Covering Battery Park

Cuomo nominates real estate developer to B.P.C.A. Board:
With no public announcement and no fanfare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated real estate developer Donald Capoccia to the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors. Capoccia is the managing principal and founder of BFC Partners, a real estate firm that has been noted for creating affordable housing in neighborhoods such as East Harlem, the East Village and the Williamsburg waterfront. Some of these developments have generated considerable controversy in their communities. In nominating Capoccia, Gov. Cuomo bypassed two Battery Park City residents, Anthony Notaro and Martha Gallo, who had been nominated to the Battery Park City Authority Board by his predecessor, David Paterson. Paterson left office before those nominations could be approved by the New York State Senate, which will have to approve Capoccia’s nomination as well before it becomes official. Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee has been adamant that more people who live in the community should be on the B.P.C.A. Board, and is therefore not likely to greet Capoccia’s nomination with enthusiasm.

Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack opened in Battery Park City at 215 Murray St. on June 1. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

B.P.C. Shake Shack debuts:
Shake Shack, the first of Danny Meyer’s trio of restaurants in Battery Park City, opened on June 1 to an eager crowd that couldn’t wait to get its hands on Meyer’s Angus burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes. The eatery at 215 Murray St. in what has come to be known as “Goldman Sachs alley” has indoor and outdoor seating and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is decorated with gleaming chrome, dark wood, and chairs painted in pale lime green, lemon yellow and dark blue. Prices are modest ($3.50 to $7 for burgers, $4.75 for floats, $5 for shakes, $2.65 for fries, for example.) Shake Shack also serves wine and beer and sells ice-cream-laced treats for dogs. The best time to go to avoid lines might be at 10:30 p.m. when a few people drop in who are working the lobster shift or who just came from work. “It’s nice to have a place that’s open late!” said one Gateway Plaza resident as he polished off one of the Shake Shack’s concretes — an ice cream concoction prepared with a variety of mix-ins such as walnuts, cookie dough and amarena cherries ($4.25 for small, $6.50 for large). That particular combo is called a “Wall-nut Street” and if you want one, you have to go to the Battery Park City Shake Shack. Mr. Meyer created it just for Battery Park City. It isn’t found anywhere else.

W.F.C. Greenmarket summer kick-off:
The World Financial Center Greenmarket at Liberty Street and South End Avenue opened this year on April 7, but Thursday, June 9 will mark the official kick-off of the summer season. Between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., there will be live music, free samples and a few speeches and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be crafts for kids, a raffle, music and cooking demonstrations with Corwin Kave, executive chef of Fatty Crew, which owns Fatty Crab, Fatty ‘Cue and Fatty Snack. The B.P.C. Greenmarket vendors include Migliorelli Farm, Red Jacket Orchard, Not Just Rugelach, Meredith’s Bread, Stony Mountain Ranch, MK Orchid Farm, Newgate Farms and Castello di Borghese Vineyard. The market is officially open on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., though some vendors come earlier.

Big Toot: a former U.S. Navy launch painted red and white like the jaunty tugboat in a children’s book called “Little Toot,” is back in North Cove Marina on Saturdays and Sundays, giving kids free rides in New York harbor. Adults pay $10 each, which helps to subsidize the cost of the program. Starting at 10:30 a.m., Big Toot goes out four times a day, twice to Governors Island and twice to the Statue of Liberty. The trip is 50 minutes long because, said Capt. Richard Dorfman, “some kids would get antsy with a longer trip and we don’t have a head on board.”  The boat can accommodate up to 40 people and the trip is first-come, first-served.  Heather Slivko-Bathurst, Big Toot’s mate, keeps an email list for people who want to know about upcoming trips. She is also setting up a Facebook page for the boat. “For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they’ve been in a boat!” she said. Michael Fortenbaugh, North Cove Marina’s commodore, said, “This is a program that I care a lot about because it makes it possible for kids who grow up in the city to get on the water.” He said that people can email him ( for more information about the trips, which are under the sponsorship of Project City Kids (

On June 3, around 25 people gathered on the Battery Park City esplanade where B.P.C. resident Sheldon Palgon had placed his 8” Celestron telescope, focusing it on the moon setting over Jersey City and then on Saturn in the southern sky.

TimeBank Saturn watch and swap-out:
On June 3, there were just a few wisps of clouds and a crescent moon setting over Jersey City as around 25 people gathered on the Battery Park City esplanade to catch a glimpse of  Saturn. Battery Park City resident Sheldon Palgon pointed his 8” Celestron telescope first at the moon, whose craters were clearly visible. Then he aimed it at Saturn, in the southern sky. “It looks like a cartoon!” several people said as they stared at Saturn’s rings through the telescope. “Awesome!” and “Terrific” were other remarks. Palgon explained that Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System with an orbit that can take it as close as 744 million miles from Earth or as far away from our planet as a billion miles. On June 3, Saturn was fairly close, he said. He said that no one really knows what created Saturn’s rings but that one popular theory is that they are the debris of a moon that split into many fragments.

The Saturn watch was a program sponsored by the Battery Park City TimeBank, which arranges skill swaps among members, who trade their own time for services they need from others. The next TimeBank event will be on Monday, June 13 at The Terrace Club, 380 Rector Place, at 6:30 p.m. People will trade CDs, books, small gifts and more. You don’t have to be a TimeBank member to attend.

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3 Responses to Covering Battery Park

  1. Glad to hear that the real estate developer Donald Capoccia is nominated to the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors! He really deserves that position for his hard work! Interested to know more about the Celestron telescope!

  2. Palgon explained that Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System with an orbit that can take it as close as 744 million miles from Earth or as far away from our planet as a billion miles.

  3. This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks!.

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