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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 8  May 21, 2019   

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Giant allium blooming in Hudson River Park. May 16, 2019.  
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019) 

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
People who ventured into Hudson River Park on May 20, perhaps hoping to commune with nature, were treated to the sight of a six-story-tall pink flamingo being pushed up the Hudson by a tugboat. The flamingo had a Pepsi-Cola logo on its chest, so presumably it was supposed to be an advertisement.

If so, the gambit was only partially successful. When I looked to the right and left of me to see what other park bench sitters thought of the pink flamingo, I found that they were either studying their cellphones or attentively eating their lunch. Either way, the pink flamingo wasn't doing the job for which Pepsi probably paid someone a great deal of money.

The flamingo did, however, remind me that on March 27, 2019, the de Blasio administration had filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District, against Ballyhoo Media seeking "injunctive relief and civil penalties" against a company whose "business model is to operate Times Square-style billboards on a barge that traverses New York City waterways."

The City's complaint charged that the billboards were a nuisance and violated City zoning laws.

When the lawsuit was filed, it generated quite a few articles in the press and elicited bilious comments from people whose serenity and river views were being marred by the billboards. But in the intervening seven weeks, I had heard nothing more.

Spurred by the sight of the pink flamingo, I contacted the Mayor's press office to ask what was happening with the lawsuit. I waited several hours but the Mayor's press office didn't respond so I decided to try Adam Shapiro, Ballyhoo's CEO.

Mr. Shapiro replied promptly. He said that his company had had nothing to do with the pink flamingo. As for the lawsuit, he said that a federal judge had ruled about a month ago that "when in view of a highway, we are legally able to operate 1,500 feet from the shore and when not in view from a highway, we have no distance restrictions."

That sounded like an outright defeat for the City, so I asked a few more questions. Finally, it emerged that Judge Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York on April 19, 2019 had affirmed the City's motion for a "preliminary injunction" directing Ballyhoo to operate its vessels as Mr. Shapiro had described to me.

A "preliminary injunction" is not the final word in the matter. It serves to set parameters while the underlying issues are adjudicated.

Trailing the pink flamingo up the Hudson River was a barge with LED billboards advertising various products.

I asked Mr. Shapiro if those were his but he didn't say.

I presume they were and I presume there will be some definite resolution of this matter that we will hear about eventually. In the meantime, keep watching the river. You never know what you'll see.

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. So be sure to look at the website every day, especially if you want to know about breaking news.

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Downtown Post Dining
At Dine Around Downtown 2018, a woman served samples of chilled cucumber soup  and canele from Manhatta, a restaurant at 28 Liberty Plaza. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Just like tulips and crocuses, the return of spring in Lower Manhattan means that it's time for Dine Around Downtown to come back. On Tuesday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  Downtown's food lovers will once again be able to flock to the landmarked plaza at 28 Liberty St. to sample offerings from some of their favorite Lower Manhattan restaurants and to try food from places that have opened since this time last year.

The food plates cost from $3 to $7 and like any first-class dining experience (which this is), the food will be accompanied by music, performed, as always, by The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars.

As an extra reason to show up for Dine Around Downtown, participants can post photos of their plates on Instagram and tag them with #DownIsWhatsUp for a chance to win a staycation in Lower Manhattan. The prize includes a two-night stay at The Beekman and dinner for two at Temple Court.

Dine Around Downtown is organized by the Alliance for Downtown New York, which is also behind the summer-long Get Low promotion of 20 percent off dinner for two at a different restaurant every Tuesday. 

The program kicks off with Mad Dog & Beans on Tuesday, May 28 and includes first-time participants Crown Shy, Temple Court, 10 Corso Como, Cobble & Co and Blue Park Kitchen. Get Low runs through Tuesday, Aug. 27.

For more information about Dine Around Downtown, including a list of participating restaurants, click here.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes
Michael Samuelian, the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island since 2016, will leave his position effective June 7, 2019. News reports say that he was "pushed out."
 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019) 

"A 45-story jail could be the newest tower in Lower Manhattan,", 5/19/19. "Lower Manhattan could someday be home to a 45-story jail, although the possibility has already drawn the ire of community groups," The Real Deal reports. "The jail would rise at 125 White Street as part of the city's 10-year plan to close Rikers Island.  The address is currently home to the Manhattan Detention Complex, also known as 'the Tombs,' and the new facility planned for the site would span 1.27 million square feet and contain 1,440 beds. The city had previously planned to move inmates to a 40-story tower at 80 Centre Street, but that plan fell through in November. The Rikers replacement plan should be finished in 2026 and is currently working its way through the Uniform Land Use Review Process. The four borough-based jails that would replace Rikers are all facing public feedback, and the one for Lower Manhattan would require a City Planning Commission permit since it would be 37 percent larger than what is allowed under the neighborhood's current zoning rules." For the complete article, click here.

"Plans for NYC's storm-surge barrier raise environmental concerns,", 5/19/19. "In the years since Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc on the tri-state area, city, state and federal authorities have been racing to put together plans to prevent another such disaster," says The Real Deal. "But some are worried they may be moving too quickly. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has been working since 2016 on a plan to help New York and New Jersey manage the risk of coastal flooding, is set to pick a 'tentatively selected plan' by next January, Crain's reported. But environmental groups say a more thorough environmental analysis is needed first.
'The idea that the corps at this point would select a plan to focus on without taking into account in a real way the environmental impacts that can happen across this estuary is a huge concern,' said Erin Doran, an attorney for environmental watchdog Riverkeeper, to Crain's." For the complete article, click here.

"Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Ode to Seafood Debuts on the Water Tonight,", 5/15/19. "It's quite a week in New York for Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the legendary French chef and empire builder," says "Tonight, Vongerichten adds the Fulton to his roster of 36 global restaurants, marking his first seafood-centric restaurant. Tomorrow night, he will also open Paris Café in the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport. Both projects are transformations of iconic New York spots, the TWA restaurant a '60s throwback, and the Fulton a renaissance of Pier 17 at Manhattan's historic South Street Seaport, encompassing two levels and more than 100 seats, including an outdoor patio. The Paris Café will be 'greatest hits,' but the Fulton, the chef says, 'is all new.' The menu at the Fulton will begin with options such as a sashimi plate, snapper ceviche, and a warm octopus with mozzarella, combined because 'they have a similar softness,' Vongerichten says. Entrees run the gamut, from salmon crusted with spices to fish and chips to longevity noodles with glazed Maine lobster, pea shoots, green chile, and ginger. Sides include grilled asparagus, while a select number of non-fish options such as a cheeseburger and chargrilled chicken will also be available." For the complete article with photos, click here.

"NYC Ferry service adds Brooklyn Navy Yard stop," Crain's New York Business, 5/20/19. "NYC Ferry's Astoria line expanded Monday with a new stop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the first step in a $100 million expansion plan for Mayor Bill de Blasio's controversial service," says Crain's New York Business. "The line now runs between Astoria and Pier 11 near Wall Street, with stops at Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Brooklyn Navy Yard's Dock 72. The Dock 72 stop is near where Rudin Development and Boston Properties are finalizing a 15-story, 675,000-square-foot office building anchored by WeWork. De Blasio had announced the expansion plans during his State of the City address in January. A route between Staten Island's St. George Terminal and Midtown West's Pier 79 is scheduled to debut next year. In 2021, plans call for a new route between Coney Island and Pier 11 and for the ferry line between Clason Point in the South Bronx and Pier 11 to expand north to Throgs Neck's Ferry Point Park." For the complete article, click here.

"Live Nation seeks approval for downtown venue," Crain's New York Business, 5/9/19. "Live Nation is seeking approval to open a 3,000-person concert venue and events space in Lower Manhattan," says Crain's New York Business. "The $13.6 billion live music promotion company and ticket-seller is negotiating to lease the American Stock Exchange Building on Trinity Place for the facility, which would total around 80,000 square feet. The company disclosed its plans for the first time publicly last night during a meeting with Community Board 1 alongside its partner in the project, Legends, a stadium and entertainment venue operator that runs the observatory space at the top of One World Trade Center. Live Nation currently holds concerts downtown during the warm months on the roof of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. That venue opened last year for outdoor-only events. The stock exchange venue would host music events and other entertainment year round." For the complete article, click here.

"Head of Governors Island pushed out as former deputy mayor looks to transform site,", 4/29/19. "The city's long-held plans to revitalize Governors Island were finally getting underway last summer, and Michael Samuelian, who was appointed in 2016 to oversee the island's transformation, was excited about the future," Politico reported. "This next chapter presents an unparalleled opportunity to activate the island with new educational and research facilities in a destination unlike anywhere else," he said in August, when City Hall announced the first steps toward redeveloping swaths of the 172-acre island. So it seemed odd last week when Samuelian, an architect who specializes in big, complex projects, announced he was stepping down just as one of the city's biggest and most complex projects was about to get interesting. It turns out he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Samuelian was pushed out by former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who left City Hall in March after five years on the job and now plans to take control of the island's redevelopment, according to several people familiar with the leadership shakeup." For the complete article, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
The kayaking season at the Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park began on Saturday, May 18. The Downtown Boathouse is run by volunteers. Kayaking is free (no experience required). For more information, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Connection bus service changes:  Two changes to the Downtown Connection bus service will start on May 27 and continue through the end of the summer season. Buses will be running on a temporary limited route near The Battery to prevent the misuse of buses by aggressive ticket sellers.  The bus will also skip 10 stops along South End Avenue and Battery Place from May 29 through June 1. This service change is necessitated by the installation of the West Thames Street Bridge. Service will be affected on Wednesday, May 29 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), Friday, May 31 (6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.) and Saturday, June 1 (6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.). For more information, click here.

Bird walks in the Battery: Gabriel Willow, an educator from NYC Audubon, will lead bird walks in The Battery on May 22 and May 23. In spring, migrating birds find food and habitat in The Battery. Last spring's walks included sightings of a Blue Grosbeak, a Summer Tanager, and 21 other bird species. The bird walks start at the Netherlands memorial flag pole (at the intersection of Battery Place, Broadway and State Street) at 8 a.m. Free. To make a reservation, click here.

River Project Wetlab opens for the season: Founded in 1986, The River Project helps protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River Estuary through scientific research and education programs. During Wetlab Look-Ins, the public can visit The River Project to see dozens of species of native fish and invertebrates. Visitors can take part in a 20- to 30 minute tour of the aquarium facility and can also participate in a hands-on activity. Place: the south side of Pier 40. Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Free. For more information about The River Project, click here.

Ferry schedules: On Monday, May 20, the summer 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. As of May 20, ferries to and from Pier 11 at Wall Street and Governors Island are running on weekends . Also on May 20, NYC Ferry began serving the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with a new stop along the Astoria Route. For more information, click here.

Arlene Kalfus Memorial: On May 22, there will be a memorial service for Battery Park City resident Arlene Kalfus who was tragically killed by a bus on South End Avenue on April 4. Place: BPCA Community Room, 200 Rector Place, West Street entrance. Time: 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. RSVP to

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: May 2019
Spotlight: South Street Seaport Museum 

The South Street Seaport Museum's jaunty, wooden tugboat, W.O. Decker  will be back in New York harbor this summer, giving tours. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
However steamy it gets in the city during the summer, there's usually a breeze in the harbor. This summer, the South Street Seaport Museum's beloved tugboat, the W.O. Decker, will be back in the harbor after a recent refit, giving public tours. The museum's 1885 schooner Pioneer will also return. Here are some details:

Beginning May 25, W.O. Decker, New York's last working New-York-built, wooden tugboat will cruise the tip of lower Manhattan, chugging past Battery Park, Castle Clinton National Monument and One World Trade Center. For the first time, Decker will be available for 45-minute-long public cruises on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours, which can be booked in advance, cost $35 with pre-paid museum admission ($29 for seniors and students, $15 for children.) For tickets, click here.

The museum's sailboat, Pioneer, the oldest vessel that regularly cruises New York harbor, will be back in the harbor beginning May 25. She was built to serve as a coastal schooner, transporting cargo such as lumber and stone from Maine, brick manufactured on the Hudson River, and oyster shells from Chesapeake Bay. Although most American cargo sloops and schooners were constructeda of wood, Pioneer has a wrought-iron hull. She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence.

Today, Pioneer functions as a training vessel, giving volunteers a chance to learn traditional maritime skills and the art of tall ship sailing. Visitors can board Pioneer for two-hour or three-hour day and evening cruises as she sails New York Harbor from May through October. Pioneer offers special sails and programs and is available for private charters throughout her season. Trips must be booked in advance, $42 for a two-hour sail or $55 for a three-hour sail with pre-paid museum admission. ($32 for a two-hour sail or $45 for a three-hour sail without museum admission.) For tickets, click here.

Museum tickets are $20 ($14 for seniors and students, children under 8, free) and can be purchased at New this summer and included in museum admission, visitors can tour the awe-inspiring cargo hold of the museum's 1885 ship, Wavertree, the iconic centerpiece of the "Street of Ships" on South Street. For tickets, click here

The South Street Seaport Museum is located at 12 Fulton St.

Also at the South Street Seaport Museum this summer, check out a new exhibition, "The Printed Port." It illuminates an industry central to the development of New York City: job printing. Printers were vital to the 19th-century Port of New York, producing printed materials for the businesses flourishing on South Street, including those in the maritime trades. The South Street Seaport Museum's printing office, Bowne & Co., at 209-211 Water St., was one of hundreds of shops that made up New York's first neighborhood. The exhibition features original and reproduced artifacts from the South Street Seaport Museum's collection, including working printing presses. A survey of printed ephemera presents the tools and techniques involved in their production. Every day, the professional printing staff at Bowne & Co. hosts live demonstrations and workshops.

An on-going exhibition at the museum's 12 Fulton St. gallery is called "Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914." It familiarizes viewers with passenger life aboard the ocean liners that regularly crossed the North Atlantic Ocean, bringing nearly 13 million immigrants to the United States. The wealthy traveled in First Class while immigrants were packed into Third Class accommodations. Even though First Class and Third Class passengers sailed on the same ships, their journeys were worlds apart. This exhibition features both original and reproduced artifacts from the South Street Seaport Museum's permanent collection including ocean liner memorabilia and ephemera, ceramics, and luggage trunks from both immigrants and First-Class passengers. It also delves into the importance that immigration has played in American history.

For more calendar listings, go to the Downtown Post NYC website. Click here.
Passengers who sail aboard Pioneer can help raise the sails, if they choose. 
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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