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She was here and gone in a ﬂash, wearing her trade- mark white gloves and a silk hat. Queen Elizabeth II’s trip to Manhattan on Tuesday lasted only ﬁve hours. Her husband, 89-year-old Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied her on the visit, which happened to fall on the hottest day in New York City’s history. Temperatures reached 103 degrees, breaking the 1999 highmark of 101.
It was only the third trip to New York City in the Queen’s 84-year life. She visited ﬁrst in 1957 and then again in 1976.
Her Majesty’s day began at the United Nations where she spoke for less than ten minutes to a packed hall. According to the New York Times, she noted the pri- mary challenges currently facing the global commu- nity, terrorism and climate change, and said the waging of peace is often the tough- est role of leadership. She said, “In my lifetime, the United Nations has moved from being a high-minded aspiration to being a real force for common good.”
She was then whisked over to the site of the 9/11 terrorists attacks to pay trib- ute to those who perished on that day by laying a wreath at the site of the South Tower. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Governor David Patterson and New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie joined her. Afterwards, she exchanged words and thoughts with a few families of 9/11 victims and some of the ﬁ rst responders.
Lastly, she traveled a few blocks to Hanover Square to “ofﬁcially” open the British Garden of Remembrance, created two years ago to honor the 67 British citizens who died in the attacks.
“This British Garden of Remembrance memorial- izes one of those difﬁ cult moments – the World Trade Center attacks,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This beautiful addition to our city will for- ever remind us that we stand side by side in the ﬁ ght for freedom. We are grateful for Her Majesty’s friendship, leadership, and support – and also honored she is here to ofﬁ cially open this garden to the public.”
Turmoil is mounting as the old Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street is slowly coming down, ﬂoor by ﬂ oor.
The building, currently 12 stories tall, was once 41 ﬂ oors high before it was badly damaged by the falling of the Twin Towers on 9/11. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation hired construction manager Bovis Lend Lease to demolish it in 2005. Bovis was
granted $81 million to decontaminate the building, which contained asbestos, and to take it down. The total cost of the project will amount to $300 mil- lion.
But Bovis feels that it’s now get- ting more work than it originally bar- gained for. The company filed a law suit to the State Supreme Court last month, demanding another $80 mil- lion, minimum, from L.M.D.C., the state agency that hired it, for com-
pleting the project. The complaint charges government regulators with “interference” that has made the demolition project more taxing and costly than previously anticipated. The cost of abatement, for example, which involved ridding the building of potentially hazardous materials, spiked to more than $155 million from $33.5 million. Consequently,
The majestic marble staircase at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center, which was completely redone after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, might be taken down, yet again.
Brookﬁeld Properties and City Planning might do away with the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden in order to make room for an entrance to the pedestrian tunnel link- ing the Winter Garden with the new W.T.C. transportation center.
“I’m afraid that in August they’ll make a decision [without community input] and we’ll start World War 6,” said C.B. 1 Battery Park City Chair Linda Belfer. The Committee decided to draft a resolution that asks Brookﬁ eld and City Planning to have some say in the decision before they make it.
The resolution might even state the Committee’s wish that the staircase be preserved, since everyone is apparently in favor of it. “I don’t know anyone that’s not opposed to tak- ing down the staircase,” one Community Board member said, certain that the full board will ratify the motion.
Meanwhile, Brookﬁeld Properties is seemingly snubbing the B.P.C. Committee, pulling a no-show to the last two B.P.C. Committee meetings that it was explicitly invited to.
New automatic doors at the Battery Park City Branch will be installed in 6 to 8 weeks, according to an NYPL repre- sentative who spoke at Tuesday’s C.B. 1 Battery Park City meeting at One World Financial Center.
When NYPL inherited the building, the doors, while ADA compliant, were not automatic. So folks in wheelchairs would need to ring the bell and wait for an NYPL staff per- son to open the door.
“When we ﬁ rst looked into whether we could motor- ize the doors, we were told the current doors could NOT become motorized without major construction that would close the branch,” said Angela Monteﬁnise, NYPL public relations manager. Upon further examination, the library found a way to do it without interruption of library service.
The doors were previously The representative said that the inner and outer doors need to be retroﬁtted, and that construction should take two days, maximum.
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Tuesday was a record breaking day in New York City as temperatures reached 103 degrees in Central Park and at LaGuardia Airport. Some people tried frying eggs on the asphalt to prove just how hot it was. Employees at New York City’s 3-1-1 ofﬁ ce in Lower Manhattan reported a giant spike in calls from residents, mostly asking how best to stay cool and beat the heat. But in Times Square the evidence of a heat wave was clear: it was so hot, even gold reached its melting point.
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, all committee meetings are held at the board ofﬁce, located at 49-51 Chambers Street, room 709 at 6 p.m.
After eight months of renovations, the new playground at West Thames Park re- opened last Thursday to a hoard of play- hungry children. The renovations are part of Route 9A, a larger project headed by the New York State Department of Transportation to connect the World Trade Center site with Battery Park City.
“In refurbishing this park, we have invested in our children, our country’s future leaders,” said N.Y.S.D.O.T. Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee. “This park will be a legacy in Lower Manhattan for years to come.”
Representatives from the Battery Park City Authority and nearby residents were joined by state and federal ofﬁcials to cel- ebrate the re-opening. Three youngsters from Battery Park City Day Nursery, rep- resenting the hundreds of children that use the playground, helped cut the ribbon. The park’s level lawn, previously sloped, is an improved recreational space for families. The park’s new northern section, on the other side of the Rector Street pedestrian bridge, consists of a community garden for botanists. Other new features include a basketball court, two adult half courts and a 6,200-square-foot dog run for canines of all sizes.
Administration allocated towards transpor- tation infrastructure recovery following the 9/11 attacks.
is yet another symbol of progress on the restoration of the Battery Park City neigh- borhood that was so severely damaged by the events of September 11, 2001,” said
“While the rebuilding of Ground Zero and the rehabilitation of the West Side Highway are still underway, residents and visitors will be able to use this park in the heart of the neighborhood,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, who couldn’t attend the ceremony.
“I am delighted to see this much-needed park has been newly renovated and is now open for our community,” said Speaker Silver, also absent from the ceremony.
The playground, located on the Southern end of the park, was bustling with cheerful parents and children last Thursday. Many of the families are happy with the new recre- ational space.
“It’s fabulous,” said Monika Bialokur, a parent who brings her twins to the park a few times a week. Bialokur lives with her family in Liberty Court residences at 200 Rector Place. “They’ve done a great job at redesigning the space and making the most out of it,” she added. Her twins spent hours playing on the new spider dome. “It’s fantastic for their coordina- tion,” Bialokur said.
“It’s very open,” parent and B.P.C. resi- dent Jessica Holder said of the park’s lay- out. “You can kind of be anywhere in the park and see your child.” Holder’s daughter,
After more than a month of discussion, the tire swing in West Thames Park was taken down: this time, by the New York State D.O.T. itself.
The D.O.T. removed a tire swing that was the subject of debate since the park’s re-opening on Memorial Day weekend. After an incident involving two children, an incensed local resident, the father of one of the children, took down the swing himself. The D.O.T. responded by putting it back up four days later. They have now taken it down again, in compliance with requests from the Battery Park City com- munity.
“We recognize that there are still some questions about the dimensions of the tire swing, and whether it’s safe for the kids to go on,” said D.O.T. spokesperson Adam Levine.
A ten-year-old was pushing three small children on a tire swing in West Thames Park on May 28, when two of the chil- dren smacked their heads on the supporting wooden beam.
“The fact that you put it up there with the ribbon-cutting ceremony…really annoyed me,” said Bill Schoenmaker at Tuesday night’s Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee meeting, whose child came home that day with a large bump on her head.
“I took this swing down that night, and I’ll take it down again. This thing is a nui- sance.”
Schoenmaker and a few other parents attended the committee meeting on Tuesday night to voice their concerns about the new park’s tire swing, which was erected again by the D.O.T. on June 1.
The Department also spoke with the manufacturer of the device, who conﬁ rmed that the swing follows all safety regulations.
“There have been no reported incidents in either Central Park or at the Riverdale Country School,” said Lisa Weiss, urban design director of the Route 9a project.
But Justine Cuccia, a parent of the second child that hit her head, said that children using the swing risk being injured. “I’m very upset that the tire swing is back up again,” she said.
The B.P.C. Committee decided to create a working task force to come up with an alter- native to the tire swing in a motion that was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s meeting.
“They put up a piece of equipment that’s according to the specs, but we have enough evidence here that [the swing] seems to be a problem,” said Anthony Notaro, a B.P.C. Committee member. “I think at this point we really should have it removed, until we have an alternative.”
Schoenmaker was pleased with the out- come. “I don’t get why it was put up again, but I’m satisﬁ ed,” he said following the meeting.
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