Tag Archives: south end avenue

Parks Enforcement Patrol Attacks Battery Park City Resident

A BPC resident is handcuffed and put into an ambulance after a scuffle with Parks Enforcement (Photo courtesy: Jay Fine)

Two weeks ago, Battery Park City resident Adam Pratt was attacked by a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer when walking his dog on South End Avenue, reports Downtown Express. The patrolwoman approached him on a golf cart and requested ID. He didn’t have it on him and she then struck him in the face not one, not two, but three times with her walkie talkie. A bystander corroborated the account.

The Parks Department, which oversees the PEP, issued the following statement about the incident: “On Saturday, January 29, a man in Battery Park City was issued a summons for disorderly conduct and brought to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation after behaving irrationally and striking a female Parks Enforcement Officer. Conflicting reports state that the Parks Enforcement Officer initiated the confrontation. We will therefore take further steps to look into this.”

Clearly, Pratt and the PEP have differing accounts of what happened. Pratt, who has photographed PEP officers dozing off in the vehicles and thinks this incident was their way of getting back at him for causing trouble, was eventually handcuffed and placed in an ambulance and taken to a psych ward at Bellevue. He was eventually charged with ‘disorderly behavior,’ which was the only charge they could place on him. A later X-ray revealed rib contusions for Pratt. He plans to sue.

What do you think of Pratt vs. the PEP?

Tribeca Whole Foods in Battery Park City

Report: Grocery Stores Overcharge! (Not a surprise here.)

Tribeca Whole Foods in Battery Park City
Tribeca Whole Foods is one of several supermarkets in Battery Park City

More often than not one of the following things happens to me at either one of the Gristedes on South End Avenue:

1. I get overcharged egregiously on a single item.
2. I bring home something that is way past its due date.
3. I do not find what I’m looking for at the supermarket.

So when the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs released a damning study that one out of every two supermarkets were found in pricing and tax violations — it was hardly a surprise.

According to their press release today:

“It’s a supermarket’s responsibility to ensure that its products are accurately priced and its customers are correctly charged, but with half the supermarkets in the City receiving violations, it is clear that they are failing their customers,” said Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, “Because thousands of New Yorkers continue to be overcharged, I’ve directed our inspectors to double the number of inspections in the coming year.”

Pork Chop cost 50cents at Battery Park city Gristedes
Prices are not reliable at Gristedes

Dear. Mr Mintz can you send a couple over in our neighborhood? One for each of the Gristedes? This is something Battery Park City residents have been experiencing for years.

Neighborhood resident and Foursquarer Michelle D. had left a tip after checking into Gristedes,

“Lines are long, cashiers are rude, items are almost always scanned incorrectly versus the sticker or sign prices, items are at times spoiled or stale. I hate this place with a passion.”

This frustration over our supermarket reflects a need for fresh and affordable groceries. It isn’t a case of how our needs are not heard — for the addition of the seasonal greenmarket and to some extent the 24-hour fruit vendor on the corner of Albany street often helps, although in a more renegade style. The inspectors may be the type of regulation we need to help to alleviate this situation.

The supermarkets in violation could face more than $380,000 in fines to the City. These violations include inaccurate check-out scanners, lack of prices on individual items, taxation of items that are not taxable, improperly weighed food, and unavailability of scales for customers.

Also according to the report, the most common violation was lack of item pricing, for items without price tags. This immediately brought me back to Gristedes last week when I purchased a bottle of capers for an astounding $4.99 — for a bottle that is usually $1.99. When I asked the cashier if that was the right price, her response was, “yup.”

Some people may just respond, “Go to Whole Foods” or “Order from Fresh Direct,” it doesn’t seem to be the right answer, although these are both options i frequent. For residents who live on South End Avenue it’s a lose lose situation. By virtue of how estranged our neighborhood is, Gristedes wins — in essence cornering the grocery market, at least south of the Marina.

So although I started this piece on how the report was not a surprise — it is still a welcomed acknowledgement. That is, if we can get one of the inspectors up in our neighborhood…

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!

225 Rector Place

Rector Square Apartments Up For Bulk Sale

225 Rector Place
Yair Levy accused of raiding the coffers of 225 Rector Place.

The bank which owns nearly 230 apartments at Rector Square has announced that it will be planning a “bulk sale” of the apartments in September according to reports from Independent.ie.

The Anglo Irish Bank has been embroiled in a legal dispute with Rector Square’s developer Yair Levy and won an order of foreclosure on the Rector Square building.
Yair Levy seems to have ground accustomed to legal problems, after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and unit owners of the building have both filed suits against Levy’s company YL Real Esate, for mishandling the operations of the Rector Square building. YL Real Estate has defaulted on $165 million in loans.

According to the same report, Units initial sold for $1000 per square foot  are now valued at $400 per square foot. It is not clear what the foreclosure rate for the units will be when the parcel of units go up on the block in September.

Battery Park City Greenmarket Thursdays at 225 Liberty Street

Battery Park City’s Greenmarket is Here! (Well.. Until November)

Battery Park City Greenmarket Thursdays at 225 Liberty Street
Our Greenmarket is Here! Hooray!

Our neighborhood has just been served… with a side of swiss chard, organically pasteurized eggs with pies for dessert!

Battery Park City now has a Greenmarket to call its own.

After being Greenmarket connoisseurs without a country — Battery Park City’s Greenmarket is here to stay until November 24th.

Starting today and every Thursday from 8AM until 6PM, greenmarket vendors will be set up in the ring road right outside 225 Liberty Street at South End Avenue.

If this morning is any indication — a key piece of advice is to get to the stands before you head out to work. The fresh veggies, fruits and baked goods will certainly be snatched up by our business neighbors by lunchtime. Case in point: while perusing the stalls at 9:30am, some of the best looking produce had already been procured leaving many visibly empty spaces within the lush terrain of fresh produce. Also, while heading to the greenmarket — there were several people heading back to their apartments with bags of produce leaving in the opposite direction all before 9am.

We can’t blame them. The Greenmarket is very exciting for the southern portion of our neighborhood. Before today, the best excuse the South End part of the neighborhood had for fresh produce has been the fruit cart flanked at Albany Street and South End Avenue. The North End of the neighborhood has been blessed with easy access to the Tribeca Greenmarket as well as the Whole Foods. The location of Battery Park City’s greenmarket is smartly placed in the center of the neighborhood — easy enough for everyone to get to. Not to mention it’s also an excellent use of a ring road that seems hardly used post 9/11.

While speaking with the Greenmarket representatives, we asked if there was a possibility for the vendors to stay throughout the winter and brave blistery winds for fresh winter produce. They had informed us that as long as the Greenmarket is proven successful, an extension for the Greenmarket to stay year round is definitely a possibility. As far as the wind was concerned, the Greenmarket people claimed that this location is apparently not the windiest in the city. (Obviously the Greenmarket grasshopper has much to learn!)

The vendors who will be in our neighborhood every Thursday are:

Migliorelli Farm – Vegetables and fruit
Meredith’s Bakery -Bread and baked goods
Red Jacket Orchard – Fruit, juices and assorted bottled goods such as apple butter.
Binder Farm – Plants and flowers
MK Orchards – Orchids and hydrangeas
Valley Shepherd – Sheep, cow and goat cheese, pasta, butter, yogurt and gelato
Lavender by the Bay – Fresh lavender and assorted lavender products.
Beth’s Family Farm – Jams and preserves
NY Wine & Grape Association – NY state local wines
Holten Farms – Vegetables, fruit, maple syrup, honey, eggs, baked goods, and meat including, beef, turkey, pork, chicken and lamb.

Yum! Welcome Greenmarket! May you help all of us eat healthier meals.
Check out some of the photos we took from our first visit to the Battery Park City Greenmarket!