All posts by Seth Werkheiser

P.S. 276 plants their pizza garden (

Urban Farm Coming to Battery Park City

P.S. 276 plants their pizza garden (
While P.S. 276 students plant in the Community Garden (Albany St), an Urban Farm (State & Pearl St) is in the works

An acre-sized urban farm is coming to Battery Park City, Crains New York reports. The farm will be located along State Street at Pearl Street, with 650 students from local schools set to maintain and curate the farm. Battery Conservancy volunteers will also aid in the farm’s maintenance.

Additionally, Chef Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Cue and Wade Burch of Merchant restaurant are also involved and they plan to make use of the produce from the farm in their cooking.

The farm will have practical use for the students, as well. A class of eight grade students who will maintain the farm will raise lettuce and then serve it in salads to be consumed at their graduation services. The farm has an expiration date, though, as it will be a two-year project that wraps once the Battery Garden Bikeway construction begins. The Bikeway will connect the East and West sides of the city.

Do you think that the Urban Farm will somehow be extended beyond the two-year plan?

Tyra Banks Bangs It Up in Construction

Model Tyra Banks Angers Neighbors With Construction

Tyra Banks Bangs It Up in Construction
Tyra Banks Bangs It Up in Construction

Her neighbors don’t hate model and talk show/reality show Tyra Banks because she’s beautiful. They hate her because she is being an inconsiderate neighbor. Banks recently angered her neighbors-to-be thanks to construction work being done on her new abode at the luxurious Riverhouse in Battery Park City. According to The New York Post’s Page Six, Banks is merging four apartments into one huge duplex unit and the construction project has lasted six months beyond the intended schedule and neighbors have been calling the police over the matter.

Apparently, paint fumes are annoying other residents and the incessant drilling is making for some serious noise pollution indoors.

A rep for the Riverhouse said that Banks’ unit is “near completion.” Nothing like pissing off the locals before you move in.

How should Tyra Banks appease her angry neighbors for her overdue, noisy construction?

South End Avenue Cab Line

Census Shows Downtown Population Growth After 9/11

South End Avenue Cab Line
The area south of Chambers Street has seen a population boom

The Associated Press reports that despite a general culture of fear and the devastation caused in the wake of the September 11th attacks, downtown Manhattan has enjoyed a population boom.

As it turns out, people weren’t driven from the area that is associated with the most horrific terrorist attack to ever occur on American soil. They were attracted to it! Census figures released last week show that the number of people living near Ground Zero has swelled by about 23,000 since 2000, making it one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the city. Around 46,000 people reside south of Chambers Street, which is the Ground Zero area.

Just over 82, 000 people live South of Canal Street, which is 15 blocks north of the former site of the Twin Towers. That figures equals a 43 percent increase from 2000 and includes Battery Park City.

Are you surprised that the Ground Zero area has enjoyed population growth despite the terrorist attacks, and the memory of them?

Statue of Liberty, Grant’s Tomb, Ellis Island Remain Open For Business

With the federal budget crisis averted, national landmarks like the Statue of Liberty will remain open to the public

Whew! New York City visitors and tourists, not to mention thousand of New York and New Jersey federal employees and local vendors, can breathe a sigh of relief as the federal government reached a plea deal at the eleventh hour this past weekend, avoiding a shutdown of the government and its services. A trickle down economic effect would have gone into place had the deal not been reached, reports NBC New York.

If the deal was not secured, employees would not have reported to work due to a furlough and the city’s ten national parks and historic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Grant’s Tomb and Ellis Island, would have been closed, which would be incredibly bad news for local vendors and concessionaries depending on the visitors of the attractions for their income. A spokesman for the National Park Service said that the Statue of Liberty entertains 10,000 visitors per day in April, which translates into a lot of revenue for local sellers.

Do you ever visit local, historical attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island?

Location of Unidentified 9/11 Remains in Museum Raises Families’ Ire

(Photo credit:

The Daily News reports that the families of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks have spoken out about the city’s plans to place the still unidentified remains of those lost in a museum that will be exist 70 feet below ground. Only 59% of the victims of the attacks have been identified in the past decade.


A vocal group of protesters would like city officials to contact the families of all 2,749 victims of the terror attacks, which are coming up on their 10th anniversary, for their opinions before building a below-ground repository inside the museum. The families are not opposed to the idea of a museum; it’s the location of said museum that they are unhappy about. A lawyer for the group said, “We are not against the remains at the museum, but the fact they want it on a public setting and 70 feet below ground level.”

Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son perished during the attacks, said family members should be allowed to make the final decision about the remains. “The city is making human remains an attraction of the museum,” Regenhard said. “We demand a separate [location] above ground, fully accessible to the public area – not in the basement of a museum.”

Despite these protests, museum spokesman Michael Frazier contends victims’ families were told about the location of the repository back in 2006. The repository will be under the city medical examiner’s control and will not be open to the public.

What do you think of the plans to place the museum below ground?

Battery Park City Ice Rink

Battery Park City Authority Looking For Ice Rink Input

Battery Park City Ice Rink
(Photo courtesy:

The snowy, icy, precipitation-filled winter of 2011 is (thankfully) in the rear view, but the Battery Park City Authority is still mulling over the possibility of putting an ice rink in the region. According to Downtown Express, Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Ballfields Task Force met in late March to discuss alternatives.

The problem is where to place the ice rink. The ball fields just north of Murray Street between West Street and North End Avenue were discussed as an option, but the skating season would be limited to a mere eight weeks, as the fields are used for soccer through November and for baseball as soon as March. Additionally, an operator would be required to build and disassemble the rink.

The BPCA does not want to invest in or subsidize an ice rink. Whomever would operate it would need to find a corporate sponsor. Plans were discussed at Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee meeting, which took place on Tuesday at 1 World Financial Center.

Would you like to see an ice rink in Battery Park City?

Water Street Getting Ready for an Overhaul

Water Street May Be Headed For an Overhaul

Water Street Getting Ready for an Overhaul
Water Street Getting Set For An Overhaul

According to the Wall Street Journal, Water Street in Lower Manhattan may be considered for an overhaul in order to make it a more pedestrian friendly road. While many streets, such as Broadway, have exchanged portions of the road occupied by cabs and cars for pedestrians and cyclists, the Financial District has remained more car oriented.

However, the Economic Development Corporation is actively seeking consultants to conduct analysis of the street and to pose a more “pedestrian-oriented environment,” including a median, more trees, better lighting and public art. Water Street is one of the few Lower Manhattan streets that has enough space to make this dream a reality. The Downtown Alliance is pushing for this change and had proposed turning the area between South Street Seaport and State Island Ferry Terminal at Whitehall into a boulevard with less traffic lanes in favor of more greenery and pedestrians. The Downtown Alliance noted that the area is mostly commercial and that it empties out in the evenings and on weekends and has little in the way of retail or dining and thus less power to attract visitors, tourists or even locals

“The potential improvements will transform Water Street into an active pedestrian destination for the entire area to enjoy,” said Kyle Sklerov, a spokesman for the agency.

What do you think of the potential changes to Water Street?

Battery Park City Library

Battery Park City Public Library May Finally Get Lion Statues

Battery Park City Library
Battery Park City Library Set To Welcome Lions (Photo: New York Times)

Battery Park City’s five-year old City Library may receive a pair of five-foot tall bronze lions to be placed out front, just like Midtown’s Public Library! According to Yahoo, Community Board 1 member Tom Goodkind has partnered with sculptor Tom Otterness to create the lions. Roar!

There have been continuous discussions about having lions adorn the front of the library, but funding was always an issue. However, a kind, anonymous donor with income to spare has come forward to infuse some cash into the idea, pushing it closer to reality.

Otterness has made several sculptures around the city and Battery Park, so he was an obvious choice to make the lions that would guard the library.

A meeting is scheduled for April 6th at 6 PM at the Battery Park City Authority Office to see if the idea will fully come to fruition.

Do you think the BPC library should have lions out front?

3LD 3 Legged Dog Theater

Lower Manhattan Arts Leagues Announces Spring Downtown Schedule

3LD 3 Legged Dog Theater
Lower Manhattan Arts League Presents Spring Festival (Photo: flickr @cloudcity)

The Lower Manhattan Arts League, the network of independent arts powerhouses the banded together in 2008 in order to cross-pollinate their audiences and bring high quality arts to densely packed downtown districts, announced the schedule for its second annual Spring Downtown Festival, which begins March 21st and runs through May 4th. It’s an 11-week extravaganza of affordable arts events. The LMAL will offer wine, beer, tasty treats and live performances for Manhattanites looking to ingest a little downtown culture.

The programming is available here but overall, you can expect to enjoy documentaries, music, workshops, kids events, public play readings and arts discussions, among other things.

Will you be attending the second annual Spring Downtown Festival?

Developers Scrap Plans For New “Windows on the World” atop 1 WTC

The view from the old Windows on the World (Photo: Flickr @seeareelem)

The New York Post reports that plans to include a Windows on the World-type restaurant in the new 1 World Trade Center building have been scrapped by the developers. The restaurant has been a part of the building’s blueprint since it was dubbed “The Freedom Tower.” The original WTC buildings boasted a top floor restaurant before they were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The initial plan called for a two-story eating establishment, but that was eventually downgraded to a single floor due to cost prohibitiveness.

The restaurant is being shelved entirely due to cost concerns. There is little efficiency in running such an operation and developers feared they would not be able to locate a restaurateur willing to handle the project, which looked likely to be a money-losing, in-the-red operation.

Port Authority executive director Chris Ward said, “These things are always money-losers. We think we can achieve a far better financial return given the [quality of the] space and avoid all the complexities.” Ward went on to remind us that the city is teeming with plenty of restaurants. However, plenty of New Yorkers would like the new World Trade Center buildings to be as similar to the originals as possible.

Do you think that the new World Trade Center should have a Windows on the World type restaurant just like the old Twin Towers had?