All posts by Rachel

About Rachel

As a resident of Battery Park City, Rachel is always keeping her ear to the street — if its south of Chambers. The best part of living in BPC is endless and eclectic music and events in and around the area. The sunsets too aren’t so shabby!

Farm Truck Delivering to BPC, Looks to Expand Routes Soon

Will Holton Farms close the gap for BPC residents in search of better produce?

The produce options in Battery Park City are growing. Mainstay Gristedes and nearby newcomer Whole Foods have seen the World Financial Center’s Greenmarket open this year, while delivery service FreshDirect has been heavily targeting our area in an attempt to steal some of Whole Foods’ thunder. We can now add to the mix Holton Farms, a “farm to lobby” service based on a CSA (community supported agriculture) model.

Weekly deliveries from the Farm Truck have begun in the neighborhood for members of the CSA program living in all three “green” buildings, The Visionaire, The Solaire, and the Verdesian.

Holton Farms is looking to expand the program in Battery Park City soon: residents of Gateway Plaza received notification that the Farm Truck could begin making deliveries next year. An informational session at Gateway is scheduled for Saturday, October 9 from 11am-1pm.

Holton Farms seeks to distinguish itself from traditional CSAs by offering a customizable arrangement; customers receive only the produce and groceries they want instead of simply receiving everything the farm produces.

The farm-to-table movement is definitely trendy and likely will prove popular in the neighborhood’s pricier buildings (not coincidentally, some of Holton’s first customers). Whether they are a hit with the rest of the neighborhood remains to be seen. Regardless, competition for our grocery dollar should prove beneficial to everyone!

What do you think? Will you sign up for the Farm Truck delivery if its available to you? Do you think we need more grocery and produce options in Battery Park City? Let us know in the comments.

World Trade Center bombing scene in 1993

Homeland Security Cuts to Lower Manhattan Lambasted

World Trade Center bombing scene in 1993
World Trade Center bombing scene in 1993 (Credit: Stevenspak.com)

As Lower Manhattan is the only United States community to become victims of 2 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security funding cuts to our neighborhood makes little to no sense.

In light of yesterday’s admission from Feisal Shahzad proclaiming his intent to bomb the Ground Zero and/or the World Financial Center, it’s quite clear our community still stands to be a target even a decade after the 9/11 terror attacks.

In response to the continued Homeland Security cuts, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Chairperson of Community Board 1 Julie Menin have joined forces to make a public outry against the cuts.

According to an article published in this week’s Downtown Express the pair asks, “Why does New York City, one of the top terrorist targets in the world, continue each year to face cuts to its homeland security funding? Just this year, the Obama Administration, several days after the attempted plot to bomb Times Square, cut New York City’s transit security by 27% and its port security by 25%.  While the Administration argued that the $53 million in budget cuts to the city’s homeland security funding would be made up by stimulus dollars, those are one-shot funds. When the stimulus money runs out in two years, replacing those missing dollars will be a Herculean task.”

Both claim that controversy surrounding the Park51 Islamic community center has taken away the focus and concentration towards general safety in our area.

“Instead of arguing about the precise location of the Islamic center, why don’t we put aside our differences and focus on the common goal of keeping our children and all of us safe?” asks Stringer and Menin.

We can’t help but agree. The rest of the article can be read here.

2 Gold Street Rental Apartments

Murder at 2 Gold Street

2 Gold Street Rental Apartments
2 Gold Street Apartment

A Pace University student was fatally shot inside  his apartment at 2 Gold Street in the Financial District, early this morning.

According to authorities, the victim is 22-year-old Max Moreno. He was rushed and later died at Bellevue Hospital.

Moreno was found in the downtown luxury rental building on the 37th floor. Police are looking for two suspects who got past doormen to fatally shoot Moreno in the head. According to reports, Moreno was a known marijuana dealer and the shooting may have been a drug deal gone bad.

A man and a women were purported to have initially tried to rob Moreno of both money and drugs.

Moreno died from a single gunshot wound to his left temple.

Moreno’s roommate was home at the time and fled the apartment after the shooting but was followed and beaten by the suspects.

According to NYPD, detectives are investigating whether this was a set up.

Anyone with any information on the incident are asked to contact the NYPD at (212) 334-0611 or Pace University Security at (212) 346-1800. All tips will be held confidential.

Feisal Shahzad the Times Square Bomber

World Financial Center Was Second Target for Times Square Bomber

Feisal Shahzad the Times Square Bomber
Feisal Shahzad admits in federal court he considered bombing Ground Zero.

Feisal Shahzad the dubbed “Times Square Bomber” apparently had his targets set on both the World Financial Center and Ground Zero according to federal court documents released today.

However, after analyzing foot traffic patterns, Shahzad decided that an attack on Times Square would cause more damage. Although not his initial target, admitted several other NYC locations would be secondary targets including our neighborhood.

According to the federal court documents, “during the late afternoon of May 1, 2010, Shahzad drove his car, which was packed with the bomb he had built, from his residence in Connecticut to Times Square and parked the car on 45th Street near Seventh Avenue. He then attempted to initiate the bomb detonation process inside the car by lighting a fuse, and after doing so, he got out of the car, armed with the semi-automatic rifle that he had brought with him, and walked to Grand Central terminal. While walking to Grand Central terminal, he listened for the sound of the bomb exploding. Two days later, he was arrested at John F. Kennedy
International Airport while trying to the leave the United States on a commercial flight.”

Shahzad will receive a mandatory life  sentence next week for his bomb attempt in Times Square on May 1. He has since plead guilty for the bomb attempt.

Motorcyclists in Battery Park City

Motorcycles Disappear Across the Area

Motorcyclists in Battery Park City
Motorcycles stolen across our area (Credit: Flickr/Roinks)

September marked the end of the summer heat but the start of hot motorcycles.

According to local police blotters, nearly a handful of motorcycles were reported stolen in our area within a two week span. The locations of the thefts include:

336 Albany Street
Sept. 2, 2010 @ 2 PM
A $12,000 motorcycle was reported stolen

68 Franklin Street
Sept. 3, 2010 @ 8:30 AM
A $14,000 motorcycle was reported stolen.

80 North Moore Street
Sept. 10, 2010 @ 12:30 PM
A motorcycle was reported stolen.

10 Liberty Street
Sept. 14, 2010 @ 5 PM
A motorcycle was reported stolen.

Coincidentally and most likely unrelated to the local thefts, a national motorcycle ring was arrested with some motorcycles coming from the New York area. Motorcycle thefts are nothing new to the area as New York City ranks fifth in cities reporting the most motorcycle thefts.

The frequency of which the motorcycle thefts occurred in September is cause for some alarm for motorcycle owners in our area. For our motorcycle endowed neighbors, here are some tips on keeping your motorcycle secure:

1. Keep your motorcycle in a inconspicuous area or concealed location.
2. Install a hidden kill switch, which must be activated to start your bike.
3. Along with your bikes built in lock, use alternate methods of securing your bike such as a secondary lock system.
4. Common sense also dictates, never leave your motorcycle running while unattended.

Hallmark Retirement Home on North End Avenue

Hallmark Residents Victims of Serial Robberies

Hallmark Retirement Home on North End Avenue
Hallmark Retirement Home on North End Avenue

Residents of the Hallmark Retirement Center on North End Avenue are victims of serial robberies occurring in the complex.

The thefts occurred and were reported in July and August and have amounted to nearly $60K in lost jewelry according to an article published today in the Daily News.

The thefts reported include:

-In July a woman reported a lost $10,000 Italian watch and an approximately $20,000 diamond bangle bracelet.

– On July 27th, a 98-year-old woman reported $21,400 worth of jewelry stolen from a bedroom closet.

-On August 9th, a 90-year-old woman reported $6,000 worth of jewelry stolen while she was away on a hospital stay.

As it turns out, policies implemented within the assisted living facility have seemingly helped to facilitate robberies. There are no surveillance cameras inside the building, certain employees have keys to all apartments and residents are required to notify the facility when they leave the premises for extended medical or personal reasons.

According to the same article, representatives at Brookdale Senior Living, the company that owns The Hallmark, “Theft is not tolerated at our communities, and we internally investigate and report to proper authorities claims of theft of which we become aware,” said spokeswoman Holly Botsford.”

However, according to residents the facility has done little to placate resident concerns and their cries have fallen on deaf ears.

We will continue to update this story as new development arise.

Downtown Interschool Orchestra

Downtown Interschool Orchestra Holds Open Auditions

Downtown Interschool Orchestra
Downtown Interschool Orchestra

Does your young Mozart need an outlet beyond Rock Band?

The Downtown Interschool Orchestra is now holding open auditions for school aged children to join this season.

Founded in 1972, the InterSchool Orchestra is a non-profit organization that has become New York’s premier orchestral performance and training program fro young musicians ranging from 6-20 years old. This years Downtown Interschool Orchestra will be conducted by James Blachly.

Nearly 300 students citywide participate in the program which holds 30 performances annually in some of New York’s esteemed concert halls.

Although there is a cost to join, no child is turned away for financial reasons and scholarship opportunities exist.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in this premier program, auditions are held before every weekly rehearsal through October. Those who are interested in auditioning should reach out to Gary Tigner. Rehearsals are held Mondays from 4:45-5:45 at Trinity Wall Street in the Choir Room.

To find out more about the Interschool Orchestra check out their website.

Downtown Connection Bus Clocks

Downtown Connection Adds GPS and Clocks

Downtown Connection Bus Clocks
Downtown Connection Countdown Clocks

Battery Park City residents can now rely on more than just a line of people and distant shadows of the Downtown Connection bus to determine its arrival.

The Downtown Alliance has installed countdown clocks at seven main stops along the Downtown Connection bus route. The bus route connects several main landmarks downtown.

The clocks were installed and include the The World Trade Center, The Financial District, The South Street Seaport, City Hall, Tribeca and Battery Park stops.

Over 836,000 residents and visitors take the Downtown Connection every year. A free service provided by the Downtown Alliance, the buses will be equipped with GPS systems that will communicate with the countdown clocks. The clocks will track the arrivals of the next two buses to help riders make the best use of their time.

The countdown clock should conceivably help add ridership for the buses with a definite arrival time.

According to the Downtown Alliance website,
“Riders of the Downtown Connection—the Alliance for Downtown New York’s free bus service in Lower Manhattan—will now know exactly when the next bus will arrive. The Business Improvement District has installed seven LED signs, which list the next two arrivals, along the 37-stop route.

The NextBus program uses Global Positioning System tracking satellites to provide accurate vehicle arrival/departure information and real-time data to passengers waiting at selected Downtown Connection stops.

Funding for the program was secured by New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and established in coordination with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT). Thanks to a grant from Goldman Sachs, two additional signs will be installed in Battery Park City in the coming months.

The Downtown Alliance launched the Downtown Connection in late 2003, instantly improving Lower Manhattan’s quality of life and accessibility. The buses shuttled more than 834,000 workers, residents and visitors in 2009, and the Downtown Alliance expects ridership to increase this year. The shuttle buses run at 10-minute intervals from 10 AM to 8 PM daily, with more limited service on weekends.”

Although the use of countdown clocks will conceivably increase ridership for tourists, residents are still reeling from the loss of the W Train and M9 lines. Leaving the question on when residents will be able to have reliable transportation OUTSIDE of the neighborhood?

The elimination of the M9 bus affected Battery Park City residents

Battery Park City Community Board Proposes M9 Resolution

The elimination of the M9 bus affected Battery Park City residents
MTA's elimination of the M9 bus affected Battery Park City residents

The elimination of the M9 bus this summer has caused transportation headaches for our area.

Losing the M9 bus line this summer has caused transportation headaches for many residents in our area. Many of our own readers have voiced their concerns over the loss of the M9 line which was a main artery of transportation for the daily life of many residents.

The effects have caught the attention of City Councilmember Margaret Chin and the Community Board to draft a proposal which was recently presented to the MTA.

In that proposal, Battery Park City Committee have offered a resolution which calls for the extension of the M15 bus line into Battery Park City as well as extending the M22 line from Vesey Street into the southernmost tip of our neighborhood at Battery Place and Little West Street.

According to an article in this week’s Downtown Expresss, “The letter states, “due to the elimination of the M9, people traveling between Battery Park City and other areas of New York City are required to make more transfers, and, seniors, the mobility-impaired, and students particularly rely on buses.”

Compounded by the loss of the W line and consistent service closings due to the construction of the Fulton Street Transportation Hub, Lower Manhattan has been adversely affected. A response from the MTA is pending.

Pregnancies during 9/11 unaffected by mom's PTSD

Pregnant Women Not Affected by 9/11 Trauma

Pregnancies during 9/11 unaffected by mom's PTSD
Pregnant women stress during 9/11 did not affect births

Women in our area who were pregnant during the September 11th attacks were not found to have at risk births according to a recently published study.

Extensive studies have been held to determine the long and short term effects of the 9/11 attacks on mental and physical healths, but this study is one of the first to demonstrate a little to no effects on unborn babies during that time.  This is in contrast to a previous study that had found that children exposed to the 9/11 attacks in our area were found to be developmentally vulnerable.

Researchers examined the birth outcomes of 446 women who had worked or lived in our area and were pregnant at that time.

Because the income levels of the women were higher than most New Yorkers, they were compared against women in a similar income bracket who did not live in the area, excluding women who were on Medicaid.

Of those mothers who claimed to be suffering from post traumatic stress symptoms, some were found to have given birth to more low-weight and premature babies than those without.

The entire study can be found in the Obstetrics and Gynecology publication which was released yesterday.