In our neighborhood, going to the “movies” was often a code word to go shoe shopping. However, Battery Park City shoe lovers will need a dose of retail therapy when their beloved DSW is slated to close September 3rd. Proving another store bites the dust to make way for the new Conrad Hotel in Battery Park City.
While this is terrible news for some, this is fantastic news for others. As Battery Park City husbands who have married shoe addicts are secretly rejoicing. No more requests to go to the shoe store before a movie.
Store employees confirmed with us that the store’s lease was not renewed and that another location was not planned for Downtown Manhattan. They also wanted to mention that customers could visit their Union Square and Downtown Brooklyn locations, but admitted visiting those locations is tantamount to a full contact sport and a “zoo.”
A formal sign had been placed in the lobby of the Union Square Theater on Sunday to further confirm the stores closing.
As a shoe lover, this one really takes a hit on my heels. How does DSW closing affect you?
As we hope everyone has stayed cool this weekend, welcome to BatteryParkCity.com’s “Week in Review.’ Every week, we’ll highlight Â selected comments from the site. We urge you to find and add more comments to all our articles as we hope that this keeps the conversation going!Â As always, feel free to leave suggestions/comments for the rest of us on the site and in our posts.
In ‘Battery Park City Can You Hear Me Now? … Nope!‘
Diane wrote: “wow â€“ does this resonate! I moved from 50 Murray Street west four blocks to the Solaire last year and itâ€™s almost comical (when itâ€™s not) that my AT&T blackberry NEVER EVER works in my apartment. Iâ€™ve considered getting the microcell but whatâ€™s the point? as soon as I walk outside â€“ or up to my roof â€“ I have the SAME PROBLEM.Â I did discover a 5 bar hot spot the other day while having a coffee at the new Pain Quotidien but generally speaking, this is a MAJOR problem which Iâ€™ve been told is related to our lovely green environment which doesnâ€™t permit the installation of antennas in parksâ€¦Â somethingâ€™s gotta give! and articles like these are key to getting the situation addressedÂ as for respondents who claim their calls never drop, theyâ€™re lying!Â thanks for the forum. – Diane”
In ‘Op Ed: Tire Swing Saga: Media Outlets Call BPC Residents “Wimps”‘
Steve Getchell wrote: “When I was a kid, we swung on a steel barbell weight attached to a steel cable wrapped in barbed wire, hung over a dirt patch filled with shards of glass. But I must admit we never hit our heads on anything but the ground. Those were the days.”
In ‘Sarah Palin “Refudiates” Ground Zero Mosque on Twitter’
john on west street wrote: “Americans & New Yorkers should welcome this mosque, masquerading as a community center, when Muslims invite America to build a community center or Dinosaur BBQ in Mecca/Makkah.â€¨The America-hating, self-loathing political correctness that allows such an offense to materialize, is duplicitous, and to our own detriment.”
No, this is not a scene from a bad romantic comedy, this is a seemingly every call occurrence made from my cellphone in Battery Park City.
Added to the litany of issues I have with my iPhone 4 and my ever super human “death grip,” I’ve had quite enough with the cellular service, or lack thereof in this neighborhood.
In an effort to find some answers — or at the very least attempt to find some maps letting me know where in Battery Park City one would have the best shot at making an important call, an interesting website surfaced.
Cellreception.com is a cell review site which does product and service reviews throughout the United States. Although it’s pretty rudimentary in collecting data (you have to sift through piles of comments), sometimes leaving you to wonder if the phone issues are actually more user error than cell reception dead zones.
Some Battery Park City related complaints I found on the Internet include:
A Verizon Customer:
“Verizon’s signal fades in and out, and there is no consistency. Very high probability of call being dropped.” – Person in Rector Place
A Cingular/AT&T Customer:
“My roommate has Cingular and can only get reception in 1 corner of our apartment” – Person in Battery Park Area
A T-Mobile Customer:
“I live in NYC, Battery park city and I have had little or no service the last year I have been living here, The customer service is Horrible, THEY REALLY DO NOT CARE AND CANNOT FIX THE PROBLEM! tried to switch to a new phon(which they made me pay for, LOL) PLEASE DO NOT GO WITH T-MOBILE IN NYC, THIS IS HORRENDOUS SERVICE AND RECEPTION.” -Christine from Battery Park City
In another cell reeption data study, the Wall Street Journal had published an article stating that the worst cell reception areas are located in and around the West Side Highway. In an included reception map, the area near Battery Park City suggests that no one in our neighborhood ever experiences dropped calls. Which I find incredibly hard to believe.
According to the recent Nielsen study, only 92% of all cell phone calls go through in New York City. Those figures are not enough, what I really want to know is how many phone calls actually go through in Battery Park City.
So now we ask you the question: How is your cell service?
For the past few months, the arrival of the new West Thames playground on Memorial Day weekend has been warmly received. An elaborate ribbon cutting was witnessed by dozens of parents and their children to open the long awaited new tire swing park. On that very same day, a couple of children swinging on the now vilified tire swing “conked” their heads, a term used by Curbed to describe the incident. Curbed went on to mock parents who continue to bring their children to the park by describing them as leading their “children to slaughter.”
As a former kid who enjoyed the original tire swing park, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the old wooden structure and a little bit of sadness that the park is now gone. There are times where I’ve believed that Â maybe all of this hullabaloo is a bit of karma from the tire swing gods in the sky — or is it?
Curbed writer Joey reported the story the way it should have been covered — with a bit of jest and humor. While other local news outlets have been reporting this situation with disconcerting seriousness, the candor and ribbing from Curbed is appreciated. Joey proceeds to call Battery Park City residents “wimps” for complaining about a tire swing that has been installed in the same manner in parks — including a dozen in Central Park — all across the city. To placate the controversy, new signs are being installed to warn parents with height-blessed children (of over 4 feet) to avoid using the tire swing.
Yet, there is another thread running through the “Tire Swing Saga.”
When the original tire swing park was slated for demolition (to make way for the extension of the pedestrian path last year), a coalition in support of keeping the original park surfaced. The “Coalition to Save Tire Swing Park” was lead by Matthew Fenton. Ironically, the same man whose own child was one of the very first to be injured by the new tire swing — on the exact day the park opened to the public.
(Matthew Fenton is a writer for the local paper, The Broadsheet — which has been following the tribulations of the on-going tire swing saga very closely. Mr. Fenton didn’t attribute himself as “one of those parents” within the article, but the connection was indicated by a small editors note at the end of the article).
In a recent hearing, Jeff Galloway, CB1 member and BPC resident asked, “Is there something peculiar about Battery Park City where we’re not prepared to take a risk everyone else is willing to take? Kids will get hurt in this playground. Kids get injured all the time. Is this risk greater than other risks?”
Truer words were never said, Jeff. Can we now put the Tire Swing Saga to rest and let what happens in the playground stay in the playground?
In a new interview published by Hotelworldnetwork.com, details are coming forth about the new Conrad luxury hotel slated to open in Q4 2011.
The interview with head of luxury brands John T.A. Vanderslice discusses the Hilton’s luxury brands strategy in opening up its 5th United States location in Battery Park City.
According to Vanderslice, “Conradâ€™s forthcoming entry in the New York City market is indicative of the brandâ€™s formidable development pipeline which also includes future properties in other important global cities such as Dubai and Beijing With regard to the timing of the Conrad New York announcement, our development decisions are made for the long-term and there are many indications that the luxury segment is rebounding with demand on the rise. Additionally, there is currently a relatively low luxury supply in New Yorkâ€™s Financial District so we hope to satisfy an important and growing market need.”
Considering there is a Ritz Carlton and a W hotel within a two block radius of Ground Zero, we’re not certain we agree with that sentiment.
Vanderslice also goes on to point out features of this new luxury hotel,
“A distinguishing feature of the Conrad New York will be the hotelâ€™s typical room size. Typical rooms will average between 500 and 550 square feet, which is extremely generous by any standard, let alone by the space-conscious standard of New York hotels. Additionally, like all Conrad properties, the Conrad New York will feature the smart luxury, flawless service, and technological sophistication that enable guests to enjoy the rare luxury of being themselves.”
Keeping true to the hotel brand’s philosophy, “The luxury of being yourself.”
In a press release for the hotel, the proximity of the hotel to the Freedom Tower is being heavily touted. As well as a noted commitment to providing high end amenities and dining establishments within the hotel,
“The soaring, sunlit 15-story atrium lobby features a dramatic Sol LeWitt art piece rising 13 floors above the check-in desk. Â Each luxuriously appointed guestroom will feature an average of more than 550 square feet, a minimum of two flat panel televisions and a full complement of contemporary electronic features. Â Conrad New York will also feature upscale dining and beverage outlets that are consistent with Conradâ€™s global definition of luxury. Â Interior design is being styled byÂ Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates,Â Office dA andÂ Remedios Studios.
In addition, more than 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space will ensure that guests can stay connected and meet in comfort, supported by state-of-the-art technology and meeting facilities. Â A 6,000 square foot Grand Ballroom is designed to accommodate conferences and social gatherings for more than 600 participants.
Existing Conrad properties in the United States include Conrad Miami, Conrad Chicago, Conrad Indianapolis and Conrad San Juan.”
July 28, 2010 – Confirmation was made by Danny Meyer himself that Blue Smoke and Shake Shack are INDEED, opening in Battery Park City during tonight’s Community Board 1 Meeting.
Meaning — we probably will need that New York Sports Club back.
I don’t know about you, but on more than one occasion, my friends and I have been guilty of venturing to Citi Field for a “Shake Shack / Blue Smoke Dinner Combo.”
I am happy to report that the journey for one of my favorite dinners of all time soon won’t require taking the 7 train.
It’s being widely reported by NY Mag’s Grub Street and others that Blue Smoke has been confirmed as one of the restaurants replacing the recently-shuttered Applebee’s and Chevy’s. Well done Goldman Sachs — we had our doubts — but it seems you’ve done the neighborhood a culinary favor!
We have been discussing the rumblings of Shake Shack for months, but news of this pairing would be an encore presentation of what every Met fan or visitor to Citi Field already knows is a great collaboration in one’s belly.
Along with newcomers BLT Burger at the W, Five Guys on Fulton and our summer visitor Quality Burger — our neighborhood is poised to be quite a burger and BBQ paradise.
We have Goldman Sachs to thank for using the Independence Day weekend to free us from the conveniences of our local gym and other stores some Battery Park City residents have grown to love.
Our newest corporate neighbor and owner of 102 North End Avenue has not offered renewal leases for some local restaurants and businesses including Applebees, New York Sports Club, Pizzabola, and Chevy’s among others. The landlord is cleaning house and also shuttering the Embassy Suites hotel to make way for The Conrad, a luxury Hilton Hotel brand.
The introduction of this new hotel will also lead the way for new restaurants and retail stores. While some are glad to see a change for more upscale dining options in our neighborhood, others — including committee members of Community Board #1 — decry it, saying it doesn’t serve the mixed income interests of the community. Whether we love these places are not is still yet to be seen. One thing is for certain — the sudden lack of services and possible construction impediments will affect our neighborhood almost immediately.
Although there isn’t much that residents can do to about the end of Chevy’s and Applebees beyond renting a car and heading to the ‘burbs, one of the most immediate pitfalls in this “landscape transition” is losing the New York Sports Club. Although several of our buildings have our own gyms — the NYSC was still the neighborhood’s largest and most robust fitness center. Leaving newly orphaned NYSC members with the question: “Where do we go now?!”
Some official answers have been left for local residents on the Town Sports, Inc. website:
“All Battery Park City members now have Passport privileges allowing unlimited access to all clubs across the Sports Clubs Networks.” Whether or not you have subscribed as a passport member before.
Other New York Sports Clubs within walking distance of Battery Park City are:
NYSC Tribeca at Reade Street
151 Reade Street
NYSC City Hall
NYSC Wall Street
30 Wall Street
For anyone who has specific questions towards their membership, New York Sports Club is requesting you call BPC’s NYSC management team at (212) 945-3535.
Although this is a short term solution for patrons of the BPC’s NYSC, one cannot help but feel a bit helpless. Goldman Sachs has always had powerful control over our local restaurants and services, which affect the overall landscape of our neighborhood. As long as they are mindful of residential needs — it will be nice to see some fresh retail and restaurant blood in the neighborhood. Especially if it remotely involves a Shake Shack.
Even if you weren’t one of those kids who grew up with a passion for assembling models, chances are you’ll appreciate the 80-foot-long, 40-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide, 12,000-pound model of the James Webb Telescope, on display in Battery Park now through June 6 as part of the World Science Festival.
According to FOX News, contractor Northrop Grumman designed the model, which is roughly the size of a tennis court and represents a full-scale rendering of the functional telescope/satellite that will be launched into space in 2014. To give you a sense of just how big this thing is, it took two trucks to ship the parts to New York and a team of 12 workers four days to assemble. So it requires just a bit more work than your average model-in-a-box.
Apparently we really do know how to “Eat Good In the Neighborhood.” So much so, it seems that Applebee’s has closed for business in Battery Park City.
We have been careful to report the closing of this restaurant after our peek-a-boo experience with Ciao Bella, who had momentarily closed down in a rent dispute with Brookfield.
However, it seems that the Applebee’s is really gone for good as the location has been taken down from its official website.
We’ve put together some reasons as to why Applebee’s never had a chance:
1. There are way too many superior burger and wing restaurants in the area to choose over Applebee’s.
2. The location right smack next to our local New York Sports Club, made going into the Applebee’s a highly guilt ridden experience.
3. The food was just terrible. New Yorkers are naysayers of large food chains. (All except for IHOP. For the love of God will someone please open one of those in Manhattan?!)
We feel for Applebee’s closing down but now that Goldman Sach’s is in town — it will be interesting to watch what ends up in that space. There are murmurs of Shake Shack coming down this way. If that’s becomes a reality — things are about to taste a little bit better in this neck of the woods.