Elizabeth has been a resident of Battery Park City since 1985, where she and her sister were beneficiaries of the neighborhood's first school bus stop. She loves to travel, but loves even more to come home. The Battery Park Esplanade is her favorite neighborhood fixture, where you'll often find her soaking up the sun, rollerblading, or simply enjoying the view.
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As the commotion of the Park51 Mosque/Community Center broils on. I can’t help but count how many many community centers we have in our area.
Our area has an abundance of Community Centers. I guess my question is — is there enough community to go around for all these centers?! We are one lucky community!
Here is the roll call and summaries from their official sites:
1. Stuyvesant High School Community Center
The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School is the result of a unique partnership created by the City of New York, Stuyvesant High School and the Battery Park City Authority. The Community Center offers recreation, classes and events for people of all ages and interests.
The Community Center is open to the public evenings and weekends when school is not in session. Because the Center is shared by students, faculty and community members, certain safety regulations must be followed. Join us in making the Center a vital downtown resource.
Battery Park City Parks Conservancy (BPCPC) manages the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School. BPCPC’s recreational, sports and arts programming in the parks, gardens and playing fields of Battery Park City has provided positive experiences for people of all ages and diverse interests. BPCPC is similarly committed to making the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School a vital place for good health, life-long learning and pleasure.
The Community Center offers expanded membership categories as well as additional fitness and recreational activities (led by sports, fitness and dance specialists) and seminars on subjects related to happy and healthy living. You can participate either through membership or on a class by class basis.
2. Asphalt Green Battery Park
Asphalt Green Battery Park City is a state-of-the-art community center located in Battery Park Cityâ€™s Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green residential towers. Scheduled to open in fall 2011, this brand new 52,000 square-foot facility will be operated by Asphalt Green, recognized as the cityâ€™s premier sports and fitness center with a wide variety of sports, swimming, and fitness programs for every age and ability. Loaded with modern amenities, the center will serve all age groups and provide cultural, educational, and recreational activities, as well as free programs for underserved members of the Downtown community.
Facility Features 25-yard lap pool and a warm-water teaching/exercise pool, Fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, Gymnasium equipped for basketball, indoor soccer, and other sports, 6 multi-purpose studios and classrooms, Culinary center and test kitchen for classes and other activities, 156-seat theater for lectures, film screenings, and other performances, Coffee/juice bar accessible by the public.
3. Downtown Community Center
The Downtown Community Center is a new branch of Manhattan Youth, an organization founded over twenty years ago to provide childcare, academic, recreational and cultural activities to Lower Manhattan community members. Until now, we have provided services to thousands of children and adults every year in space rented and borrowed from schools and parks. Now, for the first time, our neighborhood has a dedicated community center of its own.
The Downtown Community Center is envisioned to be a place where our communityâ€™s parents can confidently bring their children, knowing that we are all part of an extended family that cares as much as they do; a place where our communityâ€™s seniors can meet to share stories, see friends, and take classes with their children and grandchildren; where adults can come to learn and be inspired; a place where we can all come together as a community.
92YTribeca,Â downtown center located atÂ 200 Hudson Street, helps 92Y carry on its mission to serve the community and the world in a remarkable way by providing exceptional programs across the spectrumâ€”in the arts and culture, Jewish life and education, health and fitness and personal growth and travel. As part of the 92nd Street Y, our mission downtown is to bring together and inspire a diverse community of people from New York City and beyond.
Itâ€™s not just about the mind and the heart. Â Park51 believes in fully engaging all of us. Â Itâ€™s not just that weâ€™ll offer amazing athletic facilities, fun fitness classes for all abilities and interests, sports and swimming and other health opportunities — Park51 will go further to partner with local institutions to provide medical education and wellness programs.
5PM is like the flute that charms our neighborhood cab line that snakes along South End Avenue at Liberty Street.
This cab line never ceases to amaze me. It’s an interesting and distinct example of how Battery Park City is a special community. Is there another area in NYC that would relent to such self policed organization when participating in hailing a taxi — where in New York can be a full contact sport?
Only at airports does such a cab line exist — but even those lines are policed by airport dispatchers.
As a Battery Park resident, I will be the first to admit — I sort of appreciate the line.
Nothing makes me crazier when I’ve been waiting on that line and Â someone “steals my cab.” Two parts fury and Â one part guilt overcomes me when I feel that way because I often find myself asking, “Why am I even waiting on this line?”
Some of my favorite methods of “BPC Cab Theft” include:
“The Liberty Street Stealth Attack” – When your happy to see a free taxi gliding onto Liberty Street when it pulls up to the stop sign – with a shadowy figure closing the cab door.
“The I’m Overtly Stealing Your Cab Run” – When a person knows there is a line but runs to steal it anyways.
“The Gateway Plaza Abyss” – When a cab enters Gateway Plaza and someone runs into the apartment complex to steal it.
These are just a few examples.
The history of the cab line is relatively unknown, but yet we as a neighborhood abide by this unspoken law. Sure, one could reasonably walk south where no such law and taxi order exists or revert to traditional hailing standards on West Street — yet I look for the line and stand on it whenever I need to leave the neighborhood.
Granted that there is no written Constitution for this line — Â I’ve added some personal bylaws to it throughout the years. For example, if there are people waiting on the line — or if its raining/snowing, I ask the driver to drop me off at the line. If not in a terrible rush, I let a pregnant woman or a mother with several youngsters take the cab first. If I see neighbors with lots of luggage and I’m about to take a SUV taxi — I offer it up to them.
While I have waited Â in line last week I noticed a trend of office mates who presumably work at the World Financial Center asked to share cabs and make drop offs. For executives waiting/sharing a cab becomes an extension of politics and the continuation of wheeling (pun intended) and dealing. In my mind goes to further explain how is this line is policed by employees who want to see other friends on the line. This has changed the way I see this line — as if waiting on the line itself becomes the activity.
New York City is a highly competitive town. We compete for everything – jobs, dates, homes and yes, taxis. I guess what I’m seeking are some thoughts, personal stories or theories why this section of Battery Park City proliferates the taxi stand line … would love to hear them!
Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam associated with the development of the Ground Zero Mosque is headed for an international tour of Muslim Countries funded by the State Department, the NYPost is reporting.
The trip is meant to help the Imam gain an understanding of Muslim and Islamic communities in the United States. According to a State Department the itinerary includes visits to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar.
P.J. Crowley, a State Department rep has stated there will be no fund-raising during his visit and “[Fundraising] would not be something he could do as part of our program.”
Skeptics are saying that the power to meet with powerful business and political leaders in each country is enough to secure funding opportunities in the future.
9/11 victim families continue to be outraged. “Does the State Department have any idea they are sending a guy to the Middle East who is going to be fund-raising perhaps among the very same people he will be meeting with?
“He’s going to the well, and how can they say they do or don’t know what he’s doing?” says 9/11 family member Debra Burlingame quoted in the NYPost article.
“We know he has a fund-raising association with Saudi Arabia,” Burlingame said, noting that the Saudis have contributed money to underwrite programs by the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a not-for-profit that Abdul Rauf runs with his wife and that is one of the sponsors of the Ground Zero mosque.
How do you feel about the State Department funding this trip on behalf of the Ground Zero mosque?
Brown paper has been taped up on the windows of both Lili’s Noodle Shop and Pizzabola for the last few days with the cryptic message:
“We will be closed from 8/1/10. Thank You. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
However, this is not your average story of another business at 102 North End Avenue biting the dust due to the Goldman shakeup.
Lili’s and Pizzabola owner Jonah Phillips spoke with BatteryParkCity.com this morning and let us know that Lili’s will not be permanently closing down but relocating and expanding their menu offering. Phillips will be breathing new life into the former Applebee’s space, introducing Lili’s successor as a new Asian-themed restaurant which will also have a sandwich/deli area.
Pizzabola’s fate is currently uncertain although the owner is looking into new locations for the Italian restaurant in the area. Regardless of the new location, Pizzabola will no longer be serving the gluten-free foods it had been known for.
Phillips, who also owns Izzy & Nats, said that finding a new spot for Pizzabola has been difficult: “There isn’t a lot of space left [to open a restaurant] in the area.”
The 102 North End restaurant version of musical chairs comes in light of Danny Meyer’s announcement last week of his openings of a Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and another “upscale” restaurant in the same building.
While most businesses in the building have gone to the wayside (Chevy’s, Applebees and DSW), it’s nice to know that at least one familiar face will remain amongst the newcomers.
September 11th marked the line between a United States before and after terrorism. In New York City it also marked the changing of the guard between two mayors. Both of their legacies rely upon the memory of the World Trade Center’s reconstruction. Who would have guessed that an addition of a mosque at Ground Zero would serve as the dividing line between the two mayors.
On one side, Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a born and raised New Yorker, saw through New York’s change under his administration and after September 11th became “The America’s Mayor” for his poise during the terrorist attacks on New York.
On the other side, Michael Bloomberg, who upon his election as Mayor inherited the post traumatic New York environment, only three months after the attack. Bloomberg has been guiding the city for almost a decade after the attack.
Although both men have made major strides in what is arguably one of the toughest cities to run in the country — it’s interesting to note their divergent opinions sharing only one element — their vehement beliefs in their stance.
â€œItÂ sends a particularly bad message, particularly (because) of the background of the imam who is supporting this. This is an Imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning IslamicÂ (terrorism) and the worst instincts that that brings about.
â€œSo it not only is exactly the wrong place, right at ground zero, but itâ€™s a mosque supported by an imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism. Come on! Weâ€™re gonna allow that at ground zero?
â€œThis is a desecration,â€ he added. â€œNobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Letâ€™s have some respect for who died there and why they died there. Letâ€™s not put this off on some kind of politically correct theory.
â€œI mean, they died there because of Islamic extremist terrorism. They are our enemy, we can say that, the world will not end when we say that. And the reality is, it will not and should not insult any decent Muslim because decent Muslims should be as opposed to Islamic extremism as you andÂ I are.â€
In response to all the opposition the building of the Park51 mosque has received, Bloomberg re-iterates the constitutional right for freedom of religion as the basis of his opinion.
â€œThe World Trade Center Site will forever hold a special place in our City, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves â€“ and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans â€“ if we said â€˜noâ€™ to a mosque in Lower Manhattan. â€œLet us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans.
We would betray our values â€“ and play into our enemiesâ€™ hands â€“ if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists â€“ and we should not stand for that.
â€œFor that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime â€“ as important a test â€“ and it is critically important that we get it right…
â€œPolitical controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure â€“ and there is no neighborhood in this City that is off limits to Godâ€™s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us today can attest.â€
What do you think about the divergent ideas from both mayors?
Battery Park City residents are not in love with the sounds of “Frank Sinatra.”
The “Frank Sinatra” and the “Yogi Berra” are just two of the ferry boats that illicit unending complaints from Battery Park City residents for nearly eight months. The vessels shuttle commuters from New Jersey to Battery Park City mostly for the service of Goldman Sachs employees who moved its corporate headquarters to our neighborhood almost a year ago.
According to a New York Times article, ‘The dispute about the boat noise has droned on for so long that Battery Park City officials have hinted that they might want to give the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the $50 million floating terminal, the heave-ho, saying the agency is violating the terms of its lease with the high noise levels.”
The public transportation nightmare has caused headaches for residents closest to the ferry terminal for some time. The ferries shuttle commuters more frequently than most other ferry services in the area during normal rush hours; however, the ferries also operate outside of those hours primarily for Goldman Sachs employees. The noise that emanates from the commuter ferries are due to older vessels being used to keep up with the increased commuter use as well as the siren signals heard when arriving and leaving the ferry terminal.
To alleviate the public problem, a private wallet has emerged — Goldman Sachs has agreed to spend $5 million dollars to provide updated ferries that would alleviate the noise pollution.
Goldman had been quick to “bridle at the complaints, suggesting that the neighbors were piling criticism on a firm that has already been faulted in the public eye,” as mentioned in the same article.
For those who don’t know, Goldman might be referencing our neighborhoods tested and fractured relationship that started with their construction woes nearly two years ago. Falling glass and debris from the construction site had been known to fall upon our community ball fields and sidewalks, injuring one of their own architects, as well as the community outcry for the recent closings of several retail and restaurants in our area.
How do you feel about Goldman Sachs’ offer to our community for new ferryboats? Does the ferry noise affect you?
First of all, how could you miss the memo about the Crumbs on Wall Street?
Secondly, how could you not take them up on their summer cupcake giveaway? Crumbs Wall Street is offering a buy one get one coupon on the weekends at their new Crumbs location in our area. Ok, so it’s not entirely a free giveaway — but since when were cupcakes a loner food? Cupcakes are best consumed in pairs. In general and with others.
Today is an important day in New York cuisine. It’s National Cheesecake day!
Junior’s Cheesecake a veritable New York institution is celebrating National Cheesecake day as well as their 60th Anniversary today by giving away 60 cent slices of their delicious cheesecake at their original Brooklyn location.
As New Yorkers we take our Cheesecake’s very seriously, so if you can’t make it to Brooklyn to Junior’s for a taste of their world renowned cheesecake — we’ve got some neighborhood options for you.
Little Pie Company – New York Style Cheesecake $65.00 (Whole Cheesecake)
So go forth today and do not take your New Yorker given right to enjoy cheesecake! If there is a cheesecake serving restaurant that we have forgotten let us know on Facebook or of course right here in our comments!