On City of Water Day in 2018, kayakers put out into the East River from a naturally formed beach on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Discussions have been under way off and on since then about making that beach permanently accessible to the public, but so far, it hasn't happened. (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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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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. 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)
Bowne & Co. Stationers Reopens
Bowne & Co. Stationers at 211 Water St. in the South Street Seaport recently reopened after a pandemic hiatus, its shelves and tables filled as formerly with art supplies, notebooks, greeting cards and stationary printed on the South Street Seaport Museum's antique presses, plus all manner of intriguing curios. If you've been looking for a ship in a bottle or a carved whale, look no further. Notebooks and journals with decorative covers are piled high on the tables next to brightly colored pencil sharpeners and brush pens, crying out to be used.
The shop is housed in a historic 19th-century storefront with brick walls and a beamed ceiling that once served as a warehouse for heating stoves. A painting of Robert Bowne who founded Bowne & Co. in 1775 hangs on the wall. The venerable shop that bears his name is New York’s oldest operating business under the same name.
Bowne & Co. is open from Wednesdays through Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Entry to visit the Bowne & Co. store is free with no museum admission required. For more information, click here.
For those who are unable to visit Bowne & Co. in person, check out the Bowne & Co. Online Shop which features a selection of offerings from Bowne & Co.: journals, writing paper, books, and house-designed notecards and broadside posters. Totes and other Seaport Museum branded merchandise are also available for purchase. Orders can be shipped anywhere in the United States via UPS Ground and are also available for local pickup. Click here for more information.
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
Robert Wilson, Bowne & Co.'s head printer, showed a mid-19th century printing press to a visitor. Bowne & Co. uses seven of the South Street Seaport Museum's antique printing presses and the museum's extensive collection of antique typefaces to print stationary, broadsides, greeting cards and other materials. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
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 Aug. 31, 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 Aug. 31, 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.
New York State Lifts
June 15, 2021: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was brimming with happiness and eloquence when, at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, he announced that State-imposed Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted immediately. On Day 427 since the Covid-19 crisis came to public attention and Cuomo began his daily, unrelenting crusade to corral and fight the pandemic, he announced that 70 percent of New Yorkers, aged 18 and older, have received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccination series and that the positivity rate in New York State is .40% — the lowest of any state in the United States. When all of this started, New York State had the highest positivity rate in the nation, and in fact, said Cuomo, the highest positivity rate on the globe.
Cuomo had a long list of people to thank, especially "the essential workers" who, he said, "came forward and whose effort and courage brought us through this day." Cuomo called them "our heroes."
To resounding applause from the audience, representatives of each group of essential workers were called to the stage and Cuomo gave each of them a plaque honoring their service: building service workers, the National Guard, food and hospitality workers, people who work in sanitation, transportation, retail stores and making deliveries. He cited hospital staff, teachers, corrections officers, government employees, EMT and ambulance workers, utility workers, people who work in construction and manufacturing, police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses.
As Cuomo often said during the pandemic, these were the people who showed up for work to keep the city and the state running so that the rest of us could safely stay home.
Now, said Cuomo, "you want to honor the essential workers? I'll tell you how. You get vaccinated so you don't need the essential workers again."
Tonight, in honor of these people, all New York State assets such as the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center will be lit up in blue and gold. Also, there will be fireworks displays at 10 locations throughout the State. In Manhattan, they will be near The Battery and will start at 9:15 p.m.
Free Citizen Public Health
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a Citizen Public Health Training Course for New Yorkers to teach preparedness for and prevention of public health emergencies. The free, online course is being taught by "top public health experts." It began on May 5 and will be available through 2023.
The training was developed by Cornell University's Master of Public Health Program and is being delivered through eCornell. It is a four-part online training program to equip New Yorkers with expertise and tools to help build and support community-led initiatives surrounding prevention, detection and response in the event of public health emergencies. After completing the training, participants will be designated a "NYS Citizen Public Health Leader" and will be informed about how they can volunteer in support of their local public health operations - especially during emergencies - as well as how to find, use and share verified information about public health matters from reliable sources.
Program participants will learn about COVID-19, public health emergency preparedness and response, and other public health issues, while gaining insight into information and resources that will benefit their communities. Those interested in enrolling or getting more information about becoming a NYS Citizen Public Health Leader can go to the program website by clicking here.
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
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)
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.
City of Water Day in
City of Water Day 2022 took place on July 16. It has become an annual summer tradition in New York Harbor designed to raise awareness of the fact that New York City is mostly built on islands and is an archipelago surrounded by water. The Hudson River on the western flank of Manhattan and the Bronx and the so-called East River separating Manhattan from Brooklyn and Queens (the East River is actually a tidal strait connected to Long Island Sound) are only two of New York City's numerous waterways. The Harlem River is a tidal strait flowing between the Hudson River and the East River, separating Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River (the city's only fresh water river) separates the East Bronx from the West Bronx and then flows southward before emptying into Long Island Sound.
This is just a small sample of New York Harbor's waterways. City of Water Day used to provide a fun opportunity to go for a ride on some of the harbor's many boats in order to get a closer look at our maritime environment. Now City of Water Day is primarily land based with activities and exhibitions designed to make us aware of our vulnerability to climate change and sea level rise.
In Lower Manhattan, these activities included the following:
In Battery Park City's Rockefeller Park, you could learn about "environmental stewardship" by taking a nature walk culminating in an art project.
On Pier 40 in Hudson River Park, you could get a guided tour of the Wetlab, a research aquarium that is free and open to the public. This flow-through aquarium houses dozens of species of fish and invertebrates that were caught in the Hudson River.
The fireboat John J. Harvey was at Pier 66 in Hudson River Park with spectacular water displays and a chance to learn more about this historic vessel. There were also free public trips aboard John J. Harvey. .
In the South Street Seaport, an installation called "Art at the Blue Line" was installed to raise awareness of the risk of coastal flooding from rising sea levels and the failure to address climate change, The Blue Line refers to the projected high-tide line in 2100. Three artists are represented in this exhibiton on Piers 16 and 17. It will run through July 29.
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 open from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2018)
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Volunteer on Governors Island
Governors Island is a 172-acre island, 800 yards from Lower Manhattan and around 400 yards from Brooklyn. The National Park Service administers a small part of the northern side of the island as a National Monument. The Trust for Governors Island administers the remaining 150 acres as a public park. This part of Governors Island relies on volunteers for a variety of jobs. They include providing information for visitors, serving as tour guides on in-depth public walking tours, helping the horticultural staff to care for the island's meadows, forest groves, ornamental flower beds and landscaped hillsides and performing seasonal gardening tasks such as planting and pruning. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. For more information and to apply, click here.
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.
Fraunces Tavern Museum Update
The Fraunces Tavern Museum and restaurant are at 54 Pearl St. For information about current programming, click here. (Photo: The Long Room in the Fraunces Tavern Museum. © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
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Historic Fireboat John J. Harvey Hudson River Trips
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.
For more information about the John J. Harvey and/or to donate, click here. In 2018, the John J. Harvey traveled up the Hudson River to Waterford, N.Y. 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)