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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 33,  Aug. 29, 2020   

"In some cases, in Chinatown and Little Italy, the owners of stores that sold exclusively to tourists were almost in tears. One lady said she made $3 yesterday. They all owe $90,000 or $100,000 in rent. I wanted to let them know that there's somebody listening."

     -  Borough of Manhattan President Gale Brewer commenting on her four-day-long listening tour of small businesses, that took her from one end of Manhattan to the other 
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of Aug. 27 at 1:21 p.m.
3,511,820 tested * 233,140 confirmed cases * 23,674 deaths
Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19  
MASTHEAD PHOTO: The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York harbor. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty Museum have reopened to visitors with safety measures in place. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
Visitors to Nashville, Tenn. are likely to take in the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Bluebird Café, a music club where a succession of singer/songwriters, known and unknown, strut their stuff night after night. Visitors are also likely to make a pilgrimage to RCA Studio B, where the piano that Elvis Presley used to play is still there. He would warm up with gospel songs and then lay down some new tracks that are remembered as among his greatest hits.

The day I visited many years ago, I arrived at the same time as a group of women from a church. The man who was giving us a tour of the place turned off the lights in the studio. Through its superb sound system came Elvis's voice singing "How Great Thou Art." It was as though he were in the room with us. When the lights came on again, we were all in tears.

That's one of my most vivid memories of Nashville. The other is of the State Capitol building. It's not that I remember the architecture distinctly, though it is a fine example of the Greek Revival style as executed by the prominent Philadelphia architect, William Strickland. I remember the story told by the tour guide. It was about a young man named Harry T. Burn. At 24 years old, he was the youngest member of the State House of Representatives.

The story told by the guide took place in the month of August in the year 1920. It was sweltering hot. In 1919, the Congress of the United States had passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote in federal elections, but in order for it to become law, 36 states had to ratify it. Thirty-five states had voted yes and eight states had voted no. Now it was up to the legislature of Tennessee. The bill had passed the Tennessee Senate and it had gone to the House. There it languished as lawmakers for and against the bill delayed the vote.

The stalemate persisted for 10 days. Harry Burn appeared to be among the anti-suffragists. He had twice voted to table the motion for ratification, which, had it passed, would have killed it. But each time, the vote ended in a tie, so it was still alive. Thinking that the votes were there to kill the bill outright, the anti-suffragist Speaker of the House asked for a vote. One man after another voted against the bill. Again, it looked as though the vote would be a tie. It was Harry Burn's turn to vote. "Aye," he said, much to the surprise of everyone in the chamber. His vote took the suffragists over the top. The amendment was ratified. Because of Harry Burn, women in the United States could vote in federal elections.

The outcry after the vote was so acrimonious that the governor of Tennessee ordered the sergeant-at-arms to be Burn's guard. Burn exited the chamber as quickly as he could, climbed out a window, inched his way across a ledge and hid in the attic of the state library.

He had voted against what he knew to be the wishes of many of the people of Niota, a town of fewer than a thousand people that he represented. They were adamant in their opposition to women's suffrage and he was up for re-election. But the morning of the vote, he had received a letter from his mother, Febb Burn. She was a college-educated widow who read three newspapers a day and was not diffident about her mental abilities. 

"Hurrah, and vote for suffrage and don't keep them in doubt," she wrote to Harry. He listened to his mother. Later he wrote, "I believe we had a legal and moral right to ratify; I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."

The end of the story is this: that despite having put his political career in jeopardy by his vote for women's suffrage, Harry Burn did win re-election to the State legislature. And on Oct. 9, 1920 when 900 women registered to vote in McMinn County, Tenn. where Febb Burn lived, she was the first in line.

That's the end of the story but not the end of the struggle. White women were able to vote beginning in 1920, and some black women also could vote without hindrance. But in the South, so many obstacles were placed in front of African-American women that they were effectively disenfranchised. In some places, they had to wait in line for up to 12 hours to register to vote. They had to pay special taxes and undergo tests that included their ability to read and interpret the U.S. Constitution. If they tried to circumvent this in any way, they could be jailed. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that their right to vote was affirmed.

The Voting Rights Act also affirmed the right of Native Americans to vote. Previously, they could only vote if the state where they lived permitted it. Utah, in 1962, was the last state to fully guarantee voting rights to Native people.

Unfortunately, a Supreme Court decision in 2013 significantly weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The struggle continues.

One man, one vote. One woman, one vote. One person, one vote. And yes, one vote one way or another can make a difference. In some cases, it can make a huge difference.

To register to vote in New York City, click here.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer
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Borough of Manhattan President Gale Brewer on a "small business walk" of the South Street Seaport, stopped at the Fishmarket Restaurant, 111 South St., to talk with Jeff Lim, the owner. Brewer and Andrew Chang, Community Liaison for Brewer's office, handed out masks, sanitizers and Brewer's business card. Over a four-day period, Brewer's small business walks spanned Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
To find out what was going on with Manhattan's small businesses, Borough President Gale Brewer took to the streets. Over the course of four days - Aug. 21, 22, 24 and 25 - she  walked from one end of Manhattan to the other, visiting every community board district and talking with small business owners about their concerns. She left each of them with masks, sanitizer, census information and her business card so that she could personally provide follow-up referrals and services.
On Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. she started her odyssey in Community Board 7 on the Upper West Side. Her route that day took her through the East Village and the Lower East Side, ending up in the South Street Seaport which is part of Community District 1. After nearly six hours of walking and talking, she called it a day and sat down for a few minutes in the Seaport's Titanic Memorial Park before heading home.
By that time, she had been in East Harlem, Washington Heights, Chinatown, the Upper West Side, Harlem and the Lower East Side. She summed up her impressions. 
"Number one, there are a lot of vacant stores," she said. "We don't know if they're ever going to reopen. Sometimes they have a 'For Rent' sign and then you know they're not going to open. That's very disturbing."
Brewer stopped at the Seaport Paw on Peck Slip to talk with the owner. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
Brewer said that stores that sell to tourists exclusively are "really dying. However, the outdoor restaurants are doing OK," she said. "The weather's been pretty good...and then, of course, you have the rent issue. The Mom and Pops - maybe they have some customers that come on a regular basis, but the rent is too high. Some owners are negotiating, and that's what we're trying to keep going - to get more owners to negotiate."
Brewer said that she thought that just listening to the small business owners was helpful. She added, "We have the ear of the mayor and the governor. We can push the city to issue as few fines and fees as possible. Those don't help. And then we're in touch with the Chambers of Commerce, the BID [Business Improvement District], the Restaurant Association, the Hospitality Alliance." She said that community boards, which usually take August off, have been meeting all July and all August "and they've been listening to the SLA [State Liquor Authority] issues and trying to help the small businesses."   
In May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Brewer to the Regional Control Room for New York City, where she advises the governor and the executive chamber on re-opening the city and on conditions on the ground.     
Brewer said that some Community Districts were in more desperate shape than others. "In some cases, in Chinatown and Little Italy, the owners of stores that sold exclusively to tourists were almost in tears," she said. "One lady said she made $3 yesterday. They all owe $90,000 or $100,000 in rent. I wanted to let them know that there's somebody listening."
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Borough of Manhattan President Gale Brewer and Andrew Chang, Community Liaison for her office, heading home after a long day of visiting small business owners, handing out masks, sanitizer and business cards and listening to their problems.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Bits & Bytes

The landmarked Fleming Smith warehouse at the corner of Washington and Watts Streets in Tribeca housed the China Blue restaurant from 2013 to 2020. China Blue has just closed because of a fall-off in business from the Covid-19 pandemic. Before China Blue, Capsouto Frères was in this location but closed after it was flooded by Superstorm Sandy. The Fleming Smith warehouse was designed by Stephen Decatur Hatch. It dates from 1891-1892 and was originally used as a wine storehouse and as a shoe factory. In the late 1970s, this warehouse became the first building in Tribeca to be converted to residential use.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
"Historic NYC Steakhouse Delmonico's Future Hinges on an Internal Battle for Ownership,", 8/25/2020. "The fate of Delmonico's - arguably one of the oldest and most well-known restaurants in New York City - is up in the air due to an ongoing legal battle over ownership," reports. "The restaurant has remained closed since the pandemic-related shutdown on dining in March, and there are currently no plans to reopen the establishment until the ongoing lawsuit is resolved, according to court documents. Co-owners Omer Grgurev and Ferdo Grgurev filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court against the restaurant's other owners, Milan Licul and Branko Turcinovic, in August 2019, calling for a dissolution of their partnership. Each of the owners have a 25 percent stake in the company called Ocinomled, Ltd., and the Grgurevs are looking to buy out Turcinovic and Licul's shares. In the lawsuit, the Grgurevs allege that Licul and Turcinovic failed to 'keep proper financial records,' and 'under-reported sales and cash receipts, and misappropriated collected sales taxes, exposing the Corporation to the risk of significant regulatory penalties if not worse,' among other allegations of mismanagement." For the complete article, click here.

"Chopper rides from Hamptons fly off the shelves as Covid changes plans,", 8/21/2020. "Elites are snapping up the fastest ride from the Hamptons: by helicopter," says "A chopper ride-sharing service, Blade, [recently] announced a membership deal for helicopter flights between the East End and New York City. Customers who forked over $965 could then book one-way flights for $295 a pop. The memberships sold out in one day, according to CNBC." For the complete article, click here
China Blue closes: has been publishing "A Running List of NYC Restaurants That Have Permanently Closed During the COVID-19 Crisis." On Aug. 27, 2020, that list included China Blue located in the landmarked Fleming Smith warehouse building at the corner of Washington and Watts Streets. "While some restaurants in New York remain temporarily closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a sizable group has been forced to permanently shutter as the industry contends with colossal losses in the billions," said. The article went on to say that the closures so far may be just "the beginning of permanent closures, however, as rent and utility payments continue to mount in the coming months. In August, the New York Times estimated that as many as 2,800 small businesses had already closed since March 1, a third of which were restaurants and bars. Yet due to the difficulty of tracking restaurant and bar closings right now, experts say that number is likely much higher - and will only continue to grow." lauded China Blue for its "superb" soup dumplings" and its "lion's head meatballs," which were "worth going out of the way for." For the complete article, click here.   
"Charles Cook, Ground Zero Volunteer for Months, Dies at 79," New York Times, 8/27/2020. "When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, most people streamed uptown. But Charles Cook, a 60-year-old retiree living in Harlem, pulled on work clothes and headed downtown," says The New York Times. "Ground zero was nearly 10 miles from his home on West 146th Street, and all public transportation was shut down. So he walked. Mr. Cook was outraged by the attacks and wanted to help. An Army veteran and a former conductor for the New York City subway system, he was familiar with chaos and was not afraid to see dismembered bodies. When he arrived, he was put to work, digging through the rubble by hand in search of people who might still be alive. With hundreds of other volunteers, he spent a total of three months at ground zero, sleeping on the floor of a nearby Brooks Brothers store. Mr. Cook died on Aug. 19 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan." The article goes on to say, "Mr. Cook often said his respiratory problems after 9/11 were a small price to pay for the deeper meaning he found in helping other people." For the complete article, click here

Downtown bulletin board

Beets for sale at the Saturday Greenmarket on Greenwich Street in Tribeca. For a list of the fruits and vegetables now in season, click here.  (Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Updated New York State travel ban: On Aug. 25, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that five states - Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana - have been removed from New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. Guam has been added. The advisory requires anyone who has traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to anyone arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
The C-19 infection rate in New York State remains at 1% of those tested or below.

"New Yorkers made enormous sacrifices to get our numbers as low as they are today, and we don't want to give up an inch of that hard-earned progress," Cuomo said. "That's why these travel advisory precautions are so important - we don't want people who travel to states with high community spread to bring the virus back here. While it's good news that five states have been removed from the travel advisory, the list remains far too long as America continues to struggle with COVID-19. This pandemic is not over."
The full, updated travel advisory list is as follows: Alabama; Arkansas; California; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Hawaii; Iowa; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; Nevada; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Virgin Islands; Wisconsin   
Coastal storm evacuation information: The Office of Emergency Management wants New Yorkers to know that coastal storms, which include hurricanes, nor'easters, and tropical storms, can cause severe flooding, strong winds and heavy rain. Strong winds and high waters can create hazards such as falling trees, downed power lines, flying debris, and loss of heat, water and power. Be prepared and keep yourself and your family safe by using these tips.
    ◦    Know Your Zone: Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on the risk of storm surge flooding. The City may order residents to evacuate depending on the hurricane's track and projected storm surge. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone. If you live in an evacuation zone, have a plan for where you will go if an evacuation order is issued for your area. For the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder, click here.     
Eviction moratorium: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the residential eviction moratorium through Oct. 1. If an eviction warrant had been issued before the shutdown began on March 17, judges will re-review those cases before deciding if eviction warrants may be executed. Tenants are advised to contact Legal Aid if they were in eviction proceedings before March 17 and don't already have an attorney. (For information about the Legal Aid Society, click here.) Otherwise, no new residential evictions may take place before Oct. 1, 2020. The City's new NYC Tenant Resource Portal provides a unified directory of all tenant resources. To access it, click here. Those without internet access can call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline. 
New York Public Library opens more 'Grab & Go' locations: The New York Public Library is continuing the phased process of returning limited service to its physical locations after temporarily closing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. As of Monday, August 3, the library has expanded its grab-and-go service to 30 library locations, following the initial reopening of eight library locations on July 13. At each of these locations, patrons can access a limited area for returns and pick up materials that they've reserved. Patrons can now place holds on physical materials for pickup at these locations via the library's online catalog, or via phone. For more information, click here.  
Become a poll worker: Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, New York is experiencing a critical shortage of poll workers. Historically, 55 percent of New York's poll workers have been over the age of 60, making them especially vulnerable to the pandemic. This has resulted in a significant need for poll workers who are willing and able to help with the administration of in-person voting during the November 3 general election. Poll workers are needed during early voting, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1 and on Election Day, Nov. 3.  You are eligible to serve if you are a New York State registered voter. (Interpreters do not need to be registered voters.) You will be assigned within the county where you live. If you live in New York City, you will be assigned within the five boroughs. You will be paid for training and for each day you work. To apply, click here
Open Streets: Restaurants in FiDi: The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit business improvement district for Lower Manhattan, is participating in the Department of Transportation's Open Streets: Restaurants program, in partnership with several area restaurants.
Pine Street from Pearl Street to William Street and Pearl Street from Broad Street to Hanover Square have been closed to traffic to accommodate in-street outdoor dining. The closures run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The program will continue through Sept. 7.
Crown Shy and Black Fox have operations on Pine Street, and, on Pearl Street, the Fraunces Tavern Restaurant as well as the Porterhouse Brew Co are open. In the coming days more restaurants on these streets may take advantage of the program.
The Downtown Alliance is responsible for placing and removing barricades to close the street to traffic each day. The restaurants are responsible for setting up and breaking down seating and serving areas as well as for maintaining cleanliness and appropriate social distancing.   
New York City museums can reopen: As of Monday, Aug. 24, New York City museums and other low-risk cultural institutions could reopen subject to New York State guidelines. The institutions include museums, aquariums and other low-risk cultural arts venues. All institutions must obey strict safety protocols, including a 25 percent maximum occupancy limit. Timed ticketing will be required with pre-set, staggered entry and there will be strict enforcement of face coverings and social distancing. Traffic flow will be controlled to avoid crowding. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will be in place.
Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens on Aug. 29: After having been closed since March, the Met Fifth Avenue reopens to the public on Aug. 29. The Met Cloisters is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, Sept. 12. The Met Fifth Avenue's building will be open five days a week, Thursdays through Mondays. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, the hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays, the museum will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Timed entrance registration will be required. For more information, click here.  
NYS Bowling Alleys can reopen: As of Monday, Aug. 24, New York State bowling alleys could reopen at 50 percent maximum capacity. Face coverings and social distancing are required at all times. Every other lane is closed and patrons are required to stay with their party at their assigned lane. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use is required.  
Alternate side parking: Alternate side parking regulations are in effect from Aug. 17 to Sept. 5.  Under the summer rules, if a side of a street has an ASP sign showing multiple days, street cleaning regulations will be in effect on that side of the street only on the latest day of the week posted on the sign.
9/11 Memorial: The 9/11 Memorial is now open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily with Virtual 9/11 Memorial tours daily. The Museum will reopen to the public on Sept. 12 with timed ticketing required.  Tickets will be available for online purchase beginning Sept. 4. For more information, click here.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets: There are Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets in Tribeca (at Chambers and Greenwich Streets) and at Bowling Green, City Hall, the Oculus and the Staten Island ferry. GrowNYC asks that shoppers wear a face covering inside the market space and maintain a six-foot distance between themselves, Greenmarket staff, farm stand employees and other customers. Dogs and bicycles should be left at home.

Click here for a list of the fruits and vegetables now in season.

How to report police abuse: If you witness police abuse in person or see footage on social media, you can file a complaint with the City's Civilian Complaint Review Board at or (800) 341-CCRB.

New York State Attorney General James, who is conducting an investigation of the George Floyd protests, asks that any information, including visuals, be shared with her office as they proceed with that investigation. Email:
Register to vote: If you are not yet registered to vote, you can get registered so that you can vote in the general election, which will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Mailed registration applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 9, 2020 in order to be able to vote on Nov. 3. For more information on how to register to vote, click here.

Voters can obtain absentee ballots due to risk or fear of illness, including COVID-19. You can apply for an absentee ballot online by clicking here. A recently enacted law in New York State ensures that all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 3) or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the Election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by Nov. 10. As an alternative to mailing them back, absentee ballots can be dropped off at any poll site on election day or any early voting poll site. They can also be dropped off at the Board of Elections.  

For answers to frequently asked questions about voting, click here.  
For the certified results of the June 23 primary election, 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.

Disaster Loans & Grants 
Unemployment Assistance - available for W2 and Schedule C clients
Mandated additional sick pay and associated tax credit
Paycheck Protection Program;  Extended tax loss carry-backs


A CitiBike stand in Tribeca on Watts Street. Lower Manhattan has 28 CitiBike stations where bicycles can be rented for short trips and can be securely parked when the trip is finished. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is enamored of cycling as a means of transportation that can reduce traffic on the city's congested streets and cut down on air pollution. In July 2019, his administration released a document called "Green Wave: A Plan for Cycling in New York City."
"Cycling is one of the truly great ways to travel around New York City - biking is efficient affordable, equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly," the Green Wave plan proclaimed.  
The Downtown Alliance, which manages the Business Improvement District serving much of Lower Manhattan south of Chambers Street, takes an equally rosy view of cycling. In fact, the Alliance says that many residents and workers are already on board.  
In a recent report entitled "Bicycle Infrastructure & Commuting in Lower Manhattan," the Alliance noted that "Over 20% of Lower Manhattan's workforce already either walks or bikes to work. Lower Manhattan's growing residential population can easily walk or bike to work, as over 30% currently do." The Alliance expects those numbers to grow in part because of  the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made cycling even more attractive as an alternative to the health risks of public transportation and the expense of car services and taxis.     
The Alliance states in its report that "Nearly 60% of Lower Manhattan's workforce is younger than 40 years old, placing these employees in the prime cycling age group."   
All of this should be good news to existing Downtown businesses and to businesses considering a move to Lower Manhattan. It turns out that many of the people who commute to Lower Manhattan for work are looking at a bike ride of no more than 15 minutes between home and office.  
Now the challenge is to improve the infrastructure associated with this actual and expected upsurge in cycling. In an article dated June 17, 2020, the New York Daily News reported that there were 29 cyclists killed in New York City in 2019, "the most in at least two decades." ("Proposed 425-mile network of bike lanes would make New York an easier place to pedal, Regional Plan Association says.")  Mayor de Blasio has already committed to installing over 80 miles of protected bike lanes and to fortifying existing bike lanes to make them safer. He has also committed to installing traffic signals that favor cyclists.  
The Downtown Alliance is suggesting some other improvements that could make Lower Manhattan even more attractive to cycling commuters. These include growing the capacity of CitiBike stations across Lower Manhattan and adding new stations near transit stops.
The issue of safe bicycle storage could be addressed, the Alliance says, by utilizing vacant retail storefronts for protected bike parking and by finding creative ways to improve bike access to commercial buildings. The Alliance is also suggesting activating publicly owned private spaces (POPS) by installing bike racks and protected bike parking in these areas.  
Though the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be ebbing in New York City, at least for the time being, it has opened up the possibility of making important changes that could prove to be lasting improvements. The Downtown Alliance is beating the drum for a swift enactment.  
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 

Letter to the Editor

Tree stump on Rector Place. (Photo: John Dellaportas)
To the editor:
Residents of Rector Place in Battery Park City were awakened Wednesday morning by the roar of chainsaws and an accompanying woodchipper which, in the span of just a few hours, turned four lovely, 20-year old trees into mulch. The explanation offered to our super was that because of a recent storm, all four trees (perfectly healthy until that point), had suffered "structural damage" such that they risked dropping branches on nearby cars. For the sake of a handful of folks who street-park their vehicles for free, a generation has lost the enjoyment of a magnificent tree cover. 
My wife and I have lived in this neighborhood for 26 years. We remember when those trees were planted. At the time, the then-head of BPC Parks, Tessa Huxley (who the Battery Park City Authority later fired for being too good at her job, such that they suffered by comparison), promised that no neighborhood tree would ever be cut down without community consultation. Apparently, the Authority's current management has abandoned that policy. No notice was provided. No opportunity was given to the community to discuss whether less drastic measures (e.g., pruning) could accomplish the same objective. When I called the Authority during business hours to see if I could obtain further information, I only got voicemail. None of its 194 employees could be troubled to pick up the phone.
This wanton destruction would never happen if, like other communities, we had some ability to manage our own affairs. Unfortunately, we are run by state bureaucrats.  Someday that may change. Until then, is it too much to ask that they hand over the keys to the woodchipper?
John Dellaportas
Longtime Battery Park City Resident
From the editor:

We welcome letters to the editor. E-mail them to We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length.

John and Lisa Dellaportas with their dog, Clark, walking down Rector Place in April 2015, when the row of callery pear trees was still intact. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Spotlight: South Street Seaport Museum  

For five days in September, the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 cargo ship Wavertree will be open to the public with timed entry. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The South Street Seaport Museum's massive ship Wavertree, built in 1885, is typical of the ships that once lined South Street, bringing cargo from all over the world to the port of New York. Wavertree, built in Southampton, England of riveted wrought iron, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The ship will be open to the public on Sept. 5, 6, 12, 19 and 26 with timed entry from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Admission is free and includes access to the ship's main deck and raised rear deck. Be prepared to climb a few stairs and walk up an angled gangway to enter the ship.
No more than 35 guests will be allowed on board the ship at any one time in order to encourage social distancing. All guests older than two will be required to wear a face covering at all times aboard Wavertree and at the Museum's open air, pop-up gift shop on Pier 16.  
For ticket reservations, click here
In addition to the opportunity to board Wavertree, the South Street Seaport Museum has created a new, free, outdoor exhibition on Pier 16. It utilizes historic photographs, lithographs, prints and paintings displayed on a series of panels to celebrate the people of all backgrounds who lived and worked in the South Street Seaport Historic District and the many businesses that got their start in and around the Seaport, making New York City a commercial and cultural mecca. The exhibition draws on the Museum's outstanding collection of more than 28,000 artifacts and works of art, and more than 5,000 historic records.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, the Museum will host an afternoon of Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Laura Norwitz, Senior Director for Programs and Education at the Museum will host the virtual event from the deck of the Wavertree. The singing session will be moderated by Deirdre Murtha of The Johnson Girls and The New York Packet, a group of traditional chantey singers in the New York area. People from all over the world will join in via Zoom for a round-robin of shared songs featuring members of the New York Packet and friends.

Sea chanteys provide boisterous, sometimes melancholy insights into the lives of sailors who worked under demanding, often dangerous conditions as they circumnavigated the globe with essential cargo or ventured into the icy seas of Antarctica in pursuit of whales. Often they would be away from home for months or even years at a time.

Listen, lead a song or join in the singing. The event is free. To receive the Zoom link 24 hours before the event begins, click here.

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

Chris Koldewey, a musican and teacher, singing on Aug. 2 during the South Street Seaport Museum's monthly edition of "Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music." Since it happened to take place the day after Herman Melville's birthday, Koldewey chose a song that's mentioned in "Moby-Dick." The song, called "Spanish Ladies," has had a variety of lyrics over the years, but in one version, the chorus says "We'll rant and we'll roar like true Yankee whalermen," and that's the version that Koldewey sang.


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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