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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 15  Nov. 5, 2019   

"At great danger, inmates at Auschwitz sounded this shofar."
      -  Bruce Ratner, chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage's board of trustees, explaining the significance of a shofar that is now part of the museum's historic exhibition, "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away." 
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MASTHEAD PHOTO: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the Hudson River during an air show on Aug. 22, 2019. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019)

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
If you haven't voted early or voted by absentee ballot, be sure to vote today, Nov. 5. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This year, you will find three candidates for Public Advocate on the ballot: Jumaane D. Williams (Democrat); Joseph Borelli (Republican, Conservative); and Devin Balkind (Libertarian).

You will also find five proposals for revising the New York City Charter. The proposals are somewhat complicated and unless you've been following the discussions about them - and I'm guessing you haven't - you might not know how to vote even though each of these proposals will have wide-ranging and long-term effects on life in New York City.

In each case, several propositions have been lumped together under each category. The categories are as follows:

Question 1: Elections
Question 2: Civilian Complaint Review Board
Question 3: Ethics and Government
Question 4: City Budget
Question 5: Land Use

You might like to know that the New York City Bar Association's New York City Charter Revision Task Force recommends voting "yes" on each of these proposals. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer also recommends a "yes" vote on all of them. The New York Times demurs, recommending "yes" on the first four and "no" on the last one.

Here are some highlights of each of these proposals:

Question 1: Elections
     * This would give voters the choice of ranking up to five candidates in primary and special elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President and City Council beginning in January 2021. If voters still want to choose just one candidate, they can. A candidate who receives a majority of first-choice votes would win. If there is no majority, the last place candidate would be eliminated and any voter who had that candidate as their top choice would have their vote transferred to their next choice. This process would repeat until only two candidates remain, and the candidate with the most votes would be the winner.
      Why? The purpose would be to reduce the expense (and often, low turnout) for repeated elections in the case of a run-off.
Question 2: Civilian Complaint Review Board
     * The size of the Civilian Complaint Review Board would be increased from 13 members to 15 members by adding one member appointed by the Public Advocate and one member jointly appointed by the Mayor and the City Council Speaker.
     Why? The Civilian Complaint Review Board and its staff are responsible for fairly and independently investigating public complaints against New York City police officers. An enlarged board appointed as indicated above would strengthen the group's independence and oversight power and would give City Council more voting power on the board.

Question 3: Ethics and Government
     * The City's Conflict of Interest Board is made up of five members appointed by the Mayor. This proposal would allow the Public Advocate and the New York City Comptroller to appoint two of those members instead. All members would have to be approved by City Council (as they are at present). Any decision of the Board would have to be by a minimum of three votes. (Now, only two are required.)
     Why? The proposal would attempt to eliminate any vestige of preferential treatment or the appearance of preferential treatment in ruling on conflict-of-interest issues.

Question 4: City Budget
     * This proposal would allow the City to set up a "rainy day fund" for use in an emergency or time of financial hardship. If passed, changes to New York State law would be necessary.
     Why? Succinctly, you never know what's going to happen. Weather? Economic fluctuations? Other???

Question 5: Land Use
     *  Under this proposal, projects subject to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) would require the Department of City Planning (DCP) to transmit a detailed project summary to the affected Borough President, Borough Board and Community Board at least 30 days before the application is certified for public review and to post that summary on its website. In addition, during the summer when many people are on vacation and Community Boards are not in session, Community Boards would have extra time to review ULURP applications certified for public review by DCP.
     Why? Currently, some developers try to slip ULURPs through the process by timing submissions when they know Community Boards will have a hard time reviewing them because of vacation schedules. The stakes, in many cases, are huge in terms of community impact. There should be ample time to give ULURPs careful consideration.

For more information about the ballot proposals, you can read the "Voter Guide" distributed by NYC Votes, which bills itself as "Your Nonpartisan Guide to City Elections Since 1989." The guide was prepared by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. For the guide, click here.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer

People waiting in line to vote at PS 234 in Tribeca on Nov. 6, 2018.  
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

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Professor Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Luis Ferreiro, director of the exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away," removing the cover from a shofar that Baumel-Schwartz's father, Chaskel Tydor, had in his possession when he was a prisoner at Auschwitz and that he passed down to his family. The shofar is now part of the Auschwitz exhibition.  (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On Sept. 23, a few days before the start of Rosh Hashanah, a solemn unveiling took place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. Preceded by prayers and followed by speeches, Prof. Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Luis Ferreiro, director of the exhibition currently at the museum entitled "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away" reverently pulled back a black cloth covering a display case. It held a shofar - the ram's horn that is sounded on Rosh Hashanah to mark the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

This particular shofar was freighted with meaning and memories. Although possession of a religious artifact would have been punishable by death, one of the Jewish prisoners transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp had brought it with him.

"At great danger, inmates at Auschwitz sounded this shofar," said Bruce Ratner, chairman of the museum's board of trustees.

Prof. Baumel-Schwartz's father, Chaskel Tydor, himself an Auschwitz inmate, enabled that to happen. He was one of the prisoners responsible for organizing the camp's work details. Seventy-five years ago, during Rosh Hashanah, he arranged for many of his comrades to be sent to a work detail far from the center of the camp, where the shofar could be sounded without attracting attention.

Tydor saw the shofar again four months later. In late January 1945, he and thousands of other prisoners were forced to leave Auschwitz on what has become known as the Death March. An emaciated prisoner approached him, handed him an object wrapped in a rag and said, "Take it...I'm too sick to survive. Maybe you will make it. Take the shofar. Show them that we had a shofar at Auschwitz."

Tydor did survive. He hid the shofar in the small bag in which he carried his cup and spoon. He had it when he was liberated on April 11, 1945 by the U.S. Army.

The shofar remained with his family. Until his death in 1993, Tydor blew the shofar during the High Holy Days and told and retold the story. But it had never been displayed nor had the story been publicly recounted until now.

In that crowded room at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Rabbi Eli Babich sounded the Auschwitz shofar. It filled the room.

"What happened today was extremely, extremely moving," said Prof. Baumel-Schwartz. "When Rabbi Babich was blowing the shofar, I closed my eyes and I could imagine my father blowing it, as he did year after year. I could see him standing there and that's when I had tears in my eyes." She said that she could feel his presence.

"The shofar is not only for Jews," she added. "It's for everybody, once a year to hear that cry and say, 'This is where we stop and take stock of our year and what we have done.'"

"The task of the shofar is to pierce the heavens," said Dr. Michael Berenbaum, curator of "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away." "For religious Jews, the blowing of the shofar was a sacred act even in the most anti-sacred place in the history of the world. But even for the most secular and unbelieving of Jews, this was an act of pure and absolute defiance."

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
The shofar is now part of the Auschwitz exhibition, which will be on view at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Aug. 31, 2020. For more information and for tickets to the exhibition, click here.

Nov. 24: At 1 p.m. Prof. Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz will be back at the Museum of Jewish Heritage to talk about Spiritual Resistance in Auschwitz. Director of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University, she will recount the history of the shofar that is now in the museum's Auschwitz exhibition and will discuss other forms of spiritual resistance during the Holocaust that she has encountered in her career. Free; advance registration recommended. For more information and to register, click here.

Related programs:  Imbued as it is this year with the presence of Auschwitz, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has some upcoming programs that relate to the Holocaust and to resistance to tyranny. These programs take place at 36 Battery Place and are free with advance registration recommended.

Nov. 7: At 7 p.m., Snapshots from a Lost World. In 1986, during a tour of Auschwitz, Ann Weiss discovered a storage facility containing an archive of 2,400 personal photographs, which had been confiscated from Jewish deportees. In this lecture and presentation, Dr. Weiss, author of "The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau," will share 200 of these images, illuminating both the stories behind the faces and her path to discovering otherwise unknown photos-over 30 of which are currently on display in "Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away." To reserve tickets, click here.

Nov. 10: Eighty-one years ago on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, 1938, Nazis in Germany burned synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed around 100 Jews. A thousand or so more were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. What happened during those two days has been remembered as "Kristallnacht," ("The Night of Broken Glass"). In commemoration of the 81st anniversary, the Museum of Jewish Heritage will have extended hours and will provide a public candle-lighting area in the foyer.

Nov. 10: At 1 p.m., Eugene Polinsky, the New York-born son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, will talk about his World War II experiences in the Army Air Corps. He flew 35 secret missions for the Office of Strategic Services, dropping spies and supplies to support the resistance in occupied countries. Free, but advance registration is recommended. For more information and to register, click here.

Nov. 10: At 2 p.m., Distinguished Research Scholar Debórah Dwork will present the third annual Dr. Yaffa Eliach Memorial Lecture, on The World of Auschwitz. Dwork is the Founding Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Dwork, the co-author of an award-winning book entitled "Auschwitz," was among the first to make oral recordings of Holocaust survivors. Free; advance registration recommended. For more information and to register, click here.

Nov. 11: At 2 p.m., Ruth Zimbler will recall how she and her brother Walter watched from their apartment as the largest synagogue in Vienna was destroyed on Nov. 10, 1938. Ruth was 10 years old at the time. Free; advance registration recommended. For more information and to register, click here.

Nov. 11: At 7 p.m., Natalia Aleksiun, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro's Graduate School of Jewish Studies, will discuss the history leading up to Kristallnacht, and the impact of Kristallnacht on the religious, economic, and social dynamics of Jews within Germany and Nazi-occupied territory. Free; advance registration recommended. For more information and to register, click here.

An article about the shofar entitled "An Improbable Relic of Auschwitz: A Shofar That Defied the Nazis," appeared in The New York Times on Sept. 21, 2019.
For the article, click here.  

Rabbi Eli Babich blew the shofar with Cantor Joseph Malovany looking on at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. This shofar was blown 75 years ago by Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz and is now on exhibit at the museum. 

On Aug. 23, 2019, the official groundbreaking took place for the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza on Greenwich Street near the exit for the Hugh. L. Carey Tunnel. Wielding spades from left to right were Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Anthony Notaro, Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Edward Pincar, Jr., Liz Berger's daughter Phoebe Kaufman, Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington. (Photo: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)   
On Aug. 23, 2019, seven people ceremonially dug into a pile of earth to break ground for the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza at the southern end of Greenwich Street near the exit of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. The project, which will combine two existing plazas at the site, honors the woman who chaired the Downtown Alliance from November 2007 to August 5, 2013 when she died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 53.  
Liz Berger (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Berger had big dreams for Greenwich Street. In 2008, she convened a committee to study how the Greenwich South neighborhood could become the keystone of Manhattan's Lower West Side, connecting the World Trade Center redevelopment, the Battery, the Financial District and Battery Park City. The committee produced a plan called "Five Principles for Greenwich South" that called for, among other things, the creation of a real park at what was then called Edgar Plaza to serve as a focal point for the neighborhood.  
An article about how Berger's friends, associates and family gathered in Lower Manhattan on Dec. 16, 2013 to rename the plaza in Berger's memory appeared in the first issue of Downtown Post NYC.   
At the time, Manhattan Borough Commissioner for the Department of Parks, William Castro, said that Parks would allocate $2 million to redesign the plaza. He said that it would tentatively be finished in 2015.
Of course, that date came and went with no plaza to show for it. Now the expected date for completion of construction is August 2020. The plaza is expected to cost $5.9 million, with a $2.8 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $300,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and $2.8 million from the New York City Council.   
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks attributed the five-year delay to a "pause during the design phase, when the Washington Street Historical Society requested incorporating artwork that represents the area's history as the old 'Little Syria' neighborhood."   
Todd Fine, a historian and activist in trying to save what's left of Little Syria, said that pinning the blame for the delay on the community's attempts to get public art in the park was "absurd." He said that the design process "avoided all community input and visioning" and that when, in 2016, "the City finally consented to incorporate public art into the park's fundamental design," the City "selected an artist" and then "spent additional years making little progress, even after having disconnected the art component from the park's core design."
Whatever the facts of the matter, the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza has been funded and will be completed, perhaps on schedule. Most importantly, the woman who Jessica Lappin, her successor as President of the Downtown Alliance, called "a tireless champion for Lower Manhattan," will not be forgotten. 
 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Bits & Bytes
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Arts Center at Governors Island - the first permanent home for artists and audiences on Governors Island - opened to the public on September 19. Expect to see a lot more of it next season! (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)  
"Bubby's is back,", 11/1/19. "The original Tribeca location of brunch favorite Bubby's" has returned according to New York Eater. "The nearly 30-year-old restaurant - known for its pancakes, pies, biscuits, and other American comfort foods - closed in June for renovations." It reopened on Saturday, Nov. 2. "There's a new kitchen with more capacity, plus updates in the foyer, bar, and dining room," says Eater. "Chef and owner Ron Silver opened Bubby's as a pop-up in 1990 and has since expanded it to the Meatpacking District and to Japan, where there are six locations. The Tribeca one, though, is the first." For the complete article, click here.   
And you thought this problem was settled after New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou was accosted by the Statue of Liberty tour ticket scammers? Nope. (See Downtown Post NYC, 7/13/19.)  
"Alec Baldwin Gripes About Tour Boat 'Scam,' and N.Y.C. Cracks Down," New York Times, 10/8/19. After Alec Baldwin, accompanied by his wife and children "bought tickets for a Statue of Liberty boat tour that would not actually go to the statue - but would, in fact, involve a bus trip to New Jersey - he did what most New Yorkers would do: gripe," The New York Times reports. "But," says the article, "unlike most New Yorkers' complaints, Mr. Baldwin's gripes about the ticket sellers at Battery Park garnered immediate attention - and, coincidentally or not, action from the city. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would expand enforcement of the companies that 'mislead tourists and operate buses to tours in New Jersey without permits.' ... The Department of Transportation on Tuesday sent cease and desist letters to Freedom Cruises and Sphinx Transport, two companies that the city said were operating illegal bus stops. Attempts to reach the companies for comment were unsuccessful." For the complete article, click here.   
Postscript: A reader of Downtown Post NYC who lives in a building facing Battery Park says that the tour boat scams abated briefly but then resumed just as before the Alec Baldwin episode. 
The World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 left a lasting imprint on people, now adults, who were just kids at the time. Some of them lost their parents that day. Some of them lost their health. But some of them didn't just accept these consequences. They fought back. 
"As 9/11 health problems mount, an uncertain future for students in lower Manhattan," abc news, 9/11/19. "Lila Nordstrom was a senior at storied Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan when 'we saw a huge fireball engulf the first tower' of the World Trade Center back in 2001," ABC News reported. "Brook Peters was just starting his second day of kindergarten two blocks away. They're two of the thousands of children who were at school in lower Manhattan on the day of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, many of whom are now grappling with the fact that they may face life-long, potentially fatal diseases as a result of their proximity to ground zero, much like the first responders. Both Peters, now 22, and Nordstrom, now 35, are already facing what doctors say are 9/11-related health issues: Nordstrom has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, asthma and a respiratory condition called rhinosinusitis and both she and Peters have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Nordstrom, whose case has been certified by the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), ...."founded a group called Stuy Health, advocating for students to get access to World Trade Center health benefits and compensation. And Peters may be one such student who signs up." For the complete article, click here
"Children of 9/11, Following Their Fathers' Last Footsteps," New York Times, 9/24/19. "They were just children when their fathers ran toward the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. They grew up revering parents - firefighters and police officers - who were killed that day, or died years later from the toxic dust," says The New York Times. "On Tuesday, a record number of these children of slain rescuers [took] an oath, like their fathers did, to serve New York City. Of the class of 301 trainees graduating as probationary firefighters, 21 are children of men who died in the line of duty. Their ranks include 12 sons and one daughter of firefighters killed on Sept. 11; six sons of firefighters or police officers who died of diseases linked to their time on the pile; and the sons of a firefighter and a police officer who died on the job." For the complete article, click here
On Oct. 31, Governors Island closed to the public for the season. It will reopen in May 2020. Up until now, Governors Island has been known for its acres of lawns, some of them shaded by old trees, and its historic forts and other landmarked buildings left over from the days when the U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard occupied the island. More recently, a hammock grove and bird sanctuary, ballfields, rental bicycles and manmade hills with dramatic views of the Statue of Liberty have greeted New Yorkers who don't have homes in the Hamptons. They happily flock to Governors Island by the thousands in the summer for a whiff of fresh air. But now Governors Island is on a fast track to being monetized.     
Governors Island as seen from New York Harbor's Upper Bay.  
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
"CRE Executive To Lead Potential Governors Island Redevelopment," Bisnow, 8/29/19. "The group that runs Governors Island has hired a residential real estate executive to oversee a possible massive development project on the island," says Bisnow. "The Trust for Governors Island hired Christopher Tepper as its chief development officer, Crain's New York Business reports. It is a new position, and Tepper is joining the nonprofit from Hudson Cos., where he was a director. Tepper's job will be to shepherd the redevelopment of a 33-acre piece of land on the island, that could potentially be home to some 4.5M SF of new buildings, per Crain's. The island must first be rezoned, however, so that academic, commercial or cultural spaces could be built. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the start of the required public review process a year ago, but it has been held up. Former Deputy Mayor Alica Glen pushed the former president and CEO of the trust, Michael Samuelian, out of his job, per Politico." For the complete article, click here.  

"Governors Island's glamping retreat gets new tiny cabins from $595/night,", 8/28/19. "The glamping experience on Governors Island is about to get a whole lot fancier," says "Collective Retreats, which operates the island's luxury campground (glampground?), will debut a new type of accommodation, which it calls the Outlook Shelter, over Labor Day weekend. Five stylish tiny cabins, which were created by Land Ark RV, will be parked within the campsite, offering a stylish retreat with some of luxury trappings you'd expect from a high-end hotel (including two decks, a deep soaking tub, and chic toiletries). Previously, the only accommodations available on the Governors Island site were two different types of tents, which are hardly bare-bones; they come with down comforters, Turkish towels, and other plush perks. But the Outlook Shelter kicks it up a notch with lodgings that are more like a well-appointed hotel room plopped onto a campsite than what's typically associated with glamping." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
 The ice skating rink at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City will be opening this month with ice skating lessons, skate rentals and public skating sessions. Bookings for lessons and registration for group classes are now available. For more information, click here.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Release of the fishes: On Thursday, Nov.7, the River Project in Hudson River Park will release back into the Hudson River the fish that it has kept in holding tanks at its Wetlab this past summer and fall. There will be food and drink, a raffles and tours of the Wetlab. Place: Pier 40 at Houston Street. Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.

Dog waste composting: The Battery Park City Authority has launched a dog waste composting initiative at its three dog runs - the North End Avenue Island,"Sirius" at Kowsky Plaza and the south end of West Thames Park. Each now has its own collection bin with instructions for dog owners about how to participate. Unmanaged dog waste can pollute waterways and add to landfill waste. BPCA estimates that about 75 pounds of dog waste is produced daily from neighborhood dog runs. By composting rather than disposing of this waste in its raw form, the BPCA can minimize the amount of methane gas released, while reducing the number of plastic bags typically used to pick up pet waste.

Fulton Stall Market CSA: The Fulton Stall Market's Community Supported Agriculture Farm Share program (CSA) allows local farmers to sell their wares on a weekly basis to customers who order and pay for the food in advance. Fall vegetables and fruit, eggs, cheese, bread, pasta, mushrooms, soup, seafood, chicken, beef and pork are among the offerings. Although the 12-week season started on Sept. 19, sign-ups at any time are welcome with the cost pro-rated based on the number of weeks remaining in the season. The season runs through Dec. 12, excluding Thanksgiving week. Pick-up is on Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fulton Stall Market's indoor store at 91 South St. For more information and to sign up, click here.

United States Census 2020 is hiring: The 2020 U.S. Census will require a massive effort to document everyone in the country. The U.S. government is hiring census workers with a promise of "great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training." The jobs include census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff. Applications can be made online at For more information, call 855-JOB-2020.

Manhattan Borough Historian: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has  appointed Dr. Rob Snyder to the newly created position of Borough Historian. Dr. Snyder is an associate professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University and Director of the Graduate Program in American Studies at Rutgers-Newark. He's written widely on New York City history and media issues and is the author of several books, including Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press), The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York (Ivan R. Dee), and Transit Talk: New York's Bus and Subway Workers Tell Their Stories (Rutgers University Press).  

In addition to Dr. Snyder's appointment, Brewer's office is compiling a directory of local historians for public distribution. If you are a local historian or expert on Manhattan's history, contact to inquire about being in the publication

Ferry schedules: On Monday, Nov. 4, the winter schedules for NYC Ferry routes went into effect. These routes serve the Lower East Side, South Brooklyn, Rockaway, the East River, Astoria and Soundview, with connecting buses in the Rockaways and midtown Manhattan. A new, early departure has been added to the Soundview route. Ferries to and from Pier 11 at Wall Street and Governors Island ran on weekends through Oct. 27 but have now been discontinued until spring. As of May 20, NYC Ferry's Astoria route began serving the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 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.

calendar CALENDAR
Spotlight: Fall foliage cruises 

The Hudson River and the New Jersey palisades in fall. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The river that Henry Hudson stumbled on more than 400 years ago beckons New Yorkers at this time of year to board a boat in New York harbor and go north as far as possible. The lure is the changing foliage but the rewards of the trip include traveling along the New Jersey Palisades, created around 200 million years ago when molten magma forced itself from deep within the Earth through softer layers of sandstone, which later eroded, exposing the steep cliffs.

The river is never more beautiful than in the fall, when scarlet and yellow foliage frames the Palisades. At this time of year, only the Circle Line goes as far north as Bear Mountain - as of this writing, there are still some seats left on the Nov. 10 cruise, the last of the season. But Classic Harbor Line has four boats that offer shorter cruises as far north as the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (formerly known as the Tappan Zee), which crosses one of the widest parts of the Hudson, 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan. The bridge connects Tarrytown in Westchester County with South Nyack in Rockland County.

The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge at Jeffrey's Hook.
Even the shorter cruises will afford views of tugboats, barges, freighters, the George Washington Bridge and the famous Little Red Lighthouse at Jeffrey's Hook under the GW Bridge on its eastern shore.

The Circle Line cruise leaves from Pier 83 at West 42nd Street with boarding at 8:30 a.m. and a 9 a.m. departure. It returns between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., depending on tides and weather conditions. The trip includes a three-hour stopover at Bear Mountain State Park, where there are biking and hiking trails, a picturesque lake with an interesting Revolutionary War history, a zoo and an inn.

Food, beer, wine and other beverages are available on board for purchase. Picnic lunches can be ordered until 3 p.m. the day prior to the cruise. If the stunning scenery isn't entertainment enough, live German oompah and polka bands accompany the trip up and down the river.

The cost for adults starts at $65 and for children, 3 to 12, at $52. For more information or to make a reservation, click here.

Classic Harbor Line offered several Bear Mountain trips earlier in the season. On the remaining days, the cruises are 2 to 2.75 hours long aboard four yachts, three of which have some indoor, climate-controlled seating as well as outdoor seating.

The M/V Manhattan will be setting out from Chelsea Piers on Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17 for a trip of nearly three hours during which there will be a four-course brunch buffet. The cost of $118 per person includes the food and a complimentary bloody Mary, mimosa, beer, wine or champagne. The cruise can be purchased at a reduced rate of $84 with food excluded.

Classic Harbor Line's Manhattan II will embark on two-hour-long lunch cruises on the afternoons of Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16. The cost is $108 for adults and $64 for children.

A third yacht from Classic Harbor Line, Full Moon, will leave from Chelsea Piers on Nov. 9, 15, 16 and 17 for a 2.5 hour-long cruise. Seating is available on a covered, open deck. A complimentary drink is included in the $84 price, but passengers are encouraged to bring their own picnics. A note from Classic Harbor Line recommends bringing a hat and gloves and also states that "This boat is not suitable for children under 5."

Finally, there's Classic Harbor Line's lovely, little yacht Kingston with seating available in a covered and heated salon with large windows. The 2.5-hour-long cruise costs $84 a person and includes a complimentary beverage. This trip, also, is a "bring-your-own-picnic" excursion. It will be setting out on Nov. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17.

Classic Harbor Line notes "Peak fall foliage is not guaranteed. We have seen fall colors at their peak as early as mid-October and as late as early December along the waterfront in the Palisades of New Jersey."

But with or without splashy leaf colors, a trip on the Hudson River is always interesting and worthwhile.

For more information about Classic Harbor Line's fall foliage excursions, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Classic Harbor Line's yacht, Manhattan, heading up the Hudson River.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
Battery Park City event and class calendar:
Throughout the year, the Battery Park City Authority sponsors events and classes for children and adults. For the fall calendar, which runs through December 2019, click here.
For more calendar listings, go to the Downtown Post NYC website. Click here.


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