Tag Archives: world financial center

(Photo credit: motorexpo.com)

Motorexpo Kicks Into Gear at World Financial Center Sunday

The New York Motorexpo rolls into the WFC for its fourth year (Photo credit: motorexpo.com)

For the fourth year in a row, the New York Motorexpo will be rolling into the World Financial Center beginning this Sunday, September 18. Touted as the world’s “biggest free to visit motoring event”, the expo will be open daily from Sunday to Friday, September 23.

Exhibitors this year will include Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari, Fiat, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lotus, Mercedes‐Benz, and MINI, among others. Exhibits will be set up both inside the Winter Garden and outside along the Esplanade.

According to the New York Times, a special-edition Fiat 500 by Gucci and a Gene Simmons Kiss edition MINI Countryman will be on display.

New York Motorexpo
World Financial Center
Sun, September 18 – 11am-5pm
Mon-Fri, September 20-23 – 10am-6pm

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City

World Financial Center Grand Staircase to Be Torn Down

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City
Winter Garden Staircase

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.

What do you think of the Grand Staircase removal?

Eat: World Financial Center Restaurant Showcase Menu

EAT: WFC Restaurant Showcase

Eat: World Financial Center Restaurant Showcase Menu
Eat: World Financial Center Restaurant Showcase

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!  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
Au Mandarin
Blockheads Burrito
Ciao Bella Gelato
Columbus Bakery
Devon & Blakely
Donald Sacks
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Elixir
Financier Patisserie
Godiva Chocolatier
The Grill Room
Harry’s Italian
P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson
Quality Burger
Southwest NY
Starbucks Coffee
World Financial Center Greenmarket
Yushi

winter-gardens-620

Plans to Overhaul World Financial Released Tomorrow

World Financial Center
The Winter Garden and World Financial Center could look a lot different in 2013.

Brookfield Properties are set to release their plans for updating the World Financial Center tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal.

We’d heard rumblings of these changes, including the planned removal of the Winter Garden Stairs. In a Batteryparkcity.com poll, an overwhelming 90% of you were in favor of saving the stairs, a sentiment shared by 32BJ SEIU, a local union whose members work at the World Financial Center. City Planning Commission chairwoman Amanda Burden and Battery Park City community board members also question the removal of the stairs, an unintended icon of our post-9/11 reality.

Brookfield maintains that the stairs need to be removed to allow for an expansive street level entrance that will connect with new PATH and subway stations at the World Trade Center.

Stairs or no, expect to see more retail offerings in the World Financial Center. Citing the population increase in Battery Park City, Brookfield would like to offer more to residents who frequent the property on nights and weekends.

Construction could begin as soon as the end of this year, with completion scheduled for 2013.

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City

World Financial Stairs Will Be Demolished

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City
Winter Garden Staircase

The Winter Garden will go back to it’s original roots as a connection to the World Trade Center.

In a move that is set to break hearts in our community, a likely victim will be the beloved World Financial Stairs. After several weeks of speculation and a protest from the SEBC union workers in the World Financial Center, the stairs will be demolished to make way for a connection path from the Fulton Street Transit Hub.

The World Financial Center was connected to World Trade Center mass transportation through the Vesey Street bridge, which was destroyed during the 9/11 terror attacks.

In light of the rebuilding of both the World Trade Center and Fulton Street Transit hub, Brookfield Properties has announced a plan to connect Battery Park City with an underground tunnel. According to Brookfield, keeping the Winter Garden Stairs “would not only create an obstacle between the escalators from the underground tunnel and the Winter Garden, but would also waste a once-in-a-century opportunity to open the interior of lower Manhattan to the waterfront,” according to letter correspondence between Brookfield and City Planning officials according to the Downtown Express.

It is speculated that by eliminating the stairs would also provide increasing retail space in the World Financial Center, increasing revenue for Brookfield Properties.

In July, Community Board 1 officials have put in a formal request that the stairs be preserved. They are often seen as a standing landmark of the terror attacks and also provide unparalleled views of the waterfront. Officials from City Planning as well as Brookfield properties are set to address the demolition of the stairs when the Community Board is back in session in September.

The top of the stairs is currently used by tourists as a prime viewing area of the World Trade Center site.

Residents have been disheartened by news of the potential demolition of the stairs,
“The Winter Garden, and especially the Staircase, has become an iconic symbol of renewal as well as being the most beautiful space downtown,” says Betty Heller on BatteryParkCity.com,“ Destroying it would be an act of vandalism akin to the destruction of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. Brookfield has been a remarkably good guardian of this precious space until now. It would be a shame to destroy their reputation.”

South End Avenue Cab Line

Battery Park City’s Taxi Culture

South End Avenue Cab Line
South End Avenue Cab Line: We are so civilized!

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.

But —

Nothing makes me crazier when I’ve been waiting on that line and  someone “steals my cab.” Two parts fury and  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 —  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  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!

Woody Harrelson and Justin Timberlake film Friends with Benefits in Battery Park City

Movies Filmed In Battery Park City

Woody Harrelson and Justin Timberlake film Friends with Benefits in Battery Park City
Filming of "Friends With Benefits" (Credit: Wenn Images)

As the filming for Justin Timberlake’s “Friends With Benefits” have taken over our neighborhood the last couple of days, it had our team thinking…

What other movies have taken over our esplanade in this way?

At first thought, we remembered Barbra Streisand’s ‘Prince of Tides,’ and then before we knew it an entire list was cobbled together.

So to help you at your next neighborhood cocktail party, we present:

(Some) Movies Filmed in Battery Park City List!(In seriously no particular order!)

1. ‘Prince of Tides’ (1991) starring Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand – scenes were filmed in and around the esplanade.

2. ‘Hackers’ (1995) starring Angelina Jolie (before Brad) – scenes filmed at the then new Stuyvesant High School

3.  ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ (2010) starring Shia LeBouf and Michael Douglas – scenes filmed in and around the Bowling Green area.

4. ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ (2010) starring Nic Cage – scenes filmed in Battery Park.

5. ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ (2010) starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt – scenes were filmed at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park

6. ‘P.S. I Love You’ (2007) starring Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank

7. ‘Boomerang’ (1992) starring Eddie Murphy

8. ‘The Good Guy’ (2009) starring Alexis Bledel (Thanks to FB friend Ellen!)

9. ‘Hitch’ (2005) starring Will Smith (Thanks to FB friend Honey!)

10. ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ (1985) starring Madonna (Thanks to FB friend Fern!)

11. ‘Men In Black’ (1997) starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (Thanks to FB friend Laura!)

12. ‘I Am Legend’ (2007) starring Will Smith (Thanks to FB friend Tom who also honorably mentions ‘Working Girl’ starring Melanie Griffith)

13. ‘Inside Man’ (2006) starring Denzel Washington and Clive Owen (Thanks to Roberta!)

Any others we might be missing? Let us know!

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City

Saving the World Financial Center Stairs — But How?

World Financial Center Stairs in the Winter Garden, Battery Park City
Should the Winter Garden Stairs receive landmark status?

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.  The stairs have a symbolic significance to our union as well.  As the city’s largest building services union, we have members who, as security guards, acted as first responders to the 9/11 attacks.  The restored stairs represent the city’s willingness to rebuild, and the removal of this important removal seems insensitive to the community’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?

[poll id="4"]

National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Teen Exhibition Comes to BPC

National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
Some of this year's award-winners (photo courtesy of ArtAndWriting.org).

If you want to get a sneak peek at our nation’s next generation of great writers, painters, sculptors, fashion designers and filmmakers, here’s your chance.

The works of the teenage winners of the 2010 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — which are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers — are on display at the World Financial Center’s Courtyard Gallery, now through June 25. For the bargain price of $0 (yes, it’s free), visitors can see film, video, animation, writing, photography, painting, sculpture, fashion, drawing, graphic design and ceramics exhibits from some of the most talented young artists around.

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The Hudson

2010 House of the Year Comes to World Financial Plaza

The Hudson
This pre-fab home is pretty fab.

The Hudson, an eco-friendly prefabricated home developed by Country Living Magazine in conjunction with design-building company New World Home, will be on display at the World Financial Center (quite appropriately, on the banks of the Hudson River) from June 4 through June 17… before moving on to its permanent address in Vernon, New Jersey.

Constructed in a factory in just 100 days, the two-bedroom, 1,600-square-foot country cottage boasts fireplaces, gargantuan windows, a 1,100-square-foot wraparound porch, and a stylish and “green” interior decoration courtesy of New York designer Katie Ridder. Comprised of six modular pieces, it’s also super easy to put together — assuming you own a 100-ton crane.

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