla Lipkin.

Beata Szpura
Although Szpura teaches fashion figure drawing at Parsons: The New School of Design, she is also an avid student in the BPC art classes. "I get a chance to do what I love to do," she said. "Drawing the figure is my biggest passion." She calls the classes "an artist's paradise" and said they have given her a chance to experiment with different materials.

Alok Dutt
Dutt's parents live in London but visit him in Battery Park City every summer. "My mother found the art classes," he said, and encouraged the rest of the family to go. His mother had been an artist when she was young. His father, an engineer, had never attempted art before but found that he enjoyed it. "They made such good friends in the art classes," Dutt observed. He added that the classes "revived their creative interests, which are so important for a person's well being."

Tony Porpora
Porpora is sitting in front of paintings that he made of Alok Dutt's parents who he called "the greatest!" Porpora, 87 years old, used to be an art director for an ad agency. Now he goes to the public library every day with his sketch book and makes portraits. His teacher at BPC Parks is Larry Dobens of whom he said, "I love Larry! He's one of the best teachers going." Each class ends with a critique from Dobens, which Porpora has found invaluable.

Joyce Stickney
Stickney travels to Battery Park City from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn for the art classes. She has been studying figure drawing with Marla Lipkin and scenic painting with Larry Dobens. She calls the classes "fantastic!" She said that she enjoys seeing the same people and being outside. "It's so beautiful here," she said.

Diana Burchfield
Burchfield graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree followed by a 25-year-long career as a textile print designer. She has been attending BPC Parks art classes for three years. She said that she likes the fact that there is a set time each week when she knows she's going to work on her painting. "I always welcome new comments," she said.

The Battery Park City Parks art exhibition can be viewed on weekdays between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at 75 Battery Place. It closes on March 30.

Figure drawing classes with Marla Lipkin started on Feb. 1 and run through March 29. They take place on Wednesdays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at 6 River Terrace with a $50 materials fee. A model assumes short and long poses. Each class ends with a critique. For more information, click here.

  - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

calendar CALENDAR: February 2018  
Spotlight: Pipe Organ Inauguration Festival at St. Paul's Chapel 

 The organ case in St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Streets was installed in 1802. It now houses a newly acquired Noack organ whose debut at St. Paul's will be celebrated with a festival of organ music. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Feb. 19-Feb. 24: Trinity Wall Street has installed a Noack three-manual pipe organ in St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Streets and is celebrating with a week-long festival and weekly recitals featuring some of today's leading concert organists.
St. Paul's Chapel, which dates from 1766,  is New York City's oldest public building. The Noack organ, the sixth to be placed in St. Paul's, is housed in the city's oldest organ case.

Following the inaugural week, a Friday afternoon Pipes at One series featuring New York City's leading organists continues throughout the spring.

All organ concerts are live streamed and available on demand at, except for the Feb. 23 silent film event. The schedule is as follows:

Feb. 19: NYC American Guild of Organists Presidents Day Conference,   10 a.m.: Noack Organ Demonstration - Julian Wachner and Jonathan Ambrosino, 12 p.m. St. Paul's Organ Inauguration Opening Concert with music by Duruflé and Bach. Trinity Baroque Orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Avi Stein, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor
Feb. 19: Organ recital by Peter Sykes, Boston University of the Juilliard School. Works by Buxtehude, Brahms, Chaumont, and Bach. Time: 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 20: St. Paul's Organ Inauguration. Organ recital by L. Frederick Jodry V of Brown University. Works by de Gringy, Franck and Duruflé. Time: 1 p.m.

Feb. 21: St. Paul's Organ Inauguration. Organ recital by Nathan Laube of Eastman School of Music. Works by Bach, Bruhns, Mendelssohn and Cabanilles. Time: 1 p.m.

Feb. 21:St. Paul's Organ Inauguration. Organ recital by Katelyn Emerson of The Church of the Advent, Boston. Works by Muffat, Bach and Duruflé. Time: 5 p.m.

Feb. 22: St. Paul's Organ Inauguration. Organ concerti of Poulenc, Wachner and Rouse. Paul Jacobs, organ, with NOVUS NY; Julian Wachner, conductor. Time: 1 p.m.

Feb. 23: St. Paul's Organ Inauguration. Organ duet recital: Duo Majoya, Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger. Organ duets by Mozart, Schubert, Kloppers, Albrechtsberger and Wachner. Time: 1 p.m.

Feb. 23: Silent movie with organ improvisation - Speedy (featuring Harold Lloyd) with Peter Krasinski, organ. Time: 7 p.m.

Feb. 24: St. Paul's Organ Inauguration - Bach at One. Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig BWV 768. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80. Der Himmel lacht! die Erde jubiliert, BWV 31. Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582. Trinity Baroque Orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street featuring soloists Molly Netter, Sarah Brailey, Clifton Massey, Stephen Sands, and Jonathan Woody; Avi Stein, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor/organ. Time: 1 p.m. 
A scene from "Speedy," a silent film featuring Harold Lloyd that dates from 1928 and that was partially shot in Lower Manhattan. On Feb. 23, it will be screened at St. Paul's Chapel with an accompaniment of music played on St. Paul's newly installed pipe organ.

For more calendar listings, go to the Downtown Post NYC website. Click here.


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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