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News and events in Lower Manhattan

Volume 6, No. 79, Dec. 28, 2023


Letter From the Editor: Ten Years Later

Shelley Niro retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian

Bulletin Board: Price Gouging Warning From New York Attorney General James

Calendar: Holiday Events in Lower Manhattan

For the latest weather info:

Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19 

MASTHEAD PHOTO: The Shelley Niro retrospective exhibition consists of rooms and sometimes alcoves that open onto each other like doors providing a path into the past. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Ten years ago, I founded Downtown Post NYC as an emailed newsletter and website. I published the first issue of the newsletter on Dec. 16, 2013. The lead article was entitled "Plaza on Edgar Street Renamed in Honor of Liz Berger."

The photo that accompanied that article has since been stripped from the archived newsletter by the email service that I use, but I had preserved the photo elsewhere in my files. The caption reads "Elizabeth Berger's husband, Frederick Kaufman, spoke at a ceremony on Dec. 16 during which a plaza at Edgar Street and Trinity Place was named for Berger, the former president of the Downtown Alliance. She died on Aug. 5, 2013 at the age of 53. City Councilmember Margaret Chin and New York City Deputy Mayor Patty Harris also spoke at the dedication. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)"

The article begins, "No one loved lower Manhattan like she did," said New York City Deputy Mayor Patty Harris of Elizabeth Berger, the late president of the Alliance for Downtown New York. 


"Berger chaired the Downtown Alliance from Nov. 2007 to Aug. 5, 2013 when she died at the age of 53 from pancreatic cancer.


On Dec. 16, her friends, associates and family gathered in lower Manhattan to rename the plaza at Edgar Street and Trinity Place near the southern end of Greenwich Street in Berger's memory."

A photo that appeared in the first issue of Downtown Post NYC, announced the renaming of the plaza at Edgar Street and Trinity Place in memory of Liz Berger.

(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2013)

When I started Downtown Post NYC, I included a "Welcome" letter that read, "Ten years ago, I moved to lower Manhattan and almost immediately started reporting on this community. I was standing in line at the post office to buy stamps - at that time, we had a post office in the Cunard building at 25 Broadway. I loved standing in line at

that post office. It originally had served as the steamship company's ticketing hall, opening in 1921. Under a ceiling that soared 65 feet above my head, I stared at paintings of sailing ships, carvings of starfish, dolphins, shells and sea monsters and maps of the world. Then I learned that the post office was planning to close that location; the public would no longer be able to see one of Manhattan's great interiors. I wrote about that for a local newspaper.

"Since then, lower Manhattan has proven to be an endless source of fascination because of its history, architecture, politics, parks, museums, marine environment, restaurants, shops, diversity and interesting people.

"You will find reporting about all of that in Downtown Post NYC, which will be emailed to you on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you like it, please share it. If you have comments or questions, email [email protected].

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer"

The ceiling of the Cunard building at 25 Broadway, with murals by Ezra Winter. The building was constructed between 1917 and 1921. After serving for many years as a U.S. Post Office, it was sold to Cipriani and became a restaurant.

(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer, Jan. 28, 2015)

My desire to publish Downtown Post NYC three times a week came to an abrupt end two months later when, at 3 a.m., I fell asleep in front of my computer trying to make my self-imposed deadline and gashed my head as I crashed to the floor. After a trip to an urgent care center and 10 stitches in my scalp, I decided I would have to publish my newsletter on whatever timetable I could manage without injuring myself again.

I have had occasional help from other people during these last 10 years, but mostly I've researched, written and produced Downtown Post NYC by myself. I've also taken most of the photographs that appeared in the emailed newsletter and on the website.

I deliberately made the newsletter and the website free because I didn't want anyone to be excluded from useful information that I might provide just because they couldn't afford a subscription. I never paid myself a salary but I paid the people who worked on the newsletter. I have depended on income from advertisers to cover these salaries and other overhead expenses (supplies, equipment, rent, transportation, accounting fees and so on). In addition, some people have voluntarily sent me contributions for which I am extremely grateful.

In my darker moments, I've asked myself why I'm doing this — but then someone will send me an email saying that they liked what I wrote, or they liked a photograph, so I keep on keeping on. I look forward to hearing from all of you as to what you like about Downtown Post NYC, what you don't like and your thoughts or questions about any of the subjects that I've addressed. Letters to the Editor are welcome. You can reach me at [email protected].

—   Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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.

HOW TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN POST NYC: I made Downtown Post NYC free to subscribers so that no one who was interested in reading it would be excluded because of cost. Downtown Post NYC is largely supported by advertising revenue. In addition, some people have made contributions, which are much appreciated. For more information about how to contribute or advertise, email [email protected].



At the entrance to the retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian of Shelley Niro's work are three large self-portraits, gently mocking the way in which many people see "aboriginals" compared with the "normal" reality of indigenous people and their genetic and ancestral inheritance. The photographs are an introduction and a warning. You are about to meet Shelley Niro in all her complexity.

(Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On June 17, 2023, Shelley Niro was sitting in the grand marble lobby of the National Museum of the American Indian at 1 Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan signing books. The books in question were entitled "Shelley Niro 500 Year Itch." They had a large photograph of the moon on the black cover amid a lot of silver glitter suggesting a universe filled with stars. A long line of people filed by, wanting a signed copy of this catalogue with essays and numerous color photos of Niro's four decades as an artist.

Niro, who by all reports, is inclined to be cheerful and optimistic, was beaming. The exhibition was the first major retrospective of her career, one on which she embarked with passion and commitment but with no certainty as to how it would turn out. She had at least two strikes against a favorable outcome. She is of Mohawk lineage, born in Niagara Falls, New York but raised in Canada where her parents moved when she was five.

“Shelley has been widely recognized in Canada,” said David Penney, one of the three curators of the retrospective exhibition. “I think that it’s always been a struggle to get recognition, broadly speaking, as a Native artist. We hope to bring her work to the notice of many more people."

The other issue that Niro faced in her quest to become a professional artist is that she's a woman. This is actually an asset within the Kanyen'keha:ka (Mohawk) nation, which is matrilineal and matriarchal, but is not necessarily an asset when it comes to getting funded admission to art schools. Also, family responsibilities may interfere. By the time Niro was 22, she was married and had given birth to her first child. She took photography and art history courses during the day while the baby was in daycare and took drawing courses at night.

Fortunately she had a very supportive husband, Celestino (Chel) Niro, who sat near her as she signed books and who looked as happy as she did. In 1984, when Shelley and Chel and their two daughters moved to Brantford, Canada, Chel was in charge at home while Shelley made the long train trip each day to the Ontario College of Art to study painting, drawing and sculpture.

Shelley Niro, Melissa Bennett and David Penney at a book signing on June 17, 2023 associated with the exhibition of Niro's work at the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan. The exhibition catalogue is entitled "Shelley Niro, 500 Year Itch." Bennett and Penney were two of the three curators of Shelley Niro's retrospective exhibition.

As the exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian makes clear, Shelley Niro is a multi-talented artist. Her work consists of painting, photography, printmaking, mixed media, beadwork and video and film.

The exhibition will only be at the National Museum of the American Indian through Jan. 1, 2024. Then the show will travel to Hamilton, Ontario to the National Gallery of Canada and beyond. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free. For more information about the show and about visiting the museum, click here.

Shelley Doxtater Niro was born in 1954 in Niagara Falls, New York where her father,

George Oliver Doxtater was employed in construction jobs as an iron worker. In addition, Doxtater sold beaded crafts to tourists at the falls to supplement the family's income. The beautifully beaded boots bearing the words "Niagara Falls" and dripping with strings of beads suggesting water are in fact, also a criticism of the rampant commercialism that has intruded on the majesty of the falls, considered by the Kanyen'keha:ka Nation (Mohawk) to be sacred.

A looped video of turbulent water beneath the boots recalls not only Niagara Falls itself but the tumultuous events that occurred there. The date "1779" is a reference to the date when Kanyen'keha:ka refugees gathered at Fort Niagara, a British stronghold, after George Washington had ordered their villages to be burned down because they had sided with the British during the American Revolution. The Kanyen'keha:ka were completely and permanently dispossessed from their ancestral lands in upstate New York. The British provided a new home by ceding land to them along the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. When Shelley was five years old, her family moved to the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Canada.

The Grand River is the geographic center of the Six Nations Grand River Reserve. The river is bordered on both sides by the Haldimand Tract that was granted to the Six Nations Confederacy in 1784. Currently the reserve consists of just 5 percent of the 3,800 square kilometers of land granted to the Six Nations Confederacy under the Haldimand Treaty.

The Grand River Behind Glenhyrst

Glenhyrst is the name of an estate of 15. 5 acres on one side of the Grand River in Brantford, which was once part of the Haldimand Tract. The estate includes a mansion that is now an art gallery and art school. There must have been some irony in Shelley Niro's choosing to paint the "Grand River Behind Glenhyrst" considering that the property on which Glenhyrst sits was once granted to the Six Nations Confederacy.

Shelley Niro returns repeatedly in her work to the Iroquois creation narrative about Sky Woman who fell to Earth through a hole in the sky. Sky Woman was helped as she fell by birds who sustained her in flight and by animals who prepared an earth-covered spot on the back of a turtle where she could land. She was pregnant and shortly after her descent, gave birth to a daughter. In 2011, Shelley Niro created four paintings dealing with parts of Sky Woman's story, using images of her daughter, Anastasia (Naoga) as Sky Woman. Niro's renditions of the Sky Woman story evoke the challenges facing women and their ability to overcome them.

In "Raven's World," Shelley Niro depicts her granddaughter, Raven, the next generation in Niro's matriarchal lineage of potent and fearless women.

“Waitress” represents indigenous lives lost, forgotten and continually traumatized by the effects of North America's colonial systems. Shelley Niro remembers thinking about the past and present when she made this work. “Here we are living in the present but these spirits are still hovering around. I wanted to acknowledge the past that's always there.”

Raven's World

In "Raven's World," Shelley Niro depicts her granddaughter, Raven, who sits on a stool with the moon and stars behind her and with life-sustaining corn growing near at hand. She has a place in the cosmos, which envelops her and sustains her. She shields her eyes with her hand as she looks ahead to what awaits her.

Shelley Niro as 'Waitress'

In “Waitress,” which dates from 1987, Shelley Niro pictures herself as a fumbling server who has accidentally spilled wine on a white customer. Behind them Brian Mulroney, then Prime Minister of Canada, and his wife, Mila, are portrayed as oblivious to the suffering of indigenous peoples who are represented by the mask-like faces in the background.

In a series of photographs called "Sleeping Warrior," Shelley Niro presented the past and present roles that Kanyen'keha:ka (Mohawk) men have assumed. A central image shows a sleeping man surrounded by paper doll clothing that he can put on depending on whether he is dreaming of being a Native warrior in a canoe, a uniformed member of the military, a cowboy/rancher or a tuxedoed businesman.

Humor and Cynicism

Although Shelley Niro's observations can be trenchant, she often softens her cynical appraisals with humor. With her upbringing in a matriarchal culture, Niro is aware that men can be heedlessly destructive in opposition to Clan Mothers who guard, nourish and protect their families and their community. Niro's sleeping cowboy/rancher, for instance, has him dreaming of money-making power lines atop a bare and dusty hill. Niro's businessman hovers over a densely packed urban landscape with no trace of the natural world that once was there.

Shelley Niro called this photograph of her mother, Chiquita, and her daughters, Anastasia and Stella "Time Travels Through Us." The photograph represents the transfer of social, cultural and personal values from one generation to another. The intricate beadwork surrounding the photograph highlights women's artistic labor and the ways in which knowledge is passed forward. The turtle on Chiquita's necklace is a reference to her clan and emphasizes the matriarchal relations around which Kanyen'keha:ka (Mohawk) life is organized.

Memories of what happened to her personally and to her people, the Kanyen’keha:ka (Mohawk) of upstate New York who were dispossessed from their ancestral land, are prominent in Shelley Niro's work. A part of the Niro retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian is devoted to ancestral memories of home and its violent dispossession as well as to the way memory is reinforced and renewed by ceremony.

Holiday Gifts from Té Company

Holiday gifts from Té Company, whose tea room is at 163 West 10th St. in Manhattan, include a variety of teas, cookies and tea ware. Tea subscriptions and gift cards are also available. 

For more information and to order online, click here.

The tearoom is open Tuesday through Sunday

For more information about the tearoom, click here.

The Greek at Greca 

452 Washington St. in Tribeca

Breakfast and lunch are served daily. From Thursday to Sunday, in addition to breakfast and lunch, The Greek at Greca also serves dinner.

For hours, menus and photographs, click here

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (917) 261-4795


Under the sponsorship of NYC Parks, you can wrap up the holiday season by saying goodbye to your tree at a Mulchfest site near you. Drop off your tree and it will be converted into mulch to nourish trees and make NYC even greener. Free bags of mulch, refreshments and other tree-mentos will be available at select sites on Jan. 6 and 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For more information, click here.

Bulletin Board


The Hudson River during Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 4, 2020

(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

On April 4, 2020, Channel 7 Eyewitness News reported that Tropical Storm Isaias had "unleashed tornadoes, dangerous winds, and heavy rain sweeping through the Tri-State area with nearly as much power as it had after making landfall as a hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. More than 12 hours after coming ashore, Isaias still had sustained top winds of 65 mph (105 kph). By mid-afternoon a racing Isaias had crossed the state line just west of New York City, where winds forced the Staten Island ferry and outdoor subway lines to shut down."

Tropical Storm Isaias was a reminder that in addition to Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, we've had monster storms in New York City and will undoubtedly have them again. With that in mind, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has issued bulletins from time to time telling consumers that "price gouging of essential goods and services in the aftermath of heavy rainstorms that caused flash flooding and significant damages in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and other parts of the state" is illegal.

"New York's price gouging statute prevents businesses from taking advantage of consumers by selling essential goods or services at an excessively higher price during market disruptions or emergencies," says AG James. She "urges New Yorkers who see higher price essential goods and services, including ride hailing, to report the issue to her office."

The goods and services in question include "food, water, gasoline, generators, batteries, flashlights, hotel lodging and transportation options," according to press releases from the Attorney General's office. "When reporting price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General, consumers should report the specific increased prices, dates and places that they saw the increased price and provide copies of their sales receipts and photos of the advertised prices, if available."

Price gouging violations can carry penalties of up to $25,000 per violation. New Yorkers should report potential concerns about price gouging by filing a complaint online or calling (800) 771-7755.

— Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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

To see the events and activities on the Battery Park City Authority's winter calendar, click here. Most events are free. For some, reservations are required.


Spotlight: Holiday events in Lower Manhattan

A National Park Service guide pointing to a map incised into the outdoor memorial of the African Burial Ground showing the approximate boundaries of the original cemetery, which was used between the 1640s and 1794 to bury slaves and other people of African descent. Originally, the cemetery covered 6.6 acres. The memorial near Broadway and Duane Street is three-quarters of an acre. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dec. 26, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024: The African Burial Ground at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historic role slavery played in building New York City. The site honors both the spirit of those buried here and those who fought for the respectful protection of this site for this and future generations.

Kwanzaa will be celebrated at the African Burial Ground National Monument with both in-person and virtual programming as follows: Dec. 26: African drumming, libation, performances, spoken word and a speaker from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Ted Weiss Federal Building, 290 Broadway. Dec. 27, 28 and 29: from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. cultural demonstrators will offer crafts in the park’s multipurpose room. Dec. 29: from 12 noon to 1 p.m. the park will host a Kinara-Side Chat in the park’s theater. Dec. 30: from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be libation, African drumming, performances and a speaker in the lobby of the Ted Weiss Federal Building. Visitors should plan on arriving 15 minutes before the beginning of each event to go through airport-style security. From Dec. 26, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024, rangers will offer daily programming that will include learning and understanding the Kwanzaa principles. For daily videos, go to Admission is free.

The fireworks at the Statue of Liberty on New Year's Eve are usually memorable and a good way to honor Our Lady of the Harbor and everything for which she stands.

New Year's Eve fireworks

Downtown Post NYC is not about to tell you where to go to watch New Year's Eve fireworks, if you're so inclined. For that, we refer you to TimeOut New York. Here's the URL:

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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