Last Friday city council Members were joined by mem- bers of the Transit Workers Union Local 100 at City Hall to discuss the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s plans to close or reduce hours at a number of subway station booths. The action would also result in the layoffs of 220 sta- tion agents.
In Lower Manhattan, both the Wall Street and the Fulton Street/Broadway-Nassau Street stops would see clo- sures. Those two stops, in par- ticular, have city council mem- ber Margaret Chin wondering exactly what the MTA could be thinking.
“In the tragic event of another attack in our commu- nity, these workers would be
crucial in directing passengers to safety. Closing the booths at the Fulton St./Broadway- Nassau and Wall Street stops is particularly worrisome,” said Chin at a recent public hear- ing on the issue. “These areas of Lower Manhattan remain prime terror targets, with the subways themselves a likely target. Imagine the grizzly sce- nario: hundreds of passengers stranded in the subway stops, with no cell phone service — and now no means of commu- nicating with authorities.”
The public hearings are now over, and the only remain- ing hope to stem the booth clo- sures is passage of a bill by the New York State Assembly. On Friday, most city council mem- bers were hopeful Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver would
Subway booth closures
World Trade Center construction workers were going about their busi- ness last Tuesday on Water Street, digging 25 feet below street level, when the ribs of a cargo ship started to appear.
This wasn’t just another section of an underground landﬁll, which on-site archaeologists expected to discover; it was part of a 30-foot-long ship. It is the ﬁrst discovery of its kind since 1982,
when the 18th century cargo boat, the Ronson, was uncovered under Water Street.
“They very quickly realized that this wasn’t like anything else they had seen down there before. It was the outline of a ship forming,” said Doug Mackey, an archaeologist for the New York State Historic Preservation Ofﬁce.
Apart from examining the artifacts, Mackey joined the excavation team on Wednesday to mediate between the
“It was a singular moment,” said Michael Pappalardo, an archaeologist for environmental consulting ﬁrm Allee King Rosen and Fleming who was also on site. “We weren’t expecting it.”
In analyzing the remnants of the ship, the archaeologists deduced that the boat was two to three times longer
The notorious tire swing in the new West Thames Park will be back up again – this time, with new and improved signage.
A written warning and illustration will caution children not to swing in full force at risk of hitting their heads against the wooden beam.
A handful of Community Board 1 members met on Monday night to discuss the play device that has been the subject of controversy since the park’s reopening in May.
wooden beam on opening day of the renovated park. Schoenmaker furiously took the swing down himself the next day, only for the D.O.T. to reinstall it four days later. At the community’s request, the swing was taken down again on July 7 after an uproar among B.P.C. parents who deemed it a danger to their children.
and then it was out again another day. What’s going on?” she asked Robin Forst, L.M.C.C.C.’s director of community relations, at the July 15 meeting.
Robin Forst replied that the maintenance of both ame- nities falls on the N.Y.S. D.O.T., recommending that the Board should consider drafting a resolution if the problem persists.
Residents from Gateway’s 200 building have sent us sev- eral noise complaints due to construction in their building. But they won’t give their names.
“The high-pitched grinding, drilling and hammering on this (and adjacent) buildings…continued every day at differ- ent times during the past thirty-seven weeks including today, July 8, starting at 10:30 a.m.,” according to the letter.
“It just seems like it’s never-ending,” said one Gateway Plaza resident who lives in a different building. “My windows are ﬁlthy from the dust.”
The latest Tea Party voice to oppose Cordoba House’s plans to build a community center and prayer space near Ground Zero is a big one: Sarah Palin.
Palin, in a series of recent Twitter posts, encouraged her followers to oppose the controversial plan, posting “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts” on Sunday. But the not-so-wording of an earlier post has attracted much more attention as her sentiment; she urged New York residents to “refudiate” the mosque, apparently so moved by the situation she felt the need to create a new word altogether to express her frustration.
Palin quickly changed her post after her invention attracted unwanted attention, replacing “refudiate” with “refute” but maintaining her staunch opposition to the as-of-right project. Later, she defended her mistake by reminding the public that Shakespeare also created words on occasion. Well, at least we know she writes her own Twitter.
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The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless other- wise noted, all committee meetings are held at the board ofﬁce, located at 49-51 Chambers St., room 709 at 6 p.m.
Lower Manhattan is arguably home to the largest construction effort in the country. Everywhere one looks, there is a building being re-built or newly constructed, with fences and plywood walls surrounding the sites and sometimes even entire city blocks.
But since 2007 the Downtown Alliance, with funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, has turned these unsightly walls into works of art.
Construction is a public art project that seeks to intervene and “create a cheerful and welcoming environment in the midst of urban renewal,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger, in a statement.
“The volume of this work is a long-term blessing that can often seem like a short- term nightmare,” noted Berger.
Since the program began, roughly 14 con- struction sites have beneﬁ ted from temporary murals and other art installations. The newest site is Titanic Park, located at the entrance to the South Street Seaport Marketplace, which is undergoing a $1 million renovation and is set to reopen in the fall.
Lordy Rodriguez’s piece, “Water Movements,” uses map-like illustrations to form valleys and mountains as a continuous river twists and turns throughout.
“Sometimes water is still and quiet like a frozen pond, and other times it’s so ferocious whole towns can be swept away,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Water is as inﬂ uential to its environment as it is inﬂuenced by it.”
Last Thursday morning an odd sound ﬁ lled the air at the plaza outside Two World Financial Center at 225 Liberty Street: live banjo music. Heralding the ofﬁ cial opening of NYC’s newest greenmarket, the tune promised the injection of rural vibes into that location every Thursday until Thanksgiving.
The World Financial Center Greenmarket is the latest project undertaken by Grow NYC, a not-for-proﬁ t that organizes dozens of green- markets around the city. Grow NYC’s green- market director, Michael Hurwitz, along with representatives from Brookﬁ eld Properties, owner of the World Financial Center, and a host of local politicians, welcomed 10 vendors and a few eager customers to the market’s inaugural session. With attractive goods in every stall, several speakers expressed their enthusiasm for the market before an ofﬁ cial ribbon cutting.
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spoke about the signiﬁ cance of the green- market’s introduction after the World Trade Center greenmarket, once open on Tuesdays and Thursdays beside the Twin Towers, was made impossible by the attacks of September 11th. He called the greenmarket “a testament to the spirit of residents who have revived the greenmarket we lost on September 11th,” and spoke of his hopes of “amenities such as these bringing people into the streets to meet their neighbors.”
Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1, also noted the greenmarket as a signiﬁ cant milestone in Lower Manhattan’s recovery and spoke to the community board’s desire, as well as her own, to make the green- market possible.
“Just eight years ago our community was devastated. I can’t think of a better way to honestly commemorate 9/11,” said Menin, adding, “You’ll ﬁ nd me here every Thursday with my kids.”
Beth Linskey of Beth’s Farm Kitchen, one of the vendors, related to the speakers’ senti- ments.
market,” she recalled and said she was thank- ful she was not selling her jams and chutneys on the day of the attacks. “I’m just happy to be back and I hope it works well.”
Brian Callahan, a vendor representing Suhru wines, a Long Island winery, praised the space as an ideal location for a greenmarket.
“We’ve got business people and residential all at a single place, so we get great exposure,” he said, particularly mentioning the conve- nience of a wine vendor outside the World Financial Center. “A lot of people stop by with the intention of picking up wine elsewhere and now they can just get it here.”
For Hurwitz the spot represents a real opportunity to foster a healthy greenmarket, especially given the warm reception his open- ing received from the area’s politicians, includ- ing Menin, Silver, and State Senator Daniel Squadron.
“From a residential perspective,” he said, “our markets are known for being supported by the community in which they’re located.”
Support for this market came from Brookﬁ eld Properties, the Community Board and especially from the Battery Park City Authority, which provided an essential resource: parking.
“Battery Park City Authority actually gave up some of their parking, which is huge,” said Hurwitz, who said the project would have been impossible without the necessary parking spots for vendors’ trucks. “The site allowed us to do everything we wanted to do; it would be accessible and utilized.”
He noted the relative ease of working in this location as opposed to nearby Zucotti Park, where Grow NYC provides another greenmarket that is restricted by the park’s regulations.
“The market at Zucotti Park has been a challenge,” he admitted. “We’re limited to a certain number of feet; we can’t grow.”
In front of Two World Financial Center, however, there is plenty of available space for more vendors. “We’re looking to bring in a little more meat, a little more [produce],” he said. “We’ll start there.”
Visit Lady Liberty after the daytime crowds have gone. Take someone
special out to the Statue this summer for a unique evening tour,
including the cruise, time on the island and dinner.
Lower Manhattan leaders cut the ribbon on the World Financial Center
Greenmarket. Left to right: Battery Park City Authority President and CEO James
E. Cavanaugh; Alliance for Downtown New York President Elizabeth H. Berger;
Chairperson of Community Board 1 Julie Menin; GrowNYC Greenmarket Director
Michael Hurwitz; New York State Senator Daniel Squadron; Brookﬁ eld Properties
President and CEO of U.S. Commercial Operations Dennis Friedrich; New York State
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
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