DOWNTOWN POST NYC BULLETIN BOARD
How to Support Your Community: Donate!
South Street Seaport Museum: The evocative upper floors of Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport have been mostly closed to the public since Superstorm Sandy destroyed the electrical system in the buildings on Oct. 29, 2012. During October 2018, the South Street Seaport Museum offered guided tours of the 4th floor where visitors could see the remnants of two hotels that in the 19th century provided accommodations for seamen, traveling salesmen and other visitors. In the near future, the museum plans to start offering these tours on a monthly basis. Want to make a contribution to the South Street Seaport Museum to support its programs and services? Your money would go for educational programs, for curating and interpreting its collection of 27,000 works of art and artifacts that document the rise of the New York port, preserving and actively using its historic ships and printing presses and supporting the corps of nearly 300 volunteers and interns that make the Museum's work possible. For more information and to donate to the South Street Seaport Museum, click here. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Pride Week 2020
The Pershing Viaduct was among the New York State landmarks that were lit in honor of Pride Month and the LGBTQ community.
Because of Covid-19, there were no large communal celebrations to mark the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising in Greenwich Village and the 50th anniversary of the first Gay Pride parade, which took place on June 28, 1970. However, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo observed Pride Week in other ways. On June 28, 2020, he announced that New York veterans who were denied honorable discharges due to their LGBTQ identity can begin submitting applications under The Restoration of Honor Act. This will allow veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to have their New York State veterans' benefits restored.
The Governor also announced an action by the New York State Department of Financial Services to futher protect LGBTQ New Yorkers from discrimination in healthcare as the federal government continues to remove or erode these protections.
Unclaimed funds in New York: The New York State Comptroller's Office reports that it is holding nearly $14 billion in unclaimed money for New York residents who may have been charged superfluous fees or overpaid a bill, among other reasons for the money to end up in that office. Manhattan has the largest number of unclaimed funds in the New York area with just over 1.5 million potential cases. To search the comptroller's database and verify if you have unclaimed funds, click here or call (800) 221-9311 for more information.
Responding to hate crimes: New York City and New York State have launched programs to combat and report hateful and bias crimes against the LBGT, Muslim and immigrant communities. The City's initiative includes expansion of the Human Rights Commission information line to let people know about their legal rights and protections when confronted with, or witness to, bias and hateful events. They have also created a resource page for impacted communities. To see it, click here.
To report bias, discriminatory or hateful crimes, call these numbers:
• NYC Commission on Human Rights, (718) 722-3131
• The New York Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force, (646) 610-5267
• Manhattan District Attorney Hate Crime Hotline, (212) 335-3100
• Gov. Andrew Cuomo Special Unit to Investigate Hate Crimes, (888) 3923644
Classes and Sessions at the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School usually include swimming lessons for all ages, Total Body Boxing Workout, Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi, Badminton, and more. All classes are free for CCSHS members, with steeply-reduced annual memberships available. The Community Center, which is run by the Battery Park City Authority, is currently closed because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Place: 345 Chambers St. For more information about becoming a Community Center member or enrolling in a class, click here.
Eviction moratorium extended: On Dec. 28, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The Act places a moratorium on residential evictions through May 1, 2021 for tenants who have experienced Covid-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. The declaration can be sent to the tenant's landlord, the court, a sheriff, marshal or city constable.
Upon receipt of a declaration, landlords are prohibited from starting a new eviction case or continuing with an existing eviction case until at least May 1 2021.
The Act also places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings through May 1, 2021. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.
For more information about the Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act and about how to file a hardship declaration, click here.
Covid-19 quarantine rules changed: On Dec. 29, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York State, making these guidelines consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, people exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, they must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Regardless, everyone should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread - wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.
New State-wide paid sick leave benefits: As of Jan. 1, 2021 New Yorkers can begin using sick leave benefits under New York State's newly enacted paid sick leave law. This legislation, which was advanced in the Governor's 2020 State of the State address and enacted as part of the FY 2021 Budget, secures paid sick leave for workers at medium and large businesses and paid or unpaid leave for those at small businesses, depending on the employer's net income. Under this groundbreaking law, New Yorkers can use guaranteed sick leave to recover from an illness themselves, care for a sick family member, or address safety needs if they or a family member are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. More information is available on the state's Paid Sick Leave website. Click here.
SCRIE and DRIE application assistance: The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE, also known as the NYC Rent Freeze Program) freezes the rent for head-of-household seniors 62 and older who live in rent-regulated apartments. A companion program, the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE, also known as the NYC Rent Freeze Program) is an exemption against future rent increases for eligible disabled persons living in rent-controlled, rent-stabilized, Mitchell-Lama and other eligible apartments. It turns out that many New Yorkers who would be eligible for this assistance are not using it. For information about how to apply for SCRIE and/or DRIE, click here.
City's archives now open on Saturday mornings: One of the unsung gems in city government, the New York City Municipal Archives and Library (managed by the city's Department of Records and Information Services) is now open on Saturday mornings. The additional hours provide greater access to the historical and contemporary records of New York City. Visit to learn about your family's history; explore historical records, mayoral collections, and government publications; and tour the exhibition of Police Department surveillance materials, "Unlikely Historians." Specialized researchers should email email@example.com in case archival records must be pulled from offsite storage. Place: 31 Chambers St., in the historic Surrogate's Courthouse. Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday); 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Thursday), and 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 pm (Saturdays).
COVID-19 testing: On May 17, 2020 Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new website that will help New Yorkers to find sites where they can be tested for COVID-19. The URL is https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing
Contact tracing phone calls: If you test positive for COVID-19, a Contact Tracer will connect you with the support and resources you may need to quarantine, such as help getting medical care, child care, groceries or household supplies. The Tracer will work with you to identify anyone you've been in contact with over the past 14 days to trace and contain the spread of the virus. Those contacts will in turn hear from a Tracer via phone and text.
People who have come in close contact with someone who is positive are asked to stay home and limit their contact with others. By staying home during this time, IF you become sick yourself, you won't have infected other people. That's how we stop the spread. In the meantime, testing, medical and quarantine support will be arranged.
Privacy is a top priority of the Contact Tracing Program. Your name will not be released to anyone. Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as a private medical record. A Contact Tracer will never ask for your Social Security Number, bank or credit card numbers or any other financial information.
If you get a call from a Tracer, your caller ID will in most cases say "NYS Contact Tracing." If you get a call, answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe and will allow New York State to continue moving forward in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Robert Warner retires as South Street Seaport Museum's shopkeeper and master printer
Robert Warner, who transformed the South Street Seaport Museum's shop at 211 Water St. into a charming emporium of old-fashioned, artistic and idiosyncratic treasures, has retired both as shopkeeper and as Bowne & Co. Stationers' master printer. For the last 24 years, he has been a beloved part of the museum's staff. As curator of the shop, he selected and stocked its wares, decorated its windows and its streetscape, greeted customers and sometimes gave classes in collage. At the back of the shop Warner often demonstrated his printing expertise on some of the museum's antique printing presses. Warner was one of a kind and irreplaceable. He will be missed.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Sweeping Election Reforms Enacted
in New York State
In August,2020 Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law sweeping election reforms in New York State. Voters can obtain absentee ballots due to risk or fear of illness, including COVID-19. In addition, the law 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. Absentee ballots can also be dropped off on Nov. 3, at any polling place.
Cuomo commented, "The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation's history."
Nov. 3, 2020 is the date for the general election.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Jake Johnson in the National Museum of the American Indian's store at 1 Bowling Green. He is standing next to a feather sculpture by John Marston, a member of the Coast Salish nation. The store sells jewelry, pottery, baskets, sculpture, rugs, books and CDs and a variety of items for children. Around three-quarters of the items in the store are handmade and are one of a kind. The National Museum of the American Indian is usually open daily but because of the COVID-19 crisis, is closed until further notice. Admission is free. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2018)
Fraunces Tavern Museum Imperiled
The Fraunces Tavern Museum and restaurant at 54 Pearl St. closed on March 16 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The restaurant, a significant source of revenue for the museum, had to lay off most of its staff. The museum, a small non-profit, is struggling with the financial fall-out from the closure. (Photo: The Long Room in the Fraunces Tavern Museum. © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Downtown Post NYC
Classic Harbor Line Resumes
Classic Harbor Line has two of its ships, the yacht Manhattan II and the schooner Adirondack, back in New York Harbor. All passengers and crew are required to wear masks. Social distancing is strictly observed with bookings at 50 percent of normal capacity. The ships are sanitized between cruises. No food or beverages are served. The cruises offered range in length from one to two hours. All tickets can be rescheduled or converted to credit up until 24 hours in advance for any reason. For more information or to make reservations, click here.
Fiddler on the Roof cast album
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbine's production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish has closed, however a cast album of the show is available from Amazon.com and elsewhere.
Directed by Academy Award-and-Tony Award winner Joel Grey, the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof has received universal positive praise from critics, including landing a place as a New York Times’ Critic’s Pick.” The Yiddish language Fiddler on the Roof is based on the Tevye the Dairyman vignettes by Sholem Aleichem and was translated by Shraga Friedman.
For Downtown Post NYC's review of the production plus some additional photographs, click here.
Historic Fireboat John J. Harvey Needs Donations
From time to time, the public is invited to travel aboard the historic fireboat John Jay Harvey for cruises in New York harbor and on the Hudson River.
Last year, the JJH went into drydock for what was expected to be simple work but an unexpected, crucially needed repair to the hull was discovered. It cost $80,000. The John Jay Harvey needs donations to cover this repair. For more information and/or to donate, click here.
For more information about the John J. Harvey and trips for the public, click here. For more about the September 2018 Hudson River trip aboard the John J. Harvey to Waterford, N.Y. and back, click here. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Downtown Post NYC photos for sale:If you would like to buy prints of a photograph that has appeared in Downtown Post NYC, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request for more information about sizes and prices.
Preparing for emergencies: Lower Manhattan is no stranger to natural and manmade disasters. Ready is a national public service campaign that was launched in 2003 to help people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies. Ready and its Spanish language version, Listo, recommend: (1) staying informed about the kinds of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses (2) making a family emergency plan, (3) building an emergency supply kit, and (4) getting involved in your community's efforts to prepare for emergencies. As we have seen in Puerto Rico, sometimes government help is not immediately available and neighbors will have to care for neighbors until other help arrives. Ready says that an emergency preparedness backpack should contain copies of important documents, non-perishable food and water, a battery-generated radio and flashlight for use if you have to shelter in place or evacuate. For more information, click here.
Community Board 1 website: Community Board 1's website includes information updated daily on alternate side of the street parking, garbage collection, subway schedules and school openings. There are also links to the Manhattan Borough President's Office, the New York City Mayor's Consumer Services Unit, the Department of Sanitation, 311 and other City departments and services. Community Board 1 meeting dates and agendas are listed in addition to reports that CB1 has prepared.Applicants for liquor licenses, newsstands, sidewalk cafés and landmarking will find the guidelines on the website. Presentations related to Wagner Park in Battery Park City and to The Howard Hughes Corporation's construction plans in the South Street Seaport are listed under the heading "External Information" where a link to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board can also be found. The website URL is http://www1.nyc.gov/site/manhattancb1/index.page
"If You See Something, Say Something"
New Yorkers are reminded to stay alert to their surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity. Reports can be made to the Counter Terrorism Center at the New York State Intelligence Center via its terrorism tip line: (866) SAFENYS (866-723-3697); or by email: email@example.com. New Yorkers can also download the See Something, Send Something app on your smartphone to inform authorities of a potential threat. Go to https://www.ny.gov/programs/see-something-send-something for more information.
Weekend closures of PATH World Trade Center station:Through December 2020, PATH's World Trade Center station will be closing each weekend, except for holiday weekends, to replace equipment and rebuild tunnels severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. The station closes at 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays and reopens at 5 a.m. after each weekend of work. Riders are being given free transfers to daytime weekend ferry service between Exchange Place and Lower Manhattan. Overnight service on the Journal Square-33rd Street line has been increased. The weekend hours of operation at Brookfield Place Ferry Terminal have been extended to 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (regular weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.). For more information, click here.