Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will be performing a free show at the World Financial Center Winter Garden on June 28th at 7 PM ET. According to Billboard, Wainwright will perform with the New York City Opera and with pianist Kevin Murphy.
As if the fact that the show is free wasn’t enough reason to attend, Wainwright will premiere excerpts from ‘Prima Donna,’ his original opera. He will also perform some of his favorite operas.
‘Prima Donna’ is scheduled to performed in its entirety by the New York City Opera in the Spring of 2012.
Are you planning to attend Rufus Wainwright’s free show? Are you interested in his opera?
More construction uproars are happening in Battery Park City. A West Street underpass will be erected between the World Financial Center, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, and the new World Trade Complex, while the Vesey Street bridge will be torn down.
However, even more distressing is that the Grand Staircase at the Winter Garden inside the World Financial Center is also being removed. The staircase, which was erected after September 11th, allows employees and tourists to move between levels of the World Financial Center and doubles as seating for free events that take place at the Winter Garden. The owners of the WFC want to tear them down and replace them with escalators to increase the efficiency of foot traffic.
To all of you who work in or near the World Financial Center and are packing your lunch for tomorrow, or thinking about what to order from the usual catering menu, STOP!Â Look no further, because tomorrow, the restaurants at the World Financial Center are gathering in the Winter Garden to offer you $1-$5 samples of their signature items, as well as some seasonal selections.
I managed to pick up a menu for the event on the way home, and many of the offerings seem very typical, such as P.J. Clarke’s mini cheeseburgers and pulled pork sliders (2 for $5), Au Mandarin’s pork and shrimp dumplings ($3 and $4 respectively), and Godiva’s chocolate-dipped strawberries, macaroons, and oreos.
However, there were some stand-out seasonal items such as Columbus Bakery’s Corn Chowder with Pomegranate ($4), The Grill Room’s Wild Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan Sauce ($5) and Butternut Squash Soup with Caramelized Apples and Pumpkin Seeds ($4), Southwest NY’s Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon with Mango-Jicama Salsa ($5) and Financier Patisserie’s Apple Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Cream ($3) and Pumpkin Cheesecake ($3).
Here is a list of participating restaurants:
Au Bon Pain
Ciao Bella Gelato
Devon & Blakely
Ed’s Lobster Bar
The Grill Room
P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson
World Financial Center Greenmarket
The World Financial Stairs, first erected nearly thirty years ago, served as an important — if merely utilitarian — gateway for those needing to travel between the Winter Garden and the World Trade Center. The stairs were built to endure and withstand the foot traffic of thousands of people coming to and from the train stations during the lunch and rush hours, as well as serve as impromptu colosseum seating for Winter Garden performances and events.
Like a great marble work of art, the World Financial Stairs have signified and become an unwitting relic of survival and an icon of restoration in the days and now years after September 11th. One cannot see, think, or remember the Winter Garden without the stairs as the backdrop of the minds eye.
These days, most of the steps taken up the stairs are to reach the viewing area where the entrance of the bridge used to be. For almost a decade, light has cascaded freely into both sides of the Winter Garden, helping to further highlight the marble stairs as never before. No longer merely hidden under the soles of the commuters and office workers, the craftsmanship and marble gleam.
Ok, I’m waxing a bit poetic here, but obviously by the title and tone of this article, I’m biased towards these particular stairs.
Despite this writer’s respect, however, the stairs are in jeopardy. Brookfield Properties, owners of the Winter Garden, are scheduling demolition of the stairs in an effort to expand their office and retail offerings.
In the first step toward saving the stairs, an unlikely proponent emerged. Last week, members of the 32BJ SEIU, a local union whose members work at the World Financial Center, began passing out flyers to bring awareness to the World Financial Center stairs. Why does the Union care?
A spokesman from 32BJ SEIU, Matt Painter, reached out to BatteryParkCity.com and had this to say,
“32BJ SEIU is involved because the Winter Garden is an important public space for the city and our members — many of whom live and work in lower Manhattan. Â The stairs have a symbolic significance to our union as well. Â As the cityâ€™s largest building services union, we have members who, as security guards, acted as first responders to the 9/11 attacks. Â The restored stairs represent the cityâ€™s willingness to rebuild, and the removal of this important removal seems insensitive to the communityâ€™s needs and to this important memorial of that day.”
Are the stairs important enough for us as a community to try and save them? We have been able to get immediate response for a tire swing. We’re trying to find landmark status for a former Burlington Coat Factory. It’s time to put it out there, should the World Financial / Winter Garden Stairs receive landmark status too? If so, how? What can we do as a community? What do you think?
In case you’ve been too busy composting, recycling and campaigning to rid the globe of toxins to remember the date, here’s a news flash for you: Today, April 22, marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
Now, James Cameron would have you believe that the best way to celebrate this esteemed occasion is by purchasing Avatar on DVD and watching those big blue anteater-type-deals get their jollies by plugging their ponytails into each others orifices. While we have nothing in particular against Pandorans and what they do with their hair, we respectfully beg to differ with Mr. King of the World.
For our money, there’s no better way to spend Earth Day ’10 than by heading down to Battery Park and, you know, getting in touch with nature. And if the glorious 70-degree temps, the newly budding trees and the breathtaking water vistas aren’t enough to convince you, perhaps you’d be interested to know that BPC is sweetening the pot with a barrage of activities and art exhibits that are 100% free, 100% interesting and 200% eco-friendly.