Downtown Post NYC

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)

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 daily. Admission is free. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2018)


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)

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 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 is run by the Battery Park City Authority. Place: 345 Chambers St. For more information about becoming a Community Center member or enrolling in a class, click here.

The South Street Seaport Museum's historic tugboat, W.O. Decker. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Volunteer on the Wavertree: The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 cargo ship Wavertree is the crown jewel of its historic ship collection. Opportunities are available for volunteers to learn all aspects of maintaining and operating the ship. There are immediate openings for entry-level and skilled volunteers for regular maintenance and care of the ship (training provided) as well as aloft work (climbing into the rigging) on Wavertree's 165-foot-tall masts. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Volunteering aboard Wavertree presents a rare opportunity to learn traditional maritime skills and methods familiar to 19th- and 20th-century sailors. Prior tall ship and sailing experience is a plus, but all volunteers are welcome. Experienced hands will have the opportunity to help train and mentor newcomers. To learn more about volunteering on Wavertree and in other parts of the South Street Seaport Museum, 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 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).

South Street Seaport Museum Partners: Members of the South Street Seaport Museum receive 10 percent discounts from a number of Seaport businesses, as follows:

Cowgirl Seahorse; Lobster GoGo; Scotch & Soda ($10 off purchases of $100 or more); Fresh Salt (10% discount, excludes catering); Superdry ($10 off purchases of $100 or more); Taco Playa (10% discount for up to four guests with one member pass. Not valid with other promotions or discounts); Seaport Paws (10% off retail purchases); Made Fresh Daily; Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina; SUteiShi. To obtain a discount, show your South Street Seaport Museum membership card. South Street Seaport Museum memberships include many other benefits and start at $40 annually for seniors and students. For more information on museum memberships, click here.

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)

Downtown Post NYC photos for sale:If you would like to buy prints of a photograph that has appeared in Downtown Post NYC, email 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  

Fresh food for seniors: Battery Park City has joined the network of sites around Manhattan where seniors can order mixed bags of locally grown fruit and vegetables for $8. Produce is ordered at wholesale prices through GrowNYC from farmers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Each bag has a retail value of $12 to $15. Order one week ahead of each Tuesday  delivery date. Deliveries have halted for the winter but will resume in the early summer of 2020.

Transportation issues in Lower Manhattan: The Downtown Alliance has released a new report, "Lower Manhattan: New York City's Premier Multimodal Transit Hub," highlighting how investments in Lower Manhattan's broad transit network have enhanced the neighborhood's attractiveness as a business location. To read the report, click here.

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.

Free event space for non-profits: LMHQ, a co-working space at 150 Broadway sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York, is partnering with Con Edison for the third year to offer free event space and meeting rooms to New York City nonprofits. LMHQ's 12,500 square-foot space at 150 Broadway offers individual and company memberships, drop-in opportunities for visitors, and regular public programming across disciplines. LMHQ also extends a 25 percent year-round discount to nonprofits on all meeting room and event bookings.
For more information and to apply, click here.

Volunteer at The Battery: The Battery Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that designs, builds, and sustains the historic Battery - the 25-acre park at the southern tip of Manhattan - depends on volunteers for a variety of tasks:
Gardener: Gardeners work side-by-side with The Battery's professional horticulturalists to plant, weed, divide, prune, rake, and perform the tasks required to maintain The Battery's beautiful perennial gardens.
Battery Urban Farm: Volunteers help process compost collected at the Bowling Green Farmers' Market and assist in maintaining The Battery's vegetable and forest farms. Activities include layering and turning compost, bed prep, weeding, mulching, and occasionally planting and harvesting produce for donations.
Greeter: Greeters staff information tables from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on select weekdays and Saturdays from March through mid-November. They answer questions from visitors about directions, park information and The Battery Conservancy.
Tour Guide: Tour Guides lead free hour-long tours to inform the public about The Battery's rich history, landmarks and monuments, SeaGlass Carousel, 195,000 square feet of perennial gardens, and much more.
Office and Events: Volunteers help to complete occasional administrative and event production tasks with The Battery Conservancy staff.
All new volunteers are required to attend an orientation, and registration is mandatory.

The FBI has established a Victim Resource Center in Lower Manhattan to help victims of the Oct. 31, 2017, terrorist attack in the Tribeca neighborhood. The New York State Office of Victim Services has staff on site at the Center to assist individuals who may be may be eligible for services.  Victims and family members are not required to be residents of New York State to be eligible for help. The Office of Victim Services helps eligible individuals with crime-related compensation and expenses, including, but not limited to medical and counseling expenses; burial and funeral costs; occupational or vocational rehabilitation; lost or damage of essential personal property; and lost wages or support. For more information or help, find a victim assistance program or call the agency: (800) 247-8035.