Covering Battery Park City

Over the weekend, members of Elizabeth Streb’s troupe climbed a 30-foot-high scaffold and hurled themselves off it as part of the “Extraordinary Moves” exhibit at the World Financial Center. Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer.

Capoccia approved for B.P.C.A. board:
Real estate developer Don Capoccia has been approved by the New York State Senate to serve on the Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors. He was nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will be seated despite the fact that Gov. Cuomo’s predecessor, David Paterson, had nominated two Battery Park City residents to serve on the board. These nominations — Anthony Notaro and Martha Gallo — hadn’t reached the floor of the Senate before Paterson left office and Cuomo ignored them when it came time to choose a new board member.

In order to better reflect the will of the community and to bring quality-of-life issues to the B.P.C.A.’s attention, Community Board 1 has repeatedly urged that more Battery Park City residents serve on the B.P.C.A. board. New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, who sits on the Senate’s Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, which vets the nominations, supported the nominations of Notaro and Gallo.

“It seems outrageous to me to nominate and approve a non-resident after the committee nominated and approved two residents last year — I’m disappointed in the governor,” said Jeff Galloway, co-chair of C.B. 1’s B.P.C. Committee at its most recent meeting, on July 5. The B.P.C. Committee resolved again to ask the governor to appoint B.P.C. residents to fill vacant positions on the B.P.C.A. board.

Meanwhile, Sen. Squadron said that he has repeatedly been on the phone with people in the governor’s office “at the highest executive level,” attempting to get the nominations of Notaro and Gallo back on the table. Though the Senate doesn’t return to full session until January, Squadron said that there might be special sessions in the interim, during which the nominations could be approved, should they occur. “It’s critical that both of the community appointees are reappointed and confirmed. I believe that the governor will do that,” he said.

In answer to the question of whether the governor realizes how strongly the Battery Park City community feels about this, Squadron replied, “Without a doubt.”

Caravelli’s Pizzeria opens:
Though stores and restaurants are set to close on the south side of 2 World Trade Center in preparation for massive construction that will begin in October, a restaurant just opened on the north side. Caravelli’s Pizzeria will be there for the next nine to 12 months, according to Ed McFarland, one of the two owners. (McFarland also owns Ed’s Lobster Bar on Lafayette Street and the Ed’s Lobster Bar kiosk on the World Financial Center plaza.)

On July 18, its first day in business, customers flocked to the store, cleaning it out long before closing. “The food is good and the prices are fair,” said one customer. The pizza crusts were crisp, the tomato sauce, juicy with real tomatoes. A chicken parm sandwich had a tasty topping of fresh basil. In addition to pizzas ($3 a slice, $20 for a pie that would feed four people), Caravelli’s has a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, hot plates such as eggplant parm and manicotti ($10), and salads and soups. “We’ll also have seasonal specials,” said manager Stephen Davino. In the coming weeks, he said there would be fountain sodas and fresh lemonade. The hours are Mon.-Sat, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The phone number is (212) 323-6290.

That’s entertainment:
From Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16, there was just too much to do in B.P.C. Dancers, acrobats and a world-class juggler put on a 90-minute show called “Extraordinary Moves” on the World Financial Center plaza. It opened with “The Three Belles” from Australia’s company, Strange Fruit, in which three women, caparisoned like fairy-tale princesses, climbed 14-foot-tall sway poles and bobbed above the heads of the crowd. Then Michael Moschen took the stage with his astonishing skills as a juggler and percussionist, creating complex rhythms as he manipulated a set of balls over a hollow box that amplified their sound. Finally, members of Elizabeth Streb’s troupe climbed a 30-foot-high scaffold and hurled themselves off it with military precision in a performance that she called “Human Fountain.” Against a sparkling blue sky, with their arms raised above their heads, the performers looked as though they were flying.

Saturday night, there was a family dance on Esplanade Plaza with Irish music and dancers, sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, plus an event orchestrated by Improv Everywhere as part of the River to River Festival. Around 3,500 people downloaded instructions on their Smartphones or iPods that directed them to go to Rockefeller Park in the northern part of B.P.C. There they were directed via their headphones to bow, wave, take pictures of the person next to them and the like. The event lasted for an hour. At one point, the expansive lawn was a sea of glow sticks. “Most of the participants seemed to be in their twenties,” said B.P.C. resident Jay Fine, who went to the event to take some pictures. He said that having a stranger tell him what do for an hour wasn’t exactly his thing, but “They seemed to be having fun.”

By the next day, Rockefeller Park was back to almost normal, except for a few muddy spots in the grass, some cigarette butts and a few glow sticks, left behind.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@mac.com

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