The Imam behind the Park51 development hopes that opening his books will open hearts for his Islamic community center.
In an effort to bolster fundraising and ease any suspicion towards the $100 million dollar price tag for the Park51 Islamic community center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has allowed the US Government to sign off on all donations made to the development.
Also, according to a report in today’s New York Post, Rauf stated that “the mosque and Islamic cultural center will have a board of directors that will include Muslims, Christians and Jews.” This may be seen as yet another olive branch towards easing dissent towards building a mosque and islamic center near Ground Zero.
The inclusion of an inter-faith board of directors might have been in response to Julie Menin, Chairwoman of Community Board 1’s open column in the Daily News calling for a revised interfaith plan for the Park51 development. In that column Menin states, “I believe it is still possible to bridge the gap without compromising the core principles of what this project is about — not by moving the mosque further away from the site of the attacks, but by bringing other faiths in.”
How do you feel about the US Government being allowed to sign off on all donations made to the Park51 development?
Hisham Elzanaty, the developer and single largest investor in the Park51 Islamic community center vows to move forward with developing a mosque near Ground Zero.
Elzanaty has received national attention in previous weeks after receiving two offers to buy out his stakes in the development from both Donald Trump and the World Chess Federation.
Having spoken only through his attorney, Elzanaty has broke his silence admitting that the mosque was indeed his idea and that he “felt it was a great place for people to pray” and that he “didn’t expect this commotion, this hate, this anger,” according a report from the Daily News.
According to the same article, Elzanaty’s parents were victims of the EgyptAir crash in 1999 and could relate to the plights of 9/11 families having been personally affected by a terrorist attack. “I am one of them. I lived this two years before they did. I will never do anything to harm America.”
Fox 5 News in New York did an exclusive interview with Elzanaty below:
Finding a place to smoke is becoming a real drag. After banning smoking in bars and restaurants, Mayor Bloomberg has announced plans to introduce legislation making it illegal to smoke in public areas.
The legislation will be introduced in City Council today, and if approved will go into effect in approximately 3 months after being signed into law.
Violators of this proposed law will be fined $50 by either a Police or Parks Department official.
The pedestrian plaza at Times Square, Central Park and other major public Â parks and areas, conceivably even the Battery Park City esplanade could be part of the smoking ban.
Some say, one man’s forfeiture may be another man’s fortune — or something like that.
On a completely unrelated search for Anne Hathaway’s jewels on auction, we inadvertently found plots of real estate in our area on the auction block as well.
Not one, but two condo apartments at 101 Warren Street are part of the U.S. Marshall’s auction of properties. The stated reason for both is “Forfeiture.” We can’t help but imagine that perhaps this might be related to our resident sexy Russian spy neighbor Anna Chapman. Or it could just be two separate instances of bad people buying great real estate and getting caught on the wrong side of the law.
The first listing is for Unit 1540 ID#: USM288946
A 2-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom apartment listed at $2.7 million dollars boasting 1,592 square feet.
The other listing is another 2-bedroom apartment with 3 bathrooms listed at $3.3 million dollars with nearly 2,114 square feet.
Being that the apartment building is relatively new, and there is only one unit left on the building’s official website, this could be a great steal it would be a crime to leave these apartments on the market.
To learn more about how you can bid on these apartments, check out the links below:
It seems we havent heard the last from Donald Trump in regards to his bid to buy the Park51 site.
Although the purported majority stakeholder, Hisham Elzanaty rebuffed Trump’s bid to buy out his stake last week — Trump made a nationwide concession on the Today Show that his deal is still on the table.
Trump offered the bid but also made a backhanded insult to our area, stipulating that his bid was not because he “the location was a spectacular one (because it is not).”
While touting a new season of “The Apprentice,” Trump explained the motivation behind his bid. “I’ve seen the turmoil downtown and it’s going to get worse. This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money.”
In response to Trump’s offer, Elzanaty’s lawyer called the bid, “just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”
“There won’t be a mosque.” Trump went on to elaborate, “This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money. He hasn’t said yes — but in my opinion, he’s going to sell.”
Trump then went on to admit, “But what do I know about real estate?”
Lower Manhattan Vehicle and Pedestrian Restrictions
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 to Sunday, September 12, 2010
The City of New York has implemented the following street closures, parking rule changes and restrictions for vehicular and pedestrian traffic in preparation for the September 11 commemoration at Zuccotti Park (south of One Liberty Plaza at Liberty Street between Broadway and Church Street/Trinity Place).
The Cityâ€™s advisory is as follows:
The commemoration for family members will take place on Saturday, September 11 from 6:30 AM to until late afternoon. Following a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the names of the victims will be read with music as a backdrop throughout the program. There will be additional moments of silence at 9:03 AM, 9:59 AM and 10:28 AM. During the ceremony, families will be allowed to visit the WTC site.
The Tribute in Light, originating at the Battery Garage, will begin at sundown.
Given the limited vehicle and pedestrian access in the immediate area of Zuccotti Park and Lower Manhattan vicinity, we ask that you encourage your fellow residents, tenants, employees and outside guests to do the following in preparation:
Avoid scheduling deliveries on September 11 until after 5 PM.
Use public transportation whenever possible to stations outside the event area.
Minimize car-service pickups on September 11 until after 5 PM. Traffic along Broadway and West Street is expected to be heavy.
Below is the Cityâ€™s outline for vehicle and pedestrian access information:
Zuccotti Park will be closed in part starting at 7 PM Tuesday, September 7. It will be completely closed on Saturday, September 11 and will reopen on Sunday, September 12. The Greenmarket in Zuccotti Park will be open on Tuesday, September 7 as scheduled. Vendors will not be allowed to operate in the park on Saturday, September 11.
The R train station at Cortlandt and Church streets will be closed the evening of Friday, September 10 and on Saturday, September 11.
Liberty Street between Broadway and Church Street/Trinity Place will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 7 PM Tuesday, September 7 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited. There will be no pedestrian access on Saturday, September 11. Liberty Street between Broadway and Nassau Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11.
The Liberty Street Pedestrian Bridge will be closed from 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM on Saturday, September 11. To cross West Street, pedestrians will be directed to use the Vesey Street Pedestrian Bridge or go south to cross at street level at Albany and Carlisle streets.
Albany Street between Greenwich and West streets will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited.
Carlisle Street between Greenwich and West streets will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. The street will be open for pedestrians only.
Thames Street between Broadway and Greenwich Street will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. The street will be used for pedestrians only.
Cedar Street between Broadway and Church/Trinity Place will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM Thursday, September 9 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited. Cedar Street between Broadway and Nassau Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11.
Church Street/Trinity Place between Battery Place and Dey Street will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM Saturday, September 11. Traffic will be diverted to West Street. Pedestrian access will be very limited. Church Street between Chambers and Warren streets will be closed to parking.
Cortlandt Street between Broadway and Church Street will be closed to parking from 7 PM Tuesday, September 7 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. It will be closed to all vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited.
Dey Street between Broadway and Church will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be open.
Fulton Street between Broadway and Church will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be open.
Barclay Street between Broadway and West Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be open.
Murray Street from West to Church streets, Greenwich Street from Chambers to Barclay streets, Â Park Place from West Broadway to Greenwich Street and West Broadway from Warren to Barclay streets will be closed to parking on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be open.
Warren Street between West Street and Broadway will remain open to vehicles, traffic and pedestrians on Saturday, September 11. However, no parking will be in effect.
No parking will be in effect on all closed streetâ€”including official permit parking. All cars parked illegally will be towed.
Note that West Street and Broadway will be the prime uptown and downtown traffic thoroughfares from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Please allow enough time for travel.
If you have questions, please call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.
The downtown skyline will soon be illuminated with the somber Tribute in Lights. Two giant beams of light cutting through the realization that we are upon the 9th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
The Tribute in Light first came on six months after the attacks in 2002, and have been primarily funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) who have provided the financial support of the iconic tribute.
Contrary to popular belief, the Tribute in Lights is not beaming at the World Trade Center site but are located six blocks south of Ground Zero, set atop the Battery Garage on Morris Street. During the first two years of the tribute, the lights were located on West Street where the Goldman Sachs building now stands.
The tribute is comprised of 88 4-foot tall searchlights set in 50 x 50 foot identical squares.
Although primarily subsidized by the LMDC, the project is also in conjunction with Con Edison. It is speculated that after the LMDC re-allocated funding earmarked for Con Edison, meant to subsidize Con Edison’s costs at the World Trade Center Site may play a role in compromising the future of the Tribute. As of today, it is if the Tribute will exist beyond the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack in 2011.
This year, as the past few years, the tribute will begin at dusk on September 11th and end on dawn of September 12.
Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump has offered to purchase the site where the Park51 Islamic Community Center stands.
A letter dated today was sent to the property owners via email with a statement:
“I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation,” Trump wrote to Hisham Elzanaty an owner who has the majority financing over the proposed site.
Building records show that the building at 45 Park Place has sold for $4.85 million in July 2009. Â According to previous statements by Elzanaty, “Develop it, raze it, sell it. If someone wants to give me $18 or 20 million dollars today, its all theirs.”
Elezanaty’s attorney made a public comment claiming Trump’s offer was merely a publicity stunt, calling the offer “laughable” and said it was not a serious one.
September marks the change in seasons and we usually welcome the autumn colors — except when it’s red tide.
The Coast Guard is warning swimmers and boaters to stay clear of the red waters that have infiltrated New York Harbor.
Also known as “red tide,” it signals the growth of potentially toxic algae which can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and breathing problems. The red tide is spanning from the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum all the way down to the waters in our neighborhood.
Although reports say that it was first seen at 7am this morning, we believe the red tide was first spotted yesterday by reader Jay Fine, who had posted images of the tide on our Facebook.
The algae’s proper name is phytoplankton, which are known to steal oxygen supplies away from both fish and shellfish.
Although most people don’t usually swim in the Hudson River down by our parts — sailors and people visiting the North Cover Harbor should not touch the waters if close enough to the red tide.